As I pulled into a parking lot, a man in an orange vest told me to stay in the car until my appointment time was announced over a very loud loudspeaker to avoid people congregating. After passing through two screenings by people who remained welcoming, despite having to endlessly ask the same questions, and a registration check in, I received a shot four minutes after my scheduled appointment time. It was injected by someone more than qualified for the task: an orthopedic surgeon.

Canada’s decision to get at least one shot into as many people as possible means that I’m not scheduled for a second dose until August.

As many Canadians look at vaccination rates in Britain and the United States, their frustration has been growing. Right now, just 2 percent of Canadians are fully vaccinated compared with 24 percent of Americans. But the scheduled increases in vaccine shipments — the Moderna slip up aside — should help Canada catch up slightly over the next few weeks.

If so, it will also be a relief to the medical world. After he released the projections compiled by Ontario’s table of science experts on Friday, which indicated cases could hit 30,000 a day if nothing is done, Adalsteinn Brown, the dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, said, “More vaccination, more vaccination, more vaccination.”


built 100 tiny shelters for homeless people to get though the winter. He now has an even bigger plan.

  • Geneva Abdul, a Times colleague now based in London and former member of Canada’s national soccer team, wrote about the confidence that playing the sport gave her.

  • An exhaustive review found that anti-gay bias by Toronto police helped allow a serial killer to prey on the city’s gay community.

  • William Amos, a Liberal member of Parliament from Quebec, stripped down after a jog while not realizing that his computer’s camera was on and broadcasting to his fellow lawmakers in a virtual meeting. Now some people are asking who leaked the photo of Mr. Amos standing nude to the public.


  • A native of Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austen was educated in Toronto, lives in Ottawa and has reported about Canada for The New York Times for the past 16 years. Follow him on Twitter at @ianrausten.


    How are we doing?
    We’re eager to have your thoughts about this newsletter and events in Canada in general. Please send them to nytcanada@nytimes.com.

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    Covid-19 Global Death Toll Nears 3 Million

    The world’s Covid-19 death toll is approaching yet another once unthinkable number — nearly three million people have died from the virus since the first cases surfaced more than 14 months ago and upended life for people across the globe.

    The global death toll stands at 2,990,993, while the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has surged to nearly 140 million, according to a New York Times database, as countries race to provide enough vaccines to slow the relentless pace of infections.

    The pace of deaths has been accelerating. The world did not record one million deaths until Sept. 28, but had recorded two million by Feb. 21, less than five months later. And the latest million took under two months.

    The United States, Brazil and Mexico lead the world in Covid-19 deaths.

    In the United States, more than 564,800 virus-related deaths have been confirmed, about one in 567 people — the most of any other country.

    Brazil, where the spread of the virus has been fueled by a highly contagious variant, political infighting and distrust of science, more than 365,000 people have died. The virus is still pummeling the country, which is averaging over 2,900 deaths per day.

    The leaders of both countries, which are the region’s two largest nations, have largely dismissed the dangers and have resisted calls for a lockdown.

    India, the country with the fourth-highest number of total coronavirus deaths, has recorded more than 174,300 deaths. The virus is surging there once again, prompting more shutdowns and another mass migration away from big cities.

    Britain recently ended one of the longest and most stringent lockdowns in the world — more than 127,100 deaths have been recorded. And in Italy, once the nightmarish epicenter of the virus, there have been almost 116,000 confirmed deaths.

    Sweden, where officials have taken a more lax approach to combating the coronavirus, has experienced an increase in new cases and deaths recently, with more than 13,700 deaths.

    As dangerous virus variants spread, many developed countries are racing to vaccinate their populations as fast as possible. More than 841 million vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, though some countries have yet to report a single dose, according to a New York Times database that tracks the worldwide rollout of shots.

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    Shawn G. Kennedy, Times Reporter in a Vanguard, Dies at 73

    Back in the 1970s, as The New York Times lagged behind other papers in hiring reporters and editors of color, Paul Delaney, the first Black reporter hired in the newspaper’s Washington bureau, was among those helping to recruit nonwhite journalists.

    He was on assignment in New Orleans in 1973 when he ran into a Black television reporter, who told him that her twin sister, who worked as a fact checker for Playboy magazine in Chicago, was eager to move to a daily paper. The next time Mr. Delaney was in Chicago, he looked her up.

    And that was how Shawn G. Kennedy came to work at The Times, taking a route as random as any in that era, before organizations like the National Association of Black Journalists were formed to help organize the recruitment of journalists.

