2021-02-19 03:41:51 | Your Friday Briefing – The New York Times

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Story by: Natasha Frost The New York Times World News

Israel’s government and business initiatives are moving in the direction of a two-tier system for the vaccinated and unvaccinated, raising legal, moral and ethical questions.

Under a new “green badge” system, starting Sunday, the government is making leisure activities accessible only to people who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus. Customers and attendees will have to carry a certificate of vaccination with a QR code.

Nearly half of Israel’s population of nine million has received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and more than 2.6 million people have gotten second doses. But about two million eligible citizens age 16 or over have not sought vaccines, despite food-based incentives like candy and the stew cholent. The average number of new daily infections is hovering around 4,000.

Quote: “Getting vaccinated is a moral duty,” said the health minister, Yuli Edelstein. “It is part of our mutual responsibility.” He also has a new mantra: “Whoever does not get vaccinated will be left behind.”

In its most ambitious effort in decades to directly study whether there was ever life on the red planet, NASA landed a new robotic rover on Mars on Thursday, nearly seven months after the rover left Earth.

While the agency has landed other missions on Mars, the $2.7 billion robotic explorer named Perseverance carries a sophisticated set of scientific tools that will bring advanced capabilities to the search for life beyond our planet. It was the third robotic visitor from Earth to arrive at Mars this month. Last week, two other spacecraft, Hope from the United Arab Emirates and Tianwen-1 from China, entered orbit around Mars.

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Perseverance’s destination on the planet is Jezero Crater, where it will explore the delta of a river that once flowed into a lake that filled the crater. The piles of sediments are a promising place where the fossil chemical signatures of ancient Martian microbes might still be preserved today.

On La Gomera, one of the Canary Islands, a whistled language called Silbo Gomero that dates back centuries is still in use thanks to mandatory classes for schoolchildren, like Arantxa Cifuentes Gutiérrez, above, and a community that acts as a guardian to the language.

One such whistler, Antonio Márquez Navarro, is proud of what he calls “the poetry of my island.” And, he adds: “Like poetry, whistling does not need to be useful in order to be special and beautiful.”

U.S. immigration: President Biden’s allies introduced an immigration overhaul in Congress on Thursday that would provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented Americans.

Belarus dissent: Two young journalists were sentenced to two years in prison for reporting via video stream from a demonstration against President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s rule, the latest episode in a campaign to silence all forms of opposition.

International relations: Mr. Biden’s plan to link arms with Europe against Russia and China is complicated by a European desire for a more balanced relationship, as the bloc seeks to chart its own course in ways that do not necessarily align with Mr. Biden’s goals.

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Before the pandemic, I normally called chefs after I’d written a review of their restaurant but before it was published, to check facts. The chefs usually sounded as if I were calling with the results of a lab test.

The conversations I had last spring were different. They talked about going bankrupt, they talked about crying and not wanting to get out of bed. What did they have left to lose by talking to me?

By June, the crisis had settled into a kind of desperate stability. On the day outdoor dining began, I rode my bike into Manhattan to have lunch at the first open restaurant I could find. I was as thrilled to eat someone else’s cooking as I was to do something that resembled my old job.

It still took a few weeks before I wrote any reviews. At first, I worried that any opinion of mine would be unfair when restaurants were trying so hard to adapt to the new reality. Eventually, I understood that was exactly what would make the reviews worth writing. Good food in a pandemic was great; great food seemed like a miracle, and I was finding great food all around.


That’s it for this briefing. Have a fabulous weekend.

— Natasha


Thank you
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about Paul Rusesabagina, the “Hotel Rwanda” hero who is now accused of terrorism.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Beats me!” (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Kathleen Kingsbury, our Opinion editor, spoke with Nieman Lab about reimagining opinion journalism.

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Source References: The New York Times World News

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