The New York Times - Your Tuesday Briefing

Russia hits a Covid death record.
Author Headshot

By Melina Delkic

Writer, Briefings

Good morning. We’re covering a Russian Covid surge amid lagging vaccines and China’s slowing economic growth this quarter.

Ambulances were parked near the Covid-19 section of a hospital outside Moscow on Friday.Dimitar Dilkoff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Russia’s Covid deaths reach record-breaking level

Russia exceeded 1,000 deaths in a 24-hour period on Saturday, for the first time since the pandemic began. Russia broke another record yesterday with more than 34,000 new infections registered in the previous 24 hours.

For comparison, Britain, with a little less than half the population, had 57 deaths in a recent 24-hour period.

Apathy and mistrust for the Kremlin has left only 42 million of Russia’s 146 million inhabitants fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said last week, a rate well below other advanced countries. Still, the government has imposed few restrictions.

“Approximately 40 percent of Russians do not trust the government, and those people are among the most active who refuse the vaccines,” said the director of an independent polling operation. In August, one of its polls showed that 52 percent of Russians said they were uninterested in getting the vaccine.

The government’s initial nonchalance engendered a casual view of the virus in many Russians. Some say they trust other vaccines more than Russia’s own Sputnik V. The Kremlin has started to worry: President Vladimir Putin — who announced only in June that he had been vaccinated — asked parliamentarians to promote vaccination last week.

In other developments:

Instability in the real estate market is posing a large threat to China’s economy.Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times

China’s economic growth slows

The Chinese economy increased by 4.9 percent in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year, and was markedly slower than the 7.9 percent increase in the second quarter.

Industrial output, the mainstay of China’s growth, faltered badly, hampered by power cuts. September’s measure was the worst since the early days of the pandemic, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Two bright spots prevented the economy from stalling. Exports remained strong, up 28.1 percent in September year-over-year. And families, particularly prosperous ones, resumed spending on restaurant meals and other services during the month, as China succeeded once again in quelling small outbreaks of the coronavirus. Retail sales were up 4.4 percent in September from a year ago.

Background: Efforts to address inequality — reining in tech, discouraging real estate speculation — also dampened growth.

Response: Chinese officials are showing signs of concern, but have refrained from unleashing a big economic stimulus.

Related: Goldman Sachs has won approval to take full ownership of a joint venture in China, allowing it to buy out Beijing Gao Hua Securities.

Colin Powell speaking at the State Department in Washington in 2002.Doug Mills/The New York Times

Colin Powell dies of Covid complications

The former top U.S. military official died of complications of Covid-19 at 84, his family said.

Colin Powell served as the country’s first Black national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state. At the end of the Cold War, he helped to negotiate arms treaties and an era of cooperation with the Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev.

Powell was the architect of the Persian Gulf war in 1991, and when he retired in 1993, he was the most popular public figure in America. But his return to service in 2001 as secretary of state was difficult. He clashed with conservatives on President George W. Bush’s foreign policy team, and his address to the U.N. in 2003 helped pave the way for the U.S. to go to war in Iraq, a speech he later said he regretted.

Powell had been vaccinated and received treatment for multiple myeloma, which compromised his immune system, a spokeswoman said. He had been due to receive a booster shot last week but could not because he had fallen ill.


Asia Pacific
People held candles during a protest in Yangon, Myanmar, in April.The New York Times
Around the World
The Christian Aid Ministries compound in Titanyen, a village north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Sunday.Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times
  • The 16 Americans and one Canadian kidnapped in Haiti remained in captivity, their identities and whereabouts unknown to the public, and the governments in the U.S. and Haiti silent on what was being done to help them.
  • Hungary’s fractious opposition is uniting behind a conservative mayor who might be able to oust the authoritarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, who has held power for more than a decade.
  • Russia plans to cease its diplomatic engagement with NATO, Russia’s foreign minister said yesterday, in the latest sign of unraveling relations between Moscow and the West.
  • A new “antimachismo” hotline in Bogotá, Colombia, takes calls from men struggling with jealousy, control and fear — and challenges long-held assumptions about masculinity.
A Morning Read
A family arriving at a small patch of land in Dholpur, India, after being evicted from their home.Karan Deep Singh/The New York Times

Ahmad Ali watched helplessly as India’s police set his home on fire. During protests against forced evictions of hundreds, perhaps thousands, in his home state of Assam, officers opened fire and killed two people, including a 12-year-old boy. The videos and photos of the crackdown drew global attention to the eviction campaign, part of what critics say is the ruling party’s campaign against Muslims.

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‘FIFA’ without FIFA?

The Paris St.-Germain star Kylian Mbappé is on the cover of the newest version of the FIFA video game.EA Sports

It’s been nearly three decades since FIFA, international soccer’s governing body, licensed its name to the video game maker Electronic Arts. For millions of players, the soccer organization has become synonymous with the FIFA video game series. But after negotiations stalled on a new contract, EA is considering renaming one of the most popular video games of all time, Tariq Panja reports.

So why the dispute? First, money. The games have made $20 billion over the past two decades. FIFA earns about $150 million annually for its license — its single-most valuable commercial agreement — and is seeking more than double that. Second, the two sides disagree on how exclusive the deal should be. FIFA would like to license its name to other companies, while EA wants to use the FIFA branding outside the game, including for events like live gaming tournaments.

If the partnership falls apart, EA still has hundreds of separate licensing deals that allow it to use players, clubs and leagues from around the world. “Gamers brought up on a diet of digital soccer would notice little change when it came to the playing experience,” Tariq writes. The game maker has even registered a trademark for a possible post-FIFA future: EA Sports F.C.


What to Cook
Christopher Simpson for The New York Times

Chicken salad with fennel and charred dates makes for a savory-sweet dish.

What to Watch

“The Last Duel” may be the “big screen’s first medieval feminist revenge saga,” Manohla Dargis writes in a critic’s pick.

What to Listen To

Five new and notable songs recommended by our pop critic include Kane Brown and H.E.R.’s genre-melting duet and Mitski’s monument to self-doubt.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: What “V” stands for on a lightbulb (five letters).

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Melina

P.S. Help us test a new audio product in beta and give us your thoughts to shape what it becomes.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is on the Virginia governor’s race.

Sanam Yar wrote the Arts and Ideas section. You can reach Melina and the team at


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