    Ms. Kennedy, who worked at The Times for 23 years, died on April 5 at the home of her sister, Royal Kennedy Rodgers, in San Francisco. She was 73 and lived in New Orleans. Ms. Rodgers said the cause was breast cancer.

    Lt. Col. James Vincent Kennedy, was one of the Tuskegee Airmen, the all-Black corps of elite pilots; he completed his training too late to see combat in World War II but became a career Air Force officer and flew missions in Korea and Vietnam. He received degrees in electrical engineering and worked on the Apollo space program.

    Shirley (Graves) Kennedy, went back to school after her children had grown and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in African-American studies and her doctorate in political science. She then taught Black studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

    With Mr. Kennedy in the military, the family lived on air bases around the world. The parents were intensely interested in current events and liked to read, and their children adopted the same habits. Royal Rodgers said that while living in Tokyo and having no television there, she and Shawn “devoured” American magazines. Shawn went to Ohio University in Athens but left for Playboy before graduating.

    She married Harold Brown, an investment manager, in 1997 and left The Times shortly thereafter. They moved to Sacramento and Washington, D.C., before settling in New Orleans.

    “New Orleans was her big second act,” her sister said. Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Brown were already involved in economic development there before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, and afterward they devoted themselves even more to rebuilding the city. After Mr. Brown died in 2013, Ms. Kennedy continued many of his projects.

    One project of which Ms. Kennedy was especially proud was overseeing the conversion of the historic St. Rosa de Lima church into a center for a Waldorf school, a performance space and a business incubator.

    In addition to her sister, she is survived by two brothers, Kevin and Colin; a stepson, David Brown; and one step-grandson.

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    C.D.C. Panel to Meet Next Friday on J.&J. Vaccine Pause

    The federal government’s call for a pause on using Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine could last at least another week, further complicating efforts by federal and state health officials to reschedule appointments, and reassure jittery Americans that the vaccine is safe and effective.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s independent vaccine advisory panel, known as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, has been scheduled to meet for a second time since shots were halted, next Friday, to discuss safety data related to a small number of blood-clotting cases in Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients. It is unclear whether the vaccine was responsible for the clots.

    The public, six-hour meeting could conclude with a vote, for example, to recommend to continue the pause, to modify the F.D.A.’s authorization of the single-dose vaccine or to rescind the pause altogether. The federal government could then act quickly to follow the guidance.

    “We recognize the critical importance of moving quickly. That’s why we will have two unscheduled ACIP meetings in a 10-day period,” Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the C.D.C. director, said at a White House news conference Friday.

    decided Wednesday to wait on a vote while they take more time to assess a possible link to the rare but serious blood-clotting disorder.

    Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, told lawmakers at a hearing on Thursday that “hopefully we’ll get a decision quite soon as to whether or not we can get back on track with this very effective vaccine.” State health departments have rescheduled appointments and substituted two-dose vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — a plan that White House officials have referenced as a quick way to make up for the gap.

    While Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has accounted for a fraction of U.S. vaccinations, it has been a key tool in the Biden administration’s strategy. The shot can be kept at normal refrigeration temperatures for three months, and at one dose, allowed for people to dispense with vaccination in a single go. Some public health officials worry the pause may deepen hesitancy. And there are concerns about the risks posed to the global vaccination drive in countries that can ill afford to be particular about shots.

    In the United States, the pause has had immediate and dire consequences for local officials, who have worked to vaccinate vulnerable populations with the shot: homeless people in Baltimore, homebound residents in the District of Columbia, the poor and uninsured in Massachusetts and rural residents in a number of states.

    have received the Johnson & Johnson shot, with around 10 million doses currently unused.

    Setbacks with the vaccine, including a mix-up in a Baltimore plant that recently contaminated up to 15 million doses of it, have caused the White House to revise its math in projecting when the nation will have enough doses to cover every American adult, which President Biden had predicted would happen by the end of May.

    The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said on Thursday that there would be enough doses to cover 80 percent of the adult population by that point, or likely enough for every adult who wants one. She added that there would be enough for 90 percent of the population by the end of July.

    Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Daniel E. Slotnik and Sharon Otterman contributed reporting.

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    Vaccine Hesitancy Leaves Doses to Expire in Some African Countries

    With growing community transmission and high average mortality rates from the coronavirus in Malawi, there was widespread concern among the country’s health care advocates this week when the authorities announced that they would throw away 16,000 vaccine doses that had expired.

