Your Friday Briefing
Why Europeans can’t travel to the U.S.
Your Friday Briefing
Why Europeans can’t travel to the U.S.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in June that the United States wanted to “restore travel as fully and as quickly as possible,” but little obvious progress has been made. Credit…Pool photo by Clemens Bilan
Why can’t Europeans travel to the U.S.?
Though Americans have been able to travel to the E.U. since June, residents of Europe’s Schengen area, Ireland and the U.K. have been essentially barred from traveling to the U.S. since March 2020. The C.D.C. has also halted travel from some non-European countries: China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa and India.
Discussions about when to resume that inbound travel have been opaque. Both Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg have said the U.S. was not ready to lift the restrictions, while President Biden quickly rescinded Donald Trump’s move to end to the ban during his last week in office.
Officials said decisions would be made according to vaccination progress and the spread of worrisome variants in other countries. But travel lobbying groups have urged the U.S. to reopen travel to bolster the economy or to consider creating an exception for vaccinated people. Here’s a country-by-country guide to restrictions within Europe.
Promising signs: “Reciprocity is an important part of our approach to lifting restrictions on non-E.U. countries,” Adalbert Jahnz, a European Commission spokesman, said in a statement. He added that the E.U. had “received reassurances that this is a high priority issue for the U.S. administration.”
Other travel news: Confusion over airline travel credits. The return of a 2,500-passenger ship to the Venetian Lagoon reanimates the debate on the negative effects of mass tourism. And, as vaccination levels rise, sober travel goes mainstream.
From Opinion: The pandemic has presented the world with an opportunity to reset how we tour this planet, and we should reach for it, writes Farhad Manjoo.
Patients waited for coronavirus test results in Kisumu County, Kenya, last month.Credit…Brian Otieno for The New York Times
Cases surge in Africa
Africa has just had its “worst pandemic week ever,” the W.H.O. said on Thursday. The continent is short of vaccines, and the virus’s more contagious Delta variant is sickening its young people and overwhelming its already fragile health care systems.
In countries mainly in southern and eastern Africa, hospitalizations and deaths are increasing, while intensive-care beds and oxygen are in short supply, pushing governments to institute new lockdown measures. Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya are among the countries most affected.
“A few weeks ago, we projected this milestone would be reached shortly, and it brings me no joy to be right,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the W.H.O. regional director for Africa. “For Africa, the worst is yet to come,” she warned. “The end to this precipitous rise is still weeks away.”
By the numbers: More than 251,000 new cases were reported in Africa in the week ending July 4, a 20 percent increase from the previous week. Sixteen countries are reporting a resurgence in infections. Only about 1 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated.
In other developments:
The world passed four million known coronavirus deaths.
Olympic organizers said that they would bar spectators from most events at the Games.
Pfizer and BioNTech are developing a version of the coronavirus vaccine that targets the Delta variant.
President Biden argued that the United States. could no longer afford the human costs in Afghanistan,Credit…Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times
Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal
President Biden yesterday gave his first formal address on Afghanistan since American troops left their operations center last week, effectively ending U.S. military operations after two decades of war.
In a speech that acknowledged that America could not alter Afghanistan’s course, Biden argued that the U.S. could no longer afford the human costs. “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build,” he said. “And it’s the right and the responsibility of Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.”
Plans: The Biden administration has committed more than $3.5 billion in humanitarian aid and security assistance to Afghanistan. But as U.S. troops leave, the situation on the ground is increasingly dire. Over two months, the Taliban have seized at least 150 of Afghanistan’s 421 districts.
Related: Britain has withdrawn nearly all of its troops from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
THE LATEST NEWS
Credit…Jean Marc Herve Abelard/EPA, via Shutterstock
Two American citizens and 15 Colombians have been detained in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. Here’s what we know, and what we don’t know. Above, Haitians surrounding a police station where two suspects were taken.
Despite the interim prime minister’s claim that he is in charge after the president’s assassination, the country risks a deepening political crisis.
Since a powerful earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010, $13 billion of foreign aid seems only to have helped perpetuate some of the country’s biggest troubles. The country has for centuries been exploited by foreign powers.
Stories Around the World
A Leonardo da Vinci sketch the size of a Post-it sold for GBP8.9 million with fees, or about $12.2 million.
Search teams in Surfside, Fla., have officially changed their mission from a rescue operation to a recovery effort. By yesterday, the death toll had risen to 64.
A major Chinese video game company says it has been using facial recognition to enforce the country’s rules on how long people under 18 could play games.
After reaching the final of a major soccer tournament for the first time in 55 years, England is hungry for victory. Above, fans celebrating Wednesday in London after England won in the semifinals of the Euros.
The lawyer Michael Avenatti, who once represented Stormy Daniels, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for trying to extort more than $20 million from Nike.
A Morning Read
Pope Francis has often mused about his own mortality and even possible resignation. But as he recovers from surgery — and races to recast the church — time is of the essence more than ever.
Asked in 2014 about Pope Benedict’s choice to retire, Francis said: “You can ask me: ‘What if one day you don’t feel prepared to go on?’ I would do the same, I would do the same! I will pray hard over it, but I would do the same thing.”
The beloved television star Raffaella Carra spent five decades beaming into the homes of Italians. Public mourning for her has few precedents in Italy.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Legally Blonde, 20 years on
It’s been 20 years since the feminist masterpiece “Legally Blonde” cemented Reese Witherspoon’s status as a Hollywood star. The film’s heroine, Elle, who gets into Harvard Law against all odds, remains an emblem for challenging stereotypes and embracing female empowerment in the face of misogyny.
For The Times, the reporter Ilana Kaplan spoke with the film’s stars, screenwriters and others about the movie and its legacy.
Aside from differences in plot, the original script was much raunchier and more in the vein of “American Pie,” said the actress Jessica Cauffiel. “It transformed from nonstop zingers that were very adult in nature to this universal story of overcoming adversity by being oneself.”
The writers spent time at law school and in a sorority house for script inspiration. But other parts of the movie were developed more organically — like the infamous “bend and snap” scene, conceived while the writers were drinking at a hotel bar.
Even 20 years later, fans constantly remind the cast and crew how the movie affected them. “You see this undeniable force and that Elle never lets her self-doubt take her down,” said Ali Larter, who played a fitness instructor on trial for murder. “When you watch a movie like this, you believe in yourself a little bit more.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
Credit…Dustin Chambers for The New York Times
For a weekend treat, try this peach-filled dessert, a lush combination of a Southern upside-down cake and a tarte Tatin.
We collected 15 challenging words that appeared in The Times. How many can you spell correctly?
What to Watch
The art house South Korean drama “The Woman Who Ran” is the work of a master.
Now Time to Play
Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Animal with the scientific name Mephitis mephitis (“stench stench”) (five letters).
And here is today’s Spelling Bee.
That’s it for today’s briefing. Have a great weekend. — Natasha
P.S. Our Opinion editor, Kathleen Kingsbury, recently participated in a Reddit AMA about the Opinion section.
The latest episode of “The Daily” is on the end of America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan.
You can reach Natasha and the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.