Daily News Wrap| COVID Cases on the Rise; West Asia Quad convenes next month

Daily News Wrap| COVID Cases on the Rise; West Asia Quad convenes next month

Live your squid game dream because Netflix has announced a 'Squid Games' inspired reality competition series

Netflix announces 'Squid Games' inspired reality competition series

Buoyed by the global popularity of Squid Games, Netflix announced a reality challenge series based on the South Korean survival drama. 'Squid Games: The Challenge', will recruit 456 players who will compete in games of pursuit as featured in the show in addition to new surprises.

Dream or a nightmare? To participant's respite, this will be a non-fatal show and the worst fate will be losing the $4.56 million prize money, the highest ever in the history of reality TV shows. In Indian exchange, the value is approximately ₹35.59 crores.

Netflix is currently looking for 456 participants and all English speakers around the world have a chance to be a part of this dream (or nightmare) show. Participants must be over 21 years of age and must be available for up to 4 weeks in early 2023 for the filming of this 10-episode series.


COVID Cases on the Rise: Over 8,000 cases reported

Stay on high alert because the next COVID wave could be coming. The 8,822 new infections are a steep climb compared to the earlier figure of 6,594. The numbers show an overall spike in COVID cases almost all over the country.

Spike in Cases: With this, the active caseload has gone up to 53,637 accounting for 0.12% of the total caseload. At the same time, the recovery rate is quite high, sitting at 98.66%.

What's slightly alarming is the daily positivity rate, which is at 2%, an increase over the past few days. The weekly positivity rate is at 2.35%.

National Overview

The worst affected cities are Delhi and Mumbai. Delhi reported over 1,000 cases on Tuesday, the highest ever since May. In Mumbai, 1,742 new infections were reported, 600 more than the previous data.

Not just that, on average, cities are reporting more cases each day. With this in mind, Tamil Nadu's Health Minister has already held several meetings in preparation.

Meanwhile, India's vaccination drive has breached the 195.5 crore mark under the nationwide COVID vaccination program.

Shimla faces fuel supply shortages

Triggered by high demand amidst tourist season, and reduced supply by oil companies, Himachal Pradesh's Shimla is witnessing a petrol and diesel crisis.

The fuel crisis in the state capital, which was already facing the problem of drinking water, has added to the woes of the residents.

The Reason? Oil companies are incurring losses due to which they ration the oil. It takes three days for vendors to get the fuel, and they are bound by limits as to how much they can give out to each customer. Despite this, fuel stocks are usually depleted by the end of the day.

Vehicle owners complained about the same. Even when after making rounds in many petrol pumps, there is only so much fuel.


Equity indices open in the green, Sensex up by 44 points

The Indian stock market opened in green with less than 0.5 per cent slump in the key indices.

Stocks on the Rise: The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex rose by 43.76 points to close at 52,737.33 points. The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange was up by 17.80 points to 15,749.90 points.

Heavy selling pressure was witnessed in Hindmotors, Tata Steel, Reliance, Adani Power and HCL Technologies stocks.

Gainers & Losers: From the Sensex pack, Tata Motors, Bajaj Finance, IndusInd Bank, Asian Paints and Bajaj Auto were the major gainers in the early trade, while Tata Steel, HUL, HDFC, HDFC Bank and Britannia were the top losers.

On Tuesday, the Indian stock market's benchmark Sensex closed 153 points down in a volatile session amid negative cues from its global peers.

Green Business

Adani & TotalEnergies strive for world's largest green hydrogen ecosystem

Adani and energy super major TotalEnergies of France have entered a partnership agreement to create the world's largest green hydrogen ecosystem. TotalEnergies will acquire 25% minority interest in Adani New Industries Ltd (ANIL) from Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL).

Clean Energy Powerhouses: Centered on green hydrogen, the partnership is expected to transform the energy landscape globally. Both Adani and TotalEnergies are pioneers in energy transition and clean energy adoption. This joint energy platform strengthens public ESG commitments made by both companies.