    They were part of a total of 512,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses that the landlocked southeast African nation had received from India, the African Union and Covax, the global initiative to procure and distribute vaccines. Health officials didn’t specify why the vaccines had expired, but said the doses went void on Tuesday “due to varying expiry dates of the received vaccine consignments.”

    Health experts and campaigners warned that vaccine hesitancy, along with rumors that out-of-date jabs were being administered, might have contributed to the slow distribution of the vaccine doses and their eventual expiration.

    In many African countries, vaccination campaigns have been hindered by factors like science skepticism, limited or no efforts to educate the public, inefficient distribution systems and concerns over the extremely rare but serious cases of blood clots being investigated among a small number of people who received the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Those two vaccines, which require less stringent refrigeration, are crucial to efforts to immunize populations in poorer countries.

    stopped plans to secure the AstraZeneca vaccine — a decision one official said was made to avoid duplicating the efforts of Covax, which will still supply AstraZeneca to African nations. But even though the decision was not linked to concerns over blood clotting, experts said it could still magnify misinformation about the vaccine. And the African Union is shifting its focus to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which could add to the problem. Its use has been paused in the United States.

    In African countries, public confusion over whether to get inoculated, and if so when and where to do so, has contributed to the expiration of doses. Like Malawi, South Sudan saw 59,000 unused doses expire this month.

    The problem is not unique to African countries. Tens of thousands of jabs have also been thrown away in countries like France and the United States. But African countries face far more serious supply shortages. According to a New York Times database, Africa has the slowest vaccination rate of any continent, with many countries yet to start mass vaccination campaigns.

    Countries like Ghana, which was the first African nation to receive doses from Covax, is about to run out of its initial supplies with no sense of when the next batch may come.

    “This inequality negatively affects the entire world,” said Dr. Ngozi Erondu, an infectious disease specialist and a senior health scholar at the O’Neill Institute at Georgetown University. If “entire regions and countries remain insufficiently vaccinated,” she said, “it will continue to ravage populations with persistent morbidity and leave the larger global health community always vulnerable to the virus.”

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    In Russia, a Military Buildup That Can’t be Missed

    MASLOVKA, Russia — Deep in a pine forest in southern Russia, military trucks, their silhouettes blurred by camouflage netting, appear through the trees. Soldiers in four-wheel-drive vehicles creep along rutted dirt roads. And outside a newly pitched tent camp, sentries, Kalashnikovs slung over their shoulders, pace back and forth.

    Over the past month or so, Russia has deployed what analysts are calling the largest military buildup along the border with Ukraine since the outset of Kyiv’s war with Russian-backed separatists seven years ago.

    It is far from a clandestine operation: During a trip to southern Russia by a New York Times journalist, evidence of the buildup was everywhere to be seen.

    The mobilization is setting off alarms in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, European capitals and Washington, and is increasingly seen as an early foreign policy test for the Biden administration, which just hit Moscow with a new round of sanctions. Russia responded almost immediately, announcing on Friday that it would expel 10 U.S. diplomats.

    “Solar Winds” hacking of government agencies and corporations, various disinformation efforts and the annexation of Crimea.

    told European lawmakers on Wednesday that Russia is now garrisoning about 110,000 soldiers near the Ukrainian border. In Washington, the director of the C.I.A. told Congress that it remains unclear whether the buildup is a show of force or preparation for something more ominous.

    Even if the goal of the buildup remains unclear, military analysts say it was most certainly meant to be seen. A show of force is hardly a good show if nobody watches.

    “They are deploying in a very visible way,” said Michael Kofman, a senior researcher at CNA, a think tank based in Arlington, Va., who has been monitoring the military activity. “They are doing it overtly, so we can see it. It is intentional.”

    foreign reporters have been showing up daily to watch the buzz of activity.

    Conflict Intelligence Team, a group of independent Russian military analysts.

    Gigantic military trucks are parked within sight of the roads, which have, strangely, remained open to public traffic.

    news release to announce the redeployment of the naval landing craft closer to Ukraine, in case anybody was curious. The vessels sailed along rivers and canals connecting the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea. The ministry posted pictures.

    forces for a possible incursion.

    But Mr. Burns said U.S. officials were still trying to determine if the Kremlin was preparing for military action or merely sending a signal.

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    $40,000 Swindle Puts Spotlight on Literary Prize Scams

    The literary prize scammers seem more obviously motivated by money. The fraudster targeting the British awards appears to use the same approach each time, emailing administrators late at night after the winners’ announcement, using addresses featuring the author’s full name followed by the word “writes.” (Emails from The New York Times to those addresses went unanswered.)

