April ‘20

Klips for 18th April

Interesting: How makers of F1 engines designed life-saving breathing aid at breakneck speed
Scroll: https://bit.ly/2KrTy2F

Economy & Business 💰 | Govt removes FDI from auto approval list
– This concerns investments from countries sharing land borders with India
– The move comes days after People’s Bank of China increased its stake in HDFC
Livemint: https://bit.ly/2ypiaWO

Airlines open bookings from May 4 for domestic routes
– Air India has opened bookings for international flights from June 1
Livemint: https://bit.ly/3apVza8

🗣Mumbai airport invokes force majeure over revenue sharing
– This relates to the payments the airport needs to make to AAI
– AAI has not granted waivers but instead has asked to defer payments
BS: https://bit.ly/3ctXfk9

Opinion: How not to report: A lesson from Republic TV, Times Now, ABP covering Bandra migrants
– ‘This is the story of how an incident should not be reported. Especially in these coronavirus times.’
Print: https://bit.ly/2RN3O9o

Interesting: Seoul’s Full Cafes, Apple Store Lines Show Mass Testing Success
– Despite government pleas to remain indoors with a warning of a flare-up, many Koreans ventured out Saturday, saying they believe the worst of the pandemic is over.
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2RQV7ey

Updates:
– Singapore reports 942 new cases, a record | Reuters: https://reut.rs/2z2UOXh
– List of services that will resume after April 20 | DH: https://bit.ly/3acZ9nO


Klips for 17th April

Interesting: The Wuhan lab at the core of a virus controversy
DH: https://bit.ly/2S1C1m7

Economy & Business 💰 | RBI cuts reverse repo rate 2nd time in a row
– The move is meant to push banks to lend more money, than park it with the RBI
– The reverse repo rate was cut 25bps (and had already been cut 90bps on Mar 27)
– Additionally, RBI also announced liquidity support for NBFCs and micro-finance institutions (via TLTRO)
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2yhIS3D
Details: https://bit.ly/2wMDIMJ
#TLTRO: Targeted Long Term Repo Operations

Voda-Idea, Airtel extend prepaid plan validity till 3rd May
– The telcos had earlier extended this till 17th April
– Telcos charge a basic amount on prepaid connections each month failing which numbers are disconnected (after a time period)
– Most govt schemes for relief are linked via mobile numbers (and Aadhaar)
Livemint: https://bit.ly/2VFTnpD

Tech 📱 | Xiaomi to launch robotic vacuum cleaner in India via crowdsourcing model
– Xiaomi will sell the vacuum cleaner if 10000 ppl pay ₹17000 upfront
Livemint: https://bit.ly/2Vit4Xr

FB adds new ‘care’ emoji in its apps and Messenger
– The emojis are in the form of a smiley holding a hear and a pulsing heart
TC: https://tcrn.ch/2Ka7QET

Uber withdraws guidance for 2020
– Uber said in a statement: ‘it is impossible to predict with precision the pandemic’s cumulative impact on our future financial results’
TC: https://tcrn.ch/3ag1iz1

Interesting: South Korea: Elections in a pandemic
‘It is the first country to hold elections amidst a pandemic. The country has never postponed an election and it lived up to that tradition again when it held its 21st general election on Wednesday’
DH: https://bit.ly/2VhDhUc

Interesting: British people hail cleaner air and community spirit under lockdown
– Less than 10% of the British people polled want to go back to life as it was before the lockdown
Reuters: https://reut.rs/3cu5Hjx

Updates:
– China abruptly raises Wuhan death toll by 50%, says data mismatch due to earlier cases
– India total cases cross 14000; deaths: 482

Klips for 16th April

National 🇮🇳 | Normal monsoon this year: IMD
– The MET also indicated above normal rain for Aug and Sept
Hindu: https://bit.ly/2XGCqh5

MHA issues new guidelines on what’s allowed and what’s not
– Masks are to be worn in all public places
– The guidelines allow for certain services to open post Apr 20, but after appropriate measures are taken
– These include health, manufacturing, mandis (APMC), ITes (50% workforce)
Details: https://bit.ly/2REUSms (BQ)
#Some of the guidelines are subject to interpretation, for eg allowing e-commerce firms to deliver non essentials
#APMC: Agriculture Produce Market Committee

