Is US President Donald Trump smarter than Rex Tillerson?

US President Donald Trump has challenged his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to “compare IQ tests” after former ExxonMobil chief called the President a “moron”.

The brawl started when an NBC story claimed Vice-President Mike Pence had to talk Tillerson out of resigning this summer and that the secretary of state had called Trump a “moron.”

Later, Trump told Forbes magazine: “I think it’s fake news. But if he (Tillerson) did (say) that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

US president Donald Trump hasn’t always had the smoothest of relationships with members of his Cabinet. However, his reportedly shaky relationship with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and their fairly public sniping at each other, is perhaps the worst yet.

However, the White House was quick to give a different direction to the Trump-Tillerson row. It says President Donald Trump was joking when he appeared to question his secretary of state’s intelligence.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the president “never implied that the secretary of state was not incredibly intelligent.” She says: “He made a joke, no more than that.”

She also says the president has “100 percent confidence” in Tillerson. She said reporters “should get a sense of humor.”

But sources say a complete different picture. According to Bloomberg, quoting some White House officials, their relationship has deteriorated to the point of no return and that it is only a matter of time before Tillerson departs.

The Washington Post writes, Trump is irked by Tillerson’s arguments for a more traditional approach on policies, from Iran to climate change to North Korea and by Tillerson’s visible frustration when overruled.

Tillerson also has publicly complained about the White House blocking him from making key appointments.

After the Charlottesville violence, Tillerson had said Trump “speaks for himself”.

People close to Trump also told The Chicago Tribune that the president has grown increasingly dissatisfied with Tillerson and thinks he’s lacking in star power. He has also been labelled as a press-shy globalist who cannot understand the nationalist platform of Trump’s election campaign.

Another thorn in their relationship is Tillerson’s support for the Paris Climate Deal and Iran nuclear deal and differences over US policy of Afghanistan. Tillerson continues to advocate for the deal, much to the displeasure of Trump and others in the White House.

Last week The New York Times reported that Tillerson was astonished at how little Trump grasps the basics of foreign policy.

According to the newspaper, quoting sources close to the secretary of state, Trump has been irritated by Tillerson’s body language during meetings.

The Trump administration is acutely aware of the fact that it is losing its staff members steadily and therefore, a resignation from Tillerson would prove disastrous for the US administration.

Politico also reported that despite his problems with Tillerson, Trump isn’t planning to make any moves to get rid of him.  An adviser told Politico that with a sharp drop in Trump’s approval rating, he is loath to get rid of anyone.

Trump’s always been the world’s leading gladiator when it comes to IQ smackdowns. In 2016, he challenged London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, to compare IQ tests after Khan dismissed Trump’s take on Islam as “ignorant.” Trump has also boasted that he has a higher IQ than George W. Bush, Barack Obama, George Will, Karl Rove and the entire staff of the Washington Post.



Kashmir: Braid chopping terror has touched alarming level

I just called my mother. As usual, I call her around lunch time to chat about lunch recipe and ask her what she has prepared, but this time her tone was scary.

“Where are you,” I asked.

“I am outside the house, on a thatched roof of small store,” she replied.

I was amazed as it was her lunch and prayer time. And enquired why she was there.

She replied because it is easy to yell from here to our neighbours if braid choppers come.

I was dumstruck.

The new terror wave in Kashmir is called ‘braid chopping’. Dozens of braid chopping incidents have been recorded in last one month. Women walking on roads and sitting in houses face this new terror.

Initially, it started in far flung villages, slowly moved to towns and later to Srinagar. Other day, braid chopping had turned into beard chopping of a Maulvi sahib in our near village and private parts of a kid were cut.

What the hell is happening! Everyone has this question in his mind but no one has the answers. Not even the protectors of the state, called police. Police initially announced Rs 3 lakh reward for giving any tip off about braid choppers. As the intensity of braid chopping increased, the reward money also doubled to Rs 6 lakh.

The interesting part is when any braid chopping incident takes place, and if an alleged braid chopper is detained by the public, police appears out of nowhere within shortest time and take him to their custody—from there only God and Mehbooba Mufti knows where they are taken.

Today, there was a picture going viral on Facebook about a braid chopper from Nishat, Srinagar. The users had termed him as army personnel.

Many analysts term this new wave of terror as a diversionary tactics by intelligence agencies. Last week, the first death due to braid chopping fear was reported when a nephew threw brickbat at his uncle, after misunderstanding him braid chopper.

I don’t know when this terror will be stopped but I hope the incompetent Jammu and Kashmir police—who is good only for firing pellets and bullets—prove their competency by finding out the braid chopping gang.

18 signs you are already in love

Are you confused whether you are in love or not. You are not able to differentiate whether it is your friendish love or lover’s love. Don’t worry, here are 18 signs that will clear your doubts if you are in love.

