Headlines that matter

Dilip Kumar has passed away

He died this morning in Mumbai’s Hinduja hospital at the ripe old age of 98! Read Indian Express’ tribute to the grand old man of Indian cinema.


Italy makes it to the finals!

In a nerve-wracking semifinal match, Italy beat Spain 4-2 in a game that was decided by a penalty shootout. Alvaro Morata put in a valiant effort—but missed when it counted most in the end. ESPN sums up Italy’s performance thus:


“Italy are just one step away from winning their first Euros since 1968, reaching this point with a stoic and resilient performance more in keeping with their past. It wasn't quite catenaccio, but they defended with a back five at times, pushed back by Spain's superior technical quality: Luis Enrique's side had 70% possession and registered 16 shots. Italy, averaging 20 before Tuesday, managed only seven. Yet they extend a remarkable record of 10 victories from 12 semifinals at the Euros and World Cup. For Italy, reverting to type isn't necessarily a bad thing.”


Big tech giants to exit Hong Kong?

Facebook, Google and Twitter are threatening to pull out of the city if it moves forward with a new law. Nope, this has nothing to do with free speech. They are upset about legislation that would impose penalties on users who publicly release identifying information about individuals or organisations—i.e. ‘dox’ people. The new rules would remove the ‘safe harbour’ clause that protects them from being held liable for any illegal content on their platform—and they will be subject to criminal investigations and prosecution for doxing offences. 


Point to note: This is an interesting case to watch given all that is happening with India’s digital media rules (explained here), especially with Twitter—which has indeed lost its ‘safe harbour’ protection due to non-compliance, according to the government’s statement filed in the Delhi High Court. And the Court seems disinclined to protect Twitter, saying the government is “free to take action” against Twitter for not complying with the new digital media rules. 


The death of Stan Swamy: the latest update

One: All of the ten people accused along with Swamy in the Bhima Koregaon case are going on day-long hunger strike—to protest the “institutional murder” of the 84-year-old activist. We explained the case here, and detailed the circumstances of Swamy’s death here.


Two: A respected forensics firm previously found damning evidence that the laptop of one of the accused—Rona Wilson—had been hacked. And someone had planted documents on its drive. It has now found that another of the co-accused Surendra Gadling’s laptop was subject to the same kind of hacking. Washington Post has that story, or you can read the highlights in The Telegraph.


Three: In response to the international outrage over Swamy’s death, the Ministry of External Affairs released a statement


“Father Stan Swamy was arrested and detained by the National Investigation Agency following due process under law. Because of the specific nature of the charges against him, his bail applications were rejected by the courts. Authorities in India act against violations of law and not against legitimate exercise of rights. All such actions are strictly in accordance with the law.”


Restaurants are really mad at Swiggy/Zomato

The National Restaurants Association of India has approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) claiming that the delivery apps have violated competition norms by hiding the data of their customers, and by charging “exorbitant commissions” for the use of their online platforms. Also: They force restaurants to offer deep discounts by making them less visible, and charging higher commissions if they don’t play ball. (Indian Express)


Spitting at Cannes

After a year of social distancing, the prestigious film festival is back in business this year—but with some odd Covid-related rules. Here’s the issue: French laws require that those who gather indoors either must be vaccinated or show proof of an RT-PCR test. But the app used by the French government doesn’t accept proof of vaccinations from those coming from abroad—due to some tech issue. So they will be treated as unvaccinated. Hence, they will be subject to saliva tests for Covid every time they enter the venue. Of course, total crankiness and confusion ensued:


“Festival attendees were ushered into a large room that had all the glitz of a polling center. They were handed a plastic container, along with a funnel where they were instructed to aim their spit, while standing behind a socially-distanced partition. Some missed, hitting the floor or their clothes. ‘It has to be liquid,’ a laboratory employee instructed. ‘Foam doesn’t count.’”


In other French-related news: Russia is making France’s wine industry really, really mad. The reason: President Putin signed off on a law that forces all foreign producers of champagne to add a “sparkling wine” label on their bottles. But Russians, OTOH, can continue to label their stuff "shampanskoye.” This is naturally making the French wine industry insane since you cannot call anything champagne unless it was actually produced in that region in France. And to force genuine producers of the stuff to call their bubbly ‘sparkling wine’ is way over the line. Hence, there have been many angry calls for a boycott for exports to Russia—and even the makers of shampanskoye think the law is a bit bizarre. (Reuters)


Four thought-provoking animal things

One: The British Parliament is planning to pass a sweeping bill that requires all regulation to take in account the fact that many animals are sentient beings—i.e. “the government would be obligated to not only safeguard creatures’ physical well-being but also take into account their feelings—of pleasure, pain and more.” This doesn’t mean you cannot raise, kill or eat animals, but how you do so becomes key:


“A centerpiece of the proposed legislation is the creation of an independent body of experts—the Animal Sentience Committee—who will scrutinize government decisions to ensure that ministers have paid ‘all due regard’ to the welfare of animals as sentient beings, or explain why not.”


But not all animals are covered by this bill—only vertebrates like mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, both wild and domestic. Hence, we now have folks lobbying for lobsters, crabs and squid. (The Guardian)


Two: So here’s an eye-opening story on how climate change impacts animals. The male dragonfly has black patterns on his wings that help him attract a mate. But here’s the problem: 


“But this dark wing pigmentation can raise the dragonflies’ body temperature by up to 2C, leading to damages in their wing tissue, reduced fighting ability and even death by overheating – so it also affects how some dragonflies react to warmer and warming temperatures.”


So males in warming climates have been losing their bling, but not the females—and puzzled scientists are really worried that it will affect their ability to mate. (The Guardian)


Three: Remember the rescue of a TikTok ‘pet’ lion in Cambodia? Government officials seized the 18-month-old cub, and moved him to a rescue facility. But then the Prime Minister—we kid you not!—intervened and returned the big cat to his Chinese owner, as long as he promised to keep it in a “proper cage.” Animal activists are furious. And all media reports note the following:


“Cambodian authorities have not explained why the initial decision to confiscate the lion was reversed. One of the world's longest-serving leaders, Prime Minister Hun Sen has close ties with China, which has poured billions of dollars in development assistance and loans into the country.”


See the return of the lion below:


Four: A tigress died in the Panna reserve in Madhya Pradesh—leaving behind four cubs. In extremely rare behaviour, the father is now taking care of the kids—killing and leaving prey for them to eat. Mongabay has this wonderful story and the video below:


In our gratitude jar…

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Dine With Data: All About 10Club 🤝

Company: 10Club 🤝


About: Amazon has become a massive playground for sellers, and someone's soon to become the playground bully. 


10Club acquires small brands that sell their products on e-commerce platforms, and scales those businesses. They review the business, set up paperwork, and transfer the funds—all in a matter of 6 to 8 weeks. 📈


In one of the largest seed funding rounds in South Asia, the six-month old company raised $40M from Fireside and other investors. 


Food For Thought: According to the company website, their sauce for growing brands 10x lies in a combination of data-driven decisions, and streamlining of supply chain, inventory, and distribution. There's a lesson here for every product entrepreneur!


DWD Take: Popularly known as the Thrasio model, businesses like these are seeing massive investor interest across the globe. We'll wait to see how 10Club does this for India!


URL: https://10club.team/

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