The Nazi leaders building that force needed experienced police officers, said Michael Holzmann, the son of an Austrian Nazi who has for many years been researching the activities of the Gestapo in that country. “Huber seized this opportunity and turned from a little investigator into a most successful leader of the Gestapo terror regime in former Austria,” he said.
In March 1938, after Germany annexed Austria, Huber was made the Gestapo chief of the most important part of the country, including Vienna, the capital. Shortly after, the Gestapo began an extensive hunt for dissidents in Austria, and Huber gave orders “to arrest immediately undesirable, particularly criminally motivated Jews and transfer them to the concentration camp Dachau.” A few days later, the first two transports of Jews left Vienna for the camp, with many more to follow.
Huber remained in his post until the end of the war, being given more and more personnel and authority. During that time, 70,000 Austrian Jews who were not able to leave the country were murdered, close to 40 percent of the original community, while their property was looted by the Nazis.
Eichmann confirmed at his trial that he was involved in the deportation of Jews but refused to plead guilty to genocide, saying, “I did not have any other option than to follow the orders I got.”
Huber took a different approach. Speaking to an official of the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal in 1948 — who interviewed him as a witness, not a suspect — he said he had known nothing about the extermination until the end of 1944, when his deputy told him something vague.
“But the historical evidence paints a completely different picture,” says Prof. Moshe Zimmerman, a historian and Holocaust scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “Eichmann may have been a face more familiar to the Jewish community, but the one who shared responsibility for carrying out the terror against the Jews, their collection, their forced boarding on the trains and their deportation to the camps, was the police and the Gestapo under Huber.”
MADRID — In 1936, the photographer Robert Capa trained his lens on children outside a pockmarked tenement in Madrid that had been bombed by the German Luftwaffe. That image of the Spanish Civil War remains a powerful reminder of the effects of armed conflict on civilians.
This month, some 85 years after the picture was made, plans are underway for the decrepit, century-old building to be preserved and converted into a cultural center that will celebrate the photographer’s work and commemorate Madrid’s wartime history. Residents of the tenement were permanently moved to subsidized housing.
For those who had made their homes in the building, the change was long overdue. Most of them could not afford something better because of a chronic shortage of subsidized housing in Madrid. In January, the discrepancy between the city’s haves and have-nots was on full display when a giant snowstorm deepened the misery in one of the poorest areas of Madrid.
In their new homes, the residents will pay the same or even less for more space, proper heating and other improvements.
reduced the amount of state-subsidized housing to less than 1 percent of the total available — about a quarter of the average across the European Union.
banded together to urge the government to oblige large real estate owners to make some of their holdings available for subsidized housing.
José María Uría, who works for a labor union foundation that led the efforts to salvage the Capa building, said that when the tenement opened in 1927, it was billed as a “new housing model for the working class.”
Some local residents even called the building “the home of the rich,” Mr. Uría added, because one of its inner courtyards had the relative luxury of a water well.
including The New York Times.
The picture “launched his reputation,” said Cynthia Young, former curator of the Robert Capa archive at the International Center of Photography in New York. “It was the first time he had been called out for his work on the cover of a magazine, rare for any photojournalist at the time.”
The decision to preserve the building was made in 2018, when the parliament of Spain’s capital region voted to create the cultural center. To take ownership of the building, the city paid off the old owners at a cost of about $1 million.
Confronting the history of the Civil War has long been divisive in Spain. And like other projects linked to Spain’s wartime past, this one became mired in politics, particularly when right-wing politicians took back control of Madrid’s city government the next year. They delayed confirming what would be displayed at the center.
Mar Espinar, a city lawmaker from the opposition Socialists, said she wanted the center to document the air raids of the war.
“Politicians can disagree on many things, but people need to know our history and that bombs were once dropped on the homes of civilians — as a significant fact and not a matter of opinion,” she said.
exhumed Gen. Francisco Franco, whose victory ushered in a dictatorship that only ended with his death in 1975. His remains were reburied in a family crypt.
Madrid city employees removed a plaque from the home of Francisco Largo Caballero, a Socialist who became prime minister of the Republican government in 1936, a few months after Franco and other generals started a military coup.
The bombing of the Vallecas neighborhood in 1936 was not an obvious military priority for Franco and his forces, but it offered a proving ground for his German allies.
Walther L. Bernecker, a professor emeritus at Erlangen-Nürnberg University in Germany who has studied the war, said the attack on Vallecas, as well as later bombings like the one that devastated the town of Guernica, provided “a perfect laboratory” for the Luftwaffe to test its weaponry and for Nazi Germany to “spread terror among the civilian population.”
Capa did not write specific captions for his Vallecas photographs, so they also appeared in some publications without attribution or even in a manipulated context. In Italy, a pro-Fascist magazine headlined his picture with the words “The cruel war” but did not mention which side had carried out the bombing.
Nowadays, any poignancy about living in the historical building was outweighed by its practical disadvantages, residents said.
“The only reason I lived here so long is that I could never afford anything better,” said Rosa Báez, who spent eight years in the building.
“I’m now getting a better apartment and am among the lucky ones,” she added.
Ms. Uquillas, as she left with her family, offered thanks to Capa for his indirect role in her move. Finally getting an upgrade, she said, felt like “winning the lottery.”
European health agencies this week faced, with millions of lives in the balance, a staggeringly high-stakes incarnation of what ethicists call the trolley problem.
Imagine standing at a railway switch. If you do nothing, a trolley barreling down the track will hit three people in its path. If you pull the lever, the trolley will divert to an alternate track with one person. Which option is morally preferable: deliberately killing one person or passively allowing three to die?
In Europe’s version, German regulators identified seven cases of a rare cerebral blood clot, three of them fatal, out of 1.6 million who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Regulators had no proof they were linked, only a statistical anomaly. Still, continuing vaccinations might make them responsible for putting a handful of people in harm’s way — like pulling the lever on the trolley tracks.
