India's first audio newspaper, published daily from Monday to Friday with the latest news and most relevant stories from Politics, Policy, Business, Technology, Environment, Sports, Film, TV, Books and more!
We're seeking answers to the big questions today. Such as, What will re-monetization do for the economy? What constitutes a successful term for an Army Chief in Pakistan? What must Rahul Gandhi think when he watches old Youtube videos of Indira Gandhi? How does President Trump intend to make America 'great' again?
SpEnt ONLY: So who got how high at the Coldplay concert? Is Ananya Birla really all that? Who said what to US Veep-elect Mike Pence at the Hamilton musical? What does Prince William want his kids to grow up to be? Is Kim Kardashian really more important than Mallika Sherawat? Is Alia Bhatt a bigger star than SRK? If Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund aren't leading in Germany, then who is? How does Badminton work? All this and lots more in this Sports-Entertainment special!
Whatever be the current status of the demonetization, and even if it's causing a lot of inconvenience, it is at least a forward thinking step, and if the opposition parties are so keen on it failing, then it can only be because they want large sections of the country to remain undeveloped and backward so that they can easily feed them lies and falsehoods. Also, Google gets so smart it's almost intelligent, a Pizza company raises a lot of money, and the revelation that Han Solo and Princess Leia were lovers in real life too!
The Prime Minister's baffling decision to allow his 97 year old Mother to go to a bank to exchange money, far from making a demonetization related point, instead only makes one wonder whether or not Narendra Modi places any value on human life at all. And are all old people now expected to take a similar gamble with their health and go to the bank as well? Also, Whatsapp get video, though not yet group video streaming; Bihar gets money to blow on cheap materials and corruption, and everyone tries to do something with 'Artificial AI'!
The Government may have a few nerves today as the Supreme Court will hear PILs regarding Demonetization, but regardless of that outcome, an improvement in the cash situation after an extra day's prep is what everyone's looking for! Also, Abhishek Manu Singhvi's Rs. 5 crore Laptops, the media's introspection after the US election, and the utter destruction of the most feared Cricketing side in the world!
One thing the US election ought to have taught us is that as large and all-encompassing as they seem, both mass and social media are often woefully incapable of getting everyone's opinion, and the various politicians and parties should take this into account while gauging the mood of the nation after last week's 'Demonitization'. Also, Jayalalitha stirrs at a critical time, Tata Sons loses the plot versus Mistry, and India steel themselves for a tight contest versus the English!
If you're bummed-out about the election, and/or short of cash for lunch, perhaps you may want to step out of the doldrums, if only for a bit, and partake in some delectable SpEnt fare! We have the two best batting line-ups in the world; two of football's biggest superstars, 8 of Tennis' best men, one King of Bollywood, a bunch of blockbuster sci-fi/SF films, the eternal battle between Werewolves and Vampires, Jaegers vs Kaiju, an omniscient killer, the greatest Wizard of all time, and lots more!
Only halfway through it's term, the Modi government has completely revamped and modernized the country's tax regime, and battled corruption in a meaningful way! Could there be a bigger contrast with the UPA 2, what with it's scams and policy paralysis? What's next though, the nation is excited to know! And also, everything (EVERYTHING) you need to know about yesterday's big announcement, especially if you have a lot of soon-to-be worthless cash on you
After running for a full 2 seasons, the series finale of the most high-stakes reality show in history will unfold over the next 24 hours. Will there be a happy ending, or is this just the prologue, with a terrifying world-ending saga to come? Also, a lot of other stuff to keep you from getting too nervous about Trump v Hillary!
The Delhi government is rolling out the big guns and making hard choices in order to combat the heavy smog that has settled over the capital, but it really is about time that the central government and the larger economy took 'cleaning-up' more constructively. Also, D-day looms, a Mahagathbandhan's seeds are sown, and the once-mighty Aussies wilt again!
