Christchurch, Hurricane Laura, Wisconsin Protests: Your Thursday Briefing


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Good morning.

We’re covering the growing risk from Hurricane Laura, the unrest in Wisconsin and the third night of the Republican National Convention.

In March last year, Brenton Tarrant murdered 51 Muslims during Friday prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand, using doctored triggers to make his weapons more lethal and a strobe light to disorient his victims. As he was taken away, he told the New Zealand police he wished he had killed even more.

Today, Mr. Tarrant’s campaign of hate finally ended. He is the first criminal in New Zealand ever sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for release — the country’s most severe punishment.

The sentence follows three intense days of tearful and defiant testimony by victims, totaling 91 statements.

Quote of note: “The damage he caused to this nation was heinous; no one will forget,” said Gamal Fouda, the imam of Al Noor mosque, where Mr. Tarrant killed 44 people. But, he added, one message in particular must be remembered: “This person wanted to divide us, but he couldn’t,” Mr. Fouda said. “Now he is the loser, and we are the winners.”


On a third chaotic night of demonstrations in Kenosha, Wis., over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, armed citizens turned out as self-declared protectors of property. Now, an Illinois teenager, Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide in a shooting that left two people dead and a third wounded.

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Germany shuttered its schools. Later, as the country began to reopen, it moved to a hybrid model of remote and in-classroom learning. A new experiment is now underway: Teachers and students have been summoned back to classes, testing whether new vigilance and strict social distancing rules are enough.

These efforts to get children back in classrooms have been a “roller coaster,” as one headmaster put it, but have also reinforced crucial lessons about what works.

It’s the same story in Denmark and Norway: Schools can reopen and remain open — if they build on a foundation of fast and free testing, robust contact tracing and low community spread. But most countries, and most parts of the United States, simply can’t match those conditions.

By the numbers: By the end of last week, 49 infections had been recorded among teachers and students across Berlin. But thanks to swift, targeted measures, no more than 600 students out of some 366,000 have had to stay home on any day. Of 803 schools, only 39 have been affected.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

  • The first study to look at immune response to the coronavirus by sex suggests men produce a weaker immune response to the virus than women.

  • Madrid’s mayor asked residents of the city’s southern neighborhoods to stay home in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Spain is facing one of the most severe surges in coronavirus infections in Europe in recent days.

  • Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, extended a nationwide nightly curfew for another 30 days to curb the spread of the virus.

  • The local authorities have tightened restrictions in Marseille, the second-largest city in France, where the per capita rate of cases is more than four times the national rate.

As TikTok scrambles to sell itself to a U.S. company, Microsoft is still seen as the likeliest buyer — in part because it was already in talks with the app and its owner, the Chinese company ByteDance, about a smaller deal when President Trump ordered TikTok’s U.S. operations to be sold or to cease operations by Sept. 15.

Our reporters delved into the complicated tale of coincidence and opportunity, talking to more than a dozen people who were involved or briefed on discussions.

U.S. presidential campaign: On the third of four nights of the Republican National Convention, Vice President Mike Pence and the departing Trump aide Kellyanne Conway were among the speakers making the case for a second term under President Trump.

Sweden: The Swedish military deployed four naval warships and an unspecified number of ground forces and warplanes to the island of Gotland in response to a major Russian naval exercise.

GolfGate: Phil Hogan, the European Union’s trade commissioner, resigned after violating virus regulations to attend a dinner at a golf club in Ireland.

Afghan floods: Nearly 80 people were killed in Charikar, a city north of Kabul, and the death toll was expected to rise as rescuers sifted through the wreckage of destroyed buildings. Heavy rains set off flash floods late at night, catching many residents off guard.

Snapshot: Above, residents gathered at the Burton Complex, an event center in Lake Charles, La., for assistance with evacuation ahead of Hurricane Laura. The storm was projected to make landfall early Thursday near the Texas-Louisiana border, with forecasters warning of “unsurvivable” damage. Shelters like this one are being set up throughout the hurricane zone, but Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas encouraged evacuees to consider booking rooms in hotels and motels instead.

What we’re reading: This BBC report about a rock musician in the late Soviet era, Viktor Tsoi, and how one of his songs has become an anthem for change in Belarus. Steven Erlanger, our chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe, says it’s “a good reminder of the close relationship between Moscow and Minsk.”

Cook: Gado-gado, an Indonesian dish, is a big, cool, juicy mix of vegetables from the market with perfectly soft, yellow-centered hard-boiled eggs, crispy brown fried shallots and a deeply savory peanut sauce.

Garden: In a hot dry year, succulents are perfect. Here’s how to get them started or try out more complicated ones.

Listen: For mixology tips, industry news or deep dives into history, these shows about wine, beer and cocktails are worth checking out.

Our At Home collection is here to help you through these strange times with more ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe at home.

The debate around TikTok’s safety is a reminder that we must be on guard about the data we share with any apps. Our tech columnist Brian X. Chen compiled tips for cybersecurity.

Minimize data sharing. When you open a newly installed app on your phone, notifications may pop up asking for permission for access to sensors and data such as your camera, photo album, location and address book.

Sometimes it makes sense to grant access. An app like Google Maps, for example, needs to know your location so it can figure out where you are and give directions. In other instances, the need is less clear, and a ZIP code or less precise location information would be sufficient.

Block app tracking. Many apps are constantly pulling information from our devices, such as the model of our phone and what version of mobile operating system it is using, and are sharing that data with third parties.

Marketers who gain access to that information can then stitch together a profile about you and target you with ads. To limit this invisible data harvesting, I recommend using so-called tracker blockers.

Apps like Fyde and Disconnect can help. Apple also said that in iOS 14, apps would be required to ask people for permission to perform tracking.

Be curious. This last step is less technical: Stay informed. If you wonder how a company manages to offer its app, do some research on the business. Read its website and send the company questions to gain a basic understanding of what’s happening with your data and what steps you should take to minimize sharing.


That’s it for today’s briefing. We’ll see you next time.

— Natasha


Thank you

To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about President Trump’s strategy to appeal to suburban voting blocks.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: “That hurts!” (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Kurt Streeter, a writer at The Times since 2017, will take on the Sports of The Times column beginning in September.



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