Vaccines, Suez Canal, Passover: Your Weekend Briefing

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Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

1. More than one-third of U.S. adults — about 90 million people — have received at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine.

Nearly every state has announced that it will meet President Joe Biden’s directive to make all adults eligible by May 1. Only two states — Arkansas and New York — have not laid out their timeline for universal eligibility. Check your state here. Wyoming has also not said when all adults will be able to get the shot, but 20 of the state’s 23 counties now allow them to.

2. Brazil is facing the most new Covid-19 cases and deaths in the world. Every hour, roughly 125 people there die from the virus.

3. The very big boat in the Suez Canal is still very much stuck.

For days, an armada of tugboats with the power of tens of thousands of horses has been pushing and pulling at the Ever Given, a vessel roughly as long as the Empire State Building is tall. Cranes have been scooping mounds of earth from the shallow areas around the ship’s bow and stern. The rudder has been freed, but the ship has not yet been refloated. Here’s the latest.

Egyptian officials pointed to a combination of factors that were responsible for the Ever Given’s grounding on Tuesday, including weather and human error.

4. President Biden, pictured above in Delaware on Friday, is set to travel to Pittsburgh this week to formally unveil the next phase of his economic agenda: a sprawling collection of infrastructure proposals.

The package, which includes programs that would invest in education, carbon reduction and working mothers, would cost $3 trillion to $4 trillion — and may require almost as much in new tax revenue. Democrats see an opportunity to raise taxes on big corporations and the wealthy but do not agree on the details. And because Republican support is unlikely, they have no room for error in a closely divided Senate.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a critical Democratic swing vote, has signaled openness to making changes to the 2017 tax overhaul. Mr. Manchin is now at the center of the most important policy debates in Washington, most notably the one over the filibuster. Eliminating that voting mechanism would give Mr. Manchin even more influence in the 50-50 Senate, but he’s against doing so.


5. Nearly a week after a man walked into a supermarket in Boulder, Colo., and killed 10 people, investigators say they are still searching to understand a motive.

Ahmad Alissa, 21, who has been charged in the mass shooting, came from an immigrant family that had achieved many of the outward signs of success. But the family’s life was not without troubles in the two decades since leaving Syria for a new home in the Rocky Mountains.

The Boulder attack was the second U.S. mass shooting in a week, once again leaving Democrats and Republicans in a stalemate over gun control measures. Public health experts say a new round of federal research could pave the way for gun policies that avoid partisan gridlock — and ultimately save thousands of lives.


6. In Myanmar, dozens of people were fatally shot as the security forces cracked down on protests in what appeared to be one of the deadliest days since the military coup there last month. A rights group said it had documented 90 killings by the security forces on Saturday, while one local news outlet put the death toll as high as 114.

The killings took place in more than two dozen cities across the country, on a holiday honoring the Tatmadaw, as the military is known. Many of the victims were bystanders, including children. A Times photographer was there.

A dissident called it “a day of shame for the armed forces.” The U.S. ambassador to Myanmar, Thomas Vajda, called the bloodshed “horrifying.” Earlier in the week, the U.S. announced financial sanctions on the country.

We’re also following reports out of Mozambique where an attack by insurgents trapped nearly 200 people, including foreign workers, in a hotel near the site of a major gas project.


7. A littler person sometimes had to be a little bit noisier and a little bit more stubborn in order to be noticed at all.”

Ramona Quimby’s credo has rung true for young adult readers for generations. Borne from the imagination of Beverly Cleary, Ramona, a spark plug of a kid, was instantly recognizable and relatable. The much-adored author of 42 books for children died on Thursday at the age of 104.

“She elevated misunderstandings and near misses into an art form, subtly demonstrating how to turn embarrassment into a funny story without making anyone a punching bag,” Elisabeth Egan writes in a remembrance.

We also remember Larry McMurtry, a prolific novelist and screenwriter of the American West. He died at 84. Here’s a look at the trove of work the Pulitzer Prize-winner left behind.


8. With U.S. vaccinations picking up, the travel itch is real these days.

Most of Europe has been off-limits to most U.S. citizens for over a year, and the continent is currently grappling with a third wave of coronavirus infections. Some countries, like Turkey, above, Croatia and Iceland, have started to welcome vaccinated travelers. Others, like Greece and Spain, are preparing for summer visitors.

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