Instead, the German authorities withdrew approval for the vaccine starting Monday. Neighboring countries followed, waiting for the European Union drug regulator to deem the vaccine safe, which it did on Thursday.
a third viral wave claiming thousands of lives per day in Europe, even a brief pause seemed all but certain to imperil many more lives than the unproven, very rare side effect.
Still, medical ethics can be tricky. Experts tend to view Europe’s decision as either an understandable, if risky, cost-benefit calculation or, as the Oxford University ethicist Jeff McMahan put it, “a disastrous mistake.”
Dr. McMahan, who studies life-or-death dilemmas, said that the extra Covid deaths likely to occur would “be by omission, or by not doing anything, rather than by causing. But you have to ask, does that make any difference in this context?”
But Ruth Faden, a Johns Hopkins University bioethicist and vaccine policy expert, called the pause “an extremely tough call.”
“If the only thing that mattered was deploying the vaccine in such a way as to reduce severe disease and death as quickly as possible, then you just go ahead,” Dr. Faden said. But it isn’t. While countries that continued vaccinations “probably made the right call,” she said, Germany and others faced real considerations around public trust and ethical duty.
principle calls for pausing any policy that might bring unforeseen harms in order to study those harms before proceeding. Imposing blind risk, however small, on unknowing citizens would be wrong.
But Dr. Persad said that he had “never really been able to make sense of how you would apply that principle in a pandemic.”
For one, even if vaccinations did carry some risk or uncertainty, the risk and uncertainty introduced by withholding them, therefore allowing cases to spread, was surely higher. It was not as if infections paused for bureaucratic process.
For another, vaccinations are voluntary.
“This is not a case where you’re imposing risk on unconsenting people,” Dr. Persad said, and therefore violating the precautionary principle. “You’re allowing people to consensually protect themselves from a big risk by taking a very small one.”
struck by lightning could be considered impermissible under that oath.
“But when the alternative to doing a small amount of harm is allowing a vast amount of harm, then the ‘do no harm’ slogan is a poor guide to policy,” said Dr. McMahan, the Oxford ethicist.
And while “first, do no harm” can feel like an iron law of medical ethics, it is in fact primarily a professional code of conduct. For centuries, it has reflected an inborn human bias that sees affirmatively causing harm as categorically different than passively allowing it.
already high in Europe, especially toward the AstraZeneca shot, on which Europe has built its plans. The proportion of people willing to get the shot has, in some polls, dropped significantly below the 70 percent needed to achieve herd immunity.
“High-profile, vivid events that are really scary have a way of controlling the public imagination,” Dr. Faden said.
Johnson & Johnson with a lower efficacy rate than two-shot variants, health officials hailed its simpler distribution as a breakthrough in the push for herd immunity. Americans have largely gone along.
“We don’t always see it,” Dr. Persad said of these ethical trade-offs, “but it actually comes up all the time.”
SAN FRANCISCO — Since 2013, Matt Bors has made a living as a left-leaning cartoonist on the internet. His site, The Nib, runs cartoons from him and other contributors that regularly skewer right-wing movements and conservatives with political commentary steeped in irony.
One cartoon in December took aim at the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Mr. Bors titled it “Boys Will Be Boys” and depicted a recruitment where new Proud Boys were trained to be “stabby guys” and to “yell slurs at teenagers” while playing video games.
Days later, Facebook sent Mr. Bors a message saying that it had removed “Boys Will Be Boys” from his Facebook page for “advocating violence” and that he was on probation for violating its content policies.
It wasn’t the first time that Facebook had dinged him. Last year, the company briefly took down another Nib cartoon — an ironic critique of former President Donald J. Trump’s pandemic response, the substance of which supported wearing masks in public — for “spreading misinformation” about the coronavirus. Instagram, which Facebook owns, removed one of his sardonic antiviolence cartoons in 2019 because, the photo-sharing app said, it promoted violence.
Facebook barred Mr. Trump from posting on its site altogether after he incited a crowd that stormed the U.S. Capitol.
At the same time, misinformation researchers said, Facebook has had trouble identifying the slipperiest and subtlest of political content: satire. While satire and irony are common in everyday speech, the company’s artificial intelligence systems — and even its human moderators — can have difficulty distinguishing them. That’s because such discourse relies on nuance, implication, exaggeration and parody to make a point.
That means Facebook has sometimes misunderstood the intent of political cartoons, leading to takedowns. The company has acknowledged that some of the cartoons it expunged — including those from Mr. Bors — were removed by mistake and later reinstated them.
“If social media companies are going to take on the responsibility of finally regulating incitement, conspiracies and hate speech, then they are going to have to develop some literacy around satire,” Mr. Bors, 37, said in an interview.
accused Facebook and other internet platforms of suppressing only right-wing views.
In a statement, Facebook did not address whether it has trouble spotting satire. Instead, the company said it made room for satirical content — but only up to a point. Posts about hate groups and extremist content, it said, are allowed only if the posts clearly condemn or neutrally discuss them, because the risk for real-world harm is otherwise too great.
Facebook’s struggles to moderate content across its core social network, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp have been well documented. After Russians manipulated the platform before the 2016 presidential election by spreading inflammatory posts, the company recruited thousands of third-party moderators to prevent a recurrence. It also developed sophisticated algorithms to sift through content.
Facebook also created a process so that only verified buyers could purchase political ads, and instituted policies against hate speech to limit posts that contained anti-Semitic or white supremacist content.
Last year, Facebook said it had stopped more than 2.2 million political ad submissions that had not yet been verified and that targeted U.S. users. It also cracked down on the conspiracy group QAnon and the Proud Boys, removed vaccine misinformation, and displayed warnings on more than 150 million pieces of content viewed in the United States that third-party fact checkers debunked.
