Your Friday Briefing – New York Times

After a brutal summer climb, driven by the Delta variant, the coronavirus is back in retreat in the US, but considering how many Americans remain unvaccinated, it is too early to abandon basic precautions, warns researchers. The potential emergence of a new variant remains a wild sign, while the protection provided by vaccination may begin to decline more sharply.

What comes next is difficult to predict. Most experts said they would not be surprised to see more cases later this year as people spend more time indoors and travel on vacation. Britain and Israel continue to struggle with outbreaks, despite high levels of vaccination. “We should all be aware that this is not quite over yet,” says Angela Rasmussen, virologist at the University of Saskatchewan.

President Biden spoke at the White House yesterday, warning that the coronavirus pandemic was not over yet, but that the United States “was went in the right direction.“He called on states and private companies to support vaccine mandates in an effort to avoid further severe cases.

The numbers: The United States now registers about 90,000 new infections a day, a decrease of more than 40 percent since August. Hospitalizations and deaths are also declining. Almost 70 percent of the adults are fully vaccinated, and children under the age of 12 are likely to be eligible for their Covid vaccine shots within a few weeks. Federal regulators can soon approve the first antiviral pill for Covid-19.

Armed sectarian militias collided in Beirut yesterday, turn neighborhoods into a deadly war zone. Armed men hid behind cars and dumpsters to fire automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at their rivals. At least six people were killed and 30 injured, in some of the worst violence in years to shake the Lebanese capital.

After the almost collapse of the Lebanese state, the country is facing political and economic crises, inviting to the memories of its civil war that ended more than three decades ago. Since the autumn of 2019, its currency has fallen more than 90 percent in value, which has reduced to poverty those who were once comfortably middle class.

Lack of fuel In recent months, all but the richest Lebanese have struggled with prolonged power outages and long lines at gas stations. The country’s once well-reputed banking, medicine and education sectors have all suffered heavy losses, as professionals have fled to seek livelihoods abroad.

Context: Violence erupted during a protest led by two Shiite Muslim parties – Hezbollah and the Amal movement. The protesters called for removal by the judge accused of investigating the huge explosion in the port of Beirut last year.


A federal jury prosecuted a former top pilot for Boeing, Mark Forkner, in connection with statements he and the company made about the troubled Boeing 737 Max jet. He would be the first person to face criminal charges for 737 Max problems. The six charges of fraud in his indictment have the highest sentence of a total of several decades in prison.

Forkner is accused of deceiving the Federal Aviation Administration about air traffic control programs involved in two crashes in 2018 and 2019 in which 346 people were killed and of “planning to deceive Boeing’s US airline customers to get tens of millions of dollars for Boeing,” the Justice Department said.

Lawyers for the pilot, who have been investigated for more than a year and a half, said last year that he “did not lie to anyone” and added that “he would never endanger the safety of other pilots or their passengers”. Today he is expected to appear in court.

Background: Boeing and the Department of Justice during the last days of the Trump administration announced that they had it agreed on a $ 2.5 billion legal settlement Solving a criminal indictment that the company had conspired to defraud the FAA The scandal has already led to the boss being fired and costing the company billions of dollars.

The Columbus statue that once looked down on Mexico City’s largest boulevard will be replaced by a precolonial domestic figure – above all a woman. But not everyone is happy with the announcement, on either side of the cultural divide.

Primatologen talked to our books about what she has learned from reading.

What books are on your bedside table?

“The Perfect Gentleman: A Muslim Boy Meets the West”, to remind me to read about. It’s brilliant and I know the author Imran Ahmad. And “Cult: Following My Escape and Return to the Children of God”, by Bexy Cameron. I skimmed it, and it’s an extraordinary and coolly true autobiography.

What topics would you like more writers to write about?

People and projects around the world that show the resilience of nature, the indomitable human spirit, the power of informed young people, the fantastic innovation of scientists who fight climate change.

If you could demand that President Biden read a book, what would it be?

I asked someone related to the Biden administration, and he said that Biden is daily overwhelmed by horrible news and that I should recommend my book “The Book of Hope”. In which, on behalf of the interviewer Doug Abrams, I describe my conviction that if we take action now, we can turn things around.

You organize a literary dinner. Which three authors, dead or alive, do you invite?

Shakespeare, Tolkien, Jane Austen or Charlotte Brontë. Or, oh – I want Keats, Byron, Rachel Carson, Dickens, Darwin – and oh, I so want Churchill and, and, and – and my dinner party will need a ballroom to fit them all!

What are you going to read next?

No plans, no time. There are so many books I want to read. Maybe there will be more time, when I can travel again and study on a flight.

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