Your Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times


We cover the global rush for migrant workers and the solutions to an oil crisis.

As the pandemic enters a third year, a global battle for young immigrant workers is underway. With expedited visas and promises of permanent residence, many wealthy countries are sending a message: Help needed. Now.

The push is particularly focused on immigrants whose skills fall somewhere between physical labor and specialized higher education.

A new immigration law in Germany offers expedited work visas and six months to visit and find a job. Officials had warned that the country needed 400,000 new immigrants a year to fill jobs in various fields, from universities to air conditioning jobs.

Canada plans to grant residency to 1.2 million new immigrants by 2023. Israel recently made an agreement to bring in health care workers from Nepal. And in Australia, where mines, hospitals and pubs are all short-staffed after nearly two years with a closed border, the government intends to roughly double the number of immigrants it allows in the country over the next year.

Big picture: By keeping so many people in place, the pandemic has made demographic imbalances more evident – rapidly aging rich countries produce too few new workers, while countries with a surplus of young people often lack work for all.

And after: Many developed countries are implementing more sophisticated immigration programs, while the United States is stuck. The Biden administration is first trying to decongest what is already there: its social policy bill would release hundreds of thousands of green cards dating back to 1992.

Here are the latest Covid updates and pandemic maps.

In other news:

The United States, Britain, China, India, Japan and Korea will release tens of millions of barrels of crude oil to fight soaring world prices.

In the United States, President Biden ordered the release of the country’s emergency stockpile of crude, the largest in the world, amid rising gas prices. It comes after Biden pushed OPEC to increase production, but was pushed back. OPEC Plus countries may reconsider their decision at their meeting next week after such a coordinated release.

It is not yet clear to what extent this will impact the price of oil. Traders expected a larger release, up to 100 million barrels, said Richard Bronze, head of geopolitics at Energy Aspects, a market research firm. China, he said, suspended the announcement on Tuesday.

Details: The United States will mine 50 million barrels. Bronze estimated that India will contribute up to five million barrels, and that Japan and South Korea will add another four to five million barrels each. Britain has said it will allow the release of up to 1.5 million barrels.

The crisp: Oil-producing countries cut production as demand plummeted at the start of the pandemic. In the United States, the number of oil rigs fell by almost 70% in the summer of 2020.

Rising prices and the weakening currency are straining Pakistani households. Inflation jumped 9.2% in October from the previous year.

While the pressure is expected to ease as global supply chain bottlenecks are resolved, Pakistan believes it cannot wait. The government on Monday announced a deal with the International Monetary Fund for the first billion dollars of what is expected to be a $ 6 billion bailout.

Protests have erupted across the country in recent weeks changing regional policy, and everyone from small traders to banks has felt the pressure of the supply and inflation crisis combined with a government debt of long time.

The government has asked for loans from Saudi Arabia, which pledged $ 4.2 billion in cash assistance, and from China.

Risks: The government, headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan, distributed money to 20 million poorest Pakistani families and subsidized the cost of grains, pulses and cooking oil. If Pakistan finalizes a deal with the IMF, it will have to tighten its purse strings, which could harm Khan politically.

The context: Pakistanis have seen standard gas prices soar 34% over the past six months, to around Rs 146 per liter.

Asia Pacific

  • The arrest of a Kashmiri activist under India’s counterterrorism law has been condemned by rights groups, amid growing concerns that authorities may abuse the law to quash dissent.

  • Support for Peng Shuai’s #MeToo story, even on the censored internet in China, shows where the country’s propaganda machine is failing in crafting a narrative.

Around the world and beyond

Our reporters were at the opening of Britain’s first Popeyes Fried Chicken in London. Brits who have tried South American fast food were surprised to find that the cookies served with the chicken were not the kind they were used to. “It looks like a scone,” said one woman, “but it doesn’t taste like it”.

Lives lived: Chun Doo-hwan, South Korea’s most vilified former military dictator, has died aged 90. He ruled with an iron fist for most of the 1980s.

Whether your literary habits include science fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, The Times Book Review’s annual list of 100 Notable Books has options for you. “We cut an initial list of around 500 books,” said Gregory Cowles, who helped edit the project. Here is an example :

Fiction: “Strange Beasts of China,” by Yan Ge, is an enchanting novel about a cryptozoologist in pursuit of legendary creatures.

Memory: Ashley C. Ford’s “Somebody’s Daughter” begins with a phone call in which the author learns that her father is coming home after nearly 30 years in prison.

non-fictional works: “A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance,” by Hanif Abdurraqib, makes powerful observations on race through music, television, film, minstrel shows and vaudeville.

Stories: Anthony Veasna So’s “Afterparties” is a deeply personal, downright funny and enlightening first film about Cambodian life in California, released eight months after the author’s death at age 28.

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