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Your Thursday Briefing

The West African nation of Ghana acquired the primary main cargo of Covid-19 vaccines beneath a worldwide sharing program aimed toward making vaccine entry extra equal. Ghana and different West African nations will start vaccinations within the coming days, officers stated.

This system, known as Covax, has a objective of delivering two billion free doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income nations this yr, which officers stated would make it the biggest vaccine procurement and provide operation in historical past.

Context: Many public well being officers have criticized the unequal distribution of vaccines as rich nations have purchased up tens of thousands and thousands of doses for his or her populations. At the very least 44.5 million Individuals, as an example, have already acquired a shot. The Ghana cargo of 600,000 doses covers simply 1 p.c of the inhabitants.

President Emmanuel Macron of France has known as for Europe and the U.S. to ship as much as 5 p.c of their vaccine provides to creating nations. The doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine despatched to Ghana had been produced by the Serum Institute of India.

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

In different developments:

  • Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine supplies sturdy safety in opposition to extreme illness and loss of life from Covid-19, and will scale back the unfold of the virus by those that have been vaccinated, in response to new analyses by the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration, which might authorize the vaccine within the U.S. as early as Saturday.

  • Deaths in Japan fell for the primary time in additional than a decade, a jarring distinction to the large tolls suffered by many nations. Information means that measures taken to manage the virus might have additionally curbed the unfold of different diseases.

  • Israel has pledged to offer spare coronavirus vaccines to some international allies, reigniting a debate about its obligations to Palestinians dwelling beneath its occupation.

New curriculum tips unveiled by Hong Kong’s authorities have an formidable intention: to make use of historical past to instill within the metropolis’s youngest residents a deep affinity for and loyalty to mainland China.

The brand new lesson plans are a part of an unlimited marketing campaign to show future generations a curated lesson about Hong Kong’s previous. The hassle by the federal government additionally features a $100 million undertaking to write down a 66-volume chronicle of the town.

Critics say the brand new curriculum tips are a deceptive and dystopian marketing campaign to form younger minds and switch historical past into pro-China propaganda.

Context: When antigovernment protests swept Hong Kong in 2019, pro-Beijing officers blamed the training system for selling liberal values. Since then, Beijing has imposed a strict set of restrictions on the town in its efforts to quash dissent.

Syria’s financial meltdown has hobbled the reconstruction of destroyed cities, impoverished the inhabitants and left many struggling to get sufficient meals. And President Bashar al-Assad has supplied few options.

In a personal assembly with Syrian journalists final month, Mr. al-Assad blamed a spread of forces for Syria’s woes, together with world capitalism and “brainwashing” by social media. However he supplied no concrete steps to stem the disaster.

Because the 10-year anniversary of Syria’s civil battle looms, the economic system is worse than at any time because the battle started. The assembly supplied a uncommon, unvarnished have a look at a frontrunner who appeared out of contact.

Associated: A German courtroom convicted a former officer within the Syrian secret police of aiding and abetting crimes in opposition to humanity, in a case hailed as a landmark by rights teams.

The worldwide marketplace for Japanese anime reached an estimated $24 billion by 2019, and the pandemic has solely elevated demand. However lots of the staff who assist create the exhibits make as little as $200 a month, and beneath grueling working circumstances. Above, Tokyo’s Akihabara district, a middle of anime tradition.

Studios pays low wages as a result of there are such a lot of younger individuals enthusiastic about anime who need to work within the enterprise. “There are a whole lot of artists on the market who’re superb,” stated a translator who works within the business, so the studios “have a whole lot of cannon fodder.”

Tiger Woods: The golfer was “awake, responsive and recovering” after surgical procedure for accidents to his proper leg sustained in a single-car crash. He was stated to have been driving at a “better velocity than regular” when the crash occurred.

China girls: A divorce courtroom ordered a person to pay his spouse greater than $7,700 in compensation for the house responsibilities she did throughout their marriage. The landmark determination prompted a fierce debate, with many saying the sum was insufficient.

Australia: A lady filed a proper police report in opposition to a former authorities worker who she stated raped her in 2019. Since she went public, three different girls have come ahead about the identical man.

Israel: A memoir by the daughter of Amos Oz, one in all Israel’s most celebrated authors, who died in 2018, has shocked the nation with allegations of bodily and emotional abuse. Different relations have defended him.

From Opinion: Our video workforce was capable of produce a brief movie from inside a Covid-19 ward in Arizona, because of nurses who wore physique cameras and who spoke candidly concerning the trauma and burnout of battling the pandemic.

Snapshot: Above, Pete Lee, a filmmaker, directs a shoot in Texas over Zoom whereas in quarantine in Taipei, Taiwan. He’s one in all many air vacationers all over the world who’ve discovered themselves enduring mundane lodge quarantines due to authorities restrictions.

What we’re studying: The Polk Awards, the celebrated journalism honors, introduced its winners, which had been dominated by work concerning the pandemic. You possibly can learn a few of the profitable tales right here.

Cook dinner: This simple, crispy fried rice will get a whole lot of its brawny richness from only a small quantity of bacon, whereas the cabbage lends sweetness.

Learn:Klara and the Solar,” Kazuo Ishiguro’s eighth novel, is narrated by Klara, a humanoid machine who has come to behave as a companion for 14-year-old Josie.

Do: Train vs. weight-reduction plan? A brand new examine finds that what we eat could also be extra essential than how a lot we transfer in terms of preventing weight problems.

We might help you unwind. At Dwelling has our full assortment of concepts on what to learn, cook dinner, watch, and do whereas staying protected at residence.

By many measures, Unhealthy Bunny, the Puerto Rican reggaeton performer, is the world’s greatest pop star. And he’s half of a bigger shift: the diversification of pop stardom. A realm that’s traditionally been dominated by English-speaking acts — just like the Beatles, Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey — not is.

“A rising variety of the most important pop stars on the earth are from exterior the normal capitals of the continental U.S. and U.Okay.,” Lucas Shaw of Bloomberg writes. Based on Bloomberg’s most up-to-date Pop Star Energy rankings — based mostly on album gross sales, digital streams, YouTube views and extra — 5 of the 25 greatest present pop stars are from Puerto Rico. One other seven are from Colombia, India or South Korea. YouTube is one other place the place English-speaking acts are shedding their dominance, as Tim Ingham writes in Rolling Stone.

Partly, the pattern displays the world recognition of Latin music like reggaeton, and of Korean music, notably Okay-pop. The band BTS, for instance, held a two-day on-line live performance occasion in October that offered almost 1,000,000 tickets throughout nearly 200 nations, Selection reported.

The pattern additionally displays the expansion of the world’s client markets, like India’s. Once we checked the YouTube rating yesterday, six of the high 10 artists on YouTube’s world charts had been from India; the others had been from Puerto Rico, Colombia or South Korea.

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

— Jillian

To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the information. Sanam Yar wrote the Again Story. You possibly can attain the workforce at briefing@nytimes.com.

• We’re listening to “The Every day.” Our newest episode is the second of two episodes on Covid in New York’s nursing properties.
• Right here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Wild celebration, slangily (5 letters). You’ll find all our puzzles right here.
• High executives at The Occasions are calling for extra office range following a report based mostly on interviews with greater than 400 workers.

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