Tag: Politics and Government

On the Coronavirus, God and the Chinese Communist Party

CHICAGO — My mother believes that God and the Chinese Communist Party will defeat the novel coronavirus. “Pray for Wuhan. Pray for China,” she urges me, referring to the capital of Hubei Province, where the outbreak started. It is early February, a week and some since Wuhan was placed under lockdown. My mother lives in […]

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Cuomo Emerges as ‘Trump Whisperer’ During Coronavirus Crisis

ALBANY, N.Y. — For Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, it should have been a softball question lobbed from a friendly source. The governor’s brother, Chris Cuomo, the CNN anchor, asked what he thought of President Trump’s repeated insinuation that health care workers in New York City were stealing medical supplies from hospitals by taking them “out […]

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‘We Can’t Spend What We Don’t Have’: Virus Strikes N.Y. Budget

ALBANY, N.Y. — With the coronavirus outbreak racing through the state, sickening thousands of New Yorkers each day and draining the state economy, the Legislature on Friday was forced to pass a $177 billion budget that was laden with uncertainties. The state is expecting at least $10 billion less in tax revenue, a steep gap […]

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Turning the Tables, Russia Sends Virus Aid to U.S.

MOSCOW — In the early 1990s, amid the poverty-ridden collapse of the Soviet Union, American food aid in the form of a flood of cheap chicken thighs — Russians called them “Bush legs” — symbolized the humiliating downfall of a superpower. Three decades later, Moscow got a chance to turn the tables. A giant An-124 […]

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The Virus Comes for Democracy

China and some of its acolytes are pointing to Beijing’s success in coming to grips with the coronavirus pandemic as a strong case for authoritarian rule. Despite a poor start, the argument goes, China had the wherewithal to establish a vast containment effort that largely brought the disease to heel within its borders. The World […]

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How Far Should Police Go in Enforcing Coronavirus Lockdowns?

SYDNEY, Australia — With much of the globe under stay-at-home orders, police officers are becoming the enforcers of a new coronavirus code that demands what humans naturally resist: complete isolation and obedience. Empowered by tough new laws and public pressure, police forces are testing how far to go in punishing behavior that is ordinarily routine. […]

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Under Modi, India’s Press Is Not So Free Anymore

NEW DELHI — The Media One anchorman Vinesh Kunhiraman went on air as usual on March 6, ready to tell the station’s five million viewers in India’s Kerala State about the death anniversary of a beloved comedian and the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic. Just a few minutes into the broadcast, he saw the […]

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France Tries Limiting Joblessness to Confront Coronavirus Recession

PARIS — When France started shutting down a few weeks ago as the coronavirus marched relentlessly into the country, Dominique Paul feared disaster. His family’s white-glove catering company, Groupe Butard, halted operations, putting 190 jobs at risk. Edward Arkwright, the director general of Aéroports de Paris, the Paris airport operator, weighed how to preserve over […]

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Iran Says U.S. Sanctions Are Taking Lives. U.S. Officials Disagree.

As Iran struggles with a devastating coronavirus outbreak, a broken economy and a severe shortage of medical equipment, it says that American trade sanctions are taking Iranian lives and has called for the United States to lift them on humanitarian grounds. Iran’s plea is gaining traction around the globe, winning support from allies like Russia […]

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Covid-19 Changed How the World Does Science, Together

Using flag-draped memes and military terminology, the Trump administration and its Chinese counterparts have cast coronavirus research as national imperatives, sparking talk of a biotech arms race. The world’s scientists, for the most part, have responded with a collective eye roll. “Absolutely ridiculous,” said Jonathan Heeney, a Cambridge University researcher working on a coronavirus vaccine. […]

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E.U. Tries Gentle Diplomacy to Counter Hungary’s Crackdown on Democracy

BRUSSELS — The European Union’s written response to Hungary’s effective suspension of democracy omitted one important word: Hungary. A day after the Hungarian Parliament passed sweeping emergency measures allowing the far-right populist leader Viktor Orban to rule by decree indefinitely, ostensibly as part of the country’s response to the coronavirus, the European Commission on Tuesday […]

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Gun Ownership Soars in Brazil Under Bolsonaro