But satire kept popping up as a blind spot. In 2019 and 2020, Facebook often dealt with far-right misinformation sites that used “satire” claims to protect their presence on the platform, Mr. Brooking said. For example, The Babylon Bee, a right-leaning site, frequently trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire.
whose independent work regularly appears in North American and European newspapers.
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2019 that he would bar two congresswomen — critics of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians — from visiting the country, Mr. Hall drew a cartoon showing a sign affixed to barbed wire that read, in German, “Jews are not welcome here.” He added a line of text addressing Mr. Netanyahu: “Hey Bibi, did you forget something?”
Mr. Hall said his intent was to draw an analogy between how Mr. Netanyahu was treating the U.S. representatives and Nazi Germany. Facebook took the cartoon down shortly after it was posted, saying it violated its standards on hate speech.
“If algorithms are making these decisions based solely upon words that pop up on a feed, then that is not a catalyst for fair or measured decisions when it comes to free speech,” Mr. Hall said.
Adam Zyglis, a nationally syndicated political cartoonist for The Buffalo News, was also caught in Facebook’s cross hairs.
paid memberships to The Nib and book sales on his personal site, he gets most of his traffic and new readership through Facebook and Instagram.
The takedowns, which have resulted in “strikes” against his Facebook page, could upend that. If he accumulates more strikes, his page could be erased, something that Mr. Bors said would cut 60 percent of his readership.
“Removing someone from social media can end their career these days, so you need a process that distinguishes incitement of violence from a satire of these very groups doing the incitement,” he said.
Mr. Bors said he had also heard from the Proud Boys. A group of them recently organized on the messaging chat app Telegram to mass-report his critical cartoons to Facebook for violating the site’s community standards, he said.
“You just wake up and find you’re in danger of being shut down because white nationalists were triggered by your comic,” he said
Facebook has sometimes recognized its errors and corrected them after he has made appeals, Mr. Bors said. But the back-and-forth and the potential for expulsion from the site have been frustrating and made him question his work, he said.
“Sometimes I do think about if a joke is worth it, or if it’s going to get us banned,” he said. “The problem with that is, where is the line on that kind of thinking? How will it affect my work in the long run?”
NIZHNY ODES, Russia — Long lines of people waiting to buy milk, toilet paper and other essentials disappeared from Russia decades ago. But one line has only grown longer — the one Yevgeniya B. Shasheva has been waiting in.
For 70 years.
That is the time that has passed since her birth in a remote Russian region. Her family was sent into exile there from Moscow duringthe height of Stalin’s Great Purge in the 1930s, when millions were executed or died in prison camps.
Throughout the past seven decades, Ms. Shasheva says, she has been waiting to move home to the Russian capital.
A 2019 ruling by Russia’s Constitutional Court ordered that the government make this happen, mandating that such “children of the gulag” — around 1,500 of them, according to some estimates — be given the financial means to move to the cities from which Stalin banished their parents.
Harvard-educated lawyer who has taken up Ms. Shasheva’s case in Russian courts. “Many people have been living in it for 70 to 80 years since they were born.”
The Russian state recognizes that terrible crimes were committed under Stalin, but dealing with them has become increasingly difficult as the Kremlin seeks to focus attention on Russia’s past glories rather than its pain.
the Soviet Union’s collapse that year, the country was in chaos, the government had little money and the law was largely ignored.
Even as the country’s fortunes were reversed a decade later, with oil prices surging after Vladimir V. Putin became president, there was little interest in focusing on problems thrown up by Stalin’s brutal rule. So instead of helping the victims return home as required by law, Moscow shifted that responsibility to regional governments.
That resulted in a series of Kafkaesque requirements: To qualify for social housing in Moscow, victims must live in the city for 10 years first, be paid less than the minimum wage and not own real estate. As a result, the process of providing people with apartments mostly ground to a halt.
declared a foreign agent in 2012. Yuri Dmitriev, a historian who discovered Stalin’s mass burial site in northwestern Russia, was sentenced to 13 years in prison on charges that many regard as baseless.
Ms. Shasheva’s quest to return to Moscow was hindered by such efforts, too.
“The Russian government wants to control this topic,” said Nikolay Epplee, an independent researcher who has written a book about how governments deal with history’s sinister periods. “Whoever does that independently is being pushed out.”
In November, the lower house of the Russian Parliament debated solutions for people like Ms. Shasheva, but that led to complaints from some lawmakers that Stalin’s victims and their descendants born into exile were asking to skip the line for social housing.
The government eventually settled on a proposal that puts the families of repression victims in a 20-year-long line.
Mr. Shasheva’s lawyer, Mr. Vaypan, is leading the effort to amend the draft legislation. His campaign to help children of the gulag has attracted tens of thousands of supporters, including many civil society organizations.
Walking through the site of the former camp where her father was sent to work, Ms. Shasheva said that she had no choice but to keep fighting to get out of Nizhny Odes and to the place she considers her real home, Moscow.
Despite living 800 miles away, Ms. Shasheva already considers herself a Muscovite. When she dreams about the city, she imagines herself getting lost in the whirlwind of busy streets.
“What I like in Moscow is how you can just walk in a crowd of people when it is dark and see what is going on,” she said. “I just want to feel the everyday life. We don’t have it here.”
Yet even if she manages to secure a place to live in Moscow, other worries linger.
“I am still afraid that repressions can come back,” Ms. Shasheva said. “I realized that deep down, all of us victims of repressions have this fear entrenched inside.”
Gov. Greg Abbott announced the changes last week, he argued that he was pushing back against the economic devastation wrought by months of limitations on movement and commerce. In a news conference at a restaurant in Lubbock, Mr. Abbott, a Republican, noted the hindrances for workers and small businesses.
“This must end,” he said. “It is now time to open Texas 100 percent.”
Moments after Mr. Abbott’s announcement, patrons at Barflys in San Antonio removed the plexiglass dividers separating themselves from the bartenders.
At Barflys on Tuesday, an hour before the mask mandate was to expire, Amber Jowers, 32, was the bartender on duty. She welcomed the policy change. From now on, she will no longer wear a mask at work, she said.
