New York Earthquake: City of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Published 30th April 2018

Researchers believe that a powerful earthquake, magnitude 5 or greater, could cause significant damage to large swathes of NYC, a densely populated area dominated by tall buildings.

Some experts have suggested that NYC is susceptible to at least a magnitude 5 earthquake once every 100 years.

The last major earthquake measuring over magnitude 5.0 struck NYC in 1884 – meaning another one of equal size is “overdue” by 34 years, according their prediction model.

Natural disaster researcher Simon Day, of University College London, agrees with the conclusion that NYC may be more at risk from earthquakes than is usually thought.

EARTHQUAKE RISK: New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from far-away tremors

But the idea of NYC being “overdue” for an earthquake is “invalid”, not least because the “very large number of faults” in the city have individually low rates of activity, he said.

The model that predicts strong earthquakes based on timescale and stress build-up on a given fault has been “discredited”, he said.

What scientists should be focusing on, he said, is the threat of large and potentially destructive earthquakes from “much greater distances”.

The dangerous effects of powerful earthquakes from further away should be an “important feature” of any seismic risk assessment of NYC, Dr Day said.

GETTY

THE BIG APPLE: An aerial view of Lower Manhattan at dusk in New York City

USGS

RISK: A seismic hazard map of New York produced by USGS

“New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from earthquakes at much greater distances” Dr Simon Day, natural disaster researcher

“An important feature of the central and eastern United States is, because the crust there is old and cold, and contains few recent fractures that can absorb seismic waves, the rate of seismic reduction is low.

Central regions of NYC, including Manhattan, are built upon solid granite bedrock; therefore the amplification of seismic waves that can shake buildings is low.

But more peripheral areas, such as Staten Island and Long Island, are formed by weak sediments, meaning seismic hazard in these areas is “very likely to be higher”, Dr Day said.

“Thus, like other cities in the eastern US, New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from earthquakes at much greater distances than is the case for cities on plate boundaries such as Tokyo or San Francisco, where the crustal rocks are more fractured and absorb seismic waves more efficiently over long distances,” Dr Day said.

In the event of a large earthquake, dozens of skyscrapers, including Chrysler Building, the Woolworth Building and 40 Wall Street, could be at risk of shaking.

“The felt shaking in New York from the Virginia earthquake in 2011 is one example,” Dr Day said.

On that occasion, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered 340 miles south of New York sent thousands of people running out of swaying office buildings.

USGS

FISSURES: Fault lines in New York City have low rates of activity, Dr Day said

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city was “lucky to avoid any major harm” as a result of the quake, whose epicenter was near Louisa, Virginia, about 40 miles from Richmond.

“But an even more impressive one is the felt shaking from the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes in the central Mississippi valley, which was felt in many places across a region, including cities as far apart as Detroit, Washington DC and New Orleans, and in a few places even further afield including,” Dr Day added.

“So, if one was to attempt to do a proper seismic hazard assessment for NYC, one would have to include potential earthquake sources over a wide region, including at least the Appalachian mountains to the southwest and the St Lawrence valley to the north and east.”

Pakistan army warns of the first nuclear war (Revelation 8 )

Pakistan army warns of change in Kashmir status

Security personnel arrive near the scene of a recent militant attack at Pandach Chowk area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on the outskirts of Srinagar on May 20, 2020. (AFP Photo)

by Anadolu Agency

May 24, 2020 9:02 pm

Pakistan’s army on Sunday warned that any attempt to challenge the disputed status of Indian-administered Kashmir, including any move toward aggression, will be answered with full military might.

“Kashmir is a disputed territory and any attempt to challenge the disputed status including any political cum military thought related to aggression will be responded with full national resolve and military might,” army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said while addressing troops stationed along the Line of Control (LoC) – a de facto border that divides the disputed Himalayan valley between the two nuclear rivals.

“Disturbing the strategic stability matrix in South Asia can lead to dire consequences,” he cautioned, referring to New Delhi’s scrapping of the disputed region’s decades-long special status last August.

Bajwa, who spent Ramadan Bayram, also known as Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with frontline soldiers at the Kashmir border, lauded their “professionalism, operational preparedness, and befitting response” to alleged violations of a 2003 cease-fire agreement by Indian border forces.

“Pakistan Army is observing Eid solemnly in solidarity with Kashmiris under Indian occupation particularly since the Aug. 5 illegal, inhuman lockdown, and ensuing atrocities,” he went on to say, according to a statement from the army.

India, he added, is trying to shift global attention away from “worsening humanitarian crisis and violence” in Kashmir to the Line of Control by “targeting innocent civilians.”

“Pakistan Army is fully alive to the threat spectrum, and will remain ever ready to perform its part in line with national aspirations,” he said.

He said he hoped the international community would weigh in to ensure freedom of movement for U.N. observers inside Indian-administered Kashmir, as ensured by Pakistan in its controlled part of the valley, “so that the tragic consequences of ongoing atrocities and inhuman clampdown inside occupied territory is reported to the United Nations Security Council and the world at large.”

“Indian occupying forces can never suppress the valiant spirit of Kashmiris who rightfully await plebiscite under U.N. resolution. Regardless of ordeal, their struggle is destined to succeed, InshaAllah (God willing),” he concluded.

Disputed region

Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts but claimed by both in full. A small sliver of the region is also controlled by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965 and 1971 – two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have been killed and tortured in the conflict in the region since 1989.

The Nations Trampling Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

The so-called al Aqsa intifada and mega terror outfit Hamas

May 26, 2020

Prof. Efraim Karsh and Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

Israel’s May 2000 rushed evacuation of its security zone in south Lebanon and the desertion of its longstanding local allies there tarnished the Jewish State’s deterrent posture and helped spark a string of large-scale armed confrontations with Hezbollah (2006), the PLO (the so-called “al-Aqsa Intifada”), and Hamas (2008/9, 2012, 2014). The withdrawal transformed south Lebanon into an ineradicable terror entity that can harass northern Israel at will and expedited Hezbollah’s evolvement into a formidable military power armed with 150,000 rockets and missiles capable of reaching anywhere in Israel. It also dented the IDF’s fighting ethos and operational competence, as illustrated by its lukewarm performance during the Second Lebanon War (2006) and Operation Protective Edge (2014).

In the dead of night on May 24, 2000, 18 years after invading Lebanon with the expressed goal of removing the longstanding terrorist threat to its northern towns and villages, Israel hurriedly vacated its self-proclaimed security zone in south Lebanon and redeployed on the other side of the border. With PM Ehud Barak authorizing the operation a day earlier to avoid its disruption by the Hezbollah terror organization, which had long harassed the Israeli forces in Lebanon, the evacuation was executed without a single casualty.

Yet the humiliation attending the IDF’s flight under Hezbollah fire, leaving behind heavy weapons and military equipment (some of which were promptly bombed by the Israeli air force to deny them to Hezbollah), as well as its abandonment of the South Lebanon Army (SLA), which had aided its counterterrorist operations for years and which collapsed upon the withdrawal with many of its fighters and their families seeking asylum in Israel, was not lost on outside observers. A prominent leftwing Israeli journalist, by no means hostile to the withdrawal, even compared “the scent of humiliation [that] permeated the air” to that attending the “last helicopter on the [US] embassy roof in Vietnam.”

Shattered deterrence

Keenly aware of these disturbing images, Barak quickly extolled the flight as a glowing success that in one fell swoop ended Israel’s “18-year Lebanese tragedy” and neutralized Hezbollah’s terrorist threat to the Galilee. “To fight against terrorism is like fighting mosquitoes,” he told Time Magazine:

You can chase them one by one, but it’s not very cost-effective. The more profound approach is to drain the swamp. So we are draining the swamp [by leaving Lebanon] … Once we are within Israel, defending ourselves from within our borders, the Lebanese government and the Syrian government are responsible to make sure that no one will dare hit Israeli civilians or armed forces within Israel. Any violation of this might become an act of war, and it will be treated accordingly. I don’t recommend to anyone to try us once we are inside Israel.

This buoyant prognosis couldn’t be further from the truth. Far from draining Hezbollah’s “terrorist marsh,” the withdrawal served to expand it to gargantuan proportions. Hezbollah exploited the demise of Israel’s security zone to transform south Lebanon into an ineradicable military stronghold crisscrossed with fortified defenses, both above ground and in a complex underground tunnel system, designed to serve as a springboard for terror attacks on Israeli territory, to shelter Hezbollah’s burgeoning rocket and missile arsenal (which quickly doubled after the withdrawal from 7,000 to 14,000), and to exact a high cost from attacking forces in the event of a general conflagration. Hence the IDF’s inconclusive ground operations in the Second Lebanon War (July 12-August 14, 2006), which hardly ventured more than a few miles from the border during the 34 days of fighting—in stark contrast to the 1982 invasion, which swiftly swept across this area and reached Beirut within five days. And hence the war’s relatively high human toll: 164 fatalities, or 70% of those killed in the security zone during the 15 years preceding the 2000 withdrawal.

Nor did Barak’s warning against any attempt “to try us once we are inside Israel” (or, for that matter, FM David Levy’s threat that “Lebanon will burn” in the event of terror attacks from its territory) make an impression on Hezbollah. With Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah famously deriding Israel as “weaker than a spider web,” the organization launched repeated attacks on targets in northern Israel at a rate of half-a-dozen per year. These began as early as October 7, 2000—a mere four months after the withdrawal—with the abduction of three IDF soldiers on a border patrol (who, it later transpired, were killed in the attack), culminating in the July 12, 2006 abduction of two more soldiers (who, too, were killed in the process) and the killing of another three in a cross-border raid that triggered the Second Lebanon War. During that war, Hezbollah fired some 4,000 rockets and missiles on Israeli towns and villages—the largest attack on the Jewish State’s population centers since the 1948 War of Independence—killing 45 civilians, inflicting massive destruction and economic damage, and driving thousands of Israelis to flee their homes to the southern parts of the country.

While the Israeli architects of the war, which was censured by an official commission of enquiry as “a great and grave blunder,” sought to portray it as a shining success that led to a prolonged period of calm, the conflagration did not deter Hezbollah from sporadic attacks on Israeli targets in subsequent years or from substantially expanding its military buildup in flagrant violation of Security Council Resolution 1701, which had ended the war. This included the expansion of its already substantial rocket/missile holdings to a monstrous 150,000-strong arsenal and the deployment of thousands of well-armed and battle-hardened fighters in south Lebanon on a constant state of alert to invade Israel en masse, either directly or via offensive underground tunnels penetrating Israeli territory (some of which were destroyed by the IDF in 2019).

Even the postwar relative lull has had less to do with the Lebanon War’s deterrent effect (though Nasrallah later admitted he would have foregone the soldiers’ abduction had he known it would lead to full-scale war) than with Hezbollah’s decade-long immersion in the Syrian civil war and the reluctance of its Iranian patron to unleash its protégé’s full might absent a direct Israeli attack on its nuclear weapons installations. Had PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak’s purported intention to launch such an attack in 2010-11 not been nipped in the bud by their security establishment and the Obama administration, an all-out Hezbollah-Israel war would likely have ensued. As it is, such a conflagration remains a distinct possibility, with Hezbollah’s security threat via both its rocket/missile arsenal, which can hit any part of the Jewish State, and ability to invade Israel and occupy Israeli localities infinitely greater than it was in May 2000.

