Indonesia’s daily Covid infections higher than India and Brazil

Indonesia has reported more daily Covid-19 infections than India and Brazil as the Delta strain sweeps across south-east Asia, placing intense pressure on health systems.


Tensions remain high as hopes dashed for breakthrough in China and India stalemate

It was described as a dialogue, the first high-level meeting in months between the Indian and Chinese foreign ministers to address the ongoing border aggressions


The lion in the London black cab: the remarkable story of Singh, and the boy who loved him

“He was,” London Zoo said, “one of the zoo’s politest pets.” Singh the Lion arrived in a black cab and padded in through the front

Bollywood India

Toofaan review – Mumbai boxing drama is more Rocky than Raging Bull

Partly set in the Mumbai underworld, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s boxing drama aims at Raging Bull grit but has an unfortunately irresistible drift towards late-Rocky melodrama.

Health India

High in the Himalayas, villagers hit by Covid are left to fend for themselves

Phalguni Devi has spent a fortnight living in a cattle shed. Looking out on a rainy afternoon in early June, she worries that if the


‘A kind of rat with thorns’: the comic book busting myths about the Madras hedgehog

The elusive nocturnal creature is rarely seen in Tamil Nadu. One ecologist has made it his mission to spread the word through colourful adventures

The brightly coloured panels of Brawin Kumar’s comic book tell the story of how two children rescue a hedgehog from an unlicensed medicine man. The mother hedgehog is delighted to be reunited with her little one, as she has lost most of her offspring to road traffic.

Kumar, an Indian researcher and ecologist, came up with the idea of writing the book in Tamil to create awareness among children who live in and around the Madras hedgehog’s habitat. Many of those children will never have seen the nocturnal creature, which, unlike the British hedgehog, aestivates (lies in a state of torpor or dormancy) in the summer instead of hibernating in the winter.

When schools reopen after the pandemic, I will start reaching out to more in the hedgehog’s habitat areas

Related: Leaf blowers and beating branches: the fight to stop India’s forest fires

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Coronavirus live news: Japan mulls tests for Olympics fans; India posts lowest case numbers since April

Japan may require Games fans to test negative or show vaccine proof; India reports lowest case numbers since 11 April; signs UK is facing third wave

6.08am BST

Hello and welcome to today’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Livingstone.

Japan is considering requiring negative test results or vaccination records from fans attending the Tokyo Olympics, the Yomiuri newspaper has reported, as a new poll showed public opposition to the Games remains strong.

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India World

Vaccine inequality exposed by dire situation in world’s poorest nations

Only 1% of the 1.3 billion vaccines injected around the world have been administered in Africa – and that comparative percentage has been declining in


Kumbh Mela: how a superspreader festival seeded Covid across India

From across India, millions of Hindu pilgrims came to take a ritual dip in the Ganges, then returned home carrying Covid-19. Here are their stories

On 12 April, as India registered another 169,000 new Covid-19 cases to overtake Brazil as the second-worst hit country, three million people gathered on the shores of the Ganges.

They were there, in the ancient city of Haridwar in the state of Uttarakhand, to take a ritual dip in the holy river. The bodies, squashed together in a pack of devotion and religious fervour, paid no visible heed to Covid protocols.

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