Your Tuesday briefing – The New York Times
We are covering the coup in Sudan and a conviction in Hong Kong under the National Security Act.
Coup in Sudan
The Sudanese army seized power on Monday, detaining the prime minister and other civilian political leaders. The ongoing coup appeared to be a blow to hopes for a democratic transition in one of Africa’s largest countries.
Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the military leader, announced at a press conference that he was dissolving the country’s civil-military government and imposing a state of emergency. He has always promised to continue the elections scheduled for July 2023.
There had been mounting tension and signs for weeks that the military was preparing for a takeover. The general blamed the unrest and feuds between political factions in Sudan. It was not clear whether the divided army was united behind the attempted coup.
On the ground: Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Khartoum, the capital. Troops fired at pro-democracy protesters, killing at least three people and injuring more than 80, according to a group of medics.
In line: Authorities have cut internet connections, one of the many power cuts Sudanese have suffered in recent years.
The context: Sudan’s new civil-military government has been a fragile democratic hope for Africa and the Arab world since the 2019 ousting of the country’s despised three-decade leader, Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
It comes just months after U.S. regulators approved vaccinations for children 12 and older. The data can help governments around the world decide when to roll out their Covid vaccines to children. In the United States, the shootings could start in early November.
Moderna has not published the full data and the results are not published in a peer-reviewed journal. The results were announced a day before a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee reviewed data from the Pfizer vaccine in children aged 5 to 11.
The company plans to submit the results to the FDA and regulatory agencies in Europe and elsewhere soon, and is still recruiting children aged 2 to 5 and 6 months to under 2 years of age for trials.
Details: A month after the vaccination ended, the children in Moderna’s trial had antibody levels 1.5 times higher than those seen in young adults, the company said.
Here are the latest pandemic updates and maps.
In other developments:
Latest Hong Kong conviction targets freedom of speech
A Hong Kong court on Monday convicted an activist of inciting secession for shouting independence slogans during a series of protests, underlining the power of a sweeping national security law to punish speeches.
The activist, Ma Chun-man, had argued that he did not call for independence, but rather wanted to show that free speech still exists under the law. He will be sentenced on November 11.
Critics say the conviction shows the National Security Act is being used to silence political dissent. Ma, 30, is the second accused to stand trial under the Security Act.
And after: This fall, Hong Kong courts are set to try Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, and other editors and executives at his company on security law charges. 100 people have been charged under the law; most remain in prison.
THE LAST NEWS
Our reporters drove through Israel and explored the contradictions that still plague the nation. For many, Haifa symbolizes Arab-Jewish coexistence. But for some Palestinian residents, Haifa remains as busy as the West Bank, and few spaces are truly shared. Across the country, incompatible factions live together like an “unsolvable puzzle”.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Who hacked our correspondent’s phone?
Our reporter Ben Hubbard wrote about tracing the international hack of his phone – the one that took place without opening a single link or attachment.
As a correspondent covering the Middle East, I often speak to people who take great risks to share information that their authoritarian leaders want to keep secret. I take a lot of precautions to protect these sources because if they were caught they could end up in jail or even 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 a link to get my phone 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 discovered that I had been in trouble with the growing global spyware industry, which sells surveillance tools to governments to help them fight crime and track down terrorists. The companies that sell these tools operate in the shadows.
In 2018, I was the target of a suspicious text message which, according to Citizen Lab, was likely sent from Saudi Arabia using software called Pegasus. This year, a member of the Times tech security team discovered another 2018 hack attempt on my phone. Bill Marczak, a senior fellow at Citizen Lab, discovered that I had subsequently been hacked twice, in 2020 and 2021.
Technical security experts told me that it was almost impossible to definitively identify the culprits. But based on the code found in my phone which looked like what he had seen in other cases, Mr Marczak said he had “great 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 does, 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
PS Sui-Lee Wee, The Times Business Correspondent in Beijing, is our new Southeast Asia bureau chief.
The latest episode of “The Daily” deals with Evergrande and the threats to the Chinese economy.
You can reach Melina and the team at email@example.com.