Health

Did You Get the Coronavirus Vaccine, or Are You Planning To?

With approval from the Food and Drug Administration now in hand, Pfizer is shipping doses of its coronavirus vaccine this week to hospitals around the country.Health care workers have already started getting the shots, and most nursing home residents will start getting them next week. Other priority groups — likely a combination of essential workers, people 65 and older and those with high-risk medical conditions — will probably get access at some point in January.Reporters at The New York Times who are writing about the vaccine would like to hear about your experience getting it — or trying to. We would also like to know whether getting a vaccine changes your day-to-day behaviors or attitude about going out in public and interacting with others.We will not publish any part of your subm...

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Health

Why the U.K. Approved a Coronavirus Vaccine First

LONDON — The first rigorously tested coronavirus vaccine was given a green light for use on Wednesday in Britain. Doses of the vaccine, made by the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and a small German company, BioNTech, will be injected starting next week, the government said.In leaping ahead of the United States to allow mass inoculations, Britain added to the pressure on American drug regulators, who were summoned to the White House on Tuesday by President Trump’s chief of staff to explain why they were not ready to do the same.Why did Britain authorize a vaccine before the U.S.?The two countries vet vaccines differently.Rather than accepting the findings of vaccine makers, American regulators painstakingly reanalyze raw data from the trials to validate the results, poring over wha...

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Business

Europe Risks a New Economic Downturn as Lockdowns Return

“We are completely reliant on the development of the virus,” said Sylvain Broyer, chief economist at S&P Global Ratings in Europe.The volatile growth pattern repeated itself at the national level. Germany recorded an 8.2 percent increase in G.D.P. in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter, but business surveys indicate that the pace is likely to slow markedly in months to come.France grew more than 18 percent in the quarter, according to official data published Friday. But Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said a tough fourth quarter would cause the economy to shrink by 11 percent for the full year.The economic cost is particularly high in industries that depend on person-to-person contact. The longer the pandemic lasts, the greater the risk of mass bankrupt...

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Business

Two Museums Tried to Sell Art. Only One Caught Grief About it.

Two museums planned to sell works from their collections at a Sotheby’s auction on Wednesday night.One moved forward seamlessly, with the Brooklyn Museum reaping almost $20 million for seven works by artists including Henri Matisse, Joan Miró and Claude Monet.The other, the Baltimore Museum of Art, decided to pull its paintings — by Clyfford Still and Brice Marden — two hours before the heavily criticized sale after discussions with the Association of Art Museum Directors, a professional organization advancing best practices in the field.If the disparate reactions to the two sales is a bit bewildering, welcome to the world of deaccessioning, the often byzantine process by which museums get rid of items that no longer serve their long-term interests, whether by sale or donation.It’s comm...

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Sports

Instagram Tries Clamping Down on Misinformation

Instagram on Thursday took aim at the spread of misinformation on its platform, announcing that it would temporarily eliminate users’ ability to view some recent posts ahead of Election Day.In two tweets, Instagram said it would remove the “recent” tab from hashtag pages. Previously, users could view the most recent posts tagged with a particular hashtag. Now, only “top” posts under a specific hashtag that have been reviewed by the platform will be viewable.Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, said the change was made to “reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election.”The change took effect Thursday night and the “recent” tab will return sometime after the election, an Instagram spokeswoman said. The platform said it hopes the change ...

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World

A new nationwide lockdown in France prompts an exodus from Paris, and other news from Europe.

Thousands of people left Paris on Thursday, just hours before France went into its second nationwide lockdown, clogging the city with massive traffic jams as many sought to be confined in the countryside and less crowded areas.Lines of cars stretched across hundreds of miles in the city and on the Boulevard Périphérique, the multilane ring road that circles around Paris, in scenes reminiscent of an exodus in the spring, when France imposed its first lockdown.In March, 1.2 million people left the Paris area, nearly a fifth of its population. In some areas, the massive exodus by affluent city dwellers who decamped to their second homes helped spread the coronavirus to regions that at that point had been spared by the pandemic.This time, the virus is spreading fast throughout the country, ...

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Business

Eurozone growth surges, but another slowdown is probably ahead.

Growth in Europe rebounded sharply in the third quarter of the year, according to data published Friday, but hardly anyone was celebrating. Economic activity remains well below what it was a year ago as a surge in coronavirus cases and new lockdowns have raised the risk of another slowdown.Gross domestic product in the 19 countries that use the euro rose 12.7 percent from July through September compared with the previous quarter, the European Union statistics office said. But economic output was 4.3 percent lower than the same time last year — a severe recession by any standard — and could sink further as Germany, France and other countries order restaurants and theaters to close and restrict travel.European countries are increasingly desperate to contain the virus before it overwhelms ...

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Business

Peter Secchia, Confidant of Ford and Bush, Dies at 83

This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.Peter Secchia rarely boasted about his success, but he often marveled at it.At 25, he went to work as a salesman for a lumber company that grossed $1 million annually. He ultimately worked his way up to chief executive and transformed it into a global conglomerate, with annual sales of $1.6 billion by the time he retired in 2002.Buoyed by his financial success, he emerged as a major donor to his alma mater, Michigan State University, and a civic leader and philanthropist in Grand Rapids, his adopted hometown, and adjacent Western Michigan.As a prominent Republican contributor and fund-raiser, Mr. Secchia (pronounced SUCK-ee-uh) also became a confidant of two presidents.Under ...

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World

The End of a Beloved Delhi Institution

Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.NEW DELHI — For more than half a century, Parambaloth Joseph Anthony, a shrewd and sweet-natured man, served as The New York Times’s secret weapon in India.As the New Delhi bureau manager from the mid-1960s until just a few years ago, Mr. Anthony, whom everyone called P.J., played as many roles as anyone at The Times. He was a bookkeeper, a translator, a guide, an archivist, a newshound who could track 10 stories at once, and a beloved and indispensable friend to many correspondents and their families.One former correspondent even called him Kojak, after the 1970s TV private eye. The reason was that many years ago, after a bunch of people fell ill at a dinner ...

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Sports

What Went Viral This Week

Here at Daily Distortions, we try to debunk false and misleading information that has gone viral. We also want to give you a sense of how popular that misinformation is, in the overall context of what is being discussed on social media. Each Friday, we feature a list of the 10 most-engaged stories of the week in the United States, as ranked by NewsWhip, a firm that compiles social media performance data. (NewsWhip tracks the number of reactions, shares and comments each story receives on Facebook, along with shares on Pinterest and by a group of influential users on Twitter.) This week’s data runs from 9:01 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, until 9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 30.On TV and in newspapers, wall-to-wall coverage of next week’s election may be dominating. But on social media this week, stor...

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