Your Thursday Briefing

A federal jury in Manhattan discovered Ghislaine Maxwell, the previous companion to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, guilty of conspiring with him for at least a decade to recruit, groom and sexually abuse underage ladies.

For probably the most severe of the counts on which she was convicted — intercourse trafficking of minors — Maxwell might resist 40 years in jail. Another rely carries a possible 10-year sentence, and the three others carry sentences of as much as 5 years every. The choose didn’t set a sentencing date, and her attorneys mentioned they meant to attraction.

The trial was extensively seen because the courtroom accountability that Epstein by no means confronted after his dying — by what the medical expert dominated a suicide — in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 whereas he was awaiting his personal trial on intercourse trafficking costs. Maxwell was arrested a 12 months later.

Prosecution: “Ms. Maxwell was a sophisticated predator who knew exactly what she was doing,” a prosecutor, Alison Moe, advised the jury final week. “She manipulated her victims and groomed them for sexual abuse.”

Across Europe and the U.S., information for brand new coronavirus infections are being set day after day because the Omicron variant tears by populations with a swiftness outpacing something witnessed over the previous two years. The W.H.O. warned that, along with the Delta variant, Omicron might create a “tsunami” of infections that would overwhelm well being care programs.

Britain, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy and Spain all set information for brand new day by day case counts this week. At the second, none of these nations are reporting precipitous rises in hospitalizations, though the surge is just a few weeks previous.

For vaccinated folks, Omicron could also be milder than earlier variants, however the wave of latest infections is inflicting chaos for hospitals, testing facilities and companies. Tests are more and more exhausting to seek out, even in places like Britain the place they had been as soon as in dependable provide.

Record numbers: France set a document with 208,000 new day by day instances on Wednesday, probably the most recorded in any European nation because the pandemic started. “Every second in our country, two French people are diagnosed positive,” mentioned the well being minister, Olivier Véran.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

As presidential elections in April loom, the French left is in a dismal state, with its varied factions struggling to come back collectively and unite behind a single presidential ticket. The different, analysts say, is being crushed by the appropriate and the far proper. Seven left-wing candidates are at present working for president. All are polling within the single digits.

Amid the ineffectual chaos, there may be now a push for order. Bypassing conventional get together techniques, the “Primary of the People,” a rising effort led by a gaggle on the left that’s exhausted by factionalism and fragmentation, will maintain a vote in January for supporters to decide on a single candidate earlier than the French citizens weighs in as an entire.

The French left was lengthy dominated by the Socialist Party and its social-democratic politics. But Emmanuel Macron’s victory in 2017 introduced an finish to the two-party system, ushering in an unruly combine on the left, primarily divided among the many Socialists, the Greens and the far-left France Unbowed — in addition to the opposite small far-left events that emerged from the ashes of the Communist Party.

Context: In a rustic that’s shifting to the right, the left has discovered itself unvoiced on points like security, immigration and national identity, and it has didn’t capitalize on the wave of protests over the environment and social justice that ought to have supplied a chance to realize help.

For nearly 20 years, the hulk of a never-finished hotel has marred an idyllic shoreline in southern Spain. The resort’s future stays cloudy, however the lesson is obvious: It’s simpler to break the surroundings than to repair it.

John Madden, the Hall of Fame coach who grew to become one of many world’s most recognizable ambassadors of American soccer, died on Tuesday at 85. Revisit our 2013 interview with him.

The finest e book of the previous 125 years is … “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee.

For its 125th anniversary, The Times Book Review invited readers to appoint one of the best e book revealed throughout that point. Responses poured in from all 50 states and 67 international locations — together with many from readers of this briefing. (Thanks!)

In November, editors put the 25 most-nominated works up for a vote. It was a slim victory, however about 200,000 readers selected Lee’s advanced authorized drama about racism, household and the American South.

Of the greater than 1,300 books nominated, 65 % had been nominated by just one individual. And solely 31 % nominated a e book that made it to our listing of 25 finalists.

Three writers — John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner — every obtained nominations for seven of their books. Other well-liked authors included James Baldwin, Margaret Atwood and Virginia Woolf, who every had 5 books nominated. And readers nominated 4 books by Joan Didion, who died this month.

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