Sparking the Palestinian war of terror

Defending his Lebanon decision 20 years later, Barak argued that the withdrawal improved Israel’s military position vis-à-vis the Palestinians since the IDF’s continued presence in Lebanon would have seriously constrained its ability to launch Operation Defensive Shield (April 2002), which curbed the Palestinian war of terror (euphemized as “the al-Aqsa Intifada”) that had begun a year-and-a-half earlier.

As with his claim that the Lebanon flight neutralized Hezbollah’s terrorist threat, this assertion is not only false but the inverse of the truth: had the humiliating Lebanon flight not occurred, the “al-Aqsa Intifada” might not have ensued in the first place, at least not on its unprecedented massive scale.

Like most of their Arab brethren, the Palestinians viewed the Lebanon flight as a defeat of the formidable Israeli army by a small but determined guerrilla force. Hamas and Islamic Jihad applauded Hezbollah’s achievement as proving the indispensability of the “armed struggle” while thousands of Palestinians celebrated the withdrawal with placards saying “Lebanon Today, Palestine Tomorrow.” Even Israeli Arabs were increasingly drawn into Hezbollah’s widening terror and spying web inside Israel in the years following the withdrawal.

More importantly, the flight’s humiliating nature helped convince PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, who viewed the Oslo “peace process” (launched in September 1993) as a strategic means not to a two-state solution but to the substitution of a Palestinian state for the state of Israel, that the pros of reverting to wholesale violence far exceeded its potential cons since Israel no longer had the stomach for a protracted conflict. If Israelis couldn’t bear 20-25 fatalities per year (less than a tenth of the death toll on their roads) in the fight against Hezbollah, surely they wouldn’t be able to stomach the much heavier death toll attending a protracted all-out Palestinian “resistance campaign.” At the July 2000 Camp David summit that sought to reach a comprehensive Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement, Arafat explicitly warned his Israeli counterparts that “we can see to it that the Hezbollah precedent is replicated in the territories,” and that threat was quickly amplified by his top henchmen after the summit. A Palestinian public opinion poll found two-thirds of respondents eager to see their leadership follow in Hezbollah’s violent footsteps.

This is indeed what happened with the outbreak of the “al-Aqsa Intifada” in September 2000—the bloodiest and most destructive confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians since the 1948 war—which exacted over 1,000 Israeli lives. And while West Bank terrorism was largely curbed in the early 2000s through sustained counterinsurgency operations and the construction of a security barrier, the Gaza Strip has become a formidable terror entity that represents a clear and present danger to the vast majority of Israel’s population. While it can be contained through repeated military campaigns (e.g., in 2008-9, 2012, and 2014), it cannot be eradicated altogether.

Weakening the IDF

A major plank of Barak’s justification of the withdrawal was its supposed benefits for the IDF. “If we act to change reality in the right direction, it strengthens us. It doesn’t weaken us,” he told Time Magazine after the withdrawal. “I didn’t see a single armed force that became stronger or a nation that became more self-confident by fighting guerrillas in another country.”

There is of course a world of difference between a great power fighting guerrillas thousands of miles from its homeland and a small state defending its citizens and population centers from terrorist attacks launched from across the border, even if this means taking the fight to the aggressing state’s territory. By abdicating this crucial component of self-defense, the Lebanon flight not only brought a terror organization committed to Israel’s destruction within a stone’s throw of its border neighborhoods and made its dislodgement from this area exceedingly difficult: it also dented the IDF’s fighting ethos and operational competence. The daring, enterprising, and proactive spirit that had characterized this force from its inception gave way to a reactive, dogmatic, and passive disposition that responded to events rather than anticipating them and that contented itself with containing rather than defeating the enemy.

In fairness to Barak, this transformation reflected a conceptual malaise that had been pervading the IDF’s top echelon for some time. This malaise deepened with the launch of the Oslo “peace process,” whereby striving for victory was replaced by a conviction that the changing nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict—from interstate wars to low-intensity warfare between Israel and terrorist/guerrilla organizations—made military decisions virtually impossible because these (far weaker) groups represented “authentic resistance movements,” to use Barak’s own words, that needed to be politically appeased.

This approach, which effectively handed off responsibility for defeating terrorism to the political leadership, was first manifested in the IDF’s failure to suppress the Palestinian intifada (1987-93), which only ended upon the signing of the Oslo Accords. Here too, Barak played a key role in his capacity as deputy chief of staff (1987-91) and chief of staff (1991-95). It received a major impetus with the May 2000 Lebanon flight and the delusion of removing Hezbollah’s terrorist threat via political retreat, and was repeated during the “al-Aqsa Intifada’s” first months—when the IDF (under the direct leadership of defense minister Barak) sought to contain rather than suppress the conflagration.

Even after Barak’s February 2001 crushing electoral defeat to Ariel Sharon, probably Israel’s most illustrious and offensive-oriented general, it took over a year of unprecedented terrorism that murdered hundreds of Israelis and spread mayhem in Israel’s population centers before the IDF moved onto the offensive and broke the backbone of Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank (but not Gaza). So much so that PM Sharon, who was elected on the crest of the hope that he would swiftly suppress the Palestinian terror war, was forced to justify this extraordinary delay with such meaningless platitudes as “restraint is power” and “what can be seen from here [the PM’s office] can’t be seen from elsewhere.”

Further deviations from the IDF’s hallowed precepts of initiative, maneuver, and shifting the fight to enemy territory were on display during the Second Lebanon War and Operation Protective Edge (2014), where the military leadership hoped to end the conflict via air strikes and only grudgingly committed ground forces at a later stage and in a highly circumspect fashion. By way of concealing its declining appetite for ground operations, the IDF leadership persistently denied terrorism’s strategic threat to Israel’s national security, stressing the (supposed) absence of a military solution to the problem and the attendant need for its resolution by political means. Hence Chief-of-Staff Moshe Yaalon’s assertion that Hezbollah’s political weakening would culminate in its rockets/missiles “rusting on their launchers”; and hence the stubborn ignoring of Hezbollah’s and Hamas’s cross-border underground terror tunnels and their hazards. As late as July-August 2014, while Israel was engaged in a full-scale war with Hamas, defense minister Yaalon and the IDF leadership, alongside the heads of Shin Bet and the National Security Council, continued to underplay the strategic significance of those tunnels, let alone provide the war cabinet with a concrete plan for their destruction—even though Hamas had used such a tunnel as long before as 2006 to infiltrate Israel, abduct an Israeli soldier, and kill two others.

IDF Chief-of-Staff Moshe Dayan (1953-58) famously quipped that he would rather have to restrain galloping horses than spur lazy mules. The humiliating May 2000 Lebanon flight accelerated the transformation of the IDF’s leadership in the opposite direction while greatly enhancing the dangers to Israel’s national security on the Lebanese and Palestinian fronts to hitherto unprecedented levels. One can only hope that its twentieth anniversary will be used for genuine reflection, stocktaking, and a return to the IDF’s daring and winning ways.

Prof. Efraim Karsh is director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, emeritus professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London, and editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, formerly a corps commander and commander of the IDF Military Colleges, is a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Israel Threatens the Iranian Horn

PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei | File photo: AP, Reuters

‘Khamenei is risking his own annihilation,’ Netanyahu warns

On a pared-down Quds Day, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei calls Israel a “deadly, cancerous growth.” Meanwhile, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah reiterates calls to “liberate Palestine.”

By  Daniel Siryoti , Eli Leon , Lilach Shoval and AP Published on  05-24-2020 08:55 Last modified: 05-24-2020 09:24

“Anyone who threatens to annihilate Israel risks a similar fate,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday in response to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who compared Israel to a “virus.”

Khamenei spoke to the nation in a 30-minute speech aired on state television in honor of Quds Day, which this year was subdued due to coronavirus. He repeatedly referred to Israel as a “cancer” or “tumor” during the speech, criticizing the US and the West for equipping it with “various kinds of military and non-military tools of power, even with atomic weapons.

“The Zionist regime is a deadly, cancerous growth and a detriment to this region,” Khamenei said. “It will undoubtedly be uprooted and destroyed.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also made it clear that Israel would not stand by as Iran continued to increase its power in the Middle East. In a post on his Facebook page, Gantz wrote, “Israel is facing huge challenges in a number of arenas. Khamenei’s declaration that Israel is a ‘cancer’ makes that clearer than anything else could. As someone who is very familiar with the Iranian issue, and who prepared the IDF to handle it, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone test us.”

“The state of Israel and the Zionist dream are facts, unlike the Iranian satellite states that are trying to entrench themselves and damage regional stability, which we will not allow. From my experience, our enemies’ grandiose talk points to weakness,” Gantz wrote.

In the days running up to Friday, his office released a cartoon graphic showing smiling Iranian-backed forces, Arabs and two Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem under a headline that included the phrase “the final solution.”

The image later was deleted from Khamenei’s Twitter account and other places, though it remains on the Farsi-language version of his official website. The Foreign Ministry offered a tweet of its own over the picture, writing: “We have experience with leaders who talk about ‘final solutions,’ and we promise: Not on our watch.”

Khamenei was not the only leader to target Israel on Quds Day. Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah also gave a speech on Friday in which he called for the liberation of “Palestine.”

“Palestine belongs to the Palestinian people and must be restored to them. Israel is trying to keep itself alive by force. Our position on Palestine is clear and consistent. Resistance in all its forms is the only way to liberate Palestine,” Nasrallah said.

“Anyone who thinks they can change our minds is wrong. Wars, targeted killings, and sanctions wont’ help. The Zionist entity has a shield in the US. Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river. The US is leading Israel, and the main battle is against America,” the Hezbollah leader added.

The world was quick to condemn the anti-Israel statements.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “Incredible that @JZarif and Iran’s Supreme Leader are echoing Hitler’s call for genocide. This depravity should dispel any notion the regime belongs in the community of nations. We stand with Germany and Israel against this oldest & most vile form of hatred, and say #NeverAgain.”

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “There is no excuse for the anti-Semitic language in statements from Iran’s leadership. Israel has an undeniable right to peace and security, and denying it hurts all the people of the region.”

The Plague Continues to Spread (Revelation 6:8)

Pandemic Swells in South America, as the U.S. Nears 100,000 Deaths

Gaza reports its first coronavirus death. New York is allowing gatherings of up to 10.

Published May 23, 2020Updated May 24, 2020

The Higienópolis neighborhood of São Paulo on Tuesday. Brazil overtook Russia in reporting the second-highest count of infections worldwide.Victor Moriyama for The New York Times

As the U.S. death toll nears 100,000, infections are rising in Latin America.

Since the initial outbreak of the coronavirus in China, the world has tracked a pandemic that rapidly spread west, proliferating across Asia and Europe, seeding hot spots across Africa and exploding in North America. For weeks, the United States has been the global epicenter, confirming more than 1.6 million cases, and the number of deaths nearing 100,000.

And now the pandemic appears to be arriving at new milestones. China on Saturday reported no new coronavirus deaths or symptomatic cases for the first time since the virus emerged. And surges of Covid-19 in several of South America’s most populous countries are raising concerns of a new front.

