This time, the U.S. movement seems different
Two weeks after the first protest sparked by the killing of George Floyd, the huge gatherings for racial justice around the world have achieved a scale and momentum not seen in decades. And they appear unlikely to peter out anytime soon.
Our reporters took stock of this moment and talked to the people in the streets. Some had taken time off from work to participate in marches, and others were making the most of having their lives rearranged by the pandemic.
“We have been waiting for these days to come, for these people to stream into these streets,” Valerie Rivera, whose son Eric was killed by police in 2017, said.
For many, the changes that have resulted feel different, too — like pledges to cut the police budget in New York City or to dismantle the police department in Minneapolis, and a proposed bill in Congress to track police misconduct.
Bigger picture: Community organizers say the Floyd protests appear to have created a new generation of activism out of the deep, widespread anger over not only Mr. Floyd’s death but also a broader system of racial inequality, and officials cannot simply defuse concerns by pressing charges against police officers.
Related: Fans of the K-pop boy band BTS have raised more than $1 million for Black Lives Matter and more than a dozen other civil rights organizations.
New Zealand stays vigilant as lockdown ends
Crowds will gather again in restaurants. Weddings will include as many hugs and guests as happy couples want.
Officials said now that New Zealand has no new coronavirus cases and no active cases, life can return to a pre-pandemic normal. Almost all of the remaining lockdown restrictions were lifted at midnight Monday.
“While the job is not done, there is no denying this is a milestone,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding: “Thank you, New Zealand.”
Context: The country is one of a few, including Iceland, that appear to have completely eradicated the virus. But officials urged vigilance in the coming months, and New Zealand’s borders remain closed.
Cases: New Zealand has reported 1,504 cases and 22 deaths nationally, and has been widely praised for its stringent approach to combating the virus.
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The forecast came as economies around the world were gradually reopening and surveying what they needed to do to help local industries.
According to the report, countries that rely on global trade, tourism, commodity exports and external financing will be hardest hit this year. A rebound was predicted next year, but a longer than expected pandemic could change that.
And, it’s official. The U.S. economy entered a recession in February, ending a 128-month expansion, the committee that calls downturns announced on Monday.
Markets: U.S. and Asian stocks inched higher on Monday, while Europe’s markets were mostly down.
If you have 7 minutes, this is worth it
6,000 strains of bacteria under one roof
Britain’s National Collection of Type Cultures holds bacterial strains from more than 900 species that can infect, sicken, maim and kill us — including the ones that cause dysentery, E. coli, gonorrhea and salmonella. The collection, which just turned 100, supplies scientists around the world with strains to study, test and develop treatments for vaccines or drugs.
We looked at the collection, the oldest of its kind, and the importance of studying what the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould called “the dominant forms of life on Earth.”
Here’s what else is happening
Buried treasure: After 10 years, a chase for hidden treasure in the Rocky Mountains has come to an end. A New Mexico art collector, who created the hunt, said someone had found the bronze chest filled with gold nuggets, coins, sapphires, diamonds and pre-Columbian artifacts worth $2 million.
Israel annexation: Palestinian officials say they are willing to let the Palestinian Authority collapse if Israel follows through on its plan to annex parts of the West Bank. The strategy would force Israel to take full responsibility, as a military occupier, for the lives of more than 2 million Palestinians on the West Bank.
Mexico’s economy: As governments across the globe rush to pump cash into flailing economies, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico has opted largely to sit tight despite what is expected to be widespread pain up and down the economic ladder.
Snapshot: Above, the police clashing with protesters at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in November 2019. Today is the one-year anniversary since the Hong Kong protests started, and hundreds of thousands marched to limit Beijing’s control of their city. Look back on our coverage.
What we’re reading: This poem on Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy lynched in Mississippi in the 1950s. “There’s a devastatingly painful beauty to this poem. The premise: Eve L. Ewing imagines a world in which Emmett Till lives a long and ordinary life,” writes Stephen Hiltner, an editor on our Travel desk.
Now, a break from the news
Cook: This strawberry shortcake is served with crunchy cookies instead of soft biscuits. Our food writer, Melissa Clark, makes a strong case for using a crisp cookie in this classic dessert.
Watch and Listen: Our writers suggest works that tackle issues of police brutality, social injustice and racial inequity, from the Netflix documentary “13th,” directed by Ava DuVernay to Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam.”
Do: Covid-19 is likely to bring marital problems, but fighting won’t help, so the sooner you de-escalate a fight, the sooner you can begin working on real solutions. Also, here are some tips on getting together with friends outside.
We may be venturing outside, but with the virus we’re still safest inside. At Home can help make that tolerable, even fun, with ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do.
And now for the Back Story on …
Finding poetry in the paper
The hardest part about writing a poem is choosing the right words. A found poem is created by cutting and pasting words that you can steal from a newspaper or magazine, then cutting and pasting them on a sheet of paper.
There are no real rules, but there is a topic: finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Something is extraordinary when something ordinary, or common, takes you by surprise or makes you gasp.
All you need is any print publication, some paper, a pen, scissors and some glue or tape. Here are the steps.
Brainstorm. Create a list of extraordinary moments. Look out for something small but exceptional around your apartment, outside your window or maybe when you are out for a walk. The extraordinary is all around you; all you need to do is look. Pick a moment and start thinking of words to describe it. Jot them down.
Snip. Snip. Snip. Start cutting out all the words and phrases that relate to your moment. Having trouble? Try not to think so much and just cut. What words sound good to you when you say them aloud? What words help you visualize your extraordinary moment? Search the paper and neatly cut them out.
Layout. Before you start pasting your words into lines of poetry, lay them out and rearrange them. Let your paper be the house of your poem. How many rooms will you build? One, two or more? Do you want long lines or short lines? Play with their position until you have them just right.
Paste. Ready? Carefully paste each word down, and now you have your own found poem.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Melissa Clark provided the recipe, and Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh wrote the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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