Your Friday Briefing – The New York Instances

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The Sarang Jeil Church in Seoul has been a magnet for thousands of conservative Christians fearing South Korea would become communist under president Moon Jae-in.

But the Church's political crusade now clashes with the pandemic as a major church-centered outbreak spreads across the capital, Seoul and beyond.

Church members have participated in some of the largest anti-government protests the country has seen in years, and many have contracted the virus. Last week the church had to close due to the outbreak and parishioners had to isolate themselves.

Details: The church outbreak brought the country to 288 new cases on Thursday, the seventh day in a row with three-digit jumps.

Dozens of Indians are killed and hundreds more are tortured to death in police custody every year. But the murders rarely provoke widespread outrage.

Even after the death of George Floyd in police custody in the US, which sparked burning investigations into police abuse and injustice around the world, no major movement has sprung up in India.

For many Indians, crime is the more pressing problem and they are often on the side of the police or are afraid to speak against them. Jeffrey Gettleman, our South Asian office manager, told me, "Some intellectuals, human rights monitors and minority lawyers talk about police abuse, but it usually doesn't go on." Hear more of him in our backstory at the end of this briefing.

What Usually Happens: The use of torture is banned in India, but in police stations, activists said. under the euphemism of "third-degree questioning". Police officers speaking to The Times admitted it was physical torture.

Details: According to a report by the National Campaign Against Torture, at least 1,731 people were killed in custody in the past year Indian rights group. The majority of the victims were lower caste Muslims and Hindus.

A new communist party visit to ensure the loyalty of police officers, judges, prosecutors and dreaded state security forces across the country studied Mao's methods of political cleansing in the 1940s.

The officers were ordered to "drive in the blade" and "scrape poison from the bone", putting aside personal loyalty to expose stubborn colleagues. Experts and recent Chinese studies say the leadership has struggled to manage its large bureaucracy consisting of police forces, security agencies, courts, prosecutors and prisons.

"Drive away & # 39; two faces & # 39; who are disloyal and dishonest to the party," said Chen Yixin, a campaign leader, at a kickoff meeting last month. In the first week, 21 officers were investigated for corruption and other abuses.

Context: The campaign is becoming a keen tool for Party Leader Xi Jinping to increase domestic discipline as he faces increasing tensions with the US and other countries and himself prepared for a party conference in two years' time that will create a new cohort of key officials and most likely extend Mr. Xi's term of office.

Yellowed newspapers piled high. Withered plants. A lesson plan from March 12th. Time photographers visited three offices in New York – including our own headquarters – that have been abandoned since March when the city was locked down due to the coronavirus.

And a team of writers interviewed staff who seemed largely happy to work from home and explored what happened to gossip, handshakes, and work clothes in the workplace to answer the question: What holds the future for the office and the workers who once inhabited it?

Steve Bannon: The former Trump campaign advisor was one of four people charged with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors in an online Fundraiser arrested that raised $ 25 million for a border wall.

Aleksei Navalny: Russia's most prominent opposition leader was in serious but stable condition in intensive care in Siberia after falling ill on a flight. f or Moscow. His spokeswoman pointed to poisoning accused of using the Russian security services against dissidents and others.

2020 Presidential Campaign: Senator Kamala Harris from California accepted the nomination as Democratic Party candidate For the Vice President, the night was a night that her mother, an immigrant from India, “would never have” able to imagine". At the final stage of the convention, Joe Biden will accept the presidential nomination.

North Korea: Official state media reported that Kim Jong-un, the country's leader, admitted his ambitious five-year economic plan had failed, a rare acknowledgment of failure. A workers' party convention set for January is to set a new course.

Snapshot: Above a fire in the California Bay Area. Fires in Sonoma and Napa counties have forced many residents to evacuate. With the worsening climate change, the region's fire season has extended to almost the entire year.

What we read: Rebecca Mead's New York essay on the meditative and restorative power of gardening. "I'm not a gardener. It turns out, however, that reading about people who are can be a psychological ointment," writes Ian Prasad Philbrick of the briefing team.

Cook: Samin Nosrats Sabudana Khichdi, a hearty tapioca dish with creamy potato and cumin seeds, is the perfect comfort food pandemic? Here are some important questions.

Lot: See art exhibitions by Lisa Alvarado, Luc Sante and Wang Xu in person or virtually.

There are many ways to stay safe and our At Home collection offers more ideas on what to read, cook, see and do every day.

Jeffrey Gettleman, our South Asian office manager, has over he reported police brutality in India and the lack of an organized response to it. He talked to us about what he found.

What kind of relationship does the average person have with the police in India? What are your duties?

Many Indians are afraid of the police. As everywhere else, your duties are to maintain law and order. The difference between the situation here and in the United States, for example, is that the officers who abuse people, and sometimes even kill them, are rarely punished. Police brutality is a problem worldwide. But in India, prosecutors, the judiciary and other branches of government rarely intervene.

How did the residents you spoke to react to the subject of police brutality?

Many people are frustrated by the impunity of the police. We have heard some very appalling reports of police brutality and even murders that are barely investigated, even when the brutality has been well documented.

Are people talking about any connections? between the current state of the police and British colonialism?

Some Indians have told me that the way India is monitored is a holdover from the colonial days when the police were used to control the public, not necessarily to serve them . During the British era, the police were used to quell riots and prosecute people who challenged the government. Many Indians we spoke to have said that things haven't really changed.

Some intellectuals, human rights monitors and lawyers for members of minority groups talk about police abuse, but it usually goes no further. Many Indians are so tired of crime and corruption that they don't mind giving the police a free hand to do what they want to those who are deemed criminals, regardless of whether the suspects are brought to justice were or not.

That's it for this briefing. Until next time.

– Melina

Thank you
to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for interrupting the news. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

S.
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