Hung House


What is it? The number of seats a party or an alliance requires to form the government in Karnataka.

Why is it important? Though the initial trends pointed towards BJP securing a simple majority, its final tally fell seven short of the halfway mark for 222 seats, where elections were held in the state. While the BJP, as the single-largest party, wants a first crack at forming the government, the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine have staked a claim to power. It remains to be seen if BJP makes its entry into the south or if Congress is able to retain its only big state ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Tell me more: Although the Congress has won more seats than JD(S), it has agreed for the latter’s leader HD Kumaraswamy to be their chief ministerial candidate.


2.5 million

What is it? The number of pieces of hate speech removed by Facebook in the first quarter of 2018, of which 38% were flagged by its technology.

Why is it important? Hate speech was one of the six areas in which Facebook took action against content posted on its platform. On Tuesday, it reported its numbers in these six areas in its first Community Standards Enforcement Preliminary Report. It admitted its technology didn’t work that well for hate speech. By comparison, Facebook took down 21 million pieces of adult nudity and sexual activity, 96% of which were found and flagged by its technology, before they were reported.

Tell me more: Facebook estimates that of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on Facebook, 7 to 9 views were of content that violated its adult nudity and pornography standards.


Rs 13,416.9 crore

What is it? Punjab National Bank’s (PNB) net loss in the fourth quarter of 2017-18, compared with a net profit of Rs 261.9 crore in the year-ago period.

Why is it important? It is the lender’s (and any domestic bank’s) biggest ever quarterly net loss due to the hit it has taken from the Nirav Modi scam, India’s biggest banking fraud. The bank said it had provided for Rs 7,178 crore on account of the scam, which is 50% of the total, in the last quarter. It will provide for the remaining amount in the next three quarters.

Tell me more: PNB’s total provisions and contingencies in the quarter stood at Rs 20,353 crore compared to Rs 5,753 crore a year ago.



What is it?The number of people feared dead as on Tuesday evening (8.15 pm) after a flyover collapsed in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Media reports differ on the death toll, though the range was between 12 and 20.

Why is it important? Many were trapped dead after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed, crushing people and vehicles underneath. Of those trapped, many of them are labourers working on flyover construction. A total of 1,885 people died in 2015 due to a collapse of structures, or 0.6% of the total accident deaths in India.

Tell me more: The Uttar Pradesh government has set up a three-member committee to probe the incident and announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of those killed in the incident.


40 years

What is it? The number of years that former Australian cricketer Bill Lawry did cricket commentary. On Tuesday, the 81-year-old announced his retirement.

Why is it important? One of the distinctive voices of Channel Nine, Bill Lawry calling it a day as a cricket commentator is symbolic of possibly the biggest shift underway in the Australian cricket broadcasting landscape since the Kerry Packer days. Earlier this year, Seven and Fox Sports ended Channel Nine’s four decade-long association with broadcasting cricket in Australia.

Tell me more: Lawry, who also captained Australia, is known for his excitable style of commentary that produced articulations that have since become lore, like “it’s all happening” (to describe a busy passage of play) and “bang” (a big hit).

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Race To Buy Fortis


What is it?The number of years for which Usha Ananthasubramanian was the MD and CEO of Punjab National Bank (PNB).

Why is it important?The government has asked the board of Allahabad Bank to divest her powers as MD and CEO of the bank (her current position) after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) detailed her role in the PNB scam. The latter’s board has been asked to take away the powers of its executive directors, KV Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan, for the same reason. The CBI filed its first chargesheet related to the $2-billion scam against 25 entities, including individuals and three firms, on Monday.

Tell me more:The chargesheet also describes the role of diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and Subhash Parab, an executive in Modi’s firms. 



What is it?The amount per share that the Manipal-TPG combine is willing to pay more over its initial offer to acquire the hospitals business of Fortis Healthcare.

Why is it important?On Monday, the Manipal-TPG combine increased its offer for Fortis from Rs 160 per share to Rs 180 per share. This comes on the heels of the Fortis board last week expressing its preference for the Sunil Munjal-led group. Since any deal has to be cleared by 75% of shareholders, the new offer adds more intrigue to the race to buy Fortis.

