Your Monday Briefing

Protesters held a procession on Sunday through Glasgow ahead of COP26 to highlight the climate crisis.Credit…Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Leaders head to Glasgow to determine climate future

Presidents and prime ministers are gathering in Glasgow this week for the 12-day U.N. global warming conference, often referred to as COP26, to discuss global climate policies, which are likely to determine the future of the planet.

Tensions loom. Some poor countries hit hard by climate disasters are holding out for money promised from industrialized nations. Rising nationalism and the coronavirus pandemic offer grim lessons on the prospects for collective action. Divisions pit advanced countries against developing ones and big polluters against small, vulnerable countries.

The U.S. climate envoy, John Kerry, tried to manage expectations. “Glasgow was never, ever going to get every country joining up in Glasgow or this year necessarily,” Kerry said. “It was going to galvanize the raising of ambition on a global basis.”

Target: Any deal may have to be much larger than past ones. Even if all countries achieve their 2015 Paris Agreement targets, average global temperatures are on track to rise 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century — 1.2 degrees over the goal.

Biden’s climate pitch: The president wants to assure attendees of the summit that the U.S. is serious about climate change. But he lacks the legislative victory at home to back that up.

Related: Chinese-made electric vehicles are gaining popularity in Europe.

From left: Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Biden at the G20 in Rome on Saturday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Agreements and pledges at the G20 summit

At the opening session of the Group of 20 summit in Rome, world leaders endorsed a landmark global agreement to block large corporations from shifting profits and jobs across borders to avoid taxes.

The world’s largest economies also agreed to stop financing coal plants abroad, though that fell far short of what’s needed to fight climate change, raising fears of half-steps at this week’s U.N. climate summit. Leaders pledged to “pursue efforts” to limit warming to within 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by the end of the century.

Separately, the U.S. announced that it had reached a deal to roll back tariffs on European steel and aluminum, an agreement that could possibly lower costs on goods. The deal is aimed at easing trans-Atlantic trade tensions that had worsened under the presidency of Donald Trump, whose administration imposed the tariffs.

Students taking coronavirus tests in Stalybridge, England, in September.Credit…Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

Britain moves to slow Covid spread in schools

Health care workers in Britain will begin a tour of more than 800 schools in an effort to inoculate 12- to 15-year-olds against the coronavirus, amid a surge in cases driven primarily by high infection levels in school-age children. More than a third of all recent reported cases were in children under 15.

While about 68 percent of the British public is fully vaccinated and more than six million people have received a booster shot, case numbers and deaths have not fallen, as they have in other Western European countries. Some researchers have blamed Britain’s delay to approve vaccines for adolescents.

Context: England has had some of the loosest coronavirus protections in Europe since July 19, when it lifted all legal restrictions, including mandatory mask wearing. In a recent survey, 21 percent of Britons said they rarely or never wore a mask in public — about four times as many as in Italy and Spain.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

  • Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, the leaders of China and Russia, called for broader global recognition of Covid-19 vaccines, including those developed in their countries.

  • Amid an explosion of Covid-related wordplay, the Oxford English Dictionary crowned “vax” the Word of the Year.

  • Britain, Australia and South Korea reached agreements with the drugmaker Pfizer to purchase its antiviral pills used to treat Covid-19 once regulators approve them.


Around the World

Credit…Kiana Hayeri for The New York Times
  • For 20 years, art has flourished in Afghanistan. Though the Taliban have not banned it outright, many artists have fled the country, fearing for their work and their lives.

  • The governing Liberal Democrats won the election in Japan yesterday, despite having chosen a prime minister, Fumio Kishida, who’s known for his lack of charisma.

  • Sexual misconduct by police officers has prompted outrage across Britain and led to increasing skepticism that departments can investigate or discipline employees who abuse women.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • Three people were killed and more than 100 w injured in Sudan as pro-democracy crowds flooded the streets over the weekend in defiance of the military coup.

  • In a review of audiovisual recordings, prosecutor statements and court documents on traffic stops, a Times investigation found patterns of questionable police conduct in the U.S. Evidence often contradicted the accounts of law enforcement officers.

  • The U.A.E., Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait withdrew their diplomats from Beirut after Lebanon’s information minister called the Yemen war a Saudi and Emirati “aggression.”

  • Beyond public brinkmanship, the U.S. and Russia have held a series of beneath-the-surface meetings with each other. Officials say the talks have so far yielded little of substance but have helped to prevent tensions from spiraling out of control.

What Else Is Happening

  • Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, has not left China in 21 months — and counting. Covid-19 may be only part of the reason.

  • Carmen Mola, a novelist publishing under a pen name, seemed to have shattered a glass ceiling in the world of Spanish books. The author’s true identity came as a shock.

A Morning Read

Credit…Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, AIA

“Absolutely stunning” is how the University of California, Santa Barbara, described plans for a new 11-story residence hall — one in which the vast majority of students would live in small, windowless rooms.

A consulting architect saw it differently, writing: “The basic concept of Munger Hall as a place for students to live is unsupportable from my perspective as an architect, a parent and a human being.”


Credit… Eddie Hausner/The New York Times

New York’s legendary literary hangouts

For as long as there have been writers in New York City, there have been writers’ bars — as well as restaurants, apartments and clubs, reports Tina Jordan for The Times.

Back in 1910, The Times lamented “the passing of the literary haunts of New York,” noting that many once-famous gathering spots were being razed as the city grew, including the stamping grounds of Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe. Over the decades, dozens, if not hundreds, of other establishments have popped up to take their places.

Members of the literary set of the 1950s, among them James Baldwin, Dylan Thomas and Jack Kerouac, frequented the White Horse in the West Village, above.

In the 1970s, the Chelsea Hotel lured writers with cheap rent and rosewood-beamed rooms. William S. Burroughs finished “Naked Lunch” there, while Thomas Wolfe, who holed up in Room 829 in the last years of his life, wrote several books there, including “You Can’t Go Home Again.”

Decades later, Café Loup attracted luminaries such as Fran Lebowitz, Gay Talese and Christopher Hitchens, who once described it as “my true bar.” Zadie Smith paid tribute to it in her short story “Downtown,” calling it “a movable feast.”

Continue your tour of New York’s literary locations here.


What to Cook

Credit…Sang An for The New York Times

Scotcheroos are Rice Krispies treats minus the marshmallow but with gobs of peanut butter, chocolate and butterscotch chips.

What to Read

“The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails” is a 900-page guide to bars and booze more than a decade in the making.

What to Watch

These four solid stand-up specials are replete with smart, funny observations.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Roman god for whom the first month is named (five letters).

And here is the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Have a great Monday. — Natasha

P.S. The word “techtopia” — about Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for Meta — appeared for the first time in The Times.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about Biden’s spending bill.

You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

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