Your Friday Briefing


We’re overlaying a turning level within the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, and the return of the reign of terror in Myanmar.

Americans have entered a new, hopeful phase of the coronavirus pandemic because the outlook has improved throughout the nation.

The nation that confronted the world’s worst outbreak is recording about 49,000 new instances a day, the bottom quantity since early October, and hospitalizations have plateaued at about 40,000, the same degree as within the early fall.

The greatest cause consultants are optimistic that the trajectory might final is the vaccination marketing campaign. More than 56 % of adults have obtained a minimum of one shot, and greater than 30 % are absolutely vaccinated.

Reasons for warning: The pace of vaccinations is slowing, and consultants are actually specializing in a swath of Americans who’re much less keen to get the photographs.

Case research: New York, the place hospitals had been overwhelmed and a whole lot of deaths had been reported every day final spring, is now 40 % vaccinated and barreling towards reopening. Even Broadway is coming again in September.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:


Three months after a army coup ended Myanmar’s experiment in democracy, a sense of foreboding is back. A brand new junta is consolidating its grip by resorting, but once more, to a reign of terror.

Soldiers bang on doorways nightly, arresting, abducting and assaulting with slingshots and rifles. Prisons are as soon as once more stuffed with poets, Buddhist monks and politicians. Hundreds extra, many younger males, have disappeared. Nightly broadcasts present mug photographs of protesters, many with faces bruised from interrogations.

For all of the concern percolating in Myanmar, the resistance to the coup has solely hardened. It has included a nationwide strike and a civil disobedience motion, which have paralyzed the economic system. Banks and hospitals are all however shut.

Quotable: “Myanmar is going back to the bad old days, when people were so scared that their neighbors would inform on them and they could get arrested for no reason at all,” stated a former police officer who’s now in hiding after opposing the coup.


The International Olympic Committee introduced that it had struck deals with Pfizer and BioNTech for Covid-19 vaccine doses for athletes and officers, who will get their photographs earlier than they arrive in Japan for the Games in July.

It’s the most recent effort to handle the considerations of a skeptical Japanese public that largely doesn’t need the Games to happen. Only 1 % of individuals in Japan are vaccinated.

Along with the brand new program, the I.O.C. additionally just lately introduced it might purchase and distribute doses of a Chinese vaccine. There remains to be no requirement that athletes, coaches, officers or others attending the Games have to be vaccinated earlier than coming to Japan.

Related: The pandemic slowed worldwide testing for performance-enhancing medication to a crawl and made it extraordinarily tough to fix a problem that has persisted for decades: Testing is inconsistent throughout many nations.

Scotland is as soon as once more weighing its future throughout the United Kingdom. Elections on Thursday may construct momentum for one more referendum on independence. Our reporters captured the mood of uncertainty in the country.

The paintings and the sculptures displayed in the Oval Office characterize the alternatives of the sitting American president — refined and not-so-subtle alerts each administration sends about its values and consider of historical past.

President Biden’s method to artwork appears completely different from that of his predecessors. In phrases of sheer quantity, he has included extra sculptures and work than different latest presidents, partly, consultants say, as a result of he’s making an attempt to sign his assist for an array of causes: labor, science, the significance of compromise and extra.

Biden selected to present probably the most distinguished house above the fireside to a big portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt as an alternative of George Washington, who normally will get the prime spot. Roosevelt, like Biden, got here to energy at a second of disaster within the U.S.

His workplace comprises a minimum of seven busts of key figures, an unusually excessive quantity. They embody ladies, folks of coloration and civil rights champions.

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