In Kashmir, military lockdown and pandemic combined are one giant deadly threat

Kashmiri commuters at an Indian military checkpoint in the city of Srinagar, July 17, 2020. Tauseef Mustafa/AFP via Getty Images

COVID-19 is taking a terrible toll worldwide. But in the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, it’s only the latest indignity in a 73-year cycle of oppression, militarization and scarcity.

At least, that’s what the minimal news from Kashmir indicates. The Indian part of Kashmir – which shares volatile borders with Pakistan and China – has been an information black hole since August 2019, when the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped the region of its autonomous status and split it in two territories to be directly governed by India.

To enforce this radical change, a military lockdown was imposed, which saw Indian soldiers using brutal and indiscriminate violence. As a result, Kashmiris had already been confined to their homes, fearful and isolated, for months before the coronavirus pandemic began ravaging

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Credit card spending fell 50% at start of lockdown

Credit cards spending dropped by nearly half at the start of lockdown as people played safe with their finances and shunned big purchases.

A total of £8.7bn was spent on credit cards in the first full month of lockdown in April, half the level of April last year, UK Finance said.

The banking trade body said this was the lowest level of spending seen since the last economic downturn.

The cancellation of holiday plans is one likely reason for the fall.


Consumers often use credit cards to pay for summer getaways or major purchases such as household appliances, owing to the extra protection available if something goes wrong.

Many people uncertain about the coronavirus effect on their jobs and finances would have put off buying these items, UK Finance said.

The temporary closure of shops and travel restrictions would also have meant many people put these buying decisions on

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‘My uncle was scammed three times in ten days during lockdown’

Over the course of the lockdown, according to Action Fraud some £4.6 million had been stolen
Over the course of the lockdown, according to Action Fraud some £4.6 million had been stolen

Lockdown is a lonely time for my widowed 83-year-old uncle. By nature gregarious and uncomplaining, he has so far endured over three months cheerfully enough, stuck alone in his retirement flat. But when his landline rings (he’s never got on with mobiles), he instinctively reaches for it as the chance for a chat. Or he did.

Over the last ten days, those on the other end of the line have scammed him on three separate occasions. The cumulative effect has left him so anxious and self-doubting that now he thinks twice before picking up.

He is just one of many. Over the course of the lockdown, according to Action Fraud, the UK’s online centre for reporting fraud and cyber crime, some £4.6 million had been stolen – through fake online sales, bogus cold-calls, and

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Lockdown Blues? Quarantine Queries? Jonathan Anderson Has Some Answers

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LONDON — Jonathan Anderson has taken the British government’s wartime advice — Keep Calm and Carry On — to new heights. He’s been doing both during lockdown, pivoting like crazy — and trying to enjoy the process.

Never mind that Anderson had to close his Soho London store within days of its opening in March, or that he opened a second unit in Seoul, Korea, while he was locked down in London. Confronted with the grim realities of life in the time of coronavirus, the designer was also determined to show his men’s spring and resort 2021 collections, and make life as easy as possible for the buyers, too.

After cleaning his house in London “about 25 times” at the start of lockdown, he designed the JW Anderson collections on mannequins at home, and figured out ways to re-create the showroom experience by

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Tyler Joseph and Jason Zada on Getting Inventive Amid a Lockdown

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If you ever wanted to be part of big-name artist’s music video, the barrier for entry has never been lower. Tens of thousands of fans a day have been able to insert themselves into the fast pace of clips that makes up a “never-ending music video” by Twenty One Pilots for their song “Level of Concern,” which has been airing continuously on YouTube since it premiered June 21.

The video’s creators concede that it may well end someday — the sun itself will surely go out eventually, right? — but they’re determined to keep it going as long as possible as a way for fans to see their own reflections alongside the duo’s lockdown-themed hit, which has been the most popular song of the year at alternative radio. Meanwhile, the ingenious video was preceded by a less publicized but even more ingenious alternate

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100 things the Royal Family have done in 100 days of lockdown

The UK has been in some form of lockdown for 100 days, in a bid to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

For the Royal Family, the lockdown meant an end to in-person engagements, foreign trips and getting to grips with zoom calls and virtual openings.

