Fortnightly Yours. 2/24 2024

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Arresting  |  Factual  |  General  |  Seminal  |  Wacky

Arresting : striking, eye-catching

Striking news this fortnightly from around the world with  Reuters as the main source.

A1. China moves to consolidate Yuan as stock markets tumble.

A2. Biden faces pressure to strike Iran after US troops killed.

A3. Second conviction quandary for Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan.

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A1. China moves to consolidate Yuan as stock markets tumble.

With the real estate empire Evergrande moving to liquidation process and amidst reports of hectic and desperate pursuit reported behind the Cryptocurrencies- hitherto shunted by the investors – China is feeling the pinch and its major state-owned banks moved to support the yuan on Monday. This is an effort at tightening liquidity in the offshore foreign exchange market while actively selling U.S. dollars onshore as equities slid, reports.

Click here to the news sources link.

https://www.reuters.com/markets/currencies/china-moves-support-yuan-stock-markets-tumble-sources-2024-01-22/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=One-Essential-Read&utm_term=012224&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

A2. Biden faces pressure to strike Iran after US troops killed.

It is a Benghazi moment for Biden in the election year and he is scrambling to balance his political position from taking a tailspin as with the case with Hillary Clinton back in 2016. This as he grapples with the Houthi situation which has now come to a head what with the active casualty of the US troop in the current conflict. The assertion that the last incident at the Jordanian outpost is directed from the Iran-backed militants, as well as their perceived backing in Yemen is piling political pressure on the President to deal a blow directly against Iran, reminiscent of the times of the calamitous hostage crisis of 1979.

The U.S. had gone after Iranians outside of Iran in the past, like the 2020 strike against top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani which somehow didn’t escalate, and Iran has been issuing oft repeat warnings to Israel in the current Gaza situation, but matters are about to boil over.

Click here to the news sources links.

https://www.reuters.com/world/political-pressure-builds-biden-strike-iran-after-us-deaths-2024-01-29/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=Daily-Briefing&utm_term=012924&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iranian-hezbollah-commanders-help-direct-houthi-attacks-yemen-sources-say-2024-01-20/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=Weekend-Briefing&utm_term=012024&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

A3. Second conviction quandary for Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan.

 

For arguably the most charismatic of all cricketers and the best Captain the game has seen, life on the political pitch is worse than any bodyline scandal*. It is not that he lacks supporters, for he has had the mandate but the turf in Pakistan politics is a quagmire and trenches of turf war and the power centres far too many, the Military, the Court and the Opposition and the innumerable religious factions. His reputation of compassion to Taliban and consequently his antipathy to the US is not helping and it will require yet another twist of turns for him to free up himself from these bindings. Can he conjure up a magic spell and pull off up a Houdini escape?

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/pakistan-ex-pm-imran-khan-sentenced-14-years-state-gifts-case-dawn-2024-01-31/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=Daily-Briefing&utm_term=013124&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

*Body line Scandal was a dark chapter in cricket history as shown in the below article below.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-21013615

 

Factual : actually occurring.

Click on the first letter to navigate to the sections

Arresting  |  Factual  |  General  |  Seminal  |  Wacky

Striking news this fortnightly from around the world with  Reuters as the main source and worldometers info.

F1. Workers view work-life balance as more important than pay, study finds.

F2. Dubai’s property boom shows signs of fizzling out.

F3. A fresh survey at the countries by population.

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F1. Workers view work-life balance as more important than pay, study finds.

 

Going by the general perception Europeans enjoy a balanced life where one makes a living with an 8hrs per day job. Americans on the other hand overworks for pleasure or pressure. Covid times have been a trial by nature, and we have come to terms with work and home coexisting.

Balancing it all in my personal view would be for a four-day week work schedule and everyone gets to go on one overseas vacation a year. Of course that would be a world order in which the rules are of the people, for the people, and  by the people which we all know is the case.

Click here to the news sources link.

https://www.reuters.com/business/workers-view-work-life-balance-more-important-than-pay-study-finds-2024-01-17/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=ESG-Finance&utm_term=011824&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

F2. Dubai’s property boom shows signs of fizzling out.

