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Your Thursday Briefing: Variant Déjà Vu in India

We’re overlaying Omicron in India and unrest sweeping Kazakhstan.

Only a few months in the past, as authorities leaders vastly underestimated the risks and publicly flouted official recommendation, the Delta variant ravaged India. Now, with the rise of Omicron, the mixed signals from the government and rapid spread by cities are fueling a way of déjà vu.

Because the Omicron wave started final month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the nation to be vigilant. Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of the Delhi area, launched evening curfews, shut down film theaters and slashed capability in eating places and public transport.

However then each males hit the marketing campaign path, showing unmasked in rallies with hundreds of individuals. Massive election rallies are being held throughout a number of states which are going to the polls within the coming months.

Numbers: Mumbai reported greater than 15,000 new infections on Wednesday, its highest of the pandemic. In New Delhi, the every day quantity practically doubled in a single day.

Added concern: The concerns are compounded by some analysis displaying that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been utilized in about 90 p.c of India’s vaccinations, does not protect towards Omicron, although it seems to assist cut back the severity of the sickness.

Listed here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:


Hundreds of individuals throughout Kazakhstan are taking to the streets over a surge in the price of gas. The demonstrations are the biggest wave of protests to sweep the oil-rich country in decades.

Protesters on Wednesday stormed authorities buildings in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis, setting ablaze the previous presidential residence and the workplaces of the governing Nur Otan get together. Police mentioned the protesters broken 400 companies, and that 200 folks had been detained. In keeping with native media, the police opened fireplace in Atyrau, killing a minimum of one individual.

Anger has swelled regardless of concessions from the ruling get together: The cupboard and prime minister had been dismissed. As protests continued, the president promised to “act with most toughness.” Authorities shut off the web and blocked social media and chat apps.

Background: Protests started Sunday after the federal government lifted worth caps for liquefied petroleum fuel and the price of gas doubled. Within the days since, demonstrators have demanded the ouster of the authoritarian political forces which have dominated the nation since Kazakhstan grew to become impartial in 1991.

Russia is watching: Kazakhstan is on the coronary heart of what President Vladimir Putin of Russia sees because the Kremlin’s sphere of affect. Professional-Kremlin media portrayed the occasions as a plot towards Russia.

Right here’s what’s behind Kazakhstan’s biggest crisis in a long time.


Beijing’s crackdown on the tech sector is killing entrepreneurial drive and quashing jobs that attracted faculty graduates, our columnist Li Yuan writes.

Firms like iQiyi, a video platform that aspired to be China’s Netflix, are shedding younger, well-educated staff. Some have even been pressured to close down. Regulators say they’re making an attempt to wash up the businesses’ practices, however many say regulatory actions have gone too far. Main companies have been hit with antitrust fines, and media and leisure platforms are pulling common content material and influencers, cautious of repeated authorities warnings that the content material is just not ideologically applicable.

Particulars: Within the third quarter of final 12 months, China’s largest web firm, Tencent, posted its slowest income development since its public itemizing in 2004. The e-commerce big Alibaba’s profitability declined by 38 p.c from a 12 months earlier. Didi, as soon as probably the most helpful start-up within the nation, reported an working lack of $6.3 billion for the primary 9 months of 2021.

Across the World

In Padua, Italy, two metropolis councilors precipitated a stir with a proposal to incorporate a feminine thinker in a monument whose 78 sculptures are all males. They are saying that inserting a statue of Cornaro Piscopia, the primary girl on the earth to graduate with a college diploma, obtained in 1678, “would be a sign for the future.”

I used to be a contract classical music critic for The Boston Globe. An in depth pal from my class at Yale, Bob Walden, was declining quick from AIDS, and I went to go to him in New York. I’d introduced some hen salad for lunch, although Bob, having shriveled to about 100 kilos, hardly ate. He died on Jan. 1, 1988, at 39.

Regardless of my unhappiness, possibly due to it, I wanted to put in writing about Bob. Throughout this early, brutal interval of AIDS, many had been writing in regards to the deaths of their homosexual buddies. However music, particularly Mozart, could be a unifying thread of my article. Bob preferred classical music, however used to assume that Mozart was above him, which baffled me.

As we ate lunch on that fall day in 1987, a tape began enjoying Mozart’s consoling choral motet “Ave verum corpus.” As if chastising his personal musical cluelessness, he mentioned, “It’s so rattling easy.”

That’s what I wrote about: Bob’s epiphany about Mozart appeared linked to insights he was making about life, as he approached demise.

From then on, I saved writing profiles and interviews after becoming a member of The Occasions. And I discovered which you could inform folks’s tales by describing the music they create.

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