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Your Thursday Briefing

A federal jury in Manhattan discovered Ghislaine Maxwell, the previous companion to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, guilty of conspiring with him for at least a decade to recruit, groom and sexually abuse underage women.

For probably the most severe of the counts on which she was convicted — intercourse trafficking of minors — Maxwell might withstand 40 years in jail. One other depend carries a possible 10-year sentence, and the three others carry sentences of as much as 5 years every. The choose didn’t set a sentencing date, and her attorneys stated they meant to attraction.

The trial was extensively seen because the courtroom accountability that Epstein by no means confronted after his demise — by what the health worker dominated a suicide — in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 whereas he was awaiting his personal trial on intercourse trafficking costs. Maxwell was arrested a 12 months later.

Prosecution: “Ms. Maxwell was a classy predator who knew precisely what she was doing,” a prosecutor, Alison Moe, informed the jury final week. “She manipulated her victims and groomed them for sexual abuse.”

Throughout Europe and the U.S., data for brand new coronavirus infections are being set day after day because the Omicron variant tears by populations with a swiftness outpacing something witnessed over the previous two years. The W.H.O. warned that, along with the Delta variant, Omicron might create a “tsunami” of infections that might overwhelm well being care programs.

Britain, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy and Spain all set data for brand new each day case counts this week. In the meanwhile, none of these nations are reporting precipitous rises in hospitalizations, though the surge is only some weeks previous.

For vaccinated folks, Omicron could also be milder than earlier variants, however the wave of recent infections is inflicting chaos for hospitals, testing facilities and companies. Checks are more and more exhausting to seek out, even in places like Britain the place they have been as soon as in dependable provide.

Report numbers: France set a file with 208,000 new each day circumstances on Wednesday, probably the most recorded in any European nation because the pandemic started. “Each second in our nation, two French persons are identified constructive,” stated the well being minister, Olivier Véran.

Listed here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:


As presidential elections in April loom, the French left is in a dismal state, with its numerous factions struggling to come back collectively and unite behind a single presidential ticket. The choice, analysts say, is being crushed by the fitting and the far proper. Seven left-wing candidates are at present working for president. All are polling within the single digits.

Amid the ineffectual chaos, there’s now a push for order. Bypassing conventional get together techniques, the “Major of the Individuals,” a rising effort led by a bunch on the left that’s exhausted by factionalism and fragmentation, will maintain a vote in January for supporters to decide on a single candidate earlier than the French citizens weighs in as a complete.

The French left was lengthy dominated by the Socialist Get together and its social-democratic politics. However Emmanuel Macron’s victory in 2017 introduced an finish to the two-party system, ushering in an unruly combine on the left, primarily divided among the many Socialists, the Greens and the far-left France Unbowed — in addition to the opposite small far-left events that emerged from the ashes of the Communist Get together.

Context: In a rustic that’s shifting to the right, the left has discovered itself unvoiced on points like security, immigration and national identity, and it has did not capitalize on the wave of protests over the environment and social justice that ought to have offered a possibility to achieve assist.

For nearly 20 years, the hulk of a never-finished hotel has marred an idyllic shoreline in southern Spain. The lodge’s future stays cloudy, however the lesson is obvious: It’s simpler to break the setting than to repair it.

John Madden, the Corridor of Fame coach who turned one of many world’s most recognizable ambassadors of American soccer, died on Tuesday at 85. Revisit our 2013 interview with him.

The most effective e book of the previous 125 years is … “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee.

For its a hundred and twenty fifth anniversary, The Instances E-book Evaluate invited readers to appoint the perfect e book revealed throughout that point. Responses poured in from all 50 states and 67 international locations — together with many from readers of this briefing. (Thanks!)

In November, editors put the 25 most-nominated works up for a vote. It was a slender victory, however about 200,000 readers selected Lee’s advanced authorized drama about racism, household and the American South.

Of the greater than 1,300 books nominated, 65 % have been nominated by just one particular person. And solely 31 % nominated a e book that made it to our checklist of 25 finalists.

Three writers — John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner — every obtained nominations for seven of their books. Different fashionable authors included James Baldwin, Margaret Atwood and Virginia Woolf, who every had 5 books nominated. And readers nominated 4 books by Joan Didion, who died this month.

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