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Your Monday Briefing

2020-05-17 19:53:59
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The authorities reintroduced lockdown measures in northeastern China, even as restrictions are relaxing in other parts of the country.

A new virus cluster in Jilin, the second-largest city in Jilin Province, and another in Shulan prompted health officials to place at least 8,000 people in quarantine. Residents of Jilin have been mostly barred from leaving the city.

But in Beijing, health authorities said it was no longer necessary to wear masks outdoors. The capital has reported no new infections for 30 days.

A dispute over presidential elections held eight months ago was finally settled on Sunday when President Ashraf Ghani gave his chief rival, Abdullah Abdullah, the leading role in the peace process with the Taliban and a 50 percent share in the cabinet.

The political row had cast a shadow over efforts to end the war with the Taliban. The Trump administration has agreed with the Taliban to end America’s longest war.

Of note: The power-sharing deal also promotes Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, a controversial former vice president to Mr. Ghani and backer of Mr. Abdullah, to the highest military rank, marshal.

The Chinese government attributed his death to unspecified health problems. The Israeli police said they found no reason to suspect foul play.

Context: In February, Mr. Du arrived in Israel, where he found himself in the middle of an increasingly tense dynamic that is creating friction between Israel and the U.S.

China has been investing heavily in Israel, taking stakes in hundreds of technological start-ups and acquiring a controlling interest in the dairy food-processing company Tnuva. But some investments have antagonized Washington, like the 25-year lease given to a company majority-owned by the Chinese government to run Israel’s commercial seaport in Haifa, a frequent port of call for the U.S. Navy, beginning in 2021.

President Trump’s embrace of arms sales to Saudi Arabia has helped prolong a war that has killed more than 100,000 people in the Arab world’s poorest nation. U.S.-made bombs have fallen on wedding tents, funeral halls, fishing boats and a school bus in Yemen, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

“People make miscalculations all the time,” a former senior State Department official said. “But it was striking to me as I reflected on my time in the Obama administration that it wasn’t just that we embarked on this escapade — it’s that we didn’t pull ourselves out of it.”

What we’re reading: This Vulture essay. “A seemingly anodyne explanation of why the author, an art critic, and his wife, an even more famous art critic, have been drinking bad deli coffee and eating nothing but chicken paillard during the pandemic goes into an autobiographical narrative so off the rails I have no words,” writes our reporter Jennifer Steinhauer. “Please read every word.”

Going into the hospitals for the first time was a mixed bag. The whole experience was traumatizing, and it was terrifying to see the sheer volume of patients suffering there. We saw a system that had been transformed, and we saw health care workers working tirelessly to treat all New Yorkers.

The immediate read was fear and trauma, but on the other side of the coin there was hope and calm because the doctors and nurses conveyed a capability, that in their hands we would be OK. It was a roller coaster of emotions.

We would be hit by the reality of what was happening, and then be in the presence of these doctors who were so focused and clear and unwavering, and it was beautiful.

Over the course of these shoots, I learned about the reality behind the numbers. It’s one thing to follow the news and the statistics, but it’s another to witness the underlying tragedy up close.

I really hope this work promotes empathy for fellow Americans. We all have a role to play in this, and I hope these pictures show that we are all trying our best. I also hope it serves as a record in our collective history.

How has it affected me? I’m not really sure. I’m still processing it. I have no idea because I’m still moving through it.


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

— Carole


Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at
[email protected].

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is an interview with a restaurant owner in Louisiana who is debating whether to reopen.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Becomes bubbly (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Tom Bodkin, the creative director and chief creative officer of The New York Times, explained to Fast Company how he designed striking front pages during the pandemic.

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