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Your Tuesday briefing – The New York Times

Millions of Afghans, including a million children, risk starving and dying in a “most perilous hour,” António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, warned in a statement. conference on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

The World Food Program estimates that 40 percent of crops were lost in a severe drought. The price of wheat rose 25% and hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless after being forced to flee the fighting. The country’s health system is on the verge of collapse.

Over $ 1 billion in aid was pledged at the meeting by the international community, which is still grappling with how to work with an organization like the Taliban, with a history of brutality and human rights abuses. . World Bank funding is currently frozen, threatening the effective end of medical services in 31 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

Related: Albania hosts several hundred Afghan refugees at resorts on the Adriatic coast in what are perhaps the most luxurious refugee shelters in the world. “We are not putting people in camps,” Prime Minister Edi Rama said. “They are dehumanizing and where all problems begin psychologically.”

A new review by an international group of vaccine experts has spoken out against the supply of coronavirus booster vaccines for the general population, days before an advisory committee in the United States decides on the fact that the FDA should approve additional doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people 16 and up.

The Biden administration last month announced a proposal to start giving vaccine boosters eight months after people get their second injections. The pandemic plan announced by President Biden last week also included preparation for booster injections, saying: “A booster promises to give Americans their highest level of protection yet.”

However, many scientists opposed the plan, saying vaccines continue to be powerfully protective against serious illness and hospitalization. The review included a compendium of dozens of studies from around the world that show such a trend.

Global effects: WHO has asked rich countries not to administer more vaccines to healthy patients until each country has had a chance to immunize at least 40% of its population. Every unvaccinated person offers the virus the chance to transform into new, potentially dangerous variants, scientists have warned.

Here are the latest pandemic updates and maps.

In other developments:

  • The French vaccination pass system seems to be working. Fears of a potential impact on the country’s economy did not materialize.

  • Improving ventilation, adding portable air purifiers, and simply opening windows can reduce the risk of infection in the workplace. Here’s what to ask.

Norway’s center-left opposition won a decisive victory in the general election, after a campaign dominated by climate change and growing contradictions between Norway’s environmental aspirations and its dependence on its vast oil reserves and gas.

The vote came at the end of a tumultuous summer in Europe, marked by scorching temperatures and flooding in many countries. Once a distant prospect for many Norwegians, global warming has become a more tangible reality that all political parties in the wealthy Nordic nation of 5.3 million could no longer ignore.

Although the small Norwegian parties with the most aggressive stance on fossil fuels fared less well than expected, the vote showed that the climate issue could shift the balance of power to the left in some European countries. , including Germany, which holds good elections in just two weeks.

Other climate news: The Biden administration and the airline industry have agreed to replace all jet fuel with sustainable alternatives by 2050. But depending on the type of alternative fuel, using billions of gallons of it could harm, not help, the climate.

With $ 15 million in private funding, a company called Colossal aims to bring back thousands of woolly mammoths to Siberia, thousands of years after they became extinct.

But some researchers remain deeply skeptical of the plan. And if the start-up is successful, it will face serious ethical questions. Is it human to produce animals whose biology we know so little about? And who decides if they can be let go, potentially to profoundly change the ecosystem?

To make “The French Dispatch”, Wes Anderson’s next film, the producers moved to a real French town, Angoulême, to create the setting for the film’s fiction, called Ennui-sur-Blasé.

The result, Mekado Murphy reports for The Times, is a “stylized version of France that highlights the director’s whimsical passions,” with the perfect symmetry of the picture book long associated with Anderson’s aesthetic. It’s something like Paris, but not a Paris that exists outside of cinema.

The hunt for the perfect French town, with “nooks and crannies, corridors, passages, stairs, layers and ramparts,” as producer Jeremy Dawson puts it, began online, before an in-person search of promising places. In Angoulême, a southwestern town of about 42,000 inhabitants, Anderson suggested having lunch in a cafe in a small square. “When he said that, I knew he had chosen this city,” Dawson said.

During filming, the crew sought to give Angoulême’s old-world buildings, streets, and facades an Anderson-ized touch – a cute little vintage vehicle parked here, a prickly striped awning installed there. Thumbnails were sometimes used to help enhance the frame.

Learn more about the process.