Your Thursday Briefing


As he prepares to fulfill with European leaders over the following week, President Biden will attempt to rally an alliance shaken by the previous administration, wherein Donald Trump disparaged and unwound conventional relationships as he embraced autocrats like Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Biden arrives in Europe with appreciable good will just by not being Trump. But because the oldest U.S. president in historical past, he can not escape lingering doubts about his sturdiness. And he has a daunting agenda: resurrecting a shaken relationship; coaxing European companions towards coordinated insurance policies on Russia, China, world warming and the coronavirus; after which confronting Putin.

The U.S. and the E.U. are additionally working toward an agreement that may settle long-running disputes over subsidies and tariffs that set off a commerce warfare throughout the Trump administration. Both sides are hoping to achieve a settlement by July.

Analysis: “In a world where the West is comparatively smaller and less economically dominant, Biden argues that allies who share the same view of global order should stick together,” says Steven Erlanger, our chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe.

A Russian court docket yesterday designated Aleksei Navalny’s opposition political motion as extremist, sending a robust message to President Biden forward of his assembly with President Vladimir Putin subsequent Wednesday in Geneva: Russian home affairs aren’t up for dialogue.

Though Biden has promised to push again in opposition to Putin’s violations of worldwide norms, the Russian president has mentioned that whereas he’s ready to debate our on-line world and geopolitics, he won’t interact in talks over how he runs his nation.

Putin has dismantled a lot of what remained of Russian political pluralism. Navalny, his principal opponent, was arrested in January; hundreds of Russians have been detained at protests; main opposition politicians have been jailed or pressured into exile; on-line information media retailers have been branded “foreign agents”; and social media networks have come underneath authorities strain.

Effects: The court docket resolution is anticipated to push the resistance to Putin additional underground. Under the regulation, Navalny’s organizers, his donors, and even his social-media supporters might now be prosecuted and face jail time.


For the numerous Germans who haven’t but been vaccinated, the important thing to Covid freedom — resort stays, indoor eating, journeys to the health club — is a damaging fast check that’s not more than 24 hours outdated.

Sites throughout the nation, together with deserted cafes and nightclubs, have quickly been transformed into 15,000 pop-up testing facilities, whereas colleges and day care facilities administer fast antigen checks to youngsters no less than twice every week. The testing system, which is funded by the federal government, goals at discovering probably infectious individuals earlier than they’ll unfold the virus.

Early indicators: “We see that the infection rate here is dropping faster than in other countries who have similar vaccination numbers,” mentioned Ulf Dittmer, a virologist within the western metropolis of Essen. “And I think a part of that has to do with widespread testing.”

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

  • The U.S. has reached a deal to provide 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to about 100 nations over the following two years.

  • France, the place the coronavirus scenario has improved in current weeks, is starting its third section of a gradual reopening, together with the resumption of indoor service in bars, cafes and eating places and transferring a 9 p.m. curfew to 11 p.m.

  • A brand new outbreak within the southern province of Guangdong means that the lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing which have turn into a part of Chinese life may continue for some time.

No metropolis in America has skilled extra dying or financial devastation within the pandemic than New York. But the disparity within the struggling between white New Yorkers and Black and Latino New Yorkers revealed one other, extra intractable disaster: the ever-growing inequality that had come to outline each side of life within the metropolis.

Six months after its first coronavirus inoculation, New York has another shot at addressing its long-term failures. But if a special future is feasible, it would start with what the town does with its actual property and its colleges.

She’s an 18-year-old pop star with two hit singles and the largest debut album of the yr. She’s carried out at awards reveals and been lauded by Taylor Swift. But lower than a yr in the past, you’d in all probability by no means heard of Olivia Rodrigo.

Though Rodrigo grew up in leisure, starring in a “High School Musical” spinoff on Disney+, she discovered mainstream fame in January with the discharge of her blockbuster single, “Drivers License.” Her album, “Sour,” constructed on that momentum. It’s a searing breakup report, co-written by Rodrigo, that’s stuffed with rage and generational angst. There are pop-punk songs harking back to Avril Lavigne and Paramore, and detail-heavy lyrics impressed by Swift.

“It’s moody, poppy, punky, bratty, funny, sweet, sad, and speaks to the crushing feelings of being alive and being in unrequited love,” Scaachi Koul writes in BuzzFeed News.

Rodrigo’s recognition isn’t restricted to Gen Z; older listeners (and critics) have embraced her music. Lindsay Zoladz, writing for NPR, says her teenage self would have been skeptical of Rodrigo’s Disney pedigree. But, she provides, “in the end I have to think I would have been pulled in by the oceanic undertow of her music’s subjectivity, an exquisitely detailed, deeply felt, young girl’s perspective.”

The newest episode of “The Daily” is on a uncommon bipartisan settlement within the U.S. Congress on an enormous industrial coverage invoice meant to counter China.

Sanam Yar wrote as we speak’s Arts and Ideas. You can attain Natasha and the group at briefing@nytimes.com.



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