Your Friday Briefing – The New York Times
U.S. Booster Recommendations
A U.S. government advisory group has recommended booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine for adults over 65, for people aged 18 to 64 with underlying conditions, and for residents of the homes of long-term care, but refused to approve additional doses for workers who might have higher exposure at work.
The White House is expected to start promoting and rolling out a recall plan today, in line with the administration‘s intention to start offering the additional doses this week. In a recent poll, about three-quarters of Americans vaccinated said they would opt for a booster if the doses were available.
The boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were not up for debate in front of the panel. The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing data from a Moderna recall, but it has not received a request from Johnson & Johnson. Several experts have supported a mix-and-match strategy and have indicated that they will revisit the issue as new data emerges.
Analysis: For adults over 80, there is strong support for booster shots to prevent serious illness and hospitalization, our journalist Apoorva Mandavilli said. “They are at high risk and their immunity is not great at first and drops off quickly,” she said. It’s less clear to younger people, she added. âThere, the data does not show a decline yet. “
Boris Johnson’s captivating visit to the United States
Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, made headlines this week during a visit to the United States, telling the world to grow up and accept the challenge of climate change; mock France’s critical response to an undersea deal between the United States, Australia and Britain; and even dispel the lingering confusion over how many children he has (six).
Journalist turned politician, Johnson has long used humor, often at his expense, to make serious points. But it’s unclear to what extent this light-hearted style advances Britain’s post-Brexit position on the world stage. “The problem with being a comedic act is that you are then not taken seriously,” said a British observer. âThis is why we were not consulted on Afghanistan.
Britain has yet to make progress on a trade deal with the United States, one of Brexit’s main selling points. President Biden has also made it clear that he will oppose any British action threatening peace in Northern Ireland, such as his pledge to revise his post-Brexit trade deals there.
Underwater Alliance: The deal is a bright spot in transatlantic relations, making Britain a key US ally in the geopolitical conflict with China. But in France, the collapse of its own accord with Australia has raised questions about a possible mismatch between France’s view of its role in the world and its real power.
Biden’s foreign policy: Recent actions by the US president have sparked complaints that his approach echoes that of his predecessor.
A wave of defections from Boko Haram
No less than 7,000 fighters from the mysterious terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria, as well as members of their families, have defected since the death of the group’s leader. They have since been moved to a compound in Maiduguri, a town they once terrorized, and the surrounding area is afraid.
As weak as Boko Haram is, it does not necessarily mean that the militant threat has ended for the people of northeastern Nigeria. Fighters from a rival splinter group – the Islamic State of West Africa Province, or ISWAP – plunge into the void left by the organization, taking with them trucks loaded with military equipment.
Six former Boko Haram members spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity. Most described surrendering largely for practical reasons – because they were tired of living in the bush, for example, or because they felt they had a choice between giving up in government or going to ISWAP. , where they feared to be treated like slaves.
Defects: Although hundreds of Boko Haram members have already participated in Nigeria’s de-radicalization program, Operation Safe Corridor, never have thousands of people surrendered, as they are now.
First person: A former Boko Haram commander-in-chief described seeing Abubakar Shekau, the group’s longtime leader, self-explode when he was ambushed in his stronghold in Sambisa Forest. âIt was devastating,â he said. âSambisa was silent. Not even the sound of the flour mill. The whole place was in mourning.
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For the first time, a black composer at the Met
In 138 years, the Metropolitan Opera, the largest performing arts institution in the United States, has presented around 300 titles. None have been from a black composer – until now.
Closed for a year and a half due to the pandemic, the company will reopen on Monday with âFire Shut Up in My Bonesâ by Terence Blanchard, a jazz trumpeter and composer best known for composing Spike Lee films.
âThe Black Lives Matter movement has had a big impact, at a time when theaters and opera companies were under a microscope in terms of a sense of social responsibility,â Peter Gelb, Managing Director of The Met, told Zachary Woolfe, The Times’s classical music publisher. “It felt like it was important for the Met to respond.”
âThere’s a whole feeling of disbelief,â Blanchard recalls of his call with Gelb. âIs this really happening? Is that how it goes? Just that fast? I get a call and my opera is going to the Met? “
“Fire” is a shamelessly moving story of family issues, sexual abuse, self-discovery and self-acceptance, which echoes both Puccini and Bizet, though it recalls the expertly robust work of the mid-twentieth century by Robert Ward, Douglas Moore and Carlisle Floyd.
Learn more about opera here. And listen to other highlights of Blanchard’s work.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
Good corn soup is creamy and sweet; a best corn soup is spicy, refreshing and addicting. Don’t skimp on the toppings for extra warmth or crunch.