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World News – USA – Coronavirus, Stimulus Deal, Rohingya: Your Monday Briefing

. . A worrying mutation in the coronavirus.

. .

We are addressing concerns about a rapidly spreading variant of the coronavirus in the UK, a long-awaited U. . S.. . Stimulus deal and new muppets who are refugees.

To keep a worrying variant of the UK’s widespread coronavirus out, European countries began closing their borders to UK travelers a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a lockdown in London and most of the south-east of England. Reverse course to ease restrictions over Christmas.

The new measures were designed to cut off the capital and its surrounding counties from the rest of England. They are the strictest since a lockdown imposed in March and reflect fears that the new variant could take hold of the virus’ transmission faster in winter.

The Science: Coronavirus mutations are worrying, but no surprise to scientists, and whether the UK variant is actually more transmissible has not yet been proven. Urged calm, several experts said it would take years – not months – for the virus to develop to the point where current vaccines become impotent.

Brexit: Mr. . Johnson’s decision in the eleventh hour on Saturday to impose a Christmas lockdown has so rocked the UK that the announcement overshadowed the other drama he was staging: the ongoing Brexit trade negotiations in Brussels, where a deal looks harder than ever.

In Sweden there have been 66 new daily cases per 100 in the past seven days. 000 people, a rate almost identical to that of the U.. S.. . While Lithuania has the highest rate of spread worldwide with a daily average of 98. 6 new cases per 100. 000 inhabitants in the last week.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the first Israeli to be vaccinated against Covid-19 on Saturday evening. He wanted to set an example and encourage all Israelis to get the vaccine.

Of the tens of thousands of refugees who fled the conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, almost a third are children, hundreds of whom went to Sudan unaccompanied.

A Times reporter and photographer visited Um Rakuba refugee camp in Sudan to hear their stories. Many said they were separated from their families after running out of their homes in the middle of the night and hours or days to get to safety with nothing but clothes on their backs. Some came across violent militias and corpses along the way.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia has declared the end of the offensive in Tigray, but there are still reports of fighting. The refugees say the trauma from what they experienced will keep them from going home soon.

Quote: « Abiy doesn’t like us, » said Ataklti Aregawi, 17. « He doesn’t like it when we stay in Tigray. ”

Just a few hours before the federal government should run out of funds, U. . S.. . Lawmakers reached a $ 900 billion stimulus package deal to unburden millions of Americans.

The package would provide $ 600 in direct payments and unemployment benefits for struggling Americans, as well as much-needed funding for small businesses, hospitals, schools, and vaccine distribution, and break months of stalemate to fuel the pandemic-stricken economy.

House could vote on the final spending package as early as Monday, and the Senate is expected to follow shortly thereafter, sending the bill to President Trump for signature.

Analysis: Researchers estimate that millions of families have fallen into poverty during the pandemic. While this new round of government aid could bring many of them back above the poverty line, there will nonetheless be lasting effects.

Opinion: This deal is good enough, writes the Times editorial staff. It should be bigger. It should have happened months ago. However, an agreement on help with coronavirus is still a welcome dose of good news.

When a mall closes, where does all of its stuff go? With these once majestic commercial centers like the Metrocenter mall in Phoenix stripped up for parts, dead malls enthusiasts have come to public liquidation auctions to collect everything from ephemera to fire extinguishers.

China’s Virus Censorship: A detailed Times investigation, based on thousands of internal policies and reports, shows how Chinese officials shaped online opinion in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. Guidelines said that « negative » news about the virus should not be advertised.

Israel: Diplomatic sweeteners that President Trump offered Muslim states in return for normalizing relations with Israel could be rejected by Congress or reversed by the new Biden administration, potentially exacerbating the U’s worldview. S.. . It cannot be assumed to stop the end of diplomatic deals.

Explosion in Beirut: More than four months after the explosion, not a single official took responsibility or publicly stated how a huge supply of explosives remained unsecured in the port for years. Instead, powerful politicians are working to prevent the investigating judge from questioning senior officials.

Snapshot: Meet Aziz and Noor upstairs. The newly revealed Rohingya Muppets are featured in programs shown in refugee camps. More than half of the residents of the Rohingya refugee settlements in Bangladesh are children.

Winter Solstice: Tonight is the longest, darkest night of a long, dark year. This winter’s darkness is as literal as it is metaphorical, with the catastrophic toll of Covid-19 and the fear and dread of what is to come. But there is a spark of light: Jupiter and Saturn kiss in the early evening almost in the night sky and appear as a single bright planet.

What We Read: This New Republic article about sources that made up a story about Japan’s rent-a-family industry. « It raises interesting questions about international coverage of Japan or the ‘strange Japan’ trap, » writes Carole Landry of the briefing team.

Chef: Make up for the lack of Christmas parties with our selection of festive snacks, perfect for a night of nibbles on the couch, like these flavorful stuffed mushrooms.

Listen: our pop critics put together a playlist of slightly offbeat Christmas songs by Tayla Parx, Sam Smith, and 12 others.

Do: Under normal circumstances, knitting is great. Right now? It couldn’t be better suited for these challenging times to stay home and narrow our social circles.

We are here to help you enjoy the vacation. At Home has ideas on what to read, cook, see and do while staying safe at home.

The Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman has spent the past 10 months exploring the city’s communities with architects, writers, and historians, ultimately taking 17 virtual walks that allow readers to explore from the days before the Cambrian to the Presence to jump from the Bronx to Brooklyn. Here’s what he learned, see below.

When the pandemic broke out, I saw it as a challenge to think about what I could do, not just make a wild prediction of what would happen to the city. So right before the lockdown, I wrote to a number of people I knew, architects, historians, and others. I asked, « What about a walk around town? »

They started simulating the walks after the city closed in March. How did that work

By the time we published the second walk down Museum Mile, it had become impractical to safely walk around town with someone, and the wrong signal was also being sent. So I started taking the walks virtually: over the phone or through zoom.

The truth is, virtual walks were easier in many ways because we could wrap up more in a conversation without walking long distances or talking about the traffic. Even so, I was happy to start walking again as I did in Chinatown because I got to hang out with different people and because it’s a joy to actually walk around town.

I had Chinatown in mind from the start because this neighborhood was badly hit by a wave of xenophobia even before the lockdown. I wanted to remind people not only how wonderful the neighborhood is, but also how central it is to New York’s historical identity and diversity.

You were born and raised in New York. How has this project changed your view of the city?

I wanted even people who had been to these places to see them differently. For me, a large part of this environmental, pre-colonial and history of the 19th. Century news, intoxicating and humiliating because it reminded me of how much I don’t know, but also how endless New York is.

Thanks to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at briefing @ nytimes. com.

P. . S.. . • We hear “The Daily. Our latest episode is about evictions in the U.. . S.. . during the pandemic. • Here is our mini crossword puzzle and a clue: Currency of Cuba and Colombia (four letters). You can find all of our puzzles here. • The latest book review podcast features Kerri Greenidge on African American Resistance and Neal Gabler on Edward Kennedy.

Coronavirus, Boris Johnson, China, UK

World News – USA – Coronavirus, Stimulus Deal, Rohingya: Your Monday Briefing
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Your Monday Briefing

Ref: https://www.nytimes.com

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