Monday Evening News Brief, January 1

Monday evening brief Jan 1 2018
Good evening!
Here’s everything that transpired during the course of the day…
Donald Trump today lashed out at Pakistan and accused it of ‘lies and deceit’ in return of the $33 billion aid the US gave it in the last 15 years. The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools, Trump said in a strongly worded tweet, adding, “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!.” This is the strongest warning yet from the US president. Read
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India’s economic growth is likely to pick up in the new year but rising oil prices and a firming inflation may spoil the party. Within GDP growth numbers, a highly encouraging sign is that while export growth has remained positive, import growth has fallen. “The worst is over for GDP growth. We expect growth to normalise gradually over the next four to six quarters as the disruptive impact of major policy changes fades,” Standard Chartered said in its Economic Outlook in 2018 report.
Healthcare services at many private hospitals in India are likely to be hit tomorrow. The Indian Medical Association has called for suspending routine services for 12 hours to protest National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, which seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body. Services at outpatient departments (OPDs) of many private hospitals may be hit by the protest, but emergency and critical services will remain open. The bill is likely to come up for discussion in Parliament tomorrow.
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Superstar Rajinikanth today launched a website to help his followers register their names in the All India Rajinikanth Fans Association. The actor appealed to his followers to join him to create a new Tamil Nadu, saying “I thank all my fans and public for giving their support after I announced that I am ready to enter politics. I request all my fans who have not registered their names in any of the fan clubs to register their names on the website www.rajinimandram.org. Others who want a better politics can also register,” Rajinikanth said.
In a first for the Gulf, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates introduced value-added tax today. Saudi Arabia compounded the New Year blow for motorists with an unannounced hike of up to 127 per cent in petrol prices with immediate effect from midnight. The move is the latest in series of measures introduced by Gulf oil producers over the past two years to boost revenues and cut spending as a persistent slump in world prices has led to ballooning budget deficits.
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