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A medic collects samples from e-commerce and food delivery personnel for Covid-19 testing in Bengaluru, on 24 May 2021 | PTI

India records 1.32 lakh new Covid cases, recovery rate crosses 93%

According to health ministry data, daily positivity was recorded at 6.38% while active cases were below 20 lakh for the fourth consecutive day.
Health workers sanitize a patient receiving treatment at a Covid care centre in New Delhi

India adds 1.32 lakh new Covid cases, active infections stay below 20 lakh for second day

According to health ministry data, the country recorded 3,207 Covid deaths in the last 24 hours and the daily positivity rate dropped to 6.57%.
A health worker in PPE kit stand near Covid-19 patient, at Covid Care Center Rakabganj Gurudwara in New Delhi, on 25 May 2021 | PTI

India records 1.27 lakh new Covid cases, 2,795 deaths in last 24 hours

According to health ministry data, the death toll was the lowest reported in 35 days, and total active cases have gone below 20 lakh after 43 days.
Wuhan Institute of Virology | Representative Image | Commons

Before Wuhan row, how US-China created SARS-like virus in 2015 to show its pandemic potential

The 2015 study is an example of a ‘gain of function’ research that scientists from University of North Carolina in US & China's Wuhan Institute of Virology had been involved in for several years.
An oxygen concentrator at an emergency Covid-19 care centre in New Delhi | Representational image | Photo: T. Narayan | Bloomberg

Desperate Indians are calling Switzerland for oxygen concentrators

For the past two weeks, retailers Raphael Koch and Dino Vivarelli have been busy fielding a flurry of phone calls, mostly from Indians looking for oxygen concentrators.
8 patients lied unattended outside the casualty of Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital | Shubhangi Misra | ThePrint

Patients lying unattended, ambulance queue, pleas for bed — horror outside Delhi hospitals

A woman lost her husband as he lay unattended & a 38-year-old man was declared brought dead after several hospitals turned him down — scenes outside GTB, LNJP hospitals were scary.

Iran bans flights from India and Pakistan amid spike in Covid infections

Several other countries in the region, including the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Kuwait, also have banned flights to and from India over the rise in coronavirus cases there.
A health workers in personal protective equipment (PPE) assists a patient at a makeshift Covid-19 quarantine facility set up in a banquet hall in New Delhi | Bloomberg

India records 3,46,786 new Covid-19 cases, 2,624 deaths in a day

Active cases in the country reached 25,52,940 and comprise 15.37 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has further dropped to 83.49 per cent.
Representational image | An oxygen cylinder at Mohali Civil Hospital | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

Govt bans oxygen supply for industrial purposes except in 9 industries in view of Covid spike

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the decision will come into effect from 22 April and will help in augmenting supply for medical oxygen and in saving precious lives.
File photo of Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi | PTI

Delhi govt files FIR against 4 airlines for failing to check Covid reports of Maharashtra flyers

The government has also registered FIRs against two private hospitals in the city for providing ‘false’ information about availability of beds there on an official app.

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The Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei waves after speaking to a group of laborers in Tehran, Iran | Bloomberg

Iran’s election is all about supreme leader Khamenei’s toxic legacy

In the Persian puppet theater known as Shah Selim Bazi, tragicomic tales of court intrigue gave audiences a glimpse into the mind of their ruler and the workings of his administration. Behind the screen, the strings were pulled by the “morshed,” or spiritual leader, who also served as narrator. This allowed him to manipulate not only the marionettes but also public opinion. It is tempting to view Iranian presidential elections as a variation of this form, with the ruler himself playing the morshed. In the three decades he has been Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stage-managed the process by limiting the contest to candidates committed to the theocratic ideals of the Islamic Republic and personally loyal to him. Like Henry Ford, he has given voters the choice of any color — so long as it is black. And not just in the metaphorical sense, either: Khamenei has tended to favor candidates in atramentous clerical vestments. The one exception to the...
File photo of a fuel pump in New Delhi | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

Modi govt’s ethanol blending plan aims to get Rs 41,000 cr investment, lower oil import bill

When ethanol — which is made from molasses, grains, etc — is mixed into petrol, it results in a fuel that is believed to be as efficient but less harmful to the environment.

Defence

Construction takes place at the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group Co. atomic plant in Taishan, in July 2020 | Photographer: Qilai Shen | Bloomberg

India, Pakistan, China appear to be expanding nuclear arsenals: Swedish think tank

A study by Swedish think tank SIPRI revealed that India has 150 nuclear warheads, while China and Pakistan had 320 and 160 respectively, as of January 2020.

China’s Wuhan story unravels as world’s finest, including from India, nail Covid lab-leak proof

The global hunt for where the virus behind pandemic came from shows science, democracy and a sense of inquiry can overcome politics, ideology and omerta codes.