KFC has released a starring KFC founder Harland Sanders (as played by Mario Lopez) as a hunky chef who seduces a beautiful heiress. It is every bit as cheesy as you may expect. Also: It merited a review from , no less! Yes, now you can read a review before you check out an extended ad (albeit with no mention of KFC anywhere).
THE GREAT PANDEMIC: A QUICK UPDATE * of the world's population may not have access to a COVID-19 vaccine until at least 2022—thanks to rich countries who have bought up all the vaccines. * Bharat Biotech’s vaccine has generated in its early phase trials. Point to note: these don’t tell us if the vaccine actually works. For that, we need stage 3 trials—which are currently underway. * Singapore’s pandemic has a distinctly elitist skew. shows that almost 47% of its 152,000 migrant workers have been infected over the past nine months. To put this in perspective: Only 4,000 other Singaporeans have contracted the disease. * Major airlines like United, JetBlue and Lufthansa are embracing a health passport app called —which will verify your test results (and soon, vaccination status) and then issue a confirmation code that will let you board international flights. * The one household member most likely to give you Covid: . But we don’t know if this is because you share a bed or have sex. * Surprising no one, a new shows that the virus has been used as an excuse to squash civil liberties around the world. Key takeaway: 61% of countries have implemented measures to curb Covid-19 "that were concerning from a democracy and human rights perspective. These violated democratic standards because they were either disproportionate, illegal, indefinite or unnecessary in relation to the health threat.” * Indonesia plans to offer to all its citizens, and President Joko Wido will get the first jab. WISTRON VIOLENCE: AN UPDATE Workers rioted at the Taiwanese company’s iPhone factory in Karnataka alleging they have not been paid for months—or paid far less than what they were promised, and forced to work overtime. Apple has initiated an independent probe into labour conditions. The Karnataka government has promised to reopen the plant within 15 days. And it has now been revealed that Wistron’s estimate of its damages was —and is now pegged at Rs 26-52 crore, and not Rs 437 crore. has the latest. Good read: explains why the violence threatens the government’s efforts to woo foreign investors. FACEBOOK IS GONNA BE YOUR SPLAINER Yes, we may soon be redundant thanks to Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook is developing a tool that will summarise news story so you don’t have to read them. The AI-assisted tool is called TLDR and comes with an audio option. Also in the works: neural sensors that let you control your phone with your mind. has more. A related very good read (and also we suggest you stick with splainer): explains why Facebook is a ‘doomsday machine’. MOST POPULAR APPS WORST FOR WORKERS A new report revealed a shameful fact: Swiggy, Uber and Zomato are the worst app-based companies to work for. They scored a shameful one out ten—a score earned across five parameters: pay, working condition, contracts, management and representation. The best of the lot: Urban Company which aced the list at eight out of ten. Also this: seven out of 11 platforms provided “insufficient evidence” that workers earned the minimum wage rate after meeting their expenses. has more details. In related news: A new study found that Indian working women returning to the workplace after maternity leave do far better if they do an internship or mentorship program first. The reason: recruiters are more likely to be confident that they can handle the job. Not surprisingly, sexist managers couldn’t care less. () OTOH in France: The city of Paris will pay a €90,000 fine for appointing way too many women leaders. The country has strict gender quotas for its civil services—which stipulate at least 40% male and female appointees. But in 2018, 11 of the city’s directors were women. () In other gender-related news: The of the Hollywood Commission shows that sexual harassment is still rampant in the industry: 42% of women reported experiencing unwanted sexual attention, 20% reported sexual coercion, and 5% were sexually assaulted. But 69% said the industry was making “progress.” AMAZON IS DESTROYING OUR OCEANS A new report found that the company is responsible for 22.44 million pounds of waste added to freshwater and marine ecosystems—in the form of air pillows, bubble wrap, plastic bags, and other plastic-based packaging material: That’s the equivalent of “dumping a full delivery van of plastic into the oceans every 70 minutes.” () In other Amazon-related news: The company is challenging the US government’s decision to award a $10 billion cloud computing project to its rival Microsoft—blaming it on an “extraordinary environment of corruption, interference, and retribution” created by the Trump administration. () Counteracting Bezos’ karma: His ex-wife MacKenzie Scott who has contributed $4.1 billion to 384 food banks and charities in just the last four months. She revealed the pandemic effort in a that ends with sound advice: > “If you’re craving a way to use your time, voice, or money to help others at the end of this difficult year, I highly recommend > a gift to one of the thousands of organizations doing remarkable work all across the country. Every one of them could benefit > from more resources to share with the communities they’re serving. And the hope you feed with your gift is likely to feed your > own.” NEW LABELLING FOR PACKAGED FOOD New guidelines require packaging to display an expiry date instead of a ‘best before’ date. Nutritional information must be displayed in larger font sizes—and the veg/non-veg symbol must be prominently displayed. Also this: “Restaurants and cafes, having central license or outlets at 10 or more locations, will need to mention the calorific values against food items on menu cards, boards or booklets.” () SAIF ALI KHAN OFFENDS RIGHTEOUS HINDUS A lawyer is suing the actor for comments made during an interview -- where he discussed his upcoming film ‘Adipurush’—which is an adaptation of the Ramayana. Speaking about his role as Ravan, he said: > “It’s interesting to play a demon king, less strictures in that. But we will make him humane, up the entertainment quotient, > justify his abduction of Sita and the war with Ram as revenge for what was done to his sister Surpanakha by Lakshman, who cut > off her nose.” Of course, Saif has already profusely apologised and withdrawn this shocking statement. But the petitioners insist he still be punished for a negative portrayal of “faith” and “faith in Sanatan Dharma.” ( In other lawsuit-related news: A Moroccan businessman who sued Warner Bros has been awarded $30,000. The reason: his photograph appeared alongside images of the Gambino crime family for a brief second. has that story. KANGAROOS ARE ‘TALKING’ TO US A new study reveals that kangaroos are able to intentionally communicate with humans—and can ask for help! Until now, we thought this was a trait evolved by animals who had been domesticated for hundreds of years. These captive kangaroos show that other animals can learn to do exactly the same given the right environmental conditions. Watch below for more: One last fun thing: Want a face mask that will totally change your appearance? Nope, it won’t protect you from the virus, but these 3D creations by a Japanese retailer will give you the face of a total stranger. Price tag: $950. has the story. See the mask :
Ok, so of a camel entering a Bath & Body Works shop near Las Vegas has been going viral. Puh-leeze, it’s nothing compared to the extended enjoyed by Jeffrey just a few years ago. Yes, we think camels in a pet store is exactly what you need to maintain sanity.
