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Your Friday Briefing

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Cook: Adding tuna to your puttanesca gives it heft. And you can still make it in well under 30 minutes.

Read: A look at the history and culture of crossword puzzles is among 12 new books we recommend. Want a good barometer of what people are reading at home? Look no further than our best-seller lists.

Dream: It’s nice to drift through the idea of living in this restored rowhouse in Malaysia, if you could get there (and had $1.8 million to spend). It’s nice to go to galleries as well, if only virtually, to look at art from Feliciano Centurión and Jennifer Bolande. (You could make yourself into art afterward, maybe?)

We have more ideas about what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe at home.

This week, our video team took you inside Tripoli, Libya, where residents already facing the horrors of a war zone are grappling with the pandemic. Shelling has prompted more people to flee to the city center, and fresh attacks in residential areas mean they must choose between fleeing further, and risking exposure to the virus, or staying put, and risking bombardment.

Melina Delkic, on the Briefings team, spoke with one of the people interviewed in the video, Montaha Nattah, a 21-year-old student. Here’s their text exchange lightly edited for space.

What’s your typical day like?

Most of my day is spent writing papers, preparing projects, attending classes and studying for exams. Studying during quarantine is quite difficult — you barely have the energy to get tasks done — but studying while living in a war zone and being quarantined is an outrageous combination I would never want anyone to experience.

Libyans are used to leaving their houses whenever there is intense shelling nearby. Unfortunately, during the era of Covid-19, that is not the case.


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