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We’re covering the epicenter of the new coronavirus, acquittal in the impeachment trial and the long-term prospects of the platypus.
Coronavirus deaths near 500 in China
The monthlong outbreak showed no sign of letting up. Chinese health officials raised the death toll to 490, while Hong Kong said it would now quarantine all arrivals from the mainland. Here are the latest updates.
The Chinese government has faced intense public criticism over its response to the outbreak. Its solution: renewed censorship, and directives to the media to be upbeat. Meanwhile, it has told doctors to consider treating the virus by mixing Western antiviral drugs with traditional Chinese remedies.
Further developments: Ten coronavirus cases were identified on a Japanese cruise ship, whose 3,700 passengers are now struggling with cabin fever under a two-week quarantine. Another cruise ship was being screened in Hong Kong because a few people on an earlier trip carried the virus.
Closer look: Chris Buckley, our chief China correspondent, surveyed Wuhan, the metropolis at the heart of the outbreak. Two weeks into a state-imposed lockdown, its empty streets echo with soothing messages from government loudspeakers. Dogs roam expressways, and the only crowds are in packed hospitals. Our drone footage captured the desolation.
Other angles: In the U.S., responsibility for containing the virus falls to local health officials. Our reporter spent two weeks in Snohomish County, Wash., the site of the first confirmed U.S. case. And our Science desk explored why the virus seems to largely spare children.
Impeachment trial ends in acquittal
The Republican-controlled Senate acquitted President Trump of charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, concluding the third impeachment trial of a president in American history. Here is our live coverage.
Senator Mitt Romney was the only Republican to vote to remove Mr. Trump, saying the president committed “as egregious an assault on the Constitution as can be made.” No Democrats voted for acquittal.
What’s next? Democrats are already planning to continue their investigations, starting with a possible subpoena of John Bolton, whom the Senate did not call to testify. The former national security adviser claimed in a book manuscript that Mr. Trump conditioned security aid on Ukraine’s willingness to investigate the president’s Democratic rivals.
Big picture: Regardless of the acquittal, the impeachment inquiry and Mr. Trump’s own words produced a set of facts that is largely beyond dispute: The president pressured a foreign government to take actions aimed at his political opponents.
Trump makes his case for re-election
To Republican chants of “four more years,” Mr. Trump took credit for the robust economy and a “great American comeback” during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
“In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny,” Mr. Trump said. Here are six takeaways from the 78-minute speech.
Bad blood between the president and Speaker Nancy Pelosi was on display all evening — including the moment she ripped up a copy of his speech.
News analysis: “Mr. Trump moved past preserving his first term and focused on securing a second with an argument aimed at both his political base and dubious suburban voters,” our chief White House correspondent writes. The speech’s stunts and engineered moments gave it an air of reality television, according to our chief television critic.
If you have 5 minutes, this is worth it
More forests, and more fires
In the decades after World War II, large areas of Europe went from being cropland to forest. That also means it’s ripe for wildfires. Above, hillsides scorched last year near the Spanish town of Cuevas del Valle.
Our reporter traveled to Catalonia to learn more about managing woodlands in a hotter, drier climate. “Climate change is changing everything,” a fire analyst said. “We’re trying to build some vaccination into the landscape.”
Here’s what else is happening
Iowa caucuses: The state’s Democratic Party released another tranche of results from its presidential nominating caucus. Here’s our live briefing, and the results so far. Pete Buttigieg is in the lead, with Joe Biden in a distant and potentially damaging fourth.
Turkey: Two avalanches, the second burying rescuers responding to the first, killed at least 38 people, with an estimated 10 to 15 still unaccounted for.
Snapshot: Above, a Sydney zookeeper with a platypus rescued after a dog attack. The shy, venomous, egg-laying mammal, found mainly along the east coast of Australia, is under threat from drought and wildfires wrought by climate change.
Math: A professor has rediscovered an ancient Babylonian trick for solving quadratic equations, among math’s biggest hassles.
What we’re reading: Two features on this history of vaping, one fromNew York Magazine and one from California Sunday. “They range from the early days, when vaping was a disruptive alternative to cigarettes, to the outbreak of a deadly lung disease,” says our briefings teammate Adam Pasick. “Both pieces serve to separate hysteria from fact, and examine how a lack of regulation led to disastrous unforeseen consequences.”
Now, a break from the news
Cook: Pressure cooker pot roast is just as good as the leisurely, slow-cooked version.
Watch: The Netflix comedy “BoJack Horseman” has had many animal gags during its poignantly comic run. Here are some of the funniest.
Smarter Living: Is it time to dial down the notifications on your devices? You can prune them, or hang a virtual “Do Not Disturb” sign.
And now for the Back Story on …
New York’s Fashion Week is about to begin, to be followed by events in London, Milan and Paris. Our chief fashion critic, Vanessa Friedman, will be tweeting and writing from them all, until she returns from France on March 4. She sat down with Andrea Kannapell, the briefings editor, to talk about what the next month will be like.
Which week do you like best?
Traditionally the fashion flock hates Milan. But I actually quite enjoy Milan. I really like the food, the weather tends to be better and the schedule is usually more human. But for just the sheer material, it’s Paris, hands down.
Remember, you’re reviewing four to 10 shows a day for weeks. So I’m really happy to have something to think about, something of substance that I can agree or disagree with.
The really hard thing is when you get a commercial collection, and really, it’s just a great skirt. And that’s just four words, and you have 800 words to go.
What kind of substance are you looking for?
The shows are the only pure expression of the designers’ idea of their own clothes. They control the hair, clothes, makeup, music.
That means that they have to have an idea about women, their lives and what’s happening in the world — the problems this designer is solving for them.
What effect is the coronavirus having?
We just got an email from a young, new British designer who’s Asian, who produces his clothes in Shanghai. China just closed down his factory, and he can’t get his collection. So he’s not going to be able to have a show this season.
We’re going to be watching if Chinese models can come, if the Chinese clients who usually come do. And then what this means for supply chains and sales. The Chinese consumer is an enormously important part of these brands’ customer base. And if they’re not moving and they’re not shopping, it’s going to be a real issue.
Do you have a fitness plan before the shows start?
[Laughter]. Oh, no! Beforehand, I try to be “normal,” but once it starts, it all goes out the window. I have a terrible diet and literally zero physical fitness. Honestly, my diet is coffee, soda, champagne, bread, chocolate, and occasionally a green juice. Then I think, good, you’re doing something for yourself.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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