Your Friday Briefing – The New York Times

There’s a reason Indians call Mumbai “Maximum City.”

It’s a city with a startling wealth gap. Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, lives in a 27-story home not that far from a maze of poor and cramped neighborhoods.

As the pandemic gnaws across India, Mumbai has suffered the most. This city of 20 million is now responsible for 20 percent of India’s coronavirus infections and nearly 25 percent of its deaths.

For the past eight weeks, Atul Loke, a photographer, has been tracking the outbreak in Mumbai. Hospitals are overflowing, and infections are surging in Dharavi, one of the city’s poorest areas. Doctors say the biggest enemy is Mumbai’s density.

On the ground: The wealthy appear determined to stay away from residents of poorer neighborhoods — some housing associations have even barred maids, watchmen and casual laborers from coming to work. But with the monsoon season coming and migrant workers fleeing, there could be other hot spots like Mumbai across the country.

The state of emergency will remain in place for the country’s eight most populous areas, including Tokyo and Osaka, but Mr. Abe said he would decide next week whether to lift those restrictions before the end of the month.

“We will have to create a new model in daily life from now on,” he said, “and today is the start of that.”

It’s been about 10 days since ABS-CBN, one of the most influential networks in the Philippines, went black for the first time since 1986, when a popular revolt toppled Ferdinand Marcos.

Lawmakers are seeking to grant ABS-CBN a provisional license to return to broadcasting. In the meantime, the shutdown has left viewers without its sports, entertainment or, most crucial during a pandemic, news programs.

“Now, we don’t know what’s happening,” said a viewer who for years relied on ABS-CBN for information about earthquakes, typhoons, floods and political turmoil.

Context: Mr. Duterte’s government has ascribed the closure of ABS-CBN to anomalies in licensing renewals. But critics say he is using the coronavirus crisis to stifle dissent.

It comes after a yearslong crackdown on journalists. The Philippines ranks as one of the world’s most dangerous places for reporters, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

A commercial portraying China’s younger generation as happy, affluent and well-traveled has triggered a backlash from the country’s boomers. Prominent older Chinese say they experienced a more open China and think the youth are too willing to accept Communist Party lines, writes our New New World columnist Li Yuan.

As one critic put it: “Congratulations! You have the rights to criticize the United States and the traitors. Everything else is 404,” referring to the error message for censored web pages and sites.

Philippines typhoon: A typhoon packing high winds that made landfall in the eastern Philippines could dump torrential rains across a wide area of the country by Saturday, including possibly Luzon, which has a population of 60 million and includes Manila.

1MDB: A Malaysian court has dismissed money laundering charges against the Hollywood producer Riza Aziz, who has agreed to return assets worth more than $107 million. The charges were part of a billion-dollar scandal involving former Prime Minister Najib Razak, Mr. Aziz’s stepfather, that brought down his government two years ago.

W.T.O. chief quits: The head of the World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevêdo, has resigned unexpectedly, adding another element of uncertainty to commerce in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and escalating trade conflicts. His views had clashed with President Trump’s preference for bilateral power politics.

Snapshot: Above, jets of energy from a black hole in a distant galaxy, captured by a radio telescope in South Africa. Astronomers are trying to understand the dynamics of the jets, which resemble those in a Las Vegas fountain, with water going up and down and flowing in configurations.

What we’re reading: This uplifting Guardian article about a group of teenage boys marooned on an island in 1965. “The author found a true-life ‘Lord of the Flies’ story,” says Maria Abi-Habib, a South Asia correspondent based in Delhi. “And the ending could not be more different than the book.”

Soy, oat and almond milks may be hard to find in grocery stores these days.

Our Climate reporter Hiroko Tabuchi has a foolproof way to make your own. Here’s a condensed excerpt from the latest Climate Fwd: newsletter.

First, soak a cup of soybeans, almonds or oats in plenty of water overnight. Soy, especially, will grow two or three times in volume, so make sure you do this in a big bowl.

In the morning, use a colander to drain the water, and rinse the soy, almonds or oats. This is especially important, if you’re using oats, to prevent the milk from getting slimy and glutinous.

Then put your soy, almond or oats in a blender, together with three cups of water, and blend for about two minutes. Thorough blending will maximize how much milk you can squeeze out.

Next, pour out the mixture into a clean cheesecloth — a dedicated “nut milk bag” makes this part really easy, and prevents any spills — and squeeze out the milk. And I mean squeeze and squeeze, until you get the last drops out.

Then, if you’re using soy or almonds, gently heat the milk, but stop before it reaches a boil. That’s common practice in Japan, because people there tend not to eat raw nuts. But I wouldn’t heat the oat milk, which can easily get slimy.

You can add a little sugar or maple syrup to any of the milks, to taste. It should keep in the fridge, covered, for about five days.

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Melina

Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at

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