India Outbreak, Hong Kong, Bali Economy: Your Tuesday Briefing
India Outbreak, Hong Kong, Bali Economy: Your Tuesday Briefing
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We’re covering record virus cases in India, a major I.P.O. for Ant Group and how Bali residents are dealing with a change to their tourism-based economy.
Infections in the country have jumped in recent weeks as a nationwide lockdown was lifted. Some states, including Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, reimposed restrictions to try to bring the virus under control.
Still, new hot spots seem to emerge faster than they can be contained, and researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology now estimate that India will be the world’s worst-hit country by the end of next year.
Context: India, with 1.1 million confirmed cases, now falls behind only the U.S., with 3.7 million, and Brazil, with two million. India’s caseload is on track to surpass Brazil’s.
In other news:
The I.P.O. is expected to be big — the company was valued at $150 billion two years ago — and it offers a ray of light for Hong Kong, which has struggled under the pandemic and a new national security law imposed by Beijing.
Ant, which is controlled by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, did not offer details on timing. Investors have been waiting for the listing for years.
Context: Although not as well known as Alibaba, Ant has grown huge as a provider of payments, investments and loans to Alibaba’s hundreds of millions of customers. The company grew out of Alibaba’s payment platform, Alipay, which Mr. Ma broke off from Alibaba after what he said was regulatory pressure from Beijing in 2011.
The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, cited fears that anyone extradited to Hong Kong from Britain could be sent to mainland China under the new law. The move is sure to inflame tensions with Beijing and shows a hardening of Britain’s stance toward China.
This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is meeting with Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, and China is expected to be high on the agenda during the visit. Australia and Canada suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong earlier this month.
Response: A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wang Wenbin, urged Britain to “stop going further down the wrong path.”
If you have 30 minutes, this is worth it
A Japanese-American sculptor finally gets her due
Seven years after her death, the sculptor Ruth Asawa is being rediscovered — and has finally been given the kind of international recognition that was owed during her lifetime, writes Thessaly La Force in T Magazine.
Asawa, above working on a looped-wire sculpture in 1957, was incarcerated as a teenager in a Japanese-American concentration camp and overcame incredible prejudice and racism to be an artist. Her legacy reflects both her own contributions as an artist as well as the singular path she forged for herself as a woman, an Asian-American and the child of immigrants.
Here’s what else is happening
Oil deal: Chevron, the American oil giant, said on Monday that it had agreed to acquire Noble Energy, a Houston-based oil and gas explorer with an international dimension, for $5 billion.
Snapshot: Above, people foraging for clams, crabs and shrimp in Bali in June. The island that depends heavily on tourism is struggling to get back on its feet. Many resort workers have been forced by the coronavirus pandemic to return home to their villages and small towns, taking up traditional ways of making a living to feed their families.
What we’re listening to: This Armchair Expert podcast about aging research, featuring the Australian biologist David Sinclair. The way we age affects our response to disease, and the work Mr. Sinclair’s team is doing at Harvard might make your jaw drop.
Now, a break from the news
Cook: This heirloom tomato tart celebrates juicy, vibrant tomatoes in a cheesy, herby, custard-filled, flaky crust, with each bite punctuated with pesto.
See: Museums in Europe are reopening, and masks festooned with artwork by masters including Van Gogh and Rembrandt are hot souvenirs — a simple way to support institutions and cover your face in art.
Deal: Are you a people pleaser? Learn how to shift course and say “no” to something you’re not comfortable with during the pandemic.
We may be venturing outside, but we’re still spending lots of time inside. At Home has our full collection of ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do to make it fun.
And now for the Back Story on …
Music and activism
Meshell Ndegeocello, Brandi Carlile and Hayley Kiyoko, artists with different backgrounds, found shared experiences in a conversation during The Times’s “Live at Home” series focused on music, activism and queer identity. Here’s an excerpt from their exchange.
When did activism start for each of you? When did you become politically awakened?
Hayley Kiyoko: I was on my own journey. For me, it’s been out of necessity. I think that for most people who have lived their lives being activists, it is through necessity. When I released my music video for “Girls Like Girls,” that was out of necessity for myself.
Meshell Ndegeocello: In my youth, I wasn’t very aware of it. I was very singularly focused on making music. Music is something where I feel genderless and raceless. But being a person of color, I think every day of my existence is pretty much making a statement, and I’ve only come to understand that as I now am 52.
How do you integrate queerness into your music?
Brandi Carlile: Music is such an expression that your sexuality comes out. It just does. Whether you’re writing about it or not. The people that need to know, know. I write songs with guys and sometimes they’ll have written a song or a narrative and they’re singing about a woman, but the perspective is so male I can’t put that on me. “I don’t feel that way, I feel really female about this,” and that’s just where I am with my gender identity so I kind of need to change this — keep the pronoun where it is, but I need it to be me.
So how do you balance activism and being out with threats of violence that still exist?
Meshell: I have to say your safety is much more important, your life. I’m a very passive, nonviolent person, and I hope you can find the peace within yourself, so perhaps do your activism through other channels that don’t jeopardize your safety. That’s the most important thing.
Hayley: Survival is key and without you, there is no change.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at email@example.com.
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