Street gangs run amok in Turkey. Raiding the refrigerator is easier said than done. Twerking Jedi master.
READING HABIT EDITOR’S NOTE Founding Member Lahar Appaiah is not just a staid corporate lawyer. The NLSIU alum and Chevening Fellow loves doing crosswords, running for miles on end, watching test cricket (or Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and reading books… as in lots of books! Naturally, we invited him to take our Book Addict’s Quiz. What is your most powerful childhood memory of a book? Longish story—when I was 6, I was in the library (at an army base), and was reading through some and . I was a big fan of the Laurel and Hardy comedy series that was sometimes shown on Doordarshan- and I suddenly saw this “book without pictures” called . I assumed it had something to do with —and borrowed it. While I was soon corrected of that notion, I found that I loved the book. This was the first “grown up” book that I ever read. It was called , and this is how my lifelong love affair with thriller novels started 😊 What line of literature or poetry do you quote ad nauseam? I’m going with by Shelley. The line “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair” is a very versatile one, and you can throw it in anywhere, from cricket to the stock market! Another great line to throw around is the final sentence from Umberto Eco’s . The line is “Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus”, which translates as "The rose of old remains only in its name; We possess naked names". No one quite knows what it means, you can use it anywhere, and it sounds suitably profound, especially when you want to quickly add a fake air of authority 😊 What book do you regret re-reading? Nothing! I’m very picky about which books I read again—mostly my beloved and , which I re-read each year. An author you adored as a child and have not thought about in years? There was an author called , who wrote some excellent adventure stories- , , , and so on. I used to devour the books, but haven’t even seen one in years. What book would you gift to your worst enemy? by Joseph Heller. I tried reading it several times, and felt like throwing the book at something each time. Another painful read was by Donna Tartt, which is a surprise considering how much I liked her . I would love to see a movie/series adaptation of ___________ starring ____ as _____ Going to cheat here. I would love to see Kate Beckinsale’s movies turned into a book series written by , the techno-thriller writer. A book review that was better than the book? I came across this in the London Review of Books by Amia Srinivasan, a Professor of Philosophy at Oxford. She’s reviewing two books on Octopuses—and manages to write one of the best standalone articles I’ve read, on a subject that I have almost no knowledge of. It goes into Japanese erotic art, philosophy, consciousness, and even aliens—while talking about octopuses all the while. What book do you pretend to have read? , but read on. This is a delicate balancing act—I don’t actually pretend I’ve read the book, I just casually reference it in conversations with some authority. “Napoleon’s failed conquest of Russia is a big event in their history—I mean, just see how much of Tolstoy’s War and Peace is in French”. What is the first “forbidden” book you read in secret? Probably by DH Lawrence? I found a copy in a government library, no less, even though the book was banned in India! What book/author still counts as guilty pleasure? There’s an Australian author called , who writes these implausible, high-octane thrillers. For instance, one of his novels has genetically engineered dragons who have taught themselves Chinese, and decide to break out of their Jurassic Park-style amusement resort. They coordinate an attack on a nuclear bunker, by throwing a petrol tanker at it, so that the resulting explosion blows apart the doors. Another of his books has a 13-year-old Queen Elizabeth I solving a murder mystery in 16th Century Istanbul. Send us a photo of your tsundoku pile Nope, we’re not going to be our usual snarky self with one of our founding members— who always rate 200/100 on our scale! Street gangs run amok in Turkey. Raiding the refrigerator is easier said than done. Twerking Jedi master.
We still have no idea how to measure pain—and this has severe consequences for women.Read More
Intensifying cyclones are a result of climate change—but poor infrastructure is to be blamed for the flooding.Read More
A new bill plans to regulate everything you watch on a screen. And we mean everything.Read More