Your Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times
We are covering the Tunisian government crisis and the deadly monsoon rains in India.
Tunisian President takes control
President Kais Saied said on Sunday evening he was sacking the prime minister, suspending parliament and taking control of the country after major anti-government protests against worsening health and economic crises.
Saied’s takeover was seen as a major threat to democracy alone that emerged from the Arab Spring protests ten years ago. A leading political party, Ennahda, called it a “coup d’état against Tunisian democracy and its constitution”.
The country has suffered for years from high unemployment and economic paralysis, and the pandemic has overwhelmed the healthcare system. Tunisians are dying from Covid-19 at the highest rate in the Middle East and Africa.
The context: Elected in 2019 and still enjoying strong popularity, Saied has for months extended his authority by refusing to take the oath of office to ministers and blocking the formation of a constitutional court, sounding the alarm. Last week, he took control of the vaccine deployment from the health ministry and turned it over to the military.
Victory for Russia in gymnastics and first for the Philippines at the Olympics
Russia edged Japan for team gold in men’s gymnastics on Monday, edging 2016 Olympic champions Japan by just 0.103 points. China was third. The American team finished fifth. Here are the latest Games updates.
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz made history by claiming the Philippines’ first gold at her fourth Olympics. “It’s amazing,” she said, stroking the gold medal hanging from her neck. “I expected to win, but when you already hold this, it’s like, Wow, I never thought that would happen today.”
The teenage girls won medals in women’s street skateboarding, 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya of Japan becoming the second youngest ever gold medalist; Brazilian skater Rayssa Leal, also 13 years old and a few months younger than Nishiya, won the silver medal.
France passes controversial Covid law
France passed a law on Sunday evening that makes health passes mandatory for a number of indoor sites as the country faces a fourth wave of coronavirus infections. The pass requires proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or recent recovery from Covid-19.
The new law also requires healthcare workers and other essential workers, such as firefighters, to be vaccinated by fall. A vote came after days of heated parliamentary debates that lasted long into the night and protests against the measure in dozens of French cities. Officials cited the Delta variant and unvaccinated Covid patients filling hospitals as reasons for the pass.
The context: The pass was already compulsory for major events in stadiums and concert halls, and for entering museums and theaters. Now it is spreading to bars, restaurants, gyms and some shopping malls. Employees could face pay suspensions – but not layoffs – if they don’t get vaccinated as well.
China did not take climate change into account during its economic boom. Now it has to, because last week’s floods revealed that jumbled urbanization has created cities ill-equipped for climate change.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Screen time for kids
Our OnTech newsletter spoke to an expert about the evolution of the debate on the use of technology by children.
The belief that screen time rots children’s brains is changing.
Instead, parents, doctors, and researchers have turned to a more nuanced message: Screen time or technology can be good for kids, but it’s also bad. Child development expert and mom Dr Colleen Russo Johnson said it was high time to move away from the hard and unrealistic limits of children’s screen time (and judgments about caregivers).
“We have to stop seeing this as a black and white problem,” Dr Russo Johnson said. “You don’t want your kids to be glued to the screens all the time. It’s common sense, “she continued.” But these things aren’t bad. There is a lot of variety and not everything is created equal.
Dr Russo Johnson said sometimes it’s helpful to think of technology that encourages young children to be creative and do activities away from the screen, like a scavenger hunt. She is a fan of Toca Boca and Sago Mini’s apps that encourage young children to explore open-ended games without too much instruction.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
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