Your Wednesday Briefing


Revelations that each the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines could, in extraordinarily uncommon circumstances, trigger blood clots have dealt a contemporary blow to Europe’s already beleaguered vaccination push.

On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson mentioned it could pause the rollout of its vaccine in Europe and the United States over these issues. Separately, some European nations have restricted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for youthful individuals, whereas different nations, like Norway and Denmark, are usually not administering it in any respect.

The troubles forged a cloud over the E.U.’s vaccine rollout simply because it has lastly begun to realize momentum after months of supply shortages and logistical problems. They threat additional eroding Europeans’ willingness to be vaccinated.

Game plan: European officers intend to have totally inoculated 70 % of the E.U.’s grownup inhabitants — about 255 million individuals — by the top of the summer season. These newest issues could jeopardize this objective.

By the numbers: Six recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the U.S., out of almost seven million, developed the dysfunction inside about two weeks of inoculation.

Related: Many frequent medicine and actions have a far higher risk of leading to blood clots — amongst them, taking the contraceptive capsule, flying and contracting Covid-19 itself.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

  • Chancellor Angela Merkel is shifting to create a nationwide lockdown system in Germany. At present an infection ranges, the system might lock down greater than half the nation.

  • The World Health Organization referred to as on governments to droop the sale of live wild mammals in food markets to assist stop the emergence of latest ailments.

  • India is fast-tracking vaccines authorised in different nations in an effort to fight a Covid outbreak that’s presently the world’s biggest.


President Biden will withdraw the remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the assaults that launched the U.S. into its longest battle. Mr. Biden overruled warnings from his army advisers that the departure might immediate a resurgence of terrorist violence.

The resolution will maintain greater than 3,000 troops on the bottom past the May 1 deadline set by President Donald Trump. Officials mentioned that by fixing a particular date for the withdrawal, Mr. Biden hoped to keep away from a rise in violence threatened by the Taliban if the U.S. stayed past May 1. The withdrawal will start this month.

Mr. Biden rejected the Pentagon’s push for a “conditions-based” withdrawal, through which the U.S. would stay till Afghanistan’s safety forces might assert themselves.

What’s subsequent: Turkey is holding an Afghan peace summit starting April 24 as a part of the U.S.-backed diplomatic push. Turkey’s international ministry announced that representatives from Afghanistan and the Taliban would attend, though the Taliban mentioned that they had not agreed to the date, Reuters experiences.

Analysis: A brand new intelligence report launched Tuesday supplied a grim assessment — prospects for a peace deal within the subsequent 12 months are low, and the Taliban are prone to make battlefield beneficial properties.


Iran introduced it could start enriching uranium to a level of 60 percent purity, thrice the present degree and far nearer to that wanted to make a bomb, a transfer that seemed to be in retaliation for an Israeli assault that knocked the Natanz plant offline.

The deputy international minister, Seyed Abbas Araghchi, additionally introduced that the nation would exchange a number of thousand centrifuges broken within the assault and add 1,000 extra, rising the plant’s capability by 50 %.

Context: Mr. Araghchi is in Vienna this week for oblique talks with the U.S. meant to revive the nuclear deal, which could possibly be undermined by the assault or by Iran’s announcement.

After a 13-year-old woman in Venezuela was raped, simply two individuals had been arrested: her mom and a trainer, each of whom had helped her finish her being pregnant.

The case has prompted a national debate about legalizing abortion, which is prohibited in nearly all circumstances within the nation. Activists say it demonstrates how Venezuela’s financial and humanitarian disaster has stripped away protections for younger girls and women. The accused rapist stays free.

Imagine being charged with taking aside what’s arguably the best-known clock on the earth. That’s the job of Ian Westworth, an authorized repairer and conservator of vintage clocks. He spoke to The Times about restoring the Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower and its Great Clock, a yearslong mission that has been hit with delays and rising prices.

Why was the restoration wanted?

The level of the work is to safeguard each the clock and the tower for future generations. If this work isn’t carried out, there’s a threat that the clock mechanismmight fail and that the structural integrity of the tower could possibly be in danger.

At the beginning of the restoration, we winched items of it right down to floor degree, because it was so heavy, and took it off web site for a whole overhaul. We’ve been capable of repaint, clear, restore and doc every bit (there are a whole lot). The authentic winding mechanism put in in 1912 will likely be put again in place when the Great Clock returns dwelling.

What was the trickiest half?

The hardest half is simply the sheer dimension of the clock and all of its components, having to take away all of it from the tower after which clear, restore and paint after which put again into the tower. It’s a really advanced activity. There are some little repairs, however no plans for nice modifications to the mechanism.

Will the general public see variations when the mission is finished?

The most noticeable modifications will likely be to the outside: The clock dials are being restored to their authentic Victorian shade scheme of Prussian blue. A paint evaluation took all of it the best way again to reveal steel and found that the unique shade was blue. The ornamental shields on the tower are being repainted and will likely be much more vibrant.

You can find all our puzzles here.


That’s it for immediately’s briefing. Have a fantastic day. — Natasha

P.S. The Los Angeles Press Club named Kyle Buchanan, the Times awards-season columnist, as Journalist of the Year on the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

The newest episode of “The Daily” is on the craze for the digital artworks generally known as NFTs.

You can attain Natasha and the staff at briefing@nytimes.com.



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