Your Monday Briefing – The New York Instances
China links a single infection detected through routine tests with an outbreak in Kashgar
The Chinese authorities have ordered sweeping testing and travel restrictions on the city of Kashgar in the far west of the country after a single asymptomatic case of coronavirus was detected on Saturday. By Sunday afternoon, 137 asymptomatic cases had been discovered.
A 17-year-old girl in a rural area outside of Kashgar was found infected on regular tests that triggered mass testing. All other cases are linked to a factory where her parents work.
The Xinjiang region, which also includes Kashgar, was under various lockdowns in February and March and again in July and August. As of Saturday, the region had not reported a new case since mid-August. The outbreak of the virus there earlier this year raised concerns that it could spread to the vast network of camps and prisons that hold hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
On Sunday, Spain returned to a state of emergency and imposed a night curfew. Italy tightened restrictions, ordering early closings of bars and restaurants and the complete closure of gyms, swimming pools, theaters, cinemas and concert halls.
At least three of Vice President Mike Pence’s top advisors have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past few days. The test results raise new questions about White House safety protocols where masks are not routinely worn and Mr. Pence’s decision to remain on the campaign trail despite exposure to the virus.
Six American states reported the highest number of infections ever on Saturday, and more than 78,000 new cases were announced, a day after the country broke its daily record of more than 85,000 new cases.
Central Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Sunday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. “Asymptomatic,” he wrote on Twitter. “I feel very good.”
Activists are fleeing Hong Kong, a haven no longer
For decades, Hong Kong has been a haven for people fleeing war, hunger and political oppression in mainland China. But the city has changed radically since China passed a tough new security law this summer.
In recent weeks, Hong Kong activists have been granted asylum in the US, Canada and Germany, the latest catalyst for the deterioration in relations between China and the West.
US moves: The Trump administration has listed refugees from the city as a priority despite reducing the total number of refugees the US will take in annually. At least three bills before Congress provides better protection for people fleeing Hong Kong to the US. And the government has acted unusually quickly to give asylum to at least two protesters who left Hong Kong late last year.
China’s answer: Beijing and the Hong Kong government have rejected the notion that the city’s residents need protection from oppression. Hong Kong No. 2 chief Matthew Cheung complained that granting Germany asylum to a university student wanted for riot “would only send a clearly wrong message to criminals.”
A postponement of conscription in South Korea
Today, for the first time, a conscientious objection group in South Korea will begin providing alternative services. For the next three years, these 64 men will be in jail and do jobs like cooks and janitors, but they won’t have a criminal record.
Alternative service is a seismic shift in South Korea, where military service is considered a rite of passage for young men and conscientious objectors have been incarcerated than in any other country. For decades, hundreds, almost all of Jehovah’s Witnesses, were put behind bars annually, typically for 18 months.
Other exceptions? The question of who should be excused from military service has long been a sensitive issue. For a long time, top athletes were excused on the grounds that they strengthened the national reputation. A senior legislator has advocated the idea that K-pop stars such as members of the BTS band should also be exempt.
If you have 4 minutes, it’s worth it
A Russian election that did not go as planned
Elections in Russia can be a cynical affair, with incumbents often running against nameless candidates to create the illusion of democracy. When the mayor of the tiny village of Povalikhino, about 300 miles east of Moscow, asked the woman cleaning City Hall to run, he thought his second term was all but assured. It was not.
Our reporter watches the new mayor Marina Udgodskaya above and an episode of the failed elections in Russia.
The following also happens
Lee Kun-hee: The Samsung titan, who was pardoned twice for economic crimes, died in Seoul on Sunday. He was 78 years old and had been unable to work since a heart attack in 2014. Mr. Lee tirelessly pushed the company up the technology ladder and made Samsung a cornerstone of the South Korean economy.
First African American Cardinal: Pope Francis on Sunday appointed Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington and architect of the United States’ Roman Catholic Church’s zero tolerance policy, in response to its clerical sexual abuse crisis.
Nuclear weapons ban: A treaty to destroy all nuclear weapons and to ban their use has been ratified by a 50th country and comes into force in January. The United States and the eight other nuclear armed countries in the world boycotted the negotiations and showed no inclination to accept the treaty.
Snapshot: Above, President Trump at a Sunday campaign rally in Londonderry, New Hampshire. In this final sprint of the election campaign, Mr Trump is holding up to three rallies a day to strengthen his base, polls show he is lagging behind Joe Biden.
What we hear: This Radio New Zealand podcast about New Zealand’s role in international espionage. Natasha Frost, who writes the Europe Briefing, says: “It is a must to listen, no matter where in the world you are.”
Now a break from the news
Cook: This maple pecan galette with fresh ginger is refined with whipped cream or ice cream and is a refined dessert with a lot of crispy crust.
Read: If you’ve never read an Agatha Christie novel, here’s a guide to these convenience books as described by our reviewer. She writes: “There is something reassuring about the well-known formula. They know there will be at least one murder and possibly more. “
To do: Curious about hydroponics? Here’s how you can harvest a ton of produce without getting your hands dirty.
Explore more new and diverse projects in our At Home collection to read, cook, watch and do while you are safe at home.
And now for the background story about …
The Effects of Unemployment in America
In the US, 22 million jobs were lost in March and April due to the coronavirus pandemic. That is as many as the total of the Great Depression and the Great Recession combined.
Our special series “Out of Work in America” tells the stories of unemployed Americans in their own words. The Times National Desk worked with 11 local news organizations in the United States on this project This is what Jia Lynn Yang, assistant editor at the National Desk, and Clinton Cargill, assistant editor, said about these reports from a dozen people.
The National Desk has more than 40 reporters across the country, but last year Marc Lacey, the National Editor, made partnerships with local news organizations like this a priority on this project.
Clinton: Local news organizations have special authority in the communities they cover. They know the big employers, the community groups, the state and local policies that make all the difference for people seeking unemployment. We thought they could bring something of this depth to the individual scale.
Why did local reporters with more than 12 million unemployed people at different stages – often over a few months – return at different stages to the same dozen?
Jia Lynn: The idea was not to just take a snapshot, but to work more sustainably to track a person’s ups and downs. For anyone who has ever lost a job, it can be such a stressful emotional experience, with very bad days followed by a day when it all shows up for you. We wanted to show that bigger arc and maybe stick with some long enough for them to actually find a job.
What are you hoping for from this project?
Jia Lynn: At a time when we are so separated, I hope readers will feel a sense of empathy and connectedness. For those who have been blessed enough to keep their jobs, I hope they get a better sense of how it feels for those who are less well. For those who have lost jobs, you are hardly alone.
That’s it for this briefing. Until next time.
Thank you very much
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]
• We listen to “The Daily”. Our final episode is the US President’s final debate.
• Here’s our mini crossword puzzle and a hint: The Olympia logo is made up of five (five letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The Times has launched its own widget for breaking news for iOS 14 on the iPhone.