(Would you like to receive this briefing by email? Here is the registration.)
We cover Protests in Spain, Great Britain Gap with the EU and the final blow to it hopes for democracy in Hong Kong.
Protests rock Spain as pandemic strikes teens
For more than a week, the streets of Barcelona, Madrid and other Spanish hubs have erupted in sometimes violent demonstrations. What began as a protest against the arrest of the Spanish rapper Pablo Hasél has become a collective outcry from a generation that has struggled through years of economic difficulties and sees a lost future even after the end of the pandemic.
Barcelona was once one of the best and most fun places in Europe to be young. The coronavirus crisis, which devastated tourism and the economy contracted by 11 percent last year, was catastrophic for young adults in Spain. Meanwhile 40 percent of the Spanish youth are unemployed, the highest rate in Europe.
“It’s not the same now for a person who is 60 years old – or a 50 year old with life experience and everything that is fully organized – as it is for a person who is now 18 years old and feels like every hour is against to lose this pandemic It’s like losing your whole life, ”said Enric Juliana, opinion columnist at La Vanguardia, Barcelona’s leading newspaper.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
The ugly divorce between Britain and Brussels
As trade disputes mount, the UK and EU have dealt politically and diplomatically with a speed and bitterness that has surprised even pessimists about the relationship.
Tensions have increased since a new trade deal formalized Brexit on January 1st. Britain refused to grant full diplomatic status to the European Union envoy in London while European leaders responded to vaccine shortages and briefly threatened to tear up the trade deal with Northern Ireland after Brexit.
As a sign of the impending fighting, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned last week of a “serious escalation” in tensions if the EU tried to force banks to postpone the opening of euro-denominated derivatives trading from London to London Continent.
Analysis: “These are not just teething troubles,” said Kim Darroch, former UK permanent representative to the EU, quoting the government’s statement on the Brexit problems. “There are structural problems that arise when you are not in the internal market. This is what a ‘hard Brexit’ looks like. “
Context: As always with Brexit, much of the antagonism is driven by domestic politics, with the UK’s swift introduction of vaccines serving as ammunition for both the UK’s pro-Brexit cause and anti-UK sentiment within the bloc.
Hong Kong levies dozens under the Security Act
The Hong Kong authorities on Sunday indicted 47 pro-democracy people for violating the strict new national security law of Chinese territory. Police said each person was charged with a single conspiracy to commit subversion. You will face trial today in a courthouse in the West Kowloon area and could face life in prison if convicted.
The 47 helped organize an informal election in July to select candidates for office from within Hong Kong’s pro-democracy political camp. In doing so, the authorities violated the provisions of the Security Act, according to which the functions of the Chinese or Hong Kong government must not be disrupted, disrupted or undermined.
Context: The charges mark the latest escalation in the Chinese government’s efforts to bring Hong Kong firmly under control and represent the most energetic application to date of the far-reaching security law that has cemented the Communist Party’s control over the territory.
If you have 6 minutes, it’s worth it
African American victim in World War I
The black warriors of the separate American armed forces were called the “Harlem Hellfighters”. They were denied a farewell parade in New York and assigned to the French army because their own compatriots refused to fight by their side. Above the American cemetery and the Maas-Argonne memorial in France, where the bodies of some black Americans of the 369th Infantry Regiment were buried.
It took the U.S. Army more than a century to adopt the nickname as the official special designation for the regiment, an award that was just approved by the Army in September and announced this year by the New York National Guard on the eve of Black History Month.
The following also happens
Myanmar: Security forces in Myanmar opened fire on demonstrators in several cities on Sunday, killing at least 18 people. It was the largest one-day toll since the protests began after the February 1 coup.
Jamal Khashogghi: Although the US has accused the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia of ordering the assassination of the Saudi dissident, the Biden government is cautious about causing a rupture with a key Arab partner. Tensions surrounding the publication of an intelligence assessment of Mr Khashogghi’s assassination could hamper future interaction between the two countries.
Snapshot: Above, a nurse calms a patient in the intensive care unit at Homerton Hospital, London. While the UK government has been developing plans for a gradual reopening, the fight against Covid-19 in the country’s cramped intensive care units is relentless and full of patients and doctors almost in despair. Our reporters and photographers went behind the front.
Long lost letters: For more than 70 years a cache with more than 700 letters lay undisturbed in the wreck of the SS Gairsoppa, protected from the Atlantic by well-positioned mail bags. Now the restorers at the London Postal Museum are putting together these undeliverable messages from the past.
“Marijuana Light”: A once-ignored hemp derivative called Delta-8-THC has become a big seller for Americans looking for a loophole related to marijuana laws.
What we read: That bittersweet article in The New Yorker about the queer foster families who were a haven for LGBT youth in the 1970s.
Now a break from the news
Cook: Tartiflette, a casserole with potatoes and bacon from the Alps, bakes golden and wonderfully sticky thanks to its top layer of soft, spicy rind cheese.
Listen: For the past six weeks, the top Billboard song was “Drivers License” by 18-year-old Olivia Rodrigo. That’s how she did it.
Do: Some homeowners have turned renovation projects into a creative outlet during the pandemic, from a redesigned washroom to a new home theater.
Start March off with a bang. At home, you have ideas for what to read, cook, see, and do while being safe at home.
And now for the background story about …
Review the book review
The Times Book Review is 125 years old – – a moment to celebrate, but also for introspection. Reviewer and former editor of the book review, Parul Sehgal, looked back critically on his legacy. This is an edited excerpt from her thoughts on why now is the right time to delve into the past.
You could say my assignment was to review the book review, to include the coverage of “women, people of color, LGBTQ writers” and the changing customs in the review. But what revelatory news could I possibly bring? The word “archive” is derived from the ancient Greek Arkheion, which is sometimes translated as “the ruler’s house”. Who walks there with any illusions?
What could these reviews contain? Some misjudgments, of course – masterpieces that were misunderstood in their day. Some supernaturally sensitive assessments. Fluorescent condescension and stereotype. Above all, the pleasant and dubious gratifications of feeling superior to the past.
And yet. For the past few years, The Times has looked at racial and gender imbalance in its reviews. A survey of nearly 750 books rated by The Times in 2011 across all genres found that nearly 90 percent of the authors rated were white.
But what about the ratings themselves: the language, the criteria? How was your work positioned when “women, people of color, LGBTQ writers” were reviewed? Which patterns can we follow, which consequences? And what do we do with this knowledge – how can it be made useful? What do we really see when we know?
That’s it for this briefing. I wish you a good start to the week.
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news and to Parul Sehgal for the backstory. You can reach Natasha and the team at email@example.com.
• There is no new episode of “The Daily”. Instead, listen to the first episode of “Odessa,” a new Times podcast about what happened when a high school in Texas reopened during the pandemic.
• Here is our mini crossword puzzle and a hint: it works much better when you are tired (three letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• Developers are working to improve the New York Times’ web accessibility using technology that improves the experience of our website and apps for everyone.