Your Friday Briefing

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Seiko Hashimoto, considered one of Japan’s two feminine cupboard ministers, is the brand new head of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee.

Her appointment was in response to intense criticism following the resignation of Yoshiro Mori, who stepped down after saying that girls talked an excessive amount of in conferences. The person the committee had initially deliberate to show to subsequent — Mr. Mori’s handpicked selection — is an 84-year-old former chief of Japanese soccer.

Ms. Hashimoto, 56, an Olympic medalist in speedskating, stated her first precedence can be to guard in opposition to the coronavirus on the Summer time Video games in order that “each the Japanese individuals and other people from overseas will assume that the Tokyo Video games are protected and safe.”

Larger image: The shift mirrored the potent voice that Japanese individuals, particularly girls, have discovered on social media, and lots of noticed it as an achievement in mobilizing younger activists. Others dismissed it as a beauty choice that was unlikely to empower girls.

Quotable: “Previously, he would have been simply criticized, after which the problem would have ended,” stated Kazuyo Katsuma, a businesswoman and writer of best-selling books on gender and work-life steadiness.


Australians awakened on Thursday to a shock on Fb: The information was gone. Fairly than pay publishers for tales, a requirement beneath new laws, the tech large wiped the positioning of data.

However Australians quickly found it wasn’t simply information websites. Pages for state well being departments, the meteorology bureau, politicians, nonprofits and extra have been cleaned. Extra scary was what remained: pages devoted to aliens and U.F.O.s; one for a group group referred to as “Say No to Vaccines”; and loads of conspiracy theories.

Fb initially blamed the proposed legislation, anticipated to go quickly, and later promised to revive important public service pages.

Divided views: Most Australians have been outraged, however for various causes. Some blame Fb, saying the tech large has an excessive amount of market energy; some fault the legislation, which they name too broad; and others say it could be for the perfect and should assist small information publishers swallowed up by large tech.

Evaluation: “Australia is an unwitting check lab for what occurs to Fb, information organizations and the general public when Fb is a information desert,” says Shira Ovide, author of our On Tech e-newsletter.


The Hong Kong authorities stated on Thursday that it had authorized the Covid-19 vaccine made by the Chinese language firm Sinovac, which has confronted scrutiny all over the world over its delivery delays and spotty information disclosures.

Well being officers in Hong Kong stated the primary million doses of the vaccine, referred to as CoronaVac, would arrive on Friday and that vaccinations would begin subsequent week with important staff and other people over 60.

Hong Kong is considered one of just a few governments in Asia to have authorized CoronaVac to be used. Different nations have stated they need full trial information from the producer. A latest ballot confirmed Hong Kongers would favor the Pfizer vaccine, anticipated to be obtainable there in late February.

Context: Brazilian officers in January stated that the efficacy charge of CoronaVac was simply over 50 p.c, decrease than different vaccines. Sinovac gave government-appointed specialists in Hong Kong information exhibiting a 62.3 p.c efficacy charge. The information was not launched publicly.

Listed here are the newest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

On La Gomera, one of many Canary Islands, a whistled language referred to as Silbo Gomero that dates again centuries remains to be in use because of obligatory lessons for schoolchildren, like Arantxa Cifuentes Gutiérrez, 15, above, and a group that acts as a guardian of the language.

Antonio Márquez Navarro, 71, is happy with what he calls “the poetry of my island.” And, he provides, “like poetry, whistling doesn’t should be helpful so as to be particular and delightful.”

Belarus dissent: Two younger journalists have been sentenced to 2 years in jail for reporting by way of video stream from an indication in opposition to President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s rule, the newest episode in a marketing campaign to silence all types of opposition.

Australian Open: Serena Williams made a tearful exit from the match after shedding to Naomi Osaka. Ashleigh Barty, the No. 1 seed, was out as effectively. Novak Djokovic beat the underdog, Aslan Karatsev. Subsequent up are Daniil Medvedev and the fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas.

New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated on Thursday that every one faculties would make free menstrual merchandise obtainable to college students for the subsequent three years to scale back “interval poverty” — a scarcity of entry to pads or tampons.

Mars touchdown: NASA’s Perseverance rover will attempt to contact down on Mars in a single piece, the third spacecraft to reach on the planet this month after guests from the United Arab Emirates and China.

U.S. immigration: President Biden’s allies launched an immigration overhaul in Congress on Thursday that would supply a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented Individuals.

Snapshot: Above, boiling snow to make it protected to drink. After a winter storm brought on energy failures at water remedy amenities in Texas, officers declared the water unsafe and suggested residents to boil their water for security.

What we’re listening to: In the Happiness Lab podcast, the host, the Yale professor Laurie Santos, walks us by way of the science of a counterintuitive reality: Having a harsh inside critic doesn’t truly assist accomplish objectives.

Cook dinner: This beloved, easy-to-assemble pasta alla vodka will get dinner on the desk very quickly.

Watch: “I Care a Lot,” an unexpectedly gripping thriller that seesaws between comedy and horror, is cleverly written and splendidly solid.

Do: In order for you a wholesome coronary heart, the extra you train, the higher, in accordance with an encouraging new examine.

Attempt one thing new. At Dwelling has concepts on what to learn, prepare dinner, watch, and do whereas staying protected at house.

Pete Wells, our restaurant critic, wrote about his hunt for meal in New York Metropolis, the place the coronavirus pandemic has compelled eating places to adapt to durations of closure and reopening for indoor and out of doors eating.

For months after all the restaurant eating rooms within the metropolis have been ordered to shut final March, I wrote nothing that resembled a overview. Your entire enterprise and all the individuals in it have been struggling, and I spent my time as a reporter discovering out how a few of them have been getting alongside.

Earlier than the pandemic, I usually referred to as cooks after I’d written a overview of their restaurant however earlier than it was revealed, to test information. The cooks normally sounded as if I have been calling with the outcomes of a lab check.

The conversations I had final spring have been completely different. They talked about going bankrupt, they talked about crying and never desirous to get away from bed. What did they’ve left to lose by speaking to me?

By June, the disaster had settled right into a sort of determined stability. On the day out of doors eating started, I rode my bike into Manhattan to have lunch on the first open restaurant I might discover. I used to be as thrilled to eat another person’s cooking as I used to be to do one thing that resembled my outdated job.

It nonetheless took just a few weeks earlier than I wrote any evaluations. At first, I frightened that any opinion of mine can be unfair when eating places have been making an attempt so exhausting to adapt to the brand new actuality. Ultimately, I understood that was precisely what would make the evaluations value writing. Good meals in a pandemic was nice; nice meals appeared like a miracle, and I used to be discovering nice meals throughout.


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

— Melina


Thanks
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh supplied the break from the information. You’ll be able to attain the crew at [email protected]

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Every day.” Our newest episode is about Paul Rusesabagina, the “Lodge Rwanda” hero who’s now accused of terrorism.
• Right here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Language of Pakistan (4 letters). You could find all our puzzles right here.
• Kathleen Kingsbury, our Opinion editor, spoke with Nieman Lab about reimagining opinion journalism.

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