“And we’re taking the sign down at midnight,” she added. “We have to get back to normal now.”
Barflys is a softly lit pub with a pool table, dartboard, and a slot machine. Metallica, Salt-N-Pepa, and the Texas Tornados play from the sound system.
On the smokey back patio, Sophie Bojorquez, 47, sat at a table with friends. She is a vaccinated nurse and a self-proclaimed anti-masker.
“I’m happy about the governor’s decision. The masks impeded the herd immunity we need. Now they want to vax so fast,” she said, shaking her head.
The patio bartender, Britt Harasmisz, 24, said that most of her customers didn’t wear a mask even before the mandate ended. And though her employer decided that Barflys would no longer require face covers, she said that she would continue to wear one while working.
“A lot of people have been vaccinated, Governor Abbott was vaccinated, but a lot of us on the front lines have not,” she said. “I’m going to wear a mask everywhere I go.”
The move to open Texas has faced intense resistance. The governor’s medical advisers have said that they were not involved in the decision. And some experts have raised concerns about intensifying the spread of the virus while the vaccination process is underway. Texas, which is averaging about 5,500 new cases a day, has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.
Lina Hidalgo, the county judge in Harris County, which includes Houston, has argued that lifting the mask mandate means workers must be the ones to enforce rules in retail establishments and restaurants.
“We know better than to let our guard down simply because a level of government selected an arbitrary date to issue an all-clear,” Ms. Hidalgo, a Democrat and a persistent critic of Mr. Abbott, said in an op-ed column published this week by Time magazine. “I am working to clearly explain to the residents of my county that we will spare ourselves unnecessary death and suffering if we just stick with it for a little bit longer.”
Bert Rossel, 39, stopped in for a drink at Barflys on Tuesday evening. He said he had known the pub’s owner for many years and worked for him at one time. Mr. Rossel is in the insurance business nowadays. He said he believed that the pandemic had been hyped on social media as another distraction, or as he calls it, “the latest hot topic.”
“It’s survival of the fittest,” Mr. Rossel said. “My B.M.I. is higher than normal. Obese people are more susceptible to corona, but it’s been over a year. I would have gotten it already.”
As the evening advanced, the patrons at Barflys drank beer and downed shots, smoked and gossiped, enjoying each other’s company. No one paid attention when, at midnight, Ms. Jowers pulled the sign from the front door that read, “MASKS REQUIRED UPON ENTRY.”
— Rick Rojas, James Dobbins and Dave Montgomery
When President Biden pledged last week to amass enough shots by late May to inoculate every American adult, the pronouncement was greeted as a triumphant acceleration of a vaccination campaign that seemed only weeks earlier to be faltering.
But the announcement was also a triumph of another kind: public relations. Because Mr. Biden had tamped down expectations early, the quicker vaccine production timetable conjured an image of a White House running on all cylinders and leaving its predecessor’s efforts in the dust.
The Biden administration has taken two major steps that helped hasten vaccine production in the near term. His aides determined that by invoking the Korean War-era Defense Production Act, the federal government could help Pfizer obtain the heavy machinery it needed to expand its Kalamazoo, Mich., plant.
Crucially, Mr. Biden’s top aides drove another vaccine manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, to force a key subcontractor into round-the-clock operations so its vaccine could be bottled faster.
At the same time, Mr. Biden benefited hugely from the waves of vaccine production that the Trump administration had set in motion. To Trump administration aides, the new president’s crowing rings off-key.
“They criticize what we did, but they are using our playbook every step of the way,” said Paul Mango, the Trump administration’s deputy chief of staff for health policy and a senior official in the vaccine production effort then known as Operation Warp Speed. He said President Donald J. Trump’s team oversaw the construction or expansion of nearly two dozen plants involved in vaccine production and invoked the Defense Production Act 18 times to ensure those factories had sufficient supplies.
Beyond the nuts and bolts of production, the Biden White House has pursued a starkly different messaging campaign than Mr. Trump’s: underpromise, and then try to overdeliver. Mr. Trump routinely boasted of imminent achievements, including a vaccine rollout before Election Day, only to fall short.
Carefully calibrated goals “avoid losses,” said David Axelrod, the senior strategist for President Barack Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012. The Biden administration, he added, “must have learned that lesson from watching Trump.”
Katie Rogers contributed reporting. Kitty Bennett and Susan Beachy contributed research.
Black and Hispanic communities are confronting vaccine conspiracy theories, rumors and misleading news reports on social media.
The misinformation includes false claims that vaccines can alter DNA or don’t work, and efforts by states to reach out to Black and Hispanic residents have become the basis for new false narratives.
“What might look like, on the surface, as doctors prioritizing communities of color is being read by some people online as ‘Oh, those doctors want us to go first, to be the guinea pigs,’” said Kolina Koltai, a researcher at the University of Washington who studies online conspiracy theories.
Research conducted by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation in mid-February showed a striking disparity between racial groups receiving the vaccine in 34 states that reported the data.
State figures vary widely. In Texas, where people who identify as Hispanic make up 42 percent of the population, only 20 percent of the vaccinations had gone to that group. In Mississippi, Black people received 22 percent of vaccinations but make up 38 percent of the population. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the vaccination rate for Black Americans is half that of white people, and the gap for Hispanics is even larger.
The belief that doctors are interested in experimenting on certain communities has deep roots among some groups, Ms. Koltai said. Anti-vaccine activists have drawn on historical examples, including Nazi doctors who ran experiments in concentration camps, and the Baltimore hospital where, 70 years ago, cancer cells were collected from a Black mother of five without her consent.
An experiment conducted in 1943 on nearly 400 Black men in Tuskegee, Ala., is one of the most researched examples of medical mistreatment of the Black community. Over four decades, scientists observed the men, whom they knew were infected with syphilis, but didn’t offer treatments so that they could study the disease’s progression.
