Europe welcomes Biden, but it won’t wait for him
After four years of a sometimes turbulent transatlantic relationship, the European Union is striving to achieve “political climate change” and cooperation under President-elect Joe Biden. But if the new president, as European leaders suspect, is consumed by domestic problems, the continent will not put its own agenda on hold.
Moreover, after four years of President Trump’s antagonism towards Europe, Europeans are more convinced than before that an alliance cannot mean subordination to Washington and that it requires more European ability to act alone.
Analysis: These European concerns about the inward-looking United States are legitimate, said Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations. “You have someone in Biden who understands that the biggest national security threat to the United States right now is us,” said Kupchan.
President Trump: The chaos that has peaked in the last few weeks of Trump’s presidency will outlast his term as Washington prepares for possible violence during inauguration week. It is unclear when spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi will officially send the impeachment notice to the Senate, indicting Mr Trump of “inciting insurrection”.
A global, year-long cascade of mistakes
Governments and public health organizations around the world were slow and ineffective in responding to the coronavirus outbreak. This emerges from an interim report by a panel of the World Health Organization, which is to be published today.
Faulty assumptions, ineffective planning, and sluggish responses all contributed to a pandemic that killed more than two million people and infected more than 95 million. Time and again, the report says, those responsible for protecting and guiding have often failed to do both.
Investigators said they failed to understand why WHO had waited until January 30 to declare an international health emergency and why these clear warning signs were often ignored.
Quote: “We have failed in our collective ability to come together in solidarity to create a safety net for human security,” wrote the Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
How oxygen failure killed Covid-19 patients in Egypt
A video showing the chaos in a Covid ward at a hospital in El Husseineya, Egypt went viral on social media this month and has sparked outrage across the country. Footage of Ahmed Nafei, a relative of one of the four patients who died in a single night, appeared to show the hospital had run out of oxygen. The government rushed to deny the episode.
Through talking to witnesses and analyzing the footage, our investigators discovered that the lack of oxygen was the result of an avalanche of problems in the hospital. By the time the patients suffocated in the intensive care unit, an ordered oxygen release was hours too late and a backup oxygen system had failed.
Quote: “The whole world can admit that there is a problem, but not us,” said a doctor at the hospital.
If you have 7 minutes, it’s worth it
A painting loved by thieves
In August the painting “Two Laughing Boys with a Mug of Beer”, a 17th-century painting by Frans Hals, disappeared for the third time since 1988. The conservatively valued work, valued at more than 10 million US dollars, is usually located in a tiny Dutch museum has become a magnet for burglars.
Does the brushwork contain a hint of a hidden treasure or a secret code? Could it be coveted by a cult that adores the throat, or maybe beer? Experts say the answer is more likely for pedestrians: “They know they can make money from someone,” said the founder of Art Recovery International.
The following also happens
Aleksei Navalny: A judge ordered the Russian opposition leader to be detained for 30 days pending trial. Mr Navalny was arrested from Germany late Sunday after arriving in Moscow, where he was recovering from a nerve agent attack.
China: With most nations around the world grappling with new lockdowns and layoffs during the pandemic, China’s economy has recovered after the country got most of the coronavirus under control.
New #MeToo: Hundreds of testimonials from people claiming to be a victim of incest have accumulated on Twitter following a scandal in which Olivier Duhamel, a noted French intellectual, was accused of molesting his teenage stepson.
Brexi; The UK chemical industry, valued at £ 33 billion (or about $ 45 billion) a year, is facing rising costs from growing regulatory burdens on chemicals from the UK, creating complications for companies producing everything from marine paint to shampoo .
Snapshot: Former climbing master Lai Chi-wai climbed a skyscraper in Hong Kong on Saturday. Within 10 hours, Mr. Lai climbed 800 feet up the glass facade of the 1,050 foot Nina Tower and raised $ 735,000 to fund research on a robotic exoskeleton for patients with spinal cord injuries.
NASCAR goes virtual: When the pandemic brought motorsport to a standstill, the industry turned to simulated racing. Ten months later, the gambling seems to be paying off.
Judicial drama: Black artists and activists in Birmingham, England, say the city’s largest playhouse, the Birmingham Repertory Theater, is sold out by renting out its auditoriums to the criminal justice system.
What we read: That long reading from the Financial Times about how lockdown caused a creativity crisis. It’s a powerful reminder of the value of serendipity and spontaneity.
Now a break from the news
Cook: Loosely inspired by spanakopita, the classic Greek spinach and feta cake, this comfortably baked pasta is possibly the most delicious way to eat your greens.
Listen: Take a trip back in time with rapper MF Doom’s 1999 debut album “Operation: Doomsday”. Our reviewer calls it “one of the most idiosyncratic hip-hop albums of the 90s”.
Interference suppression: Embrace the immediate, exhilarating relief of the annoying bag. Give up trash that gets on your nerves, then throw it in the trash.
Do not lose heart. 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 …
Banner headlines for turbulent times
How do you mark the key events when the news is already so relentlessly remarkable? One way with the New York Times is to get the headlines very big.
A banner headline usually spans the front page or website of a newspaper. It uses jumbo letters and bold face type to convey the size of a message and get other articles out of the way.
The Times front pages made headlines this winter – far more than usual, according to Tom Jolly, the newspaper’s print editor.
“It’s remarkable,” he said. “It is definitely a reflection of our world and all of the major news events that made 2020 so memorable – and will make 2021 unforgettable too.”
An “event headline” is even bolder than a banner. The only word that appeared in the print paper on Jan. 14 – “Impeached” – was discussed by several of the Times’ top editors in late-night conversations, Tom said.
While such headlines are usually reserved for presidential election results, this is an extraordinary time. This ultra-dramatic layout has been used three times in the past three months. And rising.
Here are some of the big headlines:
When former Vice President Joe Biden took the lead in Pennsylvania, the fog of a too-close election began to lift.
After President Trump falsely claimed that widespread electoral fraud stole his victory, the Times called election officials in every state.
And two days after Mr. Trump’s siege at the Capitol, the Democrats laid the groundwork to indict the president for the second time.
That’s it for today. See you tomorrow with the latest update from The Times.
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh took the break from the news. You can reach Natasha and the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• There is no new episode of “The Daily” as we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday. Instead, we recommend The Sunday Read about how a group of climate activists decided to fight global warming by doing whatever it takes.
• Here is our mini crossword puzzle and a hint: “Later!” (Five letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The word “legend” – here referring to figure skating champion Dick Button – appeared for the first time in The Times yesterday, according to the Twitter bot @NYT_first_said.