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Your Monday briefing

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Hello.

We cover Israel reopening for vaccinated residents, a deadly explosion in Equatorial Guinea and eagerly awaited by Oprah interview with Harry and Meghan.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enjoyed a cappuccino and cake on the terrace of a Jerusalem cafe on Sunday to signal the widest reopening of the Israeli economy since the first coronavirus lockdown began a year ago. Some 55 percent of the population received one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and more than 41 percent received two doses.

As part of Israel’s “Back to Life” program, restaurants have reopened with social distancing and occupancy restrictions. Indoor seating is only available to Green Pass holders – people over 16 years of age fully vaccinated.

After weeks of strict entry restrictions, all citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to re-enter Israel, with a cap that will drop during the week from 1,000 to 3,000 people per day.

here are the latest updates and Plans of the pandemic.

In other developments:


In one of the most anticipated interviews of recent times, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry presented their side of a sensational royal breakup to Oprah Winfrey. The interview, which airs Sunday night on CBS in the United States, will air Monday on ITV in Britain.

A year after their fairytale wedding, Meghan said, her life as a member of the British royal family had become so emotionally unbearable that she considered suicide. “I was ashamed to have to admit it to Harry,” Meghan said of her suicidal thoughts. “I knew if I didn’t say it, I would. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.

Among the disclosures:


A series of explosions attributed to mismanaged explosives at a military base rocked the city of Bata in the Central African nation of Equatorial Guinea on Sunday, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 500, authorities said.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said the fires in the farms next to the military barracks detonated dynamite and other ammunition stored there. He blamed the “carelessness and recklessness” of the explosives unit for the disaster. The country’s Ministry of Health and Welfare declared a health emergency and said many were still missing under the rubble.

Footage: Video from the city captured scenes of people digging for the victims, as thick smoke floated over the debris-strewn landscape. Others fled into the streets, some with suitcases and children in their hands under dark skies.

Around the world, the pandemic has closed borders, halted air travel and emptied tourist destinations. Parisian restaurants have moved from crème fraîche to healthy take-out, while Singapore’s iconic Changi Airport, above, has decided to focus on its one market: Singapore residents. Hong Kong people have also become tourists in their own backyards. We watch how six places dependent on tourism have adapted.

Although the absence of tourists has seen animals such as sea turtles and elephants return to places where they had long been extinct, the loss of tourism income has led to cuts in conservation budgets, resulting in increased poaching and illegal fishing in some areas.

Detention in Tehran: House arrest orders have been lifted for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Anglo-Iranian woman detained in Tehran since 2016, but faces new charges and her return to London remains uncertain.

Microsoft hacking: The company said that U.S. businesses and government agencies that use a Microsoft email service have been compromised in an aggressive hacking campaign presumably sponsored by the Chinese government. The number of victims is estimated at tens of thousands and could increase.

Director of “Nomadland”: Days after Chloe Zhao won a Golden Globe for the acclaimed film, she faces backlash in China on her past remarks about the country where she was born. References to the film’s scheduled April 23 release in China have been removed from prominent movie websites.

Kosovo: Women are gaining greater political representation in Kosovo, raising hopes for greater equality in a country still living with the scars of the war against Serbian rule in the 1990s. The final results of the February 14 elections have shown that women won more seats in Parliament than ever – almost 40 percent of the total.

Instantaneous: Above, a protest in Bern, Switzerland on Sunday, shortly after the country approved an initiative to ban full face coverings in public places, banning veils worn by some Muslim women. The Swiss Central Council of Muslims called the result a “dark day” for Muslims.

Floating boat: A viral image of an apparently flying ship, suspended above the horizon off the southwest coast of England, is an example of a very unusual optical illusion which deceives both the cameras and the human eye.

What we listen to: The clicking and crackling of the music produced by ice instruments, highlighted in this National Geographic article.

Start your week with your best foot forward. At Home has our full collection of ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do inside.

When the coronavirus pandemic engulfed New York City, the park offered a view of normal life to book reviewer Michiko Kakutani, who wandered it daily. She wrote on New Yorkers’ renewed love affair with Central Park. Here is an exerpt.

Central Park has long provided a haven from the anxieties and stresses of everyday life, perhaps never more than during the siege of the coronavirus and four long years of increasingly toxic politics. New Yorkers who visited the park daily, as well as those who had long taken it for granted, felt a renewed love for this amazing rectangle of green in the heart of the big city.

By the 21st century, with some 40 million visitors per year, Central Park had become the third most popular tourist attraction in the world. At the start of the pandemic, when residents from outside left the city, New Yorkers lucky enough to live within walking distance of it suddenly felt like they had this Edenic retreat to themselves. .

Even when people started to use the subway again to travel between boroughs, Central Park continued to feel like a neighborhood park. Unable to go to their desks or the gym, people began to use Sheep Meadow and Great Lawn as multipurpose backyards.

The musicians at the park – like the Bethesda Terrace guitarist who answered the requests – played a lot of classics like “What a Wonderful World” and “Yesterday” which seemed to take on new intensity during Covid.

During the pandemic, just being in vague proximity with other people in Central Park gave us a sense of community – the feeling that we were all together and that together we would persevere in some way. another.


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

– Natasha


Thank you
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the break in the news. You can join the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

PS
• We’re listening “The Daily.“Our latest episode is the first in a two-part series on President Biden’s approach to Saudi Arabia.
• Here is our Mini crossword, and a clue: Highbrow person (four letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The Times has a new team that will expand our live coverage, including Andrea Kannapell, editor-in-chief of Global Briefings, including this one, since their inception.


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