Researchers who study disinformation followed mentions of Tuskegee on social media over the last year. The final week of November, when the pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer announced promising results in their final studies on the safety of their Covid-19 vaccines, mentions of Tuskegee climbed to 7,000 a week.
The Los Angeles Unified School District and its teachers’ union have reached a tentative agreement to restore in-person instruction, clearing the way for a mid-April reopening of some classrooms in one of the last large school districts to bring students back in substantial numbers.
The deal, contingent on teacher vaccinations, extensive health measures and the county’s impending exit from the state’s most restrictive tier of health regulations, was announced on Tuesday evening in a joint statement by the district superintendent, Austin Beutner, and the union president, Cecily Myart-Cruz.
“The right way to reopen schools must include the highest standard of Covid safety in schools, continued reduction of the virus in the communities we serve and access to vaccinations for school staff,” they said. “This agreement achieves that shared set of goals.”
The agreement is subject to approval by the district’s school board and ratification of the union’s membership.
Under the tentative deal, elementary school and high-need students will be brought back in about six weeks, to allow time for returning school employees to be fully vaccinated, according to officials familiar with district negotiations. As middle school and high school teachers become inoculated, those students will then be phased in.
The agreement will not immediately restore instruction to pre-pandemic levels. At most, officials said, it will be a blend of remote and in-person teaching, allowing students to come into school for several hours a week in small, stable cohorts while still taking classes online. The last day of school is June 11, and the district expects to offer summer school as it did last year.
This month, California began immunizing teachers statewide, with Gov. Gavin Newsom setting aside 10 percent of new doses for school employees and channeling 40,000 doses specifically to Los Angeles school employees.
About 38,000 of the district’s 86,000 teachers and other support personnel have been vaccinated, given appointments or waived the privilege, Mr. Beutner said. Most of those have been employed in the district’s preschools and elementary schools.
In the governor’s State of the State address on Tuesday, Mr. Newsom said that “there’s nothing more foundational to an equitable society than getting our kids safely back into classrooms.”
“Look, Jen and I live this as parents of four young children,” Mr. Newsom noted, echoing the pandemic frustrations of many California parents. “Helping them cope with the fatigue of ‘Zoom school.’ The loneliness of missing their friends. Frustrated by emotions they don’t yet fully understand.”
He also noted that the state has committed $6.6 billion for tutoring, summer school, extended school days and mental health programs.
“We can do this,” the governor said. “The science is sound.”
President Biden will announce on Wednesday that he intends to secure an additional 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 single-shot vaccine by the end of this year, with the goal of having enough on hand to vaccinate children and, if necessary, administer booster doses or reformulate the vaccine to combat emerging variants of the virus.
Mr. Biden will make the announcement during an afternoon meeting with executives from Johnson & Johnson and the pharmaceutical giant Merck, according to two senior administration officials. The rival companies are partnering to ramp up production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, in a deal brokered by the White House.
In announcing that agreement last week, Mr. Biden said that the United States would now have enough vaccine available by the end of May to vaccinate every American adult — roughly 260 million people. But the senior officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview the president’s announcement, said the administration was trying to prepare for unpredictable challenges, from the emergence of dangerous virus variants to manufacturing breakdowns that could disrupt vaccine production.
The officials said that they expected the doses to be delivered sometime in the second half of this year, but could not be more specific. They said Mr. Biden would direct officials at the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate the details with Johnson & Johnson, and that Wednesday’s announcement would be a first step.
The White House had initially intended to hold Wednesday’s event at the Baltimore manufacturing facility of Emergent BioSolutions, another company that partners with Johnson & Johnson to make coronavirus vaccine. But Mr. Biden canceled his trip after The New York Times published an investigation into how Emergent used its Washington connections to gain outsize influence over the Strategic National Stockpile, the nation’s emergency repository of drugs and medical supplies.
The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, has since said that the administration will conduct a comprehensive audit of the stockpile.
Emergent officials will not attend Wednesday’s session. In explaining the change in plans, Ms. Psaki said that the administration thought the White House was a “more appropriate place to have the meeting,” which it is billing as a celebration of what Mr. Biden has called the “historic” partnership between Johnson & Johnson and Merck.
The administration says the collaboration will increase manufacture of the vaccine itself, and will also bolster Johnson & Johnson’s packaging capacity, known in the vaccine industry as “fill-finish” — two big bottlenecks that have put the company behind schedule.
Wednesday’s announcement is in keeping with Mr. Biden’s aggressive efforts to acquire as much vaccine supply as possible, as quickly as possible. Before Mr. Biden took office, he pledged to get “100 million shots into the arms” of the American people by his 100th day in office — a timetable that seemed aggressive at the time, but more recently has looked tame. He has been trying to speed it up ever since.
At the time, two vaccines — one made by Moderna and the other by Pfizer-BioNTech — had been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use. In January, Mr. Biden said the administration would have enough vaccine to cover every American by the end of summer. Last month, the president announced his administration had secured enough doses from those two companies to have enough to cover every American by the end of July.
The recent addition of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which received emergency authorization in late February, opened a path for the administration to move up the timetable yet again. But Johnson & Johnson and its other partners, including Emergent, were behind schedule, which prompted the administration to reach out to Merck.
The European Union exported 25 million doses of vaccines produced in its territory last month to 31 countries around the world, with Britain and Canada the top destinations, just as the bloc saw its own supply cut drastically by pharmaceutical companies, slowing down vaccination efforts and stoking a major political crisis at home.
The European Union — whose 27 nations are home to 450 million people — came under criticism last week, when Italy used an export-control mechanism to block a small shipment of vaccines to Australia. The move was criticized as protectionist and in sharp contrast to the bloc’s mantra of free markets and global solidarity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The issue of vaccine production and exports has also created a bitter dispute between the European Union and Britain, which recently departed the bloc, prompting accusations that Brussels wants to deprive London of doses out of spite, in part because Britain is doing so much better with its rollout.
