(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)
We’re covering growing global unrest about police brutality, the cancellation of a vigil for victims of the Tiananmen Square crackdown and life among Bangkok’s street vendors.
Demonstrators took to the streets of Berlin, London and Vancouver after George Floyd died in police custody. Leaders in Beijing and Ethiopia questioned U.S. officials’ actions, and activists in Chile offered advice on protesting.
Paired with the anger was another demand: that lawmakers heed the signs of racism and police abuse in their own countries. The condemnation also reflected unease about America’s place on the world stage.
In the U.S.: President Trump demanded that U.S. state authorities crack down on the protesters, whom he called “terrorists” in a tirade in which he berated governors. Several people have been killed or wounded in shootings linked to the unrest.
We have the latest updates from the protests and the government’s response.
Related: The Times’s visual investigations team reconstructed in detail the minutes leading up to George Floyd’s death. (This video contains scenes of graphic violence.)
India’s police use the pandemic to rebrand
Months after the New Delhi police were criticized for their role in religious violence against Muslims, they are on the front lines of the city’s fight against the coronavirus.
Our New Delhi bureau chief rode along with police patrols in the capital as they transported sick patients and served meals — part of a campaign aimed at redeeming their image. Watch the video report here.
Their role has changed greatly in recent months: When someone gets sick, the police are often the first to respond. But with a major part of the city still wounded by the attacks on Muslims, many are saying they won’t forget easily.
Quotable: “We’re Muslims. That’s all. This is our only crime,” said one Muslim shopkeeper whose business was burned down by a Hindu mob, despite his calls to the police. “We didn’t bother anyone, but they still burned our place.”
No Tiananmen vigil in Hong Kong
For the first time in 30 years, the Hong Kong police halted plans for a gathering in memory of those who died during China’s crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests.
Hong Kong’s annual commemoration of the 1989 crushing of the demonstrations draws thousands each June 4. The police cited coronavirus concerns and social distancing rules, but some accuse them of enforcing those measures on government critics only while other crowds gather in bars.
The police decision came after China made several moves to rein in Hong Kong. Beijing has long expressed frustration with demonstrations in Hong Kong. Some had already worried this year’s commemoration might be the last of its kind.
Related: Beijing weighed in today with a relatively measured response to President Trump’s announcement of broad economic moves against Hong Kong.
If you have 6 minutes, this is worth it
A liberal city’s struggle with racism
Minneapolis, the Midwestern U.S. city where a protest movement ignited after George Floyd died in police custody, sees itself as a progressive hub of multiculturalism. But it also struggles with segregation and racial gaps on education, health care and housing.
Many residents talked to our reporters about the city’s complicated identity. “Racism with a smile” is how Leila Ali, 42, a Somali immigrant who has lived in Minneapolis since 1998, described it.
Here’s what else is happening
Israel annexation: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suddenly facing resistance from settlers to his plan to annex much of the occupied West Bank. The fierce opposition, coupled with mixed signals from the Trump administration, is raising questions about whether Mr. Netanyahu will follow through on annexation pledges.
Snapshot: Above, a woman making fresh curry paste at a market in Bangkok. Our photographer spent two weeks documenting the city’s fresh markets and street vendors. This is part of our series The World Through a Lens that helps transport you, virtually, to beautiful and intriguing places during travel restrictions.
What we’re reading: This Atlantic article by the author Clint Smith about becoming a parent in the age of Black Lives Matter. It’s a heartbreaking and urgent read.
Now, a break from the news
Read: Take your pick from our list of 13 books to watch for in June, which includes an important gay civil rights history, the story of human migration and juicy new novels from Kevin Kwan, J. Courtney Sullivan, Max Brooks and Ottessa Moshfegh.
Watch: Here are our suggestions for June of the best movies and TV shows, including “Queer Eye,” “Da 5 Bloods,” “Scarface” and “LOL: Last One Laughing Australia.” A new crop of animators has been working on these new “Looney Tunes” shorts for the past two years, but they still have the look, feel and mayhem of the classic cartoons.
Listen: Our pop critics have compiled this playlist, which features Dolly Parton singing about dire times and promising better ones, Rosalía and Travis Scott, Nicole Atkins, Bright Eyes and others.
Our At Home section has more ideas on what to read, cook, watch, and do while staying safe at home.
And now for the Back Story on …
How safe is flying?
Airlines and airports around the world are doing everything they can to instill confidence in travelers that it’s safe to get on a plane again. But these measures might not be enough. Melina asked Donald McNeil, our infectious diseases reporter, what he thinks.
It’s impossible to make a plane perfectly safe. It is an enclosed space full of strangers. It might as well be a flying subway car, a flying cocktail party or a flying choir practice. The biggest factor is luck: Did you get on one of the dozens of planes on any given day that are just fine? Or did you get on the plane that has a virus-spewing superspreader — who may not even be feeling sick — aboard? And is that superspreader sitting quietly in a mask in a back row? Or a flight attendant patrolling the aisles and lowering her mask to answer questions?
The airlines are doing what they can — aggressively sanitizing surfaces, cutting back on meals and sometimes taking temperatures. But you can’t control for bad luck. Yes, cabin air is filtered and the filters are impressive. But they are not as effective as an outdoor breeze.
If everyone — no exceptions — stays masked at all times and there are many empty seats, flying should be fairly safe. The only surefire protection is a PAPR hood like those used in labs that work with lethal viruses. But those are expensive, hard to find and make you look like a cast member from “Contagion,” which might make your seatmates nervous.
Right now, airlines are not using many of their fleets. As they bring more planes into service, the seats will get more crowded, the cleaning crews will have to work faster and will get more careless. You can imagine the result.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
— Melina and Carole
To Sam Sifton for the recipe and to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about a weekend of intensifying protests across the U.S. over the death of George Floyd in police custody.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Minhaj who hosts Netflix’s “Patriot Act” (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Times correspondents covering race issues discuss the U.S. protests during our “America, Inflamed” event at 11 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday (11:00 p.m. in Hong Kong). You can email questions ahead of the event: [email protected]