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Good night. Here is the last one.
1. The United States will restrict travel India in light of the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country and the spread of multiple variants.
The order goes into effect Tuesday but will not apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. India set another world record on Friday with nearly 383,000 new infections, bringing the number of coronavirus cases worldwide to more than 150 million. Above, a crematorium in Bangalore today.
As the US Air Force delivered the first shipments of oxygen cylinders, test kits, masks and other emergency supplies, several Indian states said they could not expand vaccinations to all adults as expected on Saturday as they ran out of doses. Only a small part of the country has been vaccinated so far.
2. The situation in the United States is very different: More than 100 million Americans have now been fully immunized, nearly 40% of adults in the country.
The 100 million mark is almost double what the nation had recorded at the end of March. The federal government also shipped its 300 millionth dose this week, the White House said.
But as the pace of vaccinations slows, the United States is now entering a critical phase that will focus on reaching those who have not yet been vaccinated. Resistance is widespread in white Republican communities like the one we visited in northeast Tennessee. Instead, some have chosen to go to herbal stores, like the one above.
But it’s much more complicated than just a partisan split – the most common reason for apprehension is fear. “I just think we got pushed around,” said one man.
3. Economic relations of the United States and Europe paint very different recovery pictures.
Europe provided less relief and found itself in a so-called double-dip recession in the first three months of the year. The euro area economy contracted by 0.6%. This report came a day after the United States revealed that its economy grew 1.6% during the same period after a substantial recovery. Above, Milan last month.
The lesson, writes our global economic correspondent, is that “with vaccines, it pays to free up huge sums of public money in the face of a health crisis that destroys livelihoods”.
4. Israel mourned the 45 people trampled to death during a pilgrimage like questions were raised about poor planning and possible neglect.
Up to 100,000 people were crowded into the mountainside in northern Israel to celebrate an ultra-Orthodox holiday. For more than a decade, there have been concerns and warnings that the Mount Meron religious site was not equipped to accommodate so many pilgrims.
Thursday’s festivities turned to horror about an hour after midnight, when dozens of adults and children were crushed and suffocated in a crowded and narrow passage that turned into a death trap, witnesses said. Four Americans were killed.
5. Florida Legislature Passes an election bill that drastically limits postal votes, the latest Republican effort to restrict voting after the 2020 election.
The bill, which Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign, will make Florida the first big swing state won by Donald Trump to pass such a law. Florida Republicans have argued its election needs to be safer, even though voting went smoothly in 2020. Critics say the measures will disproportionately affect voters of color.
Florida has a strong tradition of postal voting, which Republicans took advantage of in the 2016 and 2018 elections. But in 2020, the tides have changed, with more Democrats voting by mail, in large part due to a surge. Democrat voting remotely during the pandemic and Trump’s mock attacks on the practice.
6. What the desks will look like like after the pandemic? Google has a few ideas. Think Ikea meets Legos.
The company that has helped popularize open plans and employee benefits is trying to reinvent office spaces to deal with workplace sensitivities altered by the pandemic. This includes robots that deploy cellophane balloon walls for privacy and outdoor meeting tents, above.
“The future of work we thought would be 10 years from now,” said one designer, “Covid has brought us to that future now.”
Small towns and states are capitalizing on the new era of remote working. They provide money, housing, and other perks – including a free bicycle – to workers who can get around.
7. A corner kick, two 7-Elevens and a grudge match in Japan.
Mitoshi Matsumoto ran a 7-Eleven in Osaka until the chain revoked his contract after daring to shorten his operating hours. Fed up with a court battle with no end in sight, the company built a second store in Mr. Matsumoto’s former parking lot.
7-Eleven went to great lengths against Mr. Matsumoto, hiring private investigators and compiling a file of complaints against him, including one for a failed gift of “memorial mayonnaise”. The resolution of the conflict could have profound implications for tens of thousands of franchise stores across Japan, which are part of a network of convenience stores that the government considers vital to national infrastructure in the event of an emergency.
8. And let’s go for the races!
The 147th Kentucky Derby, the oldest continuously staged sporting event in the United States, returns to its annual May race at Churchill Downs tomorrow, albeit with limited attendance. The message time is 6:57 p.m. EST.
Essential Quality, which is owned by controversial Dubai ruler Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is the 2-1 favorite in the morning line. Kendrick Carmouche, who will drive Bourbonic, will try to become the first black jockey in 119 years to win the Derby.
Here are our expert picks for who will win (and a julep mint recipe).
In the football news: Quarterbacks dominated the opening round of the NFL Draft, and tonight expect to see defensive players added to the mix.
9. Autumn is for leaf viewing like spring for waterfall viewing.
Across the United States, a magnificent array of waterfalls await nature lovers, from thundering dives to delicate trickles. Now is the perfect time to admire them, when the snowmelt and spring rains add to the drama. From New York to Washington State, here’s a spring guide to enjoying the majesty. Above, Arethusa Falls in New Hampshire.
While you’re on the go, take a moment to enjoy the spring wildflower season. Whether you plan to transplant flowers like trillium or violets, or simply admire them in the garden or on a guided walk in a reserve, “knowing the life history of these flowers enriches the experience”, writes Margaret Roach, our garden specialist. She explains what to look for in her latest column.
10. And finally, on the road with Ziggy, Polly and Tucker.
Many long-distance truckers, who are sometimes months away from home, bring companions. Dogs, cats, birds, pigs, even a hedgehog and a monkey have arrived at truck stops across the United States. Above, Ziggy, a blue heel, receives treats.
Most companies don’t complain about pets on the road, and some even encourage them, as happier drivers are more likely to stick around. Frank Wehmeyer and his two dogs have traveled to all 48 lower states, as well as Alaska and Canada. Sarah Giles, who travels with a pair of dogs and a green parakeet named Bonnie, said, “A little boost of happiness gets you through” the long haul.
Hope your weekend is full of camaraderie.