  1. You obsessively check your phone every 10 seconds: Maybe you’re checking to make sure you haven’t missed any calls Or that you haven’t missed any texts from him
  2. You find yourself always thinking about him
  3. You’re comfortable with making little sacrifices for him. Like talking to him or chatting with him despite knowing it is risky–what if my family catches me.
  4. You re-read his text messages at times
  5. When he’s sad, you’re genuinely sad too. You feel his pain and he feels yours
  6. When you are in some trouble, You keep him on call throughout night till morning
  7. Two minutes spent with him is worth more than a whole day without him: Ever get a short text from him that sends a jolt of excitement through you and puts a smile on your face for the rest of the day? Does your heart skip a beat if he calls you just to say hi or to talk about anything for a couple minutes?
  8. You feel he is the epitome of knowledge and would always help you in career
  9. It never feels like you’re wasting time with him
  10. You’re endlessly curious about him
  11. You send him your favorite self-videos, recorded songs and photos.
  12. You lose track of time and no amount of time spent with him is ever enough: You could spend hours and hours talking on the phone to him , but it wouldn’t matter. At the end of the day, it still only feels like you spent brief moments with him.
  13. You have more energy: As you go through your day, you feel more alive and energetic, as if you have a constant adrenaline rush going through you.
  14. You have fun talking with him no matter what you’re talking about: It doesn’t matter what the topic is, you’re just delighted to be having a conversation with him about anything.
  15. You do boring stuff with him just to have the chance to spend more time with him: Like playing question and answer on chat
  16. You can talk to him about ANYTHING: And I do mean anything. You’re totally comfortable around him
  17. You fear if he goes out of your life. You don’t want to lose him.
  18. When you say, “I miss you,” it’s because you really do miss him after only a day apart. It’s not just a cute thing to say, it’s a real ache that says he’s a part of your life now.

Are India’s youth taking full advantage of the online world?

The world’s richest person Bill Gates once said: “The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” Thankfully, this period has already appeared on our calendar, in our age only.

The power of the web is immense—although some portion of it has been tapped the major part has yet to be. It is only the interconnection of the global information systems that has been the primary factor in creating a model called the global village.

But in this ocean of information where does the youth of our country fare? On 27th April 2018, the results of the Union Public Service Commission UPSC civil services – India’s highest recruiting body – were declared and Anudeep Durishetty bagged the Air India Rank 1 and Anu Kumari got rank 2. Both officers have now become symbols of qualifying through the tough Indian Administrative Services IASwith the help of the internet.

When Anudeep, who was working in a company at that time, was asked about preparing for his exam, he credited his success to the internet and said that: “instead of spending my time at any coaching centre, I relied extensively on the internet, and used Google and Youtube to get most of the information.” The second topper, Anu Kumari, who was a mother of a baby while preparing for the examination, had no luxury to attend a coaching centre but to use the online resources and prepare from home.

These are just two prime examples of our youth who took full advantage of the internet, but there are millions of other youth who also used the online resources extensively to transform their lives as well as society.

The area of technology in today’s society that is expanding leaps and bounds is the internet. If a person needs information or directions the fastest and most successful place to turn is online. “You can get anything you want with a click of a mouse,” has become the motto for the modern world. Inside the virtual world are millions of groups and organizations built to interest people who share common ideas, values, and goals—and thus gave rise to social media. These social media groups, commonly referred to as communities, appeal to a certain aspect of everyone’s lives.

We have seen how youth from the Middle East transformed the democracy of Egypt with the Arab Spring using social media to voice against the dictator and assemble people to get rid of a cruel government. Similarly, we are witnessing the change in governance of our own country when we observe how youth are making the government, its bureaucrats, senior officials, police and other wings of the state accountable to the people through online media. Every now and then, we read how some person using secret a camera trapped corrupt officials, then uploaded that onto social media and instantly lakhs of people watched that action. This leads to better governance in our country.

The memories of the Kashmir floods can never fade away but recently we saw an even more disastrous flood in Kerala; and here we got to see another side of the online world. The hashtags like #KeralaFloods #HelpKerala, etc. went viral throughout the world, succeeding in getting help from millions of people from every corner of the globe. The pictures uploaded on social media aroused the emotions of the people from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, resulting in unification of different sections of society with a single mission of helping God’s own land Kerala.

Gone are the days when there was a huge difference in knowledge between a student of a remote area and a student of Oxford University. The student from the remote area had to reach some library and hope that this particular book was there. But, now both students have every kind of knowledge and research available at the click of mouse or even smartphone.

The power of the internet is also helping in reporting sexual violence—which has been the most underreported crime to date in our country. Online media has been a tool of women’s empowerment. When the Nirbaya gang rape case took place in Delhi, we saw how youth formed associations through Twitter and Facebook and succeed in pressurizing the government to amend rape laws of the country.

Similarly, the internet has bridged the gap between the ruling class and the citizens. When the external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was tagged on Twitter by aggrieved citizens who were not able to get their passport, she reacted quickly and within a day, their problem was solved. It was not possible in yoke days.

