Jul 2021

July /
Friday
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Stop Press!

The country’s leading Hindi news group was raided by Income tax officials at the crack of dawn on Thursday. Also raided: Bharat Samachar’s offices in Lucknow as well as the home of its editor. The reason offered by the taxman: “conclusive evidence of tax fraud.” The reason offered by critics: Their unfavourable news coverage of the government.

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July /
Thursday
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Unnatural Disasters Everywhere

Two different parts of the world are experiencing catastrophic (un)natural disasters: severe flooding in Henan, China; monster wildfires in Oregon, United States. Both have exactly the same cause: global warming. Taken together they offer a powerful warning: extreme weather is the new normal.

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July /
Wednesday
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Hello Space-Trotters!

The world’s richest man traveled to the boundary of space—in the company of three other astro-tourists—and made it back in one piece. Is this really such a big deal or just billionaire vanity as usual?

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July /
Tuesday
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You're On The List!

Welcome to Day 2 of the global investigation into the use of Israeli spyware to hack phones of prominent politicians, journalists, activists and others. The names released in India are shocking—and yet predictable.

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July /
Monday
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I’ll Be Watching You

Nonprofits Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International accessed a global database of more than 50,000 phone numbers—which may have been targeted by a spyware tool called Pegasus. In India, these include 40 journalists, 3 opposition leaders, serving government ministers, security officials and businesspersons.

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July /
Thursday
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Band of (Bandit) Brothers

Former president Jacob Zuma has been arrested for refusing to appear in front of an inquiry into corruption. His arrest has in turn led to rioting in the streets. At the heart of this corruption scandal are three brothers from Saharanpur who looted the South African state—all thanks to their cosy relationship with Zuma. This is their story.

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July /
Wednesday
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Mister Win-It

The current grand wizard of electoral politics—Prashant Kishor met with the Gandhi trimurti. And as with all things he does, the event immediately set off a hot buzz of speculation of a brewing third front to take on the BJP in 2024. But who is this guy? What does he actually do?

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July /
Tuesday
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Thunderbolts of Lightning

An astonishing 76 people have died due lightning strikes over recent days—including 40 over the course of just 24 hours. None of this should be surprising. Of those who die due to forces of nature in India, lightning is the number one cause of death. We take a closer look at this invisible killer—and why it has grown more lethal due to climate change.

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July /
Monday
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Story of an Assassination

The murder of President Jovenel Moïse has thrown the already beleaguered country in turmoil. There are now two competing Prime Ministers, 19 suspects in custody and big troubling questions about who really killed Moïse.

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July /
Friday
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Having a Seizure

A French court froze 20 residential properties worth over $24 million belonging to the Indian government in Paris. The reason: The government owes Cairn Energy $1.7 billion in a tax dispute—and hasn’t yet paid up. The company is now targeting Indian assets around the world.

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July /
Thursday
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All the PM’s Men

There’s nothing the media loves more than the political intrigue of a big cabinet reshuffle—to decode whose fortunes have soared or waned, what weighty signals are being sent, and which strategies are at play. If you don’t care about any of that, we suggest you skip ahead to our tribute to Dilip Kumar:)

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July /
Wednesday
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A Hateful Crime

An app “selling” Muslim women as “deals of the day” is the latest instance of a rising tide of assaults—both offline and online—aimed at them. We look at how and why Muslim women have become the most common targets of Islamophobia.

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July /
Tuesday
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A Shameful Death

The 84-year old Jesuit priest and activist died in hospital yesterday. The news broke in a courtroom assembled to hear his bail plea. The immediate cause of death: cardiac arrest. The true cause of death: our justice system. We look at the life of Father Swamy and why it ended in such tragic circumstances.

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July /
Monday
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Taliban Cometh

On Friday, the United States withdrew from the Bagram Air Force base—the headquarters of its military operations, and where its forces first arrived after the 9/11 attacks. The quiet departure also marks the inevitable return of the Taliban—and a decisive tipping point that has everyone worried.

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July /
Friday
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Free To Go

A NIA court cleared Akhil Gogoi of all charges in one of the most high profile cases in the North East. His arrest received little attention in the Delhi-centric media, but his release ought to make us pay attention—since it marks an emerging judicial pattern in anti-terror/sedition cases.

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July /
Thursday
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Tolerance Level

A significant survey conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals a citizenry deeply wedded to both faith and religious tolerance. But that liberal worldview is marred by hard lines of religious difference which breed segregation and suspicion. And yes, there is a clear North-South divide.

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