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Wednesday 24 February 2021

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Vaccinating the world against COVID-19 is one of mankind’s most critical non-wartime efforts ever. Many countries have developed ambitious, politically sensitive, and carefully sequenced vaccination plans, but executing them successfully will be a challenge. To succeed, policymakers should build three realistic assumptions into their vaccination planning for 2021 and beyond. First, delays are inevitable. By Swee Kheng Khor
Tuesday 23 February 2021

Christchurch, New Zealand
New York Times reporting: First the houses and cars vanished. Fences, driveways and the other remaining markers of suburban life followed. Now, only stretches of green remain — an eerie memorial to two earthquakes that leveled Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city, 10 years ago. The undulating expanse, which begins 2 miles from downtown Christchurch, was deemed uninhabitable after the quakes, the second of which killed 185 people on Feb. 22, 2011. The 8,000 properties it encompassed were bought by the government and razed, the remnants swept away.
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Tuesday 23 February 2021

Chicago, USA
New York Times reporting: A nation numbed by misery and loss is confronting a number that still has the power to shock: 500,000. Roughly one year since the first known death by the coronavirus in the United States, an unfathomable toll is nearing — the loss of a half-million people. More Americans have perished from COVID-19 than on the battlefields of World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined. By now, about 1 in 670 Americans has died of it.
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Tuesday 16 February 2021

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: The World Health Organization on Monday authorized the use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, clearing a path for the cheap and easy-to-store shots to be distributed in lower- and middle-income countries around the world.
Friday 12 February 2021

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: In his new book, the astrophysicist Avi Loeb, a professor at Harvard, argues that the absence of evidence regarding life elsewhere is not evidence of its absence. In October 2017, a telescope in Maui, Hawaii, captured an exotic speck speeding across the sky. It was interstellar — recognized as the first object we’ve ever seen that originated outside our solar system. In the past few years there has been a flurry of new interest in the search for aliens. Tech billionaires are funding novel efforts to scan the heavens for evidence of life, and after decades of giving the field short shrift, NASA recently joined the search. By Farhad Manjoo.
Thursday 11 February 2021

Geneva, Switzerland
An equitable supply of vaccines is missing. Of the 128 million vaccine doses administered so far, more than three quarters of those vaccinations are in just 10 countries that account for 60 per cent of global GDP, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus, said in a joint statement yesterday. “As of today, almost 130 countries, with 2.5 billion people, are yet to administer a single dose.”
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Wednesday 10 February 2021

Washington DC, U.S.A
America and China should cooperate in space. Although the United States can no longer take its extraterrestrial dominance for granted, it remains the leading player, while China’s space capabilities are growing fast. Most important, both countries, along with the rest of the world, would benefit from a set of clear rules governing the exploration and commercialization of space. By Anne-Marie Slaughter and Emily Lawrence.
Wednesday 10 February 2021

Washington D.C., U.S.A.
New York Times reporting: The House managers prosecuting former President Donald Trump opened his Senate impeachment trial Tuesday with a vivid and graphic sequence of footage of his supporters storming the United States Capitol last month in an effort to prevent Congress from finalizing his election defeat. By Peter Baker.
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Wednesday 10 February 2021

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
New York Times reporting: The first in a parade of three new visitors to Mars has arrived. On Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates became just the fifth nation to successfully send a spacecraft to Mars when its robotic probe, named Hope, began orbiting the red planet. By Kenneth Chang
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Tuesday 2 February 2021

Cape Town, South Africa
New York Times reporting: While more than 90 million people worldwide have been vaccinated, only 25 in all of sub-Saharan Africa, a region of about 1 billion people, have been given doses outside of drug trials, according to the World Health Organization. But as new variants like the one discovered in South Africa migrate to more countries — including the United States — it is becoming ever clearer that the tragedy for poorer countries could become a tragedy for every country. The more the virus spreads and the longer it takes to vaccinate people, the greater chance it has to continue to mutate in ways that put the whole world at risk.
Tuesday 26 January 2021

