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The Covid-19 virus has exposed many of the fault lines in the US’ relationship with China. Decoupling will do nothing to resolve these issues, to the detriment of the global economy.



The global pandemic, on the heels of a bruising trade war and national security concerns over Huawei, has given new fuel to the US-China decoupling argument. The concentration of medical equipment and supplies manufacturing, in desperate need across the world, has brought this clamoring to a fevered pitch. But a truly decoupled relationship will further complicate our ability to address many of the world’s most daunting and vexing challenges, from climate change, coordinating efforts for the current and next pandemic, and ensuring security. And the economic costs would be significant for the US. We found in our recent econometric analysis of data till January 2020 that the US exports lose about 1.6 times more than Chinese exports, for every percent point increase in tariff rates.

There are many legitimate grievances among US businesses, workers, and others on China’s trade and domestic economic policies. And moves towards decoupling have taken root on both sides, beginning with China’s Great Firewall. China has transgressed on a number of fronts: Intellectual property and trade secret theft, industrial subsidies, limited market access in certain sectors, and the overlapping, entangled relationships between major corporations and the Communist Party. Many of these issues stem from China’s model of growth, where factors of production are directly or indirectly controlled by the state.

First, the economic pain will be felt by US households and businesses alike. China is the source of more than $400 billion in global intermediate goods and $452 billion in goods sold to the US. This has become acutely apparent during the current crisis and high concentration of personal protection equipment and pharmaceuticals, both medicines and ingredients, manufactured in China.

Many of the goods produced in China have few substitutes, and for many households, demand for these goods is weakly responsive to prices. Estimates over the past year have shown that the long-term effect of US tariffs on Chinese goods will cost households between $800 and $1,000 per year.

It’s true that many foreign companies are re-evaluating their exposure to China. Few locations around the world even now can compete with the manufacturing base and infrastructure of China, even with rising wages. For those not invested in access to the domestic market, diversifying production for many has become an imminent and pressing objective. This was made all the more necessary by a bruising (and still ongoing) trade war and the economic shutdown due to the coronavirus. But diversification is not the same as decoupling, the latter being a complete or significant severing of economic ties.

Second, punitive measures seldom work in inducing better behavior. Decoupling would be fostered through sustaining elevated tariffs indefinitely. The primary tools in the arsenal of US trade policy are tariffs, export controls, import controls, and non-tariff barriers. The Trump Administration has relied heavily on all these tools to force a wedge in US-China economic relations. Tariffs and retaliatory tariffs have cut into these trade flows. US exports to China fell nearly 20% in constant dollar terms from 2017 to 2019, and 9% from 2018 to 2019. For many US manufacturers and commodities producers, China is the major source of demand (soybean farmers alone in 2017 exported the equivalent of one third of their output to China).

Previously, we had predicted a trillion dollar loss over ten years from the sustained upholding of these tariffs, as covered in global media. Based on our analysis using a widely used global supply chain economic model named GTAP, the losses in GDP from the Covid-19 crisis could peak at $0.75 trillion in China and $1 trillion in the US, if the shutdown sustains for the rest of this year.

Using decoupling to separate/isolate China is ridden with weaknesses. China’s Belt and Road Initiative and soft power campaign will make it difficult for US allies to comply. China is already the second largest economy in the world and surging source of innovation. Instead, multilateral trade pacts—expressly anathema to the outgoing Trump Administration—have the best chance of encouraging better trade practices. A resurrected TPP (already in place as the CPTPP among the remaining 11 members) would carry enormous weight with the US behind it. Such a framework, rather than punishing China, would incentivize its leadership to reform from within to become part of a pact representing 40% of the global economy. We found, in our UNESCAP study, that such a strategy of trade liberalization, to benefit the world as a whole in the context of TPP among other deals. In an independent analysis we pursued for this article, using GTAP model, we observed that the US has a potential to reduce the exports from China by $3 billion, while boosting its GDP by $11 billion, if the US were to join TPP and signs TTIP now.

