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Good Morning.

We cover Israel reopening for vaccinated residents, a fatal explosion eagerly awaited in Equatorial Guinea and Oprah Interview with Harry and Meghan.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enjoyed a cappuccino and cake on the terrace of a Jerusalem cafe on Sunday to signal the furthest reopening of the Israeli economy since the first coronavirus lockdown began a year ago. About 55 percent of the population received one dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, and more than 41 percent received two doses.

As part of the Israeli “Back to Life” program, restaurants have reopened with social distancing and occupancy restrictions. Indoor seating is only available to Green Pass holders – those over the age of 16 who are fully vaccinated.

After weeks of strict entry restrictions, all citizens and permanent residents are allowed to return to Israel. The upper limit will increase from 1,000 to 3,000 people per day over the course of the week.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

  • Pope Francis ended his three-day visit to Iraq – a blessing for the declining Christian community, an upswing for the beleaguered Iraqi government, and a potential health hazard as many attendees believed social distancing was impossible and ignored masks.

  • The 85-year-old Dalai Lama received his first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in the north Indian city of Dharamsala on Saturday.

  • The U.S. Senate passed its version of the $ 1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill on Saturday. The move now goes back to the House of Representatives, which must approve the Senate amendments before President Biden can legally sign them.

In one of the most anticipated interviews of recent times, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry presented their side of a sensational royal break to Oprah Winfrey. The interview, which aired on CBS in the US on Sunday night, will air on ITV in the UK on Monday.

A year after their fairytale wedding, Meghan said her life as a member of the British royal family had become so emotionally unbearable that she thought about suicide. “I was ashamed to have to admit it to Harry,” Meghan said of her suicidal thoughts. “I knew if I didn’t say it, I would. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. “

Among the information:

A series of explosions attributable to mistreated explosives at a military base struck the city of Bata, in the central African nation of Equatorial Guinea, on Sunday, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 500.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said fires on farms next to military barracks detonated dynamite and other ammunition stored there. He blamed the “negligence and negligence” of the unit responsible for the explosives for the disaster. The country’s Ministry of Health and Welfare declared a health emergency and said many were still missing under the rubble.

Recordings: The video from the city captured scenes of people digging for victims while thick smoke billowed across the rubble-strewn landscape. Others fled through the streets, some with suitcases and children in hand, under a dark sky.

All over the world, the pandemic closed borders, stopped air traffic and emptied tourist destinations. Parisian restaurants switched from crème fraîche to healthy take-out, while Singapore’s legendary Changi Airport decided upstairs to focus on its only market: the people of Singapore. Hong Kongers too have become tourists in their own backyards. We look at how six tourism-dependent locations have adapted.


March 7, 2021, 9:35 p.m. ET

Although in the absence of tourists, animals such as sea turtles and elephants returned to places where they had long since disappeared, the loss of tourism revenue led to cuts in conservation budgets, leading to increased poaching and illegal fishing in some areas.

Tehran detention: House arrest warrants were overturned for However, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman detained in Tehran since 2016, faces new charges and her return to London remains uncertain.

Microsoft Hack: The company said US companies and government agencies that use a Microsoft email service were compromised in an aggressive hacking campaign that was likely sponsored by the Chinese government. The number of victims is estimated at tens of thousands and could rise.

“Nomadland” director: Days after Chloé Zhao won a Golden Globe for the acclaimed film, she faced a backlash in China to her earlier remarks about the country she was born in. References to the film’s planned April 23 release in China have been removed from popular film websites.

Kosovo: Women are gaining greater political representation in Kosovo and are raising hopes for more equality in a country that is still living from the scars of the war against Serbian rule in the 1990s. The final results of a February 14 election showed that women had won more seats in parliament than ever before – nearly 40 percent of the total.

Snapshot: Above, a demonstration in Bern, Switzerland, on Sunday, shortly after the country approved an initiative banning full face coverings in public places that banned some Muslim women from wearing the veils. The Swiss Central Council of Muslims called the result “a dark day” for Muslims.

Floating boat: A viral image of a seemingly flying ship hanging over the horizon off the south west coast of England is an example of a highly unusual optical illusion that deceives both cameras and the human eye.

What we hear: The clink and crackle of music made by instruments made of ice is featured in this National Geographic article.

Start your week with your best foot forward. At Home offers a comprehensive collection of ideas for reading, cooking, watching and working indoors.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit New York, the park offered a vision of normal life to book critic Michiko Kakutani, who wandered the area daily. She wrote about New Yorkers’ love affair with Central Park again. Here is an excerpt.

Central Park has long provided refuge from the fears and stresses of daily life, perhaps never more than during the coronavirus siege and four long years of increasingly toxic politics. New Yorkers who visited the park every day, as well as those who had long taken it for granted, felt a renewed love for this amazing green rectangle in the heart of the big city.

In the 21st century, Central Park was the third most popular tourist attraction in the world, with around 40 million visitors a year. At the start of the pandemic, when out-of-towers left town, New Yorkers lucky enough to live within walking distance of it suddenly felt like they had this Eden retreat to themselves.

Even when people were back on the subway between boroughs, Central Park continued to feel like a neighborhood park. People could neither go to their offices nor to the gym and used the sheep meadow and the large lawn as all-purpose backyards.

Musicians in the park – like the Bethesda Terrace guitarist who took inquiries – played many classics like “What a Wonderful World” and “Yesterday” that seemed to get a new edge during Covid.

During the pandemic, being vaguely close to other people in Central Park gave us a sense of community – a feeling that we were all together and that we would somehow hold out together.

That’s it for this briefing. Until next time.

– Natasha

Thank you
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh took the break from the news. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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