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India’s Outbreak, Seoul Mayor, Short Stories: Your Friday Briefing

2020-07-10 04:22:56
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Good morning.

We’re covering a worsening outbreak in India, lives upended for foreign students in the U.S. and 29 short stories meant for this moment.

Hospitals are overwhelmed and health officials are struggling to respond to the surge in cases. Public health experts said the toll was linked to crowding in major cities. At least two states, Bihar and West Bengal, are reintroducing social distancing measures they had lifted in June.

In addition, an important metric, the country’s virus reproduction rate, has increased to 1.19 in early July, from 1.1 in late June, according to research by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai. The rate had been steadily falling since March when the country was under lockdown.

Details: India’s outbreak is the world’s third-largest after the United States and Brazil. As of Thursday, India had more than 767,000 confirmed infections and 21,129 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

Here are the latest updates and maps of where the virus has spread.

In other developments:


What we’re listening to: Behind the Bastards podcast. “I was enthralled by this five-part mini-series on policing, including its roots in slave patrols and its embrace of the Klan,” writes Shaila Dewan, a criminal justice reporter.

The story has been told from one point of view for too long. And when we say story, I don’t just mean film or television. I mean the stories we embrace as part of the criminalization of Black people. Every time an officer writes a police report about an incident, they’re telling a story. Look at the case of Breonna Taylor and her police report. They had nothing on it; it said she had no injuries. That is a story of those officers saying, “Nothing to look at here, nothing happened.” But that’s not the story that happened because if she could speak for herself, she would say, “I was shot in the dark on a no-knock warrant in my bed.”

This is a moment of grief and rage for so many. How can those emotions be translated into art?

The answer to your question for me personally was the creation of our Law Enforcement Accountability Project — LEAP — which uses art to hold police accountable.

It links to the idea that an artist and an activist are not so far apart. Whether you call yourself an activist or not, artists use their imagination to envision a world that does not exist and make it so. Activists use their imagination to envision a world that does not exist and make it so.

Many people in the United States are just beginning the fight for racial and social justice. You’ve been in this battle a long time. What’s your advice for sustaining the fight long term?

The battle is ongoing whether you keep it going or not. The question is how are you going to react to it? That’s up to everyone to decide for themselves.

But the battle is not by choice. I would rather not do any of it. I’d rather just make my films and go about my day. But if I don’t buy into the fight then I don’t get to make my films.


That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Melina


Thank you
To Melissa Clark for the recipe, and to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at
[email protected].

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about why an early scientific report of symptom-free cases went unheeded.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Part of a constellation (four letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• “The 1619 Project” from The Times Magazine will be developed into a portfolio of films, television and other content in partnership with Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate.

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