Biden’s 10-day blitz of executive orders
When Joe Biden begins his presidency this week, he will inherit a number of crises including the coronavirus pandemic, economic turmoil, race wars and the aftermath of the Capitol attack. In order to tackle them, Mr Biden’s team has developed dozens of directives which he can issue on his own responsibility shortly after his inauguration on Wednesday.
He will also begin reversing some of President Trump’s hottest controversial policies, including lifting travel bans for several predominantly Muslim countries; Re-entry into the Paris climate protection agreement; Order the agencies to find out how children who are separated from their families after crossing the southern border can be reunited; Extending pandemic-related restrictions on evictions and student loan payments.
Possible violence: Military vehicles and police barricades lined the streets near government buildings in many states, and officials prepared for the possible influx of pro-Trump protesters ahead of the inauguration on Wednesday.
Kamala Harris: The future Vice President will officially resign from the Senate today before she is sworn in on Wednesday. As Ms. Harris ascends to this groundbreaking role, millions of Americans will see a more expansive version of the American family staring at her.
Aleksei Navalny is arrested on his return to Moscow
The Russian opposition leader, who had recovered from near-fatal poisoning in Germany in August, was arrested on Sunday evening at passport control at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow. The police also arrested some of his supporters who greeted him at the airport.
The Russian Correctional Service, which alleged that Mr Navalny was wanted for violating a previous suspended sentence, issued a statement saying that he had been detained pending trial.
Minutes before his detention, Mr Navalny made an impromptu statement to journalists in a transit area at the airport terminal. “I’m not scared,” he said. “I know that I’m right. I know that all criminal proceedings against me are fabricated. “
A hit: The arrest of Mr Navalny could spark protests and an international backlash. He has accused the Kremlin of attempting to murder him on YouTube videos that have been viewed more than 40 million times.
Police and anti-lockdown protesters clash in Amsterdam
Amsterdam riot police dispersed thousands of people on Sunday, some of whom threw fireworks and stones to protest the Dutch government and its coronavirus measures. Around a hundred people were arrested, according to local media.
Unmasked and close together, the demonstrators gathered in a central square lined with landmarks such as the Van Gogh Museum and the American Consulate, waving posters saying “Dictatorship”, “Freedom” and “We are the Netherlands”.
Like most of Europe, the Netherlands is locked until at least February 9th. Infections remain high, but the rate has fallen slightly to 34 coronavirus cases per 100,000 population.
Analysis: Much like the Trump loyalists who stormed the United States Capitol, Dutch protesters believe that their political system must be uprooted. “These people live in their own truth, with their own news and their own reality,” said Hans Nijenhuis, editor of the country’s largest newspaper. “As we’ve seen in the States, we can’t just ignore their discontent.”
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
If you have 6 minutes, it’s worth it
Can ‘Up’ go on without Michael Apted?
The British director’s acclaimed documentary series “Up” has recorded the lives of his subjects every seven years since 1964, inspiring international copycats and even an episode of “The Simpsons”. But Apted’s death that month at the age of 79 left the eleven remaining attendees pondered over the fate of a project that has spanned most of their lives.
The lead producer Claire Lewis, herself “70-ish”, can inherit the direction of the series with the approval of the cast and crew. “We’re going to need an ambulance if we ever do it again to get us anywhere,” she said. “I think we just have to say, we’ll wait and see.”
The following also happens
Merkel’s potential successor: Before the autumn elections, Armin Laschet was chosen by Angela Merkel as the next chairwoman of the conservative party of the Christian Democratic Union, who will decide who will succeed her as Chancellor.
Election in Uganda: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was re-elected as the leader of the East African nation on Saturday on charges of election fraud. It will be his sixth five-year term.
Luxury watch market: For the first time, China is the world’s largest importer of Swiss watches.
Phil Spector: The influential rock and roll producer died on Saturday at the age of 81 as a result of Covid-19. Since 2009, he has served a prison sentence for the murder of a nightclub hostess whom he brought to his home after a night of drinking in 2003.
Pixar’s “soul”: In Denmark, the casting of a white actor to speak for the black hero of the animated film sparked a debate about structural racism and fueled anger over stereotypes and prejudice in voice-overs in the European language.
What we read: This Mainichi article about a “Rent-a-Person who does nothing” in Tokyo. “It’s a reminder that sometimes only one presence is required,” writes Carole Landry of the briefing team.
Now a break from the news
Cook: It’s not strictly traditional to flavor this no-frills, old-fashioned butterscotch pudding with a little bourbon or scotch, but it does add a touch of flavor to it.
Clock: With Joe Biden’s inauguration approaching fast, here are six great films about real and fictional presidents.
Read: One of our 12 recently published book recommendations – including a spirited novel about lexicography, a history of the Himalayas, and a “genre-inconsistent catalog of things that no longer exist,” as our critic puts it.
In Shanghai, Keith said, office buildings and apartment complexes are rechecking smartphone location codes to make sure residents haven’t traveled to hotspots. If someone has traveled to a risk area, they must report to the authorities immediately and enter a home or government-monitored quarantine.
“The mandatory immediate quarantine of all symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals and all close contacts, ordered by the government in complete isolation,” was China’s secret to containing the coronavirus, Keith said. “In some cases they identify 800 close contacts per person, so their definition of close contact is not very close at all.”
With the US and Europe in another brutal wave, there was a great nationalist sentiment in China that was promoting the country’s handling of the virus. “There are definitely concerns about the recent outbreaks,” said Keith. “But I have found calm confidence in many people that China has overcome this problem before and can do it again.”
Thank you for starting your week with me. Until next time.
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach Natasha and the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• We listen to “The Daily”. Our final episode is about a Republican lawmaker who voted to indict President Trump.
• Here is our mini crossword puzzle and a hint: “This looks like trouble!” (Four letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The word “chiroptophobia” – the fear of bats that has increased during the pandemic – first appeared in The Times yesterday, the Twitter bot @NYT_first_said noted.
• Yewande Komolafe and Eric Kim join The Times as cookery writers. Readers may remember Yewande’s 10 essential Nigerian recipes and Eric’s explanation of Banchan, the small dishes that often go with Korean dishes.