It is a thin mask and has tiny pores that is helping me to breathe… People are asking me for selfies. They are awestruck when they see me wearing the gold mask in markets.
That’s Shankar Kurhade, a Pune businessman who wanders around town in a face mask made of pure gold. The ultimate piece of pandemic bling costs Rs 3 lakh and doesn’t actually do its job—i.e. protect Kurhade from the virus. But, hey, the mask matches perfectly with the gold bracelet, necklace and rings on each finger of his right hand. Illustration: Parth Savla
the big story
China’s 1.8 kilometre concession
The TLDR: China and India have agreed to move back by 1.8 km from the location of the Galwan encounter—where 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent confrontation at the Ladakh border. For now, however, there is little indication of a similar retreat in other areas along the Line of Control. What’s notable: Beijing did not assert its right to Galwan Valley for the first time in recent months. Then again, neither did India.
What’s happened now?
The conversation: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks on Sunday. The outcome: depends on which statement you read.
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