A potentially risky UK study on the coronavirus
In a new study, approved by UK regulators on Wednesday, a small group of unvaccinated volunteers, limited to healthy people aged 18 to 30, are deliberately infected with the coronavirus.
The scientists hope to eventually expose vaccinated people to the virus to compare the effectiveness of different vaccines. Before doing so, however, the project’s supporters must expose unvaccinated volunteers to determine the lowest dose of the virus that will reliably infect them.
By controlling the amount of virus people are exposed to and monitoring it from the time they become infected, scientists hope to discover things about how the immune system reacts to the coronavirus that would be impossible outside of a laboratory – and ways to compare it directly to develop the effectiveness of treatments and vaccines.
Unknown results: There have been severe Covid-19 cases even in younger patients, and the long-term consequences of infection are largely unknown. Age restrictions can also make it difficult to extrapolate the results to older adults or those with existing medical conditions.
Art and defiance in Myanmar
At the largest rally since the protests against a coup in Myanmar began, hundreds of thousands gathered in central Yangon on Wednesday, holding up posters and signs designed for the Instagram generation.
As with protests in Thailand and Hong Kong, protesters in Myanmar have turned to memes and creative disagreements to get their message across, including graffiti, hip-hop, poetry, hymns, cartoons and paintings. Art collectives produce free designs for protesters to print on signs.
Along with the demonstrations, more than 750,000 people have stopped going to work. It is noteworthy that the movement has been steadfast and gaining momentum: the military has arrested more than 450 people and even fired shots into the crowd since the February 1 coup. It has long seen menace in the arts too.
Artists as goals: Among the dozen of people captured alongside Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader, were a filmmaker, two writers and a reggae singer. A graffiti artist whose protest tags revived Yangon said he was on the run from police.
Harry and Meghan return to the spotlight
When Prince Harry and his wife Meghan notice the first anniversary of their sharp separation from the British royal family, the wounds have yet to heal – between them and the tabloids or even, according to people with ties to Buckingham Palace, between them and members of the House of Windsor.
Harry and Meghan are about to lose their patronage dates under the severance pay agreement that was signed last year. You have agreed to a prime-time interview with Oprah Winfrey that will air on March 7th in the US. Palace officials prepare for potentially embarrassing revelations.
The couple chose Valentine’s Day to announce they were expecting their second child and confirmed the news with a dreamy black and white photo of themselves posing under a tree. British tabloids responded with criticism – of the photo and Harry’s feet.
If you have 4 minutes, it’s worth it
In Rio, covid blasts replace samba
Around this time last year, Rio de Janeiro’s main carnival venue was a cauldron of glittering bodies, packed together and swaying to the beat of the drums. But with a raging pandemic, the party was canceled.
Now, the main place for samba, the parade ground of Sambódromo, there is a vaccination center above. Hildemar Diniz, a carnival buff, said all the sadness Brazilians felt would fuel a carnival for ages if it is safe to celebrate again. “People are thirsty for joy,” he said.
The following also happens
Harry Dunn: Anne Sacoolas, a US State Department official, was charged with a car accident that killed the British teenager in 2019. Ms. Sacoolas returned to the US and refused to return to the UK to be prosecuted. A judge in Virginia now says his parents can claim damages.
Rwanda: The trial of Paul Rusesabagina, the hero from the time of the genocide in the “Hotel Rwanda”, began this week. Mr Rusesabagina angered the Rwandan government with his harsh criticism from exile, and his supporters say he has no chance of a fair hearing.
Texas storms: The Texas electricity crisis is worsening. The state’s power grid manager said more than 3.4 million customers were still without electricity – and in many cases without heat. The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent generators and blankets.
Mario Draghi: Italy’s new Prime Minister appealed to unity and the victim on Wednesday as the country pushed ahead 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 suddenly showered its most discerning critics with money. Instead, Facebook decided to limit the exchange of messages on its platform there.
Snapshot: Most of the mourners wore masks at a funeral in a yeshiva in Jerusalem, even if the event itself was illegal. The coronavirus has devastated Israel’s ultra-Orthodox communities that avoid social distancing. Our reporters look at an island culture that was a vector for both the virus and its victim.
Woolly mammoths: A research team has reconstructed DNA from a mammoth fossil that is more than a million years old, breaking the record by several hundred thousand years.
What we see: The Australian Open. Follow all of our coverage here.
Now a break from the news
Cook: Salmon and chewy farro go well with this refreshing lemon salad made from cucumber and radicchio.
Read: Vanessa Springora’s “Consent” memoir sent shock waves through the French establishment when it was released last year. “Your book is a triumph by every imaginable metric,” writes our critic.
See: The British miniseries “It’s a Sin” tells stories of young gay men in London at the beginning of the AIDS crisis. It’s heartbreaking but full of life.
Do not give up hope. At Home offers a comprehensive collection of ideas on what to read, cook, see, and do while staying safe at home.
And now for the background story about …
Hillary Clinton on Gender Equality
About three decades ago, the Clinton White House established the first council for women and girls. It got dissolved but is back now. Our gender newsletter spoke to the former foreign minister and presidential candidate.
Should the discussion about women’s rights be redesigned 25 years after your speech “Women’s rights are human rights” in Beijing?
We have had to shift our attention, and certainly our rhetoric, from a rights-based framework to a power-based one. You cannot argue any further about whether women deserve certain rights or not. The power imbalance that still exists must, in my opinion, be the basis for future debate.
For example, if you are just asking for equal pay and not paying attention to the differences in the work of women that we have now painfully seen due to the pandemic, then you are missing out on the bigger picture.
Should the US have its own gender department like that Office for Women in Australia or similar attitudes that other countries have adopted?
There are different approaches that are certainly worth a look. But in this country right now we want to focus on getting results for the people and not allowing bureaucracy to become the target. Because I don’t think most women would care. I think they would be right to say, “Well how does this help me get better access to quality childcare?”
That’s it for this briefing. Until tomorrow.
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh took the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• We hear “The Daily”. Our latest episode is about an energy crisis in Texas.
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• Our Tokyo office boss Motoko Rich spoke to the Japan Times’ Deep Dive podcast about Yoshiro Mori’s sexist comments and what his resignation says about the status of Japanese women.