As we show in our recent analysis, irrespective of whether it is a ‘positive’ decoupling wherein many countries join hands together and reduce their tariffs mutually leaving out China, or ‘negative’ decoupling wherein many countries raise tariffs against China, with similar reciprocation from China, the world would still stay dependent deeply on China for the large part. With a positive decoupling, it is possible to slightly reduce such dependencies while strengthening the domestic capacities and trade among the other partners.

India is also no exception to this broad inference, though during Covid-19, India’s trade deficit with China has come down significantly—this is merely a short run fluctuation that may be reversed in the near future when the economies recover. Therefore, while we must continue our efforts to improve efficiencies and capacities domestically and forge partnerships globally, it is not necessarily a ‘good’ policy or an ‘easy’ exercise to explicitly decouple from China. Possibly, India can potentially enhance its investment climate and introduce market reforms so as to attract existing investments that may move away from China.

The Covid-19 virus has exposed many of the fault lines in relationship with China. Decoupling will do nothing to resolve these issues, to the detriment of the global economy.

Spencer Cohen, a Senior Fellow with Infinite Sum Modelling LLC, Seattle, USA, is a leading expert on Chinese and US regional economic and trade issues. Badri Narayanan is the founding director of Infinite Sum Modelling, Seattle and a senior economist with University of Washington Seattle.

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Co-joined twin Veena and Vani pass intermediate exams with flying colours



In a sheer display of determination and will power, a co-joined twin named Veena and Vani have passed the Telangana Intermediate exams with flying colours. The twins scored first class marks, sending out a strong message of where there is a will, there is a way. While Veena secured 712 marks out of 1000, Vani scored 707 marks out of 1000 marks with CEC  (Commerce, Economics, Civics) stream.

Satyavathi Rathod, Minister for Tribal, Women and Child Welfare, congratulated Veena and Vani on achieving the feat. The minister further said, «All the necessary facilities will be provided for their higher education. Veena and Vani will always have the support of the state government.» She also praised the staff personnel, who assisted the two girls. 

Elated with their scores, Veena and Vani expressed the desire to become Chartered Accountants (CA). In the tenth standard, Veena and Vani had scored 9.3 GPA and 9.2 GPA respectively. 

It is noteworthy that Veena and Vani were eligible to opt for special priveleges, which could have ensured additional time to write their exam, but they refused and submitted their answer sheet to the invigilator five minutes ahead of schedule. 

The results for the 1st and 2nd year were announced by Telangana State Board Of Intermediate Education (TSBIE). Telangana Education Minister Sabitha Reddy announced the results. Among the 9 lakh students who appeared for the exam, the story of Veena and Vani stood out and is garnering praises across the country. 

Born in 2003 in Mahabubnagar district of Telangana, Veena and Vani were cojoined from birth. Due to this, their parents stepped back from taking their responsibility and refused to take them, citing lack of resources for their treatment. Thereafter, the twins stayed in Nilopher hospital till they turned 12 and later shifted to State Home.

Despite several attempts by doctors, medical and surgical experts from not just India but also the United Kingdom and Singapore, no way has been found to separate them.

While it was earlier estimated that the  procedure to separate them would cost around Rs 10 crore, it is very complex and risky  as their veins are tangled up. This is the reason an operation has not be done yet.

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Shweta Shalini



The party’s philosophy of “nation first, party second and self last” was drilled into every cadre not just through words but through actions.

