Splainer

Friday, August 21 2020


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I do not ask for mercy. I do not appeal to magnanimity. I am here, therefore, to cheerfully submit to any penalty that can lawfully be inflicted upon me for what the Court has determined to be an offence, and what appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen.

Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan quoted these words of Gandhi to a colonial court when facing trial for inciting contempt—in his response to the Supreme Court. Bhushan has been declared guilty of criminal contempt for two tweets, and faces upto six months of imprisonment. The court urged him to apologise for his tweets, and reconsider his position. Bhushan has refused. Illustration: Parth Savla.

Big Story

A case of poisoning in Russia

The TLDR: Russia’s most prominent Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is in a coma. Doctors suspect he may have been poisoned, and are trying to save his life. If Navalny dies, this will be the latest in a series of assassinations of journalists, politicians and activists—all of whom opposed President Putin. And many of them involved poison. We look at what happened to Navalny, and why he is a threat to Putin right now.

 

Who is Navalny now?

The 44-year old lawyer-turned-activist runs an organisation called Anti-Corruption Foundation, which has done several exposes on Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. He has also led several protests against the government, starting in 2011. Navalny has been repeatedly arrested in the past. And he has been the target of several attacks—including a suspected poisoning during a prison stint in 2019. Earlier in 2017, he was assaulted with a toxic dye that nearly blinded him in one eye.

 

And he’s been poisoned? How?

He was in a region called Tomsk to help support anti-Putin candidates. On his way back to Moscow, he ordered a cup of black tea at the airport. He was photographed by a local DJ just as he was getting ready to take a sip.

 

On the flight, Navalny became suddenly and rapidly unwell—and started howling in pain. The pilot made an emergency landing, and Navalny was rushed off in a stretcher to the hospital.

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In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • Another Covid survey in Delhi
  • Florida’s big mosquito experiment
  • Indian matchmaking: the Pradhyuman complaint
  • Women’s bodies can sabotage sperm

 

Smart And Curious

  • Why Zoom may be the world’s worst business idea ever
  • Amreekis now have a dating app that matches you based on your birth chart

 

Life Advisory

  • So you wanna watch something…
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