New York, USA
Just as political leaders like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro have forced a reckoning about the historical persistence of fascist politics, so have their disastrous responses to the COVID-19 pandemic renewed the relevance of the concept of genocide. How else are we to come to grips with so many culpably avoidable deaths? As in Brazil, Indigenous communities in the US have suffered disproportionately from the pandemic. By Federico Finchelstein and Jason Stanley.
Thursday 21 January 2021

Washington D.C., U.S.A
New York Times reporting: Inauguration Day 2017, four years ago, was notable, in part, for who wasn’t there: There were vast empty spaces on the National Mall, which the Trump Administration would soon deny in the opening shot of its four-year war on truth. The inauguration of President Joe Biden was also defined by absences. But this time they were intentional, and — for better or worse — they were the point. By James Poniewozik
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Wednesday 20 January 2021

Washington D.C., U.S.A
New York Times reporting: President-elect Joe Biden will propose far-reaching legislation Wednesday to give the 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally a chance to become citizens in as little as eight years, part of an ambitious and politically perilous attempt to undo the effects of President Donald Trump’s four-year assault on immigration. The president-elect is counting on support from religious and business groups who have long backed a more robust system of immigration making it more generous to current immigrants and people from other parts of the world.
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Sunday 17 January 2021

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: The global death toll from the coronavirus soared past the 2 million mark Friday, just over a year after the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan. And the carnage is spreading faster now than at any other time in the pandemic. It took more than nine months for the world to pass 1 million deaths in late September. In a little more than three months, the virus has claimed another 1 million lives. By Marc Santora.
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Friday 8 January 2021

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: Given the variables, infectious disease specialists have had a hard time determining the risks of flying. But a study published on Wednesday provides some clarity. After an 18-hour flight from Dubai landed in Auckland, New Zealand, in September, local health authorities discovered evidence of an outbreak that most likely occurred during the trip. Using seat maps and genetic analysis, the new study determined that one passenger initiated a chain of infection that spread to four others en route.
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Thursday 7 January 2021

Washington DC, USA
New York Times reporting: A mob of people loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol on Wednesday, halting Congress’ counting of the electoral votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory as the police evacuated lawmakers from the building in a scene of violence, chaos and disruption that shook the core of American democracy.
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Thursday 31 December 2020

Washington DC, USA
Corruption exists in all sectors and its impacts are universally negative, but corruption in public infrastructure is particularly nefarious for low-income countries. Estimates of losses to bribery in construction, which lies downstream from procurement, are as high as 45 percent of construction costs. In some situations, misconduct may not even be considered particularly harmful or wrong by the participants – as illustrated by the oft used term for corruption: the price of doing business. This doesn’t happen in a vacuum; corruption is enabled by the conventions and approaches that have been allowed to develop over time. By Ian Hawkesworth
Wednesday 30 December 2020

London, United Kingdom
In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was common to divide countries and their responses according to their political systems, with many attributing China’s success in controlling the virus to its authoritarianism. As of late 2020, however, it is clear that the real dividing line is not political but geographical. Regardless of whether a country is democratic or authoritarian, an island or continental, Confucian or Buddhist, communitarian or individualistic, if it is East Asian, Southeast Asian, or Australasian, it has managed COVID-19 better than any European or North American country. The fact remains that you were much likelier to die of COVID-19 in 2020 if you were European or American than if you were Asian. - By Bill Emmott
Wednesday 30 December 2020

New York, USA
New York Times reporting: Worldwide, COVID-19 has killed more than 1.5 million people, sickened millions more and short-circuited economies. Of all the industries reeling from its destructive impact, the travel industry was upended like no other. It’s unclear just which changes to the travel landscape will be in place a year from now — or 10 years on — but some answers are starting to come into focus.
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Wednesday 23 December 2020

Cambridge, England
New York Times reporting: On a recent evening, the 16 boys and 14 men of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, stood in the gothic chapel where they perform, spread out in the flickering candlelight. A few of the choristers gazed at the vaulted ceiling about 80 feet above them. Then Daniel Hyde, the choir’s music director, signaled that he was ready to begin, and all slipped off the masks they had been wearing to sing “I Saw Three Ships,” a sprightly carol that will be heard by about 100 million people Thursday.
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