Merkel, Fb, Ethiopia: Your Thursday Briefing

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Good Morning.

We cover increasing number of cases of the coronavirus in Germany is the Prospect of a Facebook breakup and the Almost 50,000 displaced Ethiopians.

Germany has a record number of deaths from the coronavirus. In the first seven days of December, as many people died from the virus as in 2019 in road accidents across the country.

Germany emerged from the first wave of the virus with relatively few deaths and enough intensive care beds to accept patients from neighboring countries. The number of cases has risen, however, after governors of the country’s 16 states approved partial restrictions last month that left most shops and schools open against Ms. Merkel’s will.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

After more than 18 months of investigation, federal regulators and more than 40 states accused Facebook of illegally suppressing competition by buying up rivals like Instagram and WhatsApp. Prosecutors asked Facebook to cancel these two services – and new restrictions on future business.

The lawsuits are the latest sign that regulators are moving more aggressively against corporate concentration after decades of largely accepted acceptance.

Official remarks: “Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and eliminate competition, all at the expense of everyday users,” said Attorney General Letitia James from New York.

Answer: A Facebook spokeswoman said the Federal Trade Commission approved these acquisitions years ago. The company has argued in the past that the social media market has remained competitive, citing the growth of TikTok and Parler as an example.

Worrying Outlook: The fighting in Tigray is degenerating into a guerrilla war that could unravel both the national fabric of Ethiopia and the stability of the entire Horn of Africa region, including Eritrea and Sudan.

In the United States, where regulators have been disappointed with AstraZeneca’s approach to data disclosure, the vaccine’s approval is pending and potentially threatening the lives of thousands of Americans.

Our reporters have compiled the series of communication errors and delayed attempts that have reduced the drug manufacturer’s credibility with US regulators.

Brexit trade agreement: Despite a dinner between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the President of the European Commission, the UK and the EU were unable to break the deadlock in critical negotiations with a new deadline for Sunday. Without an agreement on Britain’s exit from the EU economic area, British ports are faced with enormous backlogs and a mountain of customs declarations.

Religious extremism: After three terrorist attacks in the past few months, the French government presented a draft law on Wednesday to combat radical Islamism. The law has already been described as “persistent” by the US envoy for international religious freedom.

Iran atom: New satellite imagery shows that Iran is building an important part of its underground nuclear facility in Bergen about 140 miles south of Tehran to protect it from possible attack. This comes from an analysis by the Times visual investigation team.

Cuban protests: Hundreds of artists and other young Cubans gathered in the country’s largest protest in decades after police custody videos were circulated online and, on rare occasions, Cubans cracked openly against their government.

Snapshot: Above, a cache of 63 gold coins from the reign of Henry VIII, discovered by a family who weeded their court in April, is among the more than 47,000 archaeological finds reported in England and Wales that year.

Pantone’s colors of the year: Get ready for Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. Or in the normal case: the light at the end of the tunnel with a glowing lemon yellow that breaks out of a gloomy gray. Together a Pantone manager said: “The color combination drives us forward.”

Lived life: Guido Goldman, a philanthropist and Renaissance man who used his enormous wealth and extensive network of friendships in politics and the arts to rebuild America’s ties with Germany after World War II, died last month at the age of 83.

What we read: This New Republic article about a biography of the author of the children’s book “Harriet the Spy,” a favorite of Amelia Kidneyberg who writes our briefing at Coronavirus Schools She adds, “The play on Louise Fitzhugh provides a glimpse into the swirling Cold War politics and the strange counterculture behind Harriet’s secrecy.”

Cook: Yerushalmi ball is a peppery, sweet and savory ball that is a Jerusalem specialty and goes perfectly with any Hanukkah table.

Reflect: Can you name one good thing about 2020? We ask readers to contribute their posts to Points of Light in a grim year.

Do: Here’s a look at how stress affects your skin and some tips to minimize the toll.

We’ll help you relax at home with our collection of ideas to read, cook, watch, and do while staying home safe.

The Times gathered a group of doctors, medical professionals, and health care leaders to discuss the arrival of coronavirus vaccines and how troubled American institutions should prepare for the next pandemic while repairing the damage it has caused. Here’s what they had to say.

An effective vaccine will be a major breakthrough for society and the economy. It would also be an amazing scientific achievement.

Mayo Clinic’s Gregory Poland, who is also editor-in-chief of Vaccine magazine, described the vaccine as “downright dizzying.”

“We were all ready to see an effectiveness of 50 to 70 percent. And being above 90 percent, 95 percent is the best vaccines ever developed – and with what appears to be an acceptable short-term security. I think this is going to have a really profound impact on the vaccination field. I hate to overuse the word “paradigm break”, but it is in many ways. “

To return to normal faster, the most vulnerable people should be vaccinated first.

“With what we know about the vaccine today, the only safe way to get society back to work is through a less serious illness,” said Marc Lipsitch of Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. He added, “The way you do this is to stop making vulnerable the people who are serious.”

In public health education, the messenger is at least as important as the message.

Although color communities in the U.S. have disproportionately borne the brunt of coronavirus cases, many in these communities are especially cautious about receiving the vaccine.

To change that, said James Hildreth, president of Meharry Medical College, a historically black medical school in Nashville, said the message had to come from the right person. “We have identified trustworthy messengers in these communities,” he said. “We’ve provided them with the information they need. They had to believe it first – and accept it first – and it was they who delivered the messages that turned out to be very effective. “

That’s all for today. See you on Friday.

– Natasha

Many thanks
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh took the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]

PS
• We listen to “The Daily”. Our latest episode is about the UK vaccine campaign.
• Here’s our mini crossword puzzle and a clue: move like a dreidel (four letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The word “Percontation”, a punctuation mark from the 16th century that failed to catch on, first appeared in The Times on Wednesday, according to the Twitter bot @NYT_first_said.
• Mihir Zaveri, a reporter currently working at the Express Desk, moves to Metro all day to cover New York City.

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