    As well as the Rathbones Folio and Baillie Gifford prizes, scammers also wrote to the organizers of the Encore Award last June; the Forward Prizes for Poetry, in October; and the Society of Authors Translation Prizes, in February, the organizers of those awards said. Britain’s most prestigious literary award, the Booker Prize, had not been contacted, its director, Gaby Wood, said in an email. “Oddly enough, no attempt has been made,” she added.

    Caroline Bird, a winner in last year’s Forward Prizes, said in a telephone interview that Britain’s literary scene was trusting and cozy, and that the scammer was “clever” to exploit that. “It’s not the place you’d ever come across someone on the rob,” Bird said.

    But several of the organizers who received the phishing emails said they suspected the fraudster was involved in British publishing, given the person knew who to contact and when to send the messages. Mundy, of the Baillie Gifford Prize, said he wondered whether the scammer might be a disgruntled author “who’d never won a prize and was furious about it, trying to claim what’s rightfully theirs, by fair means or foul.”

    Did any authors come to mind? “There’s plenty,” Mundy said with a laugh. “But I’m not naming names.”

    Few share that idea, though, for one simple reason: The emails lack a certain literary flair. “The prose was a bit dead, and there was no warmth,” said Patrick McGuinness, the winner of last year’s Encore Award, who had been passed the scammer’s email. “As a literary critic, I would say there was all the right words, but none of the fire.”

    Brown, the Baillie Gifford winner, agreed. “I’m not thinking, ‘My God, it’s Salman Rushdie,’” he said. A published author would have put more effort into the grammar, for starters, he added.

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    How Can the City of London Survive Brexit?

    LONDON — Coming out of Brexit this year, Britain’s government needed a new blueprint for the future of the nation’s financial services as cities like Amsterdam and Paris vied to become Europe’s next capital of investment and banking.

    For some, the answer was Deliveroo, a London-based food delivery company with 100,000 riders on motor scooters and bicycles. Although it lost more than 226 million pounds (nearly $310 million) last year, Deliveroo offered the raw promise of many fast-growing tech start-ups — and it became a symbol of Britain’s new ambitions by deciding to go public and list its shares not in New York but on the London Stock Exchange.

    Deliveroo is a “true British tech success story,” Rishi Sunak, Britain’s top finance official, said last month.

    It was a false start. Deliveroo has since been called “the worst I.P.O. in London’s history.” On the first day of trading, March 31, the shares dropped 26 percent below the initial public offering price. (It has gotten worse.)

    impacts from Brexit were immediate: On the first working day of 2021, trading in European shares shifted from venues in London to major cities in the bloc. Then London’s share of euro-denominated derivatives trading dropped sharply. There’s anxiety over what could go next.

    Financial services are a vital component of Britain’s economy, making up 7 percent of gross domestic product — £132 billion in 2019, or some $170 billion. Exporting financial and other professional services is something Britain excels at. Membership in the European Union allowed London to serve as a financial base for the rest of the continent, and the City’s business ballooned. Four-tenths of financial services exports go to the European Union.

    The government has begun hunting for ideas to bolster London’s reputation as a global finance center, in a series of reviews and consultations on a variety of issues, including I.P.O.s and trading regulations.

    For many, the changes can’t come soon enough.

    “The United Kingdom is not going to sit still and watch its financial services move across” to other European cities, said Alasdair Haynes, the founder of Aquis, a trading venue and stock exchange for equities in London. This will make the next three or four years exciting, he said.

    But this optimism isn’t universal. The prospects of a warm and close relationship between Britain and the European Union have considerably dimmed. The two sides recently finished negotiations on a memorandum of understanding to establish a forum to discuss financial regulation, but the forum is voluntary, and the document has yet to be signed.

    Duff & Phelps found that fewer see London as the world’s leading financial center but that it topped the leader board for regulatory environment.

    Here are some of the plans.

    Mr. Sunak told Parliament on March 3, the same day a review commissioned by the government recommended changes designed to encourage tech companies to go public in London. It proposed ideas, common in New York, that would let founders keep more control of their company after they began selling shares.

    For example: allowing companies with two classes of shares and different voting rights (like Facebook) to list in the “premium” section of the London Stock Exchange, which could pave the way for them to be included in benchmark indexes. Or: allowing a company to go public while selling a smaller proportion of its shares than the current rules require.

