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Today is the day for the Times’ annual look at the year in pictures.
Dean Baquet, editor-in-chief of the Times, believes 2020 will go down as a year of history alongside years like 1968, 1945 and 1865. “It will be long remembered and studied when more than 1.5 million people died worldwide, a pandemic, racist unrest gripped the world, and democracy itself faced extraordinary tests,” he writes.
These words come from Dean’s introduction to the Times annual Year in Pictures feature. Here, my colleagues at The Morning and I have picked a dozen of these images that we believe will best sum up 2020. But we obviously only have room for a fraction of the photos of the year here – so I recommend checking out the full selection.
As you do this, ask yourself which images you would have selected if you had to select only 12 to sum up 2020.
You can also find pictures here all year round.
THE LATEST NEWS
The UK gave the first doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to thousands of people yesterday, launching a mass vaccination campaign that will soon spread to North America. One of the first to get a shot was a Warwickshire resident named William Shakespeare.
According to vaccination data from the United Arab Emirates, a vaccine from the state-owned Chinese drug manufacturer Sinopharm is 86 percent effective. China has three more vaccines in late-stage studies.
President-elect Joe Biden pledged to “get at least 100 million Covid vaccine shots into the arms of the American people” during his first 100 days in office. He also said he would make the wearing of masks mandatory on planes, trains and buses crossing state lines, as well as in federal buildings.
According to a Times analysis, more than a third of Americans live in areas where intensive care beds are critically scarce in hospitals.
The University of Michigan has canceled their upcoming game against the state of Ohio due to an outbreak. The two rivals have played against each other every year since 1918.
The Supreme Court denied a final motion by the Pennsylvania Republicans to dismiss the state’s election results. Senator Pat Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, described President Trump’s efforts to overthrow the election as “totally unacceptable.”
Biden plans to appoint Ohio representative Marcia Fudge to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Biden also selected Tom Vilsack, who headed the Department of Agriculture during the Obama administration, to re-head the department.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested an aid package of US $ 916 billion in talks with spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi. This is almost identical to a package backed by a bipartisan group in Congress, although the White House plan would cut unemployment benefits in favor of direct control to the Americans.
The House passed a defense law removing the names of former Confederate leaders from military bases with a large bipartisan majority. The Senate is expected to pass the bill this week, and Trump has threatened to veto it.
Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic former governor of Virginia, is due to run again for the job next year. In Virginia, governors cannot serve consecutive terms.
other great stories
The continued warming of the Arctic contributed to forest fires, shrinking snow cover and thawing permafrost in 2020, according to an annual report by climate researchers.
The Army fires or suspends more than a dozen officers after an investigation into Fort Hood, a Texas base, found commanders created an environment where “sexual harassment and assault are permitted.”
The Jeffrey Epstein Victims of Sexual Exploitation Compensation Fund has received over 100 claims and paid out tens of millions of dollars.
Olivia Jade Giannulli, daughter of actress Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli, spoke for the first time about the college admission bribery scandal last year. “I don’t deserve pity,” she said. “We screwed it up.”
Mount Everest received a boost when China and Nepal announced a new measurement of the world’s tallest mountain: 29,031.7 feet, about three feet higher than previously thought.
Buried treasure: Last summer, in the Rocky Mountains, a man found a hidden treasure chest that had fascinated seekers for a decade. Now the identity of the treasure hunter has been revealed.
From the opinion: The Senate should pass law to protect the personal information of federal judges, argues Esther Salas, a federal judge whose son Daniel was killed in her home in July. The bill is named after him.
Lived life: William Aronwald, a noted prosecutor and defense attorney, was accidentally a central figure in one of the strange stories from a brazen time of organized crime in New York. In 1987, killers sent by a gangster to kill Aronwald wrongly pursued his father and killed him instead. Aronwald died at the age of 79.
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ART AND IDEAS
The great artists of 2020
Everywhere you looked online in 2020, you could find entertainers discovering new performance opportunities. There were internet comedians who perfected their art and often just used camera phones and household items. There were innovative theater productions for virtual formats. And there were writers and actors who created introspective and unique television.
This week’s edition of the New York Times Magazine is dedicated to the influential artists of the year, both famous and new.
The Times AO Scott wrote about how the short comedic clip became an art form on TikTok and Twitter over the past year. Actress Viola Davis spoke about creating fully realized characters, most recently in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, a film adaptation of August Wilson’s play. And Wesley Morris of The Times wrote of a cohort of women who are turning the biopic genre upside down and “chasing the truth”: One of their ranks is Michaela Coel, who appeared in one of the best TV shows of the year “I May Destroy You. ”
Since this was also a year when people often withdrew for easy viewing, writer Caity Weaver introduced Cher, whose classic 1987 film “Moonstruck” revived that year.
Make some goat cheese melts with caramelized onions and apple flavored.
FOOD FOR THOUGHTS
From Pac-Man’s Bonus Fruits to Mario’s Magic Mushrooms, read about the intriguing role food gaming plays in the video game industry.
KAKUTANI AND OBAMA
Long-time book critic Michiko Kakutani interviewed Barack Obama about his life as a reader and writer.
shaken not stirred
You can now watch a selection of James Bond films for free on YouTube in a marathon.
Now is the time to play
The pangrams from yesterday’s Spelling Bee were Handling and Hochland. Today’s puzzle is up – or you can play online if you have a game subscription.
Here is today’s mini crossword and clue: Brand in Road Runner Cartoons (4 letters).
Thank you for spending part of your morning with The Times. Until tomorrow. – David
PS Twitter account @nythaikus found a poem in a Times story about crowdfunding efforts to buy President Trump’s children’s home: “The White House did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.”