The State of Covid in the U.S.

The U.S. has reached another potential turning point in the pandemic. But this is also a moment when the Covid-19 data is unusually tricky to read. In today’s newsletter, I’ll try to make sense of it, with help from four charts created by my colleague Ashley Wu.

On the one hand, the country may be on the verge of a virtuous cycle of declining cases. Although scientists don’t understand why, Covid has often followed a two-month cycle: When cases begin rising in a country, they often do so for about two months, before starting to decline. In the U.S., the

‘The Crown,’ ‘Ted Lasso’ and ‘Mare of Easttown’ win early Emmys

Cedric the Entertainer hosts the 73rd Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 19, in Los Angeles.
Cedric the Entertainer hosts the 73rd Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 19, in Los Angeles. (Cliff Lipson/CBS/Getty Images)

First off, Cedric the Entertainer should host the Emmys every year. Heck, I nominate him right now to host the Oscars. He was just the right bit of funny, snarky and the skits were smart. I think it’s safe to say that the opening number put us all in a good mood.

Now, although the show felt an hour too long — most of us have leaned on television during the Covid-19 pandemic. So it feels like this year especially, we’ve all …

Madrid to Remove Most of its Restrictions on Monday

Madrid will remove most of its pandemic restrictions on Monday amid a general easing of lockdown rules in Spain after the country’s coronavirus infection rate fell to its lowest level in more than a year.

Restaurants and bars in Spain’s capital region will be allowed to stay open as late as their licenses allow, while shopping malls, cinemas and theaters will no longer have to apply capacity limits. Only a few restrictions will remain in Madrid, including limits on party sizes at restaurants — 10 per outdoor table, up from eight — and a 75 percent capacity limit at nightclubs.

Una persona ansiosa intenta tranquilizarse

Al final, lo que me aburrió fue obsesionarme con mi vecino, intentar salir a cenar con alguien que cree que hacer reservaciones es “limitante” y ver cómo mis amigos dejaban de prestarme atención cada vez que me quejaba, por enésima vez, de que me hubiera cancelado una cita.

Dejé de mantener la luz encendida toda la noche, comencé a dormir bien, encontré un terapeuta y me abrí a la posibilidad de conocer a otra persona.

Esa otra persona fue Henry, el amigo de un amigo que conocí en la proyección de una película. Tenía pecas por toda la cara y …

Israel Captures Last 2 Palestinian Inmates Still Free After Prison Break

JERUSALEM — Israel on Sunday captured the last of the six Palestinian inmates who escaped a maximum-security prison nearly two weeks ago, ending an episode that Israelis saw as a humiliation of their security establishment and Palestinians celebrated as a rare black eye for the Israeli occupation.

The Israeli Army said in a statement that it had captured Munadil Nafayat and Eham Kamamji in Jenin, their hometown in the occupied West Bank, in an early-morning operation conducted jointly with a police special forces unit and the Israeli domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet.

Of the six prisoners who broke out

The Scientist and the A.I.-Assisted, Remote-Control Killing Machine

If Israel was going to kill a top Iranian official, an act that had the potential to start a war, it needed the assent and protection of the United States. That meant acting before Mr. Biden could take office. In Mr. Netanyahu’s best-case scenario, the assassination would derail any chance of resurrecting the nuclear agreement even if Mr. Biden won.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh grew up in a conservative family in the holy city of Qom, the theological heart of Shia Islam. He was 18 when the Islamic revolution toppled Iran’s monarchy, a historical reckoning that fired his imagination.

He …

Jeff Probst Is the Ultimate Survivor

“One thing is clear is that he loves it,” Mr. Probst’s friend, the director Tyler Perry, wrote in an email. “Just look at him sitting there in the rain at tribal council. He ain’t no diva. That’s the love of the game.”

Authenticity, “Survivor” fans have come to know, means warts and all. It means the show can’t, per Mr. Probst’s directive, change the intent of someone’s words during editing. It’s meant watching one contestant demand another remove her fake teeth during a tribal council as payback for a blindside. It’s even meant watching a gay contestant out a trans …

France Recalls Ambassadors to the United States and Australia in Protest of Submarine Deal

PARIS — Calling American and Australian behavior “unacceptable between allies and partners,” France announced on Friday that it was recalling its ambassadors to both countries in protest over President Biden’s decision to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia.

It was the first time in the history of the long alliance between France and the United States, dating back to 1778, that a French ambassador has been recalled to Paris in this way for consultations. The decision by President Emmanuel Macron reflects the extent of French outrage at what it has a called a “brutal” American decision and a “stab in the

I.M.F. Chief Kristalina Georgieva Denies Claims She Inflated China Data

WASHINGTON — In remarks to staff on Friday, Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, denied allegations that she pressured staff to manipulate a report to placate China when she was a top World Bank official and said she cares deeply about the integrity of data and analysis, according to people familiar with the meeting.

“I disagree with the implications for my role, and let me put it very simply to you: Not true,” she said, according to a transcript of her remarks.

A day earlier, an internal World Bank investigation concluded that Ms. Georgieva was among

TS Madison Steals the Spotlight

Nineteen minutes into the film “Zola,” the actress TS Madison delivers a devotion that becomes a kind of mantra for the rest of the film.

“Dear heavenly father, we come to you thanking you today for all the bounties that you’ve bestowed upon us, Jesus,” her character, a stripper named Hollywood, recites with her head bowed and her hands linked with several dancers backstage. “We are asking for a special prayer today,” she says repeatedly.

The prayer — in which she begs for God to send Black men who are cultured, have good credit (“840!”) and are well endowed —