Researched by: Aarthi Ramnath & Anannya Parekh
Manipur violence: The latest update
The Editors Guild of India released a report on Saturday which found that journalists in Manipur wrote “one-sided reports” in their coverage of the ethnic conflict. This infuriated the Manipur police so much that they filed a case against three members of the fact-finding group sent by the guild:
The complaint alleged that the report was “false, fabricated [and] sponsored”. It said that a photo in the report falsely claimed to show smoke rising from a Kuki home, when it was in fact the office of a forest official. The complaint said on this account itself, it was obvious that the report was false and was “sponsored by Kuki militants.”
The self-isolation of China & Russia
The leaders of both countries will not attend the G20 summit in Delhi. Unnamed sources oddly labelled as “people familiar with the development” insist there is nothing to see here:
Many leaders in the past skipped the G20 summits for various reasons and it does not reflect anything about the host country, the people cited above said… "The level of attendance at global summits varies from year to year. In today's world with so many demands on the leaders' time, it is not always possible for every leader to attend every summit," said one of the sources.
Then again there is this teeny fact:
Since taking over as President in 2013, the Chinese President has attended every G-20 in-person and virtual summit, apart from the Rome G-20 in 2021, when China was still in the grip of the COVID pandemic. Last year, Mr. Xi attended the Bali G-20 summit as well, and a decision not to travel to Delhi would be significant, especially given that he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met just a week ago on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in South Africa.
Sticking with Russia: The Nobel Foundation has withdrawn its invitation to reps of Russia and Belarus to the prize award ceremony. The reason: several Swedish lawmakers vowed to boycott the event if they were present. (New York Times)
Moving on to Ukraine: Kyiv has a new defence minister—which is interesting since the current one Oleksii Reznikov resigned in the midst of a supposedly massive Ukrainian offensive. President Zelensky says it’s time to try "new approaches"—which tells everyone the strategy to counter-attack Russia is not going well. He will likely be replaced by Rustem Umerov. (BBC News)
The staggering cost of invasive species
A new global report finds that the global economic cost of alien invasive species was $423 billion in 2019—and is quadrupling every decade. These are animals and plants that are transported around the world by humans to places that are not their natural habitat. There are more than 37,000 such species around the world—and they are among the top four drivers of biodiversity loss. Need more numbers?
The study found that invasive alien species have been a “major factor” in 60% and the “only driver” in 16% of worldwide animal and plant extinctions. At least 218 invasive alien species were the cause of more than 1,200 extinctions of species, the study found, noting that 85% of the impacts of invasive species on native species are negative.
Get ready for iPhone 15
Indians may not have to wait very long for the new iPhone—which will be unveiled around the middle of September. The reason: the next-gen version is being assembled in Chennai at the FoxConn factory:
This year, the lag, if any, is going to be a few days, as all preparations for mass production of iPhone 15 are well underway, the people said. Apple expects the latest India-made devices to initially cater to the local market.
Point to note: In 2022-23, Apple manufactured iPhones valued over $7.5 billion in India—of which phones worth $5 billion were exported to global destinations. This pushed India’s mobile phone exports to over $11.1 billion, a 91% increase over the last financial year. Apple-India, bhai, bhai! (Economic Times)
Twitter has a Saudi Arabia problem
The platform formerly known as Twitter has been accused of deliberately helping the Saudi government kill or imprison dissenters. FYI: this was in the period between July and December 2015, Twitter granted the kingdom information requests “significantly more often” than most other countries like Canada, the UK, Australia, and Spain. Why any of this matters:
It centres on the events surrounding the infiltration of the California company by three Saudi agents, two who were posing as Twitter employees in 2014 and 2015, which ultimately led to the arrest of [Arrej] al-Sadhan’s brother, Abdulrahman, and the exposure of the identity of thousands of anonymous Twitter users, some of whom were later reportedly detained and tortured as part of the government’s crackdown on dissent.
FYI: this was under Jack Dorsey not Elon Musk. The Guardian has more on the lawsuit.
The Olympic sport of… cricket?
Indian cricket has conquered the world with the irresistible allure of IPL-style league tournaments—from the UAE to the West Indies. What’s next? Olympian status, of course. According to the Indian Express, the lily-white sport is one of the frontrunners for the US bid for the 2028 Olympics. FYI:
The current proposal is for five teams in each competition, with qualification based on the International Cricket Council’s world rankings. It would be the first Olympic cricket witnessed since a one-off gold medal match in the 1900 Games in Paris.
Why now? We leave you with this:
The current Olympic broadcast rights in India are sold for individual Games and reported to be worth just £15.6 million ($20 million) for Paris 2024. But industry experts have told the Guardian that, depending on the format and the number of guaranteed matches for India, this figure could be worth up to £150 million [$190 million] if cricket is included in LA 2028 and then Brisbane in 2032.
Three things to see
One: The Gautam Gambhir-Virat Kohli feud will never end. Here’s Gambhir giving the finger to fans chanting Kohli’s name. Did we mention that this shit is seriously petty?
Two: Sticking with the cricket theme… Remember Lalit Modi? The IPL founder who had to flee the country due to financial fraud. But that didn’t stop him from attending the third wedding of Harish Salve—the former attorney general of India. Yes, third. Salve is also a member of the committee appointed to make recommendations for the ‘one nation, one election’ proposal. Also on the guest list: Nita Ambani. Salve’s response to the controversy: “Such nonsense.” Watch Modi toasting the happy couple below. (Business Today)
Last not least: Take a gander at the $23 million gold and diamond coin honouring Queen Elizabeth II. Made from almost 8 pounds of gold and some 6,426 diamonds, the basketball-sized disc is one of the most valuable commemorative coins ever. The really amusing bit: it was made by the East India Company. The OG colonialist was dissolved in 1874. But in 2005, an Indian-born businessman Sanjiv Mehta acquired the rights to the name—and the accompanying coat of arms—and relaunched it as a lifestyle brand. (CNN)