Breonna Taylor, Coronavirus Vaccine, Belarus: Your Thursday Briefing

Johnson & Johnson has entered the final phase of clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine that could have one huge advantage over its competitors: it would only take one shot instead of two.

The trials, which began Monday, will be the largest in the US, with plans to enroll 60,000 attendees. “It would be fabulous if we had something in a single dose,” said Dr. Judith Feinberg, the vice chair of medical research at West Virginia University, who was not involved in the study.

Only phase 3 studies comparing the effects of a vaccine with those of a placebo can tell whether a single dose is actually effective, said Dr. Feinberg.

Another plus: the vaccine does not have to be frozen. Freezing could make distribution difficult, especially in places without advanced medical facilities.

What’s next: The company’s chief scientist said Johnson & Johnson could possibly determine whether the vaccine is safe and effective by the end of the year.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

  • Foreigners with a valid residence permit for work, personal affairs and family gatherings in China will be able to re-enter the country starting next week without having to apply for a new visa.

  • The Metropolitan Opera, the largest performing arts organization in the United States, has canceled its entire 2020-21 season through September next. The decision was a terrifying signal that cultural life in the US is a long way from being able to resume.

  • According to recent research from Japan, plastic face shields do little to curb the spread of microscopic particles in the air caused by activities such as speaking, singing, or sneezing.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia used his first address to the United Nations General Assembly to brand Iran as a force causing chaos in the Middle East. However, his country’s own controversies were not mentioned.

“The hands of the kingdom have been extended to Iran in peace with a positive and open attitude over the past few decades, but to no avail,” the 85-year-old king said on a taped video.

He accused the Iranian government of using international efforts to contain its nuclear activities, supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen and targeting Saudi oil facilities in rocket attacks.

The king said nothing bad about Saudi Arabia’s own military role in Yemen, which the United Nations has labeled the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe. He expressed support for the Trump administration’s efforts in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but did not mention the possibility of diplomatic relations with Israel.

In the past, Beijing has responded to the economic slowdown by giving the green light to multi-billion dollar construction projects to quickly pump money into the economy. The latest idea is a lot less grandiose than a motorway or high-speed railroad.

Elevators are being retrofitted in up to three million older accessible buildings. While elevators have less economic impact, they offer social benefits to a rapidly aging population.

Officials hope a national elevator project could help mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic, particularly on workers. It could provide jobs for tens of millions of unemployed Chinese migrant workers.

Latin America was devastated by the pandemic. In Mexico City, the Iztapalapa neighborhood, home to the largest market for products in the western hemisphere, became the epicenter of the epicenter, recording more coronavirus deaths than any other part of the capital that is itself the center of the national crisis.

Our reporters visited Iztapalapa, where poverty, a dense population and busy trade have wreaked havoc. The workers in the area had no choice. “I have run out of money,” said one salesman who tried to stay home but ran out of money. “It’s either go out there and face the virus or sit here and starve.” By May, one in ten people who had put on a ventilator in Mexico City was on the market.

Belarus: Despite weeks of mass demonstrations against his rule, Aleksandr Lukashenko was sworn in on Wednesday in a secret ceremony for a sixth term as president. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, an opposition leader, denounced the ceremony as “Farse”.

Breonna Taylor: A police officer was charged with “wantonly endangering” the killing of the 26-year-old black woman who was fatally shot while she was sleeping. Two other officers who fired shots were not charged. Protesters gathered in Louisville, Kentucky, where Ms. Taylor was killed, expressing anger and disappointment. Other cities also prepared for protests.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Supreme Court Justice was honored as a pioneer of women’s rights during a ceremony at the Washington Court. Her coffin was then taken outside where she will rest while the Americans say goodbye for the next two days.

Pakistan fire: Eight years after the worst industrial fire in the country killed 264 people and injured 60 others in a clothing factory in Karachi, a court sentenced two men to hang for arson. The verdict fell short of the victims’ families, who tried to hold the factory owners accountable.

Snapshot: Upstairs, a sniffer dog was training in Finland to detect the smell of the coronavirus. Some dogs working at Helsinki Airport have been trained to detect infection in arriving passengers in about a minute.

What we see: That table said “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”. Carole Landry of the Briefings Team writes: “The performances / readings from these stars – including Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Morgan Freeman and Matthew McConaughey – are special. It’s a lot of fun. “

Cook: This baked-egg corn polenta is featured in Melissa Clark’s “From the Pantry” series, which began back in March to help people who are stuck at home cook and allay their pandemic fears. Melissa is pulling out of the series, and as a parting gift, here are five recipes that shone.

Read: In “Let Love Rule” Lenny Kravitz tells the first 25 years of his life and ends with the release of his debut album in 1989. The story he tells is not about fame, but about the influences that inspired his distinctive musical mix have soul and classic rock.

Observe: Are you looking for some new streaming options? Here is our list of 10 Unusual Movies for Unusual Times.

Getting bored at home is not an option with our full collection of ideas for what to read, cook, see and do at home.

Under international pressure to do more to tackle global warming, President Xi Jinping has surprisingly pledged to drastically reduce emissions – but he gave few details. Steven Lee Myers, our head of the Beijing office, took a closer look at what that means.

Mr. Xi’s pledge is a tectonic change in policy that has not yet been practiced. Under the Paris Climate Agreement, China promised that its emissions would peak around 2030. Mr. Xi promised to postpone that schedule on Tuesday, although he did not provide specific details. The bigger surprise, according to analysts, was his promise to be carbon neutral by 2060 – meaning China’s net carbon emissions will hit zero -. China is now the largest producer of global emissions, pumping out 28 percent of total global emissions.

China would have to reverse recent emissions trends. Analysts have warned of worrying trends in the country. Coal consumption, which declined from 2013 to 2017, has risen again in recent years as the government tried to stimulate growth.

After shutting down during the pandemic, China’s economy roared back. Research has shown that by May carbon emissions were 4 percent higher than in the previous year. China issued more coal-fired power plant building permits in the first half of 2020 than in any year in 2018 and 2019.

The impact could affect all 1.4 billion people in China. Li Shuo, a policy advisor for Greenpeace China, said the The promise required a complete transformation of the Chinese economy.

“Think about it: the way we eat, how we use energy, how we produce our food, how we commute to work needs to be completely reorganized,” he said. Maintaining power of the Communist Party remains Mr. Xi’s top priority, but pollution and other environmental threats are increasingly seen as threats to the party’s reputation.

That’s it for this briefing. Until next time.

– Melina

Thank you very much
To Melissa Clark for the recipe, and Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]

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