Your Friday Briefing

Your Friday Briefing


A day after his swearing-in, President Biden rushed to place his administration in place and to dismantle a few of the Trump administration’s most contentious insurance policies.

Mr. Biden launched a national pandemic response plan, together with 10 government orders meant to extend coronavirus testing capability, require mask-wearing on federal property and increase manufacturing of Covid-19 provides. However, specialists say that vaccine manufacturing amenities are already at or near capacity and that manufacturing capability is not going to develop considerably until April. Others fear that the president’s plan for 100 million pictures in 100 days is far too modest.

Masked faces in a crowd: Our interactive graphic takes a closer look at who attended Mr. Biden’s inauguration.

Climate coverage: Pete Buttigieg, Mr. Biden’s nominee for transportation secretary, pledged to prioritize local weather change whereas making coverage. Here’s how he could do so.

Britain’s National Health Service, already overstretched, has resorted to ever more desperate measures as coronavirus hospitalizations rise, together with calling within the army to move patients and equipment, pausing pressing operations at organ transplant facilities and trimming the extent of oxygen being given to sufferers, to avoid wasting overloaded pipes.

Although vaccinations are persevering with at a brisk tempo, deaths are hovering. Britain has suffered more deaths per capita from the coronavirus over the last week than every other nation, hospitals proceed to replenish and, for the second time in a 12 months, overtaxed well being staff are scrambling to maintain sufferers alive.

Warning indicators of a winter crush had been apparent, however Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeatedly averted taking quick motion, defying calls from authorities scientists for a lockdown and different measures for weeks or months.

Quote: “It just didn’t have to be like this,” mentioned one London emergency-room physician. “The first time, you could say it was unavoidable. This just feels wholly avoidable, and that’s a lot more difficult to stomach.”

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:


The Russian authorities is threatening Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty with multimillion-dollar fines and potential legal expenses. The information group’s editors concern they are going to be pressured to close down within the nation for the primary time because the Soviet Union collapsed.

With public discontent rising in Russia, broadly out there content material that doesn’t toe the Kremlin line has develop into an issue for President Vladimir Putin. The outlet has, for instance, invested in protection of the antigovernment protests in neighboring Belarus.

Context: The authorities’s escalation of its stress marketing campaign towards the information outlet reveals how Mr. Putin is elevating the stakes in his battle with Washington simply as President Biden takes workplace.

Details: RFE/RL says that in latest weeks, the Russian authorities has notified it of dozens of violations of recent necessities that it label all of its content material as having been produced by a “foreign agent.” Editors say doing so would injury the outlet’s credibility.

Robert Thomas Bigelow, above, a maverick Las Vegas actual property and aerospace mogul with billionaire attract, is providing practically $1 million in prizes for the very best proof for “the survival of consciousness after permanent bodily death.”

In different phrases, was Hamlet proper to name demise an inescapable boundary, “the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns”? Or does consciousness in some type survive bodily demise — what the Dalai Lama referred to as how we merely “change our clothes”?

Brexit: In an obvious slight, Britain is refusing to grant the European Union ambassador the identical diplomatic standing as different ambassadors, on the grounds that it’s a global federation, not a nation-state.

Iraq bomb assault: Two suicide bombers detonated explosive vests in a crowded market in central Baghdad on Thursday morning, killing no less than 32 folks in the biggest such attack in a number of years.

Canadian politics: Julia Payette, who represented Queen Elizabeth II as Canada’s governor basic and official head of state, a high-profile however largely ceremonial position, resigned on Thursday after a report harshly criticized her remedy of workers.

Australia detention: Dozens of refugees and asylum seekers were held in hotels in Melbourne for more than a year, typically spending solely an hour a day outdoors their rooms. Many appeared shellshocked once they had been lastly launched this week.

Snapshot: After stories of a powerful odor in London’s Financial District, which is essentially empty resulting from lockdown restrictions, the police discovered more than 800 cannabis plants in a basement close to the Bank of England. Above, the once-thriving enterprise.

Art Basel: The worldwide artwork commerce’s hopes of returning to normality had been set again as organizers of the flagship truthful, scheduled for June in Switzerland, introduced that it would be postponed to September.

What we’re studying: Many in Britain have discovered this most up-to-date lockdown particularly arduous on their psychological well being. This thoughtful article from the New Statesman explores why, and what could be carried out about it.

Cook: This Bolognese is spiked with harissa and made from start to finish in one roasting pan — together with the pasta, which cooks straight within the sauce.

Watch: The closing season of “Call My Agent!” is now available on Netflix. Expect observational wit, bodily slapstick and satire alongside bouts of completely Gallic farce.

Plan: Consider a more mindful approach to post-pandemic travel — maybe finishing a private problem, exploring your heritage or realizing a life aim.

Keep your self secure, and occupied. At Home has our full collection of ideas on what to learn, cook dinner, watch and do whereas staying at house.

President Biden is inheriting tough tech questions, together with easy methods to rein in highly effective digital superstars, what to do about Chinese know-how and easy methods to convey extra Americans on-line. Our OnTech publication has this glimpse of the challenges and opportunities in know-how coverage.

Restraining tech powers: Under the Trump administration, there have been investigations and lawsuits over the ability of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and different tech corporations. Tech giants can anticipate extra of the identical beneath Mr. Biden and a Congress managed by Democrats. The new administration is predicted to proceed lawsuits towards Google and Facebook.

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