We’re covering reopened travel to the U.S. and claims of unfair government tactics in the Russian election.
U.S. will lift travel restrictions on vaccinated foreigners
The Biden administration will lift travel restrictions starting in November for foreign residents who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
For more than a year, travelers from certain European countries, Iran, India, China and other countries have largely been barred from entering the U.S. for nonessential travel. Many have voiced frustration over being separated from loved ones, jobs and school while vaccinated Americans have been allowed to travel more widely.
The travelers will have to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative Covid test within three days of their arrival to the U.S., similar to requirements in many other countries. The changes announced on Monday apply only to air travel and do not affect restrictions along the land border.
Officials said unvaccinated Americans returning to the country will be subject to stricter requirements, including testing negative one day before traveling and showing proof they have bought a test to take after landing.
Details: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also soon issue an order directing airlines to collect phone numbers and email addresses of travelers for a new contact-tracing system.
Economic recovery: Tourism officials in New York City welcomed the news. Before the pandemic, visitors to New York City from other countries peaked at 13.5 million a year in 2019. The figure plunged last year to 2.4 million.
In other developments:
Partial results that came out after polls closed on Sunday evening showed significant gains by opposition parties as well as potential victories by several candidates supported by the imprisoned opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.
By the time the election commission revealed a full count on Monday, the gains were largely gone, prompting claims of fraud.
In Moscow, challengers to the ruling party, United Russia, led in several electoral districts before the results of online voting were tabulated, with a delay, on Monday. An official in the Moscow city government explained the delay by pointing to a “decoding” process that took “considerably longer than we had expected.”
U.S. response: A State Department spokesperson said the Russian elections “took place under conditions not conducive to free and fair proceedings.” He added that the government’s use of laws against “extremist” and “undesirable” organizations “prevented the Russian people from exercising their civil and political rights.”
The ratings agency Fitch said this month that a default “appears probable.” Moody’s, another ratings agency, said Evergrande was out of cash and time. Stocks slumped around the world Monday as Evergrande and other worries weighed on investors.
The company rode China’s property boom that urbanized large swathes of the country and resulted in nearly three-quarters of household wealth being tied up in housing. Evergrande was at the center of power in an economy that came to lean on the property market for supercharged economic growth.
But regulators in China are cracking down on reckless borrowing habits of property developers. And the property market is slowing down, with less demand for new apartments.
Crisis: Evergrande now owes money to lenders, suppliers and foreign investors. It owes unfinished apartments to home buyers and has racked up more than $300 billion in unpaid bills. And it faces creditor lawsuits.
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As the Afghan war comes to an end, U.S. troops are still deploying to Iraq. Though the mission may have dropped from public attention, there are still about 2,500 American troops on the ground in the other nation the U.S. invaded after the Sept. 11 attacks.
ARTS AND IDEAS
The Toronto film festival
Founded in 1976, the Toronto International Film Festival has a democratic spirit. It is intended for the general public, while festivals like Cannes are by invitation only. “It’s just a flood of movies — good, bad and indifferent,” writes Manohla Dargis, a Times film critic who attended this year’s Toronto festival, which wrapped this weekend.
Highlights included “Flee,” a beautifully animated documentary about an Afghan refugee; “Hold Your Fire,” a jaw-dropper about a decades-old American hostage crisis; Benedict Cumberbatch as a 1920s Montana cowboy in “The Power of the Dog” and as a cat-fancying painter in “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain”; and “Becoming Cousteau,” about the underwater French explorer.
Manohla “wept buckets” over her favorite film from the festival, “The Tsugua Diaries,” which was shot during the pandemic and was very much about it, as well as “friendship and the deep, life-sustaining pleasures of being with other people.”
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