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The International Monetary Fund has further scaled back India’s economic growth forecast on Tuesday. The GDP is projected to shrink 10.3% in the fiscal year to March, it said in its World Economic Outlook. This is far worse than the 4.5% decline predicted in June. The 5.8 percentage-point downgrade is the biggest of the world’s main economies. China remains the lone major economy estimated to expand, with 1.9% projected growth this year and an 8.2% boom in 2021. Overall, the IMF has put out a less-dire estimate of the pandemic’s effect on the global economy. For more updates, here’s Mint Lite.

Vedanta to return $2.5 billion

Billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Resources will return a total of $2.5 billion raised from banks and bondholders after a plan to delist its Indian unit failed
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Billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Resources will return a total of $2.5 billion raised from banks and bondholders after a plan to delist its Indian unit failed

Billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Resources will return a total of $2.5 billion raised from banks and bondholders after a plan to delist its Indian unit failed. The commodities group will repay $1.4 billion raised via bonds and another $1.1 billion in loans, with a small amount of interest, as early as this week, Bloomberg reports. It comes after minority shareholders last week scuppered a plan to take Vedanta private, throwing the spotlight on its debt load. The attempt to take Vedanta private follows a series of moves by Agarwal to simplify his investments, including delisting London-based parent Vedanta Resources in 2018 and merging an oil unit with Vedanta. Vedanta’s delisting plan was approved back in May, but when the offer closed on Friday, it fell short of the 1.34 billion public shares it needed to proceed. The company hasn’t made any decision on whether it will propose a delisting again.

Global spotlight on Nigeria’s police

International backing for Nigerians’ battle against police brutality has been rising, with rapper Kanye West tweeting his support on Tuesday
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International backing for Nigerians’ battle against police brutality has been rising, with rapper Kanye West tweeting his support on Tuesday

Hundreds of young people defied a government ban in Nigeria on Tuesday and held marches, taking street protests against police brutality that have left at least 10 people dead into their ninth day. International backing for Nigerians’ battle against police brutality has been rising, with rapper Kanye West tweeting his support on Tuesday. The protests began on 5 October following weeks of online complaints from millennials and Gen Z about a police unit, Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), which faces allegations of abduction, human rights violations and extortion. The protests are continuing despite President Muhammadu Buhari disbanding the unit on Sunday. The next day, one protestor was killed in police firing and he said it was “only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reform". On Sunday and Monday, #EndSARS protests were held by Nigerian diaspora in Canada, Germany, the UK and the US.

End comes early for big jets

Highs and lows of plane makers
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Highs and lows of plane makers

Massive planes were due for retirement, but covid-19’s effect on global travel has sent them into the sunset sooner. British Airways retired the last two of its fleet of Boeing 747s last week, months after Qantas retired its last jumbo in July. The Australian firm sold stocked drinks carts from the jumbos for $1,000 after stripping them from grounded jets. Boeing has said it will no longer make 747s from 2022. Even Airbus will stop making the large A380 in 2021, as airline firms no longer see a need for fuel-thirsty, super-capacity planes. Boeing and Airbus have seen orders take a hit this year as aviation expects to recover from the virus only by 2024. The 2020 order book of Boeing is down 95% and Airbus 80% over their respective decade highs (see chart). For more, read Plain Facts.

Divers to defuse WWII’s biggest bomb

Navy divers in Poland are on a five-day mission to defuse the largest unexploded World War II bomb ever found in the country, forcing over 750 people to evacuate their homes
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Navy divers in Poland are on a five-day mission to defuse the largest unexploded World War II bomb ever found in the country, forcing over 750 people to evacuate their homes

Navy divers in Poland are on a five-day mission to defuse the largest unexploded World War II bomb ever found in the country, forcing over 750 people to evacuate their homes. The Tallboy, dubbed the “earthquake" bomb, weighs nearly 5,400kg and lies submerged in the Piast Canal waterway in the northwestern Polish town of Swinoujscie. The bomb was dropped by UK’s Royal Air Force in 1945 over what was then Nazi Germany. Around 750 residents were evacuated from the Baltic Sea town, with marine traffic on surrounding waterways suspended, local media reported. “We dug up the moving part of the bomb, the middle part the bomb was left, as planned, so that the debris around it would keep the bomb in a fixed place, so that it would not move and the fuses would not be triggered," Michal Jodloski from the 12th Minesweeper Squadron of the 8th Coastal Defense Flotilla told private broadcaster TVN 24.

Machu Picchu reopens for one

Jesse Katayama, 26, had come to Peru in March for a short holiday but ended up staying for seven months as a lockdown was imposed across the country
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Jesse Katayama, 26, had come to Peru in March for a short holiday but ended up staying for seven months as a lockdown was imposed across the country

After months of closure owing to the covid-19 outbreak, Peru reopened its best-known tourist site, the sprawling 15th-century Inca citadel Machu Picchu, for just one visitor — a Japanese man stranded in the country by the pandemic. Jesse Katayama, 26, had come to Peru in March for a short holiday but ended up staying for seven months as a lockdown was imposed across the country. Since then, the boxing instructor settled into Aguas Calientes, teaching children how to box, reports CNN. He told a Peruvian newspaper that he had only planned to spend three days there, but with flights cancelled he was stuck. The local tourism authority heard about his plight and gave special permission to visit the Inca city on a ticket bought before lockdown. He will leave Peru for Japan on 16 October. There are plans to reopen Machu Picchu to visitors at 30% capacity in November, but no specific date has been announced yet.

Curated by Shalini Umachandran and Pooja Singh. Have something to share with us? Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.com or tweet to @shalinimb

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