Your Tuesday briefing – The New York Times
Covid-19, two years later
After two years of zigzagging politics and roller coaster emotions, terrible losses and tantalizing false dawns, border closures and intermittently closed schools, the resilience of people across the world has waned. For their leaders, this poses a dilemma: How can they impose even more restrictions on a fragile and exhausted population after so many forced separations?
Yet the Omicron variant is a sad reminder that the Covid era is far from over, dragging on like the plagues of yore. Health officials in Denmark and Norway warned of a sharp rise in Omicron cases yesterday, predicting that the new variant will soon dominate both countries. England had previously reported similar findings.
In the United States, the Covid is now responsible for nearly 800,000 deaths. One in 100 Americans aged 65 or over has died from the virus. For people under 65, that ratio is closer to 1 in 1,400. The total number of known coronavirus cases in the United States exceeded 50 million yesterday.
Quote: “I know it will only get worse, it will not stop, the pandemic will only become more consuming life,” said Natalia Shishkova, a teacher in Moscow. “It’s all chaos, like a fantasy movie. You watch all these apocalypse movies and you realize their writers were true prophets.
The inflationary peril for populist world leaders
A global wave of inflation is shifting the political terrain of right-wing populists at the helm of countries like Turkey, Brazil and Hungary, who have enjoyed broad support for years. Instead of the searing cultural issues that once agitated the electorate, voters now focus primarily on the economy.
Prices are climbing faster than they have been for nearly two decades in Brazil, a country with a relatively recent history of catastrophic inflationary episodes. In Turkey, the unorthodox economic policies of its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have triggered a real monetary crisis. And in Hungary, voters are mostly concerned about the cost of living and low wages.
As the global economy began to recover from the pandemic this year, a combination of supply chain disruptions, printing of banknotes by the central bank and government stimulus spending triggered a sharp rise in prices. in the world. This has prompted policy makers in many developing countries to change their policies and global investors to rethink their investments in these markets.
How much trouble does Boris Johnson have?
Boris Johnson, the disheveled-haired British Prime Minister, faces the most difficult part of his leadership yet: a threat of mutiny from his rebel Conservative Party; collapse of survey scores; and lingering questions as to whether he or his staff flouted the lockdown rules they imposed on the public by throwing a Christmas party last year.
The cascade of bad news is so extreme that it has raised the question of whether Johnson will even retain power until the next election. It’s a worrying turning point for a leader who has long defied political gravity, surviving scandals and setbacks that would have brought down many other politicians.
With no general election likely for at least two years, Johnson is not immediately threatened by voters. But if conservative lawmakers feel it would be politically expedient, they can kick him out through an internal leadership vote or a vote of no confidence. For the first time, political analysts and party members have said, such a challenge seems plausible.
To analyse: “It’s not the end for him, but I think it’s the beginning of the end,” said Jonathan Powell, who was chief of staff to Labor prime minister Tony Blair. “The problem is, these crises have a cumulative effect. As soon as he ceases to be an asset and the party faces an election, they will get rid of him.
In numbers : Johnson’s rating has dropped to 24% approval and 59% disapproval, the lowest in his tenure, according to a recent poll. The opposition Labor Party now leads the Tories by nine percentage points, its biggest advantage since February 2014.
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Around the world
The raid, in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, took place just after sunset. Municipal workers in civilian clothes swarmed a busy neighborhood, seizing contraband items as merchants dispersed or watched helplessly. This was yet another successful crackdown on eggs.
The place of the humble egg – and other animal products – has become the latest flashpoint in the growing role of religion in daily life under Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.
In the opinion
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ARTS AND IDEAS
The Golden Globes foiled in 2022
For the Golden Globes, the show must go on, even when there is no show. NBC has said it will not air next year’s ceremony due to ethical lapses at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the outraged group behind the awards. Still, the HFPA did announce its nominee roster – a roster barely more diverse than in previous years.
A little background: A series of explosive reports in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times revealed financial and ethical loopholes within a cloistered membership with no black voters. Although the HFPA has since claimed to clean up its law, the small reforms it made only came after many lagging and half-measures.
While group president Helen Hoehne projected positivity into her remarks yesterday, it’s still unclear what form the Jan. 9 ceremony will take, especially after a rival awards show, the Critics Choice Awards, took place. be rushed to claim the date of her own TV show. ceremony.
The Best Director category this year gave way to two women, Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Lost Girl”), and the race for Best Actor in a Drama featured three black contenders, Will Smith (“King Richard”), Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”) and Mahershala Ali (“Swan Song”).
On the drama side, “The Power of the Dog”, “King Richard” and “Belfast” dominated, while in the musical categories special attention was paid to “West Side Story”, “Licorice Pizza” and “Don’t Look For It.
Read the full list of Golden Globe nominations.