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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When Regulator Facebooks


What is it? The three entities—Rupeshbhai Kantilal Savla, Sujay Ajitkumar Hamlai and V Techweb India Pvt Ltd—from whom the market regulator has ordered impounding of unlawful gains worth over Rs 2.4 crore in an insider trading case.

Why is it important? The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) trawled the Facebook profiles of the suspected people to check if they were connected in the case, which violated insider trading norms. SEBI found the involved persons were ‘friends’ on Facebook and had liked each other’s posts, an instance of the regulator combing social media to track insider trading.

Tell me more: The order stated that by way of “this association and frequent communications, they are reasonably expected to have access to unpublished price-sensitive information” related to the firm in which shares were traded by the involved persons.



What is it? The number of years since the death of former judge BH Loya. He died of a cardiac arrest on December 1, 2014, in Nagpur, according to the Maharashtra police.

Why is it important? On Thursday, a three-judge Supreme Court bench, in a scathing verdict, dismissed a batch of petitions that sought an independent investigation into Loya’s death and said the pleas were an attempt to scandalise and obstruct the course of justice. It said public interest litigations were being misused for personal agendas. The BJP and Congress got into a war of words after the dismissal of these pleas.

Tell me more: The death of Loya came into focus after some media reports said that his sister had raised suspicions about the circumstances of his death. Loya was hearing the case regarding the death of a gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh in which Amit Shah, president of BJP, was an accused.


Rs 6,904 crore

What is it? Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) net profit in the January-March quarter of 2017-18.

Why is it important? India’s largest software services exporter saw its banking and financial services vertical, its largest contributor, grow 2.3% sequentially and 8.2% year-on-year. The firm had witnessed lower client spending, particularly in this sector in North America, last year. A turnaround in the banking and financial services vertical, in addition to growth in digital services, is likely to help TCS achieve its 10% dollar-revenue growth in 2018-19.

Tell me more: Its Q4 revenue increased by 8.2% to Rs 32,075 crore on an annual basis. In 2017-18, TCS’ net profit declined 1.8% to Rs 25,826 crore.



What is it? The number of words devoted to India (out of 4,310) by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in his 2017 letter to shareholders, released late Wednesday.

Why is it important? India received a para under the section ‘recent milestones’. India is one of the big markets identified by Amazon to open up new frontiers of growth, and it is locked in a bruising battle here with Flipkart, which might soon have a new owner in Amazon’s rival in the US, Walmart.

Tell me more: Bezos also disclosed that Amazon Prime crossed 100 million members worldwide in 2017 and that this paid membership service added more members than any previous year.


$5 million

What is it? The amount paid by cyclist Lance Armstrong to the US government to settle a whistleblower lawsuit.

Why is it important? The lawsuit, filed in 2013, could have sought damages of up to $100 million from Armstrong—whose team was sponsored by the US Postal Services—for using performance-enhancing drugs en route to winning the Tour de France race seven times, victories that have since been scratched from the record book. This lawsuit would have possibly been the biggest claim against Armstrong, who has reportedly paid about $20 million in damages and settlements.

Tell me more: The original lawsuit against Armstrong was filed by Floyd Landis, a former teammate and also banned cyclist. Landis is eligible for up to 25% of the settlement amount.


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Commitment To Privacy


What is it? The number of Facebook employees who would be reviewing content posted in the social media website by end of this year, as compared to 10,000 employed last year to review content and security.

Why is it important? This move is after it was found Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) influenced the 2016 US elections. Previously, Facebook has hands off approach to filter content that is false or malicious, but now it plans to actively patrol the content so as not to influence elections through fake news.

Tell me more: Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, told the US Senate’s Commerce and Judiciary committees that IRA ran 470 Facebook accounts to run ads and false information to scuttle Hillary Clinton’s chance to win 2016 elections. The content was seen by 157 million Americans.


Rs 606.74 crore

What is it? The amount BJP spent on election propaganda in 2016-17. In comparison, the Congress spent Rs 149.65 crore for the same in this period.

Why is it important? In this period, BJP won five state elections out of 10 – Assam, Goa, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur – with an average election propaganda spend of Rs 60.67 crore. On the other hand, Congress’ average spend on election propaganda was nearly Rs 15 crore and it won two state elections – Puducherry and Punjab in 2016-17.

Tell me more: BJP and Congress spent Rs 69.78 crore and Rs 115.65 crore on administrative expenses in 2016-17 respectively.


