Arsenal open Europe League with a 3-1 win against FC Koln

Arsenal’s first game in the Europa League started with a bang, having defeated FC Koln 3-1 in a night to remember.

Fans in North London, and across the world, were treated to not only three goals, but witnessed live how the power of football brings fans together. 20,000 FC Koln fans stormed into the stadium, singing age-old chants, most without tickets, creating an electric, yet tensed atmosphere, trying to fit into a space for 2,900.
Amidst a sea of confusion, chaos and a one-hour delay due to the intense congestion at the Emirates Stadium, the Gunners made the best out of a bitter-sweet Europa League situation.
Ahead of the highly-anticipated Premier League clash against Chelsea on Sunday, manager Arsene Wenger rested most of his tier 1 players, like Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Petr Cech, starting instead with Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott.
The hosts’ chances looked bleak with a dry first half. FC Koln’s Jhon Cordoba’ seized the opportunity to play a Columbian vs. Columbian one-on-one, by playing the ball past David Ospina’s hands, costing Arsenal a clean sheet, and adding to the euphoria of the Germans. This additionally created an atmosphere of unease, between the two fan sides and the teams.
The second half started with FC Koln’s supreme attacking front, with Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny and Alex Iwobi struggling to maintain the regular pace of the experienced likes of Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey. It is however noteworthy that Jack Wilshere made his come back after more than a year for Arsenal and instantly made his presence felt on the pitch.
Wenger then introduced one of Arsenal’s summer buys and current star, Sead Kolasinac, who immediately brought in a ferocious change of pace, definitely one to watch out for. The Bosnian charged across the pitch where instinct, not opportunity took him to produce Arsenal’s first goal, just five minutes into the second half.
 Alexis Sanchez, who Arsenal almost lost in the transfer window, scored their second goal, striking past Timo Horn, while the third was scored by the reliable Hector Bellerin.
Now that Arsenal are here for a season of the Europa League, it is best left that they make the most of it with their current talent.

In a first, Singapore’s voters have elected a woman as their President

 

Halimah Yacob will be sworn in as the eighth President of Singapore on September 24, 2017, after defeating Farid Khan and Mohamed Salleh Marican from the Malay party. She had previously served as the first woman speaker of Singapore’s Parliament, back in 2013.
Since the other two candidates did not qualify for the Presidential post’s eligibility criteria, Yacob was awarded the job. Amidst criticism about this system of election, she said in an interview the media, she said, “I’m a President for everyone. Although there’s no election, my commitment to serve you remains the same”.
Yacob graduated with a Master’s of Law from the National University of Singapore. After three decades at the National Trades Union Congress, she stepped into politics in 2001, where she was elected as a Member of Parliament of the constituency, Jurong Group Representation. Yacob openly speaks about mental illness, women empowerment, and rights of senior citizens.
The post of President in Singapore is merely a ceremonial one, with no particular power or influence over the Prime Minister or his Government.

Ashok Mittal, Railway Chief quits

The chairman of Indian Railways, Ashok Mittal, has resigned from his post after two major train derailments within five days, citing ‘moral responsibility’.

The Muzaffarnagar train derailment on Saturday, August 19, left 22 dead and more than 150 injured. Within just four days, on Wednesday, August 22, the Kafiyat Express derailed, injuring more than 70 individuals. Mittal submitted his resignation to Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, on Thursday, August 23, who is yet to accept or decline it.

The Railway Minister has stated in a Tweet, “Will not allow laxity in operations by the Board. I have directed the CRB to fix responsibility on prima facie evidence by the end of the day.” The Indian Railways have come under serious flak from the media after evidence was unearthed displaying negligence by the maintenance staff.

After the accidents, the General Manager Northern Railways, Chief Track Engineer of Northern Railway Zone and Divisional Railway Manager of Delhi have been suspected.

Mittal’s tenure ended in 2016, but was given an extension of two years by the Indian Railways. Some reports suggest that Ashwani Lohani may take over position of Chairman of the railways.

Sources: Outlook India, News 18

Robert Hardy, popular English actor, dies at 91

The Western film industry has lost another fine actor today. Robert Hardy, famous for his role as Siegfried Farnon in the long-running TV series, All Creatures Great and Small, passed away on August 3, 2017.

