This is one of the stunning winners of the 2020 iPhone Photography Award. But the top prize went to Dimpy Bhalotia, a Britain-based Indian photographer—who captured three boys jumping into the Ganges in Varanasi. Our template would have done grave injustice to the vertical photo, so please .
UN WARNS OF TERRORIST INFILTRATION According to , al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has between 150 and 200 members from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar—many of whom are in Kerala and Karnataka. And they are planning unspecified attacks in the region. In related news: An Islamic State publication called 'Voice of Hind' has asked followers to become “” and "annihilate the disbelievers.” THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC: A QUICK UPDATE * reported its first official case—though most experts believe the virus has been circulating within the country for months. * now leads the world in the total number of cases—and accounts for 26.83% of the global total. Related read: powerful account (plus photos) of how the Amazon river is spreading the disease to remote stretches of Brazil. * has imposed a two-week quarantine on travellers from Spain—which is experiencing a sudden surge of cases. Why this matters: It puts a halt to the rush to reopen EU travel. * Bill Gates-backed SK Bioscience may be able to deliver by June, 2021. * on Covid patients show that the virus triggers “a unique pattern of cell death” in the heart—unlike any previous coronavirus. * US health authorities have finally acknowledged that Covid-19 is a ‘long haul’ disease. Upto with mild and moderate symptoms did not return to normal health nearly a month after they were first diagnosed. * worth your attention: Two hair stylists in the US contracted Covid back in May, but did not pass it on to any of their 139 clients. The reason: they wore face masks. Read and share widely! * Also: this shaming unmasked threats to society. THE INDIAN PANDEMIC: A QUICK UPDATE * First, the numbers. Total cases: 1,435,453. Total recoveries: 917,567. Total deaths: 32,771. We added 50k-plus cases in one day for the first time. Also: explains why the surge in cases cannot be explained by an increase in testing. * Rapid antibody tests are proving to be —with a high number showing false negatives for patients who later test positive. Example: 65% of such symptomatic patients tested negative for Covid. * Good read: profiles Bangalore-based Mercy Angels who are risking their lives to ensure Covid patients receive a dignified funeral. Its members include doctors, social workers, IT professionals, students and businessmen. * It is now mandatory to submit if you apply to be tested. Also mandatory: delivery of test results within 24 hours, which oddly almost never happens. * A new All India Institute of Medical Sciences study warned against over-emphasizing fever as a key Covid symptom—which often delays diagnosis or cases that are entirely missed. : Of the 144 Covid-19 patients analysed, 44% had no symptoms and only 17% had fever. INDIAN COURT SUMMONS JACK MA A former employee of Alibaba’s UC Web has filed a lawsuit—which claims that the company censors anti-China news, and presents fake news to its users. As a result, the court has summoned the company’s executives including founder Jack Ma—who’s never going to show up, of course. But the lawsuit bolsters the case for the Indian government’s ban on Chinese apps. has exclusive details on the case. In related news: Chinese smartphones of their Indian market share due to the lockdown, followed by rising tensions with Beijing. Bye bye PubG? According to the , the government has drawn up a new list of 275 Chinese apps to ban—including PubG, AliExpress and Resso. Also behaving badly: Amazon. A investigation shows that the company pretended to be interested in investing in startups only to rip off their ideas. WFH IS HURTING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH According to a new US survey, 66% of professionals believe working from home is "hurting their mental health.” The reason: they feel isolated and unable to create boundaries between work and home. In very much related news: Indian companies their leave policies to help employees who are burning out. One solution: A shared leave bank where employees donate their leave to those who have exhausted their days off. THE LINK BETWEEN MENSTRUATION AND MENOPAUSE New research shows that girls who get their period at the age of 11 or earlier are more likely to suffer the worst effects of menopause—such as hot flushes and night sweats. Who has it easiest: girls who had their period at 14 or later. () INDIA’S ‘TIGER CAKE’ SHAME In the past, tiger parts were hunted for medicinal purposes. But now they are used to make luxury food items like wine and cake—both made from tiger bone. A UN report shows that between 2007 and 2018, two-thirds of seizures of tiger bones came from Thailand and India. A key difference between the two: Trafficked tigers from Thailand are from ‘farms’, whereas our ‘exports’ came from the wild. ()
Taylor Swift dropped a new album titled ‘folklore’—and it’s an instant hit with fans and critics, alike. Our favourite: featuring Bon Iver’s achingly gravelly voice. Also read: breakdown of the album, the Blake Lively/Ryan Reynolds , and of William Bowery.
A LIST OF GOOD READS * explores the mystery of the ‘boredom divide’ that separates those of us who can endure monotony and those who cannot. * offers a measured and persuasive explanation as to why she signed that infamous letter calling out ‘cancel culture’. * Ruchir Joshi in offers a lively hot take on emojis—and why the namaste emoji “is the perfect symbol for our morally bankrupt privileged classes.” * Sunday feature traces the long history of Indian matchmaking. * has a must-read on how WFH is ripping apart work friendships. * Also a must read: astute dissection of India’s real estate biz—and why, despite a pandemic, most of us still can’t afford to buy a home. * cover story asks: ‘What’s Wrong With the Congress?’ * What caught our eye: white paper on ‘Cultural Pioneers’—the small set of innovators who influence the influencers. It offers a different way to think about social clout.
of ‘The room next door’—starring Trump, of course! FYI, this is one of Michael Spicer’s brilliant sketches where he pretends to be a political handler secretly guiding his client as s/he talks to the press. It never goes well. of a BBC cooking show. and comprehension test ever.
We still have no idea how to measure pain—and this has severe consequences for women.Read More
Intensifying cyclones are a result of climate change—but poor infrastructure is to be blamed for the flooding.Read More
A new bill plans to regulate everything you watch on a screen. And we mean everything.Read More