Friday, June 7, 2019

Video clip of the day

Nicolas Mahut lost to Leonardo Mayer in four sets at the French Open… and started to cry. So his seven-year old son ran out onto the court to console him—bringing his father’s rival to tears. This may well be the most moving sports moment you’ve seen. Clip is here. The story and photos are here.

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The biggest news story today, explained.

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All the political jhagdas everywhere

Infighting is par for course in political parties. But it is rare that two giant public rows break out in two major parties at the same time—and even rarer that one of them occurred within the notoriously disciplined Modi government.

Jhagda #1, Amit Shah vs Rajnath Singh: There are two key markers of a minister’s power and status. One: the order in which s/he is sworn in after the PM. Two: inclusion and rank on key cabinet committees. Rajnath Singh was sworn in right after Modi which makes him officially Number Two in the government. But when the list of committees was released, he was only on two of them! Worse: Amit Shah was on all eight. Even Nirmala Sitharaman was on seven committees. Cue very hurt feelings and serious drama.

So what happened then? According to BJP sources, Singh offered his resignation and had to be persuaded to stay by Modi himself. “It was a humiliation, and Rajnath-ji is not a leader to take such things lying down,” saidone leader.

And the winner is…: Rajnath Singh, for now. The government hastily put out a new list by the end of the day. In this one, Singh is on six committees, including the one that counts the most—the Political Affairs committee which determines who will preside over the cabinet in the absence of the Prime Minister. And the sweetest bit: he outranks Shah in all four of the committees to which he was added. However, Singh is reportedly still “very upset.”

Jhagda #2, Navjot Singh Sidhu vs Amarinder Singh: Congress’ sweep of Punjab was one of the bright spots in the midst of total annihilation elsewhere. But that victory has rapidly turned sour thanks to an open feud between Punjab CM Singh and his minister, cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu. Singh blamed Sidhu for losing a key constituency. Sidhu retaliated—in true mature fashion—by not showing up for a key cabinet meeting. He attacked Singh at a livestreamed presser on Facebook instead.

And the winner is…: Most likely Amarinder Singh. He has since stripped Sidhu of a choice ministerial post. More importantly, Singh is a very popular CM, while Sidhu has careened from BJP to AAP to now Congress. And he’s burned plenty of bridges along the way. Sidhu claims, “I cannot be taken for granted.” Well, maybe he can.

Meanwhile in Rajasthan…: Congress CM’s Ashok Gehlot’s own minister is calling for his head, demanding he be replaced by a “younger” leader, i.e. Sachin Pilot.

Learn more: The Telegraph has the most goss on the Shah vs Singh drama. Huffington Post offers an excellent read on the Sidhu problem, with lots of colourful details on his antics and reputation. Daily O has the rocky history between old guard veteran Rajnath Singh and the Modi-Shah jodi.

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waiting, waiting, waiting for the monsoon to arrive

Renault & Fiat Chrysler have a ‘Made in Heaven’ moment: Fiat Chrysler has stomped out of an almost done-deal merger with Renault. The arranged shaadi would have created the world’s third-largest automaker. Renault is pointing its finger at ze in-laws, i.e. the French Government which owns a majority stake in Renault. But both sides have left the door open to reconciliation—all they need is the right wedding planner. (CBS News)


World Cup has an empty-seat problem: Smaller-than-expected crowds have become an issue in a World Cup that is supposed to be sold out. "Such a shame there are so many empty seats. They keep saying it's sold out but where are the tickets?" complained former England captain Michael Vaughan on the morning of the India vs South Africa match. There were lots of empty seats at the Pakistan vs England match as well. Angry fans blame companies who have bought a lot of corporate tickets but their holders often fail to show up. The ICC’s intriguing theory: The seats are empty because everyone is too busy lining up for food to watch the match. (Times of India)


BCCI has a shady contract problem: The Enforcement Directorate has asked the cricket board to share the contract papers and foreign remittance records related to the now defunct Champions League T20. But there’s a small problem: the agreement between the BCCI and the boards of South Africa and Australia was entirely verbal. No word yet if it was accompanied by a gentleman’s handshake. But we do know that close to Rs 1600 crore was transferred to the two partner boards by the BCCI. (Indian Express)


So long, farewell, dear leader: It’s hard indeed to say goodbye to Azim Premji who stepped down as chairman and MD of Wipro—a $2 million company he inherited and turned into an $11 billion conglomerate. His son Rishad will be taking over the reins while Premji Sr. focuses on philanthropy. Mint looks at the legacy of the man who defined “compassionate capitalism” in India. Also headed out the door: UK PM Theresa May who will be stepping down today. One of the very many Tory leaders scrambling to take her place will become the new PM on July 22.


