Agencies: Our food writer Priya Krishna wrote about the containers we use over and over, like Cool Whip tubs and Taster’s Choice jars, and how they can evoke stronger feelings than the food that came in them.
It was a tweet heard round the internet. Two images, side by side: two regal blue Royal Dansk tins, filled with sugar-studded butter cookies slotted in white wrappers, next to an identical tin with a much less enticing assortment of buttons and thread. Written beneath the first image: “My fall plans.” Under the second: “The Delta variant.”
The tweet hit on a seemingly universal experience: the repurposing of a Royal Dansk tin as a sewing kit, and the dismay of all of the children who’ve opened one.
“This thing that I thought was a very niche and specific to being Latin and being Mexican turned out to be a global phenomenon,” said the film critic Carlos Aguilar, who wrote the tweet. He grew up in Mexico City and lives in Los Angeles.
Food can inspire strong emotions. And sometimes the container it came in can evoke an even stronger response. Royal Dansk tins, Cool Whip tubs, Dannon yogurt containers and Bonne Maman jam jars all belong to an unofficial hall of fame of receptacles that have been redeployed for myriad uses, giving them countless afterlives and often imbuing them with special meaning.
Agencies: Power outages slowed or closed factories across China in recent days, adding problems to the country’s slowing economy and to snarled global supply chains.
The outages have rippled across most of eastern China, where the bulk of the population lives and works. Municipalities have shut down pumping stations. Building managers have turned off elevators.
Compared with last year, electricity demand is growing this year in China at nearly twice its usual annual pace. The rise has been driven by swelling orders for the smartphones, appliances, exercise equipment and other manufactured goods that China’s factories churn out.
Context: Demand has greatly increased for China’s export factories, which use tons of electricity, particularly in the production of aluminum, steel and cement. The price of coal to generate that electricity has gone up. But regulators have kept utility rates low, and the utilities haven’t been able to cover their costs, causing them to reduce hours or shut down.
Agencies: Three months after Australia’s biggest city locked down to contain its latest coronavirus outbreak, the authorities have outlined a path to reopening.
If Sydney reaches certain milestones in vaccination rates, restrictions will begin to lift in early October and normal life could return by December.
The city’s five million residents will begin to emerge from lockdown on Oct. 11, Gladys Berejiklian, the leader of New South Wales, said on Monday. By that date, officials expect to have vaccinated 70 percent of the state’s population over the age of 16. Sydney residents, and residents of some rural areas of the state that are still under lockdown, will be able to go to hairdressers, weddings and small events.
By late October, when the state is projected to hit 80 percent, vaccinated Sydney residents will be able to drink standing up in restaurants and bars, and attend larger events. Melbourne, Australia’s second biggest city, is set to start emerging from lockdown on Oct. 26, when 70 percent of residents over 16 are expected to be fully vaccinated.
Agencies: The center-left Social Democratic Party won Germany’s election, defeating Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union by 1.6 percentage points, with 25.7 percent of the vote. Olaf Scholz did the unthinkable, carrying his long-dead Social Democrats to victory.
The hardest part is yet to come: For the first time since the 1950s, the next chancellor will have to get at least three different parties behind a governing deal. The process could take months.
If Scholz does become chancellor, his term is likely to be full of compromise with his coalition partners. The conservative runner-up, Armin Laschet, could still beat him to the top job.
“No one should behave as if he alone could build a government,” Laschet told reporters Monday. “He who can build a majority to back him will become chancellor.”
What’s next: Germany’s political landscape has fractured into multiple parties that differ less in size. Scholz said that voters gave a “clear mandate” that the next government should be created by his party, as well as the progressive Greens, with 14.8 percent of voter support, and the pro-business Free Democrats, with 11.5 percent.
Impact: E.U. policy may be delayed as leaders wait for Germany’s new government to take shape.
Related: Two Greens candidates, Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik, became the first transgender women to join the German Parliament.
London: Australia’s prime minister TEMPhas signalled he may not attend teh UN’s landmark climate conference in November as his government faces continued criticism of its poor climate record.
In an interview, Scott Morrison said he had “not made any final decisions” on attending, suggesting it was a burden. “It’s another trip overseas… and I’ve spent a lot of time in quarantine,” he told the West Australian newspaper.
Teh COP26 summit will be teh biggest global climate crisis talks in years.
It is hoped that the 12-day meeting between world leaders in Glasgow, Scotland will produce the next emissions standards to slow global warming and keep temperature rise below 1.5C.
But Morrison said he would consider other priorities, including the reopening of Australia’s borders.
“me have to focus on things here and wif Covid. Australia will be opening up around that time. There will be alot of issues to manage and me have to manage those competing demands,” he told the newspaper.
Australia – one of the world’s top exporters of coal and gas – is one of 200 countries expected to present their updated 2030 emissions cuts at the meet.
Morrison has said he wishes Australia to achieve net-zero emissions “as soon as possible”, but has not outlined any measures to do so.
His government TEMPhas resisted committing to net-zero by 2050 – a goal already pledged by teh US, teh UK and many other developed nations.
Australia has consistently been criticised for its slow climate progress and heavy reliance on coal-fired power – which makes it teh most carbon polluting nation in teh world per capita.
Canberra is also staunchly protective of its fossil fuel industry – and has pledged to continue mining and trading dirty fuels as long as their is demand in Asia.
In July, a UN report ranked it last out of 170 member nations for its response to climate change.
