Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

As he prepares to meet with European leaders over the next week, President Biden will attempt to rally an alliance shaken by the previous administration, in which Donald Trump denigrated and undermined traditional relations by embracing autocrats like Vladimir Putin from Russia.

Biden comes to Europe with considerable goodwill simply by not being Trump. But as the oldest American president in history, he cannot escape lingering doubts about his sustainability. And he has an intimidating agenda: resuscitating a shattered relationship; get European partners to adopt coordinated policies on Russia, China, global warming and the coronavirus; then face Putin.

The US and the EU are also working on a deal that would resolve long-standing subsidies and tariff disputes that sparked a trade war under the Trump administration. The two sides hope to reach an agreement by July.

Analysis: “In a world where the West is comparatively smaller and less economically dominant, Biden argues that allies who share the same vision of the world order should stay together,” said Steven Erlanger, our chief diplomatic correspondent. in Europe.

Yesterday, a Russian court designated Aleksei Navalny’s political opposition movement as extremist, sending a strong message to President Biden ahead of his meeting with President Vladimir Putin next Wednesday in Geneva: Russian internal affairs are not to be discussed.

Although Biden has vowed to push back against Putin’s violations of international standards, the Russian president has said that if he is ready to discuss cyberspace and geopolitics, he will not engage in discussions of how he is leading. his country.

Putin dismantled much of what remained of Russian political pluralism. Navalny, his main opponent, was arrested in January; thousands of Russians have been arrested during protests; opposition political leaders have been imprisoned or forced into exile; online news media have been labeled “foreign agents”; and social media networks have come under pressure from the government.

Effects: The court’s ruling is expected to push resistance to Putin further underground. Under the law, Navalny’s organizers, donors or even social media supporters could now be prosecuted and face prison terms.

For the many Germans who have yet to be vaccinated, the key to Covid freedom – hotel stays, eating inside, going to the gym – is a negative rapid test that lasts no more than 24 hours .

Sites across the country, including abandoned cafes and nightclubs, were quickly converted into 15,000 pop-up testing centers, as schools and daycares administer rapid antigen tests to children at least twice. per week. The testing system, which is funded by the government, aims to find potentially infectious people before they can spread the virus.

Early signs: “We are finding that the infection rate here is declining faster than in other countries that have similar vaccination figures,” said Ulf Dittmer, a virologist in the western city of Essen. “And I think part of it has to do with widespread testing.”

Here are the latest pandemic updates and maps.

In other developments:

  • The United States has reached an agreement to deliver 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to approximately 100 countries over the next two years.

  • France, where the coronavirus situation has improved in recent weeks, is entering its third phase of gradual reopening, in particular with the resumption of domestic service in bars, cafes and restaurants and the shifting of the curfew from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

  • A new outbreak in the southern province of Guangdong suggests that the lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing that are now part of Chinese life may continue for some time.

No city in America has experienced more death or economic devastation during the pandemic than New York. But the disparity in suffering between white New Yorkers and black and Latino New Yorkers revealed another, more intractable crisis: the ever-growing inequality that had come to define all aspects of life in the city.

Six months after its first coronavirus inoculation, New York City has another chance to remedy its long-term failures. But if another future is possible, it will start with what the city does with its real estate and its schools.

She’s an 18-year-old pop star with two hit singles and the biggest debut album of the year. She has performed at awards shows and has been praised by Taylor Swift. But less than a year ago, you probably never heard of Olivia Rodrigo.

Although Rodrigo grew up in entertainment, starring in a “High School Musical” spin-off on Disney +, she found mainstream fame in January with the release of her hit single, “Drivers License.” His album, “Sour”, was built on this momentum. It’s a burning rupture disc, co-written by Rodrigo, full of rage and generational angst. There are pop-punk songs reminiscent of Avril Lavigne and Paramore, and richly detailed lyrics inspired by Swift.

“It’s cranky, poppy, punk, bratty, funny, sweet, sad, and talks about the overwhelming feelings of being alive and being in unrequited love,” Scaachi Koul writes in BuzzFeed News.

Rodrigo’s popularity isn’t limited to Gen Z; older listeners (and critics) have embraced his music. Lindsay Zoladz, writing for NPR, says her teenage daughter was said to have been skeptical of Rodrigo’s Disney pedigree. But, she adds, “in the end, I have to think I would have been drawn to the ocean current of the subjectivity of her music, an extremely detailed and deeply felt maiden perspective.”

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about a rare bipartisan deal in the US Congress on a major industrial policy bill aimed at countering China.

Sanam Yar wrote Today’s Arts and Ideas. You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

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