Modi's Electrifying Promise

When Narendra Modi became India’s prime minister in 2014, 40 million Indian homes (300 million people) had no electricity. Modi pledged to fix that. Given the remote locations in which so many Indians live, it’s a huge job. Last weekend, Modi declared victory.

But when you hear that India now has “universal electrification,” remember two things:

The bad news: Modi defines “universal connectivity” as the point at which at least 10 percent of households in every village have power. Despite claims of “mission accomplished,” 30 million homes still light the night with candles. Just 8 percent of villages are fully electrified. Others face daily blackouts.

The good news: More than 5 million homes have gained electricity since Modi arrived in office, and more than 18,000 villages have now gained some access to power. That’s a major step forward for an awful lot of people.

The bottom line: Political hype or historic achievement? Like everything else in politics, it depends on where you sit. In this case, your answer will probably depend on how you feel about Narendra Modi and whether your lights work. Call it a “promising work in progress.”

How will our cities and lives change in the future? What about a structure with a roller skating rink above a swimming pool, made out of transparent solar panels that power the entire park? This was the innovation invented by Eni's young researchers based on Luminescent Solar Concentrators, developed through Eni's research.

Watch the latest episode of Funny Applications, Eni's video series that imagines new uses for technology.

For 30 years, citizens of Hong Kong have gathered in Victoria Park on the evening of June 4 to honor the peaceful protesters massacred in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on that date in 1989. It has been the only public Tiananmen commemoration permitted on Chinese soil.

This year, the park was surrounded by barricades to keep people out. The officially stated reason for the shut-down? Crowds spread coronavirus. (In this city of more than 7 million, COVID has so far killed four people.)

More Show less

In an interview with GZERO World host Ian Bremmer, Hong Kong lawmaker Dennis Kwok, an outspoken pro-democracy advocate, expresses his concerns that the current "draconian" laws China's leadership is forcing upon his city has expedited the end of the "one country, two systems" policy established in 1997.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Big news, of course, that former Secretary of Defense Mattis comes out with a public statement basically calling Trump's rule, his actions, unconstitutional and unfit for office, more divisive than any president he's ever seen.

More Show less

French protests over racial injustice: The George Floyd protests in the United States have sparked solidarity demonstrations around the world, with people flocking to US embassies in Berlin, London and elsewhere to express their outrage. But they have also inspired other countries to reexamine racial justice within their own societies. In France, where street demonstrations are practically a national pastime, thousands of people have gathered in support of the family of Adama Traoré, a 24-year old black man who died in police custody back in 2016. At least 20,000 Parisians demonstrated Wednesday, despite coronavirus bans on public gatherings. Protesters adopted similar language to the Floyd protests, demanding accountability for the officers who violently pinned down Traoré during a dispute over an identity check, leading to his death. Renewed focus on this case, which has become a potent symbol of police brutality in France, comes as coronavirus lockdowns have recently stoked tensions between the police and the mostly-minority residents of Paris' banlieues (low-income suburbs).

More Show less