The tensions culminated in a diplomatic spat on Wednesday, after a top E.U. official accused the United States and Britain of implementing an “export ban” — a charge the British government vehemently denied.
Practically speaking, ban or no ban, Britain is not exporting vaccines authorized for use at home. The country has said that it would be prepared to give excess shots to neighboring Ireland but only after it was done with its own vaccination efforts.
The United States has also been hoarding doses, in part through a wartime mechanism known as the Defense Production Act which permits the federal government greater control over industrial production. President Biden last week promised each adult American at least one vaccine dose would be offered to them by May.
But information made public for the first time, recorded in detailed internal documents seen by The New York Times, shows that the European Union, far from being protectionist, is in fact a vaccine exporting powerhouse.
Of the nearly 25 million total vaccines made in the European Union that were exported from Feb. 1 — when the export mechanism came into force — to March 1, about a third, more than eight million doses, went to Britain.
And while the United States kept doses for itself, the European Union shipped 651,000 vaccines to the country last month, and made vaccines for others across the Atlantic: The country that received the second-largest number of shots made in the European Union was Canada, with more than three million doses last month, while Mexico received nearly 2.5 million.
A protest in Greece turned violent on Tuesday night as anger grew about tactics used by police officers who were enforcing coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
The clashes came on the same day that Greece said it was aiming to open to vacationers in mid-May. Later, the country reported 3,215 new infections, its highest daily tally since mid-November.
The protest on Tuesday was provoked after a video emerged two days earlier seeming to show an officer beating a man with a baton in the Athens suburb of Nea Smyrni. The man was apparently among several who had expressed objections to officers issuing fines to people in the square. The officer has since been suspended, the police said on Wednesday.
Around 6,000 people gathered in the normally quiet suburb on Tuesday evening to protest against police violence. The demonstration began peacefully but spiraled into violence after about 500 people appeared to pelt officers with firebombs. The police said that 10 officers were wounded, one seriously after he was dragged off a motorcycle and set upon. Sixteen people were arrested and were to face a prosecutor on Wednesday on charges including attempted homicide, possession of explosives and arson.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis appeared on television on Tuesday night, calling for calm and restraint. The violent turn of the protest has fueled debate in the Greek media about police tactics in enforcing the lockdown.
The Greek ombudsman said on Tuesday that reports of police violence had increased by 75 percent over the past year. Alexis Tsipras, leader of the leftist opposition party Syriza, referred on Monday to a “crescendo of police violence on the pretext of enforcing health measures.” Mr. Mitsotakis countered by calling Mr. Tsipras’s support for large rallies at the peak of a pandemic “the height of irresponsibility.”
The conservative government of Mr. Mitsotakis has urged Greeks to be patient for a little longer so that it can start gradually reopening the country’s battered economy without provoking a new surge in infections. However, public tolerance appears to be waning as government officials have been accused of flouting restrictions that thousands of ordinary Greeks have been fined for violating.
Mr. Mitsotakis himself came under fire last month for apparently disregarding his own government’s restrictions for the second time in two months, violating limits on public gatherings by attending a lunch at a politician’s home on an Aegean island.
In other news from around the world:
Mauritius went into a two-week nationwide lockdown on Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reported, the second time that the Indian Ocean archipelago nation has imposed such a restriction since the pandemic began. “We had no other choice but total containment in order to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the population,” Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth announced Tuesday evening in a televised address. Only essential services will be operational from Wednesday, including hospital services and emergency relief. As of Thursday, supermarkets, bakeries, petrol stations and pharmacies will have limited accessibility. The country, which has a population of about 1.4 million, has reported 641 cases of the virus and 10 deaths.
Kenya and Morocco have approved the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, according to RDIF, a Russian sovereign wealth fund, Reuters reported. The fund, which is promoting the vaccine globally, said that 48 countries had now approved Sputnik V.
— Niki Kitsantonis
Everyone aged 16 and older living or working in Alaska is now eligible to receive the vaccine, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said on Tuesday evening, making it the first state to allow all of its residents access to the vaccine.
Alaska has fully vaccinated 16 percent of its population, the highest rate in the country, according to a New York Times database.
Adam Crum, the commissioner of the state health department, said, “If Alaskans had any questions about vaccine eligibility and criteria, I hope today’s announcement clears it up for you.” He added, “Simply put, you are eligible to get the vaccine.”
Mr. Dunleavy encouraged all “Alaskans that are thinking about” getting vaccinated to do so, adding that the vaccine “gives us the ability now in Alaska to far outpace other states.”
The announcement came as other states were rapidly expanding access to vaccines, with New York and Minnesota announcing on Tuesday that they would grant eligibility to wide swaths of their populations.
The pace of vaccinations in the United States has continued to accelerate, with about 2.15 million doses being given daily, according to a New York Times database. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that about 61.1 million people had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including about 32.1 million people who have been fully vaccinated by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine or the two-dose series made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Some parts of Alaska have reached 90 percent vaccination rates among seniors, Governor Dunleavy said in a statement. In the Nome Census Area, over 60 percent of residents 16 and older have received at least one shot.
“We want to get our economy back up and running. We want to get our society back up and running,” the governor said. “We want to put this virus behind us — as far as possible, as soon as possible.”
The Pfizer vaccine is available to people 16 and older in Alaska, the governor said, while the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are available to those 18 and older.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Tuesday that his state would lower its age threshold for Covid-19 vaccine eligibility beginning on Wednesday, allowing anyone older than 60 to be inoculated.
New York State is also opening vaccination eligibility next week to a large number of public-facing workers, including government employees, nonprofit workers and essential building services workers. Those people can begin to get vaccinated on March 17.
New York will join a handful of other U.S. states that allow vaccinations for all people over 60; the majority have set their minimum age eligibility requirement at 65.
Mr. Cuomo, in an appearance in Syracuse, pointed to expected increases in supply from the federal government as the reason behind expanding vaccine eligibility.
