Tigers and tourists win



Sometimes good intentions get translated into bad policy. That was how it appeared in July, when a court ruling effectively banned tourism at India's tiger reserves. The rationale was that tourism could work against the goals of conservation. With an estimated 3,200 tigers left in the world and half of them in India, protecting the species from extinction and allowing them the space to build up their numbers was a priority.

The problem, as The National pointed out at the time, is that tourism was bringing much-needed money to the communities surrounding the reserves. Deprived of that source of income, villagers might be encouraged to become, or aid, poachers - a particularly lucrative business given the small fortunes paid in China for tiger products.

On Tuesday, the Indian Supreme Court overturned the ban, following a government decision that no new tourist facilities be built near tiger reserves and that only 20 per cent of tiger habitats be open to visitors.

This appears to be a sensible compromise that should protect both the tigers in those reserves and the livelihoods of people reliant on the tourist trade, while allowing tourists to enjoy seeing these magnificent animals in their own environment. Mutually beneficial coexistence is the best policy of all.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

LUKA CHUPPI

Director: Laxman Utekar

Producer: Maddock Films, Jio Cinema

Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Sanon​​​​​​​, Pankaj Tripathi, Vinay Pathak, Aparshakti Khurana

Rating: 3/5

Best Foreign Language Film nominees

Capernaum (Lebanon)

Cold War (Poland)

Never Look Away (Germany)

Roma (Mexico)

Shoplifters (Japan)

Jawab Iteiqal
Director: Mohamed Sammy
Starring: Mohamed Ramadan, Ayad Nasaar, Mohamed Adel and Sabry Fawaz
2 stars

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Sri Lanka-India Test series schedule
  • 1st Test India won by 304 runs at Galle
  • 2nd Test India won by innings and 53 runs at Colombo
  • 3rd Test August 12-16 at Pallekele