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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Your Friday Briefing – The New York Instances

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Flooding brought on by violent storms yesterday in Western Europe left at the very least 69 lifeless, together with two firefighters who died throughout rescue makes an attempt, in Germany and Belgium. A minimum of 1,300 individuals remained lacking as of final evening, in line with the German authorities.

Swift-moving water from swollen rivers has surged by three western German states. Within the heart of Liège, Belgium, the Meuse River overflowed its banks, forcing inhabitants to evacuate. The storms additionally battered Switzerland and the Netherlands.

“We have now no precise numbers of lifeless, however can say that we have now many individuals who’ve grow to be victims of this flood,” stated Armin Laschet, the governor of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. “Many individuals misplaced every little thing that they personal after the mud flowed into their properties.”

Readers’ feedback: “I reside within the higher Meuse Valley in Belgium,” stated Yves C. “After yesterday’s and this evening’s rainfalls, torrents of water had been speeding down the hills at many locations within the valley this morning. Roads had been impassable. I had by no means seen that earlier than; and we’re not one of many worst-hit locations.”

The coronavirus is sweeping throughout Africa, with a million Covid infections reported on the continent prior to now month alone, pushing the general caseload to 6 million, in line with the W.H.O.

The Delta variant has been detected in 21 of Africa’s 54 international locations. Algeria, Malawi and Senegal are among the many international locations experiencing surges in infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Solely about 1 p.c of individuals on the continent have been absolutely immunized.

The resurgence has pushed a number of governments to impose new lockdown measures, together with restrictions on motion between cities, prolonged curfew hours and college shutdowns.

Quotable: “Africa’s third wave continues its harmful pathway, pushing previous one more grim milestone,” stated Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the W.H.O.’s director for the continent.

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

In different developments:

  • Myanmar’s navy junta has ordered that lifesaving oxygen be withheld from non-public clinics and has even stopped charities from giving it away, medical staff say.

  • Politicians and medical consultants in Australia are pointing fingers over the nation’s sluggish vaccine distribution.

  • Theaters in London have canceled performances as optimistic exams ship total casts and crews into quarantine.


South Africa has been rocked to its core during the last week by looting and vandalism which have left at the very least 117 individuals lifeless, with lots of of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in harm, officers stated. It was among the many worst episodes of violence the nation had seen within the almost 30 years because the finish of apartheid.

The federal government has deployed 10,000 troops to quell the violence, and the protection minister requested 15,000 extra. As tensions cooled a bit yesterday, many had been bracing for a tough highway forward.

Set off by the arrest of Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s former president, the unrest has rapidly grow to be about broader grievances towards the federal government and its failure to uphold the guarantees of a democratic South Africa.

Scenes in Soweto: The supervisor of a grocery store gutted by looters fretted over what its loss would imply for him and his group. “Our livelihoods are gone,” stated the supervisor, Tau Chikonye. “I actually must get all the way down to the drafting board and see learn how to survive.”

Job losses: Unemployment, which has climbed above 32 p.c, partially due to the pandemic, will nearly definitely enhance as a result of many companies had been destroyed within the unrest.

  • Saad Hariri, the designated prime minister of Lebanon, resigned after 9 months of making an attempt to type a brand new authorities amid overlapping crises.

  • The British Open will run till Sunday. First performed in 1860, the golf event has had a long time of greatness. In recent times, it has proved to be a possibility for veteran gamers to point out that they nonetheless have what it takes.

  • Bukayo Saka, an English soccer participant who was lately subjected to racist ire after he missed a penalty kick, urged Instagram, Fb and Twitter to crack down on on-line abuse.

It appears odd that we might simply let the world burn, Ezra Klein believes. In this essay for our Opinion part on the inadequacy of local weather change coverage, he writes, “We’re engineering a world that’s a lot worse than it want be and that can be deadly for untold hundreds of thousands.”

Since 2003, when he was paralyzed by a extreme stroke after a automotive crash at 20, a person nicknamed Pancho has been unable to talk. Now, in a scientific breakthrough, his mere makes an attempt to speak enable electrodes implanted in his mind to transmit his phrases to a display screen.

Rembrandt by no means traveled exterior the Netherlands. However in 1638, he made “Adam and Eve in Paradise,” during which a rotund and surprisingly practical elephant romps within the background of the etching.

A brand new exhibition on the Rembrandt Home Museum in Amsterdam explains this verisimilitude: Within the seventeenth century, a feminine Asian elephant named Hansken was dropped at the Netherlands from what’s now Sri Lanka. She spent the remainder of her life in Europe and have become a well-liked and well-known spectacle.

Throughout her quick lifetime of about 25 years, Hansken had outsize significance in artwork, standard leisure and science, in line with the Dutch naturalist and artwork historian Michiel Roscam Abbing.

She was depicted at the very least 3 times by Rembrandt; she traveled to the Baltics by ship, and by foot all the best way up Denmark and all the way down to Italy; and he or she grew to become the primary Asian elephant to be described by Western science.

“It’s a really tragic story, truly, however it’s additionally fascinating,” stated Leonore van Sloten, a curator on the Rembrandt Home. “She was dropped at a world the place she didn’t belong, however she grew to become a type of window onto how life was at the moment.”

Learn extra about Hansken and the exhibition right here.

This spiced espresso cake, studded with blueberries, makes a really perfect weekend brunch or afternoon pick-me-up.

5 years after her final album, the most recent launch from the British songwriter Laura Mvula cranks up the beat and trades orchestras for synthesizers.

After months of zoom-core dressing, the males of vogue have flocked as soon as once more to the streets of Europe.

Right here’s as we speak’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Take one’s flip in Pictionary (4 letters).

And right here is as we speak’s Spelling Bee.

You could find all our puzzles right here.


That’s it for as we speak’s briefing. Have a terrific weekend. — Natasha

P.S. Apollo 11 blasted off for the moon 52 years in the past as we speak. By the following day, the three astronauts aboard had been “streaking throughout the black sea of area,” The Instances reported on the time, “in man’s first try to stroll on one other world.”

The most recent episode of “The Day by day” is on the Cuban protests.

You’ll be able to attain Natasha and the crew at briefing@nytimes.com.

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