2021-02-18 03:38:42 | Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

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Story by: Natasha Frost The New York Times World News

In a new study, authorized by British regulators on Wednesday, a small group of unvaccinated volunteers, restricted to healthy people ages 18 to 30, will be deliberately infected with the coronavirus.

The scientists hope to eventually expose vaccinated people to the virus as a way of comparing the effectiveness of different vaccines. But before that, the project’s backers have to expose unvaccinated volunteers to determine the lowest dose of the virus that will reliably infect them.

By controlling the amount of the virus people are subjected to and monitoring them from the moment they are infected, scientists hope to discover things about how the immune system responds to the coronavirus that would be impossible outside a lab — and to develop ways of directly comparing the efficacy of treatments and vaccines.

Unknown outcomes: There have been severe Covid-19 cases even in younger patients, and the long-term consequences of an infection are largely unknown. The age restrictions may also make it difficult to translate the findings to older adults or people with existing conditions.

This time last year, Rio de Janeiro’s prime Carnival site was a caldron of glitter-smeared bodies packed together, swaying to the beat of drums. But with a pandemic raging, the party has been canceled.

Now, the main venue for samba, the Sambódromo parade grounds, above, hosts a vaccination site. Hildemar Diniz, a Carnival aficionado, said all the grief Brazilians were feeling would fuel a Carnival for the ages when it’s safe to party again. “People are thirsty for joy,” he said.

Harry Dunn: Anne Sacoolas, a U.S. State Department employee, was charged in a car accident that killed the British teenager in 2019. Ms. Sacoolas returned to the U.S. and has refused to return to Britain to face prosecution. A Virginia judge now says his parents can sue for damages.

Rwanda: The trial of Paul Rusesabagina, the genocide-era hero of “Hotel Rwanda” fame, began this week. Mr. Rusesabagina angered the Rwandan government with his pointed criticism from exile, and his supporters say he has no chance of getting a fair hearing.

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Texas storms: The electricity crisis in Texas is worsening. The state’s power grid manager said that more than 3.4 million customers were still without power — and, in many cases, heat. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has sent generators and blankets.

Mario Draghi: Italy’s new prime minister appealed on Wednesday for unity and sacrifice as the country pushed forward with coronavirus vaccinations.

Australian tech laws: Weeks after Google threatened to leave Australia if the government forced tech platforms to pay for news, the search giant is suddenly showering money on its most demanding critics. Facebook has instead opted to restrict the sharing of news on its platform there.

About three decades ago, the Clinton White House established the first council for women and girls. It was disbanded, but is now back. Our gender newsletter talked to the former secretary of state and presidential candidate.

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Twenty-five years after your “women’s rights are human rights” speech in Beijing, should the discussion around women’s rights be reframed?

We needed to shift our attention and certainly our rhetoric from a rights-based framework to a power-based one. You cannot continue to argue about whether women deserve certain rights or not. The power imbalance that still exists is what I think has to be the basis for the debate going forward.

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Source References: The New York Times World News

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