Hot Head

One hand gives, the other takes

The cheerful countenance of the world’s biggest philanthropist and founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, creates an impression that his philanthropic enterprise in the area of agriculture and health has no side-effects. This is balderdash. Gates, along with his wife, Melinda, set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), which has invested in agriculture and health. It is increasingly drawing flak for trying to skew government agenda to help big pharma.

Fallacy of Peak Oil

Since the peak of June 2014, the price of oil has plummetted by about 70%. At the time when the price was in the vicinity of $140 per barrel, no one really believed it could ever come down. So-called oil experts talked about “peak oil” theory and how the petroleum reserves were dwindling and so the price of oil would never fall below $100 per barrel. Think-tanks that put out regular updates scared people by saying a barrel of Brent crude could cost about $200. This was a scary scenario for consumers, but music to those economies that live off commodities.

This terror attack has a past

“This is for France’s Syrian policy,” screamed the terrorist as he fired inside the Le Bataclan theatre in Paris. Around 70 people died in this carnage in the theatre alone. Another 50 were shot by marauding terrorists in other parts of the city. There are also reports that a Syrian passport was found on the body of a militant who committed suicide, like seven of his comrades who participated in the Paris carnage. Why are the terrorists of the Islamic State upset with France? 

THE HIGH GROWTH FARCE

They know little of the taste of meat. For their monotonous daily food they have nothing but a little khichri, made of ‘green pulse’ mixed with rice, which is cooked with water over a little fire until the moisture has evaporated, and eaten hot with butter in the evening; in the daytime they munch a little parched pulse or other grain, which they say suffices for their lean stomachs,” wrote Franco Palsaert in his report, based on the seven years he spent in Agra.

Controlling the narrative

Small towns wake up early. In Dinanagar, Gurdaspur district, Punjab, terrorists woke up India at 5.30 am when they began shooting innocent people. A few minutes later, the news channels had found a juicy bone. They began to run breaking news about how terrorists had struck in Punjab, which had been free of violence for the last two decades. Shortly thereafter, the channels announced that the terrorists had occupied the police station of Dinanagar and were shooting from inside.

Shattering the Ladder

When The Indian Express reported that National Investigating Agency (NIA) officials told the Special Public Prosecutor in the Malegaon bomb blast case, Rohini Sailan, to quietly withdraw from the case, not many were really surprised. The report suggested that the agency official told Sailan that, after the new government took over in Delhi in 2014, there was little reason to pursue the case vigorously, as the political environment had changed.