Jeff Bezos adds $13.2 billion to his fortune in just minutes
NEW YORK, Jan 31: Jeff Bezos just got a whole lot richer. Shares of his Amazon.com Inc. surged 12% to $2,100 in extended trading at 4:16 p.m. Thursday in New York, after the largest U.S. e-commerce company reported fourth-quarter results that smashed Wall Street estimates.
Bezos, already the world’s richest person, added $13.2 billion to his fortune in about 15 minutes. At the current price, his net worth would be about $129.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bezos, 56, owns about 12% of Amazon’s outstanding stock, making up the bulk of his fortune. His ownership of closely held Blue Origin accounts for about $6.2 billion. The late surge Thursday added more than $90 billion to Amazon’s market value, pushing it above $1 trillion.
His ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, 49, also has reason to celebrate, as she owns about 4% of the Seattle-based retailer. She started the day as the world’s 24th-richest person, with a $37.1 billion fortune.
Bezos wasn’t the only tech titan with dramatic changes to their net worth this week following company earnings. Elon Musk’s fortune swelled by $2.3 billion in an hour Wednesday after shares of Tesla Inc. rose in extended trading on better-than-expected results.
Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer also saw huge gains after Microsoft Corp. reported results. Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune tumbled $4 billion as Facebook shares slid on its slowest-ever quarterly sales growth.
Bloomberg’s wealth ranking officially updates after the close of each trading day in the U.S., so Amazon’s latest surge, if it holds, won’t be reflected until after Friday’s close.
The Most Expensive House In UK Has A River In The Dining Room
LONDON, Jan 31: British Billionaire John Caudwell is building his dream home in London - a 43,000 sq ft mansion that comes with astonishing features like a swimming pool that looks like lava and a dining room featuring river with live fish, reports dailymail.co.uk.
The 15-bedroom, nine-floor house features a ballroom catering for 200 guests, a hidden lift and a stack parking system.
It has a special entertainment room too - with a swimming pool, gym, salon, 'media room' and games room.
One of the most dazing features is a Thai-themed dining room, that features a river, the report said, that is expected to use water constantly recycled to create a flowing effect.
There will be "colourful fish" in the river, which the 69-year-old businessman bought from Prince Jefri Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei's brother, in 2012 for 81 million Pound, the report added.
What's the cost?
As per the Mail.Co.Uk, the property - costliest house in the Britain - is worth 250 million Pounds. The sum translates roughly to Rs 2347.9 Crore (Rs 2347,9725000.00; 1 Pound = Rs 93.94).
The 69-year-old businessman has spent around 65 million Pounds into refurbishing of the house.
The report further says that the project has already crossed its budget by around 55 million pounds.
The house is built by merging two properties in London's Mayfair area into one. The 18th and 19th century, Grade-II listed properties were earlier linked by a courtyard. Now, for a better connectivity, Mr Caudwell has built a subterranean basement that joins the two properties together
Billie Eilish Sweeps Grammys
LOS ANGELES, Jan 27: The 62nd edition of the Grammys saw singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, who had the second highest number of nominations with six nods, sweep all four of the top categories! Billie Eilish went home with as many as five of the shiny gramophones from the Grammys - the fifth one being her Best Pop Vocal Album win for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go.
Billie Eilish's When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go won the Album Of The Year Award while the Record Of The Year Grammy went to Billie Eilish's Bad Guy. Billie Eilish also won the Song Of The Year Grammy for Bad Guy and Best New Artist. Lizzo, who had the highest number of nominations with eight nods, won in three categories.
The Grammys began with a heart-wrenching tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash just hours before celebs began arriving on the Grammy red carpet.
The Grammys were hosted by 15-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys. Here are some of this year's Grammy winners:
Record of the Year: Bad Guy - Billie Eilish
Album of the Year: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go - Billie Eilish
Song of the Year: Bad Guy - Billie Eilish
Best New Artist: Billie Eilish
Best Pop Solo Performance: Truth Hurts - Lizzo
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Old Town Road - Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Look Now - Elvis Costello & The Imposters
Best Pop Vocal Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go - Billie Eilish
Best Rock Performance: This Land - Gary Clark Jr.
