Coronavirus, Italy, Kim Jong-un: Your Monday Briefing

Coronavirus, Italy, Kim Jong-un: Your Monday Briefing

Coronavirus, Italy, Kim Jong-un: Your Monday Briefing

Coronavirus, Italy, Kim Jong-un: Your Monday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering the role of Italy’s mayors in easing lockdowns, Boris Johnson’s return to work, and continuing rumors around Kim Jong-un’s health.

People will be able to visit relatives on that date, though gatherings and parties remain banned, and special forms are required for travel.

Italy’s mayors, whose profanity-laced rebukes to their constituents went viral online, say they plan on enforcing new rules in place during the reopening.

They have launched insult-armed drones, confronted scofflaws on the streets and threatened to personally break up parties.

But they say the clear, if colorful, warnings — a contrast with the message from the national government — have worked.

Markets: Futures markets predicted strong openings in Europe and on Wall Street. Follow our live briefing.

He now faces what one cabinet member called “the political calculus of life and death”: how to ease the lockdown. And in his absence, a rotating roster of cabinet ministers, along with expert advisers, has given daily coronavirus updates from Downing Street — the antithesis of President Trump’s freewheeling briefings in the United States.

While Mr. Trump’s message changes on his whims — at one point even suggesting injecting disinfectants could combat the virus — Downing Street has hammered the need for Britons to stay home to protect the National Health Service.

The country had more than 152,000 confirmed cases as of Sunday and more than 20,000 deaths.

Brexit: The government will stick to the year-end transition deadline, saying it would reject an extension even if the E.U. asked.

With tourists gone and thousands of affluent Parisians away, our France bureau chief Adam Nossiter has noticed echoes of the Paris of the 1960s.

Working people perch at their windows, greeting passers-by or sunbathing like the woman above. But neighborhoods given over to luxury shops are silent. It’s so quiet you can hear ducks quacking on the river Seine.

“Paris reduced to its architectural essence is grandiose but cold, an unreal postcard,” he writes. “Yet it is also a fertile theater for the imagination.”

U.S. presidential campaign: Republicans are increasingly nervous that President Trump’s erratic handling of the coronavirus outbreak, along with the worsening economy, will lose them the presidency and the Senate in November.

Saudi Arabia flogging: The state-run human rights commission has confirmed that flogging has been abolished as punishment in Saudi Arabia. The move was a “positive step,” human rights groups said, though the Saudi justice system still allows execution by beheading.

Yazidi trial in Germany: An Iraqi accused of being an Islamic State fighter went on trial in Frankfurt on charges of genocide, human trafficking and the murder of a 5-year-old Yazidi girl he had held as a slave — reportedly the first trial involving a charge of genocide in relation to the Yazidis.

Snapshot: Above, a Russian couple recreate a 17th-century painting by Guido Reni. A Facebook group started in Russia in which members recreate artworks while stuck at home has attracted over 500,000 followers abroad. Toilet paper rolls become Renaissance-era neck ruffs — melding the banal with the sublime.

European football: The proposed takeover of Newcastle United by a consortium financed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign fund has attracted controversy. Our chief soccer correspondent explores the qualms.

What we’re reading: Grub Street’s testament to the unique status of the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, N.Y. “More than once in the last month, I have stood in line — gratefully — for an hour plus,” writes the Briefings editor, Andrea Kannapell. “The personal investment in the food supply chain kinda, sorta, maybe offsets the alienation imposed by capitalism, cubed by pandemic.”

Cook: For the easiest shortbread ever, Melissa Clark whisks the dough by hand.

Read: Here’s a letter of recommendation for bird-watching, which it turns out is one of the great activities for the housebound.

Over the weekend, The Times published portraits of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan around the world, which has proved popular with readers. We asked one of the photo editors, Craig Allen, to explain how it came about.

Our international photo desk has editors in three hubs across the world. Last week, the editors most responsible for assigning photography in these regions — Gaia Tripoli in London, me in New York and Mikko Takkunen in Hong Kong — were thinking about ways to show readers what the beginning of Ramadan would look like this year, as the coronavirus crisis continues to transform the way people live.

A couple of weeks ago, we had put together a photo-led piece on Good Friday, with pictures from our photographers at the Vatican and in a number of the countries with strong communities of the world’s estimated 1.3 billion Catholics. Ramadan is observed by some 1.8 billion Muslims across the world, and we were ready for a more ambitious approach. We assigned 21 photographers in 21 cities to document the start of this most unusual Ramadan.

Dan Balilty’s striking photograph of a man praying on a rooftop in Jerusalem during a sandstorm — with the Dome of the Rock in the background — led the essay. We got an intimate look into people’s homes as they celebrated the start of the holy month in Johannesburg, Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur. We saw grand mosques, empty or nearly so, in Brooklyn, New Delhi, Sarajevo, Paris, Dearborn and Bangkok. And we showed people distributing food for iftar in Myanmar, Indonesia and Egypt.

We aimed for geographic, cultural and aesthetic diversity, asking photographers to document what they found in their own communities, from an intimate iftar supper in Jeddah to a solitary prayer on a lake in Kashmir.


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