2021-02-02 03:16:39 | Your Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times


Story by: Natasha Frost The New York Times World News

After Myanmar’s generals seized power in a coup, state television broadcast a statement in which the military tried to justify its extreme steps. It contended that there had been voter fraud in elections in November, when Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, won in an even bigger landslide than it did five years ago.

The coup returns the country to full military rule after a short span of quasi-democracy that began in 2011, when the military, which had been in power since 1962, instituted parliamentary elections and other reforms.

A one-year state of emergency is in place, with full authority transferred to the army chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing. The military’s roundup of critics continued into Monday night, and the nation’s telecommunications networks suffered constant interruptions.

These photos captured the day when the country’s democratic experiment collapsed.

Here’s what we know about the events.

From our correspondent: “The mood in Myanmar seems to be one of shock,” Hannah Beech, The Times’s Southeast Asia bureau chief, said. “The muscle memory of how to cope with a military dictatorship lives in everyone who survived the bad old days, but few expected another coup and full imposition of military rule.”

Simmering tensions: Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s relationship with the military had been fraying. Her detention on Monday brought an abrupt end to the theory that she might strike a workable balance between civilian and military power. In the end, she could not protect her people, nor could she placate the generals.

The latest adjustments, announced on Friday, include strict border closures and increased police checks on rule-breaking, in addition to a strict 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew. Schools and shops remain open. But polls in France have shown weariness with restrictions, and grumbling about the rules is growing in some quarters.

Critics say that Mr. Macron may simply be delaying the inevitable and that he could be forced to change course if cases start to surge. His plan is rooted partly in the relative stability of the pandemic in France, where the number of new daily cases has inched up slowly and there has been no sudden surge in hospitalizations.

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Related: The pharmaceutical company BioNTech announced that it would make 75 million more doses of vaccine available in the coming months to the European Union, where vaccinations have been lagging.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

  • A team of World Health Organization experts investigating the origin of the pandemic has started its mission in Wuhan, China, by visiting some of the places first hit by the coronavirus: a live animal market, a hospital and a disease control center.

  • In a study posted online on Monday, researchers found Covid-19 survivors had far higher antibody levels after the first and second doses of a vaccine and might need only one shot.

  • A million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in South Africa on Monday, paving the way for the country to begin vaccinating its population of nearly 60 million.

The budget office expects the unemployment rate to fall to 5.3 percent at the end of the year, down from an 8.4 percent projection in July. The economy is expected to grow by 3.7 percent this year.

Stimulus response: President Biden met with Republican senators who are pushing for a much smaller alternative to his $1.9 trillion stimulus bill to address the toll of the pandemic. Administration officials warned that he wouldn’t accept their scaled-down proposal.

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Cook: This baked rice with white beans, leeks and lemons is inspired by prasorizo, the classic Greek rice-and-leek dish.

Do: The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but for some, being single has made it harder. Acknowledging those difficulties can help.

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Travel: Walk on fire (vicariously) in a small village in northern Greece.

At Home has our best suggestions for how to live a full and cultured life during the pandemic, with ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do.

Vacuuming floors, scrubbing bathtubs, folding laundry. That’s not just a household to-do list — it’s also a list of what you’ll find on a popular genre of YouTube channel, in videos like “Clean with Me” or “Extreme Cleaning.”

Some people watch these videos as motivation while cleaning their own homes, while others use them as inspiration — especially during the pandemic, when many people need a pick-me-up. “The influencers play the role of cheerleader and best friend, commiserating about the mess and offering strategies on how to tackle it,” The Times’s Ronda Kaysen writes.


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Source References: The New York Times World News

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