 

Dubai doesn’t stop amusing and amazing and perhaps the boom and bust discussed here is just part of a repeating cycle. As far as the innovations and clout there is someone who could give them a run for their money as many neighbors especially Saudi Arabia are on the move in competing lines with infrastructural extravaganza and architecture.

Although Russian and Chinese inflows are slowly tapering off, increased interest from Indian investors could keep any downturn swift and shallow, the report indicates. Memories of Dubai’s 2008 property crash which ultimately led to a $20 billion bailout by the emirate’s oil-rich neighbour Abu Dhabi still loom large, but analysts say lessons have been learnt and the risk of contagion from any downturn appears lower.

The biggest threats to Dubai’s real-estate sector come from unexpected spikes in inflation, unpredictable global interest rate policy and regional contagion from the Israel-Hamas war, The potential impact of disruption to key shipping routes in the Red Sea is so far unclear.

Click here to the news sources link.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/dubais-property-boom-shows-signs-fizzling-out-2024-01-26/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=One-Essential-Read&utm_term=012624&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

F3. A fresh survey at the countries by population.

Let us take a fresh count. There are 195 countries in the world today including 2 countries that are non-member observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine and excluding Taiwan – the United Nations considers it represented by the People’s Republic of China, the Cook Islands and Niue, both states in free association with New Zealand, Dependencies and Autonomous territories.

Of these 54 countries are in Africa, 48 in Asia, 44 in Europe, 33 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 14 in Oceania, 2 in Northern America. After a steeple chase, India overtook China off late and are pivoted to stay there.

Sources below cites a total inhabitable land area of 24,642,757 square miles or 15.77 billion acres which going by the by the current human population of 7 billion, you get 2.3 acres per person. But while all the newborn in all the species in nature, it appears, has a right to their own space on earth – at least for a fleeting moment, a human being does not necessarily have that privilege.

But no, we can’t sort that out….

Click here to the news sources links.

https://www.worldometers.info/geography/how-many-countries-are-there-in-the-world/#:~:text=There%20are%20195%20countries%20in,and%20the%20State%20of%20Palestine.

https://www.zo.utexas.edu/courses/thoc/land.html#:~:text=Subtracting%20this%20uninhabitable%2057%25%20(32%2C665%2C981,about%20one%20hectare)%20per%20person.

G1. Dior bag scandal’ lands South Korea’s Yoon, ruling party in disarray.

I didn’t know that hidden cameras were needed to arrive at conclusion of corruption in the highest echelons of life, especially when coming to merchandise involving brand value. Hidden camera footage appearing to show South Korea’s First Lady accepting a Dior bag as a gift, has plunged President Yoon Suk Yeol and his party into a controversy that may threaten their bid to reclaim a parliamentary majority in April’s election.

What to say, well these folks henceforth have to watch out for Cameras, as well the exact use of a purse, which the analysts said had a price tag of ($2,250) is not clear here.

An unnamed presidential official told news agencies that the giver deliberately approached Kim with the intention of illegally filming using his family connections, and that gifts to the couple are handled and stored as property of the government. Well, it is all possible in this media propelled world, and all the more important why one would read a fortnightly news round up to learn from what played out with Imran Khan in Pakistan politics.

Click here to the news sources link.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/dior-bag-scandal-lands-skoreas-yoon-ruling-party-disarray-ahead-election-2024-01-24/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=One-Essential-Read&utm_term=012424&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

G2. West Africa’s ‘Brexit’ moment spells trouble for the region.

Brexit, as good as it sounds is not something that is time tested to be emulated. The Brits haven’t yet sorted it out as there were fresh negotiations and deals as of today with Norther Ireland in ironing out the chinks past Brexit, which is still under constant deliberations as to if the move for Briton was good or not. But were they fully and in the European union in the first place with their adhesion to the sterling pounds over the Euro as opposed to the rest of the EU?.

Similar story is playing out in the Afrika’s. Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger plan to leave ECOWAS, West Africa’s economic and political bloc, after decades of regional integration process, leaving millions of people in limbo and set to disrupt the region’s trade and services flows, worth nearly $150 billion a year. It also raises questions over millions of nationals from the three poor and landlocked nations who settled in neighbouring states as the bloc allows visa-free travel and right to work.

