‘’ tells the true story of three women recruited to spy for Britain during World War II. Among them: Noor Inayat Khan, played here by Radhika Apte. The movie is sadly not coming to Netflix or Hotstar, but releases in theatres on October 2. It should be available for streaming on iTunes thereafter. PS: Khan was recently honoured with a London blue plaque. explains what the honour signifies.
UNLOCK 4.0 AMID RECORD NUMBERS A global record: For the past four days, India has reported more than 75,000 new cases—a high no other country has reached during the pandemic. * The number for Sunday: . We’ve already been reporting higher daily numbers than the US and Brazil for weeks. * The government’s : we are conducting more tests—which hit one million over recent days. * The reasoning: Of the total number of daily tests performed, the percentage of people testing positive has declined. * The global total: 25 million-plus—which is at least five times the number of flu-like illnesses recorded each year in the past. * : “Around the world, there have been more than 840,000 deaths, considered a lagging indicator given the two-week incubation period of the virus. That has exceeded the upper range of 290,000 to 650,000 annual deaths linked to influenza.” Unlock 4.0: The government has given to metros and gatherings of upto 100 people for entertainment and religious purposes. Also no longer banned: Still under lockdown: Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks and theatres. All educational institutions remain shut but kids in grades 9-12 can visit their schools if needed with parental permission. And up to 50% of staff can be asked to come in for teaching-related work. VIOLENCE SPREADS IN THE UNITED STATES Protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, against the police shooting of Jacob Blake resulted in yet another death. One person (likely a Trump supporter) on Saturday during a series of confrontations between members of a 600-vehicle caravan of Trump supporters and BLM protesters. Two protesters last week when a young man shot at them with a semi-automatic rifle. Point to note: Trump went on a putting out 89 tweets within hours—which included a conspiracy theory that the protests are a planned coup to topple his presidency. Point to note: Trump plans to visit Kenosha on Tuesday. A DISMAL END TO MAURITIUS DEBACLE A Japanese cargo ship ran aground off the coast of Mauritius with nearly 4,000 tons of oil on board (we explained the reasons for this ecological disaster ). At least 1,000 tons leaked and another 3,000 tons were removed. And now, the government deliberately sank the ship in order to get rid of it—which means this: > “Government statements have said that the vessel was sunk in waters that were 2000 meters deep… This would mean the pressure at > the bottom would be 200 atmospheres (or 200 times the pressure at the surface). This would result in any remnants or traces of > toxic materials on the vessel being squeezed out like ketchup from a bottle, given the pressure at such depths.” By Friday, at least 39 dolphins and whales washed up dead on the beach. Environmentalists and locals have launched . looks at whether the sinking constitutes an international crime. RELIANCE’S SHOPPING SPREE CONTINUES Big Bazaar and Foodhall are the newest members of the Ambani family business. Reliance bought the retail operations off their parent company Future Group—and will now have 1,800 new stores across 420 cities. The ticket price: $3.38 billion. () ELON MUSK UNVEILS SUPER-PIG Tesla and SpaceX founder’s latest pet project is something he “a Fitbit in your skull.” His big reveal: a pig called Gertrude with a coin-sized computer chip in her brain—which allows us to record and view her neural activity. Musk claims this Neuralink will one day allow people with neurological conditions to control phones or computers with their mind—and it may even offer a cure for dementia, Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injuries. For now, all the world saw was a happy and mercifully healthy pig (watch her ): > “She took a while to get going, but when she ate and sniffed straw, the activity showed up on a graph tracking her neural > activity. She then mostly ignored all the attention around her.” FYI: experts are sceptical of Musk’s claims. One big reason: We won’t be able to decode similar recordings from a human brain because we simply don’t understand enough about how it works. AN ALARMING RECORD ON IMPRISONMENT Data from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that we jail a disproportionate number of Dalits, tribals and Muslims. The percentage of people under trial in jail who are from Scheduled Castes: 21%. Their share in the population: 16.6%. Similarly, Muslims account for 16.6% of all convicts and 18.7% of those under trial, but account for only 14.2% of the population. () More bad numbers: The World Bank announced that it will cease the publication of its well-regarded ‘Doing Business’ rankings—which measures the ease of doing business in a country. The reason: “A number of irregularities have been reported” regarding changes to the data methodology used in past reports. Point to note: India significantly jumped up the rankings in these now-suspect 2018 and 2020 reports. But it isn’t clear if the data audit will revise those assessments. According to the , the countries most affected will be China, Azerbaijan, UAE and Saudi Arabia. has more details. Bad numbers expected: India will release GDP data for the April-June period today. And our economy may have shrunk the most among all G-20 countries—which is a group of the top 20 economies in the world. has more. A BAN ON HATE TV Last week, a Sudarshan News talked up an alleged exposé of the “infiltration” of Muslims in the civil services—which it dubbed as “bureaucracy Jihad.” Two petitions were filed to stop the airing of this so-called special. The Supreme Court refused to issue a stay, but the High Court did so instead. has more details, including the sponsors of the TV show. Meanwhile, 1,700 people—including journalists, film directors and lawyers—have seven chief ministers demanding Sudarshan News Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke be charged with spreading hate speech. Still on air: A BREWING PHADDA IN MEN’S TENNIS Not content with spreading and holding super-spreader , Novak Djokovic is now creating a new kind of strife within the sport. His latest move: a move to create a separate men’s players union called the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). Not on board: Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer. Point to note: Tennis players do not have a union that collectively bargains on their behalf. has more.
Banksy put out this video after buying a French Navy vessel—which he converted dedicated to saving migrants. Thousands of refugees fleeing war and starvation arrive in small boats in the Mediterranean sea—but European countries refuse to let them in, leaving them stranded and at risk of death.
A LIST OF GOOD READS * looks at why publishers refuse to fact-check non-fiction manuscripts. * This excellent essay explains our ‘surge capacity’—and why the pandemic has left us depleted. * How do you talk about virus safety while dating? has six tips. * has the sad and overlooked story of a Kashmiri photojournalist, Masrat Zahra, who won an international award—and is being punished by all sides for it. * If you are an NRI American in India, you probably want to check to voting from abroad. * profiles six volunteers for the vaccine trials in Delhi. * This takes people like us to task for raging against poachers—when the real threat to wildlife is big-ticket development. * takes us inside the lavish (and secret) pandemic vacations of celebs.
THREE AWESOME WOMEN DOING AWESOME THINGS : This 86-year-old dancing joyously to a street musician’s rendition of Elvis’ ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’. : This amazing young woman performing a Sari Impossible stunt. : This fabulous (and we think best) interpretation of the ‘Rasode main kaun tha’ meme.
The government’s obsession with a golden sceptre may be a clever election and/or Hindutva play.Read More
A UK report lays bare the abuse of tea workers—who still work like indentured plantation slaves.Read More
We look at what this new citadel of Indian democracy looks like–and why so many people are unhappy with it.Read More