Tech 📱 | Apple launches new iPhone SE at $399
– The 4.7inch budget focused phone uses the iPhone 8’s form factor, but with updated hardware
– India launch date yet to be announced
Verge: https://bit.ly/2xy8ARs

Google adds ‘Teacher approved’ section to Playstore
– This will make it easier for parents and students to find apps as education goes online
– For now the change seems to be only for the US
TC: https://tcrn.ch/2VBTFxs

Interesting: Alibaba, Tencent Pour Cash Into India’s Gambling Loopholes
BQ: https://bit.ly/2K9eawi

Opinion: One contagion is more than enough for India
– The impending NBFC crisis is something India could do without writes Andy Mukherjee
DH: https://bit.ly/2VBg6ms

Opinion: The Colossal COVID-19 Impact On Airlines In India And A Struggle For Survival
‘Most Indian airlines have not structured their business models to be able to withstand even regular shocks, such as elevated fuel prices or economic downturns, let alone once-in-a-century events.’ said the CAPA
NDTV: https://bit.ly/2RK8eOC


Klips for 20th Apr

Coronavirus Lockdown: Tech, tap, toe the line
– ‘When a government solution begins to look less like a health crisis fix, and more like a power trip, it needs to be called out. Governments that are willingly granted special powers in times of crisis don’t always feel like giving them up when the crisis ends’
DH: https://bit.ly/3agfZlK

World 🌎 | Gunman kill 16 in Nova Scotia, Canada
– The gunman, a 51yr old, masqueraded as a police officer in what is the country’s worst mass shooting
Reuters: https://reut.rs/34VkGjN

National 🇮🇳 | DGCA directs airlines not to take bookings
– Airlines had started bookings for flights post May 4
Reuters: https://reut.rs/3ez0XLf

Economy & Business 💰 | At a day’s notice, govt rolls back nod to e-comm deliveries for ‘non-essentials’
– The govt had earlier said all e-comm deliveries could begin 20th Apr
– However, through another notification the govt said that only ‘essentials’ could be sold by e-comm players
Livemint: https://bit.ly/3eAvkkt

Tech 📱 | OnePlus 8 India pricing significantly lower than US
– The OnePlus 8 is priced starting ₹42K and while the Pro starts at ₹55K (US price: $999)
– OnePlus has this time added wireless charging and better cameras, alongwith a high rate screen, to what are now pure flagship Android phones
Review (MKBHD): https://bit.ly/2XMUM08

Interesting: These Landlords Don’t Want Us to Go to Work
– ‘Singapore is now the world’s largest repository for storing and processing data, with Facebook alone setting up an 11-story facility, its first such custom-built center in Asia’
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2Vkh2Ni

Interesting: Coronavirus lockdown: Flamingoes throng Mumbai as human activities dip
DH: https://bit.ly/2XNXe6w

Opinion: It’s a risk, but there’s simply no escape for India from printing money
Print: https://bit.ly/3eyJpig


Klips for 21st Apr

⭐️ There’s Nowhere to Put the Oil
Bloomberg: https://bit.ly/34QFngM

World 🌎 | Trump to temporarily suspend immigration into US
– Trump tweeted: ‘”In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States’
Twitter: https://bit.ly/2wYW6Ca

Tom & Jerry, Popeye creator, Gene Deitch, passes away
– He was aged 95
DH: https://bit.ly/2RTCh6s

National 🇮🇳 | 110 arrested for Palghar mob lynching
– As per reports, 3 men on way to a funeral were killed as the mod thought they were thieves
– The issue was taking on a communal flavour despite repeated clarifications to the contrary
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2yxaCkJ

Economy & Business 💰 | After record crash to below zero, oil futures rebound
– Oil futures fell to -$37.63 in trading in the US on Mondau
– However this morning, the future price settled at $1.10/barrel
– Brent crude, meanwhile, trades at $26/barrel
– The crash represents the fact that the demand for oil has plummeted, with no place to store oil already extracted
Reuters: https://reut.rs/3bnJkMw
Explainer: Negative Prices for Oil? Here’s What That Means
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/3cxNIsd