Hardy’s versatile career lasted over 70 years, where he performed notable roles of Henry V, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Robin Hood, Prince Albert, along with multiple portrayals of the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and the role this generation will popularly remember him for, Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, in the film adaptations of fantasy book series Harry Potter.

His three children, Paul, Justine and Emma, released a statement to the press stating, “It is with great sadness that the family of Robert Hardy CBE today announced his death, following a tremendous life: a giant career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 70 years”. He is fondly remembered by his children as a gruff, yet twinkly and dignified man, loved and celebrated by all.

The former actor spent his last days at Denville Hall, a retirement home for actors in London.

News Sources- The Guardian, BBC

In a shake-up, Anthony Scaramucci removed from White House

The White House seems to be grappling with a major attrition problem. After Sean Spicer’s resignation from the post of Communications Director at the White House, Anthony Scaramucci was appointed to the post, with much celebration. Not 11 days later, US President Donald Trump has fired Scaramucci.

This dismissal comes just hours after Trump appointed former secretary of Homeland Security and a decorated Marine general, John Kelly as his Chief of Staff. With firing Scaramucci, also popularly known as ‘The Mooch’, Kelly has firmly shown that the current untoward functioning of the Oval Office will be brought to line.

Scaramucci’s dismissal was imminent after he gave a controversial television interview, comparing himself and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to Cain and Abel, where as the story goes, the latter is killed by the former in an attempt to gain favour in God’s eyes. However, if the television interview wasn’t damaging enough, in a phone call with a reporter from the New Yorker, he verbally abused Priebus and Trump’s strategist Stephen Bannon, even threatening to oust them from the White House. “I’m not Steve Bannon. I’m not trying to suck my own cock”, said The Mooch.

In an engagement with the media, White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said, “The president certainly felt that Anthony’s comments were inappropriate for a person in that position”.

Sources- The New York Times, The Washington Post

In a $1.2 billion deal, Michael Kors buys Jimmy Choo

Pairing the perfect handbag with shoes is no longer a difficult task. Luxury fashion retailer, Michael Kors, announced that it has purchased British powerhouse, Jimmy Choo.

The deal is said to be for $1.2 billion, or £886 million, and is expected to catapult the diminishing sales of these high couture brands. Michael Kors, one of America’s and the world’s most affordable brand on the high couture shelf, has faced dipping sales over the years with a sizeable chunk of their consumer base opting for e-purchases, or more affordable retailers like Zara and H&M.

Jimmy Choo, started in 1996 in a market where shoes did not toe the line. With daring designs and revolutionary styles, a frenzied, loyal consumer base was found, with the likes of the late Princess Diana, Emma Stone, Kate Middleton, Kendall Jenner and Michelle Obama sporting them on the red carpet. They went up for sale in April and finalised with Michael Kors this week.

This deal comes just a month after luxury handbags and accessories giants, Coach and Kate Spade drew a buy-out deal worth $2.4 billion, bringing the affordable high fashion game to a far more competitive edge.

 

News Sources – The New York Times, Forbes

Ashok Malik picked as Ram Nath Kovind’s Press Secretary

Senior journalist and analyst, Ashok Malik, has been selected as the new President-elect, Ram Nath Kovind’s press secretary.

 

The announcement of press secretary was made by the Department of Personnel and Training, along with the selection of Sanjay Kothari and Bharat Lal as Rashtrapati Bhavan’s secretary and joint-secretary, respectively.

 

Malik, a veteran journalist, is one of India’s well-known columnists, having written for The Indian Express, The Telegraph, India Today and more, and also occurs as a commentator on news television programs. Additionally, he also held the position of consulting editor at media publications Tehelka and Pioneer. He frequently writes about trade policy from a domestic and international context, along with national politics and economics. The press secretary is also currently part of Indian think-tank Observer Research Foundation as a Distinguished Fellow from 2015.

 

In 2016, the senior analyst was awarded the Padma Shri Award by the Indian Government. The Modi government has awarded him honorary positions – a part of the board of governors at a CSR-focused think-tank, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, and the Rajghat Memorial Committee.

Sources-

  1. Indian Express- http://indianexpress.com/article/who-is/who-is-ashok-malik-president-ram-nath-kovind-press-secretary-ram-nath-kovind-4762067/

2. Financial Express-http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/who-is-ashok-malik-narendra-modi-led-committee-picks-senior-journalist-as-press-secretary-to-president-elect-ram-nath-kovind/774466/