Among the workers eligible to get vaccinated next week are public works employees, social service and child service caseworkers, government inspectors, sanitation workers, election workers, Department of Motor Vehicle employees and county clerks.
Appointments will open for those over 60 starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Mr. Cuomo said. People over 65 became eligible for a vaccine in January.
Elsewhere, Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota announced on Tuesday that the state would expand eligibility to more than 1.8 million Minnesotans this week, including essential workers in industries like food service and public transit, and people 45 and older with at least one underlying medical condition. The announcement is “weeks ahead of schedule,” the governor said in a statement, as the state is set to reach its goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Minnesotans 65 and older this week.
In Ohio, residents 50 and older, as well as people with certain medical conditions who had not yet qualified, will be eligible to receive a vaccine this week, Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Monday. The same day, Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina announced that residents 55 and older, those 16 and older with high-risk medical conditions and some frontline workers were eligible.
John Druschitz spent five days in a Texas hospital last April with fever and shortness of breath as doctors puzzled over a diagnosis.
They initially suspected coronavirus.
But ensuing lab work was ambiguous: Multiple molecular tests for coronavirus came back negative, but an antibody test was positive.
Doctors found that Mr. Druschitz, 65, had an irregular heartbeat and blood clots in both his lungs. They sent him home on oxygen, and ultimately did not give a coronavirus diagnosis because of the negative tests. He didn’t think much about the decision until this fall, when he received a $22,367.81 bill that the hospital has since threatened to send to collections.
Working with a patient advocate, he discovered that his debt stemmed in no small part from his diagnosis. Not having a coronavirus diagnosis disqualified his hospital from tapping into a federal fund to cover his bills.
Mr. Druschitz ultimately fell short of qualifying for multiple federal health programs that would have paid for his care if the details had been slightly different.
On the day the hospital admitted him, he was 64 years old, 23 days away from qualifying for Medicare. He had mistakenly terminated his private health plan one month early.
If his hospital visit had happened 24 days later, Medicare would have covered the vast majority of the costs.
Because he was uninsured, the hospital sent a letter less than a week after discharge offering to “help apply for medical assistance through various government programs.” Mr. Druschitz had not yet received a bill at the time. When it did arrive, six months later, he was told that offer had expired.
Another source of federal funding would have become available if the hospital had determined he had coronavirus: the Covid-19 Uninsured Program.
Created last spring, the program pays the medical bills of coronavirus patients who lack health coverage.
It has faced some criticism from hospitals and patients for being too narrow, and for covering bills only where coronavirus is the primary diagnosis. A patient with a primary diagnosis of respiratory failure and a secondary diagnosis of coronavirus would not qualify, for example.
The Health Resources and Services Administration, which runs the federal fund, does not have plans to change that policy. So far, it has spent $2 billion to reimburse health care providers for the bills of uninsured coronavirus patients.
Across the United States, thousands of actors, musicians, dancers and other entertainment industry workers are losing their health insurance or being saddled with higher costs in the midst of the pandemic. Some were simply unable to work enough hours last year to qualify for coverage. Others were in plans that made it harder to qualify for coverage.
The insurance woes came as performers faced record unemployment. Several provisions in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, which passed the Senate on Saturday and is expected to pass the House on Wednesday, offer the promise of relief. One would make it a lot cheaper for people to take advantage of the federal government program known as COBRA, which allows people to continue to buy the health coverage they have lost. Another would lower the cost of buying coverage on government exchanges.
Many of the more than two dozen performers interviewed by The New York Times said that they had felt abandoned for much of the year — both by their unions and by what many described as America’s broken health care system.
“You never think it’s going to be you,” said Robbie Fairchild, a former dancer at New York City Ballet who was nominated for a Tony Award in 2015 for his star turn in “An American in Paris” on Broadway and who later appeared in the film adaptation of “Cats.”
Unlike other workers who simply sign up for a health plan when they start a new job, the people who power film, television and theater often work on multiple shows for many different employers, cobbling together enough hours, days and earnings until they reach the threshold that qualifies them for health insurance. Even as work grew scarce last year, several plans raised that threshold.
Musicians are struggling, too. Officials at Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, the New York local that is the largest in the nation, estimate that when changes to its plan take effect this month, roughly one in three musicians will have lost coverage.
Insurance plan officials say they were left with no choice but to make painful changes to ensure their funds survive because health care costs have been rising at rates that have outpaced contributions.
The delivery of restaurant orders and other goods has become a bigger part of daily life across the United States since the pandemic forced millions of people indoors. And in New York City — where the disease has taken nearly 30,000 lives — delivery workers have become a lifeline for people working from home and for vulnerable residents who have been warned against going outside.
On any given day, thousands of men, and a growing number of women, can be seen crisscrossing city arteries, transporting meals, groceries and medicine in plastic bags on top of their well-worn bikes.
But their visibility has also made them targets for criminals looking for a quick profit through robbery. The unemployment rate has surged into double digits and economic desperation has grown in the city’s less affluent neighborhoods, which had already been pummeled by the pandemic.
Stolen electric bikes can be easily sold on the streets for cash or dismantled for their parts, the police and workers say. The bikes can cost thousands of dollars and are vital tools for the workers, who often make less than $60 a day. Many have come to rely on the bikes, despite the steep price tag, because they can go about 20 miles per hour, enabling workers to travel farther and make more trips to increase their slim bottom lines.
The theft of electric bikes doubled during the first year of the pandemic, rising to 328 in 2020 compared with 166 the year before, according to police data obtained by The New York Times.
Investigators said robbers often use fraudulent credit cards to call in bogus orders and lure delivery workers to secluded locations. The delivery workers then are faced with two dire options: let go of the expensive bikes they need to remain employed, or risk injury and even death.
