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China’s Vaccine, TikTok, Pakistan Stock Exchange: Your Tuesday Briefing

Jessica Bennett, who covers gender and culture for The Times, spoke with Zee, Tiana Day, Shayla Turner and Brianna Chandler — four teenage girls who organized a protest and are part of the young generation at the forefront of activism for racial justice.

Zee and Tiana, neither of you had ever led a protest before. What propelled you?

Zee: It’s crazy. I’ve never been to a protest before — like, ever. I got inspired by what people were doing all across America, but there was no protest in Nashville at the time. I was like, why isn’t Tennessee doing anything? Why are they silent?

So I was like, enough is enough. We’re going to do something.

Tiana: For me, I was never really an activist before. But this movement lit a fire in me. I live in San Ramon, a suburban town in California, and I’ve grown up around people who didn’t look like me my whole life. And I’ve been constantly trying to fit in. I would stay out of the sun so I wouldn’t tan. I would straighten my hair every day. There’s so many things that I did to try to suppress who I was and what my culture was. I just never felt like myself.

But I have always had this, like, boiling thing, this boiling passion in my body to want to make a change in the world. We bought three cases of water because we thought it was enough. It was, like, four miles straight of people who were there to support the movement.

How have your families responded?

Shayla: My mom actually found out I was protesting through the newspaper. She was in Walgreens and did a double take because I was on the cover of the The Chicago Tribune.

What’s something about your generation that people get wrong?

Brianna: That our anger is not valid, that we don’t have a reason to be angry, that we don’t have a reason to riot. You know, there is that super popular Malcolm X quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman.”

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Melina

Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about proposals to defund the police, with a conversation with a police union leader.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Something built at a campsite (four letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The writer Kevin Powell discussed his New York Times essay “A Letter From Father to Child” on NPR’s Morning Edition.

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Joe Biden’s victory speech on Tuesday had an audience of one

This Biden was more measured, more magnanimous and more conciliatory. There was no gloating or boasting. And everything — from Biden’s tone to the speech he delivered — was all aimed at convincing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that the time had come to end his primary challenge.

“I want to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless energy and passion,” Biden said. “We share a common goal. Together we’ll defeat Donald Trump. We’ll defeat him together. We’ll bring this nation together.”

You could be forgiven for thinking after reading those lines that Sanders had already dropped out of the race. Which he hasn’t! And in fact, the expectation is that Sanders will continue through next Tuesday — in hopes that the debate, which will air on CNN on Sunday, will provide him a chance to drastically alter the course of the race.

But what Biden was very clearly doing in his Tuesday night speech was opening the door for Sanders and his supporters to come in. Not in a hey-man-this-is-over-and-you-need-to-admit-it way, but rather in a gentlemanly way aimed at not further inflaming either the Vermont senator or his supporters.

Which is a very smart move by Biden, although it remains unclear — at least to me — if his attempts to bring Sanders into the fold will be successful. Remember that Sanders waited for more than a month after the 2016 primary season concluded to endorse Hillary Clinton. And even after the formal endorsement, Clinton has said she did not feel as though Sanders and his supporters were ever really on board in the general election.
“He hurt me, there’s no doubt about it,” Clinton told radio host Howard Stern in 2019 of Sanders. “And I hope he doesn’t do it again to whoever gets the nomination. Once is enough.”
And in recent weeks in this campaign, Sanders has upped the rhetoric against Biden and the broader Democratic political establishment. “The corporate establishment is coming together, the political establishment is coming together, and they will do anything and everything,” Sanders said earlier this month. “They are really getting nervous that working people are standing up.”
What Biden is trying to do is take away some of the heat from all of this establishment vs. base back-and-forth. And as CNN’s Van Jones noted on Tuesday night, Biden is doing so at a critical moment for the Democratic Party. Here’s what Van said:

“This is a very dangerous moment for the Democratic Party. You have an insurgency about to be defeated. What do you do with the people you defeat? A lot of young people are going to be crushed. We need to turn to them and say, ‘We want to be your champion.'”

Saying it is, of course, one thing. Making it happen is another. But that’s exactly what Biden was attempting with that speech — making clear to Sanders that he would be welcomed with open arms if and when he decides to get behind the former vice president’s candidacy.

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Trump to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Tuesday

Trump will meet with Lavrov alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the state of their bilateral relationship, a senior administration official told CNN. The State Department had previously announced that Lavrov would travel to Washington this week for meetings with Pompeo to “discuss a broad range of regional and bilateral issues.”

CNN reported earlier Monday that Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Lavrov and Trump would meet.

Lavrov’s last official visit to Washington in May 2017 was notable because Trump reportedly shared highly classified information in the Oval Office with the foreign minister and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
This week’s meeting will take place amid the backdrop of Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry, which centers on whether Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine — at a time when it has been fighting Russian aggression — in exchange for political dirt to aid his reelection bid. And on Monday, a highly anticipated report into the early days of the Russia investigation is set to be released.
Trump has striven to improve relations between Washington and Moscow during his time in office, but he’s often been pushed to punish the Russian government for conducting destabilizing actions around the world. In August, Trump imposed long-overdue, legally mandated sanctions on Russia for its poisoning of an ex-spy in the United Kingdom.
Lavrov, in turn, also has accused the US of destabilizing the world, airing a list of grievances during a press conference last year over the Trump administration’s foreign policy, particularly in regard to Iran and North Korea.

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Fort Myers convenience store robbed with a machete early Tuesday morning

FORT MYERS, Fla. — We are following breaking news out of Fort Myers early Tuesday, where Lee County deputies have cleared a robbery scene at a 7-Eleven store where a suspect was armed with a machete.

It happened around 3:15 a.m. at the store on McGregor Boulevard and Pine Ridge Road.

We were the first news media on scene.

According to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers, the suspect entered the store holding a machete in one hand and a blue bag in the other. He immediately jumped over the counter and demanded cash from all the registers.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office

After the clerk complied and cleared the drawers of an undisclosed amount of cash, the masked man left the store and headed southbound on McGregor. The entire armed robbery took less than two minutes.

Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000. Tips may also be made online at

or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.

This robbery comes just more than 24 hours after a

similar robbery at a Cape Coral 7-Eleven

. The suspect in that robbery also wielded a machete. There’s no word yet from authorities whether the two crimes are connected.

7-Eleven robbery with machete in Cape Coral 10-28-19.png

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