Your Tuesday briefing

We are covering the coup in Sudan and a conviction in Hong Kong under the National Security Act.

the Sudanese army took power on Monday, detaining the Prime Minister and other civilian political leaders. The ongoing coup appeared to be a blow to hopes for a democratic transition in one of Africa’s largest countries.

Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the military leader, announced at a press conference that it dissolved the country’s civil-military government and imposed a state of emergency. He has always promised to continue the elections scheduled for July 2023.

There was increasing tension and signs for weeks that the military was planning a takeover. The general blamed the unrest and feuds between political factions in Sudan. It was not clear whether the divided army was united behind the attempted coup.

On the ground: Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Khartoum, the capital. Troops shot at pro-democracy protesters, killing at least three people and injuring more than 80, according to a group of medics.

In line: Authorities cut internet connections, one of the many power outages the Sudanese have suffered in recent years.

The context: The new civil-military government in Sudan had been a fragile democratic hope for Africa and the Arab world since ousting in 2019 of the country’s despised leader for three decades, Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

It comes just months after U.S. regulators approved vaccinations for children 12 and older. The data can help governments around the world decide when to roll out their Covid vaccines to children. In the United States, gunfire could start early November.

Moderna has not published the full data and the results are not published in a peer-reviewed journal. The results were announced a day before a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee reviewed data from the Pfizer vaccine in children aged 5 to 11.

The company plans to submit the results to the FDA and regulatory agencies in Europe and elsewhere soon, and is still recruiting children aged 2 to 5 and 6 months to under 2 years of age for trials.

Details: A month after the vaccination ended, the children in Moderna’s trial had antibody levels 1.5 times higher than those seen in young adults, the company said.

here is the latest updates and pandemic cards.

In other developments:

A Hong Kong court on Monday sentenced an activist for inciting secession for shouting independence slogans during a series of protests, emphasizing the power of a radical national security law to punish speech.

The activist, Ma Chun-man, had argued that he did not call for independence, but rather wanted to show that free speech still exists under the law. He will be sentenced on November 11.

Critics say the conviction shows the National Security Act is being used to silence political dissent. Ma, 30, is the second accused to stand trial under the Security Act.

And after: This fall, Hong Kong courts are set to try Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, and other editors and senior executives at his company on security law charges. 100 people have been charged under the law; most remain in prison.

Our reporters drove through Israel and explored the contradictions that still afflict the nation. For many, Haifa symbolizes Arab-Jewish coexistence. But for some Palestinian residents, Haifa remains as busy as the West Bank, and few spaces are truly shared. Across the country, incompatible factions live together like an “unsolvable puzzle”.

Our reporter Ben Hubbard wrote about tracing the international hack of his phone – the one that took place without opening a single link or attachment.

As a correspondent covering the Middle East, I often speak to people who take great risks to share information that their authoritarian leaders want to keep secret. I take a lot of precautions to protect these sources because if they were caught they could end up in jail or even dead.

But in a world where we store so much in our devices, we are all increasingly vulnerable. I didn’t even have to click a link to get my phone infected.

To try to determine what had happened, I worked with Citizen laboratory, a University of Toronto research institute that studies spyware.

They discovered that I had been in trouble with the growing global spyware industry, which sells surveillance tools to governments to help them fight crime and track down terrorists. The companies that sell these tools operate in the shadows.

In 2018, I was the target of a suspicious text message which, according to Citizen Lab, was likely sent from Saudi Arabia using software called Pegasus. This year, a member of the Times tech security team discovered another 2018 hack attempt on my phone. Bill Marczak, senior fellow at Citizen Lab, found out that I had later been hacked twice, in 2020 and 2021.

Technical security experts told me that it was almost impossible to definitively identify the culprits. But based on the code found in my phone which looked like what he had seen in other cases, Mr Marczak said he had “great confidence” that Pegasus had been used all four times.

Now I limit the information I keep on my phone. I store sensitive contacts offline. I encourage people to use Signal, an encrypted messaging app, so that if a hacker does, there won’t be much to find.

What to cook

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. – Melina

PS Sui-Lee Wee, The Times Beijing Business Correspondent, is our new South-East Asia office manager.

The last episode of “The Daily”Talks about Evergrande and the threats to the Chinese economy.

You can reach Melina and the team at

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