As cases surge, England prepares for “Freedom Day”
Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, strongly recommended that people keep wearing face masks in crowded, indoor spaces, even as he promised to remove most remaining virus-related restrictions in England next Monday.
“I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough,” he said. “This pandemic is not over. This disease, coronavirus, continues to carry risks for you and your family. We cannot simply revert instantly from Monday, 19 July, to life as it was before Covid.”
Despite the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, the government believes that Britain’s vaccination program has weakened the link between cases and hospital admissions. The government has argued that it is better to lift restrictions over the summer, when the virus tends to spread more slowly and schools are on vacation.
By the numbers: Britain is recording around 30,000 cases a day, a number that the health secretary, Sajid Javid, said could climb to 100,000 during the summer. “Whether we like it or not, coronavirus is not going away,” he said.
Haiti’s turmoil deepens
Haiti is feverishly searching for answers after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last week, while the public remains skeptical of official narratives. Here are live updates.
The police have arrested a Haitian-born doctor based in Florida, Christian Emmanuel Sanon. The national police chief indicated that he believed Sanon, 63, was plotting to assume the presidency, but offered no explanation for how the doctor could possibly have taken control of the government.
A university professor who met with the doctor said that he had spoken of being sent by God to take over the Haitian presidency. “He said the president would be resigning soon. He didn’t say why,” the professor, Michel Plancher, said. “He wanted to change French as an official language, and replace it with English. He seemed a bit crazy.”
Colombian connection: Haitian officials have also implicated at least 20 Colombians, describing them as centerpieces of a well-organized plan carried out by “foreign mercenaries.” Colombia is now investigating several trips that one of Moïse’s top security aides made to Bogotá in the months before the assassination.
Huge protests shake Cuba
The biggest protest movement in decades is sweeping Cuba, as thousands of citizens took to the streets on Sunday to protest power outages, food shortages and a worrying lack of medicine.
The island faces a dire economic crisis, as the coronavirus pandemic has cut off crucial tourism dollars. People wait in line for hours to buy food. Many have been unable to work, and families are growing desperate. The country, known for quashing dissent, has not experienced protests of this scale in nearly 30 years.
“I took to the streets because I’m tired of being hungry,” said Sara Naranjo, a demonstrator, in a video shared on Twitter. “I don’t have water, I don’t have anything,” she said. “You get bored, you get tired, we are going crazy.”
Cuban reaction: Cuba’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, blamed its longstanding economic problems to the American trade embargo, which cuts off its access to financing and imports.
U.S. reaction: President Biden called on the Cuban government to heed the demonstrators’ demands. “We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom,” he said in a statement. Democrats and Republicans alike spoke out in support of the demonstrations.
THE LATEST NEWS
Around the World
A treasure hunter in Poland has for the past 10 years used a metal detector to unearth relics of Europe’s bloody past, finding wreckage from Napoleon’s campaigns and World War II.
His most recent discovery — silver coins from the Viking era, above, minted by the medieval rulers of what is now France — has startled scholars and opened new questions about early trade and extortion.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Jane Goodall talks morality and hope
At 87, the primatologist, educator and activist Jane Goodall is staying hopeful and sharing reflections about ethics, political posturing and plodding on to make the world a better place.
Have you ever wondered if tapping into fear and anger might be useful in telling stories about the planet and conservation?
No. It’s one of my big complaints when I talk to the media: Yes, we absolutely need to know all the doom and gloom because we are approaching a crossroads, and if we don’t take action it could be too late. But traveling the world I’d see so many projects of restoration, animal and plant species being rescued from the brink of extinction, people tackling what seemed impossible and not giving up. Those are the stories that should have equal time, because they’re what gives people hope.
Are there ideas you have about conservation that you feel are too radical to express publicly?
Absolutely. I would never approach people about the crisis of billions of animals in the factory farms and say you’ve got to be vegan. People have to change gradually.
Are chimps capable of evil?
This is a very interesting philosophical conversation, and I’ve thought about it a lot. My definition is that only humans can be evil. Chimpanzees can be brutal, violent, aggressive. But my definition of evil, it’s when you can plan attacks on those who aren’t there and then carry them out in cold blood. Chimps don’t plan like that.
Read her interview with my colleague David Marchese here.