We're now at the final weekend before the conclusion in the 2016 US Presidential Election, so the order of the weekend is to have as much fun as possible, because wherever you live, and whatever you think, it could all easily be downhill from here. Also, Akhilesh's hilarious bus breaks down (hilariously), Youtube tries to fight bad internet behaviour, and shareholders remain as inexplicable as ever...
It's taken a while, but 'Acche din' could finally be on their way, as the nation's banks have finally begun transmitting the RBI's rate cuts to consumers, while also making it less appealing to park money away. So let the spending begin! Also, the Royal Family could be getting a taste of Hollywood, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal spend some time behind bars, and LinkedIn signs a big deal with the Indian Government!
It's the end of an era in Indian Primetime Television, as Arnab Goswami has announced his departure from TimesNow and the Times Group. Is this an opportunity for someone else to take his place, or is he just going to return more dominant than ever, with his new venture? Also, the absurd notion of not questioning security forces, the meaning of Peripatetic, and the unpredictable US election!
Despite becoming the most joked-about person in history, Donald Trump has made a real fist of these elections, but the game seems to finally be up now and the day isn't far when we'll look back and say, "Remember the time Donald Trump said he'd run for the White House?" Also, Nintendo returns to take over the living room, Man United 5 - 0 Fenerbahçe, and New Zealand come back to life!
It's raining trailers, as Bollywood and Hollywood are teasing a boat-load of amazing films including Dangal, Dear Zindagi, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and more, as the urge to just sit around and do nothing except look at screens becomes irresistible! Also, lots of football action, the siege of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, and the return of The Bugle!
The 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' analogy that has long been used to describe India and China is quite deliberate in the way that no Tiger (not even Salman Khan) is a match for a Dragon, but in light of China's implicit support of its 'all-weather' friend Pakistan, India is going to have to find a way to clip the Dragon's wings. Also, Katju gets his chance, we confuse between Dwayne and Darren Bravo, and Virat Kohli's personal life becomes part of the syllabus!
Brazil is riddled with corruption; Russia is led by Vladimir Putin; China has no interest in India's well-being, and South Africa is led by a man called Jacob Zuma, who is a study on his own. Should the BRICS have any legitimacy at all? Also, Murray wins again by letting someone else do his dirty work, Robert Downey Jr. tries out for the role of J.A.R.V.I.S now, and lots of startups get funded!
Results season is here again, and India's two biggest IT companies- TCS and Infosys aren't talking a great game. Also, Taco Bell wants to add a little zing to the experience, Europe's banks are going through hard times, and Yahoo has found a way to mess up it's big Verizon deal...
We're all about SpEnt in this episode-ette, including Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, the big expansions of Star Wars and Harry Potter, a Mean Girls sequel, and the return of Football to our lives!
Over the last few of months, as we've watched relations between India and Pakistan implode, it's been interesting to note how the mass media in the two countries have reported the whole thing. Are there any state-controls, restrictions, pressures, or biases, and is there anyone offering contrarian views? Also, Google thinks it's made a brain, Comcast appears to do a 'Wells Fargo', and Sheldon Cooper meets Micheal Phelps in the ultimate edition of 'Nerds vs. Jocks'!
As per most of the polls, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 5-11%, with women powering her bid to become President, and the margin could widen further once Trump's damaging 2005 audio leak and the 2nd Presidential debate are fully accounted for. Also, should the BJP take political credit for the Surgical Strike?, the Jayalalitha mystery, and a potential cricketing whitewash of Oceania!
Barring a catastrophic shift in the US' space policy (i.e. Trump), it appears inevitable now that Humans will be heading to Mars within the next two decades, as both Private and Public sectors have so aligned! Also, Alibaba makes inroads into Hollywood, a company called Zymergen gets a lot of money to dole out superpowers, and Amity University heads from Noida to New York!
