Your Friday Briefing – The New York Instances
An ambitious global vaccine campaign starts
The West African nation of Ghana received the first major shipment of Covid-19 vaccines as part of a global exchange program aimed at making vaccine access more equitable. Ghana and other West African countries will start vaccinating in the coming days.
The program, called Covax, aims to deliver two billion free doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 92 low and middle income countries this year. According to official figures, it would be the largest vaccine sourcing and supplying company in history.
Context: Many public health officials have criticized the uneven distribution of vaccines as wealthy nations bought tens of millions of doses for their populations. For example, at least 44.5 million Americans have already received a shot. The Ghana shipment of 600,000 cans only covers 1 percent of the population.
French President Emmanuel Macron has urged Europe and the US to send up to 5 percent of their vaccine shipments to developing countries. The doses of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine sent to Ghana were made by the Serum Institute of India.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine offers strong protection against serious illness and death from Covid-19 and can prevent the virus from spreading through those vaccinated, according to new analysis by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that may allow it People decrease the vaccine in the US as early as Saturday.
Deaths in Japan fell for the first time in more than a decade, a staggering contrast to the huge tolls that many countries suffer. The data suggests that actions taken to fight the virus may have slowed the spread of other diseases as well.
Israel has pledged to provide replacement vaccines against coronavirus to some foreign allies, restarting a debate about its responsibility to the Palestinians under its occupation.
Hong Kong’s History Rewriting Campaign
New curriculum guidelines unveiled by the Hong Kong government have an ambitious goal: to use history to instill a deep affinity and loyalty with mainland China in the city’s youngest residents.
The new lesson plans are part of a comprehensive campaign to teach future generations a curated lesson about Hong Kong’s past. Government efforts include a $ 100 million project to write a 66-volume chronicle of the city.
Critics say the new curriculum guidelines are a misleading and dystopian campaign to shape young minds and turn history into pro-Chinese propaganda.
Context: When protests against the Hong Kong government took place in 2019, pro-Beijing officials accused the education system of promoting liberal values. Since then, Beijing has imposed severe restrictions on the city to suppress dissent.
The economic crisis threatens Syria’s al-Assad
The economic collapse of Syria has hampered the reconstruction of destroyed cities, impoverished the population and caused many to get enough food. And President Bashar al-Assad offered few solutions.
At a private meeting with Syrian journalists last month, al-Assad blamed a number of forces for Syria’s suffering, including world capitalism and “brainwashing” through social media. But he did not offer any concrete steps to contain the crisis.
With the 10th anniversary of the Syrian civil war looming, the economy is worse than ever since the war began. The meeting offered a rare, unvarnished look at a guide who did not appear to be in contact.
Connected: A German court convicted a former Syrian secret police officer of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity, what has been described as a milestone by right-wing groups.
If you have 6 minutes, it’s worth it
The poverty of Japanese animators
The global Japanese anime market reached an estimated $ 24 billion by 2019, and the pandemic has only increased demand. But many of the workers who help create the shows make only $ 200 a month and under difficult working conditions. Above Tokyo’s Akihabara district, a center of anime culture.
Studios can pay low wages because there are so many young people who are passionate about anime and want to work in business. “There are a lot of artists who are great,” said one translator who works in the industry. So the studios have “a lot of cannon fodder”.
The following also happens
Tiger Woods: After the operation, the golfer was “awake, responsive and recovering” because his right leg was injured in a car accident. At the time of the accident he is said to have been traveling at a “higher speed than normal”.
China women: A divorce court ordered a man to pay his wife more than $ 7,700 in compensation for housework she did during their marriage. The landmark decision sparked a heated debate, with many saying the amount was insufficient.
Australia: One woman filed a formal police report against a former government employee who she said had raped her in 2019. Since going public, three other women have reported about the same man.
Israel: A memoir by the daughter of Amos Oz, one of Israel’s most famous authors, who died in 2018, shocked the country with allegations of physical and emotional abuse. Other family members have defended him.
From the opinion: Our video team was able to produce a short film from a Covid-19 ward in Arizona thanks to a nurse who wore body cameras and spoke openly about the trauma and burnout in the fight against the pandemic.
Snapshot: About, Pete Lee, a filmmaker, is shooting on Zoom in Texas while quarantined in Taipei, Taiwan. He is one of many air travelers around the world who have experienced secular hotel quarantines due to government restrictions.
What we read: The Polk Awards, the prestigious journalistic awards, announced their winners, dominated by work on the pandemic. You can read some of the winning stories here.
Now a break from the news
Cook: This light, crispy fried rice gets much of its muscular richness from just a small amount of bacon, while the cabbage adds sweetness.
Read: “Klara und die Sonne”, Kazuo Ishiguro’s eighth novel, is told by Klara, a humanoid machine that acts as a companion for 14-year-old Josie.
Do: Exercise versus Diet? A new study has found that what we eat may be more important than what we use in the fight against obesity.
We can help you relax. At Home offers a comprehensive collection of ideas on what to read, cook, see, and do while staying safe at home.
And now for the background story about …
The new centers of pop music
Bad Bunny, the Puerto Rican reggaeton performer, is in many ways the greatest pop star in the world. And it’s part of a bigger change: the diversification of the pop star. An area that has historically been dominated by English-speaking acts – like the Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Mariah Carey – is no longer.
“A growing number of the world’s biggest pop stars come from outside the traditional capitals of the continental US and Great Britain,” writes Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw. According to Bloomberg’s most recent Pop Star Power ranking – based on album sales, digital streams, YouTube views and more – five of the top 25 pop stars today are from Puerto Rico. Another seven come from Colombia, India and South Korea. YouTube is another place where English-speaking acts lose their dominance, as Tim Ingham writes in Rolling Stone.
In part, the trend reflects the global popularity of Latin American music such as reggaeton and Korean music, especially K-pop. For example, the band BTS hosted a two-day online concert event in October that sold nearly a million tickets in nearly 200 countries, according to Variety.
The trend also reflects the growth of global consumer markets such as India. When we checked YouTube’s ranking yesterday, six of the top ten artists on YouTube’s global charts came from India. The others came from Puerto Rico, Colombia, or South Korea.
That’s it for this briefing. Until next time.
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. Sanam Yar wrote the backstory. You can reach the team at [email protected]
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• Top The Times executives call for more diversity in the workplace, according to a report based on interviews with more than 400 employees.