ANIL's ambition is to invest over USD 50 billion over the next 10 years in green hydrogen. To start, ANIL will develop a green hydrogen production capacity of 1 million tons per annum before 2030.

All-Encompassing Approach: The partnership with TotalEnergies adds several dimensions that include R&D, market reach and an understanding of the end consumer. The goal is to make the least expensive electron, which can drive the ability to produce the world's cheapest green hydrogen.

While Adani will bring its deep knowledge of the Indian market, TotalEnergies will put forward its understanding of the global and European market, credit enhancements and financial strength to the table.


WHO may declare monkeypox a global health emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) is likely to declare monkeypox a global health emergency. So far, it has affected 2,821 people in both endemic and non-endemic countries.

The UN health agency will convene to assess the recent monkeypox outbreak and decide if it warrants a public health emergency.

The Global Situation: The WHO reported 1,285 monkeypox cases in 28 'non-endemic' countries, particularly in Europe, North America, and Australia.

About eight African countries, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo and Liberia, where monkeypox is endemic, reported 1,536 suspected cases and 59 confirmed cases.

Under Control: No deaths have been reported to date from the non-endemic countries. Endemic African countries have recorded 72 deaths from monkeypox from since January this year.

Guidelines Awaited: Though monkeypox is not as transmissible or dangerous as COVID, there needs to be clearer guidance as to how a person infected by monkeypox should be isolated. The WHO is yet to give out more explicit advice on how to protect people who are at risk, and improved testing.

The WHO has also issued new guidelines on monkeypox vaccination. Mass vaccination is not required nor recommended for monkeypox at this point of time.

First summit of 'West Asia Quad' with India, Israel and UAE to convene next month

The United States has said that the first summit of the leaders of a new group of four nations -- the US, India, Israel, and the UAE -- will be held virtually during Joe Biden's visit to West Asia.

Why I2U2? Two 'I's, for India, and Israel, and two 'U's for USA and UAE. The first summit will be held during Biden's visit to Israel from July 13 to 16.

Major points of discussion are expected to be "areas of cooperation across hemispheres where UAE and Israel serve as important innovation hubs." No other details were available about this new initiative, its goals, or reach.

What is I2U2? An entirely new group of partners that includes the United States, Israel, India, and the UAE. It focuses on expanding economic and political cooperation in the Middle East and Asia. Through trade, they plan on combating climate change, bringing about energy cooperation, and coordination on vital shared interests.


Apple's AR glasses to launch in late 2024 alongside second 2nd Gen AR/VR headset

Apple is reportedly developing mixed reality (MR) headgear that blends augmented reality (AR) with virtual reality (VR).

Apple is said to be developing augmented reality spectacles, which will be available in the second half of 2024. AR glasses are claimed to be heavily reliant on the iPhone due to design constraints. Apple intends to deliver the MR headset in early 2023.

Apple may produce new AR glasses in the second part of 2024. Although nothing is known about the rumoured Apple AR glasses, it is assumed that the glasses will be significantly reliant on the iPhone due to design constraints.

Apple has yet to show anything regarding an AR/VR headset or AR glasses.


BCCI's most expensive game yet: IPL Rights go for over ₹48,000 cr

The Board of Control for Cricket in India earned ₹48,390 crore after selling the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights for the 2023-2027 cycle.

Auctioned Off: During the three-day e-auction Disney Star retained TV rights for ₹23,575 crore while Viacom18 bagged the digital property for ₹23,758 crores. Viacom 18 got the rights for Aus, SA, UK regions in Package D while Times got MENA and US.

Big things for Indian Cricket: The BCCI will utilize the revenue generated from IPL to strengthen domestic cricket from the grassroot level, as well as to boost infrastructure and spruce up facilities across India.

Notably, Star India-Disney had earlier bought the IPL media rights for 2018-22 cycle, with a winning bid of ₹16,347.50 crore for both TV and digital in September 2017.

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