Your Tuesday Briefing – The New York Instances
New virus restrictions for southern England
Pubs, restaurants and theaters in London are closing again as the UK government tightens restrictions in the capital and parts of southern England due to a “very sharp, exponential increase” in coronavirus cases. Health officials said they had identified a new, faster-growing variant of the virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is already facing a difficult week as Brexit trade negotiations resume, risks additional anger from members of his Conservative Party over the restrictions. Some questioned the logic of imposing a lockdown now if the government plans to relax restrictions so families can reunite in the days around Christmas.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
We asked readers to send us questions about the new vaccines. Here are the answers.
Big Tech is unleashing its lobbyists on Europe
Companies like Amazon, Apple and Google are spending more than ever on lobbyists trying to stop European Union regulation against them. They are hiring former government officials, well-connected law firms and consulting firms, and are spending millions in the first half of 2020.
Despite the campaign, the industry has achieved few major successes. European leaders have condemned companies as a threat to democracy and anti-competitive, and have taken steps to contain them. Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook are either under antitrust investigations or are already being fined billions of dollars. In recent years the European Union has passed anti-industry laws on issues such as data protection and online copyright.
Connected: Google Services like Gmail, Hangouts, Meets, and YouTube went offline on Monday, halting workplaces and classrooms around the world. The company attributed the problem to an “authentication system failure” that lasted about 45 minutes.
If you have 10 minutes, it’s worth it
The subtle charm of a potentially deadly delicacy
Eating fugu has been a dangerous act for most of human history. But in Japan, where it is against the law to serve the fish without a license, the danger is limited – and all the more so since the rise of farmed fugu is considered completely poison-free.
Despite cultural concerns about the risk of poisoning, Westerners who record their first taste of fugu tend to dismiss it as boring. Perhaps the experience is so subtle that it is illegible to someone from another culture, suggests our writer.
The following also happens
Aleksei Navalny: Officers from a secret Russian espionage unit had followed the Russian opposition leader for years and were nearby when he was exposed to a toxic nerve agent that, according to a new report last summer, nearly killed him. This was the strongest evidence yet of Moscow’s involvement in the attack.
Blood donation: The UK announced Monday that starting next year, gay and bisexual men who have had the same sexual partner for more than three months will be able to donate blood in a bid to ease restrictions significantly.
Relations between the USA and Turkey: The Trump administration on Monday imposed sanctions on the Turkish military acquisitions agency to punish the NATO ally more than three years after buying a missile defense system from Russia.
Chinese goods: Chinese exports to the US rose 46.1 percent in November to a record $ 51.98 billion, defying expectations from American politicians who predicted the pandemic would be a moment to trade China reduce.
Snapshot: Upstairs, bringing a coffin during a ceremony in Lembang Ma’dong, Indonesia. The Toraja in the south of Sulawesi, one of the largest islands in the country, are known for their elaborate death rituals. The deceased’s bodies are sometimes kept at home for years until the family has enough money to pay for a funeral.
Lived life: The Cambodian-American writer Anthony Veasna So, whose first book was due to be published next August, died on the verge of literary fame at the age of 28.
What we see: This week’s New York cover by artist David Hockney, accompanied by a Q. and A. with the artist. He reminds us that creativity doesn’t have to be limited to long-revered media – he painted hundreds of works on his iPad this year.
Now a break from the news
Cook: Spread this toasted carrot salad on a platter for a light dinner or lunch – and don’t worry if you can’t find all the herbs. Only one or two will bring joy.
Cozy: Stream productions of reinterpreted fairy tales and Christmas standards like “A Christmas Carol” from theaters around the world.
Listen: Do you need a soundtrack for the holidays? Here are 20 seasonal records that won’t disappoint.
It’s almost the end of the year. Have our collection of ideas read, cook, watch at home and take the stress out of staying indoors.
And now for the background story about …
Tips from a TikTok doctor
While some countries have coronavirus vaccinations, our OnTech newsletter spoke to Philadelphia-based doctor Austin Chiang, who tries to deliver health information to people by meeting them where they are – often on social media.
Why are you doing TikTok videos?
Among other things, I am trying to humanize our profession. I’m trying to show that it’s fun but also professional and hopefully people can learn something.
As doctors, we do not receive marketing or communication training, yet we are expected to contribute to our community and public health. We need to meet patients where they are and communicate information in an interesting and digestible way.
How could you deal with coronavirus vaccines on TikTok?
The approach I’m trying is to leave room for the gray. When you say vaccines do no harm and are the best things in the world, it can alienate people who are reluctant to vaccinate. Instead, when we acknowledge that, like everything else in medicine and life, there are potential risks, that is a more effective message.
For coronavirus vaccines, I would probably do something with a voice over that explains my own reasons for vaccinating and the side effects and risk-benefit analysis that I have done in my head and what we will gain from the vaccine . I’m sure the coronavirus vaccines are confusing for everyone because they are confusing for us too.
That’s it for this briefing. Have a great day.
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh put together the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected].
• We hear “The Daily”. Our latest episode is about the US approving a vaccine and what happens next.
• Here is our mini crossword puzzle and a clue: word after jelly or coffee (four letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The word “elephantless” first appeared in the Times on Monday, according to the Twitter bot @NYT_first_said.
• Our White House reporter Maggie Haberman appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air recently to talk about the Trump era.