Your Friday Briefing – The New York Times


Hello. We’re covering a big test for President Biden’s agenda, the EU’s latest pandemic challenge, and Lithuania’s spitting contest with China.

President Biden signed a short-term spending bill to fund the U.S. government until early December and avoid an impending shutdown.

The extension gave lawmakers more time to reach consensus on the dozen annual bills that dictate federal spending, but the future of Biden’s national agenda was still on the line.

Late Thursday night, Democrats in the House of Representatives delayed voting on a bipartisan $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill, a setback for a crucial part of Biden’s economic agenda. The Liberal Democrats had threatened to block it without substantial progress towards passing a $ 3.5 trillion climate and social policy bill.

This broader legislation is met with strong resistance from party moderates. One of the biggest hurdles, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, on Thursday announced for the first time that he would only support $ 1.5 trillion in funding for the social safety net.

The debt ceiling: On Thursday night, the Senate took its first procedural step to raise the debt ceiling, creating another partisan clash. Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury, told Congress the deadline is Oct. 18 and inaction would risk a first default on federal debt.

According to a new report from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, European countries with insufficient vaccine coverage could be in serious difficulty if they ease restrictions related to Covid-19 in the coming weeks.

So far, only three of the bloc’s 27 member countries have fully immunized more than 75% of their residents, according to agency data. Just over 62% of the bloc’s total population is fully vaccinated, and eastern countries like Romania and Bulgaria are far behind the wealthier countries in the west.

This level of vaccine coverage will not be enough to prevent outbreaks when pandemic restrictions are relaxed, the agency warned, especially now that the Delta variant is the dominant strain in the block.

Schools: Most of the children in the block have returned to school in person, and no coronavirus vaccine is yet allowed for children under 12. For this reason, it is particularly important that the education system puts in place preventive measures, according to the report.

Here are the latest pandemic updates and maps.

In other developments:

  • Only nine African countries have reached the goal of vaccinating 10% of their population by the end of September, the WHO said.

The Baltic country angered Beijing by closing in on Taiwan, quitting a Chinese-run diplomatic forum and telling its officials to scrapped some Chinese phones it says contain censorship software.

In response, Beijing recalled its ambassador, halted Chinese freight train travel to the country, and made it nearly impossible for many Lithuanian exporters to sell their goods in China. Chinese state media accused Lithuania of being the “anti-Chinese vanguard” in Europe.

Nations are difficult to compare: China has 1.4 billion inhabitants. Lithuania has less than 3 million people, no tanks or fighter jets, and its economy is 270 times smaller than that of China.

But Lithuania has proven that even small countries can create headaches for a superpower. Its role as a transit corridor for goods bound for Europe makes it important for Beijing. And now his fellow European Union members are expected to discuss the situation at a meeting next week. Nothing could be worse for Beijing than if other countries followed Lithuania’s lead.

Daniel Craig told The Times about his last James Bond appearance on “No Time to Die” on October 8th. “I have other projects that I do, and they will reward me, but nothing like a Bond film,” he said.

“The Morozov Collection: Icons of Modern Art,” which opened last week in Paris, is a journey into the world of “War and Peace,” writes our reviewer Jason Farago. It brings together French and Russian paintings, many for the first time since 1918, of what Jason describes as “one of the two most important art collections in pre-revolutionary Russia.”

In the late 1800s, when the French bourgeoisie still despised the Parisian avant-garde, two Russian textile tycoons bought the city’s most innovative paintings and brought them back to the East. Around 1900, Ivan and Mikhail Morozov had made Moscow the foreign capital of modern French art.

Then came the October Revolution, when the new government took all 200 paintings from the national collection. Under Stalin, the paintings were suppressed and scattered as far as Siberia. Yet the fractured Morozov collection inspired two generations of Russian successors.

From now on, the reassembly of the Morozov collection – on four floors of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, above – is truly historic. This required a colossal diplomatic effort, with the assurance that French law would protect Russian museums against any claims by descendants of the Morozovs. President Vladimir Putin personally signed the loans.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. – Amelie

PS Our Chief China Correspondent Chris Buckley joined ABC Radio National in Australia to talk about geopolitical tensions in the region.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about the infrastructure vote in the United States.

You can reach Amelia and the team at [email protected].

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