Your Monday Briefing


    Your Monday Briefing

    After a long, slow start, vaccination rates across the 27 nations in the E.U. are rising, with an average of nearly three million doses of Covid-19 vaccines administered each day last week.

    The bloc’s vaccination campaign, marred by disruptions in supplies of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, pivoted last month to rely heavily on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The bloc is expected to soon announce a deal with Pfizer to lock in a further 1.8 billion doses for boosters, variants and children’s vaccines.

    In Germany, vaccines are helping to break a tough third wave. Daily rates of new infections have been dropping steadily since April 21, and more than 30 percent of the country’s population has now received an initial injection.

    Improvising to survive: Shops in Hamburg, Germany, have been pushed to the brink in the pandemic and face uncertainty about when they can return to something like normal.

    Across Kabul’s sprawling Dasht-e Barchi neighborhood, grieving families of the Hazara minority yesterday buried scores of daughters and sisters who died in a triple bombing on Saturday that targeted female students, killing more than 80 people.

    After the 2001 American invasion, the Hazaras were a minority that made the most of the country’s new educational and business opportunities, and they make up a large part of the country’s young technocrat generation. They have long been singled out for persecution by the Taliban and the Islamic State.

    Hazaras have grown increasingly angry at Afghanistan’s government, accusing it of standing by while they suffer horrific casualties in terrorist attacks. More than an hour after Saturday’s attack, it was difficult to spot a single member of the security forces in the school’s vicinity.

    A litany of attacks: “We haven’t committed any crimes, and now it’s happened to us again,” said one mourner. “Why do we deserve to die? The people who commit these crimes, they are the enemies of humanity.”

    Surging violence: At least 140 pro-government forces and 44 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in the past week, the highest weekly death toll since October.

    Israel’s highest court yesterday delayed up to 30 days a decision on whether to expel six Palestinian families from their homes in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, after the attorney general requested more time.

    Since the start of the month, the prospect of the evictions has prompted daily protests, arrests and confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli police and Jewish extremists. Many feared the hearing would set off a wave of unrest.

    For many Palestinians, the families’ plight has become emblematic of the expulsion of hundreds of others from homes in East Jerusalem, which many Palestinians consider a form of ethnic cleansing, some rights groups view as a form of apartheid and the U.N. says is a potential war crime.

    Jewish settlers, who consider the Palestinians squatters on land that was historically owned by Jews, said the court decision was a sign of government weakness.

    Ramifications: Though the Israeli government has argued that the case is a private real-estate dispute, the delay signaled that it had become a political and diplomatic liability for Israel — prompting a wave of outrage not just from Palestinians, but also from American politicians and European and Arab capitals.

    The son of Italy’s last king has tapped Vittoria di Savoia, his teenage granddaughter and a burgeoning Instagram influencer, above left, to eventually lead the House of Savoy, pretenders to Italy’s defunct throne.

    The announcement has precipitated bitter feelings, thrown punches, sparring noble committees and dukedom politics — despite the fact that there is no actual crown for the warring parties to fight over. “Never say never,” said her father, the self-styled Prince of Venice.

    In his new (unpaid) role as the spokesman for Switzerland Tourism, Switzerland’s most famous son shared some favorite destinations — and his love for chocolate. This is a lightly edited excerpt.

    Many tennis players live in Monte Carlo for the tax benefits, but you’ve stayed in Switzerland. And now you’re promoting Swiss tourism. Why?

    I feel like I’ve always represented Switzerland and I’ve done my fair share to be an ambassador for the country. But for me to do it in an official mission is a nice thing to do. It’s a good time for me to be able to step up to the plate and help the country as we’re hopefully going to open again soon.

    Can you give us a few off-the-beaten-path recommendations?

    Even in Zurich or Geneva, you drive 20, 30 minutes max and you are in the countryside. That’s the beauty of Switzerland.

    I love to walk through small villages where life is still normal. Small places where people are driving tractors and there is one baker, one church. The people in these places aren’t multitasking. They go about their days in a normal way. Someone shows up and they want to know, “Hey, what brought you here?” It’s very friendly, so you can always have a chat with people.

    When you come back to Switzerland from abroad, what are the Swiss dishes or treats you crave? And if that includes chocolate, are you more of a milk chocolate guy or a dark chocolate guy?

    I mean, chocolate, hello, you have to love chocolate if you’re Swiss. I used to be white, then I was milk, and now I even like going dark. I like it all. Then I like the Bündner Nusstorte, which is like a nut tart from the region of Graubünden. That’s beautiful. And then, of course, there’s rösti, a potato fritter dish.

    We have a dish called Zürcher Geschnetzeltes that’s like minced meat with a mushroom sauce, and I love to eat cordon bleu — that’s beautiful, too.

    Published at Mon, 10 May 2021 03:41:37 +0000

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