Matters in play leading to the scenario are many regional armies’ struggles to contain Islamist militants, communal issues revolving around the juntas and changing allegiances with Russia and China extending its influence at the expense of former colonial powers France, regional heavyweight Nigeria and the United States.

Click here to the news sources link.

https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/west-africas-brexit-moment-spells-trouble-region-2024-01-30/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=One-Essential-Read&utm_term=013024&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

G3. The turmoil around 737 planes are lingering.

Those plans are now up in the air again after U.S. regulators curbed Boeing’s production following a mid-air jet panel blowout, on Jan. 5 on an Alaska Airlines flight.  It caught fast attention because of an earlier 20-month grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 Following the crashes of two 737 MAX 8 aircraft, Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019, which caused 346 deaths, civil aviation authorities around the world grounded the 737 MAX series.[

“Many of their partners and suppliers like Spirit AeroSystems (SPR.N), and GNK , TNT Aerospace are also taking a hit with the uncertainty around the 737 and  prying on the minds of the Air travellers are, the now well documented issues around The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) which appeared like causing the vessel to lose altitudes or even a nosedive.

But their shares haven’t taken that trajectory as the firm has firm grips on a the fundamentals both of the design of the aircraft series with a history going back to the 1960 and consumer trust for their ability to soar..

Click here to the news sources link.

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/small-boeing-suppliers-lament-new-turmoil-around-737-planes-2024-01-26/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=Weekend-Briefing&utm_term=012724&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

Seminal : original ,groundbreaking

Click on the first letter to navigate to the sections

Arresting |  Factual  |  General  |  Seminal  |  Wacky

Striking news this fortnightly from around the world with  BBC as the main source.

S1. The puzzle that 99% of the people can’t solve.

S2. Cloned rhesus monkey created to speed up medical research.

S3. Webb telescope captures ‘stunning’ images of 19 spiral galaxies.

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S1. The puzzle that 99% of the people can’t solve.

Rubik’s Cube, would go on to become the most popular puzzle toy in the world, with perhaps  more than 400 million sold and inspired numerous artworks and films, and spawned a competitive sport called speedcubing.

His application to the Hungarian Patent Office in 1975 called the cube a “spatial logic toy.” At the time, Hungary was behind the Iron Curtain — it would remain a communist controlled Eastern bloc state until 1989 — and as Rubik writes, the country had “no particular affinity for toy production.”

“First of all, you must be patient, it’s very useful to solve a problem, then you need some spatial memory, three-dimensional memory,”

Google search shows certain steps which goes by name, make the Daisy, create the White Cross, solve the First Layer, solve the Middle Layer, create the Yellow Cross etc and some algorithms like R2, L2, U2, D2, F2, or B2 which are some sequences of turns of  the corresponding face 180 degrees which someone has told me that works …with a bit of time

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20240126-first-of-all-you-must-be-patient-then-you-need-spatial-memory-ern-rubik-on-his-iconic-invention-the-rubiks-cube

S2. Cloned rhesus monkey created to speed up medical research.

Genetic engineering has not yet delivered its promise, reason for which can be cited on several fronts, the ethical, regulatory as well as the strenuous task of breaking scientific frontiers. From the day the Roslin Institute in Scotland broke the earthshaking news of the cloning of Dolley the sheep, there have been the excitement about possibilities and eventual breakthrough application in the medical industry. Initiatives to clone human have been made since, banned right away and nipped at the bud for ethical reasons, around the time of the Human genome project. At that time, they had not sorted out the last riddle with respect to the human genetics. A monkey is just half a set of chromosomes away from human and hence the following news is sure to rekindle the debates….

Click here to the news sources link.

Cloned rhesus monkey created to speed medical research (bbc.com)

S3. Webb telescope captures ‘stunning’ images of 19 spiral galaxies

Galaxies are beyond human comprehension and despite naming it as milky way and beyond and deliberating such concepts as multiverse it enthralls and the human being are humble here in their willingness to even look at it. On our end the progress man has made is humongous through the universe make it all look like it not even a spec.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which began collecting data in 2022, reshaping the understanding of the early universe looks at the universe mainly in the infrared. The Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990 and still operational, has examined it primarily at optical and ultraviolet wavelengths.