Ligia Guallpa, director of the Worker’s Justice Project, a nonprofit that represents immigrants working in low-wage jobs, said that many delivery workers did not report robberies and assaults. A large percentage of them lack the documentation to work in the country legally and don’t speak English fluently. Many fear filing a police report could lead to deportation.
PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron of France on Tuesday announced that the declassification of secret archives more than 50 years old would be accelerated, a move that will facilitate access to documents related to the Algerian War — a controversial chapter of France’s history that authorities have long been reluctant to face.
A statement from the Élysée Palace said that starting Wednesday a new rule would “significantly shorten the time required for the declassification procedure” in order to “encourage respect for historical truth.”
Mr. Macron has recently taken a series of steps to lift the veil on France’s colonial history in Algeria, a lasting trauma that continues to shape modern France. The change announced Tuesday was intended to respond to growing complaints from historians and archivists about strict government instructions for declassifying archives.
2011 government requirement that every document classified “secret” or “top secret” be formally declassified before being made public. That contradicts a 2008 law that calls for the immediate release of secret documents 50 years after they were produced.
The 2011 instruction had been loosely enforced, or even ignored, by archivists in recent years. But the General Secretariat for Defense and National Security, a powerful unit inside the prime minister’s office, started enforcing the rules last year.
Tens of thousands of once-public documents were subsequently resealed, impeding historical research and reimposing secrecy on information that had been previously revealed.
Robert O. Paxton, an American historian who revealed French authorities’ collaboration with Nazi Germany, had challenged the 2011 requirement before France’s supreme court.
Ms. Branche, who is leading the legal fight, said the group would keep up its challenge despite Mr. Macron’s announcement on Tuesday.
It is unclear what motivated the effort to enforce the declassification policy last year. But Mr. Macron’s desire to pull back the curtain on the Algerian War has ruffled some feathers in the military, which oversees most archives relating to defense matters.
Fabrice Riceputi, a historian of the Algerian War, said that the declassification policy had led to some absurd situations.
In fact, the report was anything but secret, as it had been first revealed in a 1962 book and then cited in several historical studies in the 1990s.
report on the Algerian War that advised putting an end to the page-by-page declassification process but also returning “as soon as possible” to declassifying any secret document more than 50 years old, as required by the 2008 law.
In its statement, the Élysée Palace said that the government would try to reconcile the 2011 instruction and the 2008 law through legislation by this summer.
“It is a question of coordination between different legal regimes,” Mr. Ricard said in a recent interview, as he carefully flipped the pages of a (declassified) archive file on Maurice Audin, a mathematician who was tortured to death by the French Army in Algeria in 1957.
Documents on Mr. Audin are part of about 100 files released in 2019 and 2020 after Mr. Macron called for the opening of all archives dealing with people who disappeared during the war.
official acknowledgment last week that France had “tortured and murdered” a leading Algerian independence fighter in 1957 was much criticized by the French right.
But nearly 60 years after the end of the war, the issue of France’s colonial past has perhaps never been so pressing, underlying a racial awakening by immigrants in the country and fueling heated debates on the country’s model of integration.
website listing hundreds of names of people who went missing during the war, based on archival research he was able to do before the new instructions were enforced.
Within weeks, he said, he had received a torrent of testimonies from Algerian families, enabling him to document more than 300 cases.
The main stage of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
So continues the saga of the accidentally fascist CPAC stage.
The platform at this year’s Trump-obsessed Conservative Political Action Conference was built in the shape of a Nazi symbol that was worn on SS uniforms. But the firm that created the stage insists that was pure coincidence.
Design Foundry, the Maryland-based firm that designed the stage for last weekend’s event in Orlando, claimed responsibility in a statement first reported by The Forward.
“We had no idea that the design resembled any symbol, nor was there any intention to create something that did,” Design Foundry said. “We are saddened and horrified at the accusations that this was a deliberate act. Design Foundry denounces all hate speech and acts of racism, prejudice, or bigotry in all forms.”
During the four-day conference, which was headlined by former President Donald Trump and featured him listing every Republican who voted for his impeachment by name, some observers noted that the shape of the stage bore a striking resemblance to the Odal rune.
As the event was held at the Hyatt Regency, the chain put out a statement Sunday saying “all such symbols are abhorrent and unequivocally counter to our values as a company.”
“The CPAC 2021 event is hosted and managed by the American Conservative Union that manages all aspects of event logistics, including the stage design and aesthetics,” Hyatt said in a statement. “We discussed directly with ACU leadership who told us that any resemblance to a symbol of hate is unintentional.”
In response, ACU general counsel David Safavian ripped Hyatt. “Hyatt made a decision to issue additional statements late last night after the conference ended that disparaged and defamed us,” Safavian said in a letter to Hyatt chair Thomas J. Pritzker. “These statements appear to validate demonstrably false and malicious claims.”
Originally a character in the runic alphabet used in Europe from before the Roman Empire, the Odal rune (like other Norse symbology) gained modern prominence in Nazi Germany as the emblem worn on the uniform of Adolf Hitler’s Waffen SS. The National Socialist Movement, the successor to the American Nazi Party, announced in November 2016 that the Odal rune would replace the swastika as the organization’s logo, calling it a “slight rebranding.”
“Your Party Platform remains the same, your Party remains unchanged, it is a cosmetic overhaul only,” NSM leader Jeff Schoep said at the time.
Design Foundry, which has reportedly worked with corporations such as Google and Target as well as MSNBC, said that the ACU gave final approval over all aspects of the deliverable. The contract stipulated, however, that the ACU had no legal rights to change the design or alter the stage, the Forward reported.
“The approved stage design was intended to provide the best use of space, given the constraints of the ballroom and social distancing requirements,” Design Foundry said.
CPAC has said it will not use the company again, but forcefully denied allegations of implicit anti-Semitism.
“Stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous. We have a long standing commitment to the Jewish community,” American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp tweeted after the image went viral. “Cancel culture extremists must address anti-Semitism within their own ranks. CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies, including those speaking from this stage.”