On Friday, Brazil overtook Russia in reporting the second-highest count of infections worldwide, reaching more than 330,000 to date. Peru and Chile rank among the hardest-hit countries in the world in terms of infections per capita, around 1 in 300. And data from Ecuador indicate that the country is suffering one of the worst outbreaks in the world.

Brazil is home to several of the world’s largest metropolises, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. While other countries around the world began sounding the alarm as the virus arrived in February and March, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, largely played down the threat, urging people to continue working and keeping businesses such as gyms and beauty salons open.

Worldwide, the pace of new infections is still climbing with over 100,000 new cases reported daily since Thursday. These numbers are among the very worst since the pandemic began, second only to a single day in April, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

The list of countries seeing sharp increases is not limited to those in Central and South America. In India, infections have surged to over 125,000 people, and Iran, which experienced one of the earliest and most significant outbreaks, is undergoing a resurgence of new cases.

Over all, infection rates are slowing in the United States, but they remain steady in about 25 states. Six — North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, North Dakota, Maine and Wyoming — have reported rises in newly reported cases over the last 14 days, in part because some have recently ramped up testing.

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak

The virus has infected more than 5,402,700 people in at least 177 countries.

Gaza reports its first pandemic death, underscoring its success and vulnerability.

A mural of coronavirus in Gaza City in April. Even though Gaza has been largely unscathed by the virus, experts continue to warn that its health infrastructure could collapse in the face of a large-scale outbreak.Mohammed Abed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Officials in Gaza announced on Saturday that a 77-year-old woman had died after contracting the coronavirus, becoming the first known pandemic death in the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

The woman, identified as Fadila Abu Raida, was found to have Covid-19 on Tuesday, said Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for the Health Ministry run by Hamas, the militant movement that controls Gaza.

She had diabetes and high blood pressure, and died while receiving intensive care at a field hospital on the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, Mr. Qidra said.

Gaza, just 25 miles long and less than eight miles across at its widest, is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, but so far has reported only 55 infections in a population of some two million.

That appears to be the result of tight Israeli and Egyptian restrictions on the movement of people in and out of Gaza, as well as Hamas’s decision to isolate all returning residents in quarantine facilities.

Hamas officials have said that all known carriers of the disease have been individuals returning from abroad and have not mixed with the territory’s broader population.

Still, the death underscored Gaza’s vulnerability were its outbreak to grow.

“It would be a very problematic situation,” said Gerald Rockenschaub, the head of the World Health Organization’s mission to the Palestinians. “The health system suffers from many chronic weaknesses.”

There are currently only 87 ventilators in Gaza, most of which are already in use, he said.

Trump goes golfing for the first time since shutdowns began.

President Trump leaving the White House on Saturday.Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

President Trump spent Saturday at his members-only golf club in Virginia, his first outing there since the coronavirus pandemic led to government restrictions on business and social activity across the country.

The trip comes as the administration has encouraged reopening, and a day after Mr. Trump announced that he was ordering states to allow churches and other places of worship to reopen, threatening to overrule any governor who defied the order. Some of his health experts also appeared to give him the green light to carry on with his normal weekend activity, which has been suspended for weeks.

“You can play golf. You can play tennis with marked balls,” Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said at a news conference on Friday. “You can go to the beaches” if you maintain distance from other beachgoers, she told Americans heading into a holiday weekend.

The White House did not provide any details about what Mr. Trump was doing at his golf club, or whom he was playing with. Reporters spotted him leaving the White House residence dressed in a white polo shirt and a white baseball cap.

Black Covid-19 patients have more advanced cases, study finds.

Black patients were hospitalized at nearly three times the rate of white and Hispanic patients, California researchers found.Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

As the coronavirus spread across the United States, sweeping through low-income, densely populated communities, black and Hispanic patients have been dying at higher rates than white patients.

Crowded living conditions, poorer overall health and limited access to care have been blamed, among other factors. But a new study suggests that the disparity is particularly acute for black patients.

Among those seeking medical care for Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, black patients were hospitalized at nearly three times the rate of white and Hispanic patients, according to an analysis of patient records from a large health care system in Northern California.

The disparity remained even after researchers took into account differences in age, sex, income and the prevalence of chronic health problems that exacerbate Covid-19, like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

The finding suggests that black patients may have had limited access to medical care or that they postponed seeking help until later in the course of their illness, when the disease was more advanced.

Black patients were also far less likely than white, Hispanic or Asian patients to have been tested for the virus before going to the emergency room for care.

Black patients “are coming to us later and sicker, and they’re accessing our care through the emergency department and acute care environment,” said Dr. Stephen H. Lockhart, the chief medical officer at Sutter Health in Sacramento and one of the authors of the new study.

The study, which was peer reviewed, was published in Health Affairs.

Gatherings of up to 10 people are now allowed in New York.

The Kirkland family celebrated the birthday of Nichole, left, and the high school graduation of KJ, top, in Brooklyn on Friday.Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York slightly loosened coronavirus restrictions, saying that gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed “for any lawful purpose or reason” anywhere in the state — including New York City — provided that social-distance protocols were followed.

The revision, issued Friday night in an unexpected executive order, was swiftly condemned by Councilman Mark D. Levine, who represents Upper Manhattan and is chairman of the City Council’s health committee. He stressed that the order had not been made by health professionals.

“No one should interpret this as advice to change their behavior,” he added.

The new orders come as the daily number of coronavirus-related deaths dipped below 100 for the first time since late March. Mr. Cuomo reported 84 deaths on Saturday, the lowest daily death toll since March 24.

He called the number of new casualties on Saturday “a tragedy, no doubt,” but he said he could not ignore that the downward trend was a positive sign. “For me, it’s just a sign that we are making real progress.”

Minnesota, under pressure, is opening churches next week.

St. Paul Cathedral in St. Paul, Minn., on Friday. Leaders of Catholic and Lutheran churches in the state said earlier this week that they planned to hold services in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s orders.Jim Mone/Associated Press

Minnesota’s governor said Saturday that he will allow houses of worship to open their doors next week after pressure from some church leaders and a day after President Trump demanded that religious institutions be deemed essential.

Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, said religious leaders could hold in-person services beginning on Wednesday, but that they would need to limit indoor crowds to 25 percent of their building’s capacity, up to a maximum of 250 people. The move follows pressure from the leaders of Catholic and Lutheran churches in the state, who said earlier this week that they planned to hold services in defiance of Mr. Walz’s orders.

Many are expected to gather to worship in person across the United States on Sunday. Mr. Trump said he would override governors if they did not allow worshipers to do so, although legal experts said he does not have that authority.

In California, a federal appeals court, in a two-to-one decision on Friday, declined to block the restrictions on religious services in the state’s emergency orders. A Pentecostal church in San Diego had sued Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, arguing, among other things, that his orders had violated their right to freely practice their religion. Mr. Newsom has said he will provide more guidance regarding religious gatherings on Monday.

In Minnesota, Mr. Walz said Vice President Mike Pence had called him on Thursday to discuss reopening religious institutions and given him a heads up that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be releasing new guidelines for houses of worship this past Friday.

Even as he announced the looser restrictions at a news conference on Saturday, Mr. Walz seemed pained at the thought of the large gatherings that would be allowed under his new executive order, which also permits weddings, funerals, scripture studies and other planned events to be held at ceremonial venues, with restrictions.

“To be candid, the 250 terrifies me,” Mr. Walz said of the maximum number of people who would be allowed to gather for ceremonies under his new guidelines.

There have been nearly 20,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Minnesota and about 860 deaths, but health officials believe the state has not yet hit its peak.

“The thing that frustrates me is when I see elected leaders stand in front of places, celebrating and demanding they be open,” Mr. Walz said. “They’re not with me when I have to open the new morgue.”

Jan Malcolm, the state’s health commissioner, said religious leaders must thoroughly clean their buildings and ensure that congregants stay six feet apart. She and Mr. Walz said that although the state was loosening restrictions, they still recommended that services be held remotely.

If you’re gathering for Memorial Day weekend, here’s how to do it safely.

Groups at a beach in Seaside Heights, N.J., on Friday.Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

It’s Memorial Day weekend in the United States, when beaches and backyard barbecues beckon. While dozens of states are cautiously allowing small gatherings in public spaces, restrictions and closings may still be in effect.

Many of New York City’s beaches are open, but swimming, grilling and organized sports are prohibited. Strict social-distancing guidelines are being enforced across much of New Jersey’s coastline. Many California beaches are open only for “active uses” like running, swimming and surfing, but not sunbathing or extended stays.

Away from the shores, many parks across the country are open, but some are capping the number of people allowed inside and encouraging brief visits.

As many places continue to reopen, here is guidance on lowering the coronavirus risk and managing anxiety while being out during the pandemic.

The F.D.A. bars nearly 30 antibody tests, many made overseas, from the U.S. market.

A medical worker taking a blood sample for an antibody test in Los Angeles this on Wednesday.Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration has barred the sale of nearly 30 coronavirus antibody tests because the manufacturers, many of them based overseas, failed to prove that they were accurate.

A number of the manufacturers are based in China, including Bioscience (Chongqing) Diagnostic Technology Company, Hangzhou Clongene Biotech Company and Zhengzhou Fortune Bioscience Company. Other affected companies are LifeAssay, based in South Africa, and Promedical, based in Australia.

The tests are devised to detect whether an individual has antibodies to the virus, which would show whether they had been infected previously. Many people are getting tested on the assumption that the antibodies confer some immunity to the virus, though researchers are not yet certain how long any immunity might last or how strong it might be.

Earlier this year, all of the manufacturers had notified the F.D.A. that they had validated the tests, but in one study scientists found that only three of 14 tests they examined gave consistently reliable results. A federal study also concluded that “a concerning number” of the tests, also known as serology tests, yielded invalid results.

The F.D.A. then gave the manufacturers until May 18 to prove the tests worked as advertised.

The F.D.A.’s announcement on Thursday did not specify whether the manufacturers had neglected to submit an application, provided faulty data or otherwise failed to meet the requirements, thought it did note that a half-dozen had voluntarily stopped sales.

The volunteers included Diazyme Laboratories, BioMedomics and Shenzhen Landwind Medical Company.

Abhijit Datta, the vice president for operations at Diazyme Laboratories, said the company had never actually sold the rapid antibody detection test listed on the F.D.A.’s website, but was continuing to sell a high-throughput antibody test used in labs around the country.

The N.B.A. considers resuming its season at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., after the game between the Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans was called off on March 11 over coronavirus worries.Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

The N.B.A. is in the early stages of discussions with the Walt Disney Company to restart its suspended season in late July at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, a league spokesman said Saturday.

The restart would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which would act as “a single site for an N.BA. campus for games, practices and housing,” said the spokesman, Mike Bass.

“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place,” Mr. Bass said in a statement.

The N.B.A. was among the first major sports leagues to suspend its season on March 11 as a result of the coronavirus, beginning a cascade of other leagues doing the same. Since then several players, including the Nets star Kevin Durant, have tested positive for the virus.

Several hurdles remain to a resumed season. One is testing. The league was criticized when some of its teams were able to obtain tests for their players even though there was a nationwide testing shortage, raising questions of greater accessibility for the wealthy.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bass said, “Regular testing will be key in our return to play,” and that the league wanted to ensure that it “does not come at the expense of testing front line health care workers or others who need it.”

