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Low-caste Indian men attacked for growing moustaches

Low-caste Indian men attacked for growing moustaches

Low-caste males in India’s western Gujarat state have been attacked for wearing moustaches, prompting the Dalit to launch a social media campaign in support of growing whiskers.The crusade was initiated in the state capital, Gandhinagar, after one young Dalit man was stabbed and others beaten up by Rajputs.Police said the assailants objected to their moustaches, which they believe are the sole preserve of their upper-caste martial clan.“One of the attackers told me that I cannot become a Rajput by just growing a moustache” Krunal Maheria, one of the teenage victims, told NDTV news...

October 14, 2017
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We can no longer escape from the necessity of borders

We can no longer escape from the necessity of borders

When I was a boy in the 1960s, very old people used to talk about the joys of travel before the First World War. You could go from London to St Petersburg without a passport, they recalled. One could understand their nostalgia. Even in the peaceful Sixties, and even when a traveller was entering allied countries, the formalities of entry were tedious (often including strict currency controls). As for the hostile countries of the Communist bloc, entering and moving round them was such a struggle that most people avoided that half of Europe altogether.With the end of the Cold War, and the EEC...

August 14, 2020
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Donald Trump cites Churchill and British wartime spirit for reason he 'played down' coronavirus

Donald Trump cites Churchill and British wartime spirit for reason he 'played down' coronavirus

Donald Trump said he was being "calm" like Winston Churchill in the Second World War when he "played down" coronavirus to the American public.The US president recalled the famous slogan from a British wartime poster: "Keep Calm and Carry On."It came as in February and March, despite privately knowing how deadly it was.Joe Biden has accused him of lying to the American people in an "almost criminal" way.But .At a rally in Michigan on Thursday night he said: "As the British government advised the British people in the face of World War II, Keep Calm and Carry On. That's what I did."This whack...

September 11, 2020
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Hotels on Spain's holiday islands given permission to reopen – even though nobody can reach them

Hotels on Spain's holiday islands given permission to reopen – even though nobody can reach them

otels in the smaller islands of Spain, including Formentera in the Balearics, and La Gomera, El Hierro and La Graciosa in the Canaries, have been able to reopen from May 4 at 30 per cent capacity as part of a  introduced by the Spanish government to get the country – and its vital tourism industry – back on track. There's a significant problem, however – travellers have no way of reaching them, even from mainland Spain.Larger islands such as Majorca will be able to reopen a week later, from May 11, in line with the rest of Spain, but Spanish citizens will only...

May 5, 2020
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Democracy in Hong Kong is now nothing more than a charade

Democracy in Hong Kong is now nothing more than a charade

The mass resignation of the marks the effective end of the one party, two systems approach that underpinned the former colony since its handover in 1997. While members who opposed the writ of Beijing stayed on board, the pretence of some sort of autonomy could just about be maintained, but even that veneer has now been stripped away. The walk-out was triggered by the ejection of four politicians deemed a threat to national security, the catch-all law being used to crush any dissent. The 70-seat Legislative Council is now entirely in the hands of pro-Beijing representatives, who already...

November 12, 2020
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Donald Trump was right to abandon funding to the failing, China kow-towing, nannying WHO

Donald Trump was right to abandon funding to the failing, China kow-towing, nannying WHO

So loathed is Donald Trump by Western liberals that one suspects he could ban guns, introduce a universal basic income and allow gender self-ID on the census, and they would probably still find something to condemn. Even so, the President’s from the World Health Organisation has sparked a remarkable level of outrage given this is a temporary freeze.This is not to say that Mr Trump’s detractors are wrong to question his motives. The President, a consummate electioneer, is clearly trying to divert attention away from . But even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and Mr Trump is right...

April 18, 2020
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Coronavirus: Donald Trump pulls US funding for World Health Organisation

Coronavirus: Donald Trump pulls US funding for World Health Organisation

n additional 778 people, who tested positive for the coronavirus have died, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in hospitals in the UK to 12,107, the Department of Health has said.It comes as care home deaths related to the coronavirus increased tenfold in a week, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.In the week ending April 3 there were 217 deaths in care homes related to coronavirus, up from 20 in previous week.During the same period, 16,387 deaths were registered in England and Wales, the highest death toll since...

April 14, 2020
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Doctors on front line of worst-hit city in world say it’s time to end shutdown

Doctors on front line of worst-hit city in world say it’s time to end shutdown

The doctor looked around the unusually quiet intensive care unit, catching his breath and taking stock for the first time in what felt like weeks. Dr Samir Farhat’s hospital in New York had been at the . Now, the ICU was almost back to normal and he found himself wondering when the city would be too.“It’s not often I agree with Trump, but I think that we should open up on May 15,” said Dr Farhat, who runs the emergency room at New York Community Hospital as well as working as a physician at Mount Sinai Brooklyn.The New York governor’s three-phase plan to end the lockdown will see the...

May 9, 2020
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Mumbai's public hospitals 'run out of ICU beds' as coronavirus spreads

Mumbai's public hospitals 'run out of ICU beds' as coronavirus spreads

Public hospitals in Mumbai have already run out of intensive care unit (ICU) beds leading to fears of a spike in coronavirus and otherwise avoidable deaths.Approximately 22 million people live in the megacity but it only has 200 ICU beds for its entire population.More than 2,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Mumbai and cases have doubled over the last six days.A 49-year-old man from Agripada admitted to Kasturba Hospital died on Wednesday night while waiting to be transferred to a hospital with a free ICU bed.“We tried at least five hospitals, including Seven Hills and...

April 18, 2020
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Margaret Atwood: the forgotten dystopia that inspired George Orwell – and me

Margaret Atwood: the forgotten dystopia that inspired George Orwell – and me

I didn’t read Yevgeny Zamyatin’s remarkable novel, We, until the 1990s, many years after I’d written The Handmaid’s Tale. How could I have missed one of the most important dystopias of the 20th century, and one that was a direct influence on George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four – which was a direct influence on me?Perhaps I missed it because I was an Orwell reader but not an Orwell scholar, and a science fiction reader but not a science fiction scholar. When I did finally come across We, I was amazed by it. And now, reading it again in a fresh, intense translation by Bela Shayevich, I am...

November 14, 2020
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