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Your Thursday Briefing


When many international locations closed their borders because the coronavirus exploded early this yr, a whole bunch of 1000’s of seafarers on ships around the world suddenly had no way home.

For cargo ships, the method often known as crew change — by which seamen are changed by new ones when their contracts expire — floor almost to a halt.

A number of months later, there’s no answer in sight. In June, the United Nations known as the state of affairs a “growing humanitarian and safety crisis.” Many within the transport trade worry that the stress and exhaustion will result in accidents, maybe disastrous ones.

Some crew members have begun refusing to work, forcing ships to remain in port.

Particulars: Final month, the Worldwide Transport Staff’ Federation, a seafarers’ union, estimated that 300,000 of the 1.2 million crew members at sea have been basically stranded, working previous the expiration of their authentic contracts and combating isolation, uncertainty and fatigue.

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

In different developments:

  • France’s prime minister, Jean Castex, is self-isolating after the director of the Tour de France, whom he’d been involved with, examined constructive.

  • India plans to open school rooms for highschool college students on a voluntary foundation, and solely with their dad and mom’ approval, beginning Sept. 21. The overwhelming majority will proceed to review on-line.

  • U.S. schools which have reopened for in-person instruction are struggling to include the unfold of the virus, and consultants say insurance policies have damaged down in ways in which may put students and staff at risk.

  • An early lockdown spared the Italian island of Sardinia in spring, however jet-setters — together with the now-infected former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi — flocked there this summer time, turning nightclubs into petri dishes and the island right into a scorching spot.

Late final yr, a brand new safety officer on the port of Beirut peered inside a damaged door and a gap within the wall of a storage hangar and made a daunting discovery.

1000’s of tons of ammonium nitrate, a compound utilized in explosives, was spilling from torn luggage. There have been additionally jugs of oil, kerosene and hydrochloric acid; 5 miles of fuse on wood spools; and 15 tons of fireworks — briefly, each ingredient wanted to assemble a devastating bomb.

He warned his supervisors. However, it turned out, a number of Lebanese officers already knew.

Months later, an explosion tore via Beirut. The blast killed greater than 190 individuals, injured 6,000 and brought on billions of {dollars} in injury.

A staff of reporters tracked what led to the Aug. 4 explosion, conducting dozens of interviews with port, customs and safety officers, transport brokers and different maritime commerce professionals. They obtained beforehand undisclosed paperwork and unique images from contained in the hangar. And so they analyzed high-definition video.

Findings: Bribery and graft have been commonplace on the port. Its operations are guided by a committee linked to Lebanon’s most important political events, enabling officers to make use of the port as a clearinghouse for illicit items. The dysfunction allowed the harmful supplies to take a seat within the hangar for years.

President Trump acknowledged to the journalist Bob Woodward that he had knowingly played down the coronavirus earlier this yr although he was conscious it was “lethal” and vastly extra severe than the seasonal flu.

“That is lethal stuff,” Mr. Trump mentioned on Feb. 7 in certainly one of a collection of interviews Mr. Woodward — a Pulitzer Prize-winner who has lined inside tales in Washington for the reason that Seventies — performed with the president for a e book, “Rage,” due out on Sept. 15.

It was a vastly totally different story than Mr. Trump was telling the general public. He claimed early on that the virus would disappear, predicting in February that “when it will get a bit of hotter, it miraculously goes away.”

“I wished to all the time play it down,” Mr. Trump advised Mr. Woodward on March 19. “I nonetheless like taking part in it down, as a result of I don’t wish to create a panic.”

Particulars: The Washington Submit and CNN obtained the e book, which is predicated partly on 18 on-the-record interviews between December 2019 and July 2020, earlier than launch. Each publications launched recordings of interviews.

In different administration information: A whistle-blower filed a grievance alleging that prime officers with the Division of Homeland Safety directed company analysts to downplay the threat of violent white supremacy and of Russian election interference.

