Messi, the Convict! A Self-Goal!

It is plain and simple – it does not pay to evade taxes! Fighting the case in court, Lionel Messi perhaps paid lawyers more than what he saved through tax evasion. Now it is double the loss for him.

While he is able to avoid jail by serving out his term on probation, the football superstar will still remain a convict. That stain will never go away, notwithstanding the billions of dollars in his kitty!

If he had thought pleading ignorance would make him fend off conviction, that’s naïveté, at best!

G Joslin Vethakumar 

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-40026827

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Evil Losers – Trump Gets it Right!

Evil Losers! Oratory is not something U.S. President Donald Trump can rely on to sway the world.

With his often bumbling, impulsive talk supporting his populist gimmickry, he is a loser himself in the dignity stakes.

But here he has nailed it right! It is difficult to think of a better expression to describe the monsters. Evil losers!

G Joslin Vethakumar 

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Peace at Work in Concert with Ariana?

Liberal voices will only fall on deaf ears, what reverberates more around the world are insane acts of terror than sounds of music.

Security getting into action after the blasts for “peace” amid a pop night of harmony with singer Ariana Grande bears a grim message: terrorists just hate fun, celebration, joy and peace.

They won’t have it, they won’t allow others to have it! Fools? Who?

G Joslin Vethakumar 

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http://dailym.ai/2rMlliA

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Fareed Zakaria Raises Interesting Questions on Marginalising Iran

Trump in Israel, a Nation That Stirs Interest for Different Faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – with Jerusalem at its Centre

Mr Donald Trump is on an exciting tour of countries cutting across religions in conflict zones and the Western media are on a roll. He arrived in Israel earlier today after winding up his visit to Saudi Arabia.

Making it more stirring is a senior Indian American editor, Fareed Zakaria, turning clairvoyant with his brilliant analyses.

Last month he had, with precision, written about how the U.S. President was ceding global leadership to China, which is becoming real.


Today, on CNN, dissecting Mr Trump’s decisions that verge on marginalising Iran, he brought up the inherent irony in them.

He recalled that 15 of the 19 bombers involved in 9/11 came from the Sunni world, Saudi Arabia, to be more precise. It is the birthplace of Osama bin Laden. Yet, Mr Trump is bent on crippling Iran, which is beginning to present a moderate face to the world, while keeping the U.S. equation with Riyadh strong.

Both Iran and Iraq subscribe to the Shi’a denomination of Islam. The Sunni population is the most dominant worldwide. Is the U. S. inclined towards the Sunni regime because of this? Pakistan, too, is made up of a very large Sunni population.

I have no knowledge of Islamic history (in fact, of any history – reliance on the past to shape the future), so let me not dig deep and expose my ignorance.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Unintended, Interesting Learning – Thanks to Trump!

Tweet, Anguish and English!

A simple Google search can at times open the path to unintended, interesting learning. For some crazy reason, I thought it would be nice to know the etymology of the expression, dead meat.

A search took me to Merriam-Webster and, voila, I figured witch-hunt was among the top-trending words and the reason: because US President Donald Trump used it in a tweet, expressing his anguish at being targeted.

Trending NowThe flak he was getting over the Comey saga had made him say that it was “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

The word that came top of the lookups is Nutjob, a derisory term Mr Trump had used to describe the FBI chief he fired, Mr James Comey.

Coincidentally, it has relevance to Mr Trump’s lament as the witch-hunt was of his own making, the result of his actions verging on what could fit the nutjob definition.

Trump TweetA Language That Defies Logic

Beyond politics, there was another revelation for me – nutjob is listed as one word while dead meat and witch hunt are two. This is another instance presenting English as a language that defies logic.

Therein lies its beauty! English gives us the leeway to use words based on context. In effect, there are words such as the above that can be hyphenated, merged or split into two depending on usage requirements – as a noun or a verb. That kind of flexibility gives the language a certain simplicity, too! The finicky can call it complex.

Inescapably, I have also contributed to the lookup, something I could have avoided had the Microsoft Office dictionary been 100% dependable. It is a handy tool, nonetheless!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Saudi Breather for Trump

The Saudi Arabia trip is bringing about a breather for US President Donald Trump amid the battering at home over the Comey affair.

While Mr Trump is not known for making nuanced statements cloaked in diplomacy, he appears to be sticking to script in striking the right notes on terrorism, staying clear of any religious diatribe.

Even as he called for cutting off fund channels for ISIS, Mr Trump had a sobering message: “For centuries, Muslims, Christians and Jews have lived together in peace in the Middle East. We must not allow radicalisation to affect that harmony.”

Surprise, surprise! Whether this is to be taken as a signal of transformation depends on how long he is able to hold his acerbic tongue and keep his amateurish forays in check.

Perhaps daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Kushner, who are traveling with him, are having a calming influence on him.

G Joslin Vethakumar 

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China Takes Top Two Spots in Asian Chess Championships

India has been steadily losing ground to China in chess the last few years. This despite hundreds of its players spending time overseas all year round, playing in international tournaments in the game that had its origins in India.

In the just-concluded Asian championship, China took the top two slots with the bronze going to GM Vidyut Gujarathi.

In the women’s section, a player from Vietnam struck gold. India’s Vaishali was a surprise third.

G Joslin Vethakumar 
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http://toi.in/gbmYJb/a20li

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