Sep 2020

Sep 2020/
Wednesday
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Choking the Flow

Amnesty International has decided to cease operations in India citing an “incessant witch-hunt” by the government. But Amnesty’s exit is just the most visible effect of the government’s crackdown on foreign-funded NGOs.

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Sep 2020/
Tuesday
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The Brokeass Bro

The far poorer Ambani sibling is back in the news, once again due to his financial woes. Three Chinese banks are suing Ambani Jr for $680 million in unpaid debt—demanding that he sell all his personal assets to pay the bill.

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Sep 2020/
Monday
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Playing (Tax) Dodgeball!

Donald Trump has refused to release his tax returns ever since he ran for office in 2016. NYT finally gots it hands on his filings from the past 18 years. They reveal, in sum: He paid next-to-zero taxes and received lots of money from foreign sources.

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Sep 2020/
Friday
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Just (Don't) WhatsApp Me

The biggest story on television is the investigation of the so-called ‘drug nexus’ in Bollywood. What is the actual evidence for this latest flurry of summons? How can authorities access WhatsApp messages? And can they be used in court?

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Sep 2020/
Thursday
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Hire and Fire

The Rajya Sabha passed three labour bills on Wednesday. They each have a significant impact on worker rights. Labour law reform is greatly overdue. The real question is whether these laws do more harm than good.

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Sep 2020/
Wednesday
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I Surrender

The Tata Group has been embroiled in a four-year soap opera ever since Ratan Tata ganged up with other board directors to oust then chairman Cyrus Mistry. That khandani maha-yudh finally came to an end yesterday with Ratan Tata emerging as the winner.

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Sep 2020/
Tuesday
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Just STFU!

Over the course of this year it has become increasingly risky to write or say anything critical of the government. No one is safe, be it a Vinod Dua or Rajdeep Sardesai—unless you are a right-leaning website or channel.

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Sep 2020/
Monday
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Foreign Agent

The Delhi police arrested Rajeev Sharma—a freelance columnist—for spying on behalf of China. But the surprise arrest of the journalist—who boasted about his connection to National Security Adviser Ajit Doval—raised more questions than it answered.

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Sep 2020/
Friday
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Friends in Right Places

The Overseas Friends of the BJP (OFBJP) registered itself as a ‘foreign agent’ as per the US law. It was an overdue acknowledgement of the organisation’s fervent political lobbying. But what got less attention: Its links to election campaigns in the US.

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Sep 2020/
Thursday
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Risky Business

The Russians just cut a deal to supply 100 million doses of its vaccine nicknamed Sputnik V. Its India partner will also conduct Phase 3 trials of the vaccine in the country. The problem: the vaccine already has a bad rep.

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Sep 2020/
Wednesday
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Cruel & Usual

A legal complaint has exposed new horrors at immigration detention centres in the US. It alleges that at one such centre, the local doctor is performing mass hysterectomies without the knowledge or consent of migrant women.

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Sep 2020/
Tuesday
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(Un)Lawful Arrests

Delhi police arrested Umar Khalid—who is an activist and an alum of JNU—under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). It is the latest in a string of arrests targeting people who protested the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) back in February.

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Sep 2020/
Monday
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Eye of the Dragon

A Chinese company with links to Beijing's military and intelligence networks has been amassing a database of personal information on millions around the world. The leaked information shows that at least 10,000 Indians were targeted.

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Sep 2020/
Friday
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Truce of the Titans?

Bloomberg News sent Reliance stock soaring with a report that Amazon is in talks to buy a whopping 40% stake in Reliance Retail for the low, low price of $20 billion. We explain why any such jodi is bad news for the Indian consumer.

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Sep 2020/
Thursday
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Pause and Desist

The Oxford Covid vaccine is one of the most promising of the nine in stage 3 human trials. But AstraZeneca halted testing due to a suspected adverse reaction in one of the UK participants.We look at what it means for India.

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Sep 2020/
Wednesday
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A Movie on Demand

The $200 mn live action reboot of Mulan has run into a series of controversies—all of which relate to serious human rights issues. They raise big questions about Disney’s eagerness to appease the Chinese government.

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Sep 2020/
Tuesday
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California Burning

Over the past year, the world witnessed a series of devastating wildfires across the globe. Now, it’s California’s turn again! The state is setting new records—both in terms of high temperatures and land destroyed.

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Sep 2020/
Monday
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Target Practice

Over the weekend, the police separately conducted raids and made prominent arrests targeting movie stars in two cities: Bangalore and Mumbai. Both are making a big splash—which is likely the aim—but do little to address India’s very real drug problem.

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Sep 2020/
Friday
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The Invisibles

When Chadwick Boseman died, we turned the mirror on Bollywood, which does little about its own blatant bigotry. We now speak about the Hindi film industry’s treatment of Dalits—whose cinematic history closely mirrors that of Black Americans in Hollywood.

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Sep 2020/
Thursday
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Game Over

The government banned a new list of 118 Chinese apps—including the greatly beloved PubG, which escaped the axe the first time around. The latest ‘digital strike’ comes in the midst of increasing border tensions with China.

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Sep 2020/
Wednesday
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Free At Last!

Dr Kafeel Khan walked out of Mathura Jail after spending nine months in custody thanks to a ruling by the Allahabad High Court. His case reveals how the government has wilfully misused the law to impose a most unjust ‘order’.

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Sep 2020/
Tuesday
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Pop Goes the Bubble

The GDP numbers released on Monday shocked even hardened pessimists. Our GDP contracted by 23.9% in the months of April, May and June. Every metric of economic activity has crashed with the exception of agriculture.

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