Mint Lite | Nobel Prize, TikTok, air travel, Gen Z priorities, jumbos & others4 min read . Updated: 22 Sep 2020, 10:06 PM IST
Stories, views, opinions and talking points that matter, from around the world
The Nobel Prize ceremony on 10 December will be entirely virtual, and the laureates will receive medals and diplomas in their own countries either in the Swedish embassy or at their institutes, the Nobel Foundation said on Tuesday. A few days ago, the foundation had said the ceremony will be scaled down to just 100 attendees. This was after it announced the cancellation of the traditional post-ceremony banquet in July. It is the first time since 1956 that the banquet had been cancelled. The prizes will be announced in October. For the rest of the news, here’s Mint Lite.
TikTok says it's cleaned up its act
In the first half of 2020, TikTok removed over 3.7 crore videos in India for violating its community guidelines, the company owned by China’s ByteDance said in its transparency report released Tuesday. These were among the 10.5 crore videos removed from the platform across the world. The most videos were removed in India, followed by the US. The report covers January to June 2020, before TikTok was banned in India, along with 58 other Chinese apps. Before the ban, India was one of TikTok’s biggest markets with close to 660 million installs since its launch in 2017. TikTok is also under pressure in the US. The report said more than a third of the videos taken down contained nudity and sexual content. Separately, the company has also proposed a global coalition of social media firms for content moderation as they increasingly come under fire for spreading misinformation and violating privacy.
A way to put air travel back on track
Universal coronavirus for departing passengers offer the only hope of reviving demand for flights in the absence of a vaccine, International Air Transport Association (IATA) said. The 100% adoption of rapid antigen tests, which should be available next month, would remove any need for quarantines that are currently “killing the market", IATA said on Tuesday. While IATA’s call for testing isn’t new, it would help create a unified approach to air travel, which will help the financial health of airlines. Air India has recently faced trouble with passengers testing positive for covid-19 after reaching destinations. Hong Kong has banned Air India for two weeks till 3 October after six passengers from Delhi tested positive upon arrival. This is the second time Air India’s ops to Hong Kong have been suspended. Dubai suspended Air India Express operations till 2 October for the same reason.
Gen Z want family time, health
The pandemic has had an unexpected effect on the outlook of Gen Z, or those born between 1995 and 2015. From career and finances, their top concerns now centre on health and family, a new survey shows. The Isobar-Ipsos #MeetTheZ Survey observes the top priorities of Gen Z now are, in order of importance, staying fit, spending quality time with family, having a successful career, travelling and making money. Pre-covid, the top aspirations, ranked, were: having a successful career, making money, staying fit, becoming famous and spending time with family. The report observes the shift in thinking is linked to the fears Gen Z has expressed as uncertainty prevails (see chart). Over half fear losing a year because of delay in exams; while 30% worry about getting a well-paid job.
Why we are so nostalgic these days
We’ve all watched Friends, The Simpsons or Doordarshan’s reruns of shows from the 1990s while stuck at home and wondered why. A new study from CEPR, which draws on data from 17 trillion songs, finds that nostalgia playlists have been in demand for the past few months on Spotify as people listen to old songs to keep away the blues. It suggests that nostalgia consumption—like listening to old songs or watching reruns—is a coping response to the psychological distress associated with the pandemic, and the restrictive rules that many nations put in place. It adds that hospitals and public places could consider playing old music to soothe people. “Nostalgia may well end up being one of the primary coping mechanisms (for all generations) of enduring isolation, fear, and a general loss of freedom," observe the authors of another study on covid-19 and nostalgia, which was published in April in Leisure Studies.
Here’s what killed Botswana jumbos
Toxins produced by cyanobacteria in water holes killed about 330 elephants earlier this year in Botswana, the government has said. These mystery deaths in the Okavango delta between May and June had baffled scientists and conservationists. Close to 70% of the elephants were found dead near watering holes, and locals had observed the jumbos wandering in circles, seemingly dizzy, before dropping dead. The government tested soil and water as speculation about poisoning and poaching grew. Cyanobacteria are microscopic organisms commonly found in water but not all produce toxins. Experts say toxic ones are becoming common due to global warming. Officials have now said they will be testing all waterholes for the algae blooms to prevent such mass deaths of elephants. They’re continuing the investigation into why only elephants, and not other animals, were affected by the toxins.
Curated by Shalini Umachandran and Pooja Singh. Have something to share with us? Write to us at email@example.com or tweet to @shalinimb