BRASÍLIA — President Jair Bolsonaro has galvanized gun culture in Brazil. His trademark campaign sign was a hand folded into the shape of a gun. One of his first moves in office was to ease gun ownership rules. His three oldest sons, politicians themselves, have been fierce proponents of expanding gun ownership through policy proposals […]

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Bangladesh Garment Workers Face Ruin Due to Coronavirus

The empty, echoing shopping malls of Western cities are a testament to the biggest crisis borne by global clothing and retail industries in over a generation. But the impact of the coronavirus on retail is a two-part devastation, as the daily flow of thousands of orders placed by Western retailers to supplier factories in South […]

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Why Asia’s New Coronavirus Controls Should Worry the World

In China, international flights have been cut back so severely that Chinese students abroad wonder when they will be able to get home. In Singapore, recently returned citizens must share their phones’ location data with the authorities each day to prove they are sticking to government-ordered quarantines. In Taiwan, a man who had traveled to […]

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China’s Ren Zhiqiang Vanishes, in a Blow to Reform

Weeks before Ren Zhiqiang disappeared, leading to fears among his friends and fans that he had been picked up by the Chinese authorities, the 69-year-old former property mogul locked himself up. It happened at an exhibition he held in December to show off his wood sculptures, a late-life passion after retirement and rising censorship left […]

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Keep It Simple, Albany. This Is No Time for Budget Games.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic has been disciplined and deft. May he and the Legislature approach this week’s budget negotiations with the same steady focus. State spending for the coming fiscal year, expected to be roughly $175 billion, must by law be approved by midnight on Tuesday. This year’s budget season comes […]

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Coronavirus in Israel: Cases Soar Among Ultra-Orthodox Jews

BNEI BRAK, Israel — Ultra-Orthodox Jews failing to comply with government instructions to contain the coronavirus are causing it to spread so quickly that Israeli officials are considering blockading entire communities to protect the wider population. The virus is mushrooming in ultra-Orthodox communities as much as four to eight times faster than elsewhere in Israel. […]

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N.Y. Hospitals Face $400 Million in Cuts Even as Virus Battle Rages

For the last few weeks, Dr. David Perlstein has been scrambling to find more beds and ventilators, knowing that the coronavirus outbreak, which has filled his Bronx hospital with more than 100 patients, will undoubtedly get much worse. Then a week ago, Dr. Perlstein, the chief executive officer of St. Barnabas Hospital, was given some […]

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For Autocrats, Coronavirus Is a Chance to Grab Even More Power

LONDON — In Hungary, the prime minister can now rule by decree. In Britain, ministers have what a critic called “eye-watering” power to detain people and close borders. Israel’s prime minister has shut down courts and begun an intrusive surveillance of citizens. Chile has sent the military to public squares once occupied by protesters. Bolivia […]

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China Created a Fail-Safe System to Track Contagions. It Failed.

The alarm system was ready. Scarred by the SARS epidemic that erupted in 2002, China had created an infectious disease reporting system that officials said was world-class: fast, thorough and, just as important, immune from meddling. Hospitals could input patients’ details into a computer and instantly notify government health authorities in Beijing, where officers are […]

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What Social Distancing Looked Like in 1666

A lot of English people believed 1666 would be the year of the apocalypse. You can’t really blame them. In late spring 1665, bubonic plague began to eat away at London’s population. By fall, roughly 7,000 people were dying every week in the city. The plague lasted through most of 1666, ultimately killing about 100,000 […]

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Oil Prices Crash, Virus Hits, Commerce Stops: Iraq Is in Trouble.

BAGHDAD — When Iraq recorded its first cases of coronavirus, its health minister asked the government for $5 million in emergency funds. But there were no funds to be had. “There is no money and we are in a difficult situation,” said the minister, Jaafer Sadiq Allawi, as he appealed for help from a cleric […]

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A Unanimous Senate Vote That Nobody Seemed to Agree On

WASHINGTON — After a four-year stretch marked by an acrimonious fight over a Supreme Court vacancy, the poisonous Kavanaugh confirmation and a bitter impeachment trial, was it too much to hope that a global health and economic crisis could suddenly rid the Senate of its own partisan infection? It was. True, the Senate voted 96 […]

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