The thoughtless travellers: A BBC report has found that one in three persons broke quarantine rules after arriving in Britain earlier this year. Government figures show that 301,076 cases were referred to investigators to check whether they were indeed self-isolating. That figure does not of course include those who broke rules but invited no complaints. This is the period when the Delta variant spread rapidly through the UK and those who broke rules are very likely to include a significant number of arrivals from India.
Booking for Booker: Sri Lankan author Anuk Arudpragasam’s second novel A Passage North set in the days of the civil war with the Tamil Tigers has been shortlisted for the Booker this year. The novel depicts the lasting effects of that long conflict, arising out of a past love affair. The winner will be announced on November 3.
Too hot to handle: The proverbial Indian summer has now spread beyond India in reaching new scorching highs, and is leaving its ‘country of origin’ behind. New areas seeing temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius include Africa and the Middle East but also places in the US and Australia. Between 2010 and 2019 the number of days seeing 50 degrees Celsius doubled, and temperatures above 45 degrees Celsius lasted an extra two weeks, according to a BBC analysis.
UK’s new trade secret is out: Britain’s push for a trade deal with India is a part of a major new business strategy. This new strategy focuses on the Indo-Pacific region away from Europe, Britain’s international trade secretary Liz Truss said in a speech to the Policy Exchange think tank. This region, she said, will account for 56 per cent of global GDP and 44 per cent of global imports by 2030. That’s the growth Britain is betting on getting a bite of, away from the EU.
Calling the shots: Fresh warnings have arisen that Covid remains a risk. A study in India suggests a fall in antibodies from about four months after the first jab. Comparable results in Britain have led to a rollout of booster jabs soon. Similar plans are being speculated in India. This does now raise serious questions on how much vaccine there is to go around.