If Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the country amid the raging storm of COVID-19 cases was intended as reassurance of the government’s commitment to averting economic decline and ramping up health facilities, he provided little insight into specific measures. It should be evident from the pace of infection spread and the large number of deaths in several regions that the sensible course open to the Centre and State governments is to enable economic production and consumption while massively scaling-up the health response. Mr. Modi, who advised States to treat lockdowns as a last resort, has virtually acknowledged, with the benefit of hindsight, that last year’s measure dealt a severe blow to unorganised labour and the self-employed. The priority now is for the workforce to be vaccinated and containment measures against disease spread to be restricted to micro locations. Yet, the crucial question is that of universalising vaccinations for everyone above 18 years of age from

A U.S. judge found Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, guilty of murdering an unarmed African-American man, George Floyd, an incident last May that ignited a nationwide storm of protest against police brutality and a worldwide outpouring of anger at America’s racial injustice. Mr. Chauvin has been convicted of second-degree and third-degree murder, and manslaughter — all three for an encounter that lasted around nine minutes, during which he pinned Mr. Floyd’s neck to the roadside with his knee until he stopped breathing. Mr. Floyd’s final words, “I can’t breathe”, became the clarion call of a massive wave of street protests across the U.S. At the time, erstwhile President Donald Trump fanned outrage when he described the protests a result of the “radical left” and threatened to send in the National Guard. President Joe Biden, at the time a presidential race frontrunner, contrarily went to Houston to meet with Mr. Floyd’s relatives. He said at the time that he would not “fan
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