India’s Hospitals, North Korea, Uighurs: Your Tuesday Briefing

India’s Hospitals, North Korea, Uighurs: Your Tuesday Briefing

India’s Hospitals, North Korea, Uighurs: Your Tuesday Briefing

India’s Hospitals, North Korea, Uighurs: Your Tuesday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering India’s hospitals in crisis, a warning from North Korea and what makes Thailand a source for juicy, prickly, delicious fruit.

Neelam Kumari Gautam woke up at 5 a.m. on June 5 with shooting labor pains. Her husband put her gently in the back of a rickshaw and motored with her to a hospital. Then another. Then another. Her pain was so intense she could barely breathe, but none would take her.

After 8 different hospitals and 15 hours, she was pronounced dead. The baby also died.

As India’s health care system buckles during the coronavirus crisis, hers is an increasingly common story. India is now reporting more infections a day than any other nation except the United States or Brazil.

What we found: Patients are being denied critical care, and many health care workers are afraid of treating new patients. Some turned Ms. Gautam away because of fears of the virus, others because of what they saw as a hopeless recovery, or because of a lack of beds.

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

In other virus news:

  • New cases in the U.S. accounted for 20 percent of all new infections worldwide on Sunday, even as the country’s population makes up 4.3 percent of the world’s.

  • A top health official in South Korea, Jeong Eun-kyeong, said that the country had been battling a “second wave” since early May. South Korea has reported new cases in the double digits in recent weeks, after recording as many as 800 cases a day several months ago.

  • Germany’s largest pork processing plant has recorded more than 1,300 cases among workers.

  • New York City entered a much larger reopening phase on Monday — one that allows employees to return to offices, outdoor dining and some in-store shopping, and also allows hair salons, barbershops and real estate firms to restart their work.

The Times is providing free access to much of our coronavirus coverage, and our Coronavirus Briefing newsletter — like all of our newsletters — is free. Please consider supporting our journalism with a subscription.

The plan, announced on Monday, is retaliation for leaflets sent into the North by defectors now living in the South. Pyongyang said it was preparing 3,000 balloons to fly the leaflets, along with cigarette butts and other trash.

“The time for retaliatory punishment is drawing near,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency reported. “South Korea has to face the music.”

Context: Pyongyang has been expressing increasing frustration with the U.S. and South Korea since failed negotiations between President Trump and the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, in Vietnam last February.

Some U.S. lawmakers sharply criticized President Trump for delaying sanctions on Chinese officials who were involved in detention camps for Uighur Muslims so as not to jeopardize trade talks with Beijing.

Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, said it was “appalling” that the president was “enabling one of the worst human rights atrocities of our time in order to ink a trade deal.”

Mr. Trump on Sunday appeared to support the account of his former national security adviser, John Bolton, who wrote in a new book that Mr. Trump had put off sanctions and had said that building the camps was “the right thing to do.”

“Well, we were in the middle of a major trade deal,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with Axios.

Context: Human rights groups say that China has placed up to one million Uighurs in indoctrination camps in the Xinjiang region. Former detainees have alleged rape and torture.

Southeast Asia’s fruits are like no other. There is a fruit that emits a sticky sap when peeled and another that stains fingernails mauve for those craving its succulent flesh. And there is the rambutan, which means “hairy thing” in Malay. Above, jackfruit at a market in Bangkok.

Our Bangkok correspondent looked at some of the region’s favorites: lychees, mangos, jackfruits, durians and dragon fruits, among others. Thailand’s fruit producers are predicting an increase in overseas shipments this year, despite the coronavirus.

U.S. election campaign: Joe Biden’s team is narrowing the list of candidates to be the former vice president’s running mate in the presidential election. Here are the 12 women under consideration.

Snapshot: Above, Father Eduardo Vasquez, a Philippine priest, who has been visiting Manila’s poor neighborhoods not only to minister, but also to distribute food and face masks. “It is not enough to rely on faith alone,” he said. “It has to be coupled with actions.”

What we’re reading: This Los Angeles Times feature about the California roots of the Black Lives Matter movement and its founders. It’s a helpful look at where the global movement came from.

Cook: These pork kebabs are loaded with whole spices, green chile and garlic. The marinade can also work on just about anything.

Watch: In movies, a locked-down set is often an artistic choice (or sometimes the result of a strapped budget). Here’s a look at six movies that take place mostly in a single location.

Listen: As black Americans fought for equal rights in the 1960s, music reflected their calls to action. This playlist features 15 essential black liberation jazz tracks that push the boundaries and celebrate blackness.

Read: Ottessa Moshfegh’s new novel, “Death in Her Hands,” is a murder mystery, but there’s no body. Our critic writes that he enjoyed the book more after it was over. “It has an afterlife in your mind,” he writes.

At Home has our full collection of ideas on what to read, cook, watch, and do while staying safe at home.

Being productive in an office job is harder when your office is your home. But three months into the work-from-home era, some best practices are emerging. Our Smarter Living team came up with these suggestions.

Shift your mind-set. More than ever you will be measured on output, not on how many hours you sat at your desk. Creating chunks of time to turn off notifications and focus deeply on your own projects, called “time-boxing,” can lift the quality of your work.

Speak up quickly if something isn’t working. It’s harder now for managers to see that you are spinning your wheels and aren’t making progress, so let them know.

Remove distractions. Without the boss periodically peeking over your shoulder, it’s easy to take a quick break, and then realize an hour later you’re still on that unending Twitter or Instagram scroll. Take social media off your work machine. Leave your phone in another room.

Don’t forget career advancement. Keep thinking and talking about the areas you want to improve, the parts of the company you want to explore and how you may get there.

Overcommunicate. Managers especially should provide additional context. Explain the “whys” of decisions and their possible effects to replace the information picked up organically in the office.

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

— Melina

Thank you
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Melissa Clark provided the recipe. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about how Facebook is undermining Black Lives Matter.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: French word that sounds like an air kiss (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Jessica Grose, editor of our Parenting section, was named one of Glamour magazine’s game changers. Glamour spoke with her about getting real with parenting advice.

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