Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times
EU proposals on climate change
Europe plans to move away from fossil fuels, with an ambitious fleet of new policies that would include phasing out sales of new gasoline and diesel cars, increasing the price of fossil fuel use and taxing tariffs on countries with more flexible climate rules – potentially setting trade disputes with the United States and China.
If all goes well, airlines and freighters will need cleaner fuels. Steelmakers and other manufacturers will have to pay more for emissions credits. Power producers will be pushed to accelerate the switch to wind, solar and hydropower instead of coal.
The move is a big step towards the global goal of achieving a carbon neutral economy by 2050. But it is only the start of what will be a deadly two-year negotiation between industries, countries and the world. European Parliament.
New taxes: The border carbon tax, as it is called, would be the first of its kind. Here is how it would work. In the United States, Democrats hope to impose a similar tax on imports from countries without aggressive climate policies.
Macron’s turnaround on vaccinations
Responding to an increase in cases of the highly contagious Delta variant, President Emmanuel Macron issued a stern warning on Monday: the lives of unvaccinated French people will quickly become miserable.
As of August 1, people without a ‘health pass’ showing they have been vaccinated or have recently tested negative for Covid-19 will not be admitted to restaurants, cafes or cinemas, and they will not be able to browse through long distances by train, the president said.
Over the next 48 hours, more than 2.2 million people signed up for photos. These remarks are an about-face compared to Macron’s April declaration that such a health pass “would never be an entry fee that differentiates the French”.
Analysis: “” If you want to be free and responsible, you vaccinate – your choice and your consequences. ” That was the president’s message, ”said Jacques Rupnik, political scientist. “The risk, however, is that of a two-tiered, or two-tiered society.”
A widening chasm: Data from a number of countries, particularly Britain, suggests that the spread of the virus will place vaccinated and unvaccinated communities on very different pathways as the Delta variant accelerates.
Here are the latest pandemic updates and maps.
In other developments:
Drug overdose deaths in the United States jumped nearly 30% last year as the pandemic disrupted treatment and increased isolation.
New cases of the coronavirus in the Netherlands soared by more than 500% last week. The country’s Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, apologized for lifting the restrictions too hastily.
Masks will remain mandatory on London’s public transport systems, even if England lifts the restrictions.
New York’s test positivity rate recently doubled to about 1.3% on average.
Uncertainty in Afghanistan
The Taliban are exerting strategic pressure on provincial capitals as they seek to tighten the noose around the capital, Kabul, by stitching up the countryside, cutting off the road network and squeezing the increasingly weakened central government.
In the northern town of Kunduz, vendors take cover during the daily firefight between the Taliban and government forces, reopening their stalls when the air clears. “It’s a permanent war,” said Mustafa Turkmen, a carpet seller. “No one can come here, and no one can leave. Every night when I wake up I hear gunshots.
Dozens of civilians have been killed and injured, and up to 70 arrive at Kunduz regional hospital every day, the hospital director said. Over 35,000 residents of Kunduz and surrounding areas were forced to leave their homes, UN says
Elsewhere: In Helmand province, council members warned that the capital, Lashkar Gah, was on the verge of collapse. On Wednesday, the Taliban said it had captured a major border crossing with Pakistan, the fourth it had seized in less than a month.
“Operation Refuge of the Allies”: The Biden administration will begin evacuating Afghans who aided the United States in the 20 Years War and who may face revenge attacks from the Taliban.
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“I have no problem with my outlook,” says filmmaker James Robinson in this moving video essay for our Opinion on Life with a Number of Unusual Eye Problems section. “My only problem is the way I am perceived.
The dark side of chess
Grandmaster is the highest title a chess player can achieve, a title even the brightest stars take years to earn. Players must do very well in tournaments and achieve a set of benchmarks, called standards, at qualifying events.
Since 1950, nearly 2,000 players have become grand masters. But only the top 30 can hope to build a lasting career out of chess. Thus, some young players, and their often obsessive parents, set their sights on a new goal: the title of youngest grandmaster.
It can open “a door to world fame, corporate sponsorships and invitations to the biggest tournaments,” write Ivan Nechepurenko and Misha Friedman in The Times.
But becoming a Grandmaster can involve more than just winning. Many players have side deals with organizers and other top contenders. “If I went to the effort, I think I could get a grandmaster title for my dog,” said Nigel Short, vice president of the chess governing body.