World

Qatar Apologizes for Airport Strip Searches and Pursues Charges

Qatar’s government said on Friday that it had referred several people for prosecution over invasive medical examinations of women aboard 10 planes in Doha this month, after an investigation into the circumstances.In a harrowing episode on Oct. 2, women on the flights at Hamad International Airport near Doha, the country’s capital, were strip-searched and some were subjected to examinations to determine whether they had recently given birth after an abandoned newborn was found in an airport bathroom.The situation prompted outrage and disbelief, first in Australia — where the news initially emerged, because one of the flights involved was bound for Sydney — and then internationally, with rights groups calling the airport officials’ actions a breach of basic rights that could amount to sex...

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World

Hong Kong’s authorities seize 100,000 fake masks to be sold overseas.

The customs authorities in Hong Kong on Friday said they had seized 100,000 suspected counterfeit medical-grade face masks and arrested one person.“Initial investigations revealed that unscrupulous merchants intended to transship the batch of masks overseas for sale and profit,” the government said in a statement. The masks had an estimated market value of about $387,000.Customs agents were investigating the source of the masks and sent samples to a laboratory for safety testing, it added. Anyone convicted of selling or possessing goods with forged trademarks could be punished with fines of up to $64,000 and a maximum of five years’ in prison.Fake or defective masks could be dangerous because of their inefficacy in filtering particles while giving wearers a false sense of security.In Ho...

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World

‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way

LONDON — It was looking like a typical day at the office for Alexandra Wilson as she arrived at a London courthouse ready to defend someone accused of theft.She tied her hair into a neat knot, shrugged on her black robe and pulled on a white horsehair wig — the official garb of Britain’s barristers, the lawyers who argue most cases in court.But once she was in the courtroom, things went off script. In a patronizing exchange that was rude at best and hostile at worst, the prosecutor, an older white man, scoffed at Ms. Wilson, chided her for speaking with her client and tutted at her requests for details on court documents.Unfortunately, it was an all too typical day for Ms. Wilson in a profession where, as a young Black woman, she often finds herself fighting for recognition and respect....

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World

In Pandemic U.K., Brexit Is an Afterthought, as Is Trump

LONDON — When President Trump called the pro-Brexit politician Nigel Farage to the stage during his rally in Goodyear, Ariz., on Wednesday, it was a reminder that Britain’s bombshell vote to leave the European Union in June 2016 was seen as a harbinger of Mr. Trump’s victory in the United States that fall.And yet, four years later, Mr. Farage’s appearance seemed less a powerful display of populist camaraderie than a strange throwback. Britain has moved on from Brexit and Mr. Farage is viewed as yesterday’s man, forced to travel abroad to seek a spotlight that has swung away from him at home.Britain seems equally ready to turn the page on Mr. Trump. Despite his staunch support of Brexit and his effusive displays of affection for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr. Trump’s potential defeat ...

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World

The Shifting Map

Want to get The Morning by email? Here’s the sign-up.Good morning. The U.S. hits 90,000 daily infections. The wine industry has a sexual harassment problem. And the political map has shifted.American politics can sometimes feel static. For the last two decades, the two parties have each won at least 45 percent of the vote in every presidential election, and a small number of swing states have determined the outcome.But that surface stability has hidden a lot of churn: American politics has actually changed a lot lately.Consider that Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, will be campaigning today in Texas, a state that President Trump won by nine percentage points four years ago and that Barack Obama lost by 16 points in 2012. This year, however, Texas is a swing sta...

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World

A Rap Star Agonizes About His Role in Poland’s Culture Wars

LONDON — Taco Hemingway is a household name in Poland. One of the country’s biggest rappers, he has songs that get millions of views, and before the coronavirus hit, he filled arenas with bouncing fans, extravagant light displays dancing around him onstage.But last Friday, his demeanor was a far cry from the bravado typical of a hugely successful rapper. Sitting outside a cheap cafe in West London, Hemingway, whose real name is Filip Szczesniak, seemed nervous and avoided eye contact.“I’ve always been an extremely anxious person,” he said, by way of explanation. He rarely posts on social media or gives interviews, afraid his every word will be dissected by the Polish media and fans. This is his first for a printed newspaper or magazine since 2015, and his first in English. He only agree...

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World

New Zealand Voters Approve Euthanasia but Reject Recreational Marijuana

New Zealand will join a small number of countries that have legalized euthanasia after its citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of it in a referendum this month.A second question on the ballot during the Oct. 17 federal election — on legalizing recreational marijuana use — was set to fail, according to preliminary results released on Friday.Proponents of the cannabis measure expressed frustration with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who had declined to take a position on legalization before the election and revealed only on Friday that she had voted in support of it.On euthanasia, though, her stance had been clear. Ms. Ardern, who retained the prime ministership with a landslide victory in the federal election, had long expressed support for legalization, and the measure passed with 65...

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World

An unproven Covid-19 drug is turning out to be a proven moneymaker for its manufacturer.

The United States reached a milestone, of sorts, when last week the Food and Drug Administration approved the first treatment for Covid-19: Veklury, better known by its scientific name, remdesivir.But the F.D.A.’s decision to grant the drug full approval — which means its manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, can begin marketing it broadly to doctors and patients — has puzzled several outside experts. They say that it may not deserve the agency’s stamp of approval because it is, at best, a mediocre treatment for the disease caused by the coronavirus.One large, government-run trial found that the drug shortens patients’ recovery times, but the two other studies the F.D.A. used to justify its approval — sponsored by Gilead — did not compare the treatments with a placebo, the gold standard for ev...

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Coronavirus, Nice Attacks, U.S. Election: Your Friday Briefing

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)Good morning.We’re covering new coronavirus precautions to keep European schools open, attacks in France and the latest from the U.S. election campaign.Despite lockdowns, Europe’s schools remain openWide-reaching national restrictions in Germany and France will soon touch almost every corner of public life — with the exception of schools and day-care centers.Not everyone is happy with the decisions, but policymakers are taking extra precautions to reduce the risk, including mask requirements, the regular airing of classrooms and the split use of schoolyards during breaks.Around the world, there is growing concern that the pandemic is doing lasting harm to the academic and emotional development of an entire generation of children a...

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World

In Avignon, Snatching Theater From the Jaws of New Lockdowns

AVIGNON, France — Festivalgoers who cross the medieval ramparts of Avignon are used to being greeted with a riot of activity. Every July, thousands of posters cover the city’s walls to advertise stage productions as the official Avignon Festival and its Fringe compete for attention. Seemingly every street corner brings hopeful performers ready to pitch their work to passers-by, day and night.Not this year. Like so many other events, France’s biggest theater celebration was canceled because of the pandemic, leaving the city and local businesses with a major revenue shortfall. As some consolation, the director of the festival, Olivier Py, rescheduled seven of the productions originally planned for the 2020 edition over a week in late October.The name he picked for this surrogate festival ...

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