SANITY BREAK Banksy posted of him creating coronavirus-inspired art on London Underground trains and stations. Authorities promptly all off citing their "strict anti-graffiti policy." But hey, we still have this awesome vid. What we loved most: the tongue-in-cheek joke at the very end. Wait for it!
HEADLINES THAT MATTER THE GREAT PANDEMIC: INDIA EDITION * Big cause for concern: Karnataka, which witnessed a of 3,176 cases—including 1,975 in Bangalore. The state’s health minister’s response: “Only God can save us, and we have to bring in caution on our own." The state is currently under a 7-day lockdown. * Also going back into lockdown until July 18: . * The Finance Ministry defended its decision to slap an 18% GST tax on alcohol-based hand sanitisers in the midst of a pandemic: “Lower GST rates help imports by making them cheaper. This is against the nation’s policy on Atmanirbhar Bharat.” lays out the convoluted logic if you care. * Air India is sending a number of its employees on leave without pay for ! It is also the WFH option starting July 20. THE GREAT PANDEMIC: GLOBAL EDITION : Whether it is the US or India or Mexico, the countries experiencing an uncontrollable surge have one thing in common: “After weeks or months of trying to suppress the virus, they reopened their economies, only to find that the virus came roaring back. Now they are using a more limited arsenal to contain the spread, with little success.” : On May 17, the country reported only 10 new cases. It was also the day when the government decided to reopen schools. Today, 2,026 students, teachers, and staff have been infected, and 28,147 suspected cases are in quarantine. And Israel reported an all-time daily high of 1,681 new cases. More than 40% of the new cases are linked to schools—especially kids in middle school: > “Adults, including teachers and other employees, brought it into schools, which are, in the end, closed spaces… The younger > students were more obedient and easier to control in a classroom setting, and had more respect for their teachers. Among high > schoolers, there was a greater ability to understand. But it is in the nature of middle-school kids to rebel, not to obey > teachers, not to wear masks or keep apart.” : has raised its coronavirus alert status to ‘red’ due to record-high daily totals, but insists that the city is on track to in 2021. : Oxford University and AstraZeneca the results of their first human trials today. The news is expected to be good. The also performed well in the initial human trials, and is gearing up for a 30,000-person study that will be its real test. Also starting human trials: Indian company . A ‘JAW-DROPPING’ CRASH IN GLOBAL FERTILITY RATES According to a new Lancet study, the global fertility rate—i.e. the average number of children a woman gives to—is falling rapidly. Once it falls below 2.1, the total population starts to shrink. The global rate was 2.4 in 2017, and is expected to fall to 1.7 by 2100. The result: we will hit peak population in 2064 at 9.7 billion—and then drop to 8.8 billion by the end of the century. The nations most affected: 23—including Spain and Japan—whose populations will decline by 50% by 2100. explains why this isn’t exactly good news. A BRIEF SACHIN PILOT UPDATE Yesterday, he all and sundry that he will not be joining the BJP. One rumoured reason: loyal to Pilot do not want to switch loyalties. Congress leaders are still asking him to come back home, while CM Ashok Gehlot continues to in public: > “Speaking good English, giving bites to the media are not enough. You are hobnobbing with the BJP. What is in your heart for the > country? What is your ideological commitment? The fork of gold is not for eating.” : These charts that show the 70-plus times the Congress party has split—the most successful breakaway being Trinamool. WHISKEY IS BEST SERVED IN PAPER Johnnie Walker will be sold in recyclable starting next year. This is in contrast to the likes of Coca Cola which has refused to abandon plastic bottles or cans. In related Coke news: The shortage of diet varieties of Coke is real. : a shortage of artificial sweeteners and aluminium to make cans.
SANITY BREAK for ‘Shakuntala Devi’ is out! And Vidya Balan seems to be having a rip-roaring time tearing up the scenery. This one lands on Amazon Prime on July 31.
SMART & CURIOUS A LIST OF GOOD READS * The health reporter for the Dainik Bhaskar threw himself off the fourth floor of a Covid hospital. offers a balanced investigation into what happened. * Two good reads on caste in Silicon Valley: This op-ed by Yashica Dutta. This well-reported deep dive from . * profiles the shrillest warmonger on television: Major General GD Bakshi. * looks at off-the-wall but very real efforts to save the planet from climate change by bringing woolly mammoths back from extinction. TWO TRICKS OF THE EYE : Twitter was awash with clips of street performers mysteriously levitating in various parts of the world. This is how they do it. ? Is this train coming towards or away from you?
LIFE ADVISORY A LIST OF MOOD-ALTERING THINGS * help you focus while you work (and tune out the sound of ringing doorbells and clanking bartans). It spans all kinds of genres and beats. Warning: They all need Spotify. * Want to run far, far away? Just head over to and discover a distant room on the other side of the world, and with a very different view. * Here are some —from colouring a feeling wheel to creating response art—that help you feel better. * is a mood-changer. Yup, research shows that caring for our dogs makes us feel instantly better—and for sound scientific reasons.
THE FEEL GOOD PLACE FAIR WARNING: FOUR GOOFY ANIMAL THINGS that loves a good slide. Wheee! that is just shite at hide-and-seek , courtesy Fernando Botero. The other famous export from Medellin, Colombia, drew and sculpted many fat cats—handily collected . : The Orchid Mantis, native to the Western Ghats.
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