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Serum Institute of India will resume trials of the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine with increased safety monitoring, after the DGCA gave its go-ahead on Wednesday
Serum Institute of India will resume trials of the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine with increased safety monitoring, after the DGCA gave its go-ahead on Wednesday

Mint Lite | Pandemic economics favours IPL and other stories that matter

Stories, views, opinions and talking points that matter, from around the world

Serum Institute of India will resume trials of the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine with increased safety monitoring, after the DGCA gave its go-ahead on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the US government has outlined a plan to make covid-19 vaccines available for free to all Americans from January or later this year. US’ Novavax vaccine candidate is in mid-stage trials after an early-stage trial showed it produced high levels of antibodies against covid-19. It has revised its deal with Serum Institute to produce two billion doses. For more news, here’s Mint Lite.

Pandemic economics favours IPL

IPL starts this weekend after a five-month delay, and as the case load crosses 5 million in India, the decision to play in the UAE seems more sensible than ever. The pandemic, though, could transform attitudes to cricket, Tim Wigmore, co-author of Cricket 2.0: Inside the T-20 Revolution tells Bloomberg in an interview. Bio-bubbles, secure venues, quarantining norms and other restrictions will raise the cost of cricket even as the revenue decreases. In a situation like this, T20 could be more economical—organizers create the environment and get more matches in a shorter period of time. Over the next seven weeks, there will be 60 IPL matches; only about five Tests would fit into that time. IPL, valued at $6.8 billion, had already pushed world cricket bodies to change their idea about international matches taking precedence over domestic, now the pandemic economics might just be in its favour too.

Wildfire smoke worsening air

SMOKE FROM the worst wildfires in 18 years to burn through California, Oregon and Washington, on the US west coast, will reach northern Europe later this week. The thick smoke from the fires has already covered skies in many US cities and towns. The giant fires are releasing unprecedented amounts of carbon dioxide and particulate matter, and the thick smoke can be seen from up to 8,000km away. The intensity of fires this year has been “tens to hundreds of times" higher than the average from 2003 to 2019, according to Europe’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. Parts of the US west coast now have the world’s worst air quality, according to the air quality monitor IQAir. In India, too, air quality is of concern again. As life returns to normal after six months of covid restrictions, Delhi’s AQI has crossed the 150 mark and slipped to moderate, from being ‘good’ with an AQI reading of 50 or less.

Reading is keeping us busy

Bemoaning the death of reading is Gen X’s favo-urite pastime though they are often loath to pay for ad-free reading material, but covid-19 has led to a demand for books. A Mint analysis of Google Trends data shows searches for books this year were relatively higher than last year across countries. During the lockdown, Indians’ inte-rest in books peaked, before declining, but searches for reading material is still far higher than it was before March. Southern states, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Delhi showed the most interest, and searches for English books are followed by Hindi. The top categories are romance, thrillers, biographies, and business and mythological books (see chart). Searches for books on self-help and mental health also spiked. For more, see Plain Facts.

Romance, thrillers keep boredom away
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Romance, thrillers keep boredom away

The strange carbs pro cyclists eat

If you’re burning over 5,000 calories a day, you can get really creative with what you eat. Take, for instance, the pro cyclists. Riding in the Tour de France, which ends on 20 September after three weeks of competition, is a great way to burn a massive amount of calories, but it also means that you have to up your ability to absorb as much energy as possible throughout the weeks of racing. What exactly do the pro cyclists consume then, both on and off the track? A range of carbs: from high-calorie cookies and nut butters to Snickers, gummy bears, even pasta and rice, reports Bicycling.com. Some cyclists even receive meatballs in the race feed bags that are handed out in the feed zone. Last year’s winner Egan Bernal has, meanwhile, withdrawn from the Tour de France, his Ineos team said on Wednesday, after the young Colombian fell out of contention and complained of back trouble.

T. Rex skeleton soon up for grabs

ONE OF the world’s most complete Tyrannosaurus rex. or T-Rex skeletons will soon be up for sale, alongside masterpieces of modern and contemporary art. STAN, named after its discoverer Stan Sacrison, will be displayed at Christie’s in New York prior to auction on 6 October, with an estimate of $6 million-$8 million. Unearthed in 1987 in the US, STAN walked the earth 67 million years ago, standing 13ft high and 40ft long and weighing seven-eight tonnes—about twice as much as today’s African elephant. After first of its 188 bones was found in the Hell Creek Formation, it took more than 30,000 hours of manual labour to excavate and restore the dinosaur, which has since been a subject of global fascination. Such was T-Rex’s popularity that it was quickly adopted by cinema, with appearances in The Lost World (1925), King Kong (1933) and Godzilla (1954). Its biggest role was in 1993 with Jurassic Park.


Curated by Shalini Umachandran and Pooja Singh. Have something to share with us? Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.com or tweet to @shalinimb

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