Best Metal Performance: 7empest - Tool
Best Rock Song: This Land - Gary Clark Jr., Songwriter (Gary Clark Jr.)
Best Rock Album: Social Cues - Cage The Elephant
Best Alternative Music Album: Father Of The Bride - Vampire Weekend
Best R&B Performance: Come Home - Anderson .Paak & Andre 300
Best Traditional R&B Performance: Jerome - Lizzo
Best R&B Song: Say So - Pj Morton, Songwriter (Pj Morton Ft. Jojo)
Best Urban Contemporary Album: Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) - Lizzo
Best R&B Album: Ventura - Anderson .Paak
Best Rap Performance - Racks In The Middle - Nipsey Hussle featuring Roddy Ricch & Hit-Boy
Best Rap/Sung Performance: Higher - DJ Khaled ft. Nipsey Hussle and John Legend
Best Rap Song: A Lot - Jermaine Cole, Dacoury Natche, 21 Savage & Anthony White
Best Rap Album: Igor - Tyler, the Creator
Best Dance Recording: Got to Keep On - The Chemical Brothers
Best Dance Electronic Album: No Geography - The Chemical Brothers
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Mettavolution - Rodrigo y Gabriela
Best Country Solo Performance: Ride Me Back Home - Willie Nelso
Best Country Duo/Group Performance: Speechless - Dan + Shay
Best Country Song: Bring My Flowers Now - Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth and Tanya Tucker
Best Country Album: While I'm Livin' - Tanya Tucker
Best New Age Album: Wings - Peter Kater
Best Improvised Jazz Solo: Sozinho - Randy Brecker
Best Jazz Vocal Album: 12 Little Spells - Esperanza Spalding
Best Jazz Instrumental Album: Finding Gabriel - Brad Mehldau
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: The Omni-american Book Club - Brian Lynch Big Band
Best Latin Jazz Album: Antidote - Chick Corea & the Spanish Heart Band
Best Bluegrass Album: Tall Fiddler - Michael Cleveland
Best Traditional Blues Album: Tall, Dark & Handsome - Delbert McClinton & Self-made Men
Best Contemporary Blues Album: This Land - Gary Clark Jr.
Best Reggae Album: Rapture - Koffee
Best World Music Album: Celia - Angelique Kidjo
Best Spoken Word Album: Becoming - Michelle Obama
Best Comedy Album: Sticks & Stones - Dave Chapelle
Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: A Star Is Born - Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: Chernobyl - Hildur Gudnadottir
Best Music Video: Old Town Road (Official Movie) - Lil Nas X featuring Billie Ray Cyrus
Best Music Film: Homecoming, Beyonce
Meanwhile, the Recording Academy, which gives out the music industry's top award, has been accused of voting irregularities by former president and CEO Deborah Dugan who, in turn, has been accused of bullying by the Academy.
Doomsday Clock ticks closer towards disaster
NEW DELHI, Jan 23: The influential Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) on Thursday moved its “Doomsday Clock” to 100 seconds to midnight, signalling that the “unprecedentedly high risk” of a nuclear exchange was even greater than in the worst days of the Cold War.
The BAS, a non-profit organisation that closely tracks global security issues, said the Doomsday Clock was now “the closest to disaster it has ever been in its 73-year history”. Without naming India or Pakistan, experts cited South Asia as a “nuclear tinderbox” where “prospects for mediation and engagement are diminishing”.
“The dramatic move is 20 seconds closer to doomsday and signals that the world faces an unprecedentedly high risk of global existential catastrophe. The clock is now closer to midnight than it was in the worst days of the Cold War, and has moved steadily closer to midnight over the past several years,” it said.
