Travel to Europe, Hong Kong Law, Russia: Your Wednesday Briefing

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We cover The reopening of Europe travelers (but not Americans), Radical Chinese Security Law for Hong Kong and why Russian internet stars keep their distance from Putin.

The European Union will open its borders to visitors from 15 countries as of today. These countries do not include the United States, Brazil or Russia, where the number of coronavirus cases continues to skyrocket.

The list of approved countries includes Australia, Canada and New Zealand; travelers from China will also be allowed in, if China reciprocates. EU countries are desperate to restart tourism while preventing further epidemics.

The decision came as more than 47,000 cases were reported in the United States on Tuesday. Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, said the number of new infections could reach 100,000 a day if outbreaks in many states were not contained.

What this means: EU officials tried to appear apolitical in their choices, but leaving the US off the list was a high-profile rebuke of the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis.

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

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.

China on Tuesday passed a national security law for Hong Kong that gives central authorities sweeping powers to quell dissent in the city.

The legislation, which had not been seen by the public before and took effect immediately, provides a plan for authorities and courts to quell the protest movement that has rocked the city for a year, and for the apparatus to Chinese national security permeates Hong Kong society. .

In an ambiguous formulation, it sets out new crimes punishable by maximum sentences of life imprisonment. Here are some key points:

  • Activities such as damaging government buildings and disrupting public transportation are described as acts of subversion and terrorism – a measure aimed directly at anti-government protesters.

  • The law allows Beijing to take broad control in security affairs, especially during crises. The suspects in these cases could be brought to justice in mainland China, where the opaque judicial system is controlled by the Communist Party.

  • Focusing heavily on the perceived role of foreigners in the unrest in Hong Kong, the law will impose severe penalties on anyone who urges foreign countries to criticize or impose sanctions on the government.

    What this means: At least two groups that have called for Hong Kong to become an independent state have said they will stop operating in the city. Activists also fear that the law will be used against people who peacefully call for autonomy rather than independence.

A young black man was tortured and killed on a remote island in Denmark by two white men with known far-right affiliations, police said. But authorities refuse to call it a hate crime and deny that race was a factor.

The man, Phillip Mbuji Johansen, a 28-year-old engineering student of Danish and Tanzanian descent, had gone to a party on Monday and was then invited for a beer in the woods, his mother told a local newspaper. His mutilated body was found at a campsite the next morning.

Two suspects, brothers who have not yet been publicly identified, were arrested on Wednesday for manslaughter. One of them has a swastika and the words “white power” tattooed on his leg. The other expressed support for a Danish far-right party called Stram Kurs, or Hard Line.

The context: Between 2007 and 2016, racially motivated hate crimes in Denmark more than quadrupled, according to a report. Local activists say the country has a tendency to deny racially motivated crimes, in some cases due to anti-immigrant attitudes.

Related: King Philippe of Belgium expressed his “deepest regrets” for his country’s brutal past in a letter to the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the first public acknowledgment by a member of the Belgian royal family of the devastating death toll of eight. decades of colonization.

Adidas: A senior executive resigned Tuesday after a number of black employees pushed for his ouster and said the company promotes a racist and discriminatory workplace.

Young Russians – who were once among President Vladimir Putin’s strongest supporters – have swung the other way sharply.

Mr Putin seems assured of victory today in a referendum that would allow him to change the constitution and stay in power until 2036. But he has lost his pop culture cachet, and online celebrities are now reluctant to go. ‘associate with the Kremlin. “The mood of the public has really changed,” said a Russian blogger.

Instantaneous: Above, the East Anglia One wind turbine project off the east coast of Great Britain. The fallout from the pandemic may have rocked the oil and gas industry, but clean energy producers have stepped forward, with measures to protect workers from the virus while they repair turbines.

What we listen to: This retro radio, where it’s still summer 1997. “The themes and melodies of the office alone will make your day,” says Remy Tumin of the Briefings team.

To cook: Crispy Sichuan Chili with Peanut Streusel it doesn’t seem like it should work, but it does, especially when paired with a sundae. You can also omit the peanut streusel or replace it with crushed peanuts.

To concern: Cinema Truth raises fascinating questions about the genre’s ability to faithfully reflect the world. Our review recommends “Crisis” and “Salesman” if you want to familiarize yourself with a style that tests the limits of non-fiction cinema.

Make: Bridal shops offer virtual shopping experiences where the bride and groom and their wedding members can try on and buy their clothes online. Here are some options for shopping without having to leave your home.

It’s easier to stay safe at home when you have lots of things to read, cook, watch, and do. At Home has our full collection of ideas.

The Times announced on Tuesday that it start using capital letters “Black” to describe people and cultures of African descent, in the United States and elsewhere. Here is what our national editor, Marc Lacey, wrote about change.

My father was born negro. Then he was black. Late in his life, much to his dismay, he became African American.

Everyone in this country that traces their ancestors back to Africa has known an array of racial identifiers in their lifetime, with some terms being imposed and others adopted. In a single day in 2020, I could be called black, African American, or person of color. I’m also labeled, in a way that my brown skin crawls, as diverse, ethnic, or minority.

Amid the nation’s accounts with racism after the death of George Floyd, another name is widely adopted: Black with a capital B.

John Eligon, a national correspondent for the New York Times who writes about race, captures the discussion in an article. As he points out, every name change leads to a heated discussion. Isn’t black a color, not a race? If we capitalize black, should we also capitalize white? And brown?

As someone who works with words, I would never suggest that word choice doesn’t matter. Words can affect the thinking of those who write them and those who read them. So I’m in favor of pressing the shift key – but I doubt this will be the last time we change the names of people like me.

[You can sign up for the Race/Related newsletter here.]

That’s it for this briefing. Working from home, does it work? See you next time.

– Isabelle

Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for 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 Supreme Court ruling on abortion this week.
• Here’s today’s mini-crossword and a hint: “Adios, ___!” (five letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• A wealth of internal ISIS documents obtained by Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi and her colleagues in 2018 has been released as part of a project with George Washington University.

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