Since the last Assembly election in 2017, Punjab politics has changed considerably, though the issues that throttled the State then continue to do so even now. Unemployment, endemic drug abuse, mafias that control the liquor and sand trade, farm debts, and depleting groundwater are among the haunting problems. In 2017, led by Captain Amarinder Singh, the Congress party came to power with a thumping majority, winning 77 of the 117 Assembly seats. The election saw a triangular fight with a new entrant, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), coming into the State’s political arena. The Congress promises then included punishing the main culprits behind the sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib and police firing incidents at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in 2015, and the cancellation of ‘faulty’ power purchase agreements, but it could make only limited progress on burning issues. Captain Amarinder was accused of going ‘soft’ on the Badal family that helmed the previous government and continues to control the

The European Union (EU) has found itself caught in a bind over the worsening tensions between Lithuania and China. Last week, top EU diplomats met to find a way to de-escalate tensions before a planned EU-China summit, expected in the coming weeks. After a two-day meet of Foreign Ministers in France, the EU’s Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, said the grouping expressed “solidarity” with Lithuania, which is a member of the EU and NATO. He, however, stopped short of announcing any concrete actions. The EU has watched nervously as one of its members faces the full weight of coercive Chinese diplomacy, even as the grouping keeps one eye on its substantial $828 billion annual trade with Beijing. The tensions began last year after Lithuania announced the setting up of a Taiwanese Representative Office. Such offices are hardly unusual across Europe, or in much of the world. The difference, however, was in the naming. The offices elsewhere are not called Taiwanese but are named, as in New

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