Global Vaccines, G7, Solar Eclipse: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. The U.S. has reached a deal to provide 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to about 100 countries over the next year.

The plan, which President Biden is expected to announce as early as Thursday, comes as the U.S. has faced mounting pressure to do more to address the global vaccine shortage and the disparities in vaccination rates between rich and poor nations.

People familiar with the deal said the U.S. will pay for the doses at a “not-for-profit” price. The first 200 million doses would be distributed this year, and 300 million would be distributed by the middle of next year, they said.

The World Health Organization estimates that 11 billion doses are needed to vaccinate the world.

2. President Biden arrived in Britain today, the start of his first trip abroad since taking office.

He faces a daunting agenda: Re-establishing relationships with allies after the hostilities of the Trump years; coaxing them toward coordinated policies on Russia, China, global warming and the coronavirus; and settling long-running disputes over aircraft subsidies and metal tariffs that triggered a trade war during the Trump administration.

On the final leg of his trip, he will meet President Vladimir Putin of Russia next week. Ahead of those talks, a Russian court designated Aleksei Navalny’s political movement as extremist. The political broadside sent a clear message to Biden: Russian domestic affairs are not up for discussion.

3. China appeared to get the coronavirus under control nearly a year ago. But lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing may be part of Chinese life for some time to come.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese people remain unvaccinated. New virus variants have appeared — the authorities blame the variant first identified in India for the latest outbreak in Guangzhou — and questions remain about whether China’s domestically produced vaccines can stop them.

Residents are growing tired of the recurring restrictions, and foreign businesses are worried that strict rules for international travelers — even vaccinated ones — might snarl plans.

In Germany, rapid tests have become a key to everyday freedoms. The country is relying on widespread, free antigen tests to ensure that anyone not yet vaccinated is also not infectious.

4. CNN said the Justice Department secretly fought to obtain one of its reporter’s email logs, and imposed a gag order on the network’s lawyers and president.

The fight for the CNN reporter’s email data began in July 2020 under the Trump administration and was resolved on Jan. 26, just after the Biden administration took office. The disclosure came less than a week after a lawyer for The Times revealed that he and a handful of lawyers and executives for the newspaper had been gagged as part of a similar fight stemming from a leak investigation.

In other media news, the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Joel Simon, will step down after 15 years. In an interview, he warned of the “violent and repressive forces” that have chilled news coverage, both in the U.S. and abroad.

5. Criminals have flocked to Bitcoin as an anonymous way to do illicit business. But law enforcement is catching up.

The F.B.I.’s recovery of Bitcoins paid in the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack exposed a fundamental misconception about cryptocurrencies: They are not as hard to track as cybercriminals think. Federal investigators tracked the ransom — worth between $2.3 and $4.3 million — as it moved through at least 23 different electronic accounts before accessing one account.

Separately, El Salvador became the first nation to make Bitcoin legal tender. The digital currency can be used in any transaction and most businesses will have to accept payment in Bitcoin. The U.S. dollar will continue to be El Salvador’s main currency.

6. With less than two weeks to go until the primary, the race to become mayor of New York City took an unusual turn.

7. “I wanted to warn them.”

The first time he stepped into a courtroom, John Doe was mocked by teammates, friends and parents for accusing his high school tennis coach of sexual abuse. More than a decade later, Doe is speaking out again, this time in his own name: Alexander Harrison. He spoke to our reporter about how that trauma led to a career dedicated to helping others seeking justice.

In France, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will meet in the semifinals of the French Open on Friday. Coco Gauff, playing her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, was frustrated and defeated by the unseeded Barbora Krejcikova.

8. Is your sleep not what it used to be? Blame it on “coronasomnia.”

For many people, the last 15 months has taken a toll on their nightly slumber. And it doesn’t appear to be getting any better. A survey of thousands of adults last summer found that 20 percent of Americans said they had trouble sleeping because of the pandemic. Ten months later, those numbers rose 60 percent. Even with a light at the end of the tunnel, stress and anxiety levels are still high, which are two of the root causes of insomnia.

But there’s good news: You can get back on track by building new and better habits. Here’s how to feel rested again.

Experts also answered 20 questions from readers on how to get a better night’s sleep.

9. Radicchio is having a moment.

You may have first encountered radicchio as an afterthought in a bagged salad mix, and were possibly even turned off by its bitterness. But in radicchio’s northern Italian homeland, those deep-red varieties are often consumed cooked, not raw. Now, there are more varieties than ever, like creamy-colored leaves with red speckles and others that look like a burgundy squid.

10. And finally, wake up early for the ring of fire.

If you’re far enough north, the sun will rise like the horns of a bull tomorrow. It’s an annular eclipse, which occurs when the moon is far enough from Earth that it doesn’t cover the whole photosphere (the sun’s bright glowing surface). As a result, a thin circular strip of glowing sun remains once the moon is centered in front of the sun. That’s the ring of fire. Here’s how to watch it safely.

The full ring will be visible only across a narrow band in remote places, starting in Canada at sunrise, or 5:55 a.m. Eastern time, and ending in Siberia. But if you’re willing to wake up before dawn, you will have a shot at getting a good view of a partial solar eclipse. In the New York area, the sun will be about two-thirds obscured when it rises at 5:25 a.m. One expert said to “expect an exceptionally darkened dawn.”

Have a celestial evening.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

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