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European Union Fund, Bulgaria Protests, Mars Mission: Your Monday Briefing

2020-07-20 05:13:57

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Good morning.

We’re covering the Trump administration’s coronavirus failures, political protests in Bulgaria and a rocket launch to Mars.

After nine months of waiting for surgery, Ruth Fawcett’s knee muscles wasted away, leaving her unable to walk without assistance.

A police raid on the president’s office. A looming no-confidence vote in the government. And the largest street protests in seven years.

What we’re watching: The BBC’s “Swan Lake Bath Ballet.” Dan Saltzstein, our deputy editor for Special Sections, writes: “Twenty-seven elite dancers perform the ballet from their home baths.”

Cook: This pasta with caramelized pepper, anchovies and ricotta uses sweet peppers cooked down with whole garlic cloves. A dollop of fresh ricotta brings the elements together.

Watch: Studio Ghibli has spent 35 years telling winding, complex stories that stretch the bounds of what animation can do. You can now stream 21 of the Japanese studio’s classics and lesser-known favorites on HBO Max.

Do: Some men growing beards for the first time are coming to the realization that their facial hair is a tangle of waves and curls. Here are some tips on getting that beard under control.

We’re still safest inside. At Home has our full collection of ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do to make staying at home fun.

The coronavirus crisis has upended Sarah Firshein’s job as a travel columnist for The Times, but she has discovered that travel writing can be even more interesting now. Here’s an excerpt from what she wrote about the change.

Practically overnight, it seemed, borders were closed and commercial planes were grounded. In addition to worrying about the same things everyone worried about at that time — getting sick, the well-being of parents, the abrupt end to child care, long-term financial security — I had another fear specific to my profession: How does one write about travel when travel isn’t a thing?

As it turns out, travel writing becomes even more interesting when the world stops.

Look no further than the tip line ([email protected]) where my editors and I field readers’ questions for Tripped Up, my consumer advocacy column for The Times’s Travel desk.

The questions are diverse: Are hotels safe? Can our family travel from Italy to the United States in October? Should we road-trip, rather than fly, to our son’s wedding?

An overwhelming majority, though, are about canceled trips: pleas for help getting refunds, tales of customer service battles and hourslong hold queues, scrutiny on policies that don’t make sense, complaints about policies that do make sense but are still unfair.

Friends have asked me whether I’ve flown since the pandemic started. The answer is no; I’m content keeping a low profile for now, and I’m grateful for the chance to rediscover the places and people I know the best. But when that happens, travel — for me, for everybody — will be a totally new skill. Picking a destination, navigating an airport, deciding whom to vacation with: We’re all in training pants again.

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Isabella

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 the man who cracked the lottery.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword puzzle, and a clue: Undeveloped egg cell (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• All eight episodes of our podcast “Rabbit Hole,” which explores how the internet is changing us, are now available.


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