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Nevada Caucuses, Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant: Your Weekend Briefing

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Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

There were some reports of caucus precinct leaders having trouble getting through to the call-in hotline, and other precincts had a volunteer shortage, but the issues fell short of the chaos that ensued in the Iowa primary.

Meanwhile, election security remains a concern. Intelligence officials warned that Russia was interfering in the election on behalf of both President Trump and Mr. Sanders. That may seem contradictory, but to experts it makes perfect sense, our national security reporter writes.

It took Japanese officials more than 72 hours to impose a lockdown after they were notified about a coronavirus case connected to the Diamond Princess, anchored off Japan. The delay, along with ineffective containment measures during the two-week isolation period, would help turn the ship into a floating epidemiological disaster.

The World Health Organization is getting into Wuhan, the epicenter of China’s outbreak, for the first time, and says it fears for Africa. And South Korea’s leader has raised the alert level to maximum there, giving the government the ability to lock down cities and restrict travel. Here’s the latest.


4. The Trump administration’s policy that forced asylum seekers to wait for an adjudication of their cases in Mexico was supposed to offer exemptions for the sick. But their care is often neglected.

Our reporter visited an asylum camp where people like Maria Sam, above, had lost count of her 9-year-old son’s seizures in the nearly three months since applying for asylum. They were two of the 60,000 migrants who had been returned to Mexico as the policy expanded and exemptions were ignored, according to immigration lawyers, American doctors and the migrants themselves.

One doctor at the camp said that the high number of patients that she treated, many with serious and chronic conditions, were “100 percent a creation” of the new policy.

5. A small island in the Philippines is adjusting to new norms: seas rising higher, classrooms jammed in rafters and pets forced to swim.

Batasan, part of the Tubigon chain in the central Philippines, is waterlogged at least one-third of every year with no elevation to spare. The highest point on the islands is less than 6.5 feet above sea level. Instead of relocating, residents have adapted to their sodden existence.

What is happening on Batasan is a harbinger of what residents of low-lying islands and coastal regions around the world will face as the seas rise higher.


6. “He was so oriented to being the best. Not only the best he could be. The best — period.”

As Kobe Bryant’s memorial approaches on Monday, many around him in the N.B.A., like his former coach Del Harris, are still having trouble processing his death. We spoke to Harris and Shaquille O’Neal about the basketball star’s legacy on and off the court.

A complicated figure during his playing days, Bryant has ignited a surge of emotion in death, and Los Angeles’s walls have never spoken so loudly.


7. As spring training starts, the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal has left a bitter taste for many players — and fans — across the league.

Players have described Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s commissioner, as “out of touch,” “a joke” and “anti-player” after his decision not to vacate the team’s title or to punish Astros players involved in the scheme.

Manfred defended his decision in an interview this past week, but acknowledged the growing criticism of his actions. “I abhor the fact that we made a decision that evoked this kind of emotion from the players,” he said. “It’s not good for the sport.”

8. For your viewing pleasure.

“Better Call Saul” returns on Sunday for its fifth season, and with it come some favorite characters from its prequel, “Breaking Bad.”

The best thing about the AMC show, our TV critic writes in his review, “is still its minimalism, its quiet spaces, its willingness to linger on details, like a frazzled prosecutor’s struggle to get a bag of chips out of a courthouse vending machine.”

Looking ahead, more than 15 years after audiences last saw Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey on network television, the cast of “Friends” is reuniting for an HBO special.


9. New York City’s bodegas are going viral.

Captured on video for platforms like TikTok and Instagram, the unique culture of the colorful corner stores is winning fans around the world. Ahmed Alwan, above right, creates videos on TikTok by asking customers math questions. If they answer correctly, they have five seconds to grab whatever they want for free (minus the cat).

And in case you missed it, in a very different kind of New York story, our theater critic described the revival of “West Side Story” on Broadway as a “curiously unaffecting reimagining of a watershed musical.” Here’s his review.


10. And finally, dig into The Weekender.

In this edition you’ll find dragons, apes, mantas and birds in Indonesia, above; a candid Ben Affleck profile; a look inside the great Google revolt that blew up in employees’ faces; and more.

For more ideas on what to read, watch and listen to, may we suggest these 11 new books our editors liked, a glance at the latest small-screen recommendations from Watching and our music critics’ latest playlist.

Have you been keeping up with the headlines? Test your knowledge with our news quiz. And here’s the front page of our Sunday paper, the Sunday Review from Opinion and our crossword puzzles.

Have a vibrant week.


Your Weekend Briefing is published Sundays at 6 a.m. Eastern.

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