China calls India’s changes to FDI norms discriminatory
– India passed an order which removes auto approval for FDI investments from neighbouring countries
Livemint: https://bit.ly/2yua0ww

🗣Interesting: India coronavirus: Can the Covid-19 lockdown spark a clean air movement?
– ‘Could it move to a shift in reducing traffic on the road by asking people to work from home in shifts now that millions have experienced clean air for the first time in years?’
BBC: https://bbc.in/3eE9jRO

Interesting: China Mobile Loses About 4 Million Subscribers in Quarter
– The increase in connections had been slowing since Dec ‘19
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2RVJyCH

Interesting: Staff donate to PMNRF, Delhi University redirects payment to PMCARES
Hindu: https://bit.ly/2XVUxjl

Update:
– Cases in Maharashtra spike to 4666; Mumbai cases cross 3000; 572 recoveries
– China rejects Trump’s demand to let US team into Wuhan
– One +ve case in Rashtrapti Bhavan


Klips for 22nd Apr

⭐️ 🗣Interesting: Coronavirus: How New Zealand relied on science and empathy
BBC: https://bbc.in/2VstUAO

Economy & Business 💰 | FB invests $5.7bn in Jio ‘Platforms’
– FB invested the amount for a minority stake of 10%
– Reliance shares jumped 10% today
Reuters: https://bit.ly/2RZP5bn

🗣Branson offers Carribean island to bailout Virgin Atlantic
– The carrier filed for bankruptcy in Australia
– The island is valued at £500mn
BBC: https://bbc.in/2KvJcyp

Tech 📱 | Oyo cuts pay for all employees: memo
– As per the memo all employee salaries will be cut by 25% for 4 months from April onwards
– Some employees will also be placed on leave without pay
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2Kqwote

Interesting: Britain’s Zoom parliament makes an almost glitch-free debut
– ‘A maximum of 50 lawmakers are physically allowed in the debating chamber, with another 120 permitted to join in via Zoom video conference beamed onto television screens dotted around the walls of the ornate wood-panelled room.’
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2XVpC6N


Klips for 23rd Apr

🗣Opinion: US coronavirus response is like ‘third world’ country – Joseph Stiglitz
– ‘The Nobel prize-winning economist said: “The numbers turning to food banks are just enormous and beyond the capacity of them to supply. It is like a third world country. The public social safety net is not working.”’
Guardian: https://bit.ly/3auagJg

Economy & Business 💰 | 🗣 2 Spicejet lessors to reclaim planes after missed payments
– As per sources, about 10 planes could be repossessed due to missed payments
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2RYazph

Tech 📱 | Netflix adds 16mn in Q1, says numbers could decline after lockdown
– Netflix expects fewer subscriptions from July to Dec
– Most programming for 2020 and 21 had already been filmed; the impact on closing of production studios would mostly be in dubbing
Reuters: https://reut.rs/3eG9ITW

Interesting: The Centre-state face-off on Covid-19 and Earth’s changing face
– Best cartoons of the day chosen by The Print
Print: https://bit.ly/3asLGYX

Opinion: By crowdfunding benefits for embattled workers, app-based services are evading their own obligations
– ‘Why are India’s app-based firms, which have multi-million dollar valuations, appealing to the public to help them offer security to their own workers?’
Scroll: https://bit.ly/2VPQLFt

Opinion: Thinking Big About Covid-19 and Monetizing Public Debt
– ‘The government is unlikely to lean on the Reserve Bank of India for funding until at least September, the Business Standard reported Tuesday. Yet with foreign investors fleeing emerging markets, pretending that funds could materialize in the bond market is delusional.’
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2x53zzE


Klips for 24th Apr

⭐️ 🗣Opinion: The first modern pandemic – by Bill Gates
– ‘This is like a world war, except in this case, we’re all on the same side. Everyone can work together to learn about the disease and develop tools to fight it.’ Bill Gates shares his thoughts on the ‘situation and how we can accelerate innovations’
Gatesnotes: https://gatesnot.es/2VPkUou

National 🇮🇳 | Multiple FIRs against Arnab Goswami; moves SC
– The SC, which is only hearing ‘urgent’ matters, has taken up the case for hearing this morning itself (case filed yesterday night)
– Over a 100 FIRs have been filed against Goswami for his hateful comments on national television in regards the Palghar lynching case
DH: https://bit.ly/351MFhK

