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Your Tuesday briefing: the revolt of Chinese workers “zero Covid”


Mass testing was a cornerstone of China’s pandemic strategy. But now that the country has dropped its strict ‘zero Covid’ controls, it is no longer in high demand. The companies that amassed fortunes making the test kits and analyzing the results have started laying off staff or cutting wages.

Former employees are caught in the crossfire. This month, frustrated by their sudden loss of pay, people who once worked in pandemic-fighting industries began to revolt.

Hundreds of protesters in Chongqing, a southwestern city, chanted “pay me” as they forced police in riot gear to retreat and overturned thousands of field tests. In Hangzhou, an eastern city, witnesses said angry workers climbed onto the roof of a test kit factory and threatened to jump in protest over unpaid leave.

Disputes could portend more unrest. Factories, which owe governments money, are strapped for cash amid the general slowdown. An expert said workers had virtually no recourse to resolve their grievances other than to lash out.

Economy: One report suggested that mass testing in major cities accounted for around 1.3% of China’s economic output.

Omicron: The variant made mass testing financially unsustainable. Some local governments, faced with the economic downturn, have struggled to pay the millions in free swabs that residents had to take almost every day.


Yesterday Britain confirmed its intention to send 14 tanks and a host of other sophisticated military equipment in Ukraine in the coming weeks. Later this week, two senior British officials will visit the United States, Canada, Germany and other NATO allies to discuss closer coordination on sanctions against Russia and military aid. to Ukraine.

Only a few months ago, such help was considered taboo; Western countries have resisted sending powerful weapons to Ukraine for fear that this will incite Russia to escalate the bitter war. But an expert said Russia appeared to be mobilizing hundreds of thousands of new conscripts, which has accelerated talks on handing over the tanks to Kyiv.

And after: Britain said it would begin training Ukrainian forces on tanks and guns in the coming days. Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have trained in Britain over the past six months.

Dnieper: The death toll from the Russian strike on a building on Saturday rose to 40. The UN confirmed the death of more than 7,000 Ukrainian civilians during the war, but said the toll was much higher.

Germany: Britain’s announcement could increase pressure on Germany to send its coveted Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, or at least allow other European countries to do so. Yesterday the defense minister resigned after heavy criticism of his handling of the war and the slow progress of a planned military build-up.


In 2006, a pilot for a small Nepalese airline died in a plane crash. His widow, Anju Khatiwada, has sworn to pursue her dream. She gave up her nursing career, despite her family’s opposition, and trained as a pilot in the United States. In 2010, she started flying for the same company, Yeti Airlines.

On Sunday, the 44-year-old captain met the same fate as her husband when the propeller plane she was co-piloting crashed near the airstrip in Pokhara, a holiday destination. At least 68 other people died in the crash, Nepal’s deadliest air disaster in decades.

Her family’s tragedy is part of a disturbing pattern. Nepal, whose mountains are difficult terrain, has seen more than 30 fatal air crashes since the early 1990s, according to the Aviation Safety Network. Last year, an audit raised concerns about shortcomings in air navigation, incident investigation and the organizational structure needed to implement safety standards.

Details: Video of the plane, moments before it crashed, showed a wing suddenly dropping as the plane descended in clear skies.

Tourism: Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the region, depends on visitors. But experts and officials have long worried about airports’ ability to meet post-pandemic demand.

In her recent book, she turned her attention to Hong Kong, her adopted homeland, where Chinese history is once again being rewritten. “I know the past pretty well and I see something coming up,” Chen told The Times.

Lives Lived: Gina Lollobrigida was an Italian movie star who became one of the first major post-WWII European sex symbols. She died at age 95.

ChatGPT, a chatbot launched in November, generates oddly articulated and nuanced text in response to prompts.

Some use it to write letters or poems. But students have also begun to deploy the new technology to complete assignments for them. “I don’t know about all of you, but I’m just going to ask ChatGPT to pass my final,” one student said in a video. “Have fun studying.”

In response, some American college professors are restructuring their classes. They rely more on oral exams, group work and handwritten assignments. They minimize take-home and open-book homework. And more than 6,000 teachers have signed up for a program that claims to quickly detect AI-generated text.

A philosophy professor told The Times that he plans to integrate ChatGPT into lessons by asking students to rate the chatbot’s responses. “What happens in the classroom will no longer be, ‘Here are some questions – let’s talk about it among us human beings,'” he said. Instead, “it’s like, ‘What’s that robot alien thinking, too?'”

Related: Kevin Roose, technology columnist for The Times, says the benefits of ChatGPT as an educational tool outweigh its risks.

nytimes Gt

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