Mint Lite is a quick update to bring you up to speed on all the news you need to know—and some things that are just fun to know—in five minutes before you start your day
It’s Monday morning and we start another two weeks of lockdown here across the country. France has decided to extend its state of health emergency for two months until 24 July, while Japan plans to extend the national emergency until 31 May. Just in case someone was planning a getaway, French health minister Olivier Veran has told citizens not to book flights for the summer holidays. Some countries are considering opening up—Bulgaria, one of the EU countries with the fewest deaths, has decided to allow individual sports and outdoor restaurants to restart, while Singapore plans to ease limits on businesses and schools. For the rest of the news you need to know in just five minutes before you start your day, here’s Mint Lite.
The Indian Air Force flew aircraft low over more than a dozen cities on Sunday, part of a nationwide campaign to thank healthcare workers and other essential services personnel fighting the coronavirus outbreak. In Visakhapatnam, hospital staff cheered as a Navy helicopter showered flower petals on them, and in Mumbai, fighter jets roared over Marine Drive, which runs parallel to the Arabian Sea.
Delhi, Bengaluru to reopen, Mumbai, Pune to stay shut
A number of relaxations have been announced by the Delhi government despite a lockdown extension. Standalone shops, without distinction between essential and non-essential services, can open. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said Delhi is “ready to reopen" and we will have “to live with the coronavirus" to prevent further economic loss. Bengaluru is set to reopen some businesses after nearly five weeks even as restrictions on people and vehicle movement will continue. However, there will be no relaxation in Mumbai and Pune due to the large number of cases being reported in there.
Germany, Spain deaths slow, Russia reports most cases
The number of new coronavirus infections and deaths reported for Germany were the lowest since 31 March. Spain recorded the fewest deaths from coronavirus in more than six weeks, as it began gradually relaxing its lockdown regime, the strictest in Europe, after weeks of confinement. The downward trend in Belgium’s virus-related fatalities continued with fewer than 100 deaths reported for a second day in a row. Russia reported more than 10,000 new cases, its highest number of the outbreak so far, while in the US, infections rose faster than their one-week average.
North, South Korea exchange fire at border
North Korean troops fired at their South Korean counterparts on Sunday morning in the demilitarized zone between the two countries. The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said North Korean troops fired “several times" at a South Korean post inside the border zone. South Korea responded with two rounds after a verbal warning. The incident came a day after North Korean state media reported on Kim Jong Un’s visit to a fertilizer plant on 1 May, his first public appearance in 20 days. South Korea has sent a letter to North Korea requesting an explanation, but is yet to receive a response.
Global energy demand declines, only renewables grow
Global energy demand is estimated to fall 6% in 2020—seven times the decline after the 2008 financial crisis due to lockdowns in response to coronavirus. That’s the equivalent of losing the entire energy demand of India, the world’s third largest energy consumer. Renewables are the only electricity source set to grow, according to International Energy Agency’s Global Energy Review.
India slips in press rankings, Javadekar slams report
Information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday said the Indian media “enjoys absolute freedom" and said the government would “expose those surveys that tend to portray a bad picture about press freedom". He was speaking on World Press Freedom Day, soon after India found itself ranked at 142, out of 180 countries, on Reporters Without Borders’ latest press freedom index. India has slipped two places since 2019, with the global body citing the communications blackout in Kashmir as one of many reasons for the lower ranking. Myanmar and UAE are ranked higher.
Covid-19 pandemic likely to last two years, says report
The coronavirus pandemic is likely to last two years and won’t be controlled until about two-thirds of the world’s population is immune, according to the report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, US. The virus’ ability to spread from people who don’t appear to be ill may make it harder to control than influenza, the cause of most pandemics in recent history. People may actually be at their most infectious before symptoms appear, it says. The coronavirus pandemic is likely to continue in waves that could last beyond 2022.
Zoom video app log-ins for sale on dark web
Hackers put more than half a million log-in details for teleconferencing app Zoom on the dark web, Bloomberg reports. The logins were discovered and bought by cybersecurity intelligence company Cyble on Telegram, which allows anonymous messaging. Zoom has seen global usage of its service surge during coronavirus shutdowns, but has come under increasing pressure over vulnerabilities in its software encryption. The company has been sued amid accusations it hid flaws in its app and has seen cases of online trolls sneak in and disrupt web meetings with profanity and pornography.
Vegas hotel chain plans sports league on the strip
Sports leagues in the US are looking for a safe way to start playing again, while Las Vegas has thousands of empty hotel rooms and an economy wracked by the pandemic. MGM Resorts, the company that has stakes in many hotel-casinos in Vegas, has proposed that sports leagues like NBA hold their games on the Las Vegas Strip, The New York Times reports. MGM envisions a fully quarantined campus, where players would live and play. The athletes would be joined by families, league employees, media and support staff, with access to spas, restaurants and all other perks, even gambling.
Mark 100 years of ray with a movie marathon
It’s iconic filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s birth centenary year, and the Films Division is celebrating with an online festival of documentaries by and about him. It began with The Inner Eye and Rabindranath Tagore and is on the Films Division website and its YouTube channel till May 6. Also on the list are Bala, Ray’s documentary on dancer Balasaraswati, his short films about class, and his movie Sadgati.
Curated by Shalini Umachandran. Have something to share with us?
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