42,000 rials

What is it? The exchange rate of Iran’s rial against the US dollar announced by the Iranian government.

Why is it important? At present, there are two exchange rates- one set by the government (37,000 rials to a dollar) and another used by traders (60,000 rials to a dollar). With Tuesday’s announcement, Iranian government has made it illegal to trade at any rate other than official rate.

Tell me more: Iran earns $50 billion from oil exports. Iran attempted with a single exchange rate in January 2012 and the experiment lasted only for a few months. Fearing collapse of nuclear deal, rial has lost 20% against the US dollar in last two weeks.


$21.17 million

What is it? The penalty imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position in February.

Why is it important? The online search giant has filed an appeal against the ruling and has sought a stay on it. The core unit of Alphabet is is already involved in such anti-trust cases around the world: the European Commission imposed a record $2.7 billion fine on Google last year, besides facing anti-trust probes in Brazil and the possibility of investigations in South Korea.

Tell me more: Indian matchmaking firm Matrimony.com, which had filed the case against Google, has reportedly filed an appeal against the ruling as it feels the fine is too small and that CCI’s ruling that Google’s specialised search design or its advertising service, AdWords, were not breaking competition rules.



What is it? The number of shares a shareholder would receive in the to-be merged entity, Manipal Hospitals, for every 100 shares held in Fortis Healthcare. compared to the previous ratio of 10.83 shares for every 100 shares held.

Why is it important? Manipal Health Enterprises has revised its offer to buy Fortis Healthcare’s hospital business after institutional and minority shareholders expressed dissatisfaction with the previous offer. They had alleged that the hospital business of Fortis Healthcare had been valued at around Rs 95 per share as against the consensus analysts’ estimate of Rs 125-130 per share. The new terms would value Fortis at Rs 155 per share.

Tell me more: Besides the better swap ratio, the capital infusion of Rs 3,900 crore in the merged entity has been scrapped and instead, Manipal Health will undertake a rights issue of up to Rs 4,000 crore.


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A Clean-Up Act


What is it? The share of votes polled by Fidesz party in the Hungary Parliament elections, whose leader Viktor Orban is set to return to power for the third time.

Why is it important? Orban constructed a campaign that focused primarily on immigration and which positioned him as a defender of Hungary’s Christian culture against Muslim migration. By choosing Orban, Hungary follows Austria and Italy in recent years to elect a leadership that is stridently anti-immigration.

Tell me more: In a European Union scheme last year in which each member country was asked to take in some share of 160,000 refugees, Hungary was among the worst in compliance.


2.2 billion

What is it? The user base of Facebook, which is nearly twice the population of India.

Why is it important? Beginning today, this user base will receive from Facebook a notice titled ‘protecting your information’. It will have a link to see which apps they use, what information has been shared with those apps, and controls to regulate their information-sharing. Coming in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica privacy failure, this is Facebook’s first major move to win back user confidence on privacy issues.

Tell me more: Today, Facebook will also notify the 87 million users whose information was shared with Cambridge Analytica.


13 km

What is it? The distance for which 22 bogies of a passenger train rolled along without a driver, after getting detached from their engine, in Odisha.

Why is it important? There were about 1,000 people in these 22 bogies of the Ahmedabad-Puri Express, but luckily, there were no casualties. In 2013-14, 103 people died on the Indian Railways because of train accidents, equipment failure and miscellaneous accidents.

Tell me more: The bogies came to a halt after their wheels came in contact with rocks placed on the tracks.



What is it? The number of 787 planes that American Airlines, the largest US airline, has placed an order with Boeing for.

Why is it important? It is also cancelling an order with Boeing’s European rival Airbus placed by US Airways before it merged with American. In the duopoly that is the commercial aircraft industry, American’s large order is a significant win for Boeing and a blow for Airbus.

Tell me more: In the last four years, Boeing has trailed Airbus in aircraft orders, but led in deliveries and shareholder returns.



What is it? Number of doubles victories in Davis Cup that Leander Paes racked up with Mahesh Bhupathi as partner, over a span of 14 years.

Why is it important? On Saturday, Paes became the player with the maximum number of doubles wins in this prestigious team tennis competition. Paes now has 43 doubles wins, of which the highest number came with Bhupathi, with whom he has shared a relationship of animosity for some years now.

Tell me more: Under Bhupathi’s tenure as captain of the Indian Davis Cup team, Paes has often not been picked. Paes, 44, played his first Davis Cup doubles match 28 years ago, in 1990.


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