In 1895, Swami Vivekananda was to give a public lecture in London. When it was time to stand up and speak, Swami Vivekananda suddenly announced that it was Swami Saradananda who would deliver the speech instead of him. Though taken by surprise, the learned Swami displayed his scholarly mastery over the scriptures as Vivekananda sat overjoyed intently listening to the teachings. In the following years, Swami Vivekananda would delight himself by hearing about or pouring through the newspaper cuttings sent to him of Swami Saradananda’s lectures from Boston, Brooklyn and New York. Whether it is the success of Swami Saradananda in America or pushing Swami Abhedananda to deliver the teachings of Vedanta at a club in Bloomsbury Square, Swami Vivekananda created leaders who would work on the mission while also surprising his audience. Good leaders merely create followers. Great leaders create leaders and influence generations of leaders through their selflessness. Even after his Samadhi, a whole new generation of freedom fighters right from Lokmanya Tilak to Subhash Chandra Bose drew inspiration from Vivekananda.

Devendra Fadnavis pulled a shocker by announcing the name of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde as Chief Minister. As media personnel took a moment to absorb the gist of the announcement, the CM-Designate let out his profound understanding of politics saying, “Nowadays, not even a Nagarsevak (Municipal Councillor) or Gram Panchayat member lets go of his position. I am thankful to you.”

It was not just a sacrifice or selflessness of BJP Leader Devendra Fadnavis but also a victory of the ideological cause, which every BJP karyakarta works towards. A Shiv Sena leader, who stepped down from government for the cause of Hindutva, was rewarded by fellow brethren, working towards the same Hindutva mission. A political leader moving away from the position of power is a rare instance as 50 rebel MLAs from Shiv Sena proved. However, a BJP leader himself taking a backseat for an ideological cause isn’t rare and Devendra Fadnavis was walking in the footsteps of great BJP leaders. When the founding fathers of Jan Sangh instilled selflessness as a philosophy in its cadre, it was Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was a leader (Member of Parliament), with Advani working as his secretary and later as editor of a Hindutva publication. Over the next few decades, Vajpayee and Advani alternated between roles selflessly working under each other’s leadership building the party brick-by-brick. The ideological mission was supreme and not individuals. This selflessness of the party was again on display in 1977 when the Janata Party government came into power and Jan Sangh took a backseat despite a higher number of seats – the mission was more important than the individual goals. The party’s philosophy of “nation first, party second and self last” was drilled into every cadre not just through words but through actions. The Modi era brought in a fresh wave of ideological strength with the BJP selflessly taking non-RSS Hindutva leaders like Yogi Adityanath into its fold.

Over the past few days, the Maharashtra government under Uddhav Thackeray had resorted to attacking the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs for insisting on sticking to the Hindutva stand. The Shiv Sena leaders, who were once foot soldiers of Hindutva under Balasaheb and made their way up from humble backgrounds, were portrayed negatively. Their insistence on sticking to the Hindutva cause was painted as a power-hungry move of Shiv Sena rebels with the backroom connivance of the BJP. “Will you get the Chief Minister’s chair by rebelling against me” taunted CM Uddhav Thackeray in a LIVE address to the state.

“Yes”, replied the BJP and Sangh Parivar in unison when Devendra Fadnavis made that unexpected announcement at the press conference. In one stroke, BJP under Devendra Fadnavis destroyed Uddhav Thackeray’s anti-Hindutva propaganda and honoured the rebels for taking an ideological stand. In a message to every Hindutva ideologue, he made it amply clear that the stability of Maharashtra, development of the state and ideological cause is more important to him than the Chief Minister’s chair itself. The real Shiv Sena of Balasaheb under Eknath Shinde finally leads the state with the support of BJP MLAs.

The press conference by Devendra Fadnavis will be written in golden words in the history of the Bharatiya Janata Party as a step towards the selfless pursuit of Hindutva ideals. A karyakarta like me, who has tirelessly worked for the party under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis. saw first-hand what selflessness towards the cause is all about. I have witnessed how faith in leadership trumps every personal consideration and makes BJP truly a party with difference. Detractors often resort to attacking the Sangh and its ideals while taking a gibe at BJP. The BJP under Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra has once again demonstrated how these Sangh ideals are the strength of the party.

