24045211476_2f3cd414ea_b

Twitter’s Battle Against Fake News

3.2%
What is it?Growth of India’s industrial output index in May 2018, compared to same period last year.

Why it’s important? This follows a 4.8% growth in April. The expansion of industrial activity was dragged by a 2.8% growth in manufacturing, with intermediate goods such as naptha, cotton yarn and copper rods seeing a degrowth.

Tell me more: Analysts expect a pick up in manufacturing in June on the back of monsoon-driven domestic consumption and higher exports.

 

5%

 

What is it? India’s retail inflation in June 2018.

Why is it important?It hit a five month high in June, thanks to a weak rupee and higher oil prices (fuel inflation raised to 7.14%). Transportation and communication costs grew 6.18 percent. In June last year, inflation had slowed down to 1.46%. Its touching 5% has led to expectations that the central bank will raise interest rates.

Tell me more: Meanwhile in the US, inflation touched 2.9% in June, highest in 6 years. In Germany, inflation rates saw a slowdown in the month.

 

18%

 

What is it? The percentage loss of per capita real GDP to big emerging economies like India, China, Brazil by 2060, if trade tariffs return to higher 1990s level, according to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Why is it important? There are growing concerns that such a scenario might turn into reality, even as US and China fight a trade war. The dispute now covers over 10,000 products, and has pulled in countries such as Canada and Mexico.

Tell me more: Meanwhile, India has overtaken France to become the sixth largest economy in the world with a GDP of  $2.59 trillion.
6%

 

What is it?The expected reduction in Twitter accounts following the social media company’s decision to purge fake accounts.

Why is it important? Twitter has upped its battle against fake news, by resolving to identify and remove tens of millions of fake accounts on the platform. The platform has faced criticism over its role in misinformation and fake news, generated and spread by fake accounts which are often run by commercial groups.

Tell me more: Facebook has also been facing the issue of fake accounts, a concern that has grown stronger after news of Russian influence in the last American presidential elections.

 

10

 

What is it?The number of times Serena Williams has entered Wimbledon finals.

Why is it important? In the finals on Saturday, the American tennis player will face Germany’s Angelique Kerber for her eighth title. Williams also became the first mother in 38 years to reach Wimbledon finals. She gave birth to a baby girl last September.

Tell me more: In the semi finals on Thursday, Williams beat Germany’s Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-4. Williams has won 23 grand slams so far.

Read More

12811650773_294289d2ca_b

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day Brings In Moolah

 

Alibaba raked in billions with its Singles’ day shopping festival, outdoing Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. SoftBank is padding Uber with more money. Air India is borrowing yet again while it sits on a mountain of debt. Industrial output bounced a little but is still lower than August’s. 

 

$10 billion

What is it? The amount that SoftBank Group could end up committing to ride-hailing service Uber, both in fresh funding and in buying out existing investors.

Why is it important? Uber yesterday announced it had entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment. For Uber, which is in a state of flux on several fronts, it marks its association with the weightiest investor in the Internet economy. For SoftBank, it gives it a piece of the leader of the unicorn club and a pivotal seat in the ride-hailing sector.

Tell me more: SoftBank is also an investor in other ride-hailing companies, notably Didi in China, GrabTaxi in Singapore and Ola in India.

 

$25.3 billion

What is it? The sales generated by Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce firm, from its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in 24 hours, which celebrates single people.

Why is it important? The ninth edition of the annual sale is its highest ever, up 42% from 2016, cementing its position as the world’s largest shopping event. It is almost twice the combined sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US in 2016. Seen another way, it is higher than the GDP of Cameroon. Some experts say the massive growth is due to retailers competing with each other to grab a pie of consumer spending in the growing Chinese economy.

Tell me more: The online extravaganza broke other records too. Alibaba surpassed last year’s sales figure in 13 hours. Chinese postal and courier companies handled at least 331 million packages, over 30% higher than those in the same day a year ago.

 

Rs 1,500 crore

What is it? The value of loan reportedly received by Air India from Bank of India to meet its working capital needs.

Why is it important? It highlights the financial situation of Air India, which has a total debt of Rs 52,000 crore and recently received an in-principle nod for disinvestment. However, according to a report, the new owners are likely to take over only the aircraft debt and not working capital loans, which would be transferred to a special purpose vehicle (to be managed by it) before the sale. Of the total debt, Rs 33,000 crore is on account of working capital loans.

Tell me more: The recent working capital loan comes nearly a month after the national carrier floated a tender seeking government-backed short-term loans for the mentioned amount.

 

3.8%

What is it? The rate at which India’s industrial output grew in September on a year-on-year basis.

Why is it important? While this was lower than the 4.3% recorded in August, it was significantly higher than the depths of June and July, two months that also contained the overhang of the transition to a new goods and services tax (GST).

Tell me more: Of the 23 industries, 11 registered growth, indicating that stability was gradually returning to the industrial sector after the disruptions caused by demonetization and GST.

 

Rs 25,000-30,000

What is it? The amount Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) reportedly spends on a cricketer for DNA testing.

Why is it important? This is to understand each player’s body needs to maintain a particular fat percentage, whose limit for a senior Indian player is 23%. This test is believed to help cricketers improve their speed in fat burning, endurance, recovery and muscle building by developing a customised and comprehensive fitness programme. However, researchers are divided on the usefulness of such tests to improve athletes’ performance: one study claims these are ‘virtually meaningless‘, while another says DNA-matched training programmes improve their performance by three times than the mismatched ones.

Tell me more: Earlier, Indian cricketers took Skinfold tests and DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scans to measure body fat percentage.

 

Read More