‘One for the Run’: That’s the theme for our next splainer fam-sourced playlist. Getting yourself out there to go for a run is hard, and we want the perfect playlist that will keep you pumped up during your next run. So, lace up your shoes and tell us the songs that help you go the extra mile in this super short form.
New media reports have dealt another body blow to the Adani Group’s fortunes. The group recently claimed that it had repaid $2.15 billion in loans borrowed against its stock. But an investigation by The Ken shows that the banks still hold a significant portion of Adani’s listed shares—and it has only paid a part of the amount owed to avoid pledging more shares.
The Economic Times also reported that the group is trying to renegotiate the terms for loans worth $4 billion—borrowed last year to buy two cement companies—ACC and Ambuja Cements. The already jittery market responded by selling Adani shares. The stock price of the flagship company Adani Enterprises fell 7%. Adani Ports dipped 6%—while the others fell by 5%. Total loss in market value of 10 listed companies: Rs 503 billion (50,298 crore)—the most since February, when the Hindenburg report wiped out Rs 516 billion (51,615 crore). (Forbes)
Also in trouble: Five major banks in France—BNP Paribas and its Exane subsidiary, as well as Société Générale, Natixis, and HSBC. They have been raided on suspicion of tax fraud—for using something called “cum-cum” transactions. Yes, that’s what it is called and “named after the Latin for ‘with-with,’ refers to when shareholders move stock to an investor abroad for a short time to avoid paying a dividend tax.” Why, what were you thinking lol! Quartz has lots more on the raids.
Meanwhile, in China: Alibaba is splitting up into six separate companies—all of which are expected to announce an IPO in the near future. The market loved this bit of news as the company’s stock soared by 15%. (CNBC)
Yet another US school shooting
Three nine-year old kids and three adult employees were killed in yet another school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee. This time the assailant was a 28-year-old former student, Audrey Hale, who was heavily armed—and identified as a transgender male. The police have not discovered the motive—but the school was deliberately targeted. Hale had drawn detailed maps of the school, carried out surveillance before the attack and also left behind a “manifesto”:
The manifesto included "several different writings about other locations" in addition to the school, according to the police chief, as well as "a drawing of how potentially" the shooter "would enter and the assaults that would take place."
CBS News has the latest. The police also released body cam footage that shows two policemen engaging and shooting down Hale.You can see it here if you want—but it is difficult to watch.
Sorry Britannia, the colonised rule everything
Pakistani-descentHumza Yousaf is going to replace Nicola Sturgeon as the next First Minister of Scotland. He is also just as determined to seek Scottish independence. All of which makes Shashi Tharoor’s tweet hilarious:
There’s the delicious irony of a person of Pakistani origin demanding the Partition of the UK while being resisted by a PM of Indian origin defending an Akhand Britain. While another PM of Indian descent watches & waits in Ireland!
If you’re not keeping track, that’s a reference to Rishi Sunak—the UK PM—and Leo Varadkar, the Prime Minister of Ireland.BBC News has a profile on Humza Yousaf. (Washington Post)
Look into my eyes, Alzheimer’s
Ok, ‘Alien’ jokes aside, scientists have found that you can literally see the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s in a loved one’s eyes. Why this matters: Alzheimer’s is usually detected way too late (please read our excellent two part series on the disease here and here):
“Alzheimer’s disease begins in the brain decades before the first symptoms of memory loss,” said Dr. Richard Isaacson, an Alzheimer’s preventive neurologist who is also at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases. If doctors are able to identify the disease in its earliest stages, people could then make healthy lifestyle choices and control their “modifiable risk factors, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes,” [Doctor] Isaacson said,
CNN has the complicated details on exactly how this works.
Good news about those cheetahs
Yesterday, we reported the sad news that one of the females flown in from Namibia had died of kidney failure. To cheer everyone up, one of the scientists who led the project has revealed that two other cheetahs are pregnant: Siyaya, a three-year-old captive-reared cheetah, and Asha, a four-year-old wild cheetah. The babies are due around the middle of April—and will be the first Indian-born cheetahs after seven decades. A good related read: our Big Story on the fierce debate around the cheetahs. (The Telegraph)
Good news for rabid sports fans
New research out of the UK has found that live sports makes you feel less blue. People have higher life satisfaction scores when they watch anything from free amateur events to professional Premier League matches. The lead author of this study says these findings "could be useful for shaping future public health strategies, such as offering reduced ticket prices for certain groups." Sigh, so innocent about how professional sports works. OTOH, this is a great study to pull out when your better half (man or woman) is a little tired of your insanity. (Axios)
An insane story about mammoth meatballs
An Australian company has created meatballs from the flesh of long extinct animals—specifically the woolly mammoth. The aim is actually humane:
The project aims to demonstrate the potential of meat grown from cells, without the slaughter of animals, and to highlight the link between large-scale livestock production and the destruction of wildlife and the climate crisis.
A wonderfully wacky publicity stunt, the meatballs aren’t intended for human consumption. Even calling the creation mammoth meat is a bit of a stretch. It’s more like lab-made lamb mingled with a tiny amount of mammoth DNA.
CNN has lots more details. And you can behold what looks like any other meatball below.
The Moon be so watery!
We are not sure to be alarmed or delighted—given the havoc we’ve wreaked on the one planet humans have inhabited. For better or worse, researchers have found tiny glass beads strewn across the surface of the moon—which may contain substantial quantities of extractable water. The estimated amount: 270 trillion kilograms. Deutsche Welle has lots more on how these beads are formed.
Two things to see
One: The police has not been able to catch Waris De Punjab chief Amritpal Singh. But he has been merrily popping up on security camera footage in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab–or so folks on social media claim. See one such clip below. (The Telegraph)
Two: Have you checked out the seriously cool Pope Francis in a white puffer jacket? No? Please enjoy one of the few upsides of AI. The party pooper good read: The Verge on what the future looks like with such AI-generated images. (NBC News)