Any return to play must also come with a green light from the players’ union. A union spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It is also unclear how many, if any, fans would be allowed into an arena for games.

As of Friday, unions representing athletes in major North American team sports were still negotiating specific plans for returning to play, including extra protection for the most vulnerable employees. For some athletes and team staff members with conditions that put them at greater risk from the coronavirus, balancing health needs against the zeal to play is an especially delicate matter.

A Missouri hair stylist may have exposed 91 people by working while sick.

A hair stylist in Missouri worked for eight days at a salon while sick with the coronavirus, health officials said, potentially exposing 84 clients and seven co-workers.

The possible spread was an extreme example of what health officials warn is likely to be the cost of reopening businesses. Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri, a Republican, allowed many businesses, including salons, to reopen on May 4.

While symptomatic, the stylist showed up for eight shifts at the Great Clips hair salon in Springfield between May 12 and Wednesday, after getting sick following travel within the state, health officials said.

“I’ll be honest — I’m very frustrated to be up here today, and maybe more so I’m disappointed,” Clay Goddard, who leads the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, said at a news conference on Friday.

Mr. Goddard said that the 91 clients and co-workers who were potentially exposed would all be tested, and that health officials would begin contact tracing.

He said that while the stylist had not exercised enough personal responsibility, he hoped the salon’s strict enforcement of health policies had prevented many possible infections. The stylist and all of the clients had worn masks, he said, and Great Clips kept detailed records that allowed health officials to contact the clients who might have been exposed.

Mr. Goddard said that the stylist had also visited a fitness center, a Dairy Queen and a Walmart in the last 10 days.

“I’m going to be honest with you: We can’t have many more of these,” he said. “We can’t make this a regular habit, or our capability as a community will be strained, and we will have to re-evaluate what things look like going forward.”

Federal scientists finally publish remdesivir data.

Nearly a month after federal scientists claimed that an experimental drug had helped patients severely ill with the coronavirus, the research has been published.

The drug, remdesivir, was quickly authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of coronavirus patients, and hospitals rushed to obtain supplies.

But until now, researchers and physicians had not seen the actual data.

The long-awaited study, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on The New England Journal of Medicine’s website on Friday evening. It confirmed the essence of the government’s assertions: Remdesivir shortened recovery time from 15 days to 11 days in hospitalized patients. The study defined recovery as “either discharge from the hospital or hospitalization.”

The trial was rigorous, randomly assigning 1,063 seriously ill patients to receive either remdesivir or a placebo. Those who received the drug not only recovered faster but also did not have serious adverse events more often than those who were given the placebo.

Pandemic Swells in South America, as the U.S. Nears 100,000 Deaths

Gaza reports its first coronavirus death. New York is allowing gatherings of up to 10.

Published May 23, 2020Updated May 24, 2020

This briefing has ended. Follow our latest coverage of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Higienópolis neighborhood of São Paulo on Tuesday. Brazil overtook Russia in reporting the second-highest count of infections worldwide.Victor Moriyama for The New York Times

As the U.S. death toll nears 100,000, infections are rising in Latin America.

Since the initial outbreak of the coronavirus in China, the world has tracked a pandemic that rapidly spread west, proliferating across Asia and Europe, seeding hot spots across Africa and exploding in North America. For weeks, the United States has been the global epicenter, confirming more than 1.6 million cases, and the number of deaths nearing 100,000.

And now the pandemic appears to be arriving at new milestones. China on Saturday reported no new coronavirus deaths or symptomatic cases for the first time since the virus emerged. And surges of Covid-19 in several of South America’s most populous countries are raising concerns of a new front.

On Friday, Brazil overtook Russia in reporting the second-highest count of infections worldwide, reaching more than 330,000 to date. Peru and Chile rank among the hardest-hit countries in the world in terms of infections per capita, around 1 in 300. And data from Ecuador indicate that the country is suffering one of the worst outbreaks in the world.

Brazil is home to several of the world’s largest metropolises, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. While other countries around the world began sounding the alarm as the virus arrived in February and March, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, largely played down the threat, urging people to continue working and keeping businesses such as gyms and beauty salons open.

Worldwide, the pace of new infections is still climbing with over 100,000 new cases reported daily since Thursday. These numbers are among the very worst since the pandemic began, second only to a single day in April, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

The list of countries seeing sharp increases is not limited to those in Central and South America. In India, infections have surged to over 125,000 people, and Iran, which experienced one of the earliest and most significant outbreaks, is undergoing a resurgence of new cases.

Over all, infection rates are slowing in the United States, but they remain steady in about 25 states. Six — North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, North Dakota, Maine and Wyoming — have reported rises in newly reported cases over the last 14 days, in part because some have recently ramped up testing.

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak

The virus has infected more than 5,402,700 people in at least 177 countries.

Gaza reports its first pandemic death, underscoring its success and vulnerability.

A mural of coronavirus in Gaza City in April. Even though Gaza has been largely unscathed by the virus, experts continue to warn that its health infrastructure could collapse in the face of a large-scale outbreak.Mohammed Abed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Officials in Gaza announced on Saturday that a 77-year-old woman had died after contracting the coronavirus, becoming the first known pandemic death in the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

The woman, identified as Fadila Abu Raida, was found to have Covid-19 on Tuesday, said Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for the Health Ministry run by Hamas, the militant movement that controls Gaza.

She had diabetes and high blood pressure, and died while receiving intensive care at a field hospital on the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, Mr. Qidra said.

Gaza, just 25 miles long and less than eight miles across at its widest, is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, but so far has reported only 55 infections in a population of some two million.

That appears to be the result of tight Israeli and Egyptian restrictions on the movement of people in and out of Gaza, as well as Hamas’s decision to isolate all returning residents in quarantine facilities.

Hamas officials have said that all known carriers of the disease have been individuals returning from abroad and have not mixed with the territory’s broader population.

Still, the death underscored Gaza’s vulnerability were its outbreak to grow.

“It would be a very problematic situation,” said Gerald Rockenschaub, the head of the World Health Organization’s mission to the Palestinians. “The health system suffers from many chronic weaknesses.”

There are currently only 87 ventilators in Gaza, most of which are already in use, he said.

Trump goes golfing for the first time since shutdowns began.

President Trump leaving the White House on Saturday.Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

President Trump spent Saturday at his members-only golf club in Virginia, his first outing there since the coronavirus pandemic led to government restrictions on business and social activity across the country.

The trip comes as the administration has encouraged reopening, and a day after Mr. Trump announced that he was ordering states to allow churches and other places of worship to reopen, threatening to overrule any governor who defied the order. Some of his health experts also appeared to give him the green light to carry on with his normal weekend activity, which has been suspended for weeks.

“You can play golf. You can play tennis with marked balls,” Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said at a news conference on Friday. “You can go to the beaches” if you maintain distance from other beachgoers, she told Americans heading into a holiday weekend.

The White House did not provide any details about what Mr. Trump was doing at his golf club, or whom he was playing with. Reporters spotted him leaving the White House residence dressed in a white polo shirt and a white baseball cap.

Black Covid-19 patients have more advanced cases, study finds.

Black patients were hospitalized at nearly three times the rate of white and Hispanic patients, California researchers found.Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

As the coronavirus spread across the United States, sweeping through low-income, densely populated communities, black and Hispanic patients have been dying at higher rates than white patients.

Crowded living conditions, poorer overall health and limited access to care have been blamed, among other factors. But a new study suggests that the disparity is particularly acute for black patients.

Among those seeking medical care for Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, black patients were hospitalized at nearly three times the rate of white and Hispanic patients, according to an analysis of patient records from a large health care system in Northern California.

The disparity remained even after researchers took into account differences in age, sex, income and the prevalence of chronic health problems that exacerbate Covid-19, like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

The finding suggests that black patients may have had limited access to medical care or that they postponed seeking help until later in the course of their illness, when the disease was more advanced.

Black patients were also far less likely than white, Hispanic or Asian patients to have been tested for the virus before going to the emergency room for care.

Black patients “are coming to us later and sicker, and they’re accessing our care through the emergency department and acute care environment,” said Dr. Stephen H. Lockhart, the chief medical officer at Sutter Health in Sacramento and one of the authors of the new study.

The study, which was peer reviewed, was published in Health Affairs.

Gatherings of up to 10 people are now allowed in New York.

The Kirkland family celebrated the birthday of Nichole, left, and the high school graduation of KJ, top, in Brooklyn on Friday.Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York slightly loosened coronavirus restrictions, saying that gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed “for any lawful purpose or reason” anywhere in the state — including New York City — provided that social-distance protocols were followed.

The revision, issued Friday night in an unexpected executive order, was swiftly condemned by Councilman Mark D. Levine, who represents Upper Manhattan and is chairman of the City Council’s health committee. He stressed that the order had not been made by health professionals.

“No one should interpret this as advice to change their behavior,” he added.

The new orders come as the daily number of coronavirus-related deaths dipped below 100 for the first time since late March. Mr. Cuomo reported 84 deaths on Saturday, the lowest daily death toll since March 24.

He called the number of new casualties on Saturday “a tragedy, no doubt,” but he said he could not ignore that the downward trend was a positive sign. “For me, it’s just a sign that we are making real progress.”

Minnesota, under pressure, is opening churches next week.

St. Paul Cathedral in St. Paul, Minn., on Friday. Leaders of Catholic and Lutheran churches in the state said earlier this week that they planned to hold services in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz’s orders.Jim Mone/Associated Press

Minnesota’s governor said Saturday that he will allow houses of worship to open their doors next week after pressure from some church leaders and a day after President Trump demanded that religious institutions be deemed essential.

Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, said religious leaders could hold in-person services beginning on Wednesday, but that they would need to limit indoor crowds to 25 percent of their building’s capacity, up to a maximum of 250 people. The move follows pressure from the leaders of Catholic and Lutheran churches in the state, who said earlier this week that they planned to hold services in defiance of Mr. Walz’s orders.

Many are expected to gather to worship in person across the United States on Sunday. Mr. Trump said he would override governors if they did not allow worshipers to do so, although legal experts said he does not have that authority.

In California, a federal appeals court, in a two-to-one decision on Friday, declined to block the restrictions on religious services in the state’s emergency orders. A Pentecostal church in San Diego had sued Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, arguing, among other things, that his orders had violated their right to freely practice their religion. Mr. Newsom has said he will provide more guidance regarding religious gatherings on Monday.

In Minnesota, Mr. Walz said Vice President Mike Pence had called him on Thursday to discuss reopening religious institutions and given him a heads up that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be releasing new guidelines for houses of worship this past Friday.

Even as he announced the looser restrictions at a news conference on Saturday, Mr. Walz seemed pained at the thought of the large gatherings that would be allowed under his new executive order, which also permits weddings, funerals, scripture studies and other planned events to be held at ceremonial venues, with restrictions.

“To be candid, the 250 terrifies me,” Mr. Walz said of the maximum number of people who would be allowed to gather for ceremonies under his new guidelines.

There have been nearly 20,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Minnesota and about 860 deaths, but health officials believe the state has not yet hit its peak.

“The thing that frustrates me is when I see elected leaders stand in front of places, celebrating and demanding they be open,” Mr. Walz said. “They’re not with me when I have to open the new morgue.”

