Your Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times

Your Tuesday Briefing - The New York Times

We’re covering Sudan’s coup and a conviction in Hong Kong under the national security law.

Coup in Sudan

Sudan’s military seized power on Monday, detaining the prime minister and other civilian political leaders. The unfolding coup appeared to deal a sweeping blow to hopes for a democratic transition in one of Africa’s largest countries.

Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the military chief, announced at a news conference that he was dissolving the joint civilian-military government of the country and was imposing a state of emergency. He still vowed to press ahead with elections planned for July 2023.

There had been growing tension and signs for weeks that the military was plotting a takeover. The general blamed unrest and squabbling between political factions in Sudan. It was unclear whether the military, which is riven by divisions, was united behind the coup attempt.

On the ground: Thousands of protesters flooded into the streets in Khartoum, the capital. Troops fired on pro-democracy demonstrators, killing at least three people and injuring more than 80, according to a doctors’ group.

Online: The authorities cut internet connections, one of many such blackouts the Sudanese have endured in recent years.

Context: The fledgling civilian-military government in Sudan had been a fragile democratic hope for both Africa and the Arab world since the 2019 ouster of the country’s despised leader of three decades, Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

It comes just a few months after U.S. regulators approved vaccinations for kids 12 and older. The data may help governments around the world decide on when to roll out their Covid shots for kids. In the U.S., shots could start by early November.

Moderna did not release the full data, nor are the results published in a peer-reviewed journal. The results were announced one day before an advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to review data for the Pfizer vaccine in children 5 through 11.

The company plans to submit the results soon to the F.D.A. and to regulatory agencies in Europe and elsewhere, and is still recruiting children aged 2 through 5 and 6 months to under 2 years for trials.

Details: One month after immunization was complete, the children in Moderna’s trial had antibody levels that were 1.5 times higher than those seen in young adults, the company said.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

Latest Hong Kong conviction targets free speech

A Hong Kong court on Monday convicted an activist of inciting secession for shouting pro-independence slogans at a series of protests, underlining the power of a sweeping national security law to punish speech.

The activist, Ma Chun-man, had argued that he had not been calling for independence, but instead had wanted to show that free speech still existed under the law. He will be sentenced on Nov. 11.

Critics say the conviction shows that the national security law is being used to silence political dissent. Ma, 30, is the second defendant to face trial under the security law.

What’s next: This fall, Hong Kong courts are expected to try Jimmy Lai, the founder of Apple Daily, and other top editors and executives from his company on security law charges. 100 people have been charged under the law; most remain in jail.

THE LATEST NEWS

Our reporters drove across Israel and explored the contradictions that still plague the nation. To many, Haifa symbolizes Arab-Jewish coexistence. But to some Palestinian residents, Haifa remains as occupied as the West Bank, and few spaces are truly shared. Across the country, incompatible factions live together like an “unsolvable jigsaw puzzle.”

ARTS AND IDEAS Who hacked our correspondent’s phone?

Our reporter Ben Hubbard wrote about tracing the international hacking of his phone — one that took place without his opening a single link or attachment.

As a correspondent who covers the Middle East, I often speak to people who take great risks to share information that their authoritarian rulers want to keep secret. I take many precautions to protect these sources because if they were caught they could end up in jail, or dead.

But in a world where we store so much in our devices, we are all increasingly vulnerable. I didn’t even have to click on a link for my phone to be infected.

To try to determine what had happened, I worked with Citizen Lab, a research institute at the University of Toronto that studies spyware.

They found that I had a run-in with the growing global spyware industry, which sells surveillance tools to governments to help them fight crime and track terrorists. The companies that sell these tools operate in the shadows.

In 2018, I had been targeted with a suspicious text message that Citizen Lab determined had likely been sent by Saudi Arabia using software called Pegasus. This year, a member of The Times’s tech security team found another hacking attempt from 2018 on my phone. Bill Marczak, a senior fellow at Citizen Lab, found that I had later been hacked twice, in 2020 and 2021.

Tech security experts told me it was nearly impossible to definitively identify the culprits. But based on code found in my phone that resembled what he had seen in other cases, Mr. Marczak said he had “high confidence” that Pegasus had been used all four times.

Now, I limit the information I keep on my phone. I store sensitive contacts offline. I encourage people to use Signal, an encrypted messaging app, so that if a hacker makes it in, there won’t be much to find.

PLAY, WATCH, EAT

What to Cook

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

P.S. Sui-Lee Wee, a Beijing business correspondent for The Times, is our new Southeast Asia bureau chief.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about Evergrande and threats to China’s economy.

You can reach Melina and the team at [email protected]

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