Derek Johnson, executive director of Global Zero, the international movement for elimination of nuclear weapons, said in a statement: “The abdication of global leadership by the United States and our collective failure to take action in the face of mounting dangers has brought us to the brink. At just 100 seconds to midnight, the Doomsday Clock makes clear we are nearly out of time.”
The BAS was founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons, and it created the Doomsday Clock two years later. According to organisation’s website, the clock uses the “imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity”.
Every year, the BAS’s Science and Security Board, in consultation with its board of sponsors that includes 13 Nobel laureates, makes the decision to move, or to leave in place, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock.
Johnson agreed with the BAS’s assessment that the world is “lurching toward disaster and it is imperative we change our course. During the Trump presidency, the Doomsday Clock has moved steadily closer to midnight, due to US negligence and malfeasance, and the failure of global leadership to address twin existential crises of climate change and nuclear weapons.”
He said the US and Russia were removing old treaties and hard-won diplomatic achievements that contained their nuclear competition, without replacing them with new rules of the road. The INF Treaty had been abandoned, and New START, which expires in a little more than a year, “is the sole remaining restraint on the two nations that together hold more than 90% of the world’s nuclear weaponry”, he said.
Johnson said North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes are expanding and American diplomacy to cap and reverse them is “on hold indefinitely”. He added: “South Asia remains a nuclear tinderbox and the prospects for mediation and engagement are diminishing.”
He also said the “most avoidable danger of all stems from deliberate moves by the US to destroy the nuclear deal with Iran, and aggressively escalate conflict between Iran and the US”.
Johnson said: “If there’s one key takeaway from today’s announcement, it’s this: We are closer than any generation since 1945 to witnessing the next use of nuclear weapons. It’s not too late to prevent this self-inflicted doom, if we find the conviction and resolve to act. The Clock is ticking.”
Shortcut to Happiness is Kindness: Om Swami
NEW DELHI, Jan 21: We are all looking for one thing — happiness. There might not be a truer statement or one more universal in nature than this. But is it achievable? More importantly, is it achievable, like they say, without going to the Himalayas and renouncing all things material?
Yes — that’s the answer to all of the aforementioned questions. And the road to “near-constant bliss” in our daily life is unbelievably doable, according to bestselling author Om Swami.
In fact, the monk who sold his Porsche gives out a shortcut to happiness; one word — kindness!
It all makes sense. That warm feeling that washes over you when you have done a kind deed, is indeed happiness, you will all agree. Helping others is a pat on the back we give ourselves. It’s a boost to our self-worth. We all know this. But in his book, The Book of Kindness, Om Swami goes beyond the obvious in an accessible manner. He offers a step-by-step guide to cultivating kindness, explains the evidence-based science behind it with anecdotes, citing international research findings and weaving it all beautifully.
But what inspired the mystic and siddha to write this book? “After sharing my teachings on meditation for nine years, I realised that meditation alone doesn’t give people the peace of mind and happiness they so desperately seek... Whatever you share, it grows – this is the fundamental law of the universe. You share rage, it grows in you. You share love, it grows in you. You share knowledge, wisdom grows in you. You share your time, peace grows in you,” says Swami, who will be discussing his book at the Jaipur Literature Festival, on January 25.
“ You share what you have, and you grow as a person. Kindness helps you evolve like no other spiritual practise does. This is the rationale behind writing this book, “ says the MBA graduate from Australia, who founded a multi-million dollar business in his 20s. By the time he reached 30, he had already renounced it, moved to the Himalayas, to seek the goddess. He now resides in an ashram in the Himalayan foothills.
Can kindness be acquired or taught? “Kindness can be demonstrated by our actions,” says the author of 14 bestselling books, including If Truth Be Told; A Monk’s Memoir and The Heart of Success. In the book, he cites a study from the Public Library of Science One that indicates that it can be learnt in the same way as a musical instrument or a sport.
The thing about kindness is that it doesn’t require you to be rich or go out of your way to make someone’s day. “A random act of kindness needn’t always be a material offering”, even a kind word, a compliment, a patient hearing could do the magic.
