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India confirmed 78,761 new covid-19 cases on Sunday, the health ministry said. It’s the world’s highest single-day spike in cases since the pandemic began. The US had set the previous highest number for a single day at 77,638 on 17 July. India has the world’ fastest growing caseload, though the recovery rate has nearly touched 76.5%. Fatalities, however, continue to rise and are at about 1,000 a day. Though India’s total covid-19 deaths of 63,498 is far lower than the US and Brazil, its toll is inching toward being the world’s third highest. For more on national and world news, here’s Mint Lite.
TikTok: China’s ‘smart’ move
China has imposed new restrictions on export of AI techno-logies, indicating it might try to block ByteDance from selling TikTok’s US operations. Technologies such as speech and text recognition and data analytics for personalized content recom-mendations were added to a list of export-control products, Bloomberg reports. Government permits will be required for overseas transfers to “safeguard national economic security," the site said. It can take up to 30 days to get approval to export tech. TikTok’s secret weapon is its recommendation algorithm that analyses behaviour, pushes videos and keeps users glued to screens. Without this tech, the app would be worth far less. Microsoft and Oracle have submitted bids for TikTok’s US arm, while Centricus and Triller made a last-minute pitch on Friday. In India, where TikTok has only a sales and marketing team and not a tech one, Reliance is said to be making a pitch.
Covid deniers out in Europe
The army of covid-19 deniers seems to be gaining strength. Following months of demonstrations in the US by those protesting against restrictions and mandatory mask-wearing, Europe and the UK are now seeing anti-corona rallies where people say the rules violate their fundamental freedoms. Over the weekend, thousands of covid-19 deniers gathered in Berlin, London, Paris, Vienna and Zurich, calling for the end of “covid hoax" measures, and terming the disease “a conspiracy" and the restrictions a form of “new facism". Police in Berlin arrested 300 demonstrators as over 38,000 people took to the streets protesting against the restrictions. Later, BBC reports, “hundreds of protesters, many from the far right", tried to storm the German Parliament, the Reichstag. Counter-protests against the main anti-corona march also took place, with participants accusing the other side of being “Nazis and facists".
The luxury industry is under pressure: a slump in equity markets, slowing regional economies, younger generation’s preference for sustainability (see chart), and covid-19. More than 40% of global luxury-goods production happens in Italy, which grappled with one of the world’s worst outbreaks. Bain & Company estimates luxury sector revenue will contract 20-35% in 2020, but luxury also rebounds quickly. During the 2009 crisis too, sales fell 25% but heritage luxury brands held up. This year, Hermes, LVMH, Ferrari and others, have reported Q2 sales declines, ranging 38-44%, but analysts are optimistic. China has begun to lead the way toward a recovery as it did post 2009. Online sales have risen and the web channel could represent 30% of the market by 2025, predicts Bain.
You can now say goodbye
Buenos aires has passed a law allowing relatives to attend bedside vigils for patients dying of covid-19. The move by the Argentine capital is seen as a breakthrough in the care of dying coronavirus patients. Buenos Aires has had a majority of Argentina’s 8,000-plus deaths from the disease. The law allows one family member, between the ages of 18 and 60, to keep vigil with the dying patient, with the exception of pregnant women or people with underlying medical conditions. Around the world, hospitals have prohibited families from visiting terminally ill covid-19 patients because of the risk of contagion, and rules for funerals are strict. In India too, the final days of most covid-19 patients are lonely with healthcare workers standing in for family, and final rites being restricted. Several Indian states have started introducing rules to allow families of the deceased to see the body though touching is prohibited.
It’s an all-boy tennis union
Tennis world No.1 Novak Djokovic has resigned as president of the ATP player council to form a players’ union to address issues like revenue sharing, player pensions, travel and insurance. Women are not being included. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have not joined and called for unity in the tennis world even as the US Open begins Monday, while Andy Murray has said he’s not in favour of the breakaway Professional Tennis Players’ Association. Djokovic first raised the idea of a players’ union at the 2018 Australian Open, and has been demanding a greater share of the revenue generated by the Grand Slams. On Saturday, after he won the Southern and Western Open final, becoming the first player to win all Masters titles twice, Djokovic described the new association as “a project for many players and many different generations over the last 20-plus years". About 60-70 players have signed up for the association.
Curated by Shalini Umachandran. Have something to share with us? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet to @shalinimb