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Your Thursday briefing

Donald Trump last night became the first US president to be impeached twice, with the House voting 232 to 197 for accuse him of inciting insurrection on the breach of the Capitol last week by his followers, in which five people, including a police officer, died.

Ten Republicans joined Democrats by voting for impeachment. During the debate, a few allies defended Mr. Trump, but most members of his party simply argued that a rush to impeachment raised constitutional questions. You can read comments from legislators here.

Presidential speech: As Congress debated his role in last week’s attack, Mr. Trump issued a statement amid warnings of a nationwide wave of violence surrounding Joe Biden’s inauguration next week: “In light of reports of further protests, I urge that there be NO violence , NO violation of the law and NO vandalism of any kind.

Across the Atlantic: The riot on Capitol Hill and the Republicans’ false claims of election fraud have led former populist allies of Mr. Trump, such as French far-right politician Marine Le Pen and Polish President Andrzej Duda, to to get some distance from him.

And after: No president has ever been indicted twice or in his last days in office, and none has ever been convicted. Our reporters describe the next steps in the process.


China, facing its the worst coronavirus outbreaks since last summer, placed more than 22 million people under lockdown, double the number affected last January in Wuhan, and tested the government’s ability to fend off infections.

With an average of 109 new cases per day over the past week, the outbreaks are small compared to the devastation in other countries, but they threaten to undermine China’s success in containing the virus and restarting the economy. The lockdown includes the cities of Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Langfang and the districts of Beijing.

Related: In another possible setback for China, Brazilian scientists have downgraded the efficacy of its CoronaVac vaccine at just over 50 percent – well below the 78 percent level reported last week. The implications could hurt China’s willingness to supply its vaccine to developing countries.

Here is the latest updates and pandemic cards.

In other developments:

  • More than 4,400 coronavirus deaths were reported in the United States on Tuesday, another daily record.

  • Johnson & johnson plans to release results of its single-dose coronavirus vaccine trial in as little as two weeks, but production is behind schedule due to manufacturing delays.

  • It is “not possible” for Germany to end its lockdown on February 1 as planned, the health minister said on Wednesday: “This virus is still too present for that, and the health system is still overloaded.”

  • Spain recorded nearly 39,000 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, the highest daily number since the pandemic flooded the country in March.

  • As vaccine eligibility increases, states in the United States are working to meet soaring demand.


Despite the threat of jail time on his arrival, Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny said yesterday he would fly to moscow this weekend, after spending months recovering in Germany from a nerve agent attack allegedly carried out by the Russian state.

Mr Navalny was poisoned in Siberia in August in what he and Western officials are calling an assassination attempt by the Russian government. He fell into a coma and was flown to Berlin for treatment.

The announcement of his return comes two days after the Russian prison administration petitioned a court to jail Mr. Navalny for what he said violate the terms a conditional sentence of imprisonment.

Notes: “They are doing everything they can to scare me,” Mr Navalny said of the Russian authorities in an Instagram post. “But I don’t really care what they do. Russia is my country, Moscow is my city and I miss them.

Analysis: “The Kremlin has gone so far in raising the stakes, dramatically raising expectations that Navalny will be arrested, that failure to arrest him will be seen by conservatives and security officials as a show of weakness,” Tatiana Stanovaya , of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said. “They expected him not to come back.”

In the years following the Korean War, refugees like Han Gi-taek, above, arrived in Haean, a town on the border with North Korea, to rebuild themselves. Wandering landmines and brutal cold made the land difficult to cultivate, so the government promised settlers that they would be allowed to keep the land if they worked it for 10 years.

Today, after a long delay on thorny legal issues, South Korea is keeping its promise to 160 families. Our correspondent watched their battle to make the city their home.

Massacre in Ethiopia: At least 80 people were killed on Tuesday when unidentified gunmen stormed a village in the region of Benishangul-Gumuz, along the border with Sudan, during the latest in a series of ethnic massacres in the region.

Italy: The country began its largest public trial in decades, prosecutors in the southern region of Calabria charging 325 accused of murder, corruption, drug trafficking and other crimes. Separately, The Italian government is in crisis, raising fears that a political failure could hamper the response to the virus.

Estonian politics: Prime Minister Yuri Ratas resigned yesterday, after his coalition government of centrists and far-right populists was engulfed in a corruption scandal over state loans intended to ease the pandemic.

“Knife’s blade”: For some Scottish seafood companies, which face intimidating paperwork that could lead to border delays ruining shipments could be a death knell.

Instantaneous: Above, dozens of armed National Guard soldiers lined the halls of the US Capitol as lawmakers gathered for the impeachment vote, some dozing next to their guns. Over 20,000 troops should arrive in Washington ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Pig portrait: A supposed cave painting date back at least 45,500 years may be the oldest figurative art ever found by humans. The image resembles the warty pig, a species still living on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, where the painting was discovered.

Lives lived: Adolfo Quiñones, who grew up in social housing in Chicago and became a pioneer of street dancing in the 1980s, has died at 65. Better known as Shabba-Doo, Quiñones called street dancing an “art form, on par with jazz or ballet.”

What we read: This bewitching, and very sad, Wired item about the month-long hunt to identify a mysterious hiker who died in Florida, where his emaciated body was discovered in a tent.

Cook: This Thai-inspired soup includes ginger-flavored chicken-cilantro meatballs simmered in a fragrant coconut milk broth. Serve over rice.

Listen: Try something new – audio playback written by award-winning playwrights and performed by Broadway and Hollywood notables.

Eat: A bag of crisps, as “a way to beat time”, Sam Anderson of The Times writes. “It brings a temporary infinity: the feeling that it will never end. A chip. A chip. A chip. Another chip.

There’s a whole world at your fingertips: At Home has our full collection of ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe at home.

Many countries are taking steps to help artists and cultural venues stay afloat during the pandemic, some more generously than others. Here’s a look at the highlights and missteps of eight countries’ efforts.

France

French President Emmanuel Macron was one of the first world leaders to act to help self-employed workers in the arts, removing the minimum requirement for hours worked for those previously qualified for a special unemployment system for artists a spectacle. He also has set up government insurance television and film shoots to deal with the threat of closure caused by the pandemic. Other countries, including Great Britain, quickly copied the movement.

Germany

In June, the German government announced a fund of $ 1.2 billion to revive cultural life, including helping sites modernize their ventilation systems. The Ministry of Finance intends to create funds to support organizers of smaller cultural events and to provide insurance for larger events to mitigate the risk of cancellation. Austria introduced similar event insurance in January.

South Africa

Although the coronavirus relief efforts in South Africa have been pursued by allegations of corruption and mismanagement, the government made small payments to arts workers, including freelancers, actors and musicians, in addition to existing unemployment benefits.

Brittany

In July, the British government announced a cultural rescue plan worth about $ 2.1 billion to save theaters, comedy clubs and concert halls. In December, institutions such as the National Theater and the Royal Shakespeare Company received long-term loans under this program. Even with the help, there has already been 4000 dismissals in British museums alone.


It’s all about me. Thanks for starting your day with The Times.

– Natasha


Thank you
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh took the news break. You can reach Natasha and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

PS
• We’re listening “Daily. Our latest episode examines whether a recent crackdown on US social media makes violence less likely, or simply harder to follow.
• The word “waackin” – one of the words of Adolfo Quiñones dance techniques – first appeared in The Times yesterday, as the Twitter bot notes @NYT_first_said.
• Here is our Mini crossword, and a clue: like lettuce and kale (five letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• David Rubin, Times Marketing Director, spoke on the podcast “Our Future” about his vision of The Times as “Netflix of the truth.”




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