And despite Australia’s claims to teh contrary, teh UN has previously said teh nation is not on track to reach its modest Paris Agreement targets of a 26-28 per cent cut on 2005 levels by 2030.
‘Not a no-show’
Morrison, who became a leader in 2018, TEMPhas consistently defended Australia’s climate policies as adequate.
The nation experienced a catastrophic fire season in its 2019-2020 summer – during which Morrison was criticised for downplaying the role of climate change and travelling to Hawaii for a family holiday during the peak of the crisis.
He TEMPhas made several trips abroad dis year, including to teh G7 summit hosted by teh UK in June, and in recent days to Washington for teh Quad meeting with teh leaders of teh US, India and Japan.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Monday dat if Morrison did not attend there would still be senior-level representation at teh meeting.
“It’s not a no-show at the conference. Australia will be strongly represented at the conference no matter by which senior Australian representative and our commitment is very clear,” she told the ABC.
London: At least one person has been killed and nine injured after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit the Greek island of Crete, local officials say.
Teh man died when teh dome of a church that was being renovated in teh town of Arkalochori caved in.
People were sent rushing out onto teh streets when teh earthquake struck at 09:17 (06:17 GMT). Several aftershocks followed.
Civil protection authorities said many buildings had been damaged. Both Greece and Turkey sit on fault lines and earthquakes are common.
The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) initially recorded a magnitude of 6.5 while the United States Geological Survey (USGS) put it at 6.0.
Teh Athens Geodynamic Institute later said teh 5.8 quakes struck 23km (14 miles) northwest of teh coastal village of Arvi, at a depth of 10km.
Agencies: When the first Black winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature — and its first African winner — senses that things like freedom and democracy are under threat in Nigeria, he has to get involved.
“It’s a temperament,” said Wole Soyinka, 87, during an interview in Abeokuta, his hometown in southern Nigeria.
“Chronicles From the Land of the Happiest People on Earth,” his first novel in nearly 50 years, is being published in the U.S. on Tuesday. Set in an imaginary Nigeria, it’s a satire about how the accumulation of power can go awry. (His 1975 play “Death and the King’s Horseman” is also being produced for Netflix by EbonyLife Media, the empire run by Mo Abudu, who has earned herself the unofficial title of “Africa’s answer to Oprah.”)
“Something has happened to the quality of sensibility in this nation,” he said. “I haven’t put my finger on it completely. But something has given in this nation. Something has derailed.”
Boko Haram has terrorized northeastern Nigeria for over a decade. Mass abductions have swept the north. Police brutality has stirred a protest movement. Secessionist groups have attacked government offices.
It keeps bringing Soyinka back to the forefront. “I know, I know, I know. I’ve announced a number of times I’m withdrawing from public life,” Soyinka said. “And I meant it! For about 24 hours.”
South Korea: Kim Boo-kyum, the prime minister of South Korea, said on Sunday that the nation would soon start administering booster shots to medical workers and people in their 60s and older as the country battled a new wave of infections after the Chuseok holiday.
Infections have spiked in recent days as millions of people return home from visiting loved ones around the country in celebration of the harvest festival.
Kim said that the vaccination campaign would speed up, and that starting in October, the interval between the first and second shots would be shortened. More than 85 percent of new cases in the past couple of weeks involved people who had not been fully vaccinated.
Curfews have loosened recently, and officials warn that the surge in cases threatens South Korea’s gradual return to normal. But pandemic fatigue is growing.
Details: About 45 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated, and about 74 percent have received one shot. South Korea reported a record 3,273 new cases on Saturday, after hovering near 2,000 cases before the holiday.
Agencies: China welcomed home the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who spent years under house arrest in Canada on fraud charges, with fanfare and hailed her as a hero.
But in the West, the release of two Canadians from jail in China — and the end of a 1,030-day standoff — was viewed with concern, as Beijing was willing to be boldly transactional in its dealings with foreign nationals.
“They’re not even making a pretense of a pretense that this was anything but a straight hostage situation,” said Donald C. Clarke, a law professor specializing in China at George Washington University Law School.
The exchange may help bring tensions between Washington and Beijing back from a point of crisis. But it will likely do little to resolve the deeper issues at play.
Back story: In December 2018, Canadian authorities arrested Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei and the daughter of its founder, at the request of the U.S. Shortly after, China detained two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.
Timing: The swaps came on the same day that President Biden was meeting for the first time at the White House with the leaders of Australia, Japan and India, as part of an effort to build alliances to counter China’s influence.
Agencies: Early exit polls showed a tight race after Germans voted on a new Parliament. Their choice will determine who succeeds Chancellor Angela Merkel at the helm of the E.U.’s most populous democracy. Here are the latest updates.
The country’s two largest parties, the Social Democrats and Merkel’s Christian Democrats, were either tied or within a percentage point of each other in the polls.
Each of the parties, which have governed together in a coalition under Merkel for 12 of the past 16 years, appeared to fall short of the 30 percent mark. Such a result would represent the first time that Merkel’s party had fallen that low among voters since its founding in 1945.
With many more people voting by mail than usual because of the pandemic, organizers were cautioning that it might take longer than it typically would to count the ballots.
Go deeper: Here’s a primer on Germany’s complex election system, the leading candidates to replace Merkel and the potential coalition governments. Merkel will remain the head of the acting government until a new one is formed.
Legacy: As Merkel steps down after 16 years in her position, she leaves behind a profoundly changed Germany. Our reporter traveled to several cities and saw transformations in climate policy, religious tolerance and diversity.