Politics & the Nation
  • Should Kasab's life be spared?
    • Take a look at this forceful and very convincing piece written by TK Arun that argues for sparing Kasab's life. He does his best to appeal to our greater senses and rightly points out that 'an eye of an eye' is nothing but midieval instinct.
    • We agree with his argument in so far as it concerns the real issue that needs to be tackled. But in saying that a Kasab should be spared the death row, we feel, he has forgotten some of the eventualities that are likely to take place. For instance, when the law of the land has kept a Masood Azhar behind bars, he had to be exchanged in return for the safe passage of a hundred odd air passengers. Keeping a Kasab or Azhar behind bars by sparing them their lives -- and thereby occupying a high moral ground -- is not going to enhance our abilities in fighting a midieval mind set. Such people should be put to death so that they don't pose a continuing threat. Whether they live behind bars or outside them doesn't make any difference. Such people not only don't have a right to live but also pose a grave danger to the rest of the humanity by their very mindset. The issue is not an eye for an eye; it is much beyond that.
Finance & Economy
  • The Reliance brothers gas dispute is to be settled today
    • The Supreme Court is to deliver its judgement in the case today. Take a look at this piece to know the dispute in brief and what to expect from the judgement and the markets.
  • Global markets and Greece spook Indian markets
    • Growing fears that the fragile global recovery is threatened by the contagion effect from the Greek debt crisis spooked world markets again, knocking asset classes from shares to oil to other commodities, and tipped the benchmark Sensex to its lowest close in two months.
    • The fate of countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland and possibly even the UK hangs in the balance as the unfolding Greek tragedy raises the risk of fresh uncertainty to a world economy that only just seemed to be recovering from the global economic crisis.
    • In India, shares fell for the fourth straight day, with the benchmark BSE Sensex closing below the 17,000-mark for the first time in two months. It closed 0.6% lower at 16,987.53 points. The rupee fell to a six-week low against the dollar during the day, a casualty to the worsening investor sentiment, before being pulled back by suspected central bank intervention.
    • If at all there was an oasis in the global markets on Thursday, it was gold. The gold futures contract for June rose 0.9% to $1,185.70 an ounce.
  • Country's exports may be hit because of Europe crisis
    • Indian exporters managed to battle the global economic crisis with aplomb to close the 2009-10 fiscal with shipments worth $176.5 billion, a bare 4.7% lower than the previous year, but the shadow of the fresh financial crisis in Europe looms large over the future.
    • Europe accounts for 26% of India’s exports.
    • Imports for 2009-10 are pegged at $278.7 billion, down 8.2% from a year ago, leaving a trade deficit of $102 billion against a deficit of $118 billion in the previous fiscal.
  • Huawei part of Chinese spy network, says R&AW
    • Chinese telecom major Huawei may aggressively deny any link to the China’s People’s Liberation Army, but independent assessments of Indian intelligence agencies so far clearly point out that PLA remains a customer of the company and has become more involved with it.
    • The security concerns of Indian intelligence agencies about Huawei’s close connection with the Chinese security establishment are shared by the US administration and had led the latter to cancel Huawei’s 2008 bid to pick up stake in 3Com.
  • What is a Minsky moment?
    • A Minsky moment is the point in a credit cycle or business cycle when investors have cash flow problems due to spiraling debt they have incurred in order to finance speculative investments. At this point, a major selloff begins due to the fact that no counterparty can be found to bid at the high asking prices previously quoted, leading to a sudden and precipitous collapse in market clearing asset prices and a sharp drop in market liquidity.
    • The term was coined by Paul McCulley to describe the 1998 Russian financial crisis, and was named after economist Hyman Minsky.
    • The Minsky moment comes after a long period of prosperity and increasing values of investments, which has encouraged increasing amounts of speculation using borrowed money.
  • Pharma cos lose out in patent office-judiciary stand-off
    • For the patent office, the past three years have been like the past three overs of a Twenty20 match. It cleared 1,911 patents in 2004-05, but stepped up the pace to make more than 40,000 patent grants in the past three years. On the face of it, this should be great news for innovators in the country. But it isn’t. Why?
    • For an answer you should read this story. It is interesting.
  • The life of pie
    • It's an interesting anecdote on how the pie got discontinued in the country. Very interesting indeed. Must read.
Language Lessons
  • glad eye: Verb
    • to stare seductively at another person