Singapore is making migrants’ virus screening easier
Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, who have been largely housed in dormitories since last spring, are allowed to visit designated leisure centers on their days off from Saturday if they test negative for the coronavirus.
There must also be no active cases in the dormitories where numerous infections emerged in April. Even when the stay at home orders were lifted for other residents, migrant workers were prohibited from leaving the dormitories except for work and essential errands.
The eight recreation centers across Singapore are central to the lives of workers – who go there to get their hair cut, buy groceries, send money to their families back home, and socialize. Workers wishing to leave their dormitories use a government smartphone app to apply for permission and select a time slot.
Context: Singapore’s economy is heavily dependent on more than 300,000 migrant workers, mostly from South Asian countries, who work in sectors such as construction, shipbuilding and manufacturing. They make about $ 400 to $ 500 a month. The pandemic has re-raised longstanding questions about inequality and how it is treated.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
India reached eight million cases, officials said. It is the second country to do this after the United States.
Taiwan spent 200 days without a locally transmitted case of the virus, much longer than anywhere else in the world.
Health officials in China’s Xinjiang region said Thursday 23 new cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed after a test spurt after a 17-year-old was confirmed to be infected outside of Kashgar.
Hospital systems across Europe are at a critical juncture – Belgium has postponed all non-essential hospital work and Croatia has asked former doctors to get out of retirement.
Xi stands out stronger
China’s leaders have concluded a newly encouraged Communist Party meeting that provides a roadmap for the country for years to come.
At the Central Committee meeting, President Xi Jinping was confirmed as the “chief navigator and helmsman,” reflecting the language of the Mao era. Mr. Xi used the meeting to show that he remains unchallenged nine months after the coronavirus plunged China into the worst crisis in decades.
Nevertheless, the country faces hurdles. The virus affected China’s economic growth, employment and global position.
Takeaways: The party’s goals for the next five years – a draft that the Central Committee approved on Thursday – include greater technological autonomy and a stronger military to protect the country’s economic and political interests.
The last days of the 2020 race
President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden ran two very different campaigns during the pandemic.
Mr Trump has pushed an aggressive schedule of packed rallies, while Mr Biden hosted socially aloof drive-in rallies, public health briefings and speeches on unifying the nation.
The messages they are trying to send couldn’t be more different: Mr Biden wants to build on the polls that show he is more trustworthy than Mr Trump in dealing with the pandemic. Mr Trump has continued to downplay the severity of the coronavirus, stating that it is disappearing in front of mostly maskless crowds.
The strategy: The Trump campaign has been heavily focused on the crucial battlefield state of Pennsylvania. It has filed lawsuits to prevent late mail-in votes from being accepted and to challenge other rules and procedures. The campaign has also sent people to early voting venues and videotaped voters.
The payment: Nearly 80 million Americans cast their votes ahead of Tuesday’s election day (see our turnout story below). Polls show the race is tightening, but most still show that Mr. Biden is on top.
If you have 5 minutes, it’s worth it
“Please help us”: Trapped in rocket fire
In a missile attack in Barda, Azerbaijan, our reporters captured the agony of a growing war. There are all signs that the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan is escalating and the casualties are mounting. Above, the funeral of a 7-year-old girl who was killed by a missile.
“Please help us,” said Yagubiya Hamidova, a cardiologist who recently moved to Barda from a town on the front lines. “Nobody in the world knows what is happening to us.”
The following also happens
France attack: Two weeks after a French schoolteacher was beheaded, three people were killed in a knife attack in a church in Nice. Officials said it was an act of terrorism and two similar events quickly followed, although it was unclear whether they were coordinated.
South Korea: The country’s Supreme Court upheld a 17-year sentence for former President Lee Myung-bak and ordered him to be sent back to prison. He was charged with corruption in 2018, including allegations that he collected millions in bribes from various sources.
Vietnam Typhoon: Typhoon Molave hit central Vietnam, triggering a series of landslides that buried villages and towns, killing or missing more than 60 people. It was one of the biggest storms in two decades.
Snapshot: Above Elise Lauriot Prevost struggling to repay student loans in Paris. Like millions of young people across Europe, she is suddenly excluded from the job market as the economic burden of the pandemic increases. Years of employment growth have deteriorated within a few months, leaving more than twice as many young people as other adults unemployed.
What we read: This Bloomberg article on the K-Pop Stans battling QAnon and becoming a force on social media. It’s a complex and interesting story from one of the most dedicated fan bases in music.
Now a break from the news
Cook: This giant couscous cake with toasted pepper sauce is very versatile. You can replace the couscous with other cooked grains, or use whatever herbs, cheese, or seasonings you have on hand.
Clock: “Raining in the Mountain” from 1979 is Hong Kong director King Hu’s latest film to be restored. Our reviewer says it is “spectacular, exciting entertainment”.
To do: If you’re witnessing an event in question and want to avoid being implicitly implicated, here’s how to be an active bystander and make discreet decisions to respond to the behavior.
It’s almost the weekend. At home, you have ideas for what to read, cook, see, and do while being safe at home.
And now for the background story about …
Americans who don’t vote
Since the 1960s, between a third and half of eligible voters in the United States have stayed at home – resulting in one of the lowest turnout rates among similar countries. Just under 56 percent of the voting age population, or 136.8 million people, voted in 2016, the Pew Research Center found.
That was an upward trend from 2012, but less than the highest American high in recent times – 2008, when 61.6 percent of the electorate emerged and President Barack Obama gave his first term in office.
Americans who did not vote were more likely to be poor, less likely to have a college degree, and be more likely to have single parents than those who voted, according to an analysis of the Census Bureau data.
So far, there has been a record turnout in the upcoming November 3rd elections, especially in battlefield states, which are often decided at low profit margins. But some will opt out anyway: Politicians “rent space in my brain and they frustrate me, but in the end they still do what they want,” said Fannie Sanchez, 44, who once voted for Barack Obama, told our reporter.
Voter apathy appears to be stronger among young Americans. Less than half of 18 to 29 year olds voted in the 2016 presidential election – about 15 points less than the total turnout. That seems to be in sync with the rest of the world: The Upshot found, in an analysis of global voter data, that young people were nowhere overriding their elders.
In countries where overall voter turnout tends to be high, voter turnout is also high in the younger age group. Researchers have found that this may be due to a number of factors: voting is a habit that has developed over time, opportunity cost as an obstacle, and participation in alternative political courses of action such as protest.
That’s it for this briefing. Until next time.
Thank you very much
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh took the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]
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