Your Friday Briefing - The New York Times

Given the rising number of coronavirus cases, European officials fear a repetition of harrowing scenes from the spring when the virus flooded intensive care units in Italy and Spain.

New restrictions have been imposed across the continent: in Munich, which was usually overcrowded with exuberant crowds for Oktoberfest this month, authorities banned gatherings of more than five people. In Marseille, France, all bars and restaurants will be closed next Monday. And in London, where the government has spent weeks encouraging workers to return to the city’s abandoned skyscrapers, it is now asking them to work from home.

But how immediate is the danger? European leaders are faced with a rapidly changing situation, with conflicting evidence about how quickly new cases of the virus are reflected in hospital admissions. Madrid’s hospitals, for example, are almost full, but the number of hospital admissions and deaths in France is increasing more slowly.

Hypotheses: Some experts argue that this shows that the virus has lost some of its effectiveness since it arrived in Europe or that it is now mainly infecting younger people who are less likely to experience severe symptoms. Others say this is evidence of social distancing, widespread use of face masks, greater precautions for more vulnerable people, and better medical treatment.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other virus developments:

  • Vaccine maker Novavax announced Thursday that it would begin the final stages of testing of its coronavirus vaccine in the UK and that another large trial is due to begin in the US next month.

  • Israel is imposing a second national lockdown after infection rates rose to around 5,000 new cases per day this week. The new measures, which will come into effect on Friday, will remain in effect until at least mid-October.

  • The UK government, battling a second wave of coronavirus cases, announced a new wage support program on Thursday – one that is far less generous to workers and employers than the vacation program it is replacing, which expires next month.

Speaking to reporters, President Trump stuck to his extraordinary suggestion that if he lost, he might not accept the election results. “We want to make sure the elections are fair and I’m not sure that it can be done,” he said, describing mail-in ballots as “a big scam”. Just yesterday he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the November 3rd elections.

Republican leaders insisted that there would be a peaceful transition, but they stopped criticizing the president directly. But the Democrats have sounded the alarm. California representative Adam Schiff, who led the in-house action to indict Mr Trump, flatly said, “This is how democracy dies.”

Mr Trump was mocked by protesters when he paid his respects to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Washington.

Opinion: Trump’s words are a naked declaration of autocratic intent, writes columnist Michelle Goldberg. But it’s important to remember that Trump and his campaign are trying to undermine the election because they seem to be losing it for the moment.

In a cryptic late-night letter, the Vatican announced the resignation of one of the most powerful officials in the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, a mixture of church intrigue and internal power games, who also lost his rights as a cardinal.

Italy Media reported that Pope Francis shocked Cardinal Becciu on Thursday by demanding his resignation. A call to Cardinal Becciu was not answered Thursday evening, but Italian news agency AdnKronos said he reached him. “I prefer silence,” it quoted him as saying.

Go deeper: Cardinal Becciu is not your everyday meaning. Under Pope Benedict XVI. And Pope Francis oversaw the ambassadors of the Vatican and played an important role in running the Curia, the bureaucracy that rules the Vatican, where he had unrestricted access to the Pope.

Democracy demonstrations in Thailand in recent weeks have been dominated by an emerging political force: young women. They were the early organizers of the demonstrations and appeared to form the majority in the recent protests. Above, Sirin Mungcharoen, an activist holding up the defiant greeting with three fingers from the series “Hunger Games”.

Although the goal is to encourage the old guard of Thailand to come up with new ideas, the women also speak out against the patriarchy, which controls the military, the monarchy and Buddhist monasticism.

Aleksei Navalny: The Russian authorities have frozen the assets of the opposition leader, who was poisoned last month and acted at the behest of a Kremlin-allied businessman named “Putin’s Cook,” the Navalny spokeswoman said Thursday.

North Korea: A South Korean official who appeared to be trying to leave for North Korea was shot dead by troops in the north who set his body on fire for fear he might carry the coronavirus, South Korean officials said Thursday.

Parental leave: Paid paternity leave in France will double from 14 to 28 days from next summer and fathers will have to take at least a week off after their babies are born, which is one of the more generous plans in Europe.

BAFTAs: All 6,700 voting members in the UK version of the Oscars are required to undergo unconscious bias training, and there will be a quota for women in the first round of voting for the best director.

Snapshot: A protester above posted a message to a memorial to Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky Thursday, the day after announcing that a grand jury had not charged anyone in their deaths. After demonstrations in the city, the Mayor of Louisville extended a night curfew, which was originally supposed to end on Saturday morning, over the weekend.

Lived life: Harold Evans, the crusade newspaper man who helped redefine quality newspapers in his native UK before reinventing himself as a publishing and literary artist in the United States, died Wednesday night in New York City at the age of 92.

What we read: This Vogue article about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s husband Marty who supported her career, dreams and ambitions. “This egalitarian partnership was a rarity for a woman of her generation,” writes Carole Landry of the Briefings Team. “It’s something that many women strive for today.”

Cook: This vegetarian rendition of Taiwanese meefun gets its umami from dried shiitake mushrooms and gains a little on eggs.

Read: Among these 17 new books, due out in October, are biographies that shed light on Malcolm X, Sylvia Plath and the Beatles. Martin Amis’ new novel “Inside Story” and Sayaka Murata’s “Earthlings” also hit bookstores.

Go (virtually): Your guide for this tour of Times Square, the heart of Midtown Manhattan, is an expert from the Harvard Graduate School of Design who offers a look at the litigation that shaped 42nd Street.

Whether you’re a chef or an armchair traveler, our complete collection of home ideas has everything you need to read, cook, watch and do.

The pandemic has disrupted everything – including the friendships we normally love. Whether your connections have been rocky or completely iced over the last few months, here are some ways to heal while you socially distance yourself.

Make a real connection. If a meeting is not feasible or safe, you can arrange a video call. However, a one-time video chat conversation is unlikely to be enough to get the friendship going again. If you set up another call or check-in at a later date, the positive momentum will remain and the relationship will normalize.

Expand as much grace as you can. “We must have compassion for the pressures humans are under,” said Lydia Denworth, author of “Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond.” Some people are unaffected by the pandemic; others have brought their lives to a standstill. Problems can arise between friends who do not recognize that different people experience this crisis in different ways.

Try not to take “no” personally. When friends say they can’t speak to you right now, don’t get into negative questions and assumptions. “When someone says ‘no’, they are basically taking care of themselves,” said Ivy Kwong, a licensed marriage and family therapist. Respect their decision and let them know that your door is always open to them.

Express gratitude. Write a handwritten letter telling your friends how much they mean to you. Expressing your deep appreciation can help strengthen your bond.

Accept that you may have outgrown this friendship. Just because a friendship has been around for a long time doesn’t mean it can give you what you need today. Take this moment to identify the weaker friendships: “Those who don’t support you, who don’t make you feel good, and who are crooked,” said Ms. Denworth.

That’s all for this week. See you monday.

– Natasha

Thank you very much
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh took the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]

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