    The timing of Deliveroo’s I.P.O. wasn’t a coincidence. It listed with dual-class shares that give its co-founder William Shu more than half of the voting rights for three years — a structure set to “closely align” with the review’s recommendations, the company said.

    But the idea may be a nonstarter among some of London’s institutional investors. Deliveroo flopped partly because they balked at the offer of shares with minimal voting rights.

    the latest craze in financial markets, having taken off with investors and celebrities alike. SPACs are public shell companies that list on an exchange and then hunt for private companies to buy.

    London has been left behind in the SPAC fervor. Last year, 248 SPACs listed in New York, and just four in London, according to data by Dealogic. In March, Cazoo, a British used car retailer, announced that it was going public via a SPAC in New York.

    Already there are signs that Amsterdam could steal the lead in this booming business for Europe. There have been two SPACs each in London and Amsterdam this year, but the value of the listings in Amsterdam are five times that of London.

    Britain’s financial regulatory agency said it would start consultations on SPACs soon and aim to have new rules in place by the summer.

    regain ground lost to Germany, France and other European countries on the issuing of green bonds to finance projects to tackle climate change.

    London’s finance industry isn’t in danger of imminent collapse, but because of Brexit a cornerstone of the British economy isn’t looking as formidable as it once did. And as London tries to keep up with New York, it is looking over its shoulders at the financial technology coming out of Asia.

    The government has continuously billed Brexit as an opportunity to do more business with countries outside of the European Union. This will be essential as international companies begin to ask whether they want to base their European business in London or elsewhere.

    When it comes to the future of Britain, it’s “almost a back-to-the-future approach of London as an international center as opposed to being an international and European center,” said Miles Celic, the chief executive of the CityUK, which represents the industry. “It’s doubling down on that international business.”

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    Treasury Puts Taiwan on Notice for Currency Practices: Live Updates

    Vietnam and Switzerland as manipulators in its final report in 2020. The Biden administration’s report undid those designations, citing insufficient evidence.

    Instead, the department said it would continue “enhanced engagement” with Vietnam and Switzerland and begin such talks with Taiwan, which includes urging the trading partners to address undervaluation of their currencies.

    “Treasury is working tirelessly to address efforts by foreign economies to artificially manipulate their currency values that put American workers at an unfair disadvantage,” Ms. Yellen said in a statement.

    Taiwan is the United States’ 10th largest trading partner in 2019, according to the United States trade representative. Vietnam is the 13th largest, and Switzerland is 16th.

    The Treasury Department did not label China as a currency manipulator, instead urging it to improve transparency over its foreign exchange practices.

    Treasury kept China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand on its currency monitoring list, and added Ireland and Mexico.

    “Sonia” chats with coworkers — from a distance.
    Credit…IBM

    Millions of workers are wondering what the office will be like when they go back after a long stretch of remote work. Employers are trying to prepare them for it.

    IBM has designed a “reorientation” program to help its employees adjust when they return to a familiar setting but face a host of unfamiliar new procedures, the DealBook newsletter writes.

    “It’s sort of like the first day of school,” said Joanna Daly, the company’s vice president of talent. “A day early, kids go and get to see the classroom or see how things work.”

    This is needed, she said, because it is “not simply returning to the workplace as it existed before or the ways of working as it existed before.”

    IBM made a “day in the life” video to show employees what to expect. One version of the 11-minute-long video seen by DealBook starts with “Paul” going back to one of IBM’s offices in Britain. To start the day, he goes through a self-screening checklist to assess potential exposure. He enters the office through designated entrances and picks up his masks for the day (and disinfectant wipes if he needs them). Arrows guide him through the halls and up one-way staircases. Only one person is allowed in the bathroom at a time.

    The cafeteria is closed, so Paul must bring his lunch. He can’t use the whiteboards or marker pens in conference rooms (and he shouldn’t linger there longer than necessary). If Paul sees other IBMers not following the safety protocols, “It is OK to politely remind them,” the narrator assures him.

    Along with the video, IBM produced an 18-page presentation depicting “Sonia’s’’ return to the workplace, serving as a friendly, cartoon-filled back-to-work manual.

    “We’re looking now at how might anxiety manifests itself differently for different employees around being back together and then how do we address that,” Ms. Daly said, “through practical understanding of health and safety and also through having enough flexibility in the environment that everyone can kind of get used to coming back.”

    IBM, which has 346,000 employees, hasn’t set a timeline for when its U.S. workers will return to the office. The company’s chief executive, Arvind Krishna, has said he expects 80 percent of them will work in a hybrid fashion when they do.

