Researched by: Rachel John, Meghna Mathew, Prerna Barooah & Abhimanyu Sethia
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News Editor: Here’s what we’re looking for:
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- 0-1 years of experience.
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- Familiarity with Canva.
World Cup 2022: Farewell, Cinderellas
Goodbye, Japan: The Samurai Blues suffered a devastating loss after a long gruelling game that went into overtime. In the end, they were done in by the penalty shootouts—which Croatia dominated 3-1. Japan’s performance in the final crunch was quite simply “awful.” The scenes of heartbreak on the field made all of us tear up a little (see below). As one Croatian midfielder said of them: “They showed that it is not names that are playing, but what is more important is heart and courage.” The Telegraph and Yahoo News have more on the match. CNN traces their incredible journey to the Top 16.
Goodbye, South Korea: The other Asian fairytale run also came to an end when Brazil whupped South Korea 4-1—dismantling their opposition with gay abandon. They established a 4-0 advantage in the first 40 minutes and never looked back. The most poetic description of the show on the field: “[T]hey played the sort of football we have not seen from them for many years: special-effects football, computer-game football, football so filthy you needed a cigarette and a shower after watching it.” That’s from The Guardian—which has the most colourful match report. Much as we felt for Son and his team, we couldn’t help but dance along with the Brazilians—who look like the favourites to lift the cup.
The exit polls are here!
The exit polls for both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh confirm that the BJP will stay in the gaddi in both states. The margins are tighter in Himachal—where some polls show a near tie. In Gujarat, however, the saffron party will romp home with anywhere between 117-148 seats—while Congress settles for 30-50 seats. AAP will have to settle for around 20 seats—mostly usurped from Congress’ base. Yup, it isn’t even close—thanks to what the BJP calls their “brahmastra”:
On what it means to rely so much on a PM to lead the campaign, the BJP leader said, “Gujarat is his home, people invited him, and he came because they have a bond with him. The 50-km roadshow that Narendrabhai did, is the biggest in the world. No leader in the world has done such a big roadshow.”
OTOH, their secret weapon isn’t working in Delhi—where AAP is poised for a sweeping victory in the municipal elections—and decimate the BJP majority. Indian Express has more on that story.
Oil prices are rising again…
Sanctions imposed by US and its European allies kicked in on Monday—as they barred all inbound shipments of Russian oil on Monday. They also put restrictions on shipping, insuring and funding Russian oil anywhere in the world—except there’s a loophole. Companies can broker Russian oil shipments to countries outside of Europe if the price is under $60 a barrel:
That carveout reflects concern that Russia, the world’s biggest exporter of crude and refined fuels, could wreak havoc through energy supplies even as its military campaign in Ukraine falters. It was designed by the U.S., where officials feared severing Russia from Western shipping and insurance entirely would ricochet back on the American economy via higher oil prices.
Why this matters: This is a “watershed moment” for the economic war against Russia—and it is uncertain how it will impact the global economy—or how Moscow will respond. Yes, this is hard on the European countries but President Putin will also now have to search for buyers to fill the purchase gap of 800,000 barrels of crude each day. Also: the benchmark price of crude oil jumped over 3% to $88.21 per barrel when the sanctions kicked. Point to note: India—which gets its Russian oil at a massive discount—declared, “We will continue to do what is in our interest.” (Wall Street Journal, paywall, Associated Press)
The last Tasmanian tiger… is rediscovered
The last thylacine—or Tasmanian tiger—died in 1936 in the Hobart zoo in Australia. And its remains were donated to the local museum—which soon lost track of its remains despite frantic attempts to trace them. They now have been discovered in a cupboard: ”There was just a skeleton and flat skin left over.” Yeah, it doesn’t look like much of anything. FYI: We did a very interesting Big Story on the de-extinction project to bring back Tasmanian tigers—and whether it is a good idea to do so. (BBC News)
A terrible mass death of seals
Around 2,500 seals were found dead on the coast of the Caspian Sea in Russia—just a month after over 140 bodies were discovered on the same shores. No one knows why this is happening, but there are no signs of “violent death”—and can’t be blamed on fishing nets. There are no immediate signs of pollutants either. FYI: Caspian seals are classified as an endangered species. According to environmental groups, there are as few as 70,000 left in this world. No, we are not embedding the video. (The Guardian)
And the word of the year is…
The Oxford dictionary did a little better than Merriam Webster—which selected the already-over ‘gaslighting’ as its word of the year. It instead picked ‘goblin mode’—“a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.” This makes a lot more sense for a year spent refusing to adjust to the new realities of a post-pandemic year. FYI: this is the first year when the top honour was decided by a popular vote—winning with a whopping 93%. (Associated Press)
Three things to see
One: Pantone just announced its colour of the year for 2023: Viva Magenta. And here’s why: “Viva Magenta is brave and fearless, and a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.” Did no one tell Pantone that the recession is round the corner? That said, it is a very pretty hue. (Washington Post)
Two: Say hello to Jonathan who just turned 190—and is likely the oldest tortoise in the world. He’s lived in St Helena since 1882—where he arrived as a young 50-year old buck from Seychelles. He is the oldest known living land animal. And he’s survived everything including an eventful romantic life:
Jonathan was presented with a mate in 1991 with whom he happily developed an intimate relationship. But 26 years later the lack of offspring was explained when his amorous partner—Frederica—turned out, upon inspection, to be a male.
He is all set to enjoy a three-day birthday bash with the governor. Please to be enjoying this excellent music video tribute to Mr Awesome himself. (The Guardian)
Three: First we got the teaser. Now we have the official trailer for the highly anticipated doc ‘Harry and Meghan’. Yes, many tears are shed. We will all learn why this weekend when it drops on Netflix. (People)