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Spain Quarantine, Russia Protests, Olivia de Havilland: Your Monday Briefing

2020-07-27 05:04:13

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Good morning.

We’re covering new quarantine rules on travelers from Spain, continuing protests in Russia against President Vladimir Putin and the death of a Hollywood Golden Age star.

But the speed blindsided many Britons who had traveled to Spain assuming they could return home without restrictions — including the transportation secretary responsible for aviation policy, Grant Shapps, who was on vacation.

Travelers will now have to isolate themselves for 14 days when they return. As a result, many in Britain are rethinking their plans, and some airlines canceled flights to Spain.

The decision had been made after data received on Friday showed a jump in Spanish cases, the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said.

Details: Scotland, which had lifted its quarantine rules for Spain just a few days ago, said it would reimpose them. France on Friday also advised against travel to Catalonia, Spain’s northeastern region bordering France, where hundreds of thousands of residents were in temporary lockdown this month.

In the last week, Spain’s daily average has topped 1,700 cases — as many as Britain, France and Italy combined.

For many French citizens of Algerian descent whose families migrated across the Mediterranean, summer in Algeria is a cornerstone of their cross-cultural identity — what they call “bled,” a word derived from Arabic that refers to the countryside.

Cook: Fried chicken biscuits with hot honey butter could be a weeknight dinner with a side of greens, but they’re also perfect for a picnic.

Watch: “Muppets Now,” a new series on Disney+, is the latest attempt to take Kermit the Frog and his fuzzy companions back to their anarchic sketch comedy roots.

Listen: Taylor Swift, J. Cole, the Avalanches, Vusi Mahlasela and others are on this week’s playlist of the most notable new songs, compiled by our pop critics.

Find more ideas on what to read, cook, watch in our At Home collection.

Stationed all over the world, foreign correspondents can feel isolated. Alissa J. Rubin, our Baghdad bureau chief, wrote about a weekly call with colleagues that has helped them deal with the pandemic. Here’s an excerpt.

At The New York Times, foreign correspondents are a disparate group. We work in different countries, in different time zones, in wildly different cultures.

Only rarely do we know our colleagues in other regions, and when we do run into them, we often feel a bit shy talking to them — what would Bangkok and Warsaw have in common?

But the coronavirus changed that. It gave us common ground. In ways we never could have anticipated, Covid-19 turned out to be a leveler — of differences between editors and reporters, Sinophiles and Europeanists, newer reporters and “old hands.”

What brought us closer together was a weekly group video meeting that began as a result of a voluntary group session with a psychiatrist. The idea was to help those far from home feel less anxious as the pandemic spread to more and more of the countries where we lived and worked.

We discuss the mundane, such as ordering food or which Netflix or Amazon Prime series we are watching, but we also discuss the professional: the pros and cons of working with sources through video; long-distance transportation options (for those of us who can travel); where to stay (hotel or Airbnb?).

And, because all of us are living the story that we are reporting, sometimes we talk about the deeply personal, like writing frustrations and strategies for avoiding depression during a lockdown (one suggestion: have a call every day with a colleague).

Ernesto Londoño, the Rio de Janeiro bureau chief, offered advice on meditation. Chris Buckley, a China correspondent who had been through a draconian three-month lockdown in Wuhan, gave recommendations on structuring our days and pacing ourselves when time seemed to fall into a black hole.

Why do we keep showing up for this meeting? Because it has become our town square, our group kitchen table, a place where we see people with whom we share a way of life and can talk about all that we’ve lost without being judged.

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

— Isabella

Thank you
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 an examination of the truth, in a moment when facts can seem malleable.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword puzzle, and a clue: “Sesame Street” muppet who lives in a trash can (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The media support network Study Hall published a profile of our Styles editor, Choire Sicha, and his unusual route to The Times.


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