Your Wednesday Briefing – The New York Occasions

Less than a year after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a landslide election victory, he faces a major uprising by his own party over his handling of the pandemic. The legislature of his Conservative Party wants to loosen the boundaries of public life, especially for the hotel industry, against the guidance of his scientific advisors.

Despite this rebellion, much of England will trade the lockdown for less stringent coronavirus restrictions this week after Parliament passed new rules and reverted to a three tier system of regional restrictions on Tuesday. Around 55 million people will be on the top two levels. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own coronavirus rules.

View from the opposition: Labor leader Keir Starmer advised members of his party not to vote in order not to support measures he described as insufficient or to end the only restrictions available. He has called for more financial support for those suffering the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Connected: UK department store Debenhams announced Tuesday that it would begin closing after more than a year of restructuring and several months of looking for a buyer.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

  • Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted a final application to European health authorities for approval of their Covid-19 vaccine, the companies said on Tuesday. The first approval could take place by the end of the year.

  • In its latest global economic outlook, released on Tuesday, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development forecast that recovery will be slow in most countries except China.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron said he was considering launching a large-scale vaccination campaign next spring after a more targeted one targeted health workers and vulnerable populations.

  • Ireland on Tuesday ended a six-week lockup period to lift restrictions on non-essential businesses, gyms and religious services.

In further confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and a major rejection of President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that he was betrayed in last month’s election, Attorney General William Barr said The Justice Department did not detect any significant election fraud, while Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, referred for the first time to a “new administration” in what appears to be tacit recognition of Mr Biden’s victory.

As the US prepares to transition to the Biden administration, its economy remains in limbo. Mr Biden has called on Congress to come together to adopt a “robust” aid package that will help households and businesses.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell endorsed Mr. Biden’s approach to reaching Congress and warned Congress that “the outlook for the economy is extremely uncertain” without smoothing the transition.

The vicious war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region has resulted in a tense ceasefire that is being enforced by heavily armed Russian troops.

For Russia, which has long been a provocateur in the Caucasus, the peacemaker role is a new opportunity as it struggles to maintain its influence in the former Soviet countries.

To stop the war that killed thousands in the fall, President Vladimir Putin moved away from the iron-fisted game book that Russia used in other regional conflicts during the post-Soviet period and instead substituted a lighter note. It relied on the threat from Russian military might, forcing concessions from both sides, but gained a reluctant level of trust in rival camps.

Quote: “They say everything will be fine,” said an Armenian ethnic man who stayed in the Nagorno-Karabakh capital, Stepanakert. “I believe in Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.”

A surprising egg coupling from a wild-caught female Phyllium asekiense, a leaf insect from Papua New Guinea like the one above, has helped solve a mystery that had long puzzled entomologists: why males of this species had not yet been identified.

“You could study stones or diamonds all your life,” said a researcher involved in the study who had devoted most of his career to beetles. “What a fabulous insect.”

European politics: Jozsef Szajer, a senior conservative Hungarian politician, abruptly announced his resignation from the European Parliament after police disbanded a party he was participating in in Brussels for violating coronavirus restrictions. He did not comment on Belgian media descriptions as an orgy in the heart of the city’s gay bar district.

Slack acquisition: Foreclosure said that on Tuesday The workstation software company Slack would be bought for $ 27.7 billion in cash and stock. This is the latest in a wave of business as the pandemic increases the demand for tools people can use to work remotely.

Chang’e-5 spaceship: The Chinese probe landed on the moon, the state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday. It will spend two days collecting stones and debris from the lunar surface with the aim of bringing the first cache of lunar samples back to Earth since 1976.

Snapshot: Up in Times Square in October. New York’s famous travel destination has been gone for months, and the emptiness is eerie. “Take a look around,” said a souvenir seller. “Without the Broadway shows, the clerks, the tourists, the crowd, there would be no Times Square.”

Lived life: British conservation biologist Georgina Mace, who helped build a solid scientific foundation for a key list of endangered species called the Red List and uncover the extent of the ecological emergency the planet is facing, died earlier this year at the age of 67.

What we read: This Washington Post article takes a look at the life of America’s most prolific serial killer, Samuel Little, who confessed to killing 93 people. Tom Wright-Piersanti, Editor on the Briefings Team, says, “It’s an enlightening (and disturbing) look at a man who took advantage of American prejudice to avoid capture for decades.”

Cook: These creamy yet light spaghetti al lime are simple, elegant and destined to become one of your favorite midweek dishes.

Clock: The UK National Theater has launched its own streaming service that includes current and archived gems starring the likes of Olivia Colman and Tom Hiddleston.

Create: The perfect Christmas cookie box. It’s a tangible and safe way to spread joy at a time when we need it more than ever.

Stay as busy as a bee, even if you’re stuck inside. Our At Home collection shows you how.

In those months of fear, when employees were often only seen on one screen, The Times employees – and often their co-workers – have found solace in fluffy (or flaky or feathered) friends.

“Sometimes we end up a bit rough on Saturday mornings, especially when the news comes in,” said Andrea Zagata, editor of the Print Hub, of the day’s deadlines. “Every now and then someone will say, ‘Hey, can you dress the puppy? ‘It was kind of a reward. “

Ms. Zagata adopted the dog from a rescue organization in Manhattan in September. Since then, Rosalie, with her big brown eyes and a permanently tense ear, has been constantly present at Mrs Zagata’s side or on her lap.

She is one of many pets that have found a home this year. This is part of an increase in animal adoptions in the United States during the pandemic. (The Times staff seem to have contributed to this surge in their own way.)

Photos of these four-legged friends multiply on Slack, the messaging platform, either in a channel specially designed for sharing animal pictures or in their own teams. Sara Bonisteel, a senior editor at the food desk, made a family announcement to her co-workers when she adopted two tuxedo cats named Astra and Diomedes.

“We are so far in this pandemic that I have the feeling that you are getting involved in your pandemic,” said Ms. Bonisteel. She added, referring to adapting to her new cats, “It will break this structure, and that’s a good thing. It offers a little boost. “

And in a year of sadness, physical, and emotional distance, seeing a cute creature on screen can help bring employees a little closer.

That’s it for this briefing. Have a great day.

– Natasha

Many thanks
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh took the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected].

• We listen to “The Daily”. Our latest episode is about Janet Yellen, the election of the President-elect as Secretary of the Treasury.
• Here’s our mini crossword puzzle and a clue: school zone sign (four letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The word “coatigan” first appeared in the Times on Monday, according to the Twitter account @NYT_first_said.
• Nicholas Casey, who led one of our toughest jobs as head of the Caracas office, will become our first head of the Madrid office.

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