quick reads

The big news: Rahul Gandhi says meeting Chinese envoy was part of his job, and 9 other top stories

Other headlines: The J&K government has been asked to pay compensation to the man used as a human shield, and Tamil Nadu reported India’s fourth case of Zika.

A look at the headlines right now:

  1. It’s my job to be informed on critical issues, says Rahul Gandhi as he defends meeting Chinese ambassador: The Congress vice president questioned why three Union ministers had made a trip to the country amid the ongoing Sikkim standoff.
  2. J&K government asked to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to man used as a human shield: Farooq Amhad Dar had filed a complaint with the state human rights commission against the Army honouring Major Leetul Gogoi for the act.
  3. Tamil Nadu reports India’s fourth case of Zika: Health authorities said the patient has no history of travel to countries with the outbreak, and that the virus may have been locally transmitted.
  4. Need more time to decide new Team India coach, says cricket advisory panel member Sourav Ganguly: The former Indian captain said the CAC wanted to have a word with skipper Virat Kohli before arriving at a decision.
  5. Actor Dileep arrested for conspiring in Malayalam actress’ alleged abduction and assault: He was taken into custody after police found a photograph that proved he knew the key suspect in the case.
  6. Supreme Court allows IITs, NITs to start counselling and admissions based on JEE results: The bench vacated its earlier order, which had stayed the process following a controversy over candidates being granted 18 grace marks.
  7. RBI may soon reveal the value of demonetised notes it never received: The central bank is planning to hold a meeting with its auditors later in July to calculate the amount.
  8. MEA says it is working with Iraqi authorities to bring home 39 Indians from Mosul: Most of the Indians, who were believed to have been kidnapped from a construction site in 2014, are from Punjab.
  9. Mumbai woman claims police laughed off her complaint after she alleged a man had threatened rape: The railway police have denied that the helpline official had laughed at her after her complaint from a local train.
  10. Enforcement Directorate summons Lalu Yadav’s daughter Misa Bharti in money laundering case: She has been asked to depose before the investigating officer in Delhi tomorrow.
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What is it about Tom Clancy’s characters?

In the mammoth Jack Ryan series, Tom Clancy creates a compelling protagonist who is as cerebral as he is action-oriented.

Jack Ryan (Ph.D., CPA, KCVO) has had an eventful life. He’s served as a marine, made a fortune worth millions after retirement from the military, earned a doctorate degree in history and beaten up a lot of bad guys along the way. He is a unique action hero, in that he has also been a US Marine, an investment broker, a history teacher, a CIA analyst rising to Deputy Director, National Security Advisor, vice president and eventually the President of the United States of America! This multipotentialite is the protagonist of Tom Clancy’s ‘Ryanverse’ - the term used to refer to the fictional universe he built over 10 books.

Jack Ryan is a complex hero. Before he was beating up bad guys Hollywood-style, he also took a year to learn to walk again and battled painkiller addiction. Before he became the POTUS, jet-setting around the world on official matters, he nursed a crushing phobia of flying. A reluctant president, he nonetheless campaigns for a second term and even has foreign policy named after him - the ‘Ryan Doctrine’- in the tradition of some past US presidents.

Other prominent characters in Ryanverse have equally rollercoaster-like story arcs. John Clark/Kelly - Ryan’s bodyguard - is tragedy’s favourite child, having lost his parents in childhood and later wife. After a whirlwind adventure involving two gunshots and 16 murders, John Kelly ended up having to change his identity to John Clark. He, unlike Ryan, has an unusually strong aversion to drugs.

In the later books, Tom Clancy also devotes space to Jack Ryan Jr, who takes after his father more ways than one. An intelligence analyst by profession, Jack Jr, too, is adept in firearms, close-quarter combat, surveillance and espionage. Jack Jr has a tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend, a CIA operative herself, with whom he parts after she’s revealed to be an indirect intelligence asset.

Ryanverse is replete with scores of characters of all shades - spies, soldiers, terrorists, politicians and criminals - that set in motion events that threaten the course of world order. Clancy’s varied interests and love for research culminates in an action series which also explores history, politics, international relations and the human condition, especially when it comes to loss and grief. All his prominent characters are fighting some personal demons even as they chase down enemies that are equally complex.

Ryanverse’s charismatic leading man has also been the focus of five Hollywood films. Actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine have all portrayed the iconic character at various stages of his career. Now, John Krasinski takes up the role in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, playing a gifted-analyst-turned-reluctant-action-hero thrown into a global terrorism conspiracy. Watch the trailer of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan below.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon Prime Video and not by the Scroll editorial team.