E.U. to welcome vaccinated Americans
The European Commission will recommend a bloc-wide policy change that would allow American tourists fully vaccinated against the coronavirus to visit the E.U. starting this summer.
“All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved” by the European Medicines Agency, said Ursula von der Leyen, the commission president. That includes all three vaccines used in the U.S. She did not offer a timeline. Here’s what you need to know.
There are few details, but E.U. officials’ comments suggest that some form of a “vaccine passport” may be used. Around the world, a variety of digital and old-fashioned approaches are being used as proof of Covid-19 vaccinations.
Rebounding travel: U.S. airlines have said they expect strong demand for domestic flights this summer. The restoration of trans-Atlantic travel could provide the airline industry a much-needed boost as it works to generate profits again.
Sluggish population growth in the U.S.
With immigration leveling off and the birthrate declining, the U.S. population over the last decade grew at the slowest rate since the 1930s, the Census Bureau said. The total population was 331,449,281 in 2020, up just 7.4 percent over the previous decade.
With a total fertility rate of 1.84 children per woman, the U.S. is in the same range as Britain and Sweden and below France and Ireland. Italy, Germany and Japan all have a total fertility rate of less than 1.5.
Historically, birthrates have declined as societies become more educated and wealthier. Replacement-level fertility in developed countries is generally taken to require an average of 2.1 children per woman.
Effects: The Census Bureau data is used to reapportion seats in Congress, based on new state population counts. Six states gained congressional seats — Colorado, Florida, Montana, Oregon, North Carolina and Texas — while California, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and West Virginia lost seats.
Russia cracks down on Navalny’s supporters
Prosecutors in President Vladimir Putin’s government ordered an immediate halt to all public activity by Aleksei Navalny’s political groups, one of the most drastic and direct actions against the opposition in recent years.
The decision, which prohibits Navalny’s nongovernmental organizations from posting information on the internet calling for any public protests or organizing referendums, cripples the only remaining effective opposition to Putin’s increasingly authoritarian rule. Officials said the activities were illegal because they were “extremist” in nature.
Navalny survived an attempt on his life last year and is now serving a prison sentence on what he has called trumped-up charges.
Details: Navalny’s foundation started 10 years ago and has since targeted high-ranking Russian officials with exposés on corruption. Separately, he set up a network of political offices in dozens of Russian regions where he was campaigning against Putin.
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Criminals and insurgents in Venezuela have seized on the nation’s economic collapse to establish mini-states of their own.
Far from fleeing in fear, many residents — hungry, hunted by local drug gangs and feeling abandoned by their government — have welcomed the terrorist groups for the kind of protection and basic services the state is failing to provide. Our reporters went to one of the regions under their control.
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The Apple-Facebook feud
Starting yesterday, people with iPhones began to see pop-up messages on their screens asking whether they will permit companies to follow them from app to app. Facebook isn’t happy about it. Here’s what to know about the new tool.
There is a new iPhone feature. What does it do, and why is Facebook so mad about it?
With the latest iPhone software update, companies and advertisers must ask explicit permission to track people from one app to another.
Many app companies, including Facebook, have predicted that large numbers of people will say no. And that means companies that rely on showing people online ads may have less data to fine-tune the ads based on our activity and interests.
Who’s right: Apple or Facebook?
Facebook is right that billions of people have been able to access social networks, email, news and entertainment because it’s paid for by ads. The company’s message is that this system needs data on us to advertise effectively and efficiently. And Apple is right that digital advertising largely operates without people’s true consent or knowledge.
Apple’s message seems simpler.
That’s true. Apple’s view is that it’s simply giving people a choice of whether to be tracked across apps. Facebook’s argument to the public is more complex — that they have to be tracked for the internet to work, and that people don’t know what’s good for them.