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Belarus, Hong Kong Protests, U.K. Coronavirus: Your Monday Briefing

2020-09-07 05:08:22

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Good morning.

We’re covering the fourth weekend of unrest in Belarus, the quashing of protests in Hong Kong and the far-off collision of two black holes.

Britain has recorded a huge increase in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus, with 2,988 reported cases on Sunday, the highest daily total since May 23, when the country was still in lockdown. The bulk of the new cases was in England, with 208 cases recorded in Scotland and 98 in Wales. The total number of deaths rose by two to 41,551.

Speaking to the BBC, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the rise was predominantly among young people. “Of course, younger people can pass on the disease to their grandparents, and we do not want to see that,” he said. Schools reopened in England and Wales last week, raising concerns about a new spike in infections.

Here are our latest updates and maps of the virus outbreak.

In other pandemic developments:

  • Many experts are skeptical about quick at-home tests for the coronavirus. There is not really yet any data that show they will work, they say.

  • The first famines of the coronavirus era could soon hit four chronically food-deprived conflict areas — Yemen, South Sudan, northeast Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo — the top humanitarian official at the United Nations has warned.

  • Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, on Sunday extended its lockdown by two weeks until at least Sept. 28. The state of Victoria, the center of Australia’s worst outbreak, has been under lockdown since early August.

Cook: This sheet-pan recipe for roast chicken and plums is mostly fuss-free. Sliced red onions caramelize in the plummy juice.

Read: Our reviewer recommends three sizzling new thrillers including “The Eighth Detective,” a debut novel by Alex Pavesi, which she describes as a “cerebral box of delights.”

Do: If you’re unsure whether there’s a “right” way to charge your phone, you’re not alone. Here are some tips on extending the life of your phone battery.

Cut the boredom with these ideas from our At Home section on what to read, cook, watch and do.

The 75th anniversary of the end of World War II inspired The Times Magazine to create a yearlong series documenting lesser-known stories about the war and its aftermath through original reporting and first-person accounts in a series called “Beyond the World War II We Know.” Here’s an edited excerpt from Times Insider’s look at how the project came about.

Led by the Times editors Lauren Katzenberg and Dan Saltzstein, the project sought to push beyond the “typical, expected World War II coverage,” Mr. Saltzstein said. The Times invited readers who had served in the war, or whose family members had, to share stories and photographs via a form on The Times’s website, reaping about 500 responses. “It was just really incredible to get such a response, and to read everyone’s stories,” Ms. Katzenberg said.

The number of people who could still provide eyewitness accounts is diminishing all of the time, Mr. Saltzstein said, adding, “This is probably the last chance we’re going to be able to hear from them.”

One such story remembers the Dutch track-and-field star Fanny Blankers-Koen, who became the first woman to win four gold medals at a single Games at the 1948 London Olympics, transforming the reputation of women’s athletics for good. By some accounts, she was three months pregnant at the time.

Even after women’s track and field was introduced at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, cultural dismissiveness persisted for decades. “They were not used to it,” Blankers-Koen said of her detractors, “but I was not listening to them. I did what I wanted to do.”

That’s it for this briefing. Have a great start to the week.

— Natasha

Thank you
To Melissa Clark for the recipe, and to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected].

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about an attempt to bring back theater amid the pandemic.
• “The Killing of Breonna Taylor,” a new documentary from the series “The New York Times Presents,” reveals details about the drug raid in Louisville, Ky., that ended with the death of the 26-year-old E.M.T.
• The word “slondok” appeared for the first time in The Times on Saturday, as noted by the Twitter bot @NYT_first_said.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Baptism or bris” (Four letters). You can find all our puzzles here.


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