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We’re covering protests in Hong Kong as China tightens its control, outrage against a top British aide who violated lockdown, and The Times’s front page on the loss of nearly 100,000 lives in the U.S. to the coronavirus pandemic.
The protest underscored the outrage of residents after Beijing on Friday proposed new security laws that would tighten its control over Hong Kong.
The proposals, which were unveiled at the opening of the National People’s Congress, also highlighted the challenges facing the pro-democracy movement. Attendance was far lower compared with the huge rallies in 2019 against a bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China. Some protesters feel more hopeless and afraid.
The police have shown that they plan assertive action to stop mass gatherings from gaining force.
Quote of note: “I wouldn’t use optimistic,” one resident said of her outlook on the protests. “But I would say that if we do not insist, we will not see hope. It’s because we insist, that hope will remain out there.”
Analysis: President Xi Jinping’s move against Hong Kong has echoes of President Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 — a brash move by an autocratic leader risking international condemnation to resist what he sees as foreign encroachment, Steven Lee Myers, our Beijing bureau chief, writes.
The push to reopen churches
President Trump is pressing U.S. officials to allow church gatherings — a step that other countries have already taken, sometimes with regret.
In Germany, for instance, where religious houses of worship have been reopened for weeks, 40 churchgoers have tested positive for the coronavirus after a Baptist church service in Frankfurt.
Other places are just now lifting restrictions. In France, a court last week ordered the government to allow in-person religious services, making the country one of the last in Western Europe to reopen churches, mosques and synagogues.
Large gatherings of worshipers have been linked to the spread of the virus in some places, most notably in South Korea, where a single church group accounted for more than half of the country’s early infections.
Outrage grows against top British aide
Mr. Cummings had driven 260 miles to his parents’ house in Northern England after he had contracted the coronavirus. A statement released by Mr. Johnson said that Mr. Cummings had been unable to line up care for his young child after he and his wife began showing virus symptoms.
Official remarks: “I believe that in every respect, he has acted responsibly, and legally, and with integrity,” Mr. Johnson said. But a spokesman for the opposition Labour Party disagreed, saying, “The British people do not expect there to be one rule for them and another rule for Dominic Cummings.”
If you have 7 minutes, this is worth it
Leading a ‘team of five million’ in New Zealand
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a global progressive icon, has been strikingly effective in coaxing New Zealanders to suspend their lives because of the coronavirus pandemic. (She even interviewed through an earthquake.)
As New Zealand prepares for an election in September, our Sydney bureau chief writes about Ms. Ardern’s leadership style, including her deft use of Facebook to relate to a population of five million that is “less saint and disciples, more friends or teammates.”
North Korea’s leader: President Kim Jong-un convened the country’s top military-governing body to outline “new policies for further increasing” its nuclear capacities and promoting weapons officials — the first public activity reported by the North’s state-run media in three weeks.
European football: By recruiting only local players, Athletic Bilbao has forged a unique identity that its fans embrace.
What we’re listening to: The “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” podcast. “This episode,” says Lance Booth, a photo editor, “is about a writer who becomes unemployed after landing her dream job, and the ever-revolving gate of unemployment.”
Now, a break from the news
And now for the Back Story on …
A front page unlike any other
As the United States approaches 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, our editors wanted to mark the grim milestone. So, instead of the articles, photographs or graphics that normally appear on the front page of The New York Times, on Sunday there’s just a list: a long, solemn list of people whose lives were lost to the coronavirus pandemic.
The names, nearly 1,000 of them, were gleaned from obituaries in hundreds of U.S. newspapers and conveyed both the vastness and the variety of lives lost.
“We knew we were approaching this milestone,” Simone Landon, assistant editor of the Graphics desk, told Times Insider. “We knew that there should be some way to try to reckon with that number.”
But Ms. Landon and her colleagues realized that “both among journalists and perhaps in the general reading public, there’s a little bit of a fatigue with the data.” Putting 100,000 dots or stick figures on a page “doesn’t really tell you very much about who these people were, the lives that they lived, what it means for us as a country,” Ms. Landon said. She came up with the idea to compile obituaries and death notices of Covid-19 victims from newspapers large and small across the country and selecting vivid passages from them.
“I wanted something that people would look back on in 100 years to understand the toll of what we’re living through,” Marc Lacey, the National editor, said.
That’s it for this briefing. For those celebrating, Eid Mubarak. See you next time.
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected].
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is on how a woman named Genie Chance covered the biggest earthquake to hit North America in recorded history.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword puzzle, and a clue: Poker action (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Last year, The Times published around 900 articles about the climate, including dispatches from around the world showing the effects of climate change and identifying solutions.