    Mercedes-Benz said the electric EQS can travel up to 480 miles on a single charge, a feat the company attributed to new battery technology and the car’s aerodynamic shape.
    Credit…Mercedes/Associated Press

    Mercedes-Benz unveiled an electric counterpart to its top-of-the-line S-Class sedan on Thursday, the latest in a series of moves by German automakers to defend their dominance of the high end of the car market against Tesla.

    The EQS, which will be available in the United States in August, is the first of four electric vehicles Mercedes will introduce this year, including two S.U.V.s that will be made at the company’s factory in Alabama and a lower-priced sedan. Mercedes did not announce a price for the EQS, but it is unlikely to be lower than the S-Class, which starts at $94,000 in the United States.

    The cars could be decisive for Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes, as it tries to adapt to new technology.

    “It is important to us,” Ola Källenius, the chief executive of Daimler, said of the EQS during an interview. “In a way it is kind of day one of a new era.”

    The EQS has a range of 770 kilometers or about 480 miles, according to Mercedes. If that figure is confirmed by independent testing, the EQS would dethrone the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus as the production electric car that can travel the farthest between charges. The Tesla currently occupies the No. 1 spot with a range of just over 400 miles, according to rankings by Kelley Blue Book.

    The EQS owes its stamina to advances in battery technology and an exceptionally aerodynamic design, Mr. Källenius said. Some analysts question whether Mercedes can sell enough electric vehicles to justify the cost of development, but Mr. Källenius said, “We will make money with the EQS from the word ‘go.’”

    The EQS is the latest attempt by German carmakers to show that they can apply their expertise in engineering and production efficiency to battery-powered cars. Vehicles are Germany’s biggest export, so the carmakers’ success or failure will have a significant impact on the country’s prosperity.

    On Wednesday, Audi, the luxury unit of Volkswagen, unveiled the Q4 E-Tron, an electric SUV. The Q4 shares many components with the Volkswagen ID.4, an electric SUV that the company began delivering to customers in the United States in March. Though priced to compete with internal combustion models, neither vehicle offers as much range as comparable Tesla cars.

    In the S-Class tradition, the EQS offers over-the-top luxury features like software that can recognize when a driver might be feeling fatigued and can offer to turn on the massage function embedded in the seat.

    “You’re going to get S-Class level refinement in a very, very high performing electric car,” Mr. Källenius said. “That’s your buying argument.”

    Car buyers in Wuhan in January. China is trying to get its consumers to return to their prepandemic spending levels.
    Credit…Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times

    China on Friday reported that its economy grew by a remarkable 18.3 percent in the first three months of this year compared with the same period last year. But the spike is as much a reflection of how bad matters were a year ago — when the China’s output shrank by 6.8 percent — as it is an indication of how China is doing now.

    Global demand for the computer screens and video consoles that China makes is soaring as people work from home and as a pandemic recovery beckons. That demand has continued as Americans with stimulus checks look to spend money on patio furniture, electronics and other goods made in Chinese factories.

    China’s recovery has also been powered by big infrastructure. Cranes dot city skylines. Construction projects for highways and railroads have provided short-term jobs. Property sales have also helped strengthen economic activity.

    Exports and property investment can carry China’s growth only so far. Now China is trying to get its consumers to return to their prepandemic ways.

    Unlike much of the developed world, China doesn’t subsidize its consumers. Instead of handing out checks to jump-start the economy last year, China ordered state-owned banks to lend to businesses and offered tax rebates.

    Travel restrictions over the Lunar New Year holiday dampened consumer appetite and slowed the momentum of Chinese shoppers. But retail data on Friday showed that March sales were better than expected, raising hopes that consumers might be starting to feel confident.


    By: Ella Koeze·Data delayed at least 15 minutes·Source: FactSet

    Global stocks rose on Friday after a string of strong economic reports and company earnings.

    The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent, set for its fourth straight week of gains and another record. The benchmark had gained 1 percent in the week through Thursday and is up nearly 5 percent so far this month.

    The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.6 percent on Friday, also climbing to a record, while the FTSE 100 in Britain climbed above 7,000 points for the first time since February 2020. Stock indexes in Japan, Hong Kong and China all closed higher.

    China reported on Friday that its economy grew by 18.3 percent in the first three months of the year compared with the same period last year, when swathes of the country had been shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, data showed U.S. retail sales in March leapt past expectations, increasing by nearly 10 percent, and initial state jobless claims fell last week to their lowest level of the pandemic.

