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Daily Briefing: Dip in Covid cases slows down; BJP claims sweep in UP rural polls, SP calls it ‘war zone’

Good morning, 

The Big Story 

In what could be an early sign of an impending potential surge in Covid cases, the reproductive number, or R, an indicator of how fast the Covid-19 pandemic is spreading, has increased for the first time since the middle of April. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs directed eight states to ensure strict adherence of Covid protocols amid crowding at tourist spots.

Only in the Express

Former Union minister P Chidambaram writes: Indians have beaten the French in sangfroid, the ability to stay calm in difficult circumstances. 

Argentina’s Lionel Messi hoists the trophy after beating Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final soccer match at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, July 10, 2021. (AP Photo)

From the Front Page

Etawah, Unnao, Hathras, Amethi, Ballia, Siddharth Nagar, Kanpur, Mau, Hamirpur, Amroha, Lucknow, Sultanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Aligarh, Firozabad, Pratapgarh, Kanpur Dehat, Chandauli. Violence was reported from at least 18 districts of Uttar Pradesh during elections for panchayat block chiefs.

As the BJP claimed to have swept the polls,  Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the conduct of the polls had shown “individuals and parties can contest elections peacefully” in UP.’ 

In 2005, the relics of Queen Ketevan, who was tortured and killed in Safavid Iran for refusing to give up her Christian faith and convert to Islam, were found at a church in Old Goa. Four hundred years after her death, India handed over part of the relics to Georgia, where she is revered as Ketevan the Martyr.

A photo taken in 2012 of a group of people fleeing one of Assam’s worst sectarian riots has surfaced recently. Though it was widely circulated back then, it was a “huge shock” to the photographer when he found it was being used by the Assam government on a page about ‘Foreigners’ Tribunals. 

Must Read 

Just over a week remains before the Olympic Games in pandemic-hit Tokyo and there seems to be a sense of foreboding among the locals that just won’t go away. “I don’t know a single person who is excited about the Olympics,” journalist Timothy Hornyak said. 

 The Assam Cabinet has announced the creation of an independent department to protect and preserve the “faith, culture and traditions of tribes and indigenous communities” of the state.

From a beer baron to a scientist — the Congress has selected a diverse mix of Indian-origin ‘Country Presidents’ across Europe to “spread its ideology far and wide” on foreign shores. 

For the Modi government, especially during the second term, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has emerged as the trouble-shooter in virtually every high-stakes legal battle. But his critics often say he is raring to drop the gloves against the Opposition in the court instead of making arguments grounded in law. We track his arc — from apprentice to a Congressman lawyer in Gujarat to India’s second most senior law officer.

And Finally 

He was an actor, an entertainer and a superstar. But over and beyond that, Dilip Kumar represented the composite culture of the Indian subcontinent, often unimaginable now in the din of jingoism on either side of the India-Pakistan border. We look at what made him the ultimate ‘people’s actor’.

Until tomorrow 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

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