What is it? The number of children in North Korea that face potential starvation this year, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
Why is it important? This is as a result of international sanctions on the country for its defiant advancements in nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. Although humanitarian supplies and operations are exempt from these sanctions, companies, banks and other organisations are cautious in these dealings as they do not want risk being associated with breaking the sanctions, according to Unicef deputy executive director Omar Abdi. Other aid groups have also expressed frustration at being unable to carry out humanitarian aid in North Korea.
Tell me more: The United Nations Security Council tightened economic restrictions on North Korea, cutting fuel supplies and banning trade in goods that accounted for 90% of its export revenue in 2016.
What is it? The size of the Indian tobacco industry.
Why is it important? The government has asked the Supreme Court to classify tobacco as ‘res extra commercium’, which means ‘outside commerce’ in Latin. As a result, the Indian tobacco industry could lose its legal right to trade, giving the authorities more room to impose restrictions and dissuade the industry from challenging those tough new regulations. Tobacco use reportedly causes 1 death every six seconds, despite which India is the second leading consumer of the substance in the world.
Tell me more: According to a report, India is among the top four countries in terms of death due to tobacco use.
What is it? The number of Indian airlines that could express interest in buying Air India, which the government is priming for a sale, aviation consultancy Capa said in a report released yesterday.
Why is it important? More airlines in the fray is better for Air India and the government. Capa named the four airlines as IndiGo, Vistara, Jet Airways and SpiceJet. IndiGo has already expressed interest, while the Tata Group, which runs Vistara, has said it would like to see the terms of sale. Capa expects Air India’s domestic and international airline operations to be sold as a single entity, ancillary units hived off, real estate transferred to an SPV and working capital debt restructured.
Tell me more: Meanwhile, Ajay Singh of SpiceJet yesterday said his airline was too small to buy Air India. Elsewhere yesterday, IndiGo appointed Wolfgang Prock-Schauer—an industry veteran who has previously worked in Austrian Airlines and Jet Airways, among other airlines—as its chief operating officer.
What is it? The number of times that India has beaten arch rivals Pakistan in the under-19 cricket world cup. Yesterday, an unbeaten century by Shubhman Gill and four wickets from Ishan Porel helped India win their semi-final in the ongoing world cup.
Why is it important? In under-19 one-day internationals, among teams that have played at least 100 matches, India has the best winning percentage (78%), followed by Pakistan (64%), Bangladesh (63%) and Australia (61%). With the latest win and their entry into the finals of a tournament it has won twice in the last five editions, India kept up with their favourites tag.
Tell me more: In the finals, India will play Australia, who beat Afghanistan by 6 wickets in the first semi-final.
What is it? The drop in the Wynn Resorts stock since Friday, when a Wall Street Journal story accused Steve Wynn, the company’s founder and CEO, of a pattern of sexual misconduct over the years.
Why is it important? While the past few months have seen several male business executives in the US being accused of sexual harassment, Wynn is the first founder and CEO of a listed company with some profile to face such allegations. Wynn, 76, has denied the charges. Initially, the company issued a statement criticising the WSJ report, but subsequently set up a panel to investigate the allegations.
Tell me more: Founded in 2002, Wynn Reports is based in Las Vegas, and owns and operates destination casino resorts. In 2017, it recorded revenues of $6.3 billion and a net profit of $747 billion. As CEO, Wynn drew a salary of $15.66 million from the company.