Jan Malcolm, the state’s health commissioner, said religious leaders must thoroughly clean their buildings and ensure that congregants stay six feet apart. She and Mr. Walz said that although the state was loosening restrictions, they still recommended that services be held remotely.

If you’re gathering for Memorial Day weekend, here’s how to do it safely.

Groups at a beach in Seaside Heights, N.J., on Friday.Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

It’s Memorial Day weekend in the United States, when beaches and backyard barbecues beckon. While dozens of states are cautiously allowing small gatherings in public spaces, restrictions and closings may still be in effect.

Many of New York City’s beaches are open, but swimming, grilling and organized sports are prohibited. Strict social-distancing guidelines are being enforced across much of New Jersey’s coastline. Many California beaches are open only for “active uses” like running, swimming and surfing, but not sunbathing or extended stays.

Away from the shores, many parks across the country are open, but some are capping the number of people allowed inside and encouraging brief visits.

As many places continue to reopen, here is guidance on lowering the coronavirus risk and managing anxiety while being out during the pandemic.

The F.D.A. bars nearly 30 antibody tests, many made overseas, from the U.S. market.

A medical worker taking a blood sample for an antibody test in Los Angeles this on Wednesday.Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration has barred the sale of nearly 30 coronavirus antibody tests because the manufacturers, many of them based overseas, failed to prove that they were accurate.

A number of the manufacturers are based in China, including Bioscience (Chongqing) Diagnostic Technology Company, Hangzhou Clongene Biotech Company and Zhengzhou Fortune Bioscience Company. Other affected companies are LifeAssay, based in South Africa, and Promedical, based in Australia.

The tests are devised to detect whether an individual has antibodies to the virus, which would show whether they had been infected previously. Many people are getting tested on the assumption that the antibodies confer some immunity to the virus, though researchers are not yet certain how long any immunity might last or how strong it might be.

Earlier this year, all of the manufacturers had notified the F.D.A. that they had validated the tests, but in one study scientists found that only three of 14 tests they examined gave consistently reliable results. A federal study also concluded that “a concerning number” of the tests, also known as serology tests, yielded invalid results.

The F.D.A. then gave the manufacturers until May 18 to prove the tests worked as advertised.

The F.D.A.’s announcement on Thursday did not specify whether the manufacturers had neglected to submit an application, provided faulty data or otherwise failed to meet the requirements, thought it did note that a half-dozen had voluntarily stopped sales.

The volunteers included Diazyme Laboratories, BioMedomics and Shenzhen Landwind Medical Company.

Abhijit Datta, the vice president for operations at Diazyme Laboratories, said the company had never actually sold the rapid antibody detection test listed on the F.D.A.’s website, but was continuing to sell a high-throughput antibody test used in labs around the country.

The N.B.A. considers resuming its season at Walt Disney World Resort.

The Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., after the game between the Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans was called off on March 11 over coronavirus worries.Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

The N.B.A. is in the early stages of discussions with the Walt Disney Company to restart its suspended season in late July at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, a league spokesman said Saturday.

The restart would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which would act as “a single site for an N.BA. campus for games, practices and housing,” said the spokesman, Mike Bass.

“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place,” Mr. Bass said in a statement.

The N.B.A. was among the first major sports leagues to suspend its season on March 11 as a result of the coronavirus, beginning a cascade of other leagues doing the same. Since then several players, including the Nets star Kevin Durant, have tested positive for the virus.

Several hurdles remain to a resumed season. One is testing. The league was criticized when some of its teams were able to obtain tests for their players even though there was a nationwide testing shortage, raising questions of greater accessibility for the wealthy.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bass said, “Regular testing will be key in our return to play,” and that the league wanted to ensure that it “does not come at the expense of testing front line health care workers or others who need it.”

Any return to play must also come with a green light from the players’ union. A union spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It is also unclear how many, if any, fans would be allowed into an arena for games.

As of Friday, unions representing athletes in major North American team sports were still negotiating specific plans for returning to play, including extra protection for the most vulnerable employees. For some athletes and team staff members with conditions that put them at greater risk from the coronavirus, balancing health needs against the zeal to play is an especially delicate matter.

A Missouri hair stylist may have exposed 91 people by working while sick.

A hair stylist in Missouri worked for eight days at a salon while sick with the coronavirus, health officials said, potentially exposing 84 clients and seven co-workers.

The possible spread was an extreme example of what health officials warn is likely to be the cost of reopening businesses. Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri, a Republican, allowed many businesses, including salons, to reopen on May 4.

While symptomatic, the stylist showed up for eight shifts at the Great Clips hair salon in Springfield between May 12 and Wednesday, after getting sick following travel within the state, health officials said.

“I’ll be honest — I’m very frustrated to be up here today, and maybe more so I’m disappointed,” Clay Goddard, who leads the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, said at a news conference on Friday.

Mr. Goddard said that the 91 clients and co-workers who were potentially exposed would all be tested, and that health officials would begin contact tracing.

He said that while the stylist had not exercised enough personal responsibility, he hoped the salon’s strict enforcement of health policies had prevented many possible infections. The stylist and all of the clients had worn masks, he said, and Great Clips kept detailed records that allowed health officials to contact the clients who might have been exposed.

Mr. Goddard said that the stylist had also visited a fitness center, a Dairy Queen and a Walmart in the last 10 days.

“I’m going to be honest with you: We can’t have many more of these,” he said. “We can’t make this a regular habit, or our capability as a community will be strained, and we will have to re-evaluate what things look like going forward.”

Federal scientists finally publish remdesivir data.

Nearly a month after federal scientists claimed that an experimental drug had helped patients severely ill with the coronavirus, the research has been published.

The drug, remdesivir, was quickly authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of coronavirus patients, and hospitals rushed to obtain supplies.

But until now, researchers and physicians had not seen the actual data.

The long-awaited study, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on The New England Journal of Medicine’s website on Friday evening. It confirmed the essence of the government’s assertions: Remdesivir shortened recovery time from 15 days to 11 days in hospitalized patients. The study defined recovery as “either discharge from the hospital or hospitalization.”

The trial was rigorous, randomly assigning 1,063 seriously ill patients to receive either remdesivir or a placebo. Those who received the drug not only recovered faster but also did not have serious adverse events more often than those who were given the placebo.

In a nervous America, the car becomes a safe space.

A showing of “Trolls World Tour” at the Four Brothers Drive-In in Amenia, N.Y.John Minchillo/Associated Press

The role of the automobile has been reinvented in the coronavirus era.

Once simply a way of getting from one place to another, the car has become a mini-shelter on wheels, a cocoon that allows its occupants to be inside and outside at the same time.

When people pack up their families and friends, they can still adhere to social distancing rules. They remain under a roof, within closed doors, sealed off and separated from the rest of their fellow human beings.

Mobile safe distancing has generated a new way of life — a society on wheels.

Uproar in Britain grows over a polarizing official’s trip while infected.

“You’re supposed to be more than two meters apart,” Dominic Cummings, an aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, told reporters as he left his house in London on Saturday.Daniel Leal-Olivas/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Violations of the lockdown by prominent figures are a recurring theme in Britain, and the latest involves Dominic Cummings, an enigmatic figure who helped mastermind the Brexit campaign.

Mr. Cummings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s most influential adviser, has become the focus of outrage after reports that he had driven from London to northern England in April to see relatives while he was ill with the coronavirus, in violation of the country’s lockdown rules.

“The British people do not expect there to be one rule for them and another rule for Dominic Cummings,” said a spokesman for the opposition Labour Party. Leaders of two other opposition parties demanded that Mr. Cummings resign or be fired.

Mr. Cummings became ill in late March, days after Mr. Johnson and another top adviser tested positive.

Confronted by reporters outside his home on Saturday, Mr. Cummings said, “I behaved reasonably and legally.” Asked whether his decision had been “a good look,” he replied: “Who cares about good looks? It’s a question of doing the right thing. It is not about what you guys think.”

Mr. Johnson released a supportive statement on Saturday, saying that Mr. Cummings had made the trip because his sister and nieces had offered to help with child care.

The uproar comes as Mr. Johnson continues to field criticism over his handling of the country’s outbreak, one of the world’s largest, with more than 254,000 infections and more than 36,000 deaths.

He is also under pressure to reward the doctors and nurses of the country’s beloved National Health Service, with some Britons even urging that the weekly applause for health care workers end and that the government instead give them higher pay. Many have died during the outbreak, and they have cared for patients while short on protective equipment like masks, gloves and visors.

German church opens its doors to Muslims amid restrictions on Eid celebrations.

Muslims praying inside the evangelical church of St. Martha’s parish in Berlin on Friday.Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

As Muslims around the world this weekend prepare to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, a church in Berlin has opened its doors to let Muslims hold Friday Prayer while observing strict social distancing because of the pandemic.

The Dar Assalam mosque in Berlin has been able to welcome only a fraction of Muslim worshipers during Ramadan because of national rules on social distancing. So the Martha Lutheran church in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin, the German capital, stepped in to help.

“During prayer, I could only say yes, yes, yes, because we have the same concerns and we want to learn from you,” the church pastor, Monika Matthias, told Reuters. “And it is beautiful to feel that way about each other.”

Because of stay-at-home orders and social distancing rules, many Muslim and Christian services have moved online. Communal prayers, feasts and parties that usually mark Eid have been being restricted or scrapped.

In Indonesia, where the number of coronavirus cases has risen sharply in recent days, Islamic leaders have encouraged Muslims to celebrate the holiday without gathering for traditional iftar dinners to break their fast on Saturday evening. And the country’s largest mosque, Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, plans to offer televised prayers on Sunday.

In Bangladesh, the government has banned the huge communal Eid prayers that normally take place in open fields, saying worshipers must gather in mosques. It also asked people not to shake hands or hug after praying, and advised children, older people and anyone who was ill to stay away from communal prayers.

As for mosques, the government has said that they must be disinfected before and after each Eid gathering, and that all worshipers must carry hand sanitizer and wear masks while praying.

Moderna’s upbeat vaccine news fueled a stock surge — and a telling backlash.

Hours after announcing positive results from a small trial of its coronavirus vaccine, Moderna Therapeutics unveiled a stock offering that sought to raise $1.3 billion.Bill Sikes/Associated Press

Last Monday, when the Massachusetts biotech company Moderna announced positive results from a small, preliminary trial of its coronavirus vaccine, the company’s chief medical officer described the news as a “triumphant day for us.”

But the episode has become a case study in how the coronavirus pandemic and the desperate hunt for treatments and vaccines are shaking up the financial markets and the way that researchers, regulators, drug companies, biotech investors and journalists do their jobs.

The vaccine, the first to be tested in humans, appeared safe and stimulated antibody production in 45 study participants. Eight people had in further testing produced so-called neutralizing antibodies, which should prevent illness.

But there were no details — no charts, no graphs, no numbers, nothing published in a journal.

Still, Moderna’s stock price jumped as much as 30 percent, and the widely covered announcement helped lift the stock market.

Nine hours after the initial news release, Moderna announced a stock offering with the aim of raising more than $1 billion to help bankroll vaccine development. The company’s chairman, Noubar Afeyan, later said it had been decided only that afternoon.

