Hajj, Novak Djokovic, Europe Travel: your Wednesday briefing

(Want to receive this briefing by email? Here is the registration.)


We cover the limits of Saudi Arabia on This year hajj, a possible ban on Travel from the United States to Europe and government abuses in Burkina Faso.

The restrictions are aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus in the kingdom, which is experiencing one of the largest epidemics in the Middle East. Last year 2.5 million people took part in the pilgrimage. This year, people admitted to the hajj must be under 65 years of age and must first submit to a test for the virus.

The announcement has disappointed Muslims around the world, many of whom have saved up for years to travel to Mecca, and it will deal a financial blow to the kingdom’s economy.

Quote: “I’m sorry, sad and disappointed, but what can we do? Said Qari Ali Gul, who leads a seminar in Peshawar, Pakistan. “It must be the will of God. “

Here are the latest updates and maps of where the virus has spread.

In other news:

The Times offers free access to much of our coronavirus coverage, and our Coronavirus Briefing newsletter – like all of our newsletters – is free. Please consider supporting our journalism with a subscription.

European Union officials are rushing to agree on who can visit the bloc from July 1 as they figure out how to restart travel while keeping new coronavirus infections at bay.

A draft list of acceptable travelers includes those from China and Vietnam, but visitors from the United States, Russia and Brazil will not be welcome, according to the document seen by The New York Times. A final decision is expected early next week.

Banning American travelers from entering the European Union will have significant ramifications. Millions of American tourists visit Europe every summer. Business travel is common, given the huge economic ties between the US and the EU

Facebook, Google, Amazon and others in business have reacted angrily after President Trump suspended new work visas for foreigners until at least the end of the year.

  • GoogleManaging Director Sundar Pichai was “disappointed” by the decision. “Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a world leader in technology, and also Google the company it is today,” he said in a tweet. .

  • Facebook said, “Highly skilled visa holders play a vital role in spurring innovation – at Facebook and in organizations across the country – and this is something we should be encouraging, not restricting.”

  • Amazon said that “preventing highly qualified professionals from entering the country and contributing to the economic recovery of the United States endangers the global competitiveness of the United States”.

The context: The ordinance signed by the president on Monday denies work permits to foreign workers, such as those in tech, finance and more. Mr Trump said visa programs “pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers” as the coronavirus pandemic hits the economy.

Numbers: According to government data, the suspended visa categories accounted for around 600,000 workers in 2019.

Burkina Faso has sunk deeper into chaos over the past four years, becoming a recruiting ground for international terrorist groups in West Africa. Our correspondent and photographer therefore went there to report on the crisis. Above, soldiers protecting refugees at a camp near Dori, in northern Burkina Faso.

What they found in the unstable north of the country: Government forces are now killing about as many people as the jihadists. “The government traumatizes the people,” said one shepherd and farmer. “This is what drives people to join armed groups.

Australian judge: A forensic investigation has found Dyson Heydon, a decade-long judge in the nation and one of Australia’s most powerful men, harassed at least six women. He denied the charges.

Trade between the United States and China: Stocks on Wall Street followed global markets higher on Tuesday, after President Trump reaffirmed the truce of the US-China trade war and investors focused instead on new signs of economic recovery. .

Singapore: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced that the city-state will hold the first elections in Southeast Asia since the coronavirus pandemic began on July 10. Handshakes will not be allowed during the campaign, nor will political rallies.

US Presidential Campaign: An increase in donations helped Joe Biden reduce President Trump’s financial advantage ahead of the November vote. Mr. Biden will hold his first presidential campaign event with Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Instantaneous: Above, residents of Stockholm eating outside. The country’s Scandinavian neighbors have closed their borders to Swedes after the government failed to take swift action to curb the coronavirus outbreak. Sweden now has around twice as many infections and five times as many deaths as Denmark, Finland and Norway.

What we read: This Atlantic article on black and racism. “Imani Perry writes beautifully about whole body grief at being a black American,” said Jenna Wortham, editor for The Times Magazine.

Listen: While concerts and operas are suspended, the spotlight turns to individual artists. Here’s a look at some memorable solos.

Make: If you’re lucky enough to have a patio, porch, or backyard, here are some tips for getting the most out of your outdoor space.

At Home has our full collection of ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe at home.

Last week, Times reporter Sarah Kliff noticed something strange. A Dallas medical lab had charged up to $ 2,315 each for coronavirus testing, although a test typically costs $ 100. Sarah called the lab to ask for the price – and the lab quickly lowered it to $ 300.

This is not the first time that something like this has happened. During her years of healthcare coverage for Vox and now The Times, Sarah has frequently reported on the arbitrary nature of medical bills, often highlighting extreme examples. Once these examples grab the public’s attention, healthcare providers sometimes cut prices.

Of course, most medical bills are not the subject of journalistic investigations. Which means that medical labs, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and medical practices are often able to charge premium prices to insurance companies and patients, without consequence.

“If you look at just about any other developed country – Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Singapore, the list goes on – the government is setting some version of rate fixing,” Sarah told the The Morning newsletter. “The United States is not doing it.” This is one of the reasons why the cost of health care in the United States is higher than in any other country.

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

– Melina

Thank you
Carole Landry participated in the drafting of this briefing. Melissa Clark wrote the recipe, and Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the rest of the news break. You can reach the team at [email protected]

• We listen to “The Daily”. Our last episode is about the future of the US Senate.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a hint: Mighty Part of a Great White Shark (three letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• Mary Suh returns to The New York Times as Interim Editor, Charlotte Greensit of The Intercept is the new editor-in-chief and associate editor of the editorial page and Talmon Smith was promoted to editor.

Comments are closed.