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Tinfoil Digest - July 10, 2020

This week's Tinfoil Digest features Ximena Larkin, Priyanka Pulla, Clare Malone, Joey D'Urso, Anupam Manur, Prateek Waghre, Utkarsh Narain and indirectly Lil' Nas X. Enjoy!

 

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‌Edie, Contributing Editor - Oddly enough, the focus of my recommendation isn’t even the only Black cowboy I’ve been thinking about a lot this week: I have a toddler who sometimes needs to watch Lil' Nas X’s Old Town Road on repeat in order to calm down. That aside, this story about Adam Hollingsworth, a Black horseback-rider from Chicago’s South Side, is as fascinating as it is uplifting.

You can follow the piece’s author Ximena Larkin here, and donate to Hollingsworth’s fundraiser here.

 

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Devika, Senior Fact Checker - On July 2, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) announced that it aims to make a COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, available for public use by August 15, India’s Independence Day. ICMR’s Director-general Balram Bhargava wrote a letter to all 12 trial sites to ensure all clinical trials were conducted by then. This news received widespread backlash from health experts and scientists. Priyanka Pulla took a look at how shortening the vaccine development timeline can be dangerous and analyses different vaccine development stages.

For a better understanding of how long a vaccine usually takes, check out this infographic, and follow Priyanka here.

 

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Al, Senior Editor - It’s been horrifying and fascinating in equal measure to see President Trump consistently fail to meet the public mood in response to the Black Lives Matter protests; instead he doubled down on Friday with some of his most outrageous and provocative political stuntsmanship of his career in what will surely be remembered euphemistically as ‘The Mount Rushmore Speech’. Clare Malone of FiveThirtyEight has recenty published this incredible essay and this accompanying podcast which don’t directly examine these recent events, but do look at the many times throughout its history when the GOP, the party of Lincoln, made conscious political choices to target white voters over voters of color, and the steps it has taken in recent history to make itself, unmistakably, the party of white America.

You can follow Clare here.

 

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Joe, Senior Researcher - It would be an understatement to say that the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns across the globe have changed things a bit. In an excellent long read for the Reuters Institute, Joey D’Urso tracks how social media platforms struggled to manage the “infodemic” that accompanied the virus. D’Urso examines the spread of misinformation, the different protocols put in place by platforms, and asks what social media may look like in the wake of Covid-19. Read it here, and follow Joey D’Urso here.

 

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Ishaana, Researcher - After geopolitical tensions between India and China escalated,  India banned 59 Chinese applications including Tik-Tok which has around 120 million users in India. How does this ban affect the numbers, where else have privacy concerns cropped up with respect to apps from China and is this really the ideal strategy to deal with cross-border tensions ? Find the answers to these questions on the All Things Policy Podcast by the Takshashila Institution here.

Follow Anupam Manur , Prateek Waghre and Utkarsh Narain on Twitter.

 

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Tinfoil Digest - July 15, 2020

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Nick, Contributing Editor - A photo currently circulating on social media has Dr. Anthony Fauci alongside Barack Obama and...