There have been many firsts, and many rare occurrences, including televised addresses from the Queen. Here’s what the royals have been up to in 100 days of lockdown.

  • Opened NHS Nightingale hospitals: Designed to treat patients who needed hospital but not intensive care for COVID-19, Nightingale hospitals sprung up around the country, and most of them were opened by a royal. The first one, in the ExCeL centre in East London, was opened by Prince Charles, but via videolink from Aberdeenshire. It made it the first place to be opened by the Duke of Rothesay (as he’s called in Scotland) outside of Scotland.

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    is lockdown TV’s blessing in disguise?

    Quiz was lockdown's big breakout hit, aired on three consecutive nights - ITV
    Quiz was lockdown’s big breakout hit, aired on three consecutive nights – ITV

    While many businesses have suffered terribly during the lockdown, a select few have blossomed. Trade is booming at Zoom, Amazon and Ocado. Manufacturers of jigsaw puzzles, home hair-dye kids and hand sanitiser have never had it so good. But might television be another sector to come out on top? 

    It’s not quite Covid-proof, admittedly, but so far TV has coped surprisingly well with the new normal. Indeed, I’d argue that the past few months of viewing have been better than they would have been under usual circumstances. Forced to take stock and strip back, TV has learnt to be simple and fun again. It could even be left in better shape for the future.

    Of course, it’s highly regrettable how hundreds of productions were temporarily shut down. Exciting new series and returning favourites have been furloughed. Jobs,

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    Online shoppers have lost millions to fraud during lockdown

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    Make online shopping a safe experience for the whole family. (Photo: Getty Images)
    Make online shopping a safe experience for the whole family. (Photo: Getty Images)

    It’s another Saturday afternoon during lockdown, and you’re back on Amazon, filling your cart with household items and groceries. You haven’t been able to make your typical Target and Walmart runs lately, so you’re stocking up virtually instead.

    Online shopping: everyone does it so it’s pretty harmless, right? Well, not always. Fraud is a possibility any time you shop online, according to Experian. And during a worldwide pandemic or even the holiday season, you’re especially vulnerable to hackers, phishers, and identity thieves. Covid-related fraud has already robbed a cumulative $13.4 million from unsuspecting Americans, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

    That’s because so

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    How to improve your internet connection during lockdown


    As people across the world stay at home in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus, many are finding themselves especially frustrated by troubles with internet connection and wifi dropouts.

    Relying on the internet for working, studying and entertainment can very quickly exacerbate any issues you might always have had with the speed or reliability of your internet connection, and with many Virgin Media and TalkTalk customers struggling with on-going problems, it can make working from home near-impossible.

    But there are some changes you can make that might make your connection quicker and more dependable.

    A number of things decide your internet speed, which you can’t do anything about. If you’re a long way from the telephone exchange, for instance, there’s very little you can do apart from move house or hope that the infrastructure is updated.

    But there’s plenty more besides that that you can actually do

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    UK adults ‘spending a quarter of their waking lives online due to lockdown’

    Getty Images
    Getty Images

    UK adults are spending approximately a quarter of their waking lives online due to the coronavirus lockdown, a study conducted by Ofcom has found.

    In Ofcom’s latest Online Nation report for April, the broadcast regulator noted that adults across the nation are spending an average of just over four hours a day online.

    This figure marked an increase from September last year, when it was reported that adults were spending around three and a half hours online on a daily basis.

    According to the report, use of platforms such as TikTok and Zoom has significantly contributed to the increase in time spent online during lockdown, which was first established across the UK on 23 March.

    Ofcom found that from January to April this year, the number of UK visitors on video-sharing app TikTok rose from 5.4 million to 12.9 million.

    Meanwhile, the number of UK users of video-conferencing

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