    This week, banks including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase reported better-than-expected earnings, and their chief executives delivered upbeat economic forecasts.

    The yield on 10-year Treasury notes slipped to 1.57 percent on Friday. Last month, concerns that government spending would overheat the economy and lead to higher inflation sent bond yields shooting higher, to 1.74 percent on March 31. But those worries appear to have been soothed by central bank officials, who have repeatedly said they expect increases in inflation to be temporary.

    Earlier this week, data showed that prices in the United States rose 2.6 percent in March from a year earlier, a larger-than-normal increase partly because prices of some items fell in March 2020 as the pandemic took hold.

    Another reason yields have drifted lower is a “remarkable” demand for bonds, ING, a Dutch bank, said. Recent Treasury bond auctions have received more bids than normal, and JPMorgan Chase sold $13 billion of bonds on Thursday, the biggest sale ever by a bank, according to Bloomberg.

    “Cash has to go somewhere, and it can’t all go into equities,” the ING analysts wrote in a note to clients.

    James O’Keefe, the founder of the conservative group Project Veritas, in 2015.
    Credit…Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

    Twitter said on Thursday that it had blocked the account of James O’Keefe, the founder of the conservative group Project Veritas.

    Mr. O’Keefe’s account, @JamesOKeefeIII, was “permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules on platform manipulation and spam,” specifically that users cannot mislead others with fake accounts or “artificially amplify or disrupt conversations” through the use of multiple accounts, a Twitter spokesman said.

    In a statement on his website, Mr. O’Keefe said he will file a defamation lawsuit against Twitter on Monday over its claim that he had operated fake accounts.

    “This is false, this is defamatory, and they will pay,” the statement said.

    “Section 230 may have protected them before, but it will not protect them from me,” Mr. O’Keefe said, referring to a legal liability shield for social media. That shield, part of the federal Communications Decency Act, has become a favorite target of lawmakers in both parties.

    In February, Twitter permanently suspended the Project Veritas account, saying it had posted private information. It also temporarily locked Mr. O’Keefe’s account.

    “We were trying to find the most incendiary way of making them mad,” Caolan Robertson said of the videos he used to make.
    Credit…Alexander Ingram for The New York Times

    To keep you watching, YouTube serves up videos similar to those you have watched before. But the longer someone watches, the more extreme the videos can become.

    Caolan Robertson learned how making clever edits and focusing on confrontation could help draw millions of views on YouTube and other services. He also learned how YouTube’s recommendation algorithm often nudged people toward extreme videos.

    Over more than two years, he helped produce and publish videos for right-wing Youtube personalities including Lauren Southern, Cade Metz reports for The New York Times.

    Knowing what garnered the most attention on YouTube, Mr. Robertson said, he and Ms. Southern would devise public appearances meant to generate conflict. They attended a women’s march in London and, with Ms. Southern playing the part of a television reporter, approached each woman with the same four-word question: “Women’s rights or Islam?”

    They often received a confused, measured or polite response, according to Mr. Robertson. They continued to ask the question and sharpened it. Ms. Southern, for example, said it would be difficult for Muslim women to answer the question because their husbands wouldn’t let them attend the march. That caused anger to build in the crowd.

    “It appears in the videos that we are just trying to figure out what is going on, gather information, understand people,” Mr. Robertson said. “But really, we were trying to find the most incendiary way of making them mad.”

    Ms. Southern described the situation differently. “We asked the question because we knew it was going to force people to question their own political views and realize the contradiction in being a hard-core feminist but also supporting a religion that, quite frankly, has questionable practices around women,” she said. And, she added, they used video techniques that any media company would use.

    Attendees of the disastrous Fyre Festival in the Bahamas won $2 million in a class-action settlement that is subject to final approval.
    Credit…Jake Strang, via Associated Press

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    Looking Back at the First Roaring Twenties

    We are in a second Roaring Twenties, or so you might think, from the countless comments suggesting that we are entering an exuberant decade that echoes the one of a century ago.

    The 1920s were marked by frenetic celebration, amazing stock market returns — and, ultimately, one of the worst crashes and most devastating depressions in modern history.

    A century is a long time, and the original Roaring Twenties have become something of a lost world, glimpsed through legend, movies and pop fantasy.

    It’s worth looking back more closely. History doesn’t provide a clear guide to the future — many economists avoid studying it, preferring instead to dwell on mathematical models, the latest changes in fiscal and monetary policy and statistically significant leading indicators.

