Your Wednesday Briefing - The New York Times

Britain can ‘overcome’ wave of Covid, says Boris Johnson British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that despite the record in...


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that despite the record increase in coronavirus cases, the limited restrictions in England were the right approach and would be maintained.

“We have a chance to weather this Omicron wave without shutting down our country again,” Johnson said at a press conference, adding, “We can keep our schools and businesses open, and we can find a way to make a living. with this virus. “

The prime minister said he would urge the cabinet to maintain the current emergency coronavirus measures, known as Plan B, which were introduced in early December.

The plan includes mask warrants, tips for working from home, and the use of vaccine passes, but it doesn’t respond to blockages. Schools in England reopened on Tuesday with masking and testing.

Hospitals are facing staff shortages and field facilities have been put in place. Public transport has been cut off due to a labor shortage. The National Health Service said he was on “war footing”.

Numbers: A recent push has added pressure to close. About 218,000 new cases of the coronavirus were reported on Tuesday and hospitalizations continued to rise.

here is the latest updates and pandemic cards.

In other developments:


First in Mexico, then in Bolivia, Peru, Honduras and Chile – and perhaps soon in Colombia and Brazil – left-wing politicians won presidencies, often beating the right-wing incumbents. This year, left and center-left leaders are expected to be in power in the region’s six largest economies.

The trend has not spread to El Salvador, Uruguay and Ecuador. But Evan Ellis, professor of Latin American studies, said that in his memory there had never been Latin America “so dominated by a combination of leftists and anti-American populist leaders.”

Yet these new leaders may struggle to bring about the change. Unlike in the early 2000s, when leftists won critical presidencies in Latin America, the new leaders are grappling with debts, meager budgets, limited access to credit and, in many cases, staunch opposition.

Overall effect: Gains from the left could support China and undermine the United States as it competes for regional influence, analysts say. The change could also make it more difficult for the United States to continue to isolate left-wing regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Next test: In Colombia, where a presidential election is slated for May, Gustavo Petro, a former left-wing mayor of Bogotá who belonged to an urban guerrilla, leads the polls.


With just one month before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, concerns over China’s human rights record weigh on the Games.

Activists and leaders have raised questions about China’s suppression of civil liberties in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet, but the International Olympic Committee has remained silent. Instead, the IOC has systematically deflected calls to put more pressure on China – a lucrative market and an important partner for the Olympics.

For months, human rights activists have called on the Olympic committee to ensure that the Beijing 2022 merchandise was not manufactured under duress by Uyghurs in Xinjiang. So far, the IOC has been reluctant to do so, according to correspondence the Times examined between the IOC and an anti-forced labor coalition.

The context: In years past, the IOC had been prepared to worry Russia about unpaid wages and Japanese officials about the conditions of construction workers. The committee defended its approach in China.

Related: Tesla has come under fire from political leaders and human rights groups after announcing it would open a concession in the Xinjiang region.

Around the world

It was in the district of Molenbeek in Brussels that a terrorist cell planned attacks that killed 162 people in France and Belgium in 2015. The district has been the subject of close scrutiny and its Muslim inhabitants have often been stigmatized. Six years later, Molenbeek is try to reinvent yourself as a trial takes place.

As he retires after 21 years as chief classical music critic, Anthony Tommasini looks back on his first article for the Times: a deeply personal essay on a friend.

I was a freelance classical music critic for the Boston Globe. A close friend in my class at Yale, Bob Walden, was rapidly declining from AIDS, and I went to visit him in New York. I had brought chicken salad for lunch, although Bob, shriveled at about 100 pounds, barely ate. He died on January 1, 1988, at the age of 39.

Despite my sadness, perhaps because of this, I needed to write about Bob. During this brutal and precocious period of AIDS, many wrote about the deaths of their gay friends. But music, especially Mozart, would be a common thread in my article. Bob liked classical music, but used to think that Mozart was above him, which baffled me.

As we had lunch that fall day in 1987, a tape began playing Mozart’s consoling choral motet “Ave verum corpus”. As if berating his own musical ignorance, he said, “It’s so simple.”

This is what I wrote: Bob’s epiphany about Mozart seemed related to the ideas he had about life, as he neared death.

From there, I continued to write profiles and interviews after joining The Times. And I learned that you can tell people’s stories by describing the music they create.

At Bob’s Memorial in St. Michael’s, the organist performed “Ave verum corpus,” a request from Bob. It was then that I started to cry. As Bob has learned and taught me, sometimes things are as simple as they seem.

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