One of the best things about technology and the internet is that everyone now has quality entertainment at their fingertips! Today we're all about SpEnt, featuring upcoming works from the likes of Keanu Reeves, Farhan Akhtar, Emma Watson, DreamWorks, Netflix and more! Also, there's a story about the creator of Wonder Woman that's as interesting as anything the comic ever came up with...
The second Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was about as nasty as it gets for the most part, and while Trump did well to defend the indefensible, Clinton deserves a lot of credit for not taking the bait and for remaining 'Presidential' on a very trying occasion. Also, the Pound comes crashing down, Rosborg pulls away from Hamilton, and the Nobel Peace Prize encourages Colombia to keep going!
The thought of putting on some snazzy headgear and entering an alternate reality has appealed to so many geeks for so long that it was bound to turn into something eventually, and now it looks certain to become a part of our daily lives in the near future! Also, India offers to steer the global economy out of its funk, two big sales end, and the Rolling Stones never gather moss!
The Vice-Presidential debate between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence may not prove detrimental in the grand scheme of things, but it was nice that for once in this extended spectacle, both participants emerged with their reputations enhanced. Also, Elon Musk just can't win, to proof or not to proof is the question for India, and Illustrated novels take over!
Google appears to be on the verge of converting it's search and information chops into the most usable form of what is currently considered to be Artificial Intelligence; and apart from that, what's frightening for its competitors is that it's designing one winning product after another! Also, Mozambique arrives at the energy race, Arvind Kejriwal goads the government into provoking Pakistan, and Yahoo gets into even more trouble.
There have been question marks over the health of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha for a while now, particularly since she's so often chosen to grace various functions virtually, but the ongoing extended stay in hospital and the periodic sitreps aren't doing much to alleviate fears for one of the country's most revered leaders. Also, the irony that is the Saudi Binladin group and family, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, and the onset of Nobel Prize season!
The grand e-commerce sales are upon us once again, and given how detrimental these few days are to the fortunes of at least a few well-funded e-tailers, one would suspect that there are a couple of really good deals out there! Also, the government looks to make a killing off black money and telecom spectrum auctions, Jayalalitha's health becomes one big mystery, and Hamilton loses-out in a topsy-turvy weekend in sport!
Surgical is the perfect word to describe India's handling of the operation across the LoC as well as it's immediate aftermath, and with Pakistan also seemingly satisfied with terrorists having been done away with, perhaps both countries can move on for a while and concentrate on other important issues. Also, Zlatan beats Zorya, Nalco gets some unnecessary advice, and Donald Trump walks the ramp!
The Fall TV season is upon us, and very soon, the big blockbuster movies will begin releasing; and if the latest trailers are anything to go by, wizards, sorcerers, superheroes, Jedi, rebels, thieves and all manner of hoodlums are going to cause pandemonium in our lives! Also, AI gets legs, FIFA17 kicks-off, and we find out how much international data roaming costs on Airtel!
She's been much-maligned over the course of this overlong election campaign, but Hillary Clinton came through yesterday when the world needed her to the most, and though Donald Trump is far from defeated, Clinton's meticulous preparation stands her in good stead in the debates to come. Also, the Ambani's gang up on the others, Walmart makes eyes at Flipkart and then they both look pointedly at Amazon, and Elon Musk couldn't care less about any of this because he's already looking to the heavens.
This episode might seem an exercise in futility as all we can tell you about the big debate is that Hillary wore red like the priestess Melisandre, and Trump gesticulated very un-Presidentially, but rest assured that there is still plenty more that's happened! Also, we sense a highways scam, India's colleges head to space, and we ask whether maybe life is more suited to the interiors of planets and moons rather than their surfaces...
Nawaz Sharif has asked for an independent inquiry into the situation in Kashmir, but before that happens, there probably needs to be an inquiry into the contents of his speech because there was a distinct whiff of manure about it. Oh, and the people who like to talk about war need to take a cold shower.
