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Your Wednesday Briefing


As a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic strains the Italian well being care system, the federal government will seal off and lock down hard-hit portions of the country at present, limiting motion to and between areas in at the least 5 areas.

As of Monday, the typical variety of every day new circumstances over seven days was 32,684, according to a New York Times database, a 92 % enhance from 14 days prior. Hospitals have needed to make room for beds in chapels and convention rooms as coronavirus sufferers overwhelm wards.

“Almost all of the Italian areas are extremely affected,” stated Giovanni Rezza, the director of the prevention division on the Well being Ministry, including that new restrictions have been vital in a scenario that “retains worsening.”

Unrest: Protests by regional presidents within the locked-down areas have unnerved the federal government. “Will we get it or not that we’re at battle?” stated Pierpaolo Sileri, Italy’s deputy well being minister. “We’re preventing to save lots of Italy.”

Listed here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

  • Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian negotiator who passionately advocated the institution of an unbiased Palestinian state, has died after contracting Covid-19. He was 65.

  • U.S. federal well being officers supplied projections for when and the way Individuals would possibly have the ability to start to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, as soon as one has been approved.

  • Lockdown — one thing skilled, dreaded and wanted by a lot of the world for at the least a few of 2020 — is the Collins English Dictionary’s phrase of the yr.

  • A husband-and-wife group helms the European biotech start-up working with Pfizer on its main vaccine. (On their wedding ceremony day, they returned to the lab after the ceremony.)

President-elect Joe Biden’s victory within the U.S. presidential election final week is a stinging blow to right-wing populists, from Britain and Brazil to Poland and Hungary. However its consequences for populism as a world political motion are extra ambiguous.

Whether or not the fortunes of comparable politicians in Europe will probably be tied to President Trump’s stays to be seen, analysts say. The financial, social and political grievances behind such actions are nonetheless alive and certainly could also be strengthened by the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, whereas social media continues to unfold populist concepts, typically cloaked in conspiracy theories.

In a sign of a broader return to normal in worldwide relations, Mr. Biden fielded congratulatory calls from European leaders resembling President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Tuesday. President Vladimir Putin of Russia is among the many few authoritarian allies of Mr. Trump to take care of silence concerning the election, together with President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and President Xi Jinping of China.

5 key takeaways: Who knew what, who’s (maybe) guilty, what you need to know.

The Netflix hit “The Queen’s Gambit” has inspired a new debate about inequality and sexism in chess and what, if something, may be executed about it. Among the many greater than 1,700 grandmasters worldwide, solely 37 are girls. Presently, just one lady, Hou Yifan of China, ranks within the Prime 100.

The reality, top players and teachers say, is even worse. “There have been opponents who refused to shake palms,” stated Judit Polgar, the one lady to ever be ranked within the Prime 10 of the sport.

Nagorno-Karabakh: Russian peacekeeping forces have been deployed to the ethnic Armenian enclave on Tuesday after Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a Russian-brokered deal to end a six-week war that had already killed hundreds.

Amazon: European Union regulators charged the tech giant with antitrust violations, saying it was unfairly utilizing information to field out smaller rivals.

Soccer: Greg Clarke, the chairman of England’s soccer affiliation, has resigned from his position after a disastrous testimony to a parliamentary committee through which he spoke in offensive stereotypes about Black and Asian individuals, women and others.

Inexpensive Care Act: At a Supreme Court docket listening to, at the least 5 justices signaled help for the well being care legislation and advised that hanging down the so-called particular person mandate, the requirement to acquire insurance coverage, would not doom the balance of the law.

Snapshot: Emily Harrington, above, is the primary lady to free-climb the Golden Gate route up El Capitan, a 3,000-foot-high monolith in Yosemite Nationwide Park, in beneath 24 hours. Her mantra: “Sluggish is easy, easy is quick.”

Fowl play: A hacker slipped greater than 1,500 fake votes into New Zealand’s Bird of the Year 2020 contest, in favor of the kiwi pukupuku, ruffling the feathers of the nation’s on-line group.

Lives Lived: Marty, “the very best cat in New England,” was the green-eyed, feather-tailed, much-loved mascot of Mount Washington Observatory, some 6,288 ft above sea degree in North Conway, N.H. He died at 14, or presumably 15, final week.

What we’re studying: This Caity Weaver homage to her home state. Our colleague Daniel Victor, a reporter in London, calls it “the Pennsylvania tribute that Pennsylvania deserves.”

Do: Many years-old motion pictures, songs and video video games are surging in recognition, together with outdated favorites like Spice Ladies and Fleetwood Mac. Nostalgia may be a healthy coping mechanism throughout the pandemic.

Made plans for tonight? Take a look at our At Home collection of ideas that will help you resolve what to learn, prepare dinner, watch, and do whereas staying secure at house.

Denmark’s mink cull is on maintain due to a query concerning the authorities’s authorized authority to order it. However why did it search to take action within the first place? James Gorman, a science author at massive for The Occasions, explains what you need to know, excerpted right here.

Can mink infect individuals with the coronavirus?

Sure. In Denmark, mink have contracted the virus and unfold it to individuals. The identical occurred within the Netherlands this yr. They’re the one animal recognized to take action.

Does the virus mutate in mink?

Sure. In additional than 200 individuals, Danish authorities have documented a number of variants of the virus that comprise mutations originating in mink. The virus additionally mutates in individuals. However there is no such thing as a proof that any of the mutations that originated in mink make the coronavirus extra transmissible in people or make people sicker.

Why did Denmark resolve to kill all of its farmed mink?

Danish well being authorities have been involved that one set of mutations might make a possible coronavirus vaccine much less efficient, after the likelihood was raised in preliminary checks. The World Well being Group and unbiased specialists stated there was no proof to this point that it might diminish the worth of vaccines at the moment in growth.

Did Denmark overreact?

Scientists say that there are causes past this explicit mutated virus for Denmark to behave.

The crowded situations of mink farms might put evolutionary pressures on the virus totally different from these within the human inhabitants. The virus might additionally bounce to different animals from mink. These are all worrisome potentialities, significantly within the midst of a resurgence of the virus within the human inhabitants.

Thanks for becoming a member of me. See you subsequent time.

— Natasha

To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the information. You’ll be able to attain the group at briefing@nytimes.com.

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our newest episode is about what went flawed with presidential polling.
• Right here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Sound from a child chook (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The phrase “hyperpoop” first appeared in The Times on Tuesday, based on the Twitter account @NYT_first_said.
• Andrew Higgins, our Moscow bureau chief, will probably be moving to Warsaw to head up our Eastern Europe bureau. Anton Troianovski will probably be our subsequent Moscow bureau chief.


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