Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Instances
Art and defiance in Myanmar
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in central Yangon on Wednesday, the largest rally since the coup protests began, holding up posters and signs designed for the Instagram generation.
As with protests in Thailand and Hong Kong, art, memes and creative dissent have become a tool for protesters in Myanmar. Artists provide the uprising with graffiti, hip hop, poems, hymns, cartoons and paintings that share their messages. Art collectives produce free designs for protesters to print for signs.
Along with the demonstrations, more than 750,000 people have stopped going to work. It is noteworthy that the movement remains steadfast and is even gaining momentum: the military has arrested more than 450 people and even fired shots into the crowd since the February 1 coup. It has long seen menace in the arts too.
Artists as goals: Dozens of people captured in the coup alongside Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader, included a filmmaker, two writers and a reggae singer. A graffiti artist whose protest tags revived Yangon said he was on the run from police.
Why are the demonstrators so determined? “A lot of people in Myanmar know the cost of defiance,” said Hannah Beech, our head of the Southeast Asia office. After seeing most of the military rule over the past six decades, “they have killed monks on the street, shot students and imprisoned grandmas,” she said. “So they know what they are fighting for, what basic civil liberties and dignity are.”
The displaced civil-military leadership was flawedand minorities were persecuted. Still, said Hannah, it was a better life for many: “You could go on the Internet. You could read a newspaper with real news. Perhaps you could work for a foreign company. “And now that these achievements are threatened,” people march millions of times to regain freedoms the value of which they know better than most of us on earth. “
With the upcoming Olympics, Japan will start vaccinating
Japan launched its coronavirus vaccination campaign on Wednesday, from medical professionals to planning to reach the general population by the summer. It’s a late start compared to other countries.
The slow rollout was partly due to authorities asking Pfizer to conduct separate vaccine trials in Japan. There was also less urgency, as Japan has managed to keep infection rates relatively low and has recorded around 7,200 deaths to date, despite concerns about the spread of more contagious variants.
Ready for the Olympics? The organizers of the games were scrutinized as no such large tournament was possible during the pandemic. Even the much smaller Australian Open had to cancel the audience after a small outbreak. In Shimane Prefecture, where 280 cases have been recorded, the governor threatened to cancel activities surrounding the torch relay to prevent the virus from spreading.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
Serena versus Naomi
At the Australian Open, Naomi Osaka will meet Serena Williams for the second time in a Grand Slam. “The Serena Williams she will face is a legend suddenly synchronized with her distant past,” writes our correspondent and not the one Osaka faced in 2018. Williams has long watched the Australian player Margaret Court’s record of 24 major individual titles.
Number 1 Novak Djokovic faces a little-known Russian player who is making his Grand Slam main draw debut, Aslan Karatsev. It was never ranked higher than No. 111.
No fans have been allowed in the arena for the past few days while the state of Victoria has been closed. The restrictions, which began on Friday, left viewers gripped in the middle of a nightly game between Djokovic and Taylor Fritz. “It’s going to be a tough couple of days for me I think everyone,” said Serena Williams.
If you have 4 minutes, it’s worth it
In Rio there is Covid instead of Samba
Around this time last year, Rio de Janeiro’s main Carnival venue was a cauldron of glittering bodies packed together and swaying to the beat of the drums. But with a raging pandemic, the party is canceled.
Now, the main place for samba, the parade ground of Sambódromo, there is a vaccination center above. Hildemar Diniz, a carnival lover, said all the sadness Brazilians feel will fuel a carnival for eternity when it is safe to celebrate again. “People are thirsty for joy,” he said.
The following also happens
North Korea: Jang Jin-sung, the author of “Dear Leader,” was charged with sexual assault by two women, including a fellow traveler from North Korea. He threatened to sue for libel.
India #MeToo: A New Delhi court on Wednesday acquitted an Indian journalist of defamation after accusing MJ Akbar, a prominent former minister and newspaper editor, of sexual harassment. The dispute was seen as a barometer for the country’s young #MeToo movement.
Google in Australia: Just weeks after Google threatened to leave Australia if the government forced tech platforms to pay for news, the search giant suddenly showered its most discerning critics with money. It could set a precedent for other countries.
Dubai Princess: Sheikha Latifa, one of the daughters of the ruler of Dubai, made headlines in 2018 when she tried to flee her country. In a new video, she said that she has been held in a virtual prison since her forced return. Her case has sparked outrage outside the United Arab Emirates.
Snapshot: Above a funeral in Jerusalem. The coronavirus has devastated Israel’s ultra-Orthodox communities that avoid social distancing. Our reporters look at an island culture that was a vector for both the virus and its victim.
What we read: This Condé Nast Traveler article brings together the editors’ favorite recipes around the world. If you are as tired of cooking as I am and so desperate to travel again, this is the trick!
Now a break from the news
Cook: Carnival king cake is more like a brioche with a snappy, sweet frosting and sugared pecans to crunch.
Read: Vanessa Springora’s “Approval” was a sensation when it was released in France last year. It is a reminder of abuse that has been lauded for overcoming its type.
Do: How to choose the right roses for your garden – and how to grow them sustainably.
How is your week going Take some time to browse our collection of home ideas what to read, cook, see and do while being safe at home.
And now for the background story about …
Hillary Clinton on Gender Equality
About three decades ago, the Clinton White House established the first council for women and girls. It was dissolved and is now back. Our gender newsletter spoke to the former foreign minister and presidential candidate.
Should the discussion on women’s rights be redesigned 25 years after your speech “Women’s rights are human rights” in Beijing?
We have had to shift our attention, and certainly our rhetoric, from a rights-based framework to a power-based one. You cannot argue any further about whether women deserve certain rights or not. The power imbalance that still exists must, in my opinion, be the basis for future debate.
For example, if you are just asking for equal pay and not paying attention to the differences in the work of women that we have now painfully seen due to the pandemic, then you are missing the bigger picture.
Should the US have its own gender department like that Office for Women in Australia or similar attitudes that other countries have adopted?
There are different approaches that are certainly worth a look. But in this country right now we want to focus on getting results for the people and not allowing bureaucracy to become the target. Because I don’t think most women would care. I think they would be right to say, “Well how does this help me get better access to quality childcare?”
That’s it for this briefing. Until next time.
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh took the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]
• We hear “The Daily”. Our latest episode is about an energy crisis in Texas.
• Here is our mini crossword and clue: word that converts good news to bad news (three letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• Our Tokyo office boss, Motoko Rich, spoke to the Japan Times’ Deep Dive podcast about Yoshiro Mori’s sexist comments and what his resignation says about the status of Japanese women.