By Tuesday, a backlash was underway. With no further data, scientists could not evaluate Moderna’s claim. The government agency leading the trial, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — led by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci — had made no comment. And there were concerns that the company might have timed things to jack up the price of its stock.

“You have these wild swings, based on incomplete information,” said David Maris, managing director of Phalanx Investment Partners and a longtime analyst covering the pharmaceutical industry. “It’s a crazy, speculative environment, because the pandemic has caused people to want to believe that there’s going to be a miracle cure in a miracle time frame.”

D.C. gauges reopening plans as regional cases surge.

Medical personal equipping personal protective equipment at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital this month in Leonardtown, Md. Virginia and Maryland have continued to see stubbornly high rates of new infectionsWin Mcnamee/Getty Images

Leaders in Washington this weekend are weighing whether to reopen the nation’s capital even as the region has emerged as one of the most concerning hot spots for the coronavirus.

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said at a news conference on Thursday that the city was eyeing a gradual reopening beginning on Friday but that she would announce a final decision informed by the latest data on Tuesday.

The Washington metro area now has the highest percentage of positive test results nationwide, Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, said at a news conference on Friday.

Virginia and Maryland, which both contain counties that serve as bedroom communities for Washington, have continued to have stubbornly high rates of new infections, according to data compiled by The New York Times. Prince George’s County in Maryland, which flanks Washington’s eastern border, has twice as many cases as Baltimore.

The mayor said she would make her decision independently, regardless of what neighboring states were doing in the coming weeks.

As of Friday, Washington had reported 7,893 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 418 deaths.

Under a proposal involving four phases, gatherings of up to 10 people would be immediately allowed, and a variety of parks and outdoor sports facilities could reopen. In the second phase, office spaces could open provided there are limits on capacity, with restaurants and bars following in the third phase.

The city’s proposed reopening guidelines hinge on a 14-day decrease in community spread. As of Thursday, public health advisers had noted an 11-day decrease, but cases continue to tick upward in the metro region.

An antigovernment rally protests Spain’s response to the pandemic.

A protest organized by Vox, Spain’s far-right party, in Madrid on Saturday.Javier Soriano/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Antigovernment protesters drove along the main avenues of Madrid and other Spanish cities on Saturday, hooting and calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez over his handling of the coronavirus.

The rally — organized by Vox, Spain’s far-right party — was the loudest protest against the Socialist-led coalition government since it declared a state of emergency in March to stem the virus’s spread.

“It’s time to throw out a government that wants to transform Spain into a Communist state,” said Pedro Fuentes, who wore a mask embroidered with the Spanish flag.

Saturday’s rally followed smaller protests this month, particularly in Madrid’s wealthier neighborhoods where residents vote mostly for right-wing parties. The conservative politicians that run Madrid’s City Hall and its region have been at loggerheads with the central government over how quickly Madrid should exit the lockdown.

While the government has allowed about half of the country to move into a more advanced phase of easing the lockdown, Madrid and Barcelona were the exception. Only on Friday did the central government recommend that the two cities ease some of their restrictions starting Monday.

Mr. Sánchez said on Saturday that the country would open to foreign tourists beginning in July, and that its globally popular soccer league La Liga would restart on June 8, part of the “de-escalation process” from its harshest pandemic restrictions.

The pandemic is colliding with another menace: climate change.

Volunteers trying to repair a damaged dam after the landfall of Cyclone Amphan in Buri Goalini, Bangladesh, on Thursday.Munir Uz Zaman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The hits came in rapid succession: A cyclone slammed into the Indian megacity of Kolkata, pounding rains breached two dams in the Midwestern United States, and on Thursday came warning that the Atlantic hurricane season could be severe.

It’s a stark reminder that the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 325,000 people, is colliding with another menace: changes in the global climate that threaten millions of people, especially the world’s poor.

In eastern India and Bangladesh, lockdowns had already left many people relying on food aid even before Cyclone Amphan hit. Then, high winds and heavy rains ruined newly sown crops that were meant to feed communities through next season.

“People have nothing to fall back on,” Pankaj Anand, a director at Oxfam India, said in a statement on Thursday.

Lockdowns around the world have resulted in a sharp drop in greenhouse gas emissions, but the decline has been nowhere near enough to shake loose the thick blanket of gases that already wraps the planet.

And lockdowns have put an end to the main alternative to farming and fishing — heading to urban areas for work. Traditional sources of protection during storms are also now more dangerous, with the risk of the coronavirus spreading quickly in shelters.

Will the coronavirus kill what’s left of Americans’ faith in Washington?

Long before the coronavirus crisis, another one was brewing: a drop in how many Americans trust the federal government.

It has been declining for decades, through Democratic and Republican administrations. And last year it reached one of the lowest points since the measure began: Just 17 percent of Americans trusted the federal government to do the right thing “just about always” or “most of the time,” according to the Pew Research Center.

That doesn’t necessarily mean people want no government at all. Polls consistently show much more faith in local government, and some governors are getting high marks for their handling of the pandemic.

But in a week of more than 20 interviews, Americans said that the government in Washington was not rising to meet the challenge.

Many noted that corporations seemed to be getting the lion’s share of federal relief money while small businesses suffered. They expressed bafflement that people had been asked to stay home but were not given enough financial support to do so. Some said it made no sense for entire states to be locked down when some places within were affected far more than others.

And while answers did follow a partisan pattern — Democrats tended to be more skeptical of Washington because they disapprove of President Trump — Americans also expressed a dissatisfaction that has been building for years.

“I don’t trust these people, I don’t believe them,” said Curtis Devlin, 42, an Iraq War veteran who lives in California, referring to national political leaders of both parties. “The people whose interests they represent are donors, power brokers, the parties.

The novelist Haruki Murakami gives Japanese radio listeners sounds to beat the blues.

The novelist Haruki Murakami, who once ran a jazz cafe.Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press

The celebrated Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is taking to the airwaves to “blow away some of the corona-related blues.”

Mr. Murakami, 71, who for several years ran a jazz cafe, is known for his passion for jazz and has also featured music in his literary works.

His “Murakami Radio” show typically airs every two months, and his program on Friday was recorded not in a flagship studio in Tokyo but from his home, in a nod to the stay-at-home requests issued by the authorities in Japan’s major cities.

“I wish music or novels could comfort you even a little bit,” he told listeners, saying that he understood the struggle to meet high rents and pay employees when his cafe had to close for months.

He opened the “Stay Home Special” with the song “Look for the Silver Lining” by the Modern Folk Quartet, and over two hours treated listeners to the likes of Bruce Springsteen’s “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day” and “Sun is Shining” by Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Mr. Murakami, whose critically acclaimed novels include “Norwegian Wood,” “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” and “1Q84,” also challenged the warlike language used by some politicians to describe efforts to end the pandemic.

“Hostility and hatred are not needed there,” he said. “I don’t want them to refer it to a war. Don’t you think?”

How to sell a lockdown in New Zealand: straight talk and mom jokes.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand at a news conference at Parliament in Wellington, the capital, last month.Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Pandemics are often described as crises of communication, when leaders must persuade people to suspend their lives because of an invisible threat. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand excels at that — by brightening epidemiology with empathy, and leavening legal matters with mom jokes.

It’s been strikingly effective.

Ms. Ardern helped coax New Zealanders — “our team of five million,” she says — to buy into a lockdown so severe that even retrieving a lost cricket ball from a neighbor’s yard was banned. Now the country, despite some early struggles with contact tracing, has nearly stamped out the virus.

Still, at a time when Ms. Ardern, a 39-year-old global progressive icon, is being widely celebrated, some epidemiologists say that New Zealand’s lockdown went too far and that other countries suppressed the virus with less harm to small businesses.

The Coronavirus Outbreak

Today’s Question: How can I protect myself while flying?

If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

But behind Ms. Ardern’s success are two powerful forces: her own hard work at making connections with constituents, and the political culture of New Zealand, which in the 1990s overhauled how it votes, forging a system that forces political parties to work together.

“You need the whole context, the way the political system has evolved,” said Helen Clark, a former prime minister who hired Ms. Ardern as an adviser more than a decade ago. “It’s not easily transferable.”

In New York, a neighborhood that stifled gangs and guns confronts a new killer.

Au Hogan, the president of the Baisley Park Houses Tenants Association in Queens, delivering face masks to residents this month.James Estrin/The New York Times

Not long ago, the main public health threat facing people living in an area of Queens in New York was one that had taken too many young lives: gangs armed with guns.

When a 14-year-old was killed accidentally in October by a bullet fired in a gang dispute, the death galvanized the neighborhood to take action. Community leaders negotiated a cease-fire, and shootings had dropped significantly by earlier this year.

Now, the area faces an even greater crisis as the coronavirus spreads through its brick high-rises and blue-collar homes. And this time the victims are mostly older residents with little or no connection to gun violence, residents and officials said.

“We are losing the matriarchs and patriarchs in our neighborhood,” said Erica Ford, who founded LIFE Camp, a nonprofit that tries to stem street violence. “We had just managed to bring shootings down. Then the virus made its way here.”

During the peak of the crisis in early April, nearly 70 percent of residents in the ZIP code who were tested for the coronavirus were found to be positive, according to city Health Department data.

At least 144 people from the ZIP code have died in the pandemic.

Can antibodies from recovered patients help those who are sick? For now, it’s unclear.

The F.D.A. has approved the use of convalescent serum in very sick Covid-19 patients.Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters

Scientists are scrambling to learn whether antibodies drawn from the blood of patients who have recovered from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, might help those who are severely ill.

The treatment has been around for more than a century, but it mostly has been given to patients without thorough testing. Now, blood banks around the world are collecting samples from people who have these antibodies, hoping they will turn out to be an effective remedy.

A study released on Friday night has yielded disappointing results. The research has not yet been peer-reviewed nor published in a scientific journal, but it is said to be the largest examination of the use of so-called convalescent plasma in severely ill Covid-19 patients.

Thirty-nine hospitalized patients were given intravenous infusions of antibodies. The course of illness in patients who received the convalescent plasma was compared to that of similar patients identified through electronic health records who did not receive the treatment.

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York reported that 18 percent of those who got the plasma of convalescent serum became sicker, compared with 24.3 percent of the patients who did not receive the treatment.

The death rates were 12.8 percent among those who got the antibodies, compared with 24.4 percent among the patients who did not get the treatment.

But the number of participants was small, and the patients who did not receive antibodies may not have been exactly like those who did, making comparisons unreliable.

Still, convalescent plasma did not appear to be the silver bullet that scientists have been hoping for. At the moment, only the antiviral drug remdesivir has been shown to be modestly effective in treating patients severely ill with Covid-19.

Even without evidence, however, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of convalescent plasma in very sick Covid-19 patients.

“That train has left the station,” said Dr. Arturo Casadevall, an immunologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

South Korea is closing bars and karaoke parlors after new infections.

Health workers spraying disinfectant in the Itaewon nightlife district of Seoul this month.Yonhap, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The authorities in South Korea’s major cities have shuttered thousands of bars, nightclubs and karaoke parlors after identifying them as new sources of infection.

The measures are a response to a new coronavirus cluster — 215 cases as of Friday — traced to nightlife facilities this month. The outbreak is believed to have started in Itaewon, a popular nightclub district in Seoul.