The images let scientists for the first time resolve the structure of the clouds of dust and gas from which stars and planets form at a high level of detail in galaxies beyond the Large Magellanic Cloud and Small Magellanic Cloud, two galaxies considered galactic satellites of the sprawling Milky Way…Read on..

Click here to the news sources link.

https://www.reuters.com/technology/space/webb-telescope-captures-stunning-images-19-spiral-galaxies-2024-01-29/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=Daily-Briefing&utm_term=013024&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

Wacky : amusing, peculiar

Click on the first letter to navigate to the sections

Arresting  |  Factual  |  General  |  Seminal  |  Wacky

Striking news this fortnightly from around the world with  Reuters as the main source and Hindustan Times.

W1. K Religion. Koreans’ connections to Ayodhya!

W2.  Even the Genie in the Saudi Arabian night stories must adapt to the times. 

W3. Sensational Sinner dethrones Djokovic to reach Australian Open final.

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W1. K Religion. Koreans’ connections to Ayodhya!

The aura and the angst of the Ram Mandir inauguration has not subsided, and it never will. For centuries the debate will go on with respect to the temple site’s history and the religious connotations but for a group of believers in a world that supports and encourages religious beliefs it is a time of fulfillment and cuddling of mythology for which there is no dearth and, on that note, let us look at some more myths..

There appears an ancient Korean legend of an Indian princess and her voyage to the distant land of  Korea to marry a king who founded the Gaya Kingdom in the north Asian country. The princess, Striratna, then became Queen Heo Hwang-ok. Read on..

Click here to the news sources link.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/koreans-to-visit-ram-temple-many-believe-ayodhya-princess-crossed-the-seas-to-marry-their-king-101706607364708.html

W2.  Even the Genie in the Saudi Arabian night stories must adapt to the times.  

Without a mention of that last word diplomats the message would have been very amusing. Everyone must adapt and find a work around especially for the Saudis closely watching the developments in the UAE and in some respects trying to catch up with them on certain grounds like the concept of the LINE city projects.  Also, on the energy and economic side is there a challenge in the immediate future for the country with the rest of the world taking steps in alternate energy sources.? The two articles below, though not directly connected, one about an alcohol store in the capital Riyadh which will serve exclusively non-Muslim diplomats and the other about the country’s focus for the future are worth exploring

Click here to the news sources links.

Saudi Arabia prepares to open first alcohol store for diplomats.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-prepares-open-first-alcohol-store-diplomats-2024-01-24/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=Daily-Briefing&utm_term=012524&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

Saudi Arabia says focused on all kinds of energy, not just oil.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-takes-climate-change-issues-seriously-energy-minister-says-2024-01-10/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=ESG-Finance&utm_term=011824&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

W3. Sensational Sinner dethrones Djokovic to reach Australian Open final.

Though I like wordplay, not much so when it appears in the news media, especially when it becomes a routine. Coming to the routine we see a deviation from it here because it had just become routine for Djokovic to gait from one grand slam victory to the other with no real opposition or anyone looking capable of challenging him with Federer retired and Nadal perhaps contemplating one. Though he was toppled occasionally by the new gen, Medvedev here and Alcaras there that generation has had not really put a lid on his ascendancy. Has that been redeemed by a Sinner here who went on to win his first grand slam by winning the title defeating Medvedev. Time will tell.

Click here to the news sources link.

https://www.reuters.com/sports/tennis/sensational-sinner-dethrones-djokovic-reach-australian-open-final-2024-01-26/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_campaign=Daily-Briefing&utm_term=012624&user_email=af2603e1e3c5eebf288ce9c24a857f11a546d2dbf74f2b19db1bc09700f97c06

For further tennis reading and about the greatest them of all see below my own article

https://sibykuttemperoor.com/game-set-match-championship-and-goat-point/

Thanks for reading

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