China’s leader visits center of outbreak
Xi Jinping traveled to the city of Wuhan today for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began there more than two months ago, a sign that China’s government believes the worst of the national emergency is over.
In other developments:
The new White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and two members of Congress put themselves into self-quarantine after meeting someone with the virus. All three have spent time with President Trump in recent days, but the White House press secretary said the president would not be tested “because he has neither had prolonged close contact” with confirmed patients “nor does he have any symptoms.”
The authorities in California said it could take two to three days to offload passengers from the Grand Princess, a cruise ship that docked in Oakland on Monday with 21 confirmed cases onboard.
Beginning today, all 60 million people in Italy need permission to travel, the first such national restrictions in Europe. The virus has killed more people in Italy than anywhere outside China.
Ireland canceled all St. Patrick’s Day parades, including Dublin’s, as the outbreak affected plans for cultural and sporting events around the world.
Markets creep back after rout
Global stocks rose modestly today, and futures markets suggested that Wall Street would open higher, after the worst trading day since the 2008 financial crisis. Here are the latest market updates.
In an effort to address the economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump said he would meet today with Republican lawmakers to discuss a payroll tax cut and legislation to protect hourly wage earners who may have to miss work because of the virus.
Related: After Saudi Arabia cut oil prices, producers in the U.S. and elsewhere are bracing for job losses.
What to know: If your long-term financial goals haven’t changed, your investments probably shouldn’t. Even for recent retirees, a portfolio with a healthy dose of stocks provides the best chance you won’t run out of money.
Go deeper: The investor Warren Buffett once warned: “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” With that advice in mind, our financial columnist James B. Stewart explains why the coronavirus poses a real test to the financial system.
Michigan is the day’s big prize for Democrats
The state is one of six holding nominating contests today, along with Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington.
Four years after Senator Bernie Sanders won Michigan in an upset, he is again counting on working-class voters to deliver him a victory. But former Vice President Joe Biden is leading every public poll by double digits.
The details: The first results are expected around 8 p.m. Eastern. The Times will have live coverage.
Closer look: Our reporters spoke with some of Mr. Sanders’s supporters, who believe the only way to create a fair economy is to drastically change the current one.
Yesterday: Senator Cory Booker became the latest former rival to endorse Mr. Biden.
“The Daily”: Today’s episode is about Senator Elizabeth Warren’s campaign.
If you have 8 minutes, this is worth it
‘They were an extraordinary group’
Since then, the victims’ families have called for more scrutiny of the jet, pressed for an overhaul to aviation laws and confronted Boeing executives. Many of them will gather today at a memorial service in Ethiopia.
On Monday, Ethiopian investigators said design flaws in the plane caused the crash. A Boeing spokesman said the company continued “to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and loved ones of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.”
Here’s what else is happening
U.S. military review: Officials said they were evaluating how their forces conduct missions in Iraq and Syria after the deaths of two U.S. Special Operations troops in northern Iraq.
Dueling oaths: Both President Ashraf Ghani and his chief rival, Abdullah Abdullah, took the oath of office as the president of Afghanistan, plunging the country into a new crisis during sensitive peace talks with the Taliban.
Yoga in Alabama: State lawmakers are considering lifting a 1993 ban on yoga in public schools, but some critics say it’s an inherently religious, and “non-Christian,” practice.
Snapshot: Above, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, in London on Monday, before a ceremony honoring the British Commonwealth. It was their final official engagement before they begin life as semi-royals in Canada.
Late-night comedy: At a news conference on the coronavirus last week, President Trump said he had natural scientific ability, noting that his uncle had been a professor at M.I.T. Seth Meyers said, “People don’t just automatically know what their uncles know, otherwise we would all know the lyrics to every Steely Dan song.”
What we’re listening to: This Radiolab podcast about a reporter, Latif Nasser, who discovers a Guantánamo Bay detainee with the same name. “The show takes you on a wild journey to Morocco, Sudan and inside the barbed-wire U.S. military prison in Cuba,” says Alisha Haridasani Gupta, who writes In Her Words.
Now, a break from the news
Watch: Max von Sydow, who starred in “The Seventh Seal” and “The Exorcist,” died on Sunday at 90. Here’s where to stream 13 of his best films.
Listen: A fictitious Kevin Bacon (played by the real one), an improvised space opera and a Midwestern gothic horror story are among the new podcasts we recommend.
Smarter Living: If no one at work seems to read your emails, here are eight ways to change that.
And now for the Back Story on …
Reporting in Syria
Our Istanbul bureau chief, Carlotta Gall, is covering a tense moment in Syria’s nine-year civil war, as government forces backed by Russian warplanes have been closing in on the country’s last rebel-held city. She told Mike Ives, of the Briefings team, about what it’s like there.
Did your latest trip to Syria feel more risky than previous ones?
Thankfully our trip to Idlib was not particularly dangerous. We could hear planes in the sky at times — we heard a shell land in a nearby neighborhood — but nothing came in very close to where we were working.
But I saw that the Syrians around us were very nervous when we received radio reports that Russian warplanes were in the sky. They have learned that Russian jets are extremely dangerous and unleash devastatingly powerful bombs, and they seem to target civilian areas frequently, especially hospitals, schools and markets.
Do any scenes, or stories, from Idlib stand out?
What surprised me was to hear how so many people had fled their homes in the middle of the night, often only in the clothes they were wearing. There has been a very rapid advance by the Syrian-Russian forces, and people suddenly found themselves in extreme danger. There are many who do not own cars, and families had to pile altogether, sometimes five people, on one motorcycle.
The most powerful quote in your piece — “The only choice is to wait for death” — comes from a woman who had previously fled to Idlib city and then settled in a nearby town. It was relayed by her son Hikmat al-Khatib, an orthopedic surgeon. What’s his story?
He runs the main hospital in the town of Maaret Misrin. He is torn three ways. His young daughter has cancer, so he sought treatment for her in Turkey and moved his wife, a psychologist who works with refugees, and three children to Turkey. But he stayed to keep working in the hospital. Then his home village was attacked and his parents had to flee. Now his family is split between three towns, and he is starting to despair that he cannot protect them.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
Times journalists are on the ground in nearly 160 countries, covering the world — and the forces that shape it. You can support their efforts by subscribing today.
Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign.
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