Technology is changing our lives and that of future generations; reshaping the economic, social, ecological, religious and cultural contexts in which we live. Without doubt, today, in one day, more information is going through the Internet than all the information collected in over a hundred years of printed books. Stephen Hawking’s quote: “We are all now connected by the Internet like neurons in a giant brain” has already set the pace of the modern day connectivity in the ever increasing cross connections of this information world.

Kashmir: Netizens react to ‘caste apartheid’ practiced by Asiya Andrabi

Irfan Rashid

New Delhi: The social media is Kashmir is abuzz with strong reactions against pro-Pakistani separatist leader Asiya Andrabi a day after it was reported that she has denied marriage of her elder son on the basis of caste.

After The Daily Mail reported the difference between Dukhtaran-e-Milat chief and her son Muhammad bin Qasim, Kashmiri youth took to Facebook and condemned the caste based discrimination.

Facebook users compared her caste politics with Hindu Brahmanism where upper caste Brahmans don’t marry with lower caste people. Shabir Hassan Bhat, a Facebook user posted, “Is Asiya imbibing a practice of Brahmans. Then it is disgusting and most shameful. It is caste apartheid.”

People questioned the separatist leader for rejecting a girl for her son on the basis of the basis of the caste as Asiya belonged to a ‘Peer’ caste and the girl reportedly is daughter of a ‘tailor’ based in Srinagar.

Javiad Lone, a Kashmiri Facebook user commented, “If this is true then Asiya is hypocratic lady. I do remember when she used to accompany with her burkha clad women to thrash couples in parks. How can she beat others while her son was involved in same trade.”

Besides for her stand to merge Kashmir with Pakistan, Asiya is famous for her conservative Islamic activities like preaching purdah to Kashmiri girls and visiting public parks to impart moral values to the young couples.

Muhammad bin Qasim, the son of the separatist couple Asiya Andrabi and Dr Muhammad Qasim Faktoo who is in jail for last 24 years, was recently also in news when he supported Dangal girl Zaira Waseem after her mother Asiya had earlier advised the actor to “return from the filth of Bollywood.”

The 26-year-old Qasim who was studying in Malaysia and now pursuing MBA in Australia initially branded the entire Kashmiri community as ‘ignorant’ for targeting Zaira. “Jaahil Qawm hae Kashmir (the Kashmir community is ignorant). We are only pushing her away, #Zaira is an intelligent, bright and awesome kid who needs us!” he had said.

Registration for UPSC civil service prelims exam to close today

New Delhi: The registration process for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) civil services preliminary examination 2017 will close on Friday at 6pm.

The UPSC civil services prelims 2017 notification was released on 22 February.

The examination to fill approximately 980 vacancies has been preponed this year and will be held on 18 June. Candidates will be issued an e-admit card three weeks before the commencement of the exam through the UPSC official website (

Aspirants who have not yet applied can apply on the UPSC official website till tomorrow evening.

UPSC civil services preliminary examination 2017 notification

Putting stop to the rumours in coaching centres, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday that there is no proposal currently under consideration of the government to give more weightage to general studies in the civil services examination.

MoS for personnel, public grievances and pensions Jitendra Singh said the report of B.S. Baswan committee is under the consideration of the UPSC and its recommendation on the report are yet to be received.

The civil services exam is conducted in three stages: Preliminary (objective type) for the selection of the candidates for the main exam, civil services main exam (written) for the selection of candidates for the personality test and finally the personality test.

Path to spirituality

Many a time, we are overwhelmed with joy for no reason. At times, we remain silent and motionless even after receiving news of happiness. Actions and reactions are inherent in the nature that have been given to a man. It is all up to him how he wants to use these natural gifts or how not.
Similarly, there is a very important weapon of a man called consciousness. You are termed as conscious if you can differentiate between bad and evil, respect and dishonour, logic and fault, living and dead. Yes, many times it becomes very hard to differentiate between the living and the dead. The one whom you call living, god calls them dead in Quran because they can’t differentiate between oppression and embrace simply good and bad.
You don’t always need to take a tough path of spirituality to understand spirituality itself. As rightly put forth by a Kashmiri mystic, whom hindus call Lalleshwari and muslims call Lal Ded: “I will weep and weep for you, O Mind; (my Soul) The world hath caught you in its spell. Though you cling to them with the anchor of steel, not even the shadow of the things you love. Will go with you when you are dead. Why then have you forgot your own true self?”
The biggest reason of spirituality has always been from the thoughts of death, which inevitably forced a man to remember god. The curiosity of this force pushed Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira to set their foot outside the kingdoms that were given to them on a platter. There is something which forced them to denounce the riches and comfort. Similarly, Lord Ram was exiled to the forests and in turn learnt lessons of life and death. Prophet Muhammad spent days and nights in a Cave in Mecca called Hira where he was enlightened.
It has been established that spirituality exists in all the religions, but what you need to reach there is a path — a path leading towards greater good.