Freedomroo – Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

Your Thursday Briefing - The New York Times

Democrats on Wednesday began presenting their case in former President Trump’s impeachment trial, but faced a steep climb if they hoped to persuade enough Republicans to convict the former president.

With more chilling video footage of last month’s assault on the Capitol, including plans to show unseen security camera footage, the prosecutors argued that Mr. Trump’s false claims about his election loss and fiery language at a rally near the White House provoked the mob of supporters.

“The evidence will show that he clearly incited the Jan. 6 insurrection,” said Representative Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager. “He told them to fight like hell, and they brought us hell that day,” he added, calling Mr. Trump the “inciter in chief.” Follow our updates here.

Republicans: On Tuesday, six Republican senators joined 50 Democrats in voting to proceed with the impeachment trial — a far smaller number than what would be needed to convict Mr. Trump. The six were Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania.

After initially refusing the Indian government’s requests to take down accounts critical of its handling of farmer protests, Twitter relented on Wednesday and removed over 500 accounts.

Twitter said it acted after the government issued a notice of noncompliance, a move that put its local employees under threat of prison. A virtual meeting between Twitter executives and government officials was underway on Wednesday evening.

In a blog post, Twitter said it was not taking any action on the accounts that belonged to media organizations, journalists, activists or politicians, saying it did not believe the orders to block them “are consistent with Indian law.”

Bigger picture: The conflict is an example of the challenges for social media companies like Twitter that advocate free speech but face demands in many countries to tame their influence in politics. The Indian government, controlled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, has become increasingly aggressive at stifling dissent, and the judiciary has agreed with it.


A group of experts from the World Health Organization said they were recommending the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for use in countries where new variants of the coronavirus were circulating.

The guidance came after South Africa temporarily halted the rollout of the vaccine based on the findings of a small clinical trial showing that it did not protect against mild and moderate disease caused by a variant of the virus first seen in that country. Despite recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine for use everywhere, W.H.O. scientists conceded that each country should take into account the state of the virus and the type of variants spreading there.

The W.H.O. has not yet granted an emergency-use listing for the vaccine, which would set into motion its rollout in lower- and middle-income countries.

A small army of thousands of people in Britain have been hired by the National Health Service and government-contracted firms for temporary jobs with high demand during the pandemic — like cleaning hospital wards, contact-tracing and administering virus tests. Above, testing site workers near Cambridge, England.

The temp workers, many of whom used to work in fields decimated by the virus crisis, often receive little pay. But some say it’s providing them solace: “If this is something I can do to help in the pandemic, or say I’ve played my part in it, that’s more rewarding than another job or not doing anything at all,” said Georgia Paget, an out-of-work stage manager.

Myanmar sanctions: President Joe Biden announced a freeze on $1 billion in government funds held in the U.S. and warned of more actions targeting the generals who deposed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup.

Indonesia plane crash report: The Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 crash last month may have been caused by several factors, including a problem controlling the engines’ thrust, investigators said in a preliminary report.

New Zealand parliament: Rawiri Waititi, a Maori politician, was kicked out of Parliament this week for forgoing a tie, which he called a “colonial noose,” in favor of a traditional Maori pendant. Now, a committee has decided the necktie isn’t mandatory.

China’s climate progress: Scientists said that emissions from China of CFC-11, a banned gas that harms the Earth’s ozone layer, have fallen sharply. The findings ease concerns that increased emissions would slow progress in the struggle to repair the ozone layer.

Snapshot: Above, Venus Williams at the Australian Open. She lost her game against Sara Errani after playing on a painful ankle injury, knocking her out of the tournament. Here’s what to watch.

What we’re listening to: This episode of the Reply All podcast, which looks at problems in Bon Appétit’s Test Kitchen long before the publication’s reckoning with racism last year. It’s a gripping deep dive.

Cook: For Lunar New Year, these savory chile crisp dumplings offer the welcome contrast of tenderness and crunch.

Watch: In “Twilight’s Kiss,” a 70-year-old Hong Kong taxi driver and a retiree try to find love together — a look at a hidden romance that comes late and is burdened by a lifetime of hidebound norms.

Do: A clever new study of how — and why — our upper bodies seem to work the way they do when we run, but not when we walk, sheds light on why running is a total body affair.

Inject some fun into your day. At Home has ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe at home.

Commonplace books can be traced to the Roman era, and were a standard exercise in Renaissance Europe. Making one involves copying down your favorite lines from other people’s works into an annotated notebook. These can be song lyrics, movie dialogue, poems and any inspiring bits you find in your reading and listening. Here’s a guide for making one, with modern technology.

Get inspired. The Yale University Library has scanned pages of historical commonplace books in its holdings, and the Harvard Library has a few in its own online collection, as well as images of a version of John Locke’s 17th-century guide to making commonplace books, which was originally published in French.

Take notes. For sheer simplicity, collecting your commonplace entries in a word-processing document stored online is one option. If you find that approach unwieldy, consider the note-taking app that came with your phone — Apple’s Notes or Google Keep. Just enter quotations and other text snippets whenever you get the urge. To skip the typing or pasting, Google Keep can scan and transcribe text from images of book pages, and Apple’s Siri voice assistant or the Google Assistant can create a note and take dictation.

Convert a paper notebook. What if you’re someone who has been keeping a physical commonplace book for years but would like to digitize the whole thing without retyping it all? One method: Snap a photo of each page and import the image into your notes app, which also preserves the look of your original hand-scrawled entries.


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

— Melina


Thank you
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about what it will take to reopen schools in the U.S.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Incredibly impressed (four letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• Rebecca Blumenstein, a deputy managing editor, is joining the publisher’s office as deputy editor.

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