However, it is important to find out “what the other person actually requires”. “Kindness is in being sensitive and open towards others,” says the man behind the Black Lotus app, a platform for people who are out to make this world a kinder place, one random act of kindness at a time.
But if you have to make a choice such as — To be fair or kind? Well, to be fair, being kind trumps all. Because “kindness is fairness”. However, should we put kindness above us? “We should first put the oxygen mask ourselves and then help the co-passengers,” says Om Swami, who writes regularly on os.me
“A kind act is a special one” but we aren’t doing anything special by doing so, “kindness should be our first response anyway”. He adds, “I hear all the time from most people going through difficult circumstances, ‘I have never done anything bad to anyone, and yet I am suffering. Why?’I feel somewhat amused by their question and ask in return: ‘Why? Should you be doing something bad to people?”
Swami has collected several real-life stories in the book to demonstrate that kindness is magical and it lights up the same areas in our brain as love. He illustrates that it can be made a way of life and our nature, thereby bringing us closer to a permanent state of happiness. When you perform an act of kindness towards someone, you are actually improving your own life.
Well, kindness is the magic you are seeking (unless you are also seeking god and are ready to dedicate at least 15,000 hours to intense meditation for it, like Om Swami).
GREENBELT, Jan 12: A summer internship for a 17-year-old high school boy from New York turned out to be a remarkable discovery, that has gone to make headlines worldwide.
Wolf Cukier of Scarsdale was doing his internship at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he discovered a new planet that reloves around two stars.
It was his third day as an intern in the space research centre when the planet, which has been named as TOI 1338b with a mass which is 7 times larger than Earth and is located 1300 light-years away.
On the other side, one of the stars happens to be 10 per cent more than the size of the sun and another only a third of the sun's mass and less bright, according to NASA.
As per reports, Wolf was working for NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (Tess) programme, which for the first time discovered a planetary system with two stars.
Wolf went on to co-author a journal along with the other scientists from different US universities based on his discovery in the month of June. The work eventually went on to be featured at a panel at the 235th American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu, this week.
As reported by The Washington Post, Wolf was placed under the guidance of research scientist Veselin Kostov, who admitted to have never had a high school intern before.
He added that Wolf's finding has proven to be a "positive sign" for the Tess programme as he believes that this will lead to the discovery of more planets in the future.
The entire process of confirming Wolf's research was concluded within two-three months.
Wolf now awaits to finish his last year at high school and looks forward to studying physics or astrophysics at either Stanford University, MIT University or Princeton University in the state.
The Telegraph reported that Wolf could be back in NASA after his study programmes and possibly indulge in more discoveries. “Future research would involve finding more planets,” Wolf said.
Pope apologises for ‘bad example’ of slapping arm of pilgrim who tugged him
VATICAN CITY, Jan 2: Pope Francis apologised on Wednesday for having angrily slapped a woman’s arm when she had grabbed hold of his hand and yanked him towards her, saying he had lost his patience and set a “bad example”.
His unusual apology came after he used his first homily of the new year to denounce violence against women, which he compared to profaning God.
Pope Francis, 83, had a sharp encounter with a woman on Tuesday evening during a walkabout in St. Peters Square.
The pilgrim, who has not been identified, unexpectedly seized his hand and pulled him towards her, causing him evident alarm. A clearly disgruntled Francis wrenched himself free by slapping down at her arm.
“So many times we lose patience, even me, and I apologise for yesterday’s bad example,” the pope told thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday at the end of the traditional New Year Mass.
He had used the service to issue a forthright condemnation of the abuse of women in modern society.
“All violence inflicted on women is a desecration of God,” he told a packed St. Peter’s Basilica.
“How often is a woman’s body sacrificed on the profane altar of advertising, profit, pornography,” he said, adding that the female body “must be freed from consumerism, it must be respected and honoured”.
