What is it? The percentage by which an average Facebook user is less likely to die than someone who does not use the social networking site, according to a study.
Why is it important? The study says the use of Facebook increases longevity only when it is used to maintain or improve real-life social connections. Those with large social networks lived longer than those with fewer friends, which seems to mirror studies of real-world relationships.
Tell me more: The study, which was led by University of California-San Diego researchers, looked at 12 million California-based Facebook users born between 1945 and 1989 and matched them with their health records, monitoring their online activity over six months. The researchers have said that the study is just observational and by no way proves that one would live longer if they use Facebook.
Why is it important? This would help ANI Technologies’ Ola, which is playing the discounts game with Uber (said to be the most valuable startup, according to Statista) in India to maintain its lead position. The amount would reportedly provide Ola enough capital for the next 18 months. Uber has been focusing on the Indian market after selling off its Chinese operations. Ola has been in talks to raise funds since it last raised $57.3 million in December 2015.
Tell me more: Ola has raised $1.23 billion in eight rounds from 20 investors so far and was last valued at $5 billion.
What is it? The estimated number of captive elephants in India, most of whom are under the care of private individuals including temples.
Why is it important? Soon, elephants could join the list of animals banned from being exhibited or trained as performing animals. Currently, bull, bear, monkey, panther, tiger and lion are included in this list. The Animal Welfare Board of India, the country’s advisory body on animal welfare laws) has asked the environment ministry to ban the training, exhibition and use of elephants for performance in temples, circuses and joyrides.
Tell me more: Animal activists have been asking for better treatment of elephants, provide better welfare measures for them including food, veterinary care and housing facility and give better training to mahouts. The estimated number of elephants in India is 23,900 to 32,900; the Indian government declared the elephant as an animal of national heritage to increase its protection-measures.
What is it? The number of states that are open-defecation free (ODF) with Kerala being the latest to join the list. Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh are the other two states that have officially declared themselves to be free of open defecation.
Why is it important? The government has expressed hope that many states can achieve ODF status well before the deadline of October 2, 2019. Other states such as Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Mizoram are likely to achieve this status for their rural areas by March next year. However, certain challenges such as reporting of unreliable toilet construction numbers (the Comptroller and Auditor General of India found 16 states had overstated the data on individual toilet constructions by 190% of the actual constructions), improper construction of toilets (making them dysfunctional) and bringing about a behaviour change in people.
Tell me more: India compares poorly with other countries in terms of open defecation: 48.3% of the country’s population do not use toilets and in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sub-Saharan Africa, the corresponding numbers are: 23.1%, 4% and 24.9%, according to data by r.i.c.e, a non-profit research organisation.
What is it? The number of polls (of a total of six) in which Republican candidate Donald Trump has a lead of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the US Presidential elections, as of November 1. Clinton is ahead in three polls while the sixth one predicts a tie between the two.
Why is it important? The previous day’s data showed Clinton was ahead of Trump in seven of eight general election polls and indicates that the 2016 US Presidential elections is a tight race and just either of them could be the next US President. Last week, the FBI said it had found a new set of emails that could be “pertinent” to the Clinton email case and this may have an impact on the elections. The timing of the announcement of this development has drawn sharp criticism from many.
Tell me more: The prediction system devised by Allan J Lichtman, professor of history at American University, which has been correct in predicting the winner of all the US elections since 1984, says Trump is the man. Another prediction by an artificial intelligence system, whose predictions have been correct in the last three elections, gives Trump the lead position.