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Your Monday Briefing

Going through international anger over their preliminary mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese language authorities are attempting to rewrite the narrative of the pandemic by pushing false theories that the virus originated outside China.

Particulars: Chinese language officers have stated that packaged meals from abroad might have initially ushered within the virus. Scientists have launched a paper positing that the pandemic might have began in India. The state information media has revealed tales misrepresenting overseas specialists as having stated the coronavirus got here from elsewhere.

Context: This push comes because the World Well being Group begins an inquiry into how the virus jumped from animals to people. Chinese language scientists have been designated to guide key elements of the investigation.

Evaluation: The marketing campaign appears to mirror anxiousness throughout the ruling Communist Occasion in regards to the pandemic’s persevering with injury to China’s worldwide popularity. Western officers have criticized Beijing for attempting to hide the outbreak when it first erupted.

Listed below are the most recent updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

A brand new report commissioned by the U.S. State Division cites radio-frequency power, which incorporates microwaves, as the most probable cause for a wave of mysterious afflictions that sickened scores of American spies and diplomats in Cuba, China, Russia and different nations beginning in 2016.

Findings: Although couched in cautious, scientific language, the report implied that the victims’ illnesses had been the results of malicious, focused assaults. The report additionally incorporates a stark warning about the potential of future episodes, and the U.S. authorities’s potential to detect them, or to mount a response.

The sickness: Victims skilled dizziness, fatigue, complications and lack of listening to, reminiscence and stability. Some U.S. authorities staff who fell sick had been compelled into everlasting retirement.

What’s subsequent: A number of victims have accused Trump administration officers of downplaying the problem in an try to keep away from disrupting worldwide ties. They now ask how President-elect Joe Biden will reply, particularly given the brand new findings.

China has had a poor environmental report, prioritizing its breakneck financial transformation over the previous 4 many years. Now, there are indicators the nation has begun to contemplate the results.

A 17-year-old climate activist, Ou Hongyi, has been waging a lonely marketing campaign in her hometown in southern China to lift consciousness in regards to the perils of a warming planet. She has been ignored, ridiculed and ostracized. Faculty officers and the police have harassed her.

Nonetheless, Xi Jinping lately dedicated to creating the kind of daring steps activists like Ms. Ou have been calling for, pledging that at China’s emissions would peak by 2030 and that the nation would attain “carbon neutrality” by 2060.

Quotable: “Everybody ought to notice that the local weather disaster is already the most important existential disaster dealing with mankind,” Ms. Ou stated.

Associated: Farmers in India are burning their fields to protest antipollution legal guidelines, as a part of more and more nationwide pushback in opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal to overtake the best way lots of the nation’s 146 million farms do enterprise.

India’s main documentarian, Anand Patwardhan, has spent many years monitoring the nation’s unraveling from its pluralist post-Partition beliefs to a Hindu hegemony. However his movies stay unseen in giant elements of the nation due to their inconvenient themes.

The Times Magazine takes an in-depth look at his life and work.

Australia’s “bush courts”: A judicial official within the Northern Territory is leading a push to change the operations of courts in remote communities, during which legal professionals and judges fly in, generally dealing with dozens of prison circumstances in a single day. Critics level to the system’s roots in colonialism and say it abuses the rights of Indigenous Australians.

Hayabusa2: Japan’s house company ended up embarking on a scavenger hunt in the Australian outback, after a capsule from a robotic probe carrying bits of an asteroid landed in a barren area close to Woomera, South Australia.

Suhaila Siddiq: Afghanistan’s first feminine lieutenant basic died in Kabul on Friday from issues of the coronavirus. She was additionally a famend surgeon and unknowingly grew to become a feminist function mannequin in a largely patriarchal society.

Snapshot: Above, a girl in Huay Pu Keng, a village in Thailand, promoting souvenirs. All the financial system of some such villages relies on promoting trinkets associated to the neck rings that ladies from the Kayan ethnic group historically put on. But the coronavirus pandemic has complicated the situation, as few vacationers now go to the nation.

What we’re studying: This profile of Eric Feigl-Ding, a controversial Shanghai-born scientist whom Undark journal calls “Covid’s Cassandra.” The piece offers a gripping take a look at the gravity and complexity of voicing scientific theories on Twitter.

Have been there any fisticuffs?

A.O. SCOTT One in all my first lists had Will Ferrell, and I bought a one-word response from Manohla: “No.”

MANOHLA DARGIS It wasn’t fairly “Over my lifeless physique,” however I used to be emphatic that it wasn’t going to occur.

SCOTT The toughest one for me to surrender was this Romanian actor Vlad Ivanov — he stayed in there till the very finish, however there simply wasn’t room.

DARGIS I had just a few square-jawed males like Viggo Mortensen, however I simply had the sensation I used to be going to should allow them to go. Perhaps we should always have finished 50, however I don’t know that anybody wished to learn 25,000 phrases from us.

Anybody you didn’t debate?

DARGIS Denzel Washington was all the time No. 1 on each of our lists. We didn’t need it to appear like there was a quid professional quo.

SCOTT Keanu Reeves has been a controversial decide, however he was on the checklist from the start. Then we determined we had been going to make a press release by placing him up there on the checklist [at No. 4]. The John Wick motion pictures aren’t masterpieces of cinema, however the best way Reeves embodies this barely ridiculous motion hero in these motion pictures is simply lovely to look at.

DARGIS And Rob Morgan. He simply makes us blissful each time he exhibits up in a film.

What do you hope folks take away from the checklist?

SCOTT Simply since you haven’t seen a movie doesn’t imply it isn’t worthy of inclusion. We didn’t simply need this to be well-known film stars. There are many fantastic character actors who’re constantly excellent in smaller roles.

DARGIS Some folks have stated, ‘I don’t acknowledge any of those folks” or “These are all overseas folks.” Effectively, they aren’t overseas of their nation! Increase your horizons and get past Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker.”

That’s it for this briefing. See you subsequent time.

— Dani

To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the information. You’ll be able to attain the group at briefing@nytimes.com.

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