Splainer

Monday, September 21 2020


Dive In

When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough women on the supreme court? And I say ‘When there are nine.’ People are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.

That’s US Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away on 18 September after a long struggle with cancer. The Notorious RBG was greatly loved and admired as a feminist icon, formidable legal mind and staunch defender of constitiutional rights. Her death—just months before the presidential election—has already unleashed a political war. The Republicans in Congress are determined to replace her with a conservative judge—either before the election, or in the ‘lame duck’ period before the newly-elected members of Congress are sworn into office in early 2021. Illustration: Parth Savla

Big Story

The puzzling arrest of a Delhi journalist

The TLDR: Over the weekend, the Delhi police arrested Rajeev Sharma—a freelance columnist—for spying on behalf of China. Also in the mix: his alleged handlers, a Chinese woman named Qing Shi and her Nepali husband Sher Singh. But the surprise arrest of a not-very-noteworthy journalist—who boasted about his connection to National Security Adviser Ajit Doval—raised more questions than it answered.

 

Who is this guy?

Sharma wrote a bunch of columns on foreign policy and national security for a variety of Indian publications including Firstpost, United News of India and The Tribune. Between 2010 and 2014, he was a regular contributor for Global Times—which is a mouthpiece of the Chinese government. There’s nothing exceptional or noteworthy in the views expressed in these articles. (Full Disclosure: Splainer founder Lakshmi Chaudhry was his editor at Firstpost and remembers him as an India hawk who was highly supportive of the Modi government.)

 

Okay, so what is he charged with?

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In today’s edition

Headlines that Matter

  • Farm bills trigger massive uproar
  • An exposé of global financial corruption
  • Anurag Kashyap accused of sexual assault
  • What really sank the Titanic?
  • TikTok survives in the US

 

Smart and Curious

  • How self-isolation will affect the mental health of IPL players
  • Working mothers are falling behind at the workplace thanks to WFH
  • Jhumpa Lahiri’s pining love letter to Italy
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