In the words of Swayamsevaks, BJP Leader Devendra Fadnavis acted true to the lines in the Sangh Prarthana – (TvadiyayayKaryayaBaddhaKatiyam) – We are committed to the cause- The cause of Hindutva, the cause of Maharashtra.

The author is BJP spokesperson, advisor to former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, and executive director of Maharashtra Village Social Transformation Foundation.

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Actor-producer Vijay Babu appeared before probe officials for the seventh consecutive day in Ernakulam Town South Police Station for interrogation in connection with a sexual assault case registered against him.

He is appearing before probe officials as per the directions of the Kerala High Court. Meanwhile, a Kerala actor who was allegedly raped by Malayalam actor-producer Vijay Babu has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Kerala High Court’s decision granting conditional anticipatory bail to the actor.

In her petition moved through Advocate Raghenth Basant, she has submitted that the case raises an important issue of whether an absconding accused can be granted anticipatory bail on the ground that it will prompt him to come out of hiding and join the investigation.

A lookout notice was issued against the actor as he went into hiding since the accusations surfaced. Babu then filed an application seeking anticipatory bail before the Kerala High Court, which was allowed on June 22, subject to conditions. The High Court had also confirmed the maintainability of the application for pre-arrest bail filed while the applicant is residing outside the country.

Meanwhile, the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) earlier in June said that any action against actor-producer Vijay Babu will be taken “as per the judgment of the court”.

Following the accusations, Vijay stepped down from the executive committee of the AMMA in May.

AMMA president Mohanlal, its general secretary Edavela Babu, and its treasurer Siddique were among those who addressed a press conference.

“This is a matter for the court to consider. Action will be taken if necessary as per the judgment of the court. We are waiting for the verdict of the court to come. Everyone is waiting for the verdict. He is a member of eight or nine clubs in Kochi. He has not yet been expelled from those clubs. AMMA is actually a club. AMMA will act in accordance with the court order,” said Edavela Babu, General Secretary of AMMA at the press conference.

Siddique said that the executive committee of AMMA has decided not to take any action against Vijay until the court decides. ANI

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Covid-19 has prompted the majority of the workforce to work from home. With daily communication between work teams is no longer restricted to set timings and official emails, the lines between professional and personal have been blurred, leading to a dilemma on what is formal and what is informal.

A WhatsApp chat between a boss and an employee is going viral on the Internet for this reason. Recently, an employee got an earful for greeting his boss with a ‘hey’. Responding to this, the boss said, “Please don’t use the word ‘hey’. It’s offensive to me. If you can’t remember my name, simply use ‘Hi’, adding how the employee should refrain from using words like ‘Dude’ and ‘Man’ with his boss.

Had it been any other person, they would have gone ahead to apologise, but this employee responded, “Well, considering that we are having a conversation over WhatsApp and not over LinkedIn or a mail chain. I’m just being casual as you are texting me on my personal number. And coming to being professional I’m not the one being offended.”

However, the conversation did not end there as the boss emphasised that Whatsapp is not a personal space anymore. “WhatsApp is not personal space any more, it has been used for business. I am not insisting my ideology on you. If you understand it, fine; or you will understand it sooner or later,” he said.

After the post surfaced online, a social media user said, “Agreed. You don’t use a social media app like WhatsApp to have a professional relationship over the Internet. They should write a properly-formatted email. And that’s “Mr NutWrench” to them, too.” Another user added, “My old boss told me “what’s up?” is disrespectful. Dude, you’re calling me, you clearly need something. What’s up?.”

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Crime Branch of Kerala Police has asked Swapna Suresh to appear before the probe officials at the Kochi Police club on July 5. Crime Branch has issued a notice to her in a conspiracy case registered over the complaint filed by MLA and former minister KT Jaleel. She is the prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case.

Thiruvananthapuram cantonment police have registered a case against Swapna on Jaleel’s complaint on June 8 this year seeking a probe into the charges made by Swapna Suresh against him in the Gold Smuggling Case and alleged that she conspired and made defaming statements against him.