India is killing the world: Pushed by Prince Charles on climate change, the Donald let him know that the US “has among the cleanest climates”—as opposed to those other very dirty climates, we presume. And he made it clear, “China, India, Russia, many other nations, they have not very good air, not very good water, and the sense of pollution. If you go to certain cities … you can’t even breathe, and now that air is going up … They don’t do the responsibility.” It sounds like English, it has the same words as English... (MSN)


The real price of Indian beer: Sixteen major beer breweries like Kingfisher, Carlsberg, Foster, Heineken, etc are located in the drought-ravaged Marathwada region of Maharashtra. They require a minimum of 35 million litres of water daily. They buy the water from private tankers, which get their water from local dams that are running dry. Want to know how bad it is in Marathwada for lesser mortals? “Thirteen-year-old Sarika and her friends walked miles in the scorching heat in Nanded to fetch drinking water for their families. As they spotted some grimy water at the bottom of a well, they rushed. Sarika lost her balance and fell to death while fetching water.” Also: 4,700 farmers committed suicide in the region over the past five years. Nope, we won’t be raising a pint any time soon.


Fake news about a sexually abused teenager: This is a story about a heartbreaking tragedy. A Dutch teenager who was sexually abused from the age of 11 decided to end her life. And she did so because she couldn’t bear the emotional pain. What’s astonishing is how the story was grossly distorted and misreported in the world’s leading news outlets. As it turns out, this is also a story about how the media has succumbed to fake news. (Buzzfeed)


The internet is rotting your brain: New research shows that heavy internet users perform far more poorly at memory tasks and are more easily distracted. The reason: The “limitless stream of prompts and notifications from the Internet encourages us towards constantly holding a divided attention, which then in turn may decrease our capacity for maintaining concentration on a single task.” OMG, that explains everything... aww, cute puppy meme! (Futurism)


The Pope just tweaked the Lord’s Prayer: Our Father who art in heaven will no longer be the one who is asked to “lead us not into temptation.” The pope has rightly pointed out the obvious: It’s Satan’s damn job to do that! Therefore, the line will now read: “do not let us fall into temptation.” Of course, we humans will still be easily tempted irrespective. So same same, really. (Daily Mail)


Food delivery ka maharaja: is Swiggy which accounts for nearly half of all food delivery transactions compared to Zomato, which came a distant second at 26%. But Zomato has more app installs across all markets, from tier 1 to 3. (Quartz)


Madonna feels ‘raped’: by many things. In a monster-sized New York Times profile, she told the reporter that she “felt raped” when the songs from her 2015 album were leaked before its release. Now, she’s posted an extended Insta rant claiming the NYT profile “makes me feel raped.” And yes, she can say that because—as she points out in said rant—“I’m allowed to use that analogy having been raped at the age of 19.” Also this: “DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY woven deep into the fabric of Society.” Sigh.


Your feel-good Friday round-up: includes the following:

  • Wonder Woman looking wow-some in her new all-gold costume.

  • Oil of Olay’s plans to test refillable packaging which would significantly reduce plastic waste.

  • This breathtaking drone footage of Eid prayers at New Delhi’s Jama Masjid.

  • This amusing clip of a jogger who finds he has unexpected company of the wild deer kind—on the streets of a Michigan town. They really are jogging with him?!

  • This cool video of a German circus which uses 3-D hologram animals.

  • Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Spanx shot which offers comforting proof that even stunningly beautiful stars have to occasionally endure uncomfortable underwear like us.

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Stuff we buy, use or love.

Summer Essentials for the Office
The working woman’s daily dilemma is thus: Do I freeze to death in the over-air-conditioned office, or sweat buckets the moment I step outside? These workwear options from StyleNook save you from either fate.

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Because we're tired of shopping for work clothes that are never ‘right’... 

We headed over to StyleNook and signed up for a box. We filled out their unique profile questionnaire—it’s very detailed and on point when it comes to determining personal taste and work environment. We paid the Rs 250 styling fee upfront (redeemable if we end up buying any of their items). Having set our budget, we then specified the items we wanted—only summer-friendly fabrics, number of tops, bottoms, dresses etc., and our budget. They sent us a box of goodies tailored to the precise workplace environment and needs we specified. The best bits: We opted not to pay up front; we tried everything on in our bedroom and along with stuff in our wardrobe; we sent back anything we didn’t absolutely love—and they both delivered and picked it up for free! Coming up: what we loved and kept.

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Because we were in the mood for a dress…

We kept this pretty embroidered number. The neckline and length are office-appropriate and the long sleeves offer protection from the AC. But the light cotton material will keep us cool when we head out to a lunch meeting or back home. Best bit: something like this is a fun alternative to the boring shirt dress—which we own in every known iteration.

The informer 3

Because we are bored of pants and skirts…

We were excited about this pair of airy culottes and a blouse to match. The culottes offer blessed freedom from binding pencil skirts or trousers that dig into our waist all day long. This below-the-knee version is light, nicely cut, and screams ‘summer comfort’. Paired with that sleeveless, flattering blouse, we will be all ready to rock our next meeting.

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PS: Have more questions about StyleNook? They’ve got all of them covered in their FAQ section.

Note: Today's Informer is brought to you by StyleNook in partnership with Broadsheet. All the products were personally picked by our editors. We do not receive any revenue from referrals.

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