Despite creating life, women “are continually offended, beaten, raped, forced into prostitution” and made to have abortions, he said. “We can understand our level of humanity by the way we treat a woman’s body,” he told the congregation.
During his homily, Francis also addressed another theme close to his heart, immigration, saying women who moved abroad to provide for their children should be honoured, not scorned.
“Today even motherhood is humiliated, because the only growth that interests us is economic growth,” he said.
“There are mothers, who risk perilous journeys to desperately try to give the fruit of the womb a better future and are judged to be redundant by people whose bellies are full of things, but whose hearts are empty of love.”
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church, which allows only unmarried men to be ordained as priests, also said women “must be fully involved in decision-making processes”.
The pope said last April the Church had to acknowledge a history of male domination and sexual abuse of women. A month later, he appointed for the first time four women to an important Vatican department that prepares the major meetings of world bishops.
UN declares Malala decade’s ‘most famous teenager’
ISLAMABAD, Dec 26: The UN has declared Pakistani education activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai as “the most famous teenager in the world” in its ‘Decade in Review’ report.
In part one of its review series, which takes into account events that happened between 2010 and the end of 2013, the UN highlighted the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010, the beginning of the ongoing Syrian conflict for 2011 and Malala’s work in favour of girls’ education for the year 2012.
In 2014, Malala became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her efforts for children’s rights which started even before she was shot in the head two years ago by Taliban militants.
“The attack made waves around the world, and was widely condemned. On Human Rights Day that year, a special tribute to Malala was held at the Paris headquarters of the UNESCO, pushing for action to ensure every girl’s right to go to school, and to advance girls’ education as an urgent priority,” the UN wrote in the review report.
“Malala’s activism and profile have only grown since the assassination attempt. She became a UN Messenger of Peace in 2017, with a special focus on girls’ education,” it added.
The 22-year-old was also recently chosen by Teen Vogue as its cover person for its last issue of the decade.
The magazine announced it had decided to “reflect” the last 10 years with the education activist.
Many makeup products contain deadly superbugs: Study
LONDON, Dec 3: The vast majority of in-use make-up products such as beauty blenders, mascara and lip gloss may be contaminated with potentially life-threatening superbugs, including E. coli and Staphylococci, according to a study.
The study, published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, shows that make-up products are contaminated with potentially deadly bacteria because most are not being cleaned and are used far beyond their expiry dates.
Bacteria that can cause illnesses ranging from skin infections to blood poisoning if used near eyes, mouth or cuts or grazes were found in nine out of ten of the products, said the researchers from Aston University in the UK. This risk is amplified ...
This risk is amplified in people with a weak immune system, who are more likely to contract infections from opportunistic bacteria, they said.
"Consumers' poor hygiene practices when it comes to using make-up, especially beauty blenders, is very worrying when you consider that we found bacteria such as E.coli - which is linked with faecal contamination - breeding on the products we tested," said Amreen Bashir, who co-led the study.
"More needs to be done to help educate consumers and the make-up industry as a whole about the need to wash beauty blenders regularly and dry them thoroughly, as well as the risks of using make-up beyond its expiry date," Bashir said in a statement. The relatively new beauty blenders - sponges used to apply skin foundation products - were found to have the highest levels of potentially harmful bacteria, with the vast majority (93 per cent) not having ever been cleaned the researchers said.
This was despite more than two thirds (64 per cent) of beauty blenders being dropped on the floor at some point during use, they said.
The study is the first to look at beauty blender products - hugely popular make-up sponges used to blend foundation and contouring on the face, the researchers said.
Often endorsed by celebrities, these sponges are estimated to have sold over 6.5 million worldwide, according to the researchers. They found these products are particularly susceptible to contamination as they are often left damp after use, which creates an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
The findings reveal that consumers are unwittingly putting themselves at risk and that manufacturers and regulatory bodies should do more to protect their customers by making expiry dates and cleaning requirements more prominent on packaging, the researchers noted.