When two hits the fan

When two hits the fan
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First Published: Thu, Feb 05 2009. 10 14 PM IST

Illlustration: Jayachandran / Mint
Illlustration: Jayachandran / Mint
Updated: Thu, Feb 05 2009. 10 14 PM IST
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that cancer will replace heart ailments as the biggest killer of human beings over the next two years. WHO expects new incidents of cancer to touch 27 million by the year 2030.
Illlustration: Jayachandran / Mint
Meanwhile in Delhi, over just two days of a zero-tolerance policy on traffic violations, the Delhi Police has booked 147 government vehicles and 16 policemen for violating traffic laws. In additional measures, two companies of armed policemen will be posted at the city’s main intersections to keep an eye on heavy vehicles that drive rashly at night.
Two people were killed on Tuesday near Rewa in Madhya Pradesh when their motorcycle mysteriously exploded. The police say that they have so far located only the petrol tank of the obliterated vehicle.
A court in Hyderabad rejected the bail application of two partners from audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. And, rather conveniently for this essay, sent them into police custody for two days from Wednesday.
Last Monday, the police in the Mulund suburb of Mumbai arrested two male schoolteachers for allegedly molesting a female colleague. The police later said that incident arose from the fact that two managements were simultaneously managing the school and the two men had used a staff room that had been declared “ladies only” by the rival organization but as a common one by the faction they were affiliated to.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Also Thiruvananthapuram has just got its first taxi on two wheels. Ashwak Mehboob, an erstwhile employee of a post office in Dubai, injured his kneecap while in Kerala on leave last year. He was left bedridden and his visa expired in due course. What began as favours for friends—who he dropped all over town—became a livelihood for Mehboob seven months ago. His company is called Dabbu’s Travels and Mehboob says he will carry people and “medicines, documents, flowers, gift items, bakery and food items, fish, meat, provisions, grocery and stationery items” all at nominal rates. Children below 15 must get approval from their parents before he picks them up.
US President Barack Obama is facing a crisis of confidence as two of his cabinet nominees had to step down. Both Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer admitted to problems with their tax returns. A contrite Obama said: “I screwed up.”
Change is coming to Washington slower than we thought.
Meanwhile Orissa chief minister and Biju Janata Dal head honcho Naveen Patnaik has attended an unprecedented 57 meetings in just two days as part of his campaign for the civic polls in Orissa on 6 February. Patnaik achieved the feat over the 2 and 3 of February. This includes some 30 meetings in one day in Cuttack alone.
Over the next two years, IBM will deliver to the US government the fastest supercomputer in the world. The Sequoia will be as powerful as two million laptops. The creators say that the computer will be very energy efficient and will use only as much energy as 500 American households.
The Sequoia will be used for research into nuclear weaponry.
The market regulator Sebi has reduced the time period for announcing the price band of an IPO from two weeks to two days. This will help issuers account for the latest market conditions before pricing their offerings. Will this get back the money you lost in Satyam? Unlikely. Talking of Satyam, the crime investigation department (CID) has indicated that working through all the Satyam paperwork will take time. “There would be two truck loads of the documents,” one CID official told The Times of India.
A court in Australia has upheld an airline’s right to charge larger passengers for two seats if they can’t fit into one. The ruling followed a complaint by passenger Samantha Scafe. Scafe, who weighs 160kg, was forced to book two seats on a Jetstar flight from Coolangatta to Queensland. The airline was happy with the ruling but apologized to Scafe for booking her into two seats that were not adjacent to each other.
On Sunday, The Hindu reported that an amount of Rs14.33 lakh was missing from two State Bank of India ATMs in the town of Malda in West Bengal. The police informed that both ATMs would be closed till investigations were complete.
Meanwhile, customs officers in Australia intercepted a man, who flew in from Dubai, for animal trafficking. During the 10-hour flight the man carried plant seeds in his belt, pigeon eggs in a medicine box and two live pigeons stuffed into tubes in his pants.
Talk about bursting his economic bubble. Crushed by a debt of over $1.5 million, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra has cancelled two spring concerts for lack of funds. A spokesperson for the Orchestra said: “We have changed programmes in the past. Subscribers are very good about that.” The orchestra, meanwhile, got a small half-million-dollar bailout from a local government agency and is now on a desperate lookout for sponsorship.
Best of luck to them.
After two years of suffering from stomach pains, Muthu Bi of Kochi finally had a 28kg tumour removed from her abdomen on Tuesday. Doctors had diagnosed the tumour before but no one was willing to take the risk of operating on Muthu Bi. Dr Firoz Rajan, who removed the tumour said: “Two bucketful of mass was removed in two parts.”
We had no part to play in the doctor’s superbly two-full quote. And finally, Kofski Antiques, in West Palm Beach Florida, held a two-day estate auction over the weekend. All the items up for sale belonged to two investors in who lost most of their wealth in Bernie Madoff’s king-sized Ponzi scheme. The Wall Street Journal reports that items on sale included a $1,250 porcelain guinea fowl, a $3,850 crystal horse head and several $300 vases.
As with all things, even this economic downturn has a silver lining. Chris Hill, the owner of Kofski’s Antiques, is planning more auctions for two more Madoff investors and an ex-employee of Lehman Brothers Holdings all who lost their fortunes. Referring to the banking chaos, Hill said: “I guess it would be wrong to say I haven’t benefited from this.”
Sidin Vadukut is staff writer, Mint.
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First Published: Thu, Feb 05 2009. 10 14 PM IST