Tell me more:Among these recent ongoing developments, the Fortis stock has moved in a narrow range, a possible indicator of how everything is still open.



What is it? The number of years since Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a luxury hotel suite in New Delhi.

Why is it important?The Delhi Police, in its nearly 3,000-page chargesheet filed yesterday, has accused Tharoor of abetting her suicide. He is the only person named as accused. The leader says he intends to contest it vigorously. He has questioned the methods/motivations of the Delhi Police, who, he said, stated in Delhi High Court that they had not found any evidence against anyone.

Tell me more: The Delhi Police wants Tharoor to be present when the trial resumes on May 24. The Congress says it will back the leader and called the chargesheet a politically motivated one.



What is it?The reported number of people killed in violence during panchayat elections’ polling in West Bengal as on Monday evening. Various media reports have reported different numbers.

Why is it important?Though the number of deaths this time are fewer than those killed in 2003 (76) and 2013 (39), this year’s polling reportedly saw rigging on an unprecedented scale, besides booth capturing and burning of ballot papers in the presence of media personnel and, in some places, in front of policemen too. Over 60,000 security personnel were deployed from West Bengal and neighbouring states for the polls.

Tell me more:The central government has asked the state to submit a report on the violence, which opposition parties have blamed it on the ruling Trinamool Congress. Of the 14 dead, five were CPM supporters, four TMC workers, two BJP and two independent candidates’ supporters and a voter.


What is it?The number of teams in contention for three playoff spots in the Indian Premier League, with two matches left to play for each side.

Why is it important? Yesterday, Royal Challengers Bangalore hammered Kings XI Punjab to not only stay in contention, but also make significant gains in the net run rate calculation, which could come into play given the bunching up of teams in the points race. There are three teams with six wins and two teams with five wins.

Tell me more:Among these six teams, RCB have the fewest wins (five), along with Mumbai Indians, but have the third best run rate. Today, in one of the several remaining decisive games, Kolkata take on Rajasthan.

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Getting War Ready

Rs 15,000 crore

What is it? The size of a project reportedly finalised by the Indian Army under which a range of ammunition will be produced indigenously for critical weapons and tanks.

Why is it important? This is said to be India’s biggest initiative to indigenise ammunition, thereby tackling delays in imports and shortages in stockpiles. In a July 2017 report, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report said the Army’s ammunition will not last for more than 10 days in a war and that the military does not have the minimum required stock of 55% of the 152 types of arms it uses for operational preparedness in case of a war.

Tell me more: The project, which would involve 11 private firms, would create an inventory for all major weapons that would prepare the Army to fight a 30-day war.


What is it? The number of exit polls of eight major ones that predict BJP to win the largest number of seats in Karnataka, ahead of the Congress.

Why is it important? However, of these, just one has predicted a simple majority for the BJP, while the rest indicate a hung assembly. If these hold true, then Janata Dal (Secular), whose leader said the party expects a possibility of forming the government, could emerge as kingmaker. However, exit polls have often gone wrong in the past; Karnataka’s exit polls carry risks such as hurried calculations in a single phase election, besides the methodology adopted by the agencies.

Tell me more:If BJP wins in Karnataka, it would be in power in 23 states and potentially boost the party’s prospects in the 2019 general elections. As for Congress, it would be able to retain one of the four states it is in power currently and check the BJP juggernaut.


What is it? The number of deaths due to severe storms reported in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh on Sunday. More thunderstorms, with wind speeds reaching 50-70 km, are predicted over the next two days.

Why is it important? The month of May has been brutal. On May 3, 124 deaths were reported due to thunderstorms in UP and Rajasthan. And, on May 10, another 11 people died in northern India, taking the tally to 135. The maximum number of deaths have been reported in UP: the state’s count was above 70 till Sunday, when 21 more people died.

Tell me more:In 2017, 2,057 people died due to natural disasters, according to a Ministry of Home Affairs annual report.

Rs 1,225 crore

What is it? Dena Bank’s net loss in the fourth quarter of 2017-18, compared with a net loss of Rs 575 crore in the same period a year ago.