The police registered the case under Section 153 (wantonly giving provocation with an intent to cause riot) and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) against her.

She skipped the interrogation earlier this week when the Crime Branch issued a notice by citing the reason for ED questioning in the gold smuggling case.

The prime accused in the gold smuggling case Swapna Suresh on Wednesday said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had told lies in the Assembly on Tuesday and urged him to release CCTV visuals of Cliff House and Secretariat in view of the probe in the case.

“Yesterday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan talked a lot of things at the Assembly. It came to my notice that he had told a lot of lies in order to mislead the public by standing in a very sacred place,” Suresh said to reporters today.

She added, “The Chief Minister said that he has often seen me with the Consul General. There is no MEA approval for such meetings. All these meetings were facilitated through me by his point of contact, that is Sivasankar. All these meetings are against the protocol.”

She demanded the Chief Minister to release the CCTV visuals of Cliff House (official residence of Kerala CM) and Secretariat from 2016 to 2020.

“After 7 o’clock at night along with the Consul General, I went to Cliff House for secret meetings for their requirements. Also, I had gone alone there earlier. You can see in those visuals that there was no security check for me to go there. It is not ethical to mislead people by standing in the Assembly with so many blatant lies like saying that you do not know Swapna Suresh.”

In the Assembly on Tuesday, Vijayan said Swapna is a person who is accused of gold smuggling and other cases and the Congress-led Opposition is treating her words as the ultimate truth and using them here. He also referred to her as someone who is now being guided by Sangh Parivar forces.

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Villagers catch two LeT terrorists in J&K

This has prompted LG Manoj Sinha to announce reward of Rs 5 lakh to the villagers.

Ajay Jandyal



With the help of locals Jammu and Kashmir police on Sunday arrested two most wanted Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Mahore area of Reasi district of Jammu region and recovered Two Ak 47 rifles, seven hand grenades, Pistols and huge quantity of ammunitions.

Both arrested terrorist Talib Hussain of Rajouri and Faisal Ahmed Dar of Pulwama are associated with terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and are wanted in three IED blasts in Rajouri and for terror incident in South Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced a reward of Rs 5 Lakhs for the brave villagers who apprehended two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district.”I salute the bravery of villagers of Tukson Dhok, Reasi, who apprehended two most-wanted terrorists. Such determination by the common man shows the end of terrorism is not far away. UT Govt to extend Rs 5 Lakh cash reward to villagers for the gallant act against terrorists and terrorism.”

According to the Jammu Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), the apprehended terrorists have been identified as Faizal Ahmed Dar and Talib Hussain.

The Director-General of Police (DGP) announced a reward of Rs 2 lakhs for villagers.

Two AK rifles, seven grenades and a pistol were recovered, the police said.

Earlier on June 30, the Chinar Corps of the Indian Army eliminated two terrorists during Operation ‘Kataran’ in the Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Police said that the joint operation ‘Kataran’ was launched on Wednesday and the area was cordoned off. One AK rifle, one pistol and war-like stores were recovered.

Earlier on Wednesday, two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists were neutralized during an encounter that broke out in Kulgam.

The encounter site was very close to the pilgrimage route of the Amarnath yatra. Both the terrorists killed in the encounter were identified and categorized as local terrorists of the proscribed terror outfit LeT.

Jammu ADGP Mukesh Singh said it has been observed LeT is trying to revive terrorist activities in Chenab valley and the Rajouri-Poonch area and managed to revive some workers.

“In the recent past, it’s been observed LeT is trying to revive terrorist activities in Chenab valley and Rajouri-Poonch area, managed to revive some workers. In this, 2 modules had been created,” Singh said.

ADGP further said Talib was responsible for the Udhampur blast busted a month back and second for blasts at Rajouri district, busted about ten days back.

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