    Alexander Dana Noyes wrote both of “the most reckless stock speculation” and of a series of “exceedingly favorable” factors protecting the economy: a “sound banking system,” “expanding production and consumption,” “large profits,” “stability of prices,” “conservative methods of trade,” “labor’s high wages” and “increasing exports.”

    As stocks rose, people who had little knowledge of the market blithely bought shares for the first time, as Eunice Fuller Barnard described in “Ladies of the Ticker,” a firsthand account in April 1929.

    Recently, there has been a parallel rise in trades by inexperienced retail investors.

    Early in the 1920s, people played the market as a grand game, abetted by technological innovation and new mass media.

    In 1923 the Trans-Lux company came out with the “movie ticker” — a large illuminated screen showing rapidly changing stock prices. For the first time, a crowd at a retail brokerage could watch together as a facsimile of the stock ticker tape whizzed by in bright light.

    And they heard about the stock market on the radio, the hot new technology of that era. Westinghouse, in Pittsburgh, created one of the world’s first commercial radio stations, KDKA, which broadcast Warren G. Harding’s victory in the presidential election on Nov. 2, 1920. Sports events, comedy shows and stock market reports soon followed, and radio stations spread throughout the United States and the world.

    The world entered homes electronically, giving people an immediate sense of the possibility of new technologies and access to a global narrative about financial success.

    What is startling, in retrospect, is that while there was plenty of discussion of the brave new horizons for investing in the 1920s, there was very little skeptical scrutiny of the underpinnings of the markets available in mass media, at least at first.

    CAPE, which enables us to say stock prices today are quite high on a historical basis.

    But my research suggests that in the early 1920s, scarcely anyone, outside of investment professionals, knew what a price-earnings ratio was. There was not a single use of the phrase in the ProQuest News & Newspapers database before 1928.

    This inattention shifted in the months before the October 1929 crash. In May 1929, for example, The New York Herald Tribune published “Price-Earnings Ratio Ignored by Traders in Present Market.”

    It was a sign of worry. Suddenly, many people became aware that this important measure was at record highs, indicating that prices were difficult to justify. The article helped to spread a pessimistic narrative about the stock market that began to dominate discourse.

    “The purchaser of securities on tips, who gives no thought or study to intrinsic values, must suffer the consequences of his own lack of reasonable care in conserving his resources,” the article said.

    As the crash approached, newspapers reported that many people had taken excessive loans from brokers, noting that the severity of a market decline could be amplified when brokers made “margin calls,” requiring repayment of those loans.

    As early as March 1928, an article in The Times said there was a widespread “uncomfortable feeling” about the “unpleasant possibilities” for the still roaring stock market. Such a feeling exists today, though perhaps not in as severe a form.

    the risk of excessive speculation. Yet the Standard & Poor’s Composite Index rose 29 percent from Jan. 1 to Sept. 8 that year. (The increase in the S&P 500 from March 23, 2020, to Thursday, at 86 percent, is even larger.)

    In 1929, the warnings only heightened public attention to the market.

    In February 1929, the singer Eddie Cantor had a hit pop song about the dangers of living. Its title was a form of baby talk: “I Faw Down an’ Go Boom!” The lyrics included this: “I got a tip to buy some stocks, lost my shirt, lost my socks. The minute that I buy some stocks, they faw down an’ go boom.”

    An article by Joseph Dineen in The Boston Globe on Feb. 10, 1929, said the song had gone viral: “‘I faw down and go boom.’ Did you ever hear anything sillier, more ridiculous and inane in your life? This wisecrack is positively cuckoo, a snatch of baby talk which has swept the country, used every day in every way by broad-shouldered huskies and lithesome lounge lizards as the last word in high-powered repartee. Every broadcasting station tossed it off into the air at least once a night.”

    The song, and others like it, helped to prime people into thinking about the possibility of a crash.

    Are there similarities today? Certainly. The current widespread fascination with the rising market accompanied by recent concern about a possible downward spiral and strained stock market valuations echo those of 100 years ago.

    That said, there is no particular reason to expect a market collapse that would be as bad as the 1929 crash, and the government and the Fed have shown themselves to be far more adept in staving off prolonged recessions than their predecessors. But we shouldn’t be surprised if uncomfortable feelings about the market grow to unmanageable proportions, leading eventually to a major stock market decline.

    Robert J. Shiller is Sterling professor of economics at Yale.


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