Worrisome spikes in Asia
The coronavirus pandemic is taking a nasty flip in elements of Asia. Cases are climbing rapidly in Japan and South Korea, which had lengthy managed to keep away from the worst. And as a result of Hong Kong is grappling with a spike, a plan for a journey bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore has been placed on maintain.
Japan has had its worst-ever leap in new instances, breaking data on 4 consecutive days, with at the least 2,508 new instances on Sunday. Its earlier worst spike dropped off after peaking at almost 2,000 instances in early August.
South Korea has had a smaller improve, with 5 straight days of greater than 300 instances. Last week new restrictions have been introduced for Seoul and surrounding areas, together with limiting the variety of individuals at occasions like concert events, conferences and festivals to 100.
Coronavirus and the rise of a right-wing media star
Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a researcher in Hong Kong, grew to become a right-wing media sensation after showing within the U.S. on Fox News to make the unsubstantiated declare that the coronavirus was a bioweapon manufactured by China.
How it occurred: Two more and more allied teams that peddle misinformation collaborated on Dr. Yan’s rise. One is a small however lively nook of the Chinese diaspora, the opposite the extremely influential far proper within the U.S.
The gamers: Guo Wengui, a fugitive Chinese billionaire, and Stephen Bannon, a former adviser to Mr. Trump, have been on a mission for years to, as they put it, convey down the Chinese Communist Party. They put Dr. Yan on a aircraft to the U.S., gave her a spot to remain, coached her on media appearances and helped her safe interviews with fashionable conservative tv hosts.
Trump’s presents to Israel
The U.S. determination to carry the parole restrictions on Jonathan Pollard, the American convicted of spying for Israel within the 1980s, will free him to maneuver to Israel, the place he’s seen as a hero. It can be one of many many presents from the Trump administration to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.
President Trump’s remedy of Mr. Netanyahu has been nothing in need of lavish, our Jerusalem bureau chief writes.
Mr. Trump broke sharply along with his predecessors’ approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian battle, taking Israel’s facet. His Middle East workforce piled strain on the Palestinians to get them to contemplate a lopsided peace proposal, then brokered accords for Israel with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan — offers that shattered Arab solidarity behind the Palestinian trigger.
Pollard historical past: A former Navy intelligence analyst, Jonathan Pollard served 30 years in a U.S. jail for stealing American secrets and techniques through the Cold War. His case, which the Justice Department addressed on Friday, had lengthy been a sore level within the relations between the 2 international locations. The U.S. continues to view Mr. Pollard, 66, as a traitor who did enormous quantities of injury.
If you will have eight minutes, that is value it
Stalin’s ‘Road of Bones’
The Kolyma Highway within the Russian Far East as soon as delivered tens of 1000’s of prisoners to the work camps of Stalin’s gulag. But for a lot of Russians, together with former prisoners, the horrors of the gulag are fading.
Our reporter and photographer drove alongside the freeway to the distant settlements that are actually shrinking and in ruins. “Everything here is built on bones,” mentioned Andrey Kolyadin, a regional official.
Here’s what else is going on
U.S. elections: President Trump’s authorized efforts to problem election outcomes in Pennsylvania have been met with defeat and a pointy judicial rebuke on Saturday, and a few fellow Republicans started to acknowledge that he had misplaced each the state and his bid for re-election.
Afghanistan talks: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in Qatar with Afghan and Taliban negotiators who’re making an attempt to interrupt a impasse of their stalled peace negotiations. On Saturday, a rocket assault in Kabul killed at the least eight individuals and the Islamic State group claimed accountability.
G20: A closing assertion launched on Sunday by the Group of 20 summit served as maybe the Trump presidency’s remaining reminder of the large gulf between the U.S. and its allies on dealing with international threats just like the coronavirus pandemic and local weather change.
Pompeii discovery: Excavations at a suburban villa outdoors the traditional metropolis frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius almost 2,000 years in the past have recovered the stays of two dwellers, tentatively recognized as a rich landowner and a youthful enslaved individual.
Snapshot: Above, kimchi classes for the Shin Tae-sook household in Goesan. November is kimchi-making season, however within the age of meal kits and on-demand grocery supply, the custom is in decline. Some households have began making pilgrimages to the countryside the place they’ll discover ways to put together it on their very own.
What we’re watching: The Guardian’s video report on North Korean girls working in Chinese factories producing P.P.E. for export worldwide. It’s a chilling take a look at what could quantity to fashionable slavery.
Now, a break from the information
Cook: The key to mastering a primary French omelet is controlling the warmth so the eggs don’t brown, and whisking the eggs within the skillet in order that they set on the outside however stay fluffy inside.
Read: Our editors from the Book Review have launched this 12 months’s listing of 100 notable books, spanning each style, that will help you choose your bedside studying for the approaching months.
Do: A ninth-century Viking journey, a sport about robots and an escape from hell: Here’s what’s new in video video games.
And now for the Back Story on …
Faces born from a pc
We created our personal A.I. system to know how straightforward it’s to generate completely different faux faces. Kashmir Hill, a tech reporter, and Jeremy White, a graphics editor, labored on a gallery of portraits of people that could look actual, however aren’t.
There are actually companies that promote faux individuals. If you simply want a few faux individuals — for characters in a online game, or to make your organization web site seem extra various — you may get their pictures without spending a dime on a web site. These simulated persons are additionally utilized by spies to infiltrate the intelligence neighborhood, right-wing propagandists who cover behind faux profiles and on-line harassers who troll their targets with a pleasant visage.
You can spot among the errors and patterns we discovered that our A.I. system repeated when it was conjuring faux faces. Earrings, for instance, would possibly look comparable however typically could not precisely match. Abstract or blurry backgrounds are sometimes giveaways.
“It was pretty interesting to set up our own A.I. system and generate hundreds of faces to see how it’s done. This story explores how good the technology is getting and how you can spot the fakes,” Jeremy wrote.
“The hard thing about covering tech is that it is both amazingly powerful and unexpectedly flawed at the same time,” Kashmir wrote.
That’s it for this briefing. See you subsequent time.
— Carole (an actual individual)
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the information. You can attain the workforce at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our newest episode is in regards to the pandemic in a rural space of the U.S.
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• Because phrases with dangerous connotations have been baked into tech communication, The Times is re-examining the language we use to explain our expertise.