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Your Monday Briefing - The New York Times


Nearly 300 people were arrested during protests in Hong Kong on Sunday, the day when a legislative election was initially scheduled to take place. Thousands of police officers in riot gear filled the streets.

Videos showed plainclothes officers using pepper spray at close range and dragging a man across asphalt and sidewalks before putting him in handcuffs. Three activists from a leftist pro-democracy group and a leading figure of the People Power group, which had organized street booths, were among those arrested.

The legislative election was postponed for one year because of the pandemic, but many in the pro-democracy camp accused the government of stalling to avoid the defeat of establishment candidates. The protests were also to show public anger at a draconian security law imposed by Beijing that is silencing dissent.

A major shift: Our reporters documented the chilling effect that the law has had on free speech in Hong Kong.

Not so long ago, India had a sizzling economy that was lifting millions out of poverty. Leaders aimed to give the people a middle-class lifestyle, update the military and become a regional superpower that could some day rival China.

But the pandemic’s devastation is imperiling such aspirations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s early, abrupt lockdown hurt the economy but ended without having fully reined in the virus. India now has the fastest-growing outbreak, reporting a global record of more than 90,632 new cases on Sunday. Its economy has shrunk faster than that of any other major nation. As many as 200 million people could slip back into poverty.

Quotable: “The engine has been smashed,” said Arundhati Roy, one of India’s pre-eminent writers. “The ability to survive has been smashed. And the pieces are all up in the air. You don’t know where they are going to fall or how they are going to fall.”

Journalists from CNN, The Wall Street Journal and Getty Images who tried to renew their Chinese media credentials last week were told their cards, which are usually good for one year, would not be reissued, according to six people with knowledge of the events.

China also implied that it would expel foreign journalists if the Trump administration took further action against Chinese media employees in the U.S., the people said.

The bigger picture: The actions and threats raise the stakes in the cycle of retribution between Washington and Beijing over news organizations and are part of a much broader downward spiral in U.S.-China relations. In March, China expelled almost all American journalists for The Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post from mainland bureaus after 60 Chinese employees from five Chinese state-run news organizations were expelled from the U.S.

In North Sumatra, students climb to the tops of tall trees a mile from their mountain village, hoping for a cell signal strong enough to complete their assignments. In Central Java, they go to the village hall, above, for free wifi.

Around the globe, educators are struggling with how to make distance learning viable during the pandemic. But in poorer countries like Indonesia, where more than a third of students have limited or no internet access, the challenge is particularly difficult — and failure will mean even greater inequalities.

U.S. Open: Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 men’s player and No. 1 seed, was defaulted from the tennis tournament on Sunday after inadvertently striking a lineswoman with a ball hit in frustration.

U.S. presidential campaign: Polls show the race for the White House largely stable but tightening slightly in some states, with President Trump recovering some support from conservative-leaning rural voters. Joe Biden continues to enjoy advantages, especially in populous areas where the virus remains at the forefront for voters.

Stabbings in England: A search was underway in Birmingham on Sunday for a man who was said to have carried out a series of stabbings across the city that left at least one person dead and seven more wounded, two of them seriously. The police are not treating the rampage as terrorism.

Belarus protests: Protesters on Sunday again flooded into the capital of Belarus and towns across the country, but President Aleksandr Lukashenko, fortified by strong support from Russia, showed no sign of bending. The protests have continued for nearly a month.

What we’re reading: This article in The Record on a one-of-a-kind love story. “She was a nun. He was a priest. Or at least they were until their paths crossed in Newark during the tumult of the 1960s,” Will Lamb, an editor on the Express desk, writes of this “unusual and delightfully surprising love story by their son Terrence McDonald of The Record.”

Cook: This sheet-pan recipe for roast chicken and plums is mostly fuss-free. Sliced red onions caramelize in the plummy juice.

Read: Our reviewer recommends three sizzling new thrillers including “The Eighth Detective,” a debut novel by Alex Pavesi, which she describes as a “cerebral box of delights.”

Do: If you’re unsure whether there’s a “right” way to charge your phone, you’re not alone. Here are some tips on extending the life of your phone battery.

Cut the boredom with these ideas from our At Home section on what to read, cook, watch and do.

The 75th anniversary of the end of World War II inspired The Times Magazine to create a yearlong series documenting lesser-known stories about the war and its aftermath through original reporting and first-person accounts. Among the contributors to the series, called “Beyond the World War II We Know,” are Alexander Chee, a Korean-American author and essayist; Yoko Ogawa, a Japanese novelist and short-story writer; and the actor, writer and producer Tom Hanks. Here’s an excerpt from Times Insider’s look at how the project came about.

Lauren Katzenberg, who heads The Times’s At War team, and Dan Saltzstein, deputy editor for Special Sections, led the project. The number of people who could still provide eyewitness accounts is diminishing all of the time, Mr. Saltzstein said, adding, “This is probably the last chance we’re going to be able to hear from them.”

The team wanted to push beyond the “typical, expected World War II coverage,” he said. The Times invited readers who served in the war, or whose family members did, to share stories and photographs via a form on The Times’s website. About 500 responses poured in, Ms. Katzenberg said. “It was just really incredible to get such a response, and to read everyone’s stories,” she said.

On Jan. 7, The Times published another invitation, this one aimed at civilians from anywhere in the world who lived through the war. Over 140 responses rolled in.

In order to include “the creative perspective,” Mr. Saltzstein said, he asked Mr. Chee, the Korean-American author, to contribute. In his essay, he wrote that his grandfather had told him that he dreamed in Japanese, and that eventually Mr. Chee learned that this was because the Japanese tried to systematically erase Korea’s culture during its occupation of the country from 1910 to 1945.

Mr. Saltzstein said he also wanted to invite a writer who could offer a distinctly Japanese point of view. Ms. Ogawa contributed an essay about how literature is essential to retaining memories of the atomic bombings. The Japanese version of her essay has attracted more readers than the English one.

Working on the project “was often moving,” Mr. Saltzstein said. Having what is probably one of the last chances to hear from eyewitnesses was “a terrific responsibility on our part, and it had a deep effect on me.”


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

— Carole


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 briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about an attempt to bring back theater amid the pandemic.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Yours, in old English (Five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
“The Killing of Breonna Taylor,” a new documentary from the series “The New York Times Presents,” reveals details about the drug raid in Louisville, Ky., that ended with the death of the 26-year-old trained E.M.T.



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