Wednesday, February 3 2021

Dive In

There was Alexander the Liberator and Yaroslav the Wise. Now we’ll have Vladimir the Poisoner of Underpants.

That’s Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny making a skewering speech in court right before he was sentenced to two or more years in jail—likely to be served in a penal colony. The Vladimir Putin government is under severe international pressure due to its persecution of Navalny. Intelligence agents first tried to poison him, and then promptly arrested him—the moment Navalny landed in Russia after recovering from the near-death experience in Germany. There have been massive protests in Moscow in his support. 

Big Story

Mystery of the missing Covid cases

The TLDR: While the virus surges in great parts of the world—mutating unchecked—India’s cases have been steadily declining, and for no apparent reason. We look at the various theories put forward to explain this seeming miracle.


First, the numbers

  • The number of daily new cases has fallen precipitously from 100,000 in September to 8,635 as of February 1. 
  • The number of daily deaths is below 100 for the very first time since May. 
  • And our mortality rate—percent of cases that end in death—is only 1.44%, way lower than the US, UK and other European countries.
  • Our positivity rate—the percent of tests that turn up positive—has dropped from 11.7% in August to 1.7% in January. This is typically taken as a sign that the pandemic is receding.

In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • Farmer protests: Who killed Navneet Singh?
  • Bezos to step down as Amazon CEO
  • Worst Indians in the world?
  • Tech companies with gender issues
  • Nike does good


A list of curious things

  • Did you know that Pierce Brosnan is an artist?
  • MRIs of people having sex

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