On International Women’s Day, Tashnuva Anan Shishir made history with a three-minute news bulletin—becoming Bangladesh’s first transgender news anchor. has more on her story. has more details and photos of her breaking down in tears of joy after she ended the newscast.
MYANMAR PROTESTS: AN UPDATE At least two opposition leaders in police custody following alleged torture. Apart from arresting protesters on the streets, many people have been rounded up in nighttime raids, and have essentially disappeared. Meanwhile at the UN: The Security Council passed a watered down resolution condemning the violence—calling on the military to show restraint. Also more : > “But language that would have condemned the coup and threatened possible further action was removed from the British-drafted > text, due to opposition by China, Russia, India and Vietnam.” HORRIFIC DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DATA A new WHO study found that one in three women around the world have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. The largest-ever study of its kind also says this: a quarter of young women who have been in a relationship experienced violence inflicted by an intimate partner by the time they reach their mid-20s. Let’s just sit with that little nugget for a moment. Point to note: The data is from 2010-2018 so it does not include the huge surge in violence against women caused by the lockdown. () RUSSIA CRACKS DOWN ON TWITTER The government is at which Twitter loads for internet users. The official reason: The company is refusing to remove posts about illegal drug use, child pornography, and messages “pushing minors toward suicide.” The more likely reason: > “Twitter—and to a much greater extent, Facebook’s Instagram and Google’s YouTube—have given Russians ways to speak, report and > organize openly even though the Kremlin controls the television airwaves.” THE GREAT PANDEMIC: A QUICK UPDATE * The death rates are spiralling , and hospitals are at breaking point. Brazil's Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 1,972 more deaths and 70,764 new cases. * A small study out of Israel found virus antibodies of vaccinated healthcare workers. More happily this: “The antibodies that develop in breastmilk have the ability to neutralize and block the connection between the virus and the receptor on the cell.” Point to note: As of now, vaccines are not recommended in India at least for pregnant or lactating moms. * A found that pollen can make you more susceptible to infections—even if you are not allergic. * The Pfizer vaccine performs very well against the —but both Pfizer and Moderna don’t do as well against the . * The latest research shows that the Oxford vaccine actually performs better when there is a 12-week gap between two jabs. So wants to know: Why is India ignoring the data, and insisting on sticking to the four-week schedule. THE AMBANI CASE: A QUICK UPDATE One: The Mumbai police has transferred Sachin Vaze—a controversial cop often described as an ‘encounter specialist’—out of the Crime Branch. The reason: allegations leveled by Manshukh Hiran’s wife: > “On Tuesday, Vimla Hiren, the wife of the Mansukh Hiran, who owned the Scorpio and whose body was found in the Kalwa creek on > Friday, has alleged in her statement before ATS that Vaze had been using the car, from November 2020 till February 5. She > further alleged that Vaze had told her husband to get arrested in the case and assured him that he will be bailed out in a few > days.” Since this is India, her statement has now become fodder for the BJP—which is demanding that Vaze be arrested for murder, or failing that, obstruction to justice. If you have no idea what this is about, we have all the gory details in our . () Two: A private cybersecurity firm hired by an unnamed investigating agency has been looking at the messages from a little-known extremist outfit known as Jaish-ul-Hind. It has supposedly traced the first Telegram message claiming credit for the bomb scare to someone near/in Tihar jail. The second message denying any role in the case originated outside the country. Yeah, we too have zero clue as to what any of this means. () THREE COOL OPTICAL THINGS One: There are now two photos taken of ships that appear to be hovering in the air. was a ship, while the was an oil tanker—both taken off the Cornish coast: > "Superior mirages occur because of the weather condition known as a temperature inversion, where cold air lies close to the sea > with warmer air above it. Since cold air is denser than warm air, it bends light towards the eyes of someone standing on the > ground or on the coast, changing how a distant object appears.” The first one looks way cooler: Two: The US Army is developing Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) goggles for close-combat forces that will allow soldiers to look through the walls of combat vehicles, around corners, and project digital maps and other data onto the lenses. One downside: They look like something out of a bad sci-fi flick. () Three: Entirely unrelated but optically very appealing: Lady Gaga And Adam Driver dressed up as Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci for Ridley Scott’s upcoming ‘House of Gucci’—which tells of the fashion boss and his wife who was imprisoned for orchestrating his murder. Yes, we put in just because… ONE VERY FUN THING A Chinese businessman is selling Trump Buddha statues, and is promoting it with the slogan ‘Make your company great again!’. You can buy a small one for $150 USD or a 15-foot monstrosity for $610. Also, it looks :
This beautiful image by Azerbaijan-based artist Fidan Zaman combines art and photography in one seamless vision of beauty—each seascape inside her sketchbook become part of the landscape. has an entire collection. (h/t the incredibly helpful subscriber Sowmya Swaminathan)
Good morning! Zip lining is always fun! Pandemic protocol for lab assistants. Click through for the lovely story behind the pic.
