Your Wednesday Briefing: Shanghai’s Devastating Outbreak

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In Shanghai last week, local health officials said that up to 70 percent of the city’s 26 million residents had been infected, and they expressed confidence that its Covid outbreak had peaked.

But China’s Covid wave is still deluging its most populous city. The photographer Qilai Shen took pictures of the outbreak.

Hospitals are overwhelmed. Staff members say they are overworked because many colleagues are absent after testing positive for the virus. Patients are being treated in every available space, including lobbies and hallways.

Funeral homes are, too. Mourners grieve in the streets, holding the ashes of their loved ones.

Despite a third year of La Niña, a climate pattern that tends to suppress global temperatures, Europe had its hottest summer ever in 2022. Eastern and Central China, Pakistan and India all experienced lengthy and extreme heat waves, and monsoon floods in Pakistan ravaged much of the country.

Overall, the world is now 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.1 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than it was in the second half of the 19th century, when emissions of planet-warming carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels became widespread.

“If you draw a straight line through temperatures since 1970, 2022 lands almost exactly on where you’d expect temperatures to be,” one researcher said.

The U.S.: Carbon emissions inched up last year, even as renewable energy surpassed coal power.

Resources: Here’s a primer on the basic science behind climate change and photos of the crisis.

The children of two former autocratic presidents lead the Philippines: Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is president, and Sara Duterte is the vice president.

Critics say their partnership is designed to protect their two powerful political families and shape their fathers’ legacies. Both patriarchs were accused of rights abuses and corruption, and both families face multiple legal challenges.

Marcos and Duterte are working to present a united front. Marcos defended Rodrigo Duterte’s vicious war on drugs, and Sara Duterte defended the use of a controversial phrase in a new textbook that refers to the years of martial law under the elder Ferdinand Marcos.

But their balance of power is fragile. Duterte, a popular former mayor, has shown she will not serve in Marcos’s shadow. She has set up satellite offices in key cities and could be a strong candidate in 2028.

Diplomacy: The stakes are high for the U.S. as it tries to deepen its ties to Southeast Asia, where China is increasingly trying to gain influence. The Philippines is a key security partner and its oldest treaty ally in the region.

Families: Dynasties dominate national politics in the Philippines — just a few families constitute up to 70 percent of Congress.

The Sydney Modern, which opened last month, doubles the exhibition space of one of Australia’s most important institutions. The modern design, and a new curatorial focus, are an attempt to reframe Sydney as a cultural hub with Indigenous roots and close ties to Asia, instead of looking to Europe or the U.S. for validation.

“Spare,” Prince Harry’s memoir, is an emotional and embittered book, my colleague Alexandra Jacobs writes in her review.

“Like its author, ‘Spare’ is all over the map — emotionally as well as physically,” Alexandra writes. The entire project is mired in a paradox, she writes: Harry is demanding attention, despite his stated effort to renounce his fame.

Above all, “Spare” is a bridge-burner, our London bureau chief writes. Harry frames his family as complicit in a poisonous public-relations contest, dashing hopes for a reconciliation anytime soon. He is raunchy, joking about a frostbitten penis and how he lost his virginity. He’s vindictive: He details fights with Prince William, portraying his brother as ill-tempered, entitled and violent. And he grieves his mother, Princess Diana, his repressed recollections unlocked by therapy and a whiff of her perfume.

The deepening rift could complicate King Charles III’s coronation, planned for May. And the memoir may also finally exhaust the public’s patience with the self-exiled couple, even in the U.S. Still, the ubiquitous coverage is unlikely to damage sales, at least in the short term. Here are 11 takeaways from the tell-all.


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