SANITY BREAK Avenue Beat’s ‘’ is the perfect song in every way. It’s best enjoyed hanging in your pjs on a Saturday night—with a bottle of wine at hand.
HEADLINES THAT MATTER MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR Do you have questions about splainer? For example: why does a news site have a damn dog? Or what’s with these sections called ‘sanity breaks’? Also: who did this? I answer those and other queries in this NewsLaundry podcast. I also talk about something most news editors or founders rarely speak about: the importance of having empathy and compassion for your audience—more so at a time when every mental wellness expert has warned against the excess consumption of news. Please . THE PANDEMIC NUMBERS * India hit a new with more than 22,000 new cases—nearly 2,000 more than the previous single-day record of 20,060 on June 27. * The main contributors: Maharashtra (6,330), Tamil Nadu (4,343), Karnataka (1,502) and Telangana (1,213). It was the highest single-day spike for many of these states. * The number of deaths: 18,213. Number of recoveries: 379,891. * has a must read on why India’s ‘recovery’ numbers have a serious problem. * Bangalore reported 100 deaths on Thursday. The government has repurpose 35 acres of land across the city into public burial grounds. * Lybrate—India’s largest mental wellness platform— an 180% rise in online patient consultations. The jump is 225% for women compared to 150% for males. * Also hitting a new daily record: with 55,000-plus. That’s up from 22K cases a day just two weeks ago. * And if you care: People in Alabama are throwing parties that to the person who becomes infected. * The good news: the number of US deaths have stayed steady. looks at the reasons why. * Also throwing a party: The Czechs who held a (likely premature) farewell bash for the virus. Photos . * Sweden’s Prime Minister has into the nation’s handling of the coronavirus. The Swedes decided to opt for ‘herd immunity’ which kicks in when the majority of the population becomes infected—instead of trying to stem the spread. It’s death toll is now 5,000—which looks small but is significant given the size of its population. A BIG ARREST IN THE EPSTEIN CASE After nearly a year of speculation, US federal agents Ghislaine Maxwell—the former girlfriend of pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. She is charged with recruiting, grooming and sexually abusing underage girls as young as 14—and on two counts of perjury. Why this matters: the prosecutors are looking specifically at the period between 1994 and 1997. During this period, Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein were . Also: it throws the spotlight back on Prince Andrew who was very close to Maxwell. has that story. In related royal family news: In her lawsuit against British tabloids, Meghan has also at her in-laws. Her lawyers say that she suffered great damage to her mental health “specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the institution, and prohibited from defending herself.” THE LADAKH EFFECT: AN UPDATE * Indian custom officials are holding up all Chinese shipments for “additional scrutiny.” The latest to complain: which assembles iPhone and Xiaomi smartphones in India. * Global couriers DHL and FedEx are suspending all deliveries between India and China—and this is likely to hit critical supplies of medicines, laptops and phones. Watch: this video report. * TikTok will not be taking the Indian government to courts to challenge the ban—and it is “committed to working with the government to address its concerns.” * Who be loving China? The Mitron app—TikTok’s desi rival—which has Rs 2 crore in a seed funding round. The app now boasts of 17 million downloads on Google Play. * Who doesn’t care: TikTok’s parent ByteDance, which more than $17 billion in revenue last year—and is still the world’s most valuable startup. TRANSGENDER JAWAANS AHEAD? The government is readying a plan to admit transgendered persons into central paramilitary forces like the CRPF. The different units have been asked to submit their views. ()
SANITY BREAK This is a video for Deepika Padukone’s to raise greater awareness about mental health. It’s simple and powerful—and a gentle nudge to use the weekend to call someone who may need you to ask again.
SMART & CURIOUS A LIST OF INTRIGUING WEEKEND TIMEPASS website is chock full of delights like this one. Be sure to wander over on a lazy Saturday morning. It will be a very long time before we can hop on a plane and head to distant shores. But this stunning 360° photographic ‘street map’ of the country will let you hang on the beach for a little while. You can use your finger on an iPad or phone. On a laptop, hit the little play button for a panoramic view of any location. recreates the Indian version of the Getty Museum Challenge. Yes, this is folks at home recreating famous Indian works of art. Some are goofy, others are gorgeous. But all of it is very good Sunday am timepass. A LIST OF SEX/LOVE READS * Dipti Nagpaul in has an excellent must-read on the rise of soft-core streaming content in India—and the weird silence that surrounds it. We truly had no idea. * Plus: two good reads about love in the time of a pandemic. on the rise of sexting and ‘date drives’ in India and a longer and excellent read on the physical awkwardness of socially distanced dates. * Check out the stunning black nudes of Somaya Critchlow over at . AND HERE’S THE BEST OF THE REST * explains why the Indian art world has been slow to go digital in a socially distanced world—unlike museums and galleries elsewhere. * Piyasree Dasgupta in looks at the overlooked collateral damage of Trump’s war on Indian techies—their wives. * pens a lovely essay explaining his mad love for the game in ‘The nerd’s guide to football’. * When you have some time this weekend, be sure to some of the biggest names in independent media—Dhanya Rajendran, Sidharth Vardarajan, Abhinandan Sekhri and Naresh Fernandes—answer that burning Q: Is the press free in India? Their answers may surprise you.
LIFE ADVISORY A LIST OF GOOD SLEEP-IN GUIDES tool lets you do two things—based on which tab you pick. You can take a quiz to figure out how your body clock works. Or you can scroll through the interactive guide to learn what your body is actually doing at any given time of the day. And if you need it: how you can reset your internal clock. is titled 'What To Do When You Can't Sleep'—made for all of us who have tossed and turned at night, too tired to actually fall asleep. two-minute video helps you figure out just how sleep-deprived you are—including a handy visual test and a quiz. The result may offer a very good incentive to get as much sleep as you can this weekend.
THE FEEL GOOD PLACE A LIST OF ESSENTIAL WEEKEND REMINDERS is here to remind you that life is love and laughter. is here to remind you that true beauty can fill your heart with wonder. We can watch this one on a loop. is here to remind you that quiet time is the best time. are here to remind you life’s simple pleasures are often the best kind.
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