Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.
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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. The U.S. will restrict travel from India in light of the country’s surging coronavirus caseload and spread of multiple variants.
The order goes into effect Tuesday but will not apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. India set another global record on Friday with nearly 383,000 new infections, pushing the global coronavirus case count to more than 150 million. Above, a crematory in Bengaluru today.
As the U.S. Air Force delivered the first shipments of oxygen cylinders, test kits, masks and other emergency supplies, several Indian states said they could not expand vaccinations to all adults as planned on Saturday because they lacked doses. Only a small fraction of the country has been vaccinated so far.
We tracked one son’s 48-hour fight to save his parents. His desperate hunt for oxygen and medical care has become common as Covid-19 overwhelms India.
2. The situation in the U.S. is vastly different: More than 100 million Americans have now been fully vaccinated, almost 40 percent of the nation’s adults.
The 100 million mark is almost double what the nation had registered at the end of March. The federal government also shipped its 300 millionth dose this week, the White House said.
But as the pace of vaccinations slows, the U.S. is now entering a critical phase that will focus on reaching those who have yet to get a shot. Resistance is widespread in white, Republican communities like the one we visited in northeastern Tennessee. Instead, some have opted to go to herbal remedy shops, like the one above.
But it’s far more complicated than just a partisan divide — the most common reason for the apprehension is fear. “I just think we have been hornswoggled,” one man said.
3. Economic reports from the U.S. and Europe paint very different pictures of recovery.
Europe provided less relief and ended up in a so-called double-dip recession in the first three months of the year. The eurozone economy contracted by 0.6 percent. That report came a day after the U.S. disclosed its economy expanded by 1.6 percent over the same period after substantial stimulus. Above, Milan last month.
The lesson, our global economic correspondent writes, is that “along with vaccines, it pays to unleash enormous amounts of public money in the face of a livelihood-destroying health crisis.”
4. Israel mourned the 45 people trampled to death during a pilgrimage as questions arose about poor planning and possible negligence.
Up to 100,000 people were crammed onto a mountainside in northern Israel to celebrate an ultra-Orthodox holiday. For more than a decade, there have been concerns and warnings that the religious site on Mount Meron was not equipped to handle so many pilgrims.
The festivities on Thursday turned to horror about an hour after midnight, when scores of adults and children were crushed and suffocated in an overcrowded, narrow passageway that turned into a death trap, according to witnesses. Four Americans were killed.
5. The Florida Legislature passed an election bill that significantly limits absentee ballots, the latest Republican effort to restrict voting after the 2020 election.
The bill, which Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign, will make Florida the first major swing state won by Donald Trump to pass such a law. Republicans in Florida argued that its elections needed to be more secure, even though voting unfolded smoothly in 2020. Critics say the measures will disproportionately affect voters of color.
Florida has a strong tradition of voting by mail, and one that Republicans benefited from in both the 2016 and 2018 elections. But in 2020, the tides changed, with more Democrats casting mail ballots, largely because of a Democratic push to vote remotely during the pandemic and Trump’s false attacks on the practice.
6. What will offices look like post-pandemic? Google has some ideas. Think Ikea meets Legos.
The company that helped popularize open plans and employee perks is trying to reinvent office spaces to cope with workplace sensibilities changed by the pandemic. That includes robots that unfurl cellophane balloon walls for privacy and outdoor meeting tents, above.
“The future of work that we thought was 10 years out,” one designer said, “Covid brought us to that future now.”
Smaller cities and states are banking on the new era of remote working. They’re offering cash, housing and other perks — including a free bike — to workers who can move.
7. One corner, two 7-Elevens and a grudge match in Japan.
Mitoshi Matsumoto ran a 7-Eleven in Osaka until the chain revoked his contract after he dared to shorten his operating hours. Fed up with a court battle and with no end in sight, the company built a second shop in what used to be Mr. Matsumoto’s parking lot.
7-Eleven has gone to great lengths against Mr. Matsumoto, hiring private investigators and compiling a dossier of complaints against him including one over a bungled giveaway of “commemorative mayonnaise.” The conflict’s resolution could have profound implications on tens of thousands of franchise shops across Japan, part of a convenience store network that the government considers vital to the national infrastructure during emergencies.
8. And it’s off to the races!
The 147th Kentucky Derby, the oldest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., returns to its annual May running at Churchill Downs tomorrow, albeit with limited attendance. Post time is at 6:57 p.m. Eastern.
Essential Quality, who is owned by the controversial ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite. Kendrick Carmouche, who will ride Bourbonic, will try to become the first Black jockey in 119 years to win the Derby.
9. Fall is to leaf-peeping as spring is to waterfall-watching.
Across the U.S., a glorious array of waterfalls awaits nature lovers, from thunderous plunges to delicate trickles. Now is the perfect time to admire them, when snowmelt and spring rains add to the drama. From New York to Washington State, here’s a spring guide to enjoying the majesty. Above, Arethusa Falls in New Hampshire.
While you’re out and about, take a moment to enjoy spring’s wildflower season. Whether you plan to transplant flowers like trillium or violets, or simply admire them in the garden or on a guided walk at a preserve, “knowing these flowers’ life histories enriches the experience,” writes Margaret Roach, our garden expert. She explains what to look out for in her latest column.
10. And finally, on the open road with Ziggy, Polly and Tucker.
Many long-distance truckers, who are sometimes months away from home, bring companions along. Dogs, cats, birds, pigs, even a hedgehog and a monkey have turned up at truck stops across the U.S. Above, Ziggy, a blue heeler, gets treats.
Most companies don’t complain about the on-the-road pets, and some even encourage them, because happier drivers are more likely to stick around. Frank Wehmeyer and his two dogs have traveled to all of the lower 48 states, plus Alaska and Canada. Sarah Giles, who travels with a pair of dogs and a green parakeet named Bonnie, said, “A little happiness boost gets you through” the long drive.
Hope your weekend is full of companionship.
Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.
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