Whereas the main sports activities leagues within the U.S. and Europe are taking part in largely earlier than empty stands or cardboard cutouts, followers in Japan have been attending video games since early July. However they’ve been requested to curb their enthusiasm to maintain the coronavirus in examine, and as with different containment measures in that nation, most individuals have been complying.

Our Tokyo bureau chief went to an FC Tokyo soccer sport and found the spectators to be scrupulously quiet — apart from an occasional crinkle of a meals wrapper or a spontaneous burst of applause.

Greece refugee camp hearth: A quick-moving hearth destroyed most of Europe’s largest refugee camp, on the Greek island of Lesbos, leaving most of its 12,000 residents homeless simply days after they have been collectively quarantined due to a coronavirus outbreak. No deaths have been initially reported.

Australia shark assault: Regardless of protecting “shark nets” and drumlines offshore, a 46-year-old surfer died in the first fatal shark attack in 62 years on Greenmount Seashore on the Gold Coast.

Boeing: The U.S. aviation large mentioned Tuesday that it expected deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner to be delayed because it and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration look into quality-control issues with the wide-body jet. The aircraft’s relative gasoline effectivity has made it common with All Nippon Airways, United Airways, Japan Airways, American Airways, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Air Canada.

Snapshot: Above, a person in Indonesia mendacity in a coffin final week as punishment for violating masks guidelines. Coronavirus circumstances within the nation have surged previous 200,000. The novel penalty, inflicted on a number of individuals in East Jakarta, was halted after critics identified that onlookers have been violating social distancing guidelines.

What we’re listening to: The ESPN podcast “Bloodlines.” Taffy Brodesser-Akner, a Instances Journal author, says, “I misplaced the weekend listening to Wright Thompson’s glorious new podcast concerning the plague of horse deaths — 49 in only one yr — at Santa Anita.”

Learn: Be taught concerning the historical past of cash in a fast-paced, chatty new book by Jacob Goldstein, the host of the NPR podcast “Planet Cash.”

Hear: Songs by Ava Max, Tough, Invoice Callahan and SZA are on our pop critics’ playlist this week.

We’ve extra concepts on diversions and recipes in our At Home collection.

As visitors picks up once more, on the streets and underground, The Instances talked to experts for the best strategies to stay safe while commuting and making important journeys. Right here’s a few of their recommendation:

1. Select your methodology properly. Keep in mind how lengthy you’ll be ready to your chosen vessel to reach and if the station is inside or outdoors. If you happen to’re driving the bus, attempt to sit close to a window, and preserve it open. Go for the escalator or stairs over the elevator, when you can.

2. Keep away from touching communal surfaces. Wash your palms earlier than you permit the home and once more upon reaching your vacation spot. And use sanitizer ceaselessly.

Avoid subway poles and rails to the ferry deck or onto the bus. Don’t contact the turnstile as you progress via it; keep away from contact screens, keypads and elevator buttons. Make contactless funds in the event that they’re supplied, and skip paper tickets.

3. Observe any new instructions. Pay attention to the decals on the ground and indicators you might even see shepherding you thru the station, an effort by some operators to scale back the variety of individuals crossing paths and reduce crowding. If you happen to’re boarding the bus, enter from the rear, to keep away from shedding respiratory droplets on the motive force and different passengers. And when you’re driving onto a ferry, stay in your automobile all through your journey.

4. Don’t eat onboard. Consuming can carry particles from a floor to your face. Apart from, you’d need to take off your masks. Keep away from in depth conversations, too; speaking, and singing, sprays aerosolized droplets that may carry virus particles.

5. Be strategic about your timing. Attempt to keep away from peak commuting hours. In case your employer will permit for extra versatile hours, you’ll be able to circumvent, and never contribute to, the rush-hour crush.

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

— Melina

To Melissa Clark for the recipe, and to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the remainder of the break from the information. You’ll be able to attain the staff at briefing@nytimes.com.

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