Why is it important? The Reserve Bank of India has barred the bank from lending further and hiring personnel in view of its weakening financial health. On an annual basis, Dena Bank posted a net loss for the third year in a row and its gross non-performing assets (NPA) hit a high of 22.4% of gross advances in the quarter. The government is considering issuing provision shore-up certificates to banks to deal with increasing provisioning against bad loans.

Tell me more:On May 17, the finance ministry will reportedly meet 11 banks that are under the central bank’s prompt corrective action framework to check their progress on reforms and seek accountability for the capital provided to them.


What is it? The number of points that Manchester City finished with in the 2018 English Premier League.

Why is it important? Heading into the last league match of the season, City needed to beat Southampton to become the first club in the 20-team EPL to hit a century. They did so, but only in stoppage time. For the season, City finished with 100 out of a maximum 114 points.

Tell me more:In other significant outcomes from the final day, Liverpool qualified for the Champions League; Chelsea didn’t and is likely to sack its manager Antonio Conte. And Arsenal Wenger signed off from Arsenal with a win.

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In Malaysia, A Nonagenarian Upsets



What is it? The total number of deaths in northern India due to thunderstorms in May.

Why is it important? After 124 deaths in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan due to thunderstorms on May 3, 11 more people were reported dead on Thursday after more thunderstorms hit select parts of UP. In UP alone, thunderstorms have left 75 dead and 91 injured.

Tell me more: With western disturbances in Jammu and Kashmir moving eastwards, the IMD has warned of fresh disturbances and dust storms till May 13. In 2017, 2,057 people died due to natural disasters, according to a Ministry of Home Affairs annual report.



What is it? The number of wholesale stores that Walmart plans to openin the next four to five years.

Why is it important? A day after announcing its purchase of 77% in India’s largest online retailer Flipkart for $16 billion, Walmart announced these plans for its existing offline business in India, where its performance has been patchy. Going forward, one of the points of interest will be what kind of synergies can Walmart create between the offline and online parts.

Tell me more:Walmart currently operates 21 stores across India. These are Best Price wholesale stores, mostly in India’s tier-II and tier-III cities, offering close to 5,000 items. The $ 16 billion deal, gives the offline retail giant, an online presence.



What is it? Age of Mahathir Mohamad, who was sworn in as Malaysian prime minister on Thursday.

Why is it important?In a huge political upset, former strongman Mahathir’s opposition alliance, Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope), defeated the Barisan National (BN) coalition, which has governed Malaysia uninterrupted since 1957. The 92-year old leader came out of retirementto defeat corruption scandal-ridden PM Najib Razak, who has been in power since 2008.Mahathir ruled Malaysia from 1981-2003.

Tell me more:Indian-Malaysians make up 7% of the country’s population, and 36 contested in this election. The number of Indian expats working in Malaysia is 130,000 and India is Malaysia’s 10thlargest trading partner.



What is it?The number of times private American company SpaceX has launched used rockets into space.

Why is it important?On Thursday, SpaceX had to abortthe launch of a satellite owned by Bangladesh’s Bangabandhu Satellite-1 on top of a reusable Falcon 9 rocket. The booster was supposed to land back on a drone ship and be reused, something that SpaceX has done 24 times: 11 by land and 13 by sea. However, less than a minute before takeoff, SpaceX received an “abort” message from ground systems. The launch is now rescheduled for Friday.

Tell me more:Friday’s launch will feature the final upgrade to Falcon 9 rocket, the Falcon 9 Block 5. The new rocket, with a stronger heat shield and new retractable landing legs, is designed to do 10 or more flights with limited refurbishments.


Rs 1,800 crore

What is it? The amount that the family offices of Sunil Munjal (of Hero Enterprise) and Anand Burman (of Dabur) have offered to jointly invest in Fortis Healthcare.

Why is it important?The Fortis board on Thursday chose the Munjal-Burman joint bidfor the healthcare chain’s hospitals and diagnostics businessover the bids from the TPG-Manipal Health combine and IHH Healthcare. The deal still has to be cleared by shareholders.

Tell me more:The Rs 1,800 crore investment will comprise Rs 800 crore upfront via preferential shares and Rs 1,000 crore through a preferential issue of warrants convertible after 18 months.


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