Reuters blog archive
From Turkey, which hiked its overnight lending rate by an astonishing 425 basis points in an emergency meeting on Tuesday, to India which delivered a surprise repo rate hike a day earlier, central banks are increasingly looking to "shock and awe" markets into submission with their policy decisions.
A wide sample of economists polled by Reuters on Monday already expected a massive rise of 225 basis points by Turkey's central bank to stop a sell-off in the lira. Instead it doubled the consensus and opted for the highest forecast.
Gizem Oztok Altinsac, chief economist at Garanti Securities in Istanbul, who correctly called the size of the Turkish rate hike said:
British astrophysicist Sir Martin Rees, whose research delves deep into the mysteries of the cosmos, has won the 2011 Templeton Prize for career achievements affirming life's spiritual dimension. The one million sterling ($1.6 million) award, the world's largest to an individual, was announced on Wednesday in London. Rees, master of Trinity College at Cambridge University, is former head of the Royal Society and a life peer.
God did not create the universe and the "Big Bang" was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, the eminent British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking argues in a new book.
In "The Grand Design," co-authored with U.S. physicist Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking says a new series of theories made a creator of the universe redundant, according to the Times newspaper which published extracts on Thursday.
(Photo: A core magnet in CERN's Large Hadron Collider, March 22, 2007/Denis Balibouse)
Scientists working with particle accelerators in Europe and the United States said on Monday they may be closing in on the elusive Higgs Boson, the "God particle" believed crucial to forming the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Researchers from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project near Geneva said in just three months of experiments they had already detected all the particles at the heart of our current understanding of physics, the Standard Model.
from India Insight:
Just when I thought news trivialisation by a section of Indian media could not get worse, it did. And how.
In a control room somewhere on the French-Swiss border, scientists of CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, waited for the first signals to come in from a $9 billion particle collider as they embarked on an experiment to unlock secrets of the universe.
In a town somewhere in Madhya Pradesh, farmer Biharilal's daughter Chayya sat glued to the TV screen, taking in the graphics and amateur video game imagery put together by vernacular news channels who said the experiment would bring about the end of the world.
The fact that I'm sitting here writing this is proof enough the world did not end. But Chayya, who killed herself fearing what doomsday prophets said would be the experiment's cataclysmic effects, is not around to see that.
Sensationalism in 24x7 news coverage is relatively new to India -- a concept borrowed from the larger and more prolific western media. In India, every road accident, murder and rape makes delightful copy for news channels vying for the attention of elusive viewers with serious commitment issues.
In a country where a sudden media boom led by rapid economic growth and freeing of entertainment and media markets has resulted in a plethora of channels all "bringing news first", viewers switch loyalties before you can utter the word 'TRP'.
The viewers have seen it all, they control the remote control and unless you hold them down with the right concoction of sensation, sleaze and news, they just won't stay.
Which meant that the fear psychosis created by vernacular channels on the biggest scientific experiment of our time spread like wildfire across the country. The rationalists logged on to the internet to know more about the Big Bang project while the religious held prayer sessions.
What shocked me was how ill-informed and factually incorrect some of these channels were on scientific trivia. A channel repeatedly referred to this "big dark hole" in the universe in the same hushed tone little Red Riding Hood's mother would use to caution her against the big bad wolf.
The Large Hadron Collider aims to reproduce conditions just after the "Big Bang" 14 billion years ago in an attempt to gain new insights into how the universe was formed.
It may prove the existence of the so-called "God particle," the mysterious theoretical atomic fragment that lies at the heart of matter.