Economy & Business 💰 | Franklin Templeton to ‘close’ 6 debt funds in India
– ‘Significantly reduced liquidity in the Indian bond markets for most debt securities and unprecedented levels of redemptions following the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown has compelled us to take this decision’ said Franklin in a statement
BQ: https://bit.ly/2xVDjb9

Govt delays DA, DR hikes for employees and pensioners
– The annual hike has been postponed from July ‘20 to Jan ‘21
– The move is likely to save the govt ₹37000cr while state govts will save ₹82,566cr
Livemint: https://bit.ly/2Kyw8s4

Tech 📱 | Zoom crosses 300mn users
– Despite security concerns, the user base has grown 50% in the last 3 week
– Zoom has paused any new feature development to focus only on security updates for 90 days
Reuters: https://reut.rs/351y8m9

🗣Interesting: From Laver vs Emerson to Federer vs Nadal: 10 greatest rivalries in men’s tennis
Scroll: https://bit.ly/2Vwalb4


Klips for 25th Apr

Interesting: One month of lockdown: Why Indian states have dramatically divergent Covid-19 trajectories
– ‘At the opposite end of the spectrum from Kerala are Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, states with a below average testing rate and a high positivity rate. The two factors together, experts say, is an almost sure-shot indicator that several people are going undetected in the state’
Scroll: https://bit.ly/3aFkeYa
Related: A State-wise comparison of coronavirus infection doubling rates and testing
Hindu: https://bit.ly/2Y1VEhp

National 🇮🇳 | Shops to be allowed to stay open: MHA’s revised guidelines
– Also shops in residential complexes, that do not come under limits of municipal corporations can stay open
– Multi brand & single brand malls and shops in markets are not allowed
DH: https://bit.ly/2zwYKjz

As govt defends ‘timely lockdown’, India records highest single day spike in Coronavirus cases
– 1752 new cases were reported yesterday by the Ministry of Health
– Also 15 districts have reported no new cases for 28 days
Hindu: https://bit.ly/352pHac

Tech 📱 | Facebook to take on Zoom with Messenger Rooms
– These rooms can have upto 50 ppl and do not need participants to have an FB id
– FB plans to push this feature to Instagram and WhatsApp later
– On WhatsApp, the limit has been increased to 8 for now
Verge: https://bit.ly/3ePp08R

Apple, Google pledge to shut down Coronavirus tracker after pandemic ends
– They also released more information for the public on the tech including details on randomly generated tracing keys
Verge: https://bit.ly/2xXaUBI

🗣Opinion: Templeton’s Fund Fiasco – Warning Bells For India
– A nice, simply worded explainer on the issue, what it means and what investors and the govt can learn from this
NDTV: https://bit.ly/2zuVV2j

🗣Interesting: Game’s not over
– ‘This is a time when sports lovers are missing all the action, and obviously are bored sitting at home. But why lose touch with sports, when you have streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar? Here, Patriot lists a number of series and documentaries based on sports that all sports lovers might be able to connect to.’
Patriot: https://bit.ly/2VykofI


Klips for 27th Apr

Opinion: Templeton Fund Freeze Leaves a Dangerous Hole
– ‘On Monday, the RBI allowed banks access to a $6.5 billion, 90-day tap if they lend to mutual funds. But banks already have ample liquidity. The question is, why will they advance credit to mutual funds against any less than best-quality corporate paper?’ – an excellent piece by Andy Mukherjee on why the RBI move is not enough and what more needs to be done
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2YchmPU

Economy & Business 💰 | RBI opens special ‘liquidity window’ for mutual funds
– The window will allow banks that lend to MFs to tap into $6.6bn of funds
– This follows Franklin Templeton winding up 6 funds last week due to ‘lack of liquidity’
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2W1WTdV

Tech 📱 | WhatsApp’s new restrictions reduce virality of messages by upto 70%
– Earlier this month WhatsApp restricted forwarding of ‘frequently forwarded’ messages to only 1 group or user
TC: https://tcrn.ch/3eWNVHu

Opinion: Covid-19 crisis calls for universal delivery of food and cash transfers by the state
– A good breakdown of the cost of food and cash transfers and the operational issues therein
IE: https://bit.ly/3cPiFZc

