Desi touch: Sunak becomes UK premier
The United Kingdom got its first prime minister of Indian origin, when Southampton-born Rishi Sunak assumed office on October 25. , the first practising Hindu to take the post, succeeded Liz Truss, who had a tumultuous short reign marked by criticism over her policy decisions amid a shaky economy. The 42-year-old Leader of the Conservative Party is married to Akshata Murty, the daughter of N R Narayana Murthy, the founder of the technology company Infosys in which Murty owns a stake. Sunak has also faced controversies, mainly over his wife’s financial interests. They are both Stanford alumni, and have two daughters.
Balkan blues: Putin begins war on Ukraine
The simmering tensions between Russia and Ukraine turned into a full-blown war on February 24. After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” to “demilitarise and denazify” its neighbouring country, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared martial law and vowed to fight back. The attack got Russia widespread international condemnation, with many countries imposing new sanctions that have which affected economies around the world. India, which carried out extensive evacuation operations from Ukraine for its citizens, has maintained a public neutrality toward Russia over the issue.
No reverse swing: Imran ousted as PM
Imran Khan was removed as the Pakistan prime minister in April 2022, following a no-confidence motion against him in the National Assembly. The founder and chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has claimed that he was ousted at the behest of the US since he was carving out an independent foreign policy, and building friendly relations with China and Russia. The former cricketer survived an assassination attempt on November 3, when he was shot at while speaking at a rally in Wazirabad, Punjab. Khan’s leg was wounded in the attack, while a party’s supporter was killed and eight others were also injured. The gunman was caught.
Mao redux: Xi Jinping re-elected President
China’s President Xi Jinping extended his rule as the country’s leader for a third term on October 23 this year. He became the second leader of the ruling Communist Party of China to do so, after party founder Mao Zedong. Xi, 69, was re-elected as the general secretary of the CCP for another five-year term despite crossing the official retirement age of 68. Xi edged out many senior leaders, including moderate number two leader Premier Li Keqiang, to take the top post. He was also appointed as the chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, the overall high command of the People’s Liberation Army.
‘Sink in’: Musk buys twitter in $44bn deal
After initial offer and withdrawal, Elon Musk concluded the $44 billion Twitter deal on October 27 amid controversies. Ahead of the buyout, he visited the Twitter office carrying a sink, and posted a picture, saying “Let that sink in.” After taking over, Musk fired several top executives, including then CEO Parag Agrawal. Wide-scale layoffs and resignations followed. Musk also announced plans to change many policies, like stopping lifetime account suspensions and revamping the verification process. On December 18, he held a poll about whether he should resign as CEO. After 57.5% users said yes, Musk said he would quit when his replacement was found.