READING HABIT BOOK EDITOR’S NOTE Hi all, last Thursday, March 4, was World Book Day, made all the more special this year because I’ve been in the process of shifting houses. The 200-odd books in my small space reminded me that while I could throw away literally anything to make the process easier, not a single book shall remain behind. They are home. A LIST OF GOOD LITERARY READS One: Misquoting classic books and movies on the internet and at parties is not quite new, but commemorating stories and people by misquoting them on official, long-lasting things—like coins—is just downright embarrassing. The latest victim of one such debacle is, who appears on a collection of 50p coins in the UK alongside a. Two: Vladimir Nabokov, best known for the needs-no-introduction '', wrote an astonishing poem about… Superman and Lois Lane. Named '', the poem is a sorrowful expression of Superman’s inability to have children with the love of his life. The full story, in the, is fascinating. Three: In this gorgeous audio episode over at the, we hear writers,, and others talk about the irreplaceable role forests play in our imaginative lives. While they feature prominently in fairy tales, they also help us understand our adult lives. It’s a stunning meditative listen. Four: Earlier, women rarely wrote spy fiction. Now, not only are their numbers increasing, they’re also changing the face of the genre, bringing fresh outlooks on stories both familiar and astoundingly new. did a roundtable with,,, and, and their insights are eye-opening. Five: is Britain’s top literary award exclusively for writers of colour, and one of my favourite prizes, since it never fails to make my TBR pile teeter just a little bit more, and it was founded by the amazing. The is out, and it looks like my next few weeks are sorted. Six: has one hell of a challenge-slash-experiment: sure, you can all day long, but can you read the entirety of '' in one day??? Chris Taylor speed-read and recorded his day-long adventure so that you can ride shotgun with him and still come out with a strong sense of achievement. QUICK FIXES, AKA A FEW VARIED RECOMMENDATIONS What I’m reading: I’m juuust beginning '' by Scott Hawkins so I can’t say much, except that it is thrilling and madcap and it’s truly a prime example of how speculative fiction should be. A childhood fave: isn’t your regular detective. For one, he is a skeleton. And two, he might be facing an ancient evil to stop it from ending the world alongside… a twelve-year old? This series, by Derek Landy, is still going strong, and for pre-teens with a penchant for epic fights and relatable heroes, this is top-notch. Book-adjacent rec of the week: is one of the largest young adult fiction communities online. They radiate pure love and enthusiasm when championing a book or an author, and honestly that alone makes them worth it, but they also have a variety of content to partake of, including interactive quizzes, lists of all kinds, and colourful charts that serve as recommendation tools. Underrated author of the week: It pains me to include in this category, but the criminal truth is that not enough have read her, or even heard of her. A pioneering writer of detective fiction combining locked-room mysteries and the darker side of crime, her best work remains ‘’, which was selected by the British Crime Writers' Association as the greatest crime novel of all time. Bookish adaptation to watch out for: This is an old one, but I have been re-watching it as a stressbuster and it never fails me—'’, an even more unusual take on Sherlock Holmes than the Icarus-like ‘Sherlock’. The mysteries are actually puzzling and require hard work and logical reasoning, the character development is everything I can hope for in real life, and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson is a right inspiration. It’s on Prime Video, so please run to it and start watching. Still waiting for: ‘My Salinger Year’, which is based on Joanna Rakoff's memoir of working as an assistant to literary super agent Phyllis Westberg, who presented JD Salinger. It released in theatres earlier this month, but we will likely have to wait until it hits a streaming platform near us. But we can always read , or enjoy : Note: Reading Habit is curated by our books editor Anushree Kaushal. Want to send along recommendations, feedback or just say hi? Email her at Good morning! Zip lining is always fun! Pandemic protocol for lab assistants. Click through for the lovely story behind the pic.
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