Tuesday August 4 2020

Going for Number One!

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Sanity Break #1

This is when you incautiously send out a highly controversial tweet that says: “Having a lovely day reading my book in the park 😊 ”. Also: This is Twitter, period.

Sanity Break #1

Headlines that matter

TRUMP TAKES AIM AT H-1B WORKERS, AGAIN The President signed an executive order that prevents US government agencies from contracting or subcontracting foreign workers—mainly those on H-1B visas. Trump : “Today I am signing an executive order to ensure that the federal government lives by a very simple rule, hire American.” He made this move in response to a recent round of IT layoffs by a federal agency.   RAJPUT’S FATHER ISSUES VIDEO APPEAL KK Singh released a video statement, claiming:   > “On Feb 25, I informed Bandra Police that he’s in danger. He died on June 14 & I asked them to act against people named in my > Feb 25 complaint. No action taken even 40 days after his death. So I filed [an] FIR in Patna.”   In a TV interview, the family’s lawyer that Rhea Chakraborty was among those who posed a threat to the actor. Mumbai cops, meanwhile, that they did not receive any written complaint. Rajput’s brother-in-law O P Singh—who is also a police officer—sent WhatsApp messages to the local officials to launch an “informal” investigation, and was told it was not possible.   THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC: A QUICK UPDATE * has found that the number of Covid-related deaths in Iran is nearly triple the official number—which was 14,405 as of July 19. The number of actual cases is also much higher: 451,024 as opposed to 278,827. * Producers of the world’s most beloved bubbly lost $2 billion in sales this year. are down thanks to the lockdown which has nixed all group celebrations—and it has put a greater dent than the Great Depression. * According to new Football Association , players who deliberately cough at opponents will be given a red or yellow card. Spitting on the ground—while not recommended—will not be punished. To which we say: Hain? * South Koreans are dumping their paisa to rid them of the virus—and it is not working out well for them.   WHO WILL GET THE VACCINE? While the rest of us were obsessing over testing and trials, the US, Britain, EU and Japan have already secured more than 1 billion doses of the promising vaccines—raising huge concerns about unequal access. has that important story. The picture for Indians may be less grim thanks to Serum Institute. reports:   > But right now it’s not entirely clear how much of the coronavirus vaccine that Serum will mass-produce will be kept by India or > who will fund its production, leaving the Poonawallas to navigate a torrent of cross-pressures, political, financial, external > and domestic... > >   > > [Serum CEO] Adar Poonawalla, 39, says that he will split the hundreds of millions of vaccine doses he produces 50-50 between > India and the rest of the world, with a focus on poorer countries, and that Mr. Modi’s government has not objected to this.   In other Serum-related news: It has to conduct Phase II and III trials of the Oxford vaccine in India.   Next big thing: in Covid-19 treatment are created specifically to attack the virus—a kind of biotherapy currently used to cure cancer.   AMIT SHAH’S TREATMENT RAISES EYEBROWS The Home Minister opted to admit himself into a private hospital—Medanta in Gurgaon—as opposed to the sarkaari All India Institute of Medical Sciences. A fact that drew immediate flak from Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who :   > “Wonder why our Home Minister, when ill, chose not to go to AIIMS but to a private hospital in a neighbouring state. Public > institutions need the patronage of the powerful if they are to inspire public confidence.”    To make it all the more ironic: A team of AIIMS doctors will be Medanta to oversee his treatment. To which we say, once again: Hain? Also : This how-not-to-wear-a-mask photo of Amit Shah.   A SURPRISING HINDI REQUIREMENT IN TAMIL NADU has unearthed a surprising policy in the bastion of anti-Hindi sentiment: central government employees have to take Hindi classes in order to pass a compulsory language exam. According to one employee:   > "We are taught simple Hindi words and prepare for the 80 marks written Hindi paper and 20 marks Viva for the confirmation to a > promotion. No Hindi means no promotion… If I do not attend this, which again, I have no option, I will miss out on increments, > promotion, and my status will never change to that of a permanent employee.”   ZOOM HAS FOUND A WAY TO CHEAT Under pressure over its censorship of Chinese users—to keep Beijing happy—the company has found the perfect solution. It will stop all direct sales to China, and outsource its call services to a local company instead. sums up the weaselly move:   > “By moving to offering its technology only through platforms operated by third parties, Zoom will be able to hand off to these > partners the messy business of making sure users in China aren’t discussing topics the Communist Party doesn’t want them to. > Zoom can then argue that it is not really responsible for censorship of users in China, while maintaining operations and > generating revenues there.”   RAM MANDIR PUJA IS UNDERWAY The celebrations kicked off on Monday, and will end on August 5—when PM Modi may or may not lay its foundation stone. Covid-related cancelations are rumoured but not confirmed. Details on the planned event are . Better use of your time: on what the August 5 ceremony means for the BJP—and the rest of India. Also: People are celebrating by sharing pictures of Times Square—which will host large billboards of Lord Ram and the mandir on that blessed day.   UAE HAS GONE NUCLEAR It has become the first Arab country to establish a nuclear plant—right off the border with its regional rival Qatar. Global security experts are not happy. Earlier, UAE also became the first Arab country to launch a spacecraft—a probe headed for Mars. ()   AN EXTRAORDINARY PROJECT WORTH YOUR SUPPORT! This Ketto campaign is raising money to support 13 extraordinary women athletes—who are struggling to meet their training and nutrition needs. You can read the stories of each athlete, and choose which one(s) you want to support. What’s even better: You know exactly how your donation will be used—be it equipment, training or supplements. Check out the . Also: watch a short doc on the project .   FINALLY, ON A LIGHT RAKHI NOTE Here’s our (h/t subscriber Aparna Jain):   And here’s our favourite : super-fast turmeric cookies, courtesy Le15’s Pooja Dhingra.

Going for Number One!

Sanity Break #2

Danish student Mads Madsen took forty old —many of them iconic—and meticulously colourised them. The result will delight even a purist’s heart. This one shows Helen Keller greeting Charlie Chaplin.

Sanity Break #2

Smart & Curious

A LIST OF INTRIGUING THINGS ? Or ‘brain storm’? Quick, click on that video! What did you hear? Behold the auditory version of the blue/gold dress tamasha. To be fair, this is a of a 2017 challenge.   ! Astronomers have captured the most detailed images of a nebula that looks like a stunning earth insect. The reason for this gorgeous shape: “Scientists believe one of the stars recently blew its top, sending gasses flying and creating the unique symmetrical pattern.” Sadly, no such thing happens when we blow our top.   about the best-known pirates: They had excruciatingly bad taste—especially when it came to designing their flags. There’s an entire that collates this awesome awfulness. What? You’re not intrigued? Bah, humbug!   , anyone? Below are humpbacks courting off the coast of Bahia, Brazil—where they’ve staged a major comeback due to both conservation efforts and the lockdown.

Smart & Curious

Feel Good Place

= freedom. = adorability overload. . What else do you want? = pure, unbridled joy.

Feel good place

archivetitle dog ic

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Don’t Watch That!

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