We’re covering a crisis in India’s second coronavirus wave, and a stealth arms race building between the Koreas.
India’s cases spiral
Delhi enacted a weeklong citywide lockdown on Monday, as coronavirus infections and deaths in India reported new daily records and several local governments announced they were facing shortages of oxygen, I.C.U. beds and treatments.
“Our health systems have reached its limit,” Delhi’s chief minister said. “We have almost no I.C.U. beds left. We are facing a huge shortage of oxygen.”
Several regions, including Maharashtra and parts of Uttar Pradesh, imposed lockdown-like restrictions. In the eastern state Jharkhand, the chief minister asked for permission to import more remdesivir, an experimental drug, for emergency use.
The shortages have resulted in squabbles between opposition-led state governments and the central government. And nonstop cremations across the country have been casting doubt on the official toll of the victims, Reuters reports.
Koreas ramp up arms race
A quiet arms race has been heating up between North and South Korea, analysts say, and it’s threatening the delicate balance of peace between the two nations.
Unlike North Korea, the South lacks nuclear weapons. But in recent years the country has revved up its military spending, procuring American stealth jets and building increasingly powerful conventional missiles capable of targeting North Korean missile facilities and war bunkers.
The impoverished North has used those moves to justify rapidly expanding its own arsenal, and it has threatened to tip its short-range missiles with nuclear warheads to make them harder to intercept.
Washington has tried to prevent missile proliferation in both countries for decades, but has recently eased restrictions on the South so that it could defend itself.
Details: This month, South Korea introduced the KF-21, a supersonic fighter jet developed at a cost of $7.8 billion, and revealed plans to acquire dozens of American combat helicopters. President Moon Jae-in has also increased South Korea’s annual military spending by an average of 7 percent, compared with the 4.1 percent average of his predecessor.
Navalny moved to a hospital
Russian authorities moved the imprisoned opposition leader Aleksei Navalny to a hospital on Monday for what was described as a vitamin treatment.
For three weeks, Mr. Navalny has been on hunger strike. His doctors have said he is experiencing a range of severe symptoms. The U.S. has warned of “consequences” should he die.
There was no immediate response from Mr. Navalny’s political allies or personal doctors about the recommendation for treatment with vitamins.
Details: Over the weekend, doctors said that Mr. Navalny’s blood tests showed a risk of imminent heart or kidney failure. But starvation is only one issue: Mr. Navalny’s lawyers say he may be sustaining the lingering effects of a near-fatal poisoning with a nerve agent over the summer.
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So many people have fled to Syria’s crowded northwest that families have settled in important archaeological sites. “We, too, have become ruins,” one refugee said.
ARTS AND IDEAS
The many names of New York City
Some experts estimate that New York is home to close to 800 languages, the most linguistically diverse city in human history, and they are threaded throughout the city’s street names and neighborhoods: Manhattan’s Little Brazil, Brooklyn’s Little Haiti, Queens’s Calle Colombia and the Bronx’s Cinco de Mayo Way, which is a tribute to the city of Puebla, the hometown of many Mexican immigrants.
In a new book, “Names of New York,” the geographer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro tells the story of the city’s history through its streets and the names they carry. In some cases, residents — rather than city officials — invented the names: A Yemeni-born supervisor at Kennedy Airport petitioned Google Maps to mark several Bronx blocks as Little Yemen.
“If landscape is history made visible, the names we call its places are the words we use to forge maps of meaning in the city,” Jelly-Schapiro writes. You can read an excerpt in The New York Review of Books.