Jun 2021

June /
Wednesday
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A Very Sikh Woman

Sikh leaders from Delhi have been leading angry protests in the state, claiming that Sikh women are being kidnapped and forcibly converted by Muslim men. But the evidence in the case that triggered the row is suspiciously weak. Here’s what we could piece together based on the little that is out there.

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June /
Tuesday
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Beings, Human

Over the weekend, scientists announced the discovery of not one, but two ancient human species. And one of them—nicknamed the Dragon Man—has the potential to overturn our understanding of our evolutionary history.

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June /
Monday
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Identified Flying Object

The Indian Air Force base was hit by two low-intensity blasts triggered by IEDs carried by drones—likely over the border from Pakistan. There was some damage to the building, and two IAF personnel suffered mild injuries. It is a first attack of its kind—and indicates an alarming new trend in warfare.

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June /
Friday
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Set Me Free!

Britney Spears spoke out for the very first time in a US court—demanding to be released from the conservatorship that gave her father full control over her life and finances. The case reveals how the law deprives people with mental illnesses of their freedom and agency.

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June /
Thursday
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Brazilian School for Scandal

The Brazilian government’s deal to import 20 million doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has sparked an investigation into corruption—raising questions about the involvement of President Bolsonaro and about the vaccine itself.

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June /
Wednesday
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Variations On a Theme

While the world is grappling with the spread of the Delta (aka Indian) variant, Indian health authorities labeled its latest iteration—Delta plus—a ‘variant of concern’. We look at the variant that has everyone worried about a prolonged and painful pandemic.

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June /
Tuesday
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Sellers Beware!

For the past few years, the government has been tightening the screws on foreign-owned e-commerce giants—to favour Indian traders and merchants and local rivals like Reliance. The latest salvo will come as a big blow to not just these platforms, but also its biggest sellers and you, dear customer.

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June /
Monday
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The ‘Don’t Watch’ List

The government has signalled its intent to amend the laws to give itself the power to block the release of a movie already certified by the film board. Taken together with the dissolution of a key tribunal in April, it marks a serious blow to creative freedom—and our right as citizens to watch what we please.

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June /
Friday
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Blackout Box

A Bloomberg Businessweek investigation revealed that the world’s most famous vacation rental company has a ‘black box’ team of specialists to hush up ugly things that happen at its properties. Think murder, rape and more.

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June /
Thursday
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Many Birds, One Stone

An FIR filed in Ghaziabad aims to take down multiple targets with a single stone—including the fiercest critics of the government and, of course, Twitter. We look at the case and its implications for the social media platform’s future.

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June /
Wednesday
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Pinjra Tod!

Yesterday, three activists—accused of inciting violence in Delhi last February—were finally granted bail. It may not seem like much but the High Court ruling significantly raised the bar for the use of terror laws—and made it clear that these cannot be deployed to squash democratic dissent.

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June /
Tuesday
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Revenge Shall Be Mine

Electoral hubris, dynastic rivalry, backroom maneuvering… This story out of the Hindi heartland has everything you’d expect from an Indian political katha. The overnight collapse of LJP leader Chirag Paswan may smack of boring netagiri, but it offers a good opportunity to understand the dynamics of Bihar politics.

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June /
Monday
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Man Down!

On Saturday, Denmark’s star footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed in the middle of a Europa Cup game. The heart-stopping moment sparked tears, fear and a moment of unprecedented unity—reminding us all why football is beautiful.

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June /
Friday
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Service Unavailable

On June 8, vast swathes of the internet suddenly became unavailable for nearly an hour. While the disruption was temporary, it revealed just how dependent we are on a handful of invisible companies for our online access. We explain what happened and why it is worrying.

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June /
Thursday
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In Not-So-Full Bloom

Between the disastrous second wave and the lost election in Bengal, this has not been a good year for the saffron party. And its woes show no signs of receding as troubles in different states add to its headache in Delhi. Here’s a quick jaunt through BJP’s big trouble-spots.

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June /
Wednesday
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Child Hazard

A surge in a life-threatening condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is raising alarm among doctors and authorities. We briefly look at why it occurs and whether parents should be worried.

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June /
Tuesday
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The Long Con

Nine-year-old Licypriya Kangujam has long been hailed as the ‘Greta Thunberg’ of India. But the arrest of her father reveals that she may have been a pawn (or participant?) in his con game.

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June /
Monday
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Twitter de Résistance

When the government rolled out its new digital media rules in February, Google and Facebook made all the right noises. WhatsApp just went directly to court. But Twitter decided to take the path of passive-aggressive resistance—which has since driven the government into full-fledged rage.

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June /
Friday
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Free To Speak

The popular journalist has been the target of multiple cases filed by BJP leaders and sympathisers. He was charged with sedition for an episode of his YouTube show which criticised the handling of the pandemic. The Supreme finally ruled in his favour—and of the freedom of the press.

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June /
Thursday
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Cargo Ship Down!

A cargo ship laden with dangerous chemicals caught on fire off the coast of Colombo, and is now sinking—raising fears of a massive oil spill. It is being described as “the worst environmental disaster for Sri Lanka.” We look at how this happened, and the likely consequences.

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June /
Wednesday
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Dragons in the Backyard

New Delhi now has to deal with China nibbling at our toes. The new Port City Project in Sri Lanka has created sovereign Chinese territory just a few hundred kilometres away from Kanyakumari. We look at this project in the context of the Rajapaksa government’s dangerously close relationship with Beijing.

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June /
Tuesday
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What a Wonderful Day!

Yes, we are officially a year old today. And it has been an amazing 12 months—spent in the best (as in, your) company, of course! We’re taking you on a (mostly) funny anniversary journey—which ends with a list of our birthday month plans. Yes, our birthday takes an entire month to celebrate!

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