Your Thursday Briefing

India’s caseload, China, Yoshihide Suga: Here’s what you need to know.

By Carole Landry

Good morning.

We’re covering the fast-growing coronavirus outbreak in India, a domestic abuse case in China that drew outrage and the first order of business of Japan’s new prime minister.

India’s coronavirus cases pass 5 million

Less than a month after hitting the three-million mark, India’s overall caseload has surpassed five million, making it the world’s second-largest outbreak, behind only that of the U.S.

The country’s seven-day average of new daily cases surpassed 90,000 for nearly a week.

More than 82,000 of the country’s virus patients have died, far fewer deaths per capita than many other countries. Record-keeping varies across countries, so comparisons are uncertain, but doctors say the lower death rate reflects India’s younger and leaner population. Here are our live updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

An experimental drug markedly reduced levels of the virus in newly infected patients and lowered the chances that they would need hospitalization, the drug’s maker, Eli Lilly, announced on Wednesday. The drug is a monoclonal antibody, a manufactured copy of an antibody produced by a patient who recovered from Covid-19.

Russia’s vaccine, which has been approved by the government but not yet fully tested for safety and efficacy, won a new customer in India, according to a Russian financial company backing the vaccine.

Six months after locking down the country to curb the spread of the virus, Nepal is starting to welcome back trekkers and mountaineers.

Even documented abuse doesn’t clear the way to divorce in China

A video of a man beating his wife so severely that she jumped from a second-floor window to escape failed to sway a court in Henan Province to grant her a divorce. The court said her husband had not agreed to the divorce and that the couple should seek mediation.

The woman, Liu Zengyan, uploaded the video to WeChat, China’s dominant social media platform. Thousands rallied to her defense, and a hashtag about her case was viewed more than a billion times on the microblogging site Weibo. News media interviews soon followed.

Before long, a judge called Ms. Liu to say there was no need for mediation and the court would issue a verdict soon. In July, three weeks after she released the video, the divorce was granted.

The numbers: Two of the biggest issues facing women in China are the prevalence of domestic violence and a legal system stacked against them. About one in four women has suffered physical or verbal abuse, or had her freedom restricted by her partner, according to a survey by the All-China Women’s Federation in 2011. Activists say the numbers are far higher.

A world more prone to burn

Wildfires are devastating the American West, but it isn’t alone.

This year, the Arctic, Siberia, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil and Argentina also experienced their worst wildfires in decades.

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