Your Friday Briefing


After almost 5 years in jail, Wang Quanzhang, considered one of China’s most distinguished human rights attorneys, thought he was lastly free. As a substitute, he was transferred to a room with barred home windows the place he was held for 2 weeks and denied permission to contact his household.

Rights activists say abstract quarantines — typically imposed simply after detainees, like Mr. Wang, had cleared a earlier one — are the latest way to silence dissent. A rights watchdog has documented 9 current instances of activists being launched from jail after which held in quarantine.

Dissidents held in quarantine are “not allowed to speak with the surface world, held in a secret location and never given the choice to self-isolate at dwelling,” mentioned Frances Eve, the deputy director of analysis at Chinese language Human Rights Defenders.

Listed below are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

  • Australia recorded its deadliest day because the coronavirus pandemic started, with 13 deaths reported on Wednesday, all within the southern state of Victoria, which additionally had 723 new instances. The report numbers are tied to nursing properties, the authorities mentioned.

  • A brand new evaluation of one of the crucial mysterious and dramatic virus outbreaks — aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship early this 12 months — points to small, floating droplets as a primary driver of virus transmission. The brand new findings might assist make indoor areas safer.

  • Herman Cain, who made a bid for the Republican presidential nomination within the 2012 race and was a current contender for a prime Federal Reserve job, died of the coronavirus.

  • As coronavirus instances spiked in Tokyo, with one other every day excessive on Thursday of 367 new infections, Gov. Yuriko Koike requested that karaoke venues and bars and eating places serving alcohol shut by 10 p.m.

Weeks after the Chinese language authorities imposed a brand new nationwide safety legislation on Hong Kong, the town’s authorities have taken aggressive steps against the pro-democracy opposition.

Officers on Thursday barred 12 candidates, together with well-known pro-democracy figures, from the September legislative election. And 4 activists had been arrested over on-line posts. The federal government mentioned extra candidate restrictions might comply with.

Native information retailers reported that the federal government was contemplating suspending the election by as a lot as a 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Critics mentioned it was an try to keep away from a loss on the polls.

Larger image: It was a blow to opposition candidates, who had hoped to experience a wave of public discontent over the safety legislation to victory.

Trailing badly within the polls and going through an financial meltdown, President Trump suggested on Thursday that the November election be delayed, one thing he has no authority to order. Solely the U.S. Congress can decide the timing of the election.

The president made the suggestion in a tweet, repeating his false declare that widespread voting by mail from dwelling would end in a “fraudulent” end result.

Context: Minutes earlier than his tweet, new knowledge was launched exhibiting that the G.D.P. fell 9.5 percent during the three months ending June 30 — the largest quarterly drop on record. On Wednesday, the U.S. loss of life toll from the coronavirus pandemic reached 150,000, the world’s highest. Polls present Mr. Trump far behind Joe Biden, the previous vp and presumptive Democratic nominee.

The response: None of Mr. Trump’s allies endorsed his suggestion. “By no means within the historical past of the nation, by way of wars, depressions and the Civil Conflict, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time,” Senator Mitch McConnell, the bulk chief, mentioned. “And we’ll discover a means to try this once more this Nov. 3.”

Torrential rains have washed away livestock, homes and meals saved for the lean season in Bangladesh. It’s the most recent calamity to hit the nation, inhabitants 165 million, after a cyclone and steadily rising sea ranges. Above, Bogura in mid-July.

And it’s projected to worsen. The nation’s predicament illustrates a placing inequity of our time: The people least responsible for climate change are sometimes those most affected by it.

Pakistan: The U.S. urged the nation to overhaul its harsh blasphemy laws after an American accused of violating them was fatally shot in a courtroom as he went to trial. The American, Tahir Ahmad Naseem, was in Peshawar going through fees that he had claimed to be a prophet.

In memoriam: Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan’s first democratically elected chief, has died at 97. He led his nation’s transition away from a police state to considered one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies, and insisted that Taiwan be handled as a sovereign state, angering Beijing.

Poland: European Union officers mentioned they might cut funding to six towns that had declared themselves “L.G.B.T.-free.” Whereas the funding withheld is modest, the exclusion of the cities was meant to have a deeper symbolic resonance.

Canada scandal: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will face questions from lawmakers about multimillion-dollar contracts awarded to a charity with ties to his household. Mr. Trudeau’s spouse and brother earned greater than $200,000 for talking engagements with the charity.

Prepare dinner: This watermelon salad is a refreshing dish that may be made with pickled chiles for a tangy-sweet style.

Learn: “Eat the Buddha,” an eye-opening work by Barbara Demick, the previous Beijing bureau chief of The Los Angeles Occasions, chronicles the historical past of Tibetan resistance to Chinese language domination.

Do: A brand new research reveals that consuming a weight-reduction plan excessive in sugar and processed meals can dent our long-term well being partly by altering how well our bodies respond to exercise.

At Home has our full collection of ideas on what to learn, cook dinner, watch and do.

Alexis Soloski, a theater critic, missed going to reveals a lot that she enrolled in on-line courses to see if she might develop her theater abilities at dwelling. She spent two weeks in a do-it-yourself theater coaching program. Right here’s an excerpt from her essay about it.

I began with vocal work, arranging a voice lesson through Broadway Plus, a concierge service that used to rearrange V.I.P. entry to Broadway performances and has since pivoted to on-line meet-and-greets and personal classes.

After polling associates a few good music for a pleasant girl with a Playbill-slim vary and a shaky grasp of pitch, I picked “Sonya Alone,” from “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.” I rehearsed once I might — within the bathe, cooking dinner, underneath my breath at varied playgrounds. By the point the lesson got here round, I had it down.

Although I as soon as received a limbo contest at a classmate’s bar mitzvah, dance has additionally by no means been my factor. Nonetheless, I figured that Newbie Theater Dance, which I signed up for by way of Ailey Extension, couldn’t be so exhausting. I figured mistaken.

We warmed as much as choices from “The Lion King” and “The Prince of Egypt.” I even realized a Fosse hip roll. However as we danced to “No Day however Right this moment,” the “Lease” finale, the ballet phrases — passé, coupé, rond de jambe — proliferated and the eight counts got here worryingly quick. Although I had positioned my laptop computer digital camera in order that it confirmed me solely from the rib cage up. I couldn’t even faux the arms.

Possibly that’s as a result of, as I quickly realized, a degree exists even beneath Newbie. That degree is Primary. So am I. The next week, I attempted Steps on Broadway’s Primary Theater Dance.

The trainer, Tera-Lee Pollin, a Broadway veteran with inhuman exuberance, guided a handful of scholars by way of “Waterloo,” the curtain quantity for “Mamma Mia!” and a music about defeat. Collectively, delightedly, we ponied, we swam, we grapevined. No jambes had been ronded.

So, sure, any novice with sufficient time and resilience and discretionary revenue can in all probability be taught theater fundamentals remotely. The alchemy of stay performing earlier than a stay viewers nearly comes by way of onscreen — however not fairly. Till it may possibly, I’ll consider the hundreds and hundreds of individuals of their properties, working towards their pentameter, arabesques and key adjustments, ready for curtains to rise.

That’s it for this briefing. See you subsequent time.

— Melina

To Melissa Clark for the recipe, and to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the remainder of the break from the information. You may attain the group at [email protected].

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our newest episode is on a congressional grilling of Massive Tech executives.
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• Ruth Graham, most lately at Slate, is joining our National desk to cover religion.


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