Anyone who visits the venues, as well as the owners who accept them, can face fines, and the government can also sue them for damages amid an outbreak. And unlike other patients, those who contract the virus in these facilities while they are barred must pay their own coronavirus-related medical bills.

South Korea is not the only the place in the region to crack down on nightlife in the pandemic.

Hong Kong closed its night clubs and karaoke establishments in April after a “bar and band” cluster was identified in a popular nightlife district. They are scheduled to reopen next week.

And in Japan, an association representing entertainment workers issued guidelines on Friday that cover nightclubs and hostess bars. The guidelines suggest that hostesses tie up their hair and avoid sitting directly in front of customers.

The association, Nihon Mizushobai Kyokai, also said that microphones in karaoke parlors should be disinfected regularly and that customers should keep their masks on while singing.

Europe’s military plan becomes a victim of the pandemic.

Troops from a European tank battalion that consists of Dutch and German soldiers.Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times

The coronavirus has upended the best-laid plans and priorities of many, including the European Union. And one of the biggest casualties may be European efforts to build a more credible and independent European military.

For several years — especially since President Trump came to office with his skepticism about NATO, European alliances and multilateral obligations — leaders like President Emmanuel Macron of France have pushed for the continent’s ability to defend itself and act militarily in its neighborhood without so much reliance on the United States.

But even before the virus hit, and despite loud calls that the bloc was in greater peril from new technologies and a more aggressive Russia and China, the European Commission was slashing projected European military spending in the next seven-year budget.

Now, with the pandemic having cratered the economy, there will be an even fiercer budgetary battle. Recovery and jobs will be the priority, and Brussels continues to emphasize investment in a European “Green Deal” to manage the climate crisis.

“We Europeans truly need to take our fate in our own hands,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany after Mr. Trump’s election. In February, Mr. Macron called again for “a much stronger Europe in defense.”

Brazil overtakes Russia in confirmed cases as the pandemic spreads in South America.

Burying a relative in Rio de Janeiro this month.Dado Galdieri for The New York Times

With the World Health Organization warning that South America is becoming the “new epicenter” of the pandemic, Brazil has overtaken Russia in its number of coronavirus cases, registering 330,890 infected people — a figure second only to that of the United States.

Brazil registered 1,001 daily coronavirus deaths on Friday, raising the country’s total to 21,048, according to the Health Ministry. And the true toll is probably higher as Brazil, Latin America’s top economy, has been slow to ramp up testing.

The coronavirus toll has been rising sharply in Brazil, where the country’s health minister resigned this month just four weeks into the job, having replaced a predecessor who was dismissed by President Jair Bolsonaro.

Despite having robust public health care system, the country’s response to the pandemic has been chaotic and contradictory, and it is not the only Latin American nation facing a surge in coronavirus cases.

Data from Ecuador indicate that the country is suffering one of the worst outbreaks in the world. And in Argentina, the pandemic threatens to push the country into even further financial difficulty.

On Friday, Argentina missed a bond payment and inched closer to another crushing default that would plunge it into a new period of economic isolation and deepen a recession that has been made worse by the pandemic.

China reported no new coronavirus deaths or symptomatic cases.

A line for testing last week in Wuhan, the Chinese city hit hardest by the coronavirus.Aly Song/Reuters

China reported no new coronavirus deaths or symptomatic cases on Saturday, the first time that both tallies were zero on a given day since the country’s outbreak began.

The authorities reported 28 asymptomatic cases, two of which were imported.

The announcements came as the authorities in Wuhan, where the global outbreak began, are aiming to test all of the city’s 11 million residents. In what is knows as a “10-day battle,” begun on May 14, the government initiative aims to obtain a truer picture of the epidemic in the city — most crucially of people who have the virus but show no symptoms.

Some public health experts are watching the campaign to see whether it can serve as a model for other governments that want to return their societies to some level of normalcy.

And while China’s Hong Kong security laws are attracting wide attention outside the country, its domestic news media outlets are keeping the focus on President Xi Jinping. He is using China’s biggest political event of the year, the annual session of the National People’s Congress, to project strength at a time when external criticism of his government’s handling of the pandemic is growing.

Some coronavirus patients in Portugal recognized their doctor from the soccer field.

Frederico Varandas, president of one of Portugal’s biggest soccer teams, is a doctor who has treated coronavirus patients.Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

He swapped his blazer and tie for personal protective equipment and left the boardroom for the emergency room at Lisbon’s military hospital.

There, as a doctor pressed into service in the pandemic, he faced feverish, coughing patients and helped line up their care. But some of them had a curious question. “From just looking at my eyes,” he said, “they would say, ‘Hey, are you not the Sporting president? Can I have a selfie?’”

Frederico Varandas is the president of Sporting Clube de Portugal, one of the country’s biggest soccer teams. He is also Dr. Frederico Varandas, a reserve military physician who completed a tour in Afghanistan a decade ago before switching his career.

Dr. Varandas, 40, was recently on call at the hospital for about six weeks, treating military staff members and their families. His main task was to test and evaluate patients as they arrived, before handing off the more serious ones to his colleagues in the intensive care unit.

He is not the only sports figure pressed into medical service in the pandemic. In Canada, Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in hockey turned medical student, has been gathering protective equipment for workers and helping with efforts to track the spread of the coronavirus.

In Dr. Varandas’s case, he said, “Sports had stopped in Portugal, and I thought that I am more important to the country working as a doctor.”

In Britain, a call to end weekly clapping for health care workers.

Clapping for the National Health Service in London last month.Andrew Testa for The New York Times

The woman credited with starting the weekly applause for health care workers fighting the coronavirus in Britain has suggested that the “Clap for Carers” should end on Thursday, the 10th week after it started.

Her logic? The public has shown its appreciation enough and it is now up to the government to reward doctors and nurses. Many have died during the outbreak, and they have cared for patients while short on protective equipment like masks, gloves and visors.

The woman, Annemarie Plas, told BBC Radio 2 that the clapping could be replaced by an annual remembrance. “Next week will be 10 times,” she said. “I think that would be beautiful, to be the end of the series.”

Ms. Plas is not the only one seeking to end the tribute: A doctor, writing in The Guardian, said: “Enough with the rainbows. When this ends, people need to show their value of key-working staff in practical ways; pay them enough to be able to live in our cities, and recognize, support and welcome immigrant staff who prop this country up.”

While the British government has been accused of mishandling the pandemic — such as announcing only on Friday, months after a lockdown began, that international travelers to the country would be required to self-isolate for 14 days — its National Health Service has been seen as a rallying point.

Britons started clapping at 8 p.m. on March 26, weeks after Italy, France, Spain and other countries in Europe had begun showing support in a similar fashion. New Yorkers also step out to applaud daily at 7 p.m.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this week that his government was considering how to reward health care professionals — weeks after other governments in Europe announced bonuses. Under pressure, he also ordered the end to the extra medical fee that non-British workers at the N.H.S. must pay to use the service.

The moves come as pressure grows for Mr. Johnson’s top adviser, Dominic Cummings, to resign after news outlets reported that he had visited his parents at their home in March while he had coronavirus symptoms.

According to The Guardian and The Mirror newspapers, Mr. Cummings traveled to Durham, 270 miles north of his home in London, a week after he had begun to self-isolate, flouting guidance from Mr. Johnson for people to stay home to help curb the virus’s spread.

The government defended Mr. Cummings on Saturday, saying that he had not violated the lockdown guidelines, and suggested that the purpose of the trip had been to secure child care.

The virus doesn’t spread easily on surfaces, the C.D.C. says.

Cleaning the surfaces in a classroom in Odessa, Texas, last month.Ben Powell/Odessa American, via Associated Press

Guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published this week are clarifying what medical experts know about the spread of the coronavirus.

The virus does not spread easily via contaminated surfaces, according to the agency — a relief for people worried about wiping down grocery bags or disinfecting mailed packages.

The agency has been using similar language for months. If anything, the news headlines highlighting this guidance in recent days pulled into sharper focus what is already known.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from one person to another, typically through droplets when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks at close range — even if that person is shows no symptoms.

The C.D.C.’s website also says that “touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes” is a possible way for people to become infected. But those transmissions are “not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

Separated by Plexiglas: A correspondent on what it’s like to visit a nursing home in France.

Elian Peltier and his mother were reflected in a Plexiglas partition as they visited Mr. Peltier’s grandfather René Bindel at his nursing home. Mr. Peltier’s grandmother Marie-Thérèse Bindel is also at the home.Lydie Peltier

Elian Peltier covered the pandemic in Spain before returning to his home country, France. We asked him to tell us about a visit to his grandparents.

When France went under lockdown in March, my mother was relieved. Her parents were in a nursing home, and with travel restrictions in place, she and her sister could no longer drive the 80 miles south of Paris every weekend to visit them.

At least in the home, my grandparents would get the care they needed. Then the virus slipped inside nursing homes, and relief turned to alarm.

So began a long vigil of daily calls, weekly video chats and customized postcards created online.

When I told my grandfather about reporting in Spain, I didn’t mention the bodies taken out of apartment buildings in Barcelona and the health care workers in hazmat suits disinfecting nursing homes in isolated villages. It felt better to update him on European soccer leagues and reminisce about our penalty-kick practices in his garden in Beaugency, where I spent my summers as a child.

The coronavirus has killed about 14,000 residents of France’s nursing homes — half of the country’s death toll. We are lucky that, so far, none of those deaths occurred at my grandparents’ home, where the caregivers were vigilant about social distancing.

As France began easing its lockdown last week, we were finally able to visit, or rather sit outside the home, as my grandparents sat inside, a few feet away. To allow us to hear each other, the staff opened the door, but placed a table with a Plexiglas partition in the doorway.

We could see my grandparents only one at a time, since they are in different parts of the home that can no longer socially mix. My grandfather, a former stone mason, misses many things that we cannot yet deliver, like shorts, because of the home’s strict rules. It is my grandmother’s company he misses most.

My grandmother, once a wonderful cook known for her poulet basquaise and cherry cakes, has Alzheimer’s. When she struggled to recognize me, I broke the rules and took down my mask for a second. A nurse gently caressed her hair as we spoke. My mother and I were a little envious that the nurse could do what we could not.

For now, I plan to finally read my grandfather’s journals of his military service in Chad when he was around my age. He gave them to me at Christmas; I thought I had plenty of time to read them. That was before he had a stroke, and before the pandemic created a new normal.

A British utility will pay its customers to keep the lights on.

Working on an electrical pylon in Leicestershire, England, in March. Negative electricity prices have become increasingly common in Europe.Tim Keeton/EPA, via Shutterstock

The pandemic has played havoc with energy markets. Last month, the price of benchmark American crude oil fell below zero as the economy shut down and demand plunged.

And this weekend, a British utility will pay some of its residential consumers to use electricity — to plug in appliances and run them full blast.

These negative electricity prices usually show up in wholesale power markets, when a big electricity user like a factory or a water treatment plant is paid to consume more power. Having too much power on the line could lead to damaged equipment or even blackouts.

Negative prices were once relatively rare, but during the pandemic they have become almost routine in Britain, Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The reason is similar to what caused the price of oil to plunge: oversupply meeting a collapse in demand.

