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Your Friday Briefing


China is trying to kick its economy back into gear after draconian coronavirus countermeasures ground it to a halt.

Workers have begun returning to shuttered factories and offices, but restarting the Chinese industrial machine has proved to be more difficult than shutting it down.

Beijing has taken a top-down approach to the recovery. Regulators have told bankers to be lenient about debt payments. The national education ministry has opened more graduate school spots for students who face unemployment this spring. And cities are offering loans to residents and businesses.

The hurdles: Cash-strapped consumers who missed paychecks may spend less, while businesses may have lower overseas demand. And as people leave isolation, officials could face a new crop of infections.

Details: More than 50 million migrant workers have not yet returned to their jobs, according to official data. And signs of fraud have already emerged — like business owners trying to burn enough electricity, even with no output, to qualify for subsidies.

Amid a market meltdown: Global stocks fell sharply again on Thursday, as President Trump’s attempt to address the coronavirus outbreak failed to ease concerns. The S&P 500 Index was down nearly 7 percent in afternoon trading.

Here are the latest updates and maps of where the virus has spread.

In other developments:

“The Daily”: Our latest episode is about what China and South Korea have done right in their efforts to contain the virus, and how other countries are lagging.

What to know: The Times is providing free access to our most important updates and guidance on the outbreak. The Coronavirus Briefing, like all our newsletters, remains free.

The World Health Organization has served as a central coordinating body for outbreaks since the aftermath of the 2003 SARS outbreak. Ever since, a pandemic plan has been in place — for starters, it requires countries to notify the agency and share information about outbreaks.

But as the coronavirus spreads, dozens of countries are flouting the regulations and snubbing their obligations. Some have failed to report outbreaks; others have instituted international travel restrictions, against the advice of the W.H.O., and without notifying global health officials.

Responses have run the gamut, even in the most basic element of testing for the virus. For example, the actor Tom Hanks was confirmed positive for the coronavirus during a work trip to Australia, where testing is free and widely available. But in the United States, a series of missteps have made tests extremely difficult to access.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has suffered some of its worst Hindu-Muslim sectarian violence in years.

Now, more evidence is emerging that the Delhi police, under the government’s command, moved against Muslims and even helped Hindu mobs when they burned down Muslim homes and businesses.

Some Muslims, having lost all faith in law enforcement, are leaving their neighborhoods and moving to a camp on Delhi’s outskirts for internally displaced people.

Critics say the country’s courts and law enforcement bodies have been politicized by Mr. Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

The evidence: Several videos show Hindus saying police officers helped them. Our reporters also witnessed officers egging on an aggressive group.

The Times Magazine’s annual music issue is here, featuring artists like Lil Nas X, above.

The songs range from the overwhelmingly popular to the fairly obscure, but they almost all have something in common: the willingness to simply be what they are, and to let things fall where they may. Listen for yourself.

Israel: Lawmakers eager to end Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s career could succeed in ousting him, but only if Jewish lawmakers accept Arab support. For some, that is unthinkable.

Snapshot: Above, the “hottest town in Australia” — a distinction claimed by the remote desert outpost Marble Bar. This summer alone, temperatures there have hit at least 113 degrees on 32 days.

What we’re reading: This New Yorker essay by Colin Jost, a head writer for “Saturday Night Live,” about his taxing high school commute between Staten Island and Manhattan. Lara Takenaga, a staff editor, called it “an earnest look at how his teenage years helped shape his future career.”

Cook: Huevos rotos — a one-pan meal “good with a cup of coffee or a beer” — and these other weekend breakfasts.

Watch: The new season of HBO’s Westworld” mostly abandons the Western setting. But will sleek new scenery and a new star, Aaron Paul, win back those put off by a convoluted story?

Read: “John Adams Under Fire,” about the second U.S. president’s time as a defense lawyer, is new this week on our hardcover nonfiction and combined print and e-book nonfiction best-seller lists.

Smarter Living: There is way too much misinformation out there about boosting your immune system. Here’s what actually works, and what doesn’t.

How did jurors decide on the conviction of Harvey Weinstein, who was sentenced Wednesday to 23 years in prison? Our Metro desk wanted to answer this critical question. Emily Palmer, a regular Times contributor, explains how our reporters did it.

The goal was to get in touch with the jurors to reconstruct their mind-set during deliberations.

In Mr. Weinstein’s case, few jurors initially spoke to reporters. Following the verdict, my role was to gather color, or descriptions of the scene, from the courthouse and contact and interview jurors at their homes.

I went to Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood. For 12 hours, I knocked on the doors of three jurors, left notes with door attendants, ate at least one bag of salt and vinegar potato chips and waited in the lobby of another juror’s building — to no effect.

Another reporter, Nicole Hong, reached one juror by text. He wanted a few days to process the trial.

Laura Dimon, who worked as a stringer, a type of freelance reporter, spent five days trying to reach one juror. She went to three possible addresses for the person in Manhattan, left one handwritten message and sent three emails, among her attempts. Then, while walking her dog, she received a call from an unknown number. It was the juror, ready to talk.

Our reporters eventually reached three jurors who agreed to speak anonymously about what had happened in the closed jury room. Those interviews offered a revealing look at the deliberations and showed a jury that took its responsibility seriously.

“They largely had a civil discussion,” said Jan Ransom, a Metro reporter who covered the trial daily. “They were able to put away what one called ‘the noise’ of the ‘movement’ outside the courtroom to focus on the evidence from each woman and what they believed really happened.”

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Melina and Lara

Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected].

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about the global response to the coronavirus outbreak.
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