Interesting: Cox and Kings: Shadow over Rs 21,000 crore transactions; siphoning nexus with Yes Bank unraveled
Hindu Businessline: https://bit.ly/3bDwOIK

🗣Interesting: Post-COVID, 75% of 4.5 lakh TCS employees to permanently work from home by ’25; from 20%
Business Today: https://bit.ly/2W0WkRH

🗣Interesting: How a new paperback format for novels made the books market explode after World War II
– ‘Throughout history, it had always fallen to troubadours and poets, storytellers and philosophers, to rebuild that world, the one that existed outside treaty rooms and boardrooms. After World War II, rebuilding of that world necessitated a most unromantic thing – the cheap, small paperback.’
Scroll: https://bit.ly/2Sc0UeV


Klips for 28th Apr

Interesting: India Post is more than just the ubiquitous red boxes
– ‘From delivering life saving drugs to reaching personnel protection equipment to hospitals, besides pension payments and banking services, India Post has used its vast network to ensure uninterrupted supplies and combat the crippling impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.’
ToI: https://bit.ly/35bIkZq

Economy & Business 💰 | Embraer takes Boeing to court over cancelled $4.2bn deal
– The Brazilian govt, which owned Embraer and is its biggest military client, said it eyes China as a potential partner now
– The deal with Boeing aimed to sell 80% stake to the US planemaker
Reuters: https://reut.rs/2xd5vGe

Brent crude falls below $20 as storage starts to run out
– WTI crude hovers at $12
– It is estimated that global onshore storage is at 85%
Reuters:https://reut.rs/2KRgAQJ

🗣Coronavirus and Germany: Why the World Is Looking to Angela Merkel
– ‘The commentator even went on to coin a word in Spanish, “Merkelina,” to describe the “sobriety and determination” of her political leadership “by trying to solve problems and not trying to derive political benefit from those problems.”’
Wire: https://bit.ly/3cSx4DT

🗣Interesting: The 20 minutes that broke the US oil market
Bloomberg via ET: https://bit.ly/2zwstZD

🗣Interesting: Monday Masala, Sarfarosh: When Aamir Khan put patriotism over nationalism to win India over
India Today: https://bit.ly/2xTFmwF

Updates:
– Healthy again Boris Johnson says risky to end lockdown
– Russia cases surpass China; cross 87000
– Global cases cross 3mn; US cases cross 1mn
– India tally: 29400 cases, 923 deaths


Klips for 29th Apr

Opinion: Alcohol Fight Shows India’s States Battling Modi for Virus Billions
– “At the end of this crisis, Modi will personally emerge stronger than he is. Even despite the strain of the push and pull with states,” said Abhay Pethe, an economist and former adviser to the Maharashtra state government. “No one can speak against him easily given the delicate situation. History has, at least for the moment, placed him in such a position.”
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/2yRrvqM

Economy & Business 💰 | RBI: ₹68,600cr worth wilful defaulter loans written off, including Mehul Choksey’s
– Mehul Choksey tops the list of 50 defaulters at ₹5492cr
– RBI said the loans were written off on in Sept 2019
Livemint: https://bit.ly/2VMMHHy

Govt relaxes WFH connectivity norms for IT, BPO firms till July end
– Earlier norms included setting up of VPN, need for prior permission for WFH etc
Livemint: https://bit.ly/2KG962z

Interesting: There may be more to RIL’s rights issue plan than meets the eye
– ‘At the end of December, RIL reported a net debt of ₹1.5 trillion. But this excludes some other liabilities such as spectrum dues and payment dues to vendors, which analysts at Jefferies India Pvt. Ltd had estimated at another ₹1.7 trillion earlier this year.’
Livemint: https://bit.ly/3cU4vGj

Opinion: Netflix Binges Are Just Fine With Samsung
– ‘Video streaming is driving demand for memory chips, compensating for the coronavirus hit to mobile phones and TVs.’
Bloomberg: https://bloom.bg/3f2DNgD

🗣Opinion: Sharp fall in oil prices is opportunity for India to increase stockpile – by Shashi Tharoor
IE: https://bit.ly/3bNkeXj