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Παρασκευή, 29 Μαΐου, 2020

W.H.O., Xi Jinping, Germany: Your Tuesday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering the U.S.-China feud over the pandemic, promising results from a vaccine trial and the German far right’s return to the streets.

The Trump administration, which has halted U.S. funding to the global health agency and threatened to make that permanent, dismissed China’s pledge as an attempt to forestall scrutiny over its handling of the outbreak. Addressing an online W.H.O. forum, Mr. Xi said China had “turned the tide on the virus and protected lives.”

U.S. reaction: A senior Trump administration official called China’s promise of aid “a token to distract from calls from a growing number of nations demanding accountability.”

The entire bloc would be responsible for the fund’s repayment, which would primarily benefit the poorer south — an economic approach Germany has resisted for decades.

What it means: If approved, the plan would signal a more unified Europe ahead. In countries like Italy, where many feel abandoned by their neighbors, anti-European and populist sentiment has spiked.

The vaccine, given to eight volunteers who each received two doses, is now on an accelerated timetable to be tested on hundreds more. If successful, doses could be available for the public by the end of this year or early 2021, the company said.

Details: Moderna’s technology, which uses genetic material from the virus called mRNA, is relatively new and has not yet produced an approved vaccine. One potential strength: Its genetic framework can be quickly adapted for each new viral threat.

Context: Dozens of companies around the world are working on vaccines. Experts say the world will need more than one, because demand will outstrip the production capacity of any single manufacturer.

Official remarks: President Trump said he had been taking hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that experts have warned could cause dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities in coronavirus patients, as a preventive measure. He said he had no symptoms of Co-19.

If you have some time, this is worth itFinding joy in unexpected places

These are not, on the surface, joyful times. Not in the slightest. Which is why you deserve some relief. Our Styles desk asked 14 writers what was bringing them joy right now; their answers ranged from the mundane, like deleting mediocre photos, to big-picture joys like caring for others.

The joy of getting lost was on the writer Alex Williams’s mind. That means walks with no GPS and no destination in mind: “It’s you versus the maze that is life. It’s up to you to find your way out.”

Here’s what else is happening

Al Qaeda: U.S. investigators linked Al Qaeda to last year’s deadly shooting at a military base in Pensacola, Fla. They said the gunman, a Saudi cadet training there, communicated with a Qaeda operative who had encouraged the attacks.

Snapshot: Above, the stands at a spectator-free FC Seoul game in the South Korean capital on Sunday. Yes, those are sex dolls. The team, which had been trying to maintain a festive atmosphere with what it thought were ordinary mannequins, apologized.

What we’re reading: This Brain Pickings essay about “the extraordinary and enduring love between Emily Dickinson and Susan Gilbert, who ended up marrying her brother, Austin Dickinson.” Steven Erlanger, our chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe, says it “is beautifully told and helps the lockdown.”

Now, a break from the news

Cook: This buttery caper sauce will lift asparagus or any other vegetable. Or try it with scrambled eggs, or even on its own as a side dish.

And now for the Back Story on …The honorific ‘Mrs.’

What does marriage mean for a woman’s identity? What does it mean for her name? Those questions are at the center of The Mrs. Files, a new project from The Times.

The Mrs. Files looks at what it means, and what it has meant, for a woman to be identified by her partner’s last name — regardless of her accomplishments. Tell me what your name has meant to your career.

Sarah: I take names very seriously. When I meet someone, it’s always important to me that I check with them about what they would like to be called. So much of who we are is what we get called by in the world, so defining what we would like to be called is this moment of potential agency. That agency is taken away when the world calls us something we don’t want to be called.

Denice: Growing up, I lived most of my adolescence solely with my mother, who’s Puerto Rican. My father is Jewish. A lot of children of multicultural families have hyphenated names but I don’t, and it’s not lost on me that I have my father’s last name solely because of a patriarchal idea. So much about writing is pointing at the world and pointing at yourself and finding language for what someone else has named.

When you were a child, did you dream of a traditional wedding?

Denice: I was very invested in a traditional wedding. My parents split up when I was very young. So I’d never seen a happy marriage and, with no model or example, I had to create one, so I pulled from pop culture. As I got older and stepped into my sexuality, I had to unpack that. I was trying to conform to an expectation instead of living a life that was in my own handwriting.

Helen: I started thinking recently about who weddings are for. I always assumed that if I got married it would just be for me and for my partner. But then you start thinking about relatives and it becomes a difficult negotiation between the public and the private.



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