In Britain, Octopus Energy is offering to pay some customers 2 pence to 5 pence per kilowatt-hour for electricity that they consume in periods of slack demand, such as are expected on Sunday.

“This needs to become the normal,” said Greg Jackson, the company’s and chief executive, who said the pandemic was offering a preview of “what the future is going to look like.”

In recent weeks, renewable energy sources have played an increasingly large role in the European power system, and the burning of coal has decreased.

The virus’s ‘different pathway’ in Africa may be a function of the continent’s younger population.

Coronavirus testing in Juba, South Sudan, last month.Alex Mcbride/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The coronavirus is taking a “different pathway” in Africa compared with its trajectory in other regions, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Mortality rates are lower in Africa than elsewhere, the W.H.O. said, theorizing that the continent’s young population could account for that.

The virus has reached all 55 countries on the continent, which recently confirmed its 100,000th case, with 3,100 deaths. When Europe’s infection count reached that point, it had registered 4,900 deaths.

“For now, Covid-19 has made a soft landfall in Africa, and the continent has been spared the high numbers of deaths which have devastated other regions of the world,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the organization’s regional director for Africa.

More than 60 percent of people in Africa are under 25, and Covid-19 hits older populations particularly hard. In Europe, around 95 percent of virus deaths have been among people 60 and older.

Many health experts have cast doubt on the W.H.O.’s numbers, however, saying that most African countries’ testing capability is extremely limited — partly because they struggle to obtain the diagnostic equipment they need — and that deaths as a result of Covid-19 are undercounted.

Reporting was contributed by Julfikar Ali Manik, Ian Austen, Peter Baker, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, José María León Cabrera, Stephen Castle, Damien Cave, Michael Cooper, Steven Erlanger, Tess Felder, Jacey Fortin, Jeffrey Gettleman, Abby Goodnough, Denise Grady, Maggie Haberman, Christine Hauser, Mike Ives, Jennifer Jett, Yonette Joseph, Sheila Kaplan, Annie Karni, Gina Kolata, Anatoly Kurmanaev, Mark Landler, Judith Levitt, Ernesto Londoño, Louis Lucero, Sarah Mervosh, Raphael Minder, Zach Montague, Sharon Otterman, Richard C. Paddock, Tariq Panja, Elian Peltier, Daniel Politi, Suhasini Raj, Adam Rasgon, Stanley Reed, Luis Ferré Sadurní, Edgar Sandoval, Choe Sang-Hun, Marc Stein, Matt Stevens, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Sabrina Tavernise, Katie Thomas, Anton Troianovski, Hisako Ueno, Shalini Venugopal, James Wagner, Sui-Lee Wee, Noah Weiland, Jin Wu and Elaine Yu.

Expect the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

To expect the unexpected and be prepared for it

by Rabia Ahmed , (Last Updated 2 days ago)

• How do we manange the next time?

How unexpected is life that within a few months the world …the entire world is taken over and the life of all its people changed… perhaps forever… by a miniscule ‘thing’ whose very existence as a ‘living’ organism is debated. That tiny organism, about 10,000 times smaller than a single grain of salt, has managed to halt traffic… aircraft, trains, massive trucks, trundling containers, everything. It has shut down businesses, some of them run by powerful magnates, ruin livelihoods and impressive economies, and kill more than 300,000 humans around the world, more than nukes managed to kill in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In a world where humans boast about whose nuclear arsenal is larger and about being able to decimate their enemies by pressing a button, this tiny thing has ‘achieved’ much the same much more insidiously and very efficiently. Unlike clunky human bombs this organism has killed humans alone by means of a disease that has as yet no cure. Structures remain unharmed, houses, buildings and towers stand as before, and there is no damage to forests and wildlife. In fact if anything wildlife has thrived in the absence of man on the streets and with the decrease in the atmospheric pollution he caused.

Can something be done so that even if there must be a lockdown… and the need will definitely arise again… we can survive it?

Never has humanity been more united in distress, nor human beings worked more determinedly towards a common goal, a worthy goal, as they do now when they’re racing to develop a vaccine to combat covid-19, the disease. And never has what is good and what is bad in human society been more starkly differentiated for all to see. The inefficiency, the materialism, the selfishness, the opportunism displayed by a few persons in stark contrast to the selflessness and devotion of the many… doctors, nurses, medical researchers, charities and the such whom the world can never thank enough.

Never have the most crucial problems in society been more thrown into relief, like the important bits in a document being highlighted in fluorescent colours or typed in a bold font to catch the reader’s eye for maximum impact. We see starkly as never before the difference in the suffering of the rich on the one hand and the less fortunate on the other. Perhaps it was needed to put it this way because the difference was always there and was always stark but we had got used to it.

The world has become used to incorporating poverty within it as if it were some kind of necessary ingredient, like leavening in bread or water in coffee. We exist within viewing distance of poverty, we allow it to persist and grow as if nothing can be done about it. We accept without much question the differences that exist in society, in housing, education, nourishment and health care. This is not just in Third World countries, it is also in countries like the USA where homeless persons may be found living in parks in residential areas, where the difference in health care is mindboggling depending on whether you have insurance or not, or in Pakistan the difference between being able to afford a good private hospital or not.

It is inequality that is more or less inevitable, not poverty, the kind that leads to immense disadvantages… that is not necessary at all, and something can be done about it if the will exists.

If even after this, these issues are not tackled, then the next disaster might come that much closer to annihilating us all. And there will be nobody to blame but ourselves. If we are still alive

Now, for the poor, the choice is very much in black and white. For the others there are options. For the poor this episode of covid-19 has been a choice between dying of the virus and dying of want. For the rest it has been an inconvenience, of having to make do without help, of having to disinfect and wash and not being able to socialize. But in the process we have seen the interdependence of one upon the other, how much we need various trades– the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, and how much they need our custom. It comes home to us that everyone does not have a bank account much less access to online banking, so people don’t get paid while there is a lockdown, or they are not paid because they do not earn. So there is an increase in violence, what a surprise.

Can something be done so that even if there must be a lockdown… and the need will definitely arise again… we can survive it?

If even after this, these issues are not tackled, then the next disaster might come that much closer to annihilating us all. And there will be nobody to blame but ourselves. If we are still alive.

The Simmering Pakistani Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Chashma-III nuclear power plant opens in Pakistan's Mianwali

SDGs & civilian nuclear technology in Pakistan

On May 28, Pakistan celebrates the annual anniversary of its first nuclear weapon test. Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are aimed to secure its traditional national security and maintain deterrence stability in South Asia. Pakistan’s nuclear diplomacy has underscored its national policy to deter aggression from India. It collaborates with the international community against threat to nuclear non-proliferation regime. Further, it declares these nuclear weapons as ‘weapon of peace’.

Apart from traditional security, Pakistan is fully determined to achieve its non-traditional national security challenges. In this regard, the peaceful role of nuclear technology is commendable under Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) that is fully resolvedtowards achieving socio-economic development. Pakistan is pursuing an instrumental role of civilian use of nuclear technology by culminating different 2030United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for national prosperity in future.

Chairman of PAEC Muhammad Naeem stated in recent conference paper titled The Pakistani National Perspective on Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime on 8 April, 2020 that the genesis of Pakistan’s nuclear program was when we joined the US ‘Atoms for Peace’ programme in late fifties. We were among the founding members of the IAEA. Since the establishment of PAEC in 1956, we have been working to use nuclear science & technology for socio-economic development and have made some significant strides. To follow the military path of nuclear energy was forced on Pakistan by events of separation in 1971 and so-called peaceful nuclear explosion in our neighborhood in 1974. Despite this, our military nuclear capability is for self-defence and we have always demonstrated restraint and responsibility…Having made considerable progress in the nuclear research and development, Pakistan has also attained significant supplier’s capability. We have in the past and are currently also manufacturing heavy parts and equipment and providing technical assistance to [European Organization for Nuclear Research] CERN.

Considering the scope of these 2030 UN SDGs, it is aimed at covering basic necessities of life. It also calls for fulfilling the elementary voluntary moral obligations with respect to each state’s national development. Total seventeen (17) SDGs related to zero hunger, good health and well-being , quality education, gender equality , clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic goals, climate action, life below water and others provides a national framework to all states.

Pakistan, on 63rd International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference, hosted its sideline eventnamed as ‘Atom for Sustainable Development’ by projecting its resolve for peaceful use of nuclear technology in food, agriculture, health, education, hydrology, climate change, electricity generation, industry, innovation and infrastructure’ in Sep, 2019. All these domains signifiy Pakistan’s national contribution towards enhancing its capabilities in minimising the non-traditional security threats.

Pakistan is also facing political hinderances for seeking international collaboration over desire to cons

For instance, under goal of ‘zero hunger’, PAEC is providing total 111 crops varieties through using state-of-the-art nuclear technology under institutions like Nuclear Institute for Agriculture (NIA), Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) and Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB). The ‘good health and well-being’ goal is promised byestablishing 18 cancer hospitals across the country for better health facilities. Pakistan is also become a part of the IAEA Program for Action in Cancer Therapy (PACT) under enhancing its national cancer control programme.

The goal of ‘affordable and clean energy’ is envisioned in achieving 40,000MW electricity by 2030 and currently, 5 nuclear power plants are under construction. Similarly, the goal of ‘quality education’ and ‘industry, innovationand infrastructure’ provides world class training at Nuclear Science & Technology (PINSTECH), Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Karachi Institute of Power Engineering (KINPOE) and CHASNUPP Centre of Nuclear Training (CHASCENT).

However, PAEC’s role in further advancing the peaceful role of nuclear technology is facing challenges at international front. Pakistan’s access to medical and educational equipments has been restricted from technologically advanced states including the United States and other Asian and European states. Their mentioned entity lists targeting Pakistan’s companies seeking civil use of nuclear technology needs to be reevaluated based on their existing criteria. It should nothamper one states’ socio-economic development goals that underlines its progressive vision towards 2030 UN SDGs. The IAEA also needs to play its role in easing such hinderances for developing country like Pakistan. It should endorse equal right for all states in seeking the civilian use of nuclear technology. This act will open more opportunities for inter-state collaboration and revenues for respective IAEA states. The cross-national expertise will be highly valuable for all stakeholders in this context.

Furthermore, Pakistan is also facing political hinderances for seeking international collaboration over desire to consummate its domestic nuclear energy needs. The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is the relevant nuclear energy group that facilitates the inter-state cooperation in-terms of civilian nuclear technology and NPPs. Pakistan, along with India, applied for its full NSG membership in 2016. Whereas, their cases remain pending at this group and suffers political polarizationthat offers no solution for easing the path for attaining the nuclear energy in future. Pakistan’s proposal for ‘criteria-based approach’ is prudent for establishing uniform and non-discriminatory approach for all non-nuclear members of Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty(NPT) including both Pakistan and India.

Despite these challenges, Pakistan’s dedication for Atom for Sustainable Development remains effective in facilitating its human resource all basic needs of life. The Covid-19 may offer wide range of challenges to not only Pakistan, but to all world states’ in overcoming the non-traditional security challenges. Within IAEA capacity, the ultimate solution can be offered under itsguidelines that should further advance the inter-state cooperation and civil use of nuclear technology in all fields of life.

The author is a Visiting Research Fellow at South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI)