The question of how to care for the country’s senior population during a pandemic isn’t unique to Canada and the United States. Many nursing homes around the world banned visits as the coronavirus arrived around a year ago. Soon after, geriatricians sounded the alarm about the rapid decline in health and well-being of residents, triggering a debate about the balance between protection and quality of life, as well as the rights and autonomy of residents. As a result, many jurisdictions reintroduced some sort of visitor policy, as the first wave subsided.

Many are calling for a similar discussion to happen again in Canada.

“If we really don’t allow people more civil and social liberty, and allow them to meaningfully engage in social activities in some way, these people are going to give up, as many of them have already done,” said Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

Betty Hicks, 82, broke her hip a couple months before her nursing home went into lockdown and she never regained her ability to walk, says her daughter Marla Wilson. Without the regular visits from her large family, the mother of eight deteriorated quickly, losing nearly 20 pounds and the ability to even pick up a phone, her daughter says.

Now that Ms. Hicks has been vaccinated, like everyone else in her nursing home, the argument that she’s locked up for her own safety seems painfully weak, her daughter says.

“You always hear people say, ‘Oh they lived a long life,’” said Ms. Wilson. “Right now, they aren’t living. They are existing.”

While overprotective government regulations have prevented long-term care homes from adjusting their restrictions, they are only partially responsible, said Dr. Samir Sinha, co-chair of the National Institute on Ageing and director of geriatrics at Toronto’s Sinai Health System and University Health Network.

Many facilities have been so focused on preventing outbreaks that they’ve been unwilling to develop creative ways of keeping their residents mentally and physically stimulated, he said.

“The majority of nursing homes across the country have found an excuse to not do something,” he said. “You even have these homes who are marketing it, ‘We’re going above and beyond to keep you safe.’ We translate that to mean, ‘We are locking you in your room for good.’ They are actually violating people’s human rights.”

And for many residents, Dr. Sinha pointed out, time is running out: The average stay in a Canadian nursing home, to put it gingerly, is just two years.

“I’d like to take them on a bus to Niagara Falls, or anywhere, even if we can’t get off the bus. When can we do that?” said Sue Graham-Nutter, the head of two nursing homes in Toronto where 98 percent of residents have been vaccinated. She is haunted by last spring’s outbreak that killed many of her residents, but she worries many more will die before they are afforded some basic joy.

“They want to go and hang out with their friends,” said Ms. Graham-Nutter, the chief executive of Rekai Centres. “When can we do that?”

Lawyers say the rules restricting residents from leaving breach rights laid out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “Long-term care residents should be able to come and go like everybody else,” said Jane Meadus, a lawyer at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, a legal clinic for seniors. “Does the fact you live in long-term care give you less charter rights?”

Few of her clients are willing to challenge their home’s restrictions, however.

“They are afraid the home will somehow retaliate, or try to remove them from the home,” said Ms. Meadus. “We are talking about institutions that have a lot of power over a very vulnerable population.”

Jonathan Marchand is one exception. Last summer, he slipped out of his care home near Quebec City and moved into a makeshift cage erected near the provincial legislature, to stage a protest. Mr. Marchand, a 44-year-old network engineer, suffers from muscular dystrophy and requires a ventilator to breathe. For years, he’s fought to leave the institution and spend the government money to hire his own caregivers at home.

The pandemic gave him another powerful argument. After five nights sleeping in his motorized wheelchair and on a cot, he returned to the facility, with a government promise to work on a pilot project for community living.

Since then, he has not been allowed to leave the property except for medical reasons, he says. While he calls the rules unjust and unfair, he understands why they are there — because of the devastation an outbreak from variants could wreak.

“Long-term care facilities were the first things to close down; they will be the last thing to open up,” he said. “I think they will be very cautious in opening up, and I can’t blame them for it.”

Still, some people have decided not to wait for the rules to change, but to relish the small joys vaccination provides.

Suzanne Charest rushed to an Ottawa hospital last month after being notified by her father’s nursing home that he had suffered what seemed like another heart attack. He was in so much pain, she said, he talked frantically through the night, as if it might be their last time together. Thankfully, it was a false alarm.

The next day, after he was back in the nursing home, Ms. Charest, who like her father has been vaccinated, did something she hadn’t done in almost a year.

She hugged him.

Catherine Porter reported from Toronto. Reporting was contributed by Allison Hannaford in North Bay, Sarah Mervosh in New York and Danielle Ivory in New Jersey.

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‘It’s Better to Walk Through a Minefield’: Victims of Myanmar’s Army Speak

The soldiers from Myanmar’s army knocked on U Thein Aung’s door one morning last April as he was having tea with friends, and demanded that all of them accompany the platoon to another village.

When they reached a dangerous stretch in the mountains of Rakhine State, the men were ordered to walk 100 feet ahead. One stepped on a land mine and was blown to pieces. Metal fragments struck Mr. Thein Aung in his arm and his left eye.

“They threatened to kill us if we refused to go with them,” said Mr. Thein Aung, 65, who lost the eye. “It is very clear that they used us as human land mine detectors.”

The military and its brutal practices are an omnipresent fear in Myanmar, one that has intensified since the generals seized full power in a coup last month. As security forces gun down peaceful protesters on city streets, the violence that is commonplace in the countryside serves as a grisly reminder of the military’s long legacy of atrocities.

an ethnic cleansing campaign that a United Nations panel has described as genocidal. Soldiers have battled rebel ethnic armies with the same ruthlessness, using men and boys as human shields on the battlefield and raping women and girls in their homes.

The generals are now fully back in charge, and the Tatmadaw, as the military is known, has turned its guns on the masses, who have mounted a nationwide civil disobedience movement.

The crackdown widened on Monday in the face of a general strike, with security forces seizing control of universities and hospitals and annulling press licenses of five media organizations. At least three protesters were shot dead.

Tatmadaw. It came to power in a 1962 coup, saying that it had to safeguard national unity. For decades, it has fought to control parts of the country, inhabited by ethnic minority groups, that are rich in jade, timber and other natural resources.

During the last three years, the Tatmadaw has waged war intermittently against ethnic rebel armies in three states, Rakhine, Shan and Kachin. The most intense fighting has been in Rakhine, where the Arakan Army, an ethnic Rakhine force, is seeking greater autonomy.

Civilians are often casualties in these long-running conflicts, as 15 victims, family members or witnesses in these three states attested in interviews with The New York Times.

was systematic and widespread during the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, Human Rights Watch found. The same fate befalls women of other ethnic groups in conflict areas.

“The Myanmar military is violating human rights in many ways,” said Zaw Zaw Min, founder of the Rakhine Human Rights Group. “Women are raped, villages are burned down, property is taken and people are taken as porters.”

In June, when soldiers arrived in U Gar village in Rakhine State, Daw Oo Htay Win, 37, said she hid in her house with her four children and newborn granddaughter. That night, the infant’s cries betrayed their presence to four soldiers, who entered the house. They gave her a choice: have sex with them or die. For the next two hours, three soldiers raped her while the fourth stood guard.

Ms. Oo Htay Win, her daughters and the baby slipped out the back door in the morning and took refuge in the city of Sittwe, where she now lives. She said her husband, who had been away, abandoned her after learning of the rape.

Though most victims of rape by soldiers stay silent, she brought criminal charges. After the soldiers confessed, they were tried, found guilty and sentenced to 20 years.

“I hate these three soldiers for destroying my life,” she said. “I have lost everything because of them.”

The convictions were a rare victory in a country where the military is seldom held accountable by civilians. And few victims receive compensation, even when they suffer permanent injuries and large financial losses. If they do, it’s minimal.

In the western part of Rakhine State, where traveling by river is common, the Tatmadaw often commandeers private boats to ferry troops and supplies. In March of 2019, U Maung Phyu Hla, 43, a boat owner from Mrauk-U Township, said soldiers forced him to take troops up the Lay Myo River to fight Arakan Army forces.

On the seventh trip upriver, they came under heavy fire. Shot in the thigh, Mr. Maung Phyu Hla said he slipped into the water and swam to a nearby village, where residents rescued him. An officer later gave him a token payment of about $350, a fraction of his losses and medical expenses.

“Who dares to complain?” he asked. “The answer is no one.”

Some villagers try to escape the conflicts, only to get caught up in violence anyway.

In March 2018, U Phoe Shan’s family and other villagers were fleeing from fighting in Kachin State in northern Myanmar. They were headed to a camp for displaced people when they encountered Tatmadaw forces on the road.

Mr. Phoe Shan, 48, said the soldiers ordered him to walk at the head of a group of about 50 troops through a forested area. Fifteen minutes into the woods, he said, he stepped on a mine. He was hospitalized for three weeks with wounds to his legs.

“If we protest, we may be shot dead,” he said. “It’s better to walk through a minefield.”

For the victims of these atrocities, life rarely returns to normal. Loved ones who have been taken never return home. Those who suffer crippling injuries find it difficult to work.

In Shan State in eastern Myanmar, U Thar Pu Ngwe, 46, who had been pressed into service, was struck in the leg by shrapnel when a soldier stepped on a mine.

He now walks with difficulty, and it takes him three times as long to go anywhere, he said. He has had to reduce the amount of land he farms, cutting his income by more than half.

“That incident changed my life,” he said. “I was a happy man but not anymore after that.”

He urged the Tatmadaw to stop using civilians in battle. “If you want to fight,” he said, “just do it on your own.”

Hannah Beech contributed reporting.

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A Women’s March in Mexico City Turns Violent, With at Least 81 Injured

MEXICO CITY — Hundreds of women marched on Mexico’s seat of government Monday, some carrying their children, others blowtorches, bats and hammers, prepared for a confrontation they hoped would force the country to tackle rampant violence against women.

The International Women’s Day protest was fueled by anger at President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has backed a politician accused by several women of rape in a country that suffers some of the world’s worst rates of gender violence. Despite a rift within the governing party over the issue, Mr. López Obrador has supported the politician ahead of June elections.

As the protesters gathered around the national palace — Mr. Lopez Obrador’s residence and the seat of government — their ire was focused on a metal fence that had been erected to protect the building from being overrun. Women wearing black balaclavas pulled down parts of the barricade as the police fired volleys of flash-bang grenades into the crowd, causing several small stampedes.

At least 62 police and 19 civilians were injured by late Monday evening, according to Mexico City’s security branch.

an average of 10 women were killed in Mexico every day, and there were some 16,000 cases of rape. An investigation by one news site, Animal Politico, found that from 2014 to 2018, only about 5 percent of all sexual assault allegations, including rape, resulted in a criminal sentence.

It is that impunity that has enraged Mexico’s feminists, leading some groups to embrace violence as a tactic to force the nation to pay attention to their demands.

“We fight today so we don’t die tomorrow,” women chanted Monday as they marched across the city to the national palace. Others declared, “The fault is not mine, not because of where I was or what I was wearing.”

Over the weekend, activists spray-painted the barricade around the palace with the names of women killed by their husbands, boyfriends or supposed admirers.

filled the capital’s streets after several grisly assaults against women sparked public outrage, including the killing of a 7-year-old girl who was found disemboweled in a body bag.

A day later, tens of thousands of women stayed home from work in a nationwide strike to protest the violence.

accused of sexual assault by several women. The candidate, Félix Salgado Macedonio, is running for governor in the state of Guerrero, pending a party poll to confirm his candidacy.

On the morning of Monday’s protest, the president again accused conservative groups of co-opting the feminist movement, and claimed that women’s marches had begun only after he took power. He pointed to his own government as a commitment to his struggle for equality, the first cabinet in Mexican history to have half the seats filled by women.

Mr. López Obrador defended the wall his government erected around the national palace. And he said that while he supported the feminist movement, he would not tolerate the violence or the vandalism seen during the women’s march last year.

Ms. Granados and her daughter said the wall felt out of keeping for a president who says he is a man of the people.

“Look, I don’t agree to destroy monuments or damage, right?” Ms. Granados said. “But it is also clear to me that a monument is not worth more than the life of a girl.”

Her daughter, Ms. Puente, piped up.

The wall, she said, “is a contradiction.”

Ana Sosa in Mexico City contributed reporting.

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Hong Kong Star Ferry converted into a luxury yacht

Hong Kong (CNN) — The Star Ferry is one of Hong Kong’s most affordable attractions. But the Star Ferry yacht is another story.

The iconic boats, which transport locals and tourists alike between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, have long been one of the city’s most famous symbols — and popular photo ops.

Only one of these ferries has ever been sold into private hands, and it has since been converted into a yacht. That yacht is now up for sale, giving the general public a look at what became of this beloved vessel.

Named Golden Star, it went up for sale in 2011 after one of the city’s cross-harbor ferry lines (between the neighborhoods of Hung Hom and Wan Chai) was discontinued amid expansion of the MTR subway.

Normally, the front of a Star Ferry is packed with commuters.

Normally, the front of a Star Ferry is packed with commuters.

Courtesy Ocean Expeditions

The man who bought it — he does not wish to reveal his name and uses an intermediary to respond to the press — is reportedly a Hong Kong native who had a deep, nostalgic connection to the ferry system. He worked in Hung Hom and regularly commuted via Star Ferry.

Under his decade of ownership, the ship (known as DOT) was converted into a floating mansion with 6,000 square feet of living space. That space includes four state rooms, offices, an on-board movie theater, a formal dining room, rooftop spots for sunbathing and a living room that is reportedly home to Hong Kong’s single biggest sofa. There’s also space for a 14-foot-tall Christmas tree every year.

DOT runs on solar power (yes, those are solar panels on the top) and harnesses waste water, making it fully self-sufficient. There’s also air conditioning, which anyone who has suffered through a humid Hong Kong summer will appreciate.

Transport fans will notice another significant change on DOT — its color.

Star Ferries in Hong Kong are generally painted white on the upper deck and dark green on the lower. This wasn’t a purely aesthetic decision. After World War II, the British army still had a surplus of dark-green paint left over, so it was used on many public works projects throughout the city — including ferries and, later, trams.

These days, DOT is all-white, but it’s hard to miss the familiar shape of the boat against Hong Kong’s turquoise waters.

Star Ferry’s long history

The 120-year-old Star Ferry is Hong Kong’s oldest form of public transport. The origins of this commuter service can be traced back to one man.

The first Star Ferry service across Victoria Harbour began in 1888, and the ride took between 40 and 60 minutes depending on water conditions.

These days, thanks to a combination of more modern boats and more reclaimed land shrinking the size of the harbor, a trip on the Star Ferry takes just a few minutes. But those few minutes are all you need to take in some of the city’s beautiful waterfront architecture, and even the most jaded commuter finds themselves gazing at the harbor sunset.

When these regular ferries began running, it was the first instance of regular, regulated transport between the island and the peninsula. Travelers could hail private boats (kaitos, a low-fi version of water taxis), but there was no consistency or ability to plan a trip in advance.

Hong Kong’s public trams — nicknamed “ding dings” for the sound of the clanging signal they make — would not start until 1904, and the MTR subway system unveiled its first stations in the 1970s.

All boats in the Star Ferry fleet have the word “Star” in their name. There are two remaining routes — between Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) at the southern tip of Kowloon and Central Piers on Hong Kong Island, and between TST and Wan Chai. The three neighborhoods are home to a large percentage of Hong Kong’s hotels, meaning that a ride on the ferry is both scenic and convenient.
And even though Hung Hom lost its “Star,” it didn’t lose ferry service. The southern Kowloon neighborhood — home to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and its Zaha Hadid-designed flagship building — has local ferries that connect it to the working-class North Point neighborhood and will soon have another connecting it to Central.

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President Biden Faces Challenge From Surge of Migrants at the Border

WASHINGTON — Thousands of migrant children are backed up in United States detention facilities along the border with Mexico, part of a surge of immigration from Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence that could overwhelm President Biden’s attempt to create a more humane approach to those seeking entry into the country.

The number of migrant children in custody along the border has tripled in the past two weeks to more than 3,250, according to federal immigration agency documents obtained by The New York Times, and many of them are being held in jail-like facilities for longer than the three days allowed by law.

The problem for the administration is both the number of children crossing the border and what to do with them once they are in custody. Under the law, the children are supposed to be moved to shelters run by the Health and Human Services Department, but because of the pandemic the shelters until last week were limiting how many children they could accommodate.

The growing number of unaccompanied children is just one element of an escalating problem at the border. Border agents encountered a migrant at the border about 78,000 times in January — more than double the rate at the same time a year ago and higher than in any January in a decade.

refused to call a “crisis” but could nevertheless become a potent political weapon for his Republican adversaries and upend his efforts to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.

The president has proposed overhauling the nation’s decades-old immigration system by making it easier for asylum seekers and refugees, expanding legal pathways for foreign workers, increasing opportunities for family-based immigration and vastly reducing threats of mass deportations. His State Department announced on Monday that foreigners rejected after Jan. 20, 2020, under Mr. Trump’s travel ban could try to obtain visas without paying additional fees.

Hundreds of migrant families are also being released into the United States after being apprehended at the border, prompting predictable attacks by conservatives.

Liberal politicians are denouncing the expansion of detention facilities and railing against the continued imposition of Trump-era rules intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus from immigrants. And advocates for families separated at the border during Mr. Trump’s administration are pressuring the president to move faster to reunite them.

Together, it has put Mr. Biden on the defensive in the early days of his presidency as he attempts to demonstrate a tone very different from his predecessor’s.

The immigration system Mr. Biden envisions will take months, if not years, to be fully implemented, forcing the administration to scramble to find space for children and rely, for now, on a rule that swiftly returns adults and most families to their home countries.

For now, Mr. Biden has broken from his predecessor in not applying the pandemic emergency rule to children, meaning the United States is still responsible for caring for them until they are placed with a sponsor.

long-term detention facilities within 72 hours.

But for now, using the same pandemic rule the Trump administration did, the Biden administration has continued to turn away most migrants other than unaccompanied children.

And almost as soon as Mr. Biden came into office, top administration officials publicly sought to discourage migrants from traveling north, saying it would take time to unravel Mr. Trump’s policies. Previous public messaging campaigns, including standing up billboards in Central America to encourage migrants to stay home, have failed.

“Realistically, one is addressing a population of people that are desperate,” Mr. Mayorkas said in an interview. “It is not going to work 100 percent, but if it is effective at all, that is of momentous importance not only to what we are trying to do but for the well being of the people.”

Some families are being released into the United States. Border agents have not been able to turn away migrant families in South Texas because of a change in Mexican law that bans the detention of small children.

Administration officials point to a flurry of actions underway aimed at fixing what they say is a broken immigration system: improving communications between the Border Patrol and the health department, including whether the children being transported to the long-term centers are boys or girls; streamlining background checks for shelter employees; and vaccinating border workers against the coronavirus.

They are also accelerating efforts to get new facilities to care for children during the weeks and months that it takes to find relatives or foster parents. They are considering unused school buildings, military bases and federal facilities that could be rapidly converted into places acceptable for children.

And they are restarting a program in Central America that will allow children to apply for asylum without making the dangerous trek to the border. Mr. Trump ended the program, which Biden administration officials said would eventually reduce the flow of migrant children to the United States.

But all of that will take time. Meanwhile, officials say, they recognize that the pressure on Mr. Biden will only increase.

“At every step of the way we’re looking at where are the bottlenecks and then trying to eliminate those bottlenecks and yes it won’t be solved by tomorrow,” said Esther Olavarria, the deputy director for immigration at the White House’s Domestic Policy Council. “But if you don’t start to do each of these things, you are never going to solve the problem.”

Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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Biden Faces Challenge From Surge of Migrants at the Border

WASHINGTON — Thousands of migrant children are backed up in United States detention facilities along the border with Mexico, part of a surge of immigration from Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence that could overwhelm President Biden’s attempt to create a more humane approach to those seeking entry into the country.

The number of migrant children in custody along the border has tripled in the past two weeks to more than 3,250, according to federal immigration agency documents obtained by The New York Times, and many of them are being held in jail-like facilities for longer than the three days allowed by law.

The problem for the administration is both the number of children crossing the border and what to do with them once they are in custody. Under the law, the children are supposed to be moved to shelters run by the Health and Human Service Department, but because of the pandemic the shelters until last week were limiting how many children they could accommodate.

The growing number of unaccompanied children is just one element of an escalating problem at the border. Border agents encountered a migrant at the border about 78,000 times in January — more than double the rate at the same time a year ago and higher than in any January in a decade.

refused to call a “crisis” but could nevertheless become a potent political weapon for his Republican adversaries and upend his efforts to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.

The president has proposed overhauling the nation’s decades-old immigration system by making it easier for asylum seekers and refugees, expanding legal pathways for foreign workers, increasing opportunities for family-based immigration and vastly reducing threats of mass deportations. His State Department announced on Monday that foreigners rejected after Jan. 20, 2020, under Mr. Trump’s travel ban could try to obtain visas without paying additional fees.

Hundreds of migrant families are also being released into the United States after being apprehended at the border, prompting predictable attacks by conservatives.

Liberal politicians are denouncing the expansion of detention facilities and railing against the continued imposition of Trump-era rules intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus from immigrants. And advocates for families separated at the border during Mr. Trump’s administration are pressuring the president to move faster to reunite them.

Together, it has put Mr. Biden on the defensive in the early days of his presidency as he attempts to demonstrate a tone very different from his predecessor’s.

The immigration system Mr. Biden envisions will take months, if not years, to be fully implemented, forcing the administration to scramble to find space for children and rely, for now, on a rule that swiftly returns adults and most families to their home countries.

For now, Mr. Biden has broken from his predecessor in not applying the pandemic emergency rule to children, meaning the United States is still responsible for caring for them until they are placed with a sponsor.

long-term detention facilities within 72 hours.

But for now, using the same pandemic rule the Trump administration did, the Biden administration has continued to turn away most migrants other than unaccompanied children.

And almost as soon as Mr. Biden came into office, top administration officials publicly sought to discourage migrants from traveling north, saying it would take time to unravel Mr. Trump’s policies. Previous public messaging campaigns, including standing up billboards in Central America to encourage migrants to stay home, have failed.

“Realistically, one is addressing a population of people that are desperate,” Mr. Mayorkas said in an interview. “It is not going to work 100 percent, but if it is effective at all, that is of momentous importance not only to what we are trying to do but for the well being of the people.”

Some families are being released into the United States. Border agents have not been able to turn away migrant families in South Texas because of a change in Mexican law that bans the detention of small children.

Administration officials point to a flurry of actions underway aimed at fixing what they say is a broken immigration system: improving communications between the Border Patrol and the health department, including whether the children being transported to the long-term centers are boys or girls; streamlining background checks for shelter employees; and vaccinating border workers against the coronavirus.

They are also accelerating efforts to get new facilities to care for children during the weeks and months that it takes to find relatives or foster parents. They are considering unused school buildings, military bases and federal facilities that could be rapidly converted into places acceptable for children.

And they are restarting a program in Central America that will allow children to apply for asylum without making the dangerous trek to the border. Mr. Trump ended the program, which Biden administration officials said would eventually reduce the flow of migrant children to the United States.

But all of that will take time. Meanwhile, officials say, they recognize that the pressure on Mr. Biden will only increase.

“At every step of the way we’re looking at where are the bottlenecks and then trying to eliminate those bottlenecks and yes it won’t be solved by tomorrow,” said Esther Olavarria, the deputy director for immigration at the White House’s Domestic Policy Council. “But if you don’t start to do each of these things, you are never going to solve the problem.”

Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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Sanctions Are Reimposed on Israeli Billionaire Granted Relief Under Trump

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration moved on Monday to reimpose financial sanctions on an Israeli mining executive who had turned to a team of lobbyists to have the measures eased during President Donald J. Trump’s final days in office.

The reversal came after a chorus of complaints from human rights advocates, members of Congress and activists in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the businessman, Dan Gertler, secured access to mining rights for decades through what the Treasury Department during the Trump administration called a series of corrupt deals that had shortchanged Congo of more than $1.3 billion in revenue from the sale of minerals.

In mid-January, shortly before Mr. Trump left office, Mr. Gertler secretly secured a one-year Treasury Department license that unfroze money he had deposited in financial institutions in the United States. The license also effectively ended a prohibition on Mr. Gertler doing business through the international banking system. The Trump administration had imposed those sanctions in 2017.

The Biden administration is now moving to reimpose those conditions, although Mr. Gertler is likely to have already moved at least some of the previously frozen money out of the United States.

Alan M. Dershowitz, a lawyer and lobbyist who helped represent Mr. Gertler in the push for the rollback of the sanctions, said he was disappointed with the Biden administration’s action.

“This decision was done unilaterally without an opportunity for Mr. Gertler to present evidence that he has been complying with all the requirements and conducting himself properly,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “We are now in the process of considering all of our options.”

Mr. Gertler has been doing business in Congo for more than two decades, securing a series of contracts to export diamonds, gold, oil, cobalt and other minerals. The Treasury Department said in 2018 that he had “amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining.”

more than a dozen that had called on the Biden administration to revoke the license. “Dan Gertler’s corrupt partnership with former President Joseph Kabila cost the D.R.C. dearly in terms of lost resources, lost services and, ultimately, lost lives.”

In 2019, Mr. Gertler hired Mr. Dershowitz, who has served as a lawyer to Mr. Trump, as well as Louis Freeh, a former F.B.I. director, to work as a lobbyist to try to push Treasury to revoke the sanctions.

Mr. Gertler was issued the license after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin directed the acting head of the agency’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to take the step, even though several Trump-era State Department officials in charge of United States relations with Africa told The New York Times that they had been unaware that such a move was about to be taken and that they opposed it.

After the issuance of the license became public, associates of Mr. Gertler said that part of the reason he had been granted special treatment was that he had played some undisclosed role in helping U.S. national security interests. Treasury officials and representatives for Mr. Gertler would not describe the specific nature of the assistance.

The same office at Treasury that had granted the license for Mr. Gertler in January revoked it on Monday, yet another sign of how unusual this series of events has been.

Activists in Congo who have been working for years to try to ensure that the wealth produced by mining minerals in the nation — which is one of the poorest in the world, even though it has some of the world’s most important mineral reserves — said they hoped the action would mean continued progress to combat corrupt deals that shortchanged people there.

“This will give the government here a reason to push a little bit harder on holding Dan Gertler and his associates accountable,” said Fred Bauma, a member of The Struggle for Change, a human rights group in Congo. “It is a good message from the new administration in the United States.”

Democrats in Congress who had called for Treasury to reverse the action also praised the move.

“If well-connected international billionaires like Gertler think there is a chance they can get away with their corrupt actions, then they will not be deterred from doing them,” Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.

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Meghan’s Oprah Interview Rekindles Princess Diana Memories

Anyone who remembers the funeral of Diana, the Princess of Wales, in 1997 can’t help being haunted by the wrenching sight of her two young sons, Princes William and Harry, walking slowly behind her coffin as it made its way to Westminster Abbey. Their hands were clasped in front; their heads were bowed. Harry looked so small in his suit.

That image has reverberated down the years, a ghostly reminder of the princes’ traumatic childhood, and it hovered again in the background as Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, spoke to Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night.

While the British tabloids like to cast Meghan in the villainous role of the Duchess of Windsor — the American divorcée who lured away their king in 1936 and lived with him in bitter exile, causing an irreparable family rift — Harry and Meghan seem determined to position her instead as a latter-day Diana, a woman mistreated by her in-laws, more sinned against than sinning.

died in a car wreck in a Parisian underpass, the paparazzi in hot pursuit. He raised the subject again on Sunday, drawing parallels between the experiences of his mother and his wife and saying, of Diana, that he has “felt her presence through this whole process.”

she and Charles married; Meghan was 36 and worldly, having made her own living for years, when she married Harry. She was also divorced, with a high-profile job as an actress.

And Meghan is American, with an American sensibility.

Diana came from a culture of reticence in which tradition is venerated; Meghan comes from one where it is normal to ask for help, to discuss your feelings and to suggest that there might be better, newer ways of doing things.

now be found on the finger of Prince William’s wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.)

Diana’s 1995 interview with the BBC. That was the one in which, in somber tones, she revealed that her marriage had always been doomed because there were “three of us” in it: her, Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles, his longtime lover and later his wife.

But it was Harry who most pointedly invoked his mother on Sunday. He said he believed Diana would have been angry and sad at the couple’s treatment. And he said she would have supported their decision to leave Britain and seek a new life away from the constraints of the royal family.

Given her experience, he said, his own plight had an air of inevitability to it.

“Touching back on what you asked me — what my mum would think of this — I think she saw it coming,” he told Oprah. “But ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy.”

For Harry, there is the added element of knowing that his father caused his mother pain, and that Charles knew how unhappy she was as a royal wife. Now, he told Oprah, he and Charles have had a falling-out over Meghan, with his father at one point refusing to take his calls.

“There’s a lot to work through here,” Harry said. “I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. At the same time, of course, I will always love him. But there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened.”

Toward the end of the interview, Harry spoke of his son, Archie, and his new life in California. He sounded both loving — and wistful. For a moment, he seemed to be recalling how it felt to be without a mother at the age of 12.

“The highlight for me is sticking him on the back of his bicycle in his little baby seat and taking him on these bike rides,” he said. “Which is something I was never able to do when I was young.”

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