2021-02-25 03:30:08 | Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times


Story by: Natasha Frost The New York Times World News

The West African nation of Ghana received 60,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, the first major shipment under Covax, a global sharing program that aims to deliver two billion free doses to 92 low- and middle-income countries this year.

Public health officials have criticized the unequal distribution of vaccines, with some wealthy nations having provided tens of millions of doses to their people while many poorer countries haven’t administered a single one. President Emmanuel Macron of France has called for Europe and the U.S. to send up to 5 percent of their vaccine supplies to developing nations.

Separately, new analyses found that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine provides strong protection against severe Covid-19 and might reduce an infected person’s chance of spreading the virus. The Food and Drug Administration could authorize it for emergency use in the U.S. as early as Saturday.

A court in Germany convicted the former Syrian secret police officer Eyad al-Gharib on Wednesday of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity for his role in arresting and transporting protesters to an interrogation center known for torture nearly a decade ago.

The defendant, the first former Syrian official to be convicted of crimes against humanity, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison. Rights groups have hailed the case as a landmark in the effort to ensure punishment for atrocities during Syria’s civil war.

The conviction “is a message to all criminals who still commit the most horrific crimes in Syria that the time of impunity is over, and you will not find a safe place to go,” Anwar al-Bunni, a Syrian lawyer and activist, said in a statement.

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Background: As the war nears its 10th anniversary, the country is marred by widespread destruction and sinking into a profound economic crisis, with poverty and hunger spreading. But President Bashar al-Assad remains in power, after his government used violence and torture to stamp out the uprising against him.

The global market for Japanese anime reached an estimated $24 billion by 2019, and the pandemic has only increased demand. But many of the workers who help create the shows make as little as $200 a month, and under taxing working conditions. Above, Tokyo’s Akihabara district, a center of anime culture.

Studios can pay low wages because so many young people are passionate about anime and want to work in the business. “There are a lot of artists out there who are amazing,” so the studios “have a lot of cannon fodder,” said a translator who works in the industry.

Tiger Woods: The golfer was “awake, responsive and recovering” after surgery for injuries to his right leg sustained in a single-car crash. He was said to have been driving at a “greater speed than normal” when the crash occurred on Tuesday.

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Gender: Passports and other federal identification in the U.S. may soon include a third option, other than “male” or “female”: “X,” for nonbinary and intersex people.

Women in China: A divorce court ordered a man to pay his wife more than $7,700 in compensation for the housework she did during their marriage. The landmark decision prompted a fierce debate, with many saying the sum was inadequate.

Israel: A memoir by a daughter of Amos Oz, one of Israel’s most celebrated authors, who died in 2018, has shocked the country with its allegations of physical and emotional abuse. Other family members have defended him.


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Source References: The New York Times World News

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