Europe Travel Ban, Hajj, Burkina Faso: Your Wednesday Briefing
Europe Travel Ban, Hajj, Burkina Faso: Your Wednesday Briefing
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We’re covering a potential ban on American travelers to Europe, renewed scrutiny over French policing and a botched painting restoration in Spain.
A draft list of acceptable travelers includes those from China and Vietnam, but visitors from the U.S., Russia and Brazil will not be welcome, according to the document seen by The New York Times. A final decision is expected early next week, though European officials aid it was highly unlikely an exception would be made for the United States.
Prohibiting American travelers from entering the European Union has significant ramifications and is a blow to President Trump’s handling of the virus. Millions of American tourists visit Europe every summer. Business travel is common, given the huge economic ties between the United States and the E.U.
In other news:
Boris Johnson announced that pubs, restaurants, museums and hair salons in England would be allowed to reopen on July 4 and cut the required social distance between people to about three feet, prompting warnings from scientists on the increased risk of transmission.
Facebook, Google, Amazon and others in the business world reacted with anger after President Trump suspended new work visas for foreigners at least until the end of the year.
The virus is gaining steam across Latin America, and experts fear the worst is ahead. Inequality, densely packed cities, weak health care systems and fumbled government responses have contributed to the spread.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said at a congressional hearing that the next two weeks will be critical in the country’s disease-fighting efforts, as he warned of a “disturbing surge” in cases.
Novak Djokovic, the world’s No. 1 in men’s tennis, is the fourth player to be infected with the coronavirus after he organized an exhibition series in Croatia and Serbia.
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The restrictions are meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the kingdom, which has one of the largest outbreaks in the Middle East. Last year, 2.5 million people took part in the pilgrimage. This year, those allowed to perform the hajj will have to be younger than 65 and will be required to undergo a virus test in advance.
The announcement disappointed Muslims around the world, many of whom have saved for years to travel to Mecca, and will deal a financial blow to the kingdom’s economy.
Paris death renews scrutiny of the police
Those were the words Cédric Chouviat called out seven times as police officers in Paris pinned him to the ground and put him in a chokehold, according to footage analyzed in an internal police report in April, but revealed by French outlets this week.
The video of Mr. Chouviat, a white, 42-year-old delivery man who died with a broken larynx after the confrontation in January, is reigniting scrutiny of the heavy-handed tactics used by the police as protests against police brutality, particularly against black people, have swept the country.
The four officers involved in the arrest were not questioned about the incident until last week and have not been charged with any crimes. “We don’t understand why they still haven’t been suspended,” said Sofia Chouviat, Mr. Chouviat’s daughter.
Context: Earlier this month, France’s interior minister said chokeholds would be banned and that officers would no longer be allowed to press on a suspect’s neck. But the French police have pushed back, and officers will be allowed to use the technique in the field until September.
Case study: In the postwar era, Germany overhauled policing to confront in detail the shameful legacy of policing under the Nazis, and to prevent it from happening again. The country’s experience might offer insight into how to redesign institutions. But clashes between the police and young men in Stuttgart on Saturday point to long-simmering tensions and criticism, with immigrants saying they are racially profiled.
Also: Eton College, one of Britain’s most storied boys schools, has apologized to one of its former black students who said he was told never to return after publishing a book in 1972 detailing abuse at the school.
If you have 7 minutes, this is worth it
In West Africa, terror from both sides
Burkina Faso has fallen into chaos over the past four years, becoming a recruiting ground for international terrorist groups in West Africa. At least 2,000 people are thought to have been killed there in the past 18 months. Above, soldiers protecting refugees at a camp near Dori, in northern Burkina Faso.
Our correspondent and photographer traveled there and found that government forces are now killing about as many people as jihadists are. “The government is traumatizing people,” a herdsman and farmer said. “It’s what pushes people to sign up to the armed groups.”
Here’s what else is happening
Australia judge: A court inquiry found that Dyson Heydon, a judge who presided over the country’s highest court for a decade, had harassed at least six women. He has denied the accusations.
U.S.-China trade: Stocks on Wall Street followed global markets higher on Tuesday, after President Trump reaffirmed the trade war truce between the United States and China and investors focused on new signs of economic recovery instead.
U.S. presidential campaign: A surge in donations has helped Joe Biden cut into President Trump’s financial advantage ahead of the November vote. Mr. Biden will hold his first presidential campaign event with Barack Obama on Tuesday.
Somalia bombing: Officials said two people were killed in a bombing in Mogadishu on Tuesday at Turkey’s largest overseas military base.
Snapshot: Art restoration experts in Spain called on Tuesday for tighter regulation of their work after a Baroque-era painting of the Virgin Mary, above, was disfigured by a furniture restorer. The Association of Conservators and Restorers said in a statement that, if the poor restoration is confirmed, “part of our heritage is disappearing by these disastrous actions.”
French literature: With her strident, pro-sex views, Virginie Despentes upsets people on the left and the right. After years of being the outsider, she is finally taking over France’s literary establishment.
What we’re reading: This Atlantic article about blackness and racism. “Imani Perry writes beautifully about the full-body grief of being a black American,” says Jenna Wortham, staff writer for The Times Magazine.
Now, a break from the news
And now for the Back Story on …
America’s unpredictable medical bills
Last week, Sarah Kliff, a Times reporter, noticed something strange. A medical lab in Dallas had charged as much as $2,315 apiece for coronavirus tests, even though a test typically costs $100. Sarah called the lab to ask about the price — and the lab quickly dropped it to $300.
It isn’t the first time something like this has happened. In her years of covering health care for Vox and now for The Times, Sarah has frequently reported on the arbitrary nature of medical costs, often highlighting extreme examples. After these examples receive public attention, health care providers sometimes reduce the prices.
Of course, most medical bills don’t become the subject of journalistic investigations. Which means that medical labs, drug companies, hospitals and doctors’ offices are often able to charge high prices to insurance companies and patients, without consequence.
“If you look at pretty much any other developed country — Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Singapore, the list goes on — the government does some version of rate setting,” Sarah told The Morning newsletter recently. “The United States doesn’t.” That’s one reason that the cost of health care in the U.S. is higher than in any other country.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
Melissa Clark wrote the recipe, and Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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