October 26, 2020

C.D.C., TikTok, Rosh Hashana: Your Friday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

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Credit…Daniel Slim/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Credit…Reuters

2. The Trump administration will ban TikTok and WeChat from American app stores. The services are used by more than 100 million people in the U.S.

As of Sunday, Americans will no longer be able to download the Chinese social media apps from Apple and Google Play app stores, crippling their operation. The Commerce Department said the move would protect the country’s national security.

Here’s what all of this means for you: WeChat users in the U.S. will not be able to use the messaging app for sending payments. If you have TikTok downloaded on your phone, you are fine — for now. The Commerce Department will wait until Nov. 12, after the election, to pursue a full ban of the app.


Credit…Ahmad Gharabli/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

3. Israelis are preparing to celebrate the holiest days on the Jewish calendar under a fresh lockdown. Above, Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday.

With one of the world’s worst coronavirus infection rates, the three-week national lockdown was timed to coincide with Rosh Hashana (the Jewish new year), Yom Kippur and the festival of Sukkot, in the hope of causing less economic damage because businesses tend to slow down then. It was also aimed at preventing large family meals that could become super-spreading events.

The holiday season is traditionally a time for Jews to contemplate themes of repentance, reckoning and renewal. This year, “renewal” is not exactly the mood, especially in the U.S.

Credit…Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

4. A Times/Siena College poll shows Joe Biden leading President Trump by wide margins in Maine and Arizona, and effectively tied in North Carolina. Susan Collins trailed her Democratic rival in Maine’s Senate race.

The cause: Mr. Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic. In all three states, Democratic Senate candidates were leading Republican incumbents by five percentage points or more.

Early voting began in four states on Friday, 46 days before Election Day on Nov. 3. Among the early voting states is Minnesota, where both presidential candidates will be making campaign stops today. Voters also began casting ballots in South Dakota, Virginia, pictured above in Fairfax, and Wyoming.

Take a look at key dates and voting deadlines in your state.


Credit…Jessica Hill for The New York Times

5. The Education Department will withhold millions of dollars from Connecticut schools if they allow transgender athletes to choose the teams they compete on.

The move to withhold about $18 million, intended to help schools desegregate, could have national implications for both transgender athletes and students of color. The money generally allows students from Black and Hispanic communities to attend high-performing schools outside their neighborhoods. The mayor of New Haven, one of the three school districts being targeted, called the move “effectively extortion.”

The Education Department is also intervening at Princeton University. The administration opened a civil rights investigation into the university after its president acknowledged the role of systemic racism at the school.

Credit…Lyndon French for The New York Times

6. America’s housekeepers are in the midst of disaster. The pandemic is the immediate cause, but deeper inequities reach back generations.

Ghosted by their employers, members of the profession are facing “a full-blown humanitarian crisis — a Depression-level situation,” said the executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. A survey by the group found that 72 percent of housekeepers, like Magdalena Zylinska, above, had lost all of their clients by the first week of April.

Caregiving benefits are another way the pandemic has highlighted disparities among workers. More than three-quarters of working parents say their employers have not provided additional time off or money for child care during the pandemic, according to a Times survey.

Credit…Celeste Noche for The New York Times

7. The wildfires blazing in the West pose a particularly high risk for children’s airways.

Much of 2020 has been spent focusing on imperiled lungs of the older and the infirm, who are at greater risk of Covid-19, but these fires prey on developing lungs, experts said. Smoke from the blazes especially worsens asthma and even triggers the condition for those who are genetically disposed to it.

“This does not look good for children,” said one pediatric pulmonologist.

Fires in California and the Pacific Northwest continue to burn. One firefighter died while battling a blaze ignited during a gender-reveal party in Southern California.


Credit…Far Right: Daniel Dorsa for The New York Times

All 10 of the writers longlisted for poetry are first-time nominees, and two are debut authors.

Can a book capture the magic of birding? One cartoonist delves into the many tomes that explore why so many stare up through their binoculars.


Credit…Simbarashe Cha for The New York Times

9. New York Fashion Week, for all its newness in a pandemic, ended on an upbeat note: Fashion should make you smile.

Christian Siriano, of “Project Runway” fame, pulled off what may have been the coup of the week, our chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman writes. He moved his show out of New York City entirely to his house in Westport, Conn., in “the biggest, and most unabashedly dressed up, physical show” that proclaimed “frivolity has a deeper purpose.”

Tom Ford, too, carried that ethos, posted as a look book of still photographs that “was all animal print and floral fabulousness.”

Will shopping ever return to the way it was before the age of coronavirus? Probably not in 2020. Here are some of the biggest shifts in fashion retail.

Credit…Darek Delmanowicz/EPA, via Shutterstock

10. And finally, hello fall.

With the last official weekend of summer upon us, traditional fall activities are starting to pick up. Pandemic restrictions will touch everything from socially distanced hay rides to socially distanced haunted houses.

Some orchards are requiring reservations for apple and pumpkin picking, while others are making their corn mazes with wider paths and additional passing lanes. Haunted houses are adapting too, by confining actors to scare zones or transforming their grounds into drive-through events. This guide has all your fun covered.

Happy new year to those who are celebrating, and happy fall to all. Hope your weekend brings a welcome seasonal shift.


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