As Nawaz Sharif prepares for potentially the most important global address in his country's history, in Kashmir, Pakistani forces and terrorists appear to be making one final effort to get India to retaliate and surrender it's diplomatic advantage. Also, the Chelsea bombing turns out to be a a pretty big one-man-job, Chris Pratt and JLaw are sleepless in space, and we nominate Obama to become President of the World!
Although a currently trending meme appears to suggest that Brad Pitt is 'only' one divorce away from matching '3-Divorce-Ross', in actuality, once you consider that before marrying first Jennifer Aniston and then Angelina Jolie, Pitt was engaged to Gwyneth Paltrow; that then equates neatly with Ross, who was married to Carol, then married Emily briefly, but whose final drunk marriage to Rachel should have been annulled (which is allowed because they were on a break)! Also, EY finds out that love can be an expensive affair, Softbank takes the battle to Uber, and the US government gives its backing to a future with driver-less cars!
The quality and scope of American TV shows has reached staggering levels, and with a list of winners that includes, among others, the alarmingly prophetic Veep, the edge-of-the-seat retelling that is The People vs. OJ Simpson, and the unrestrained blood-pounding wonder that is Game of Thrones, it's arguable that the Emmy awards, and not the Oscars are where the real talent and interest lies! Also, Pakistan gets backed into a corner like no other time in history, Oracle challenges Amazon to a contest in the clouds, and Twitter gives us bad news followed by worse news..
The terrible attack on the Army camp at Uri, Kashmir yesterday in which 17 Indian soldiers perished and many others were severely injured appears to have plunged India-Pakistan relations to new depths, and given the severity of what's happened, and the things that have been said, replying-in-kind may be India's only remaining option. Could this be the beginning of War? Also, Obama moves to save oceans, Amma enters the marriage business, and Airtel takes matters a step too far..
It's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday, and so even as we sincerely wish him a great day and a successful year ahead, we can't help but get excited about all the over-the-top things his many fans, followers, detractors, rivals and others are going to do, and the shenanigans they are going to pull to bring in this joyous and incomparably patriotic occasion! Also, Soviet Union superheroes trump American superheroes, 'kiosks' become the holy grail, and Clarkson and Co. plan their Grand Tour!
The family feud that's suddenly engulfed UP's ruling Samajwadi party appears to offer a compelling story, but there's every chance, given that elections are only months away, that it is actually an opening gambit aimed at achieving some intricate piece of positioning. Nice try, and let the games begin! Also, the Balochi people can't breathe without AIR, Kejriwal's tongue turns out to be both sharp AND bloated, and we stick our necks out and predict the imminent arrival of a global telecom player in India!
The Indian Telecom industry is getting to the stage now where money is just numbers and anything can happen, including massive foreign equity infusion, desperate consolidation, multi-billion dollar capital expenditure, overpriced spectrum auctions, and whatever it is that Idea is planning! One almost wishes there was a Jio for every industry! Also, eSports and driver-less cars battle for the future, Google feels socially awkward once again, and a sensible Trump emerges!
If the violent protests and rampant arson in parts of Karnataka are indeed truly over, perhaps someone may want to get to the bottom of why exactly there is a water war being waged even as the monsoon is still ongoing in several parts of the country, and also given that Tamil Nadu suffered from terrible flooding 10 months ago. Plus, Books are back, Masks are back, and Tiger is still alive...
The standing formula for sharing waters from the Cauvery is deeply flawed and is being implemented in an ad-hoc way, but the vile and violent protests, attacks, arson and goondaism on display have little to do with the plight of farmers, and are instead the product of deplorable identity politics that India just isn't able to get over. Also, the Champions League returns, South Park reboots the US national anthem, and a natural resources giant is born!
It's been over 15 years since 9/11, and though the attacks' perpetrator-in-chief has long been brought to task, nothing can truly compensate for all the strife, war, death and destruction that his actions sparked, that continue to this day in various forms including the morale-sapping terrorist ideology of suicide bombing. Also, elections draw ever-closer in India, Car Wars hot up, and the Spanish Talgo train makes a quick case!