Saturday Evening News Brief, December 16

Saturday evening brief Dec 16 2017
Good evening!
Here’s everything that transpired during the course of the day…
Rahul Gandhi today took charge as the president of Congress in the presence of party’s top brass. “Congress took India to 21st century, but the PM, today, is taking us back to the medieval times,” Rahul said in his first speech as the Congress president. He further cautioned BJP against “setting the nation on fire” and alleged that the latter is responsible for spreading violence across the country.
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The US is considering revoking a rule that extends work authorisation to the spouses of H-1B visa holders. Since 2015, the spouses of H-1B, or high-skilled, visa holders waiting for green cards have been eligible to work in the US on H-4 dependent visas, under a rule introduced by the previous Obama administration.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs 90000 crore for the infrastructure work in the northeast. Of the amount, Rs 60,000 crore would be spent under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme and Rs 30,000 crore under Bharatmala. This is above Rs 32,000 cr that has already been sanctioned for building over 3,800 kilometers of national highway, of which nearly 1200 kilometers of road has already been constructed in last three years.
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The US said it will take “unilateral steps in areas of divergence” with Pakistan in its fight against terrorism. The Pentagon told Congress and insisted that there must be “fundamental change” in the way Islamabad deals with terrorist safe havens on its territory. “The United States continues to convey to all levels of Pakistani leadership the importance of taking action against all terrorist and extremist groups,” the Pentagon said.
‘Youthquake’ was crowned as the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year 2017 following a five-fold increase in its usage. The word is defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people”. It first rose during Britain’s June general election, which saw an upsurge in youth turnout, then had an even bigger spike in September around New Zealand’s general election.
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