Top U.S. and Chinese officers are assembly in Alaska for robust talks, and the E.U. drug regulator says AstraZeneca is secure.

President Biden’s sharp shift in U.S. coverage towards China places robust points on the desk immediately for the first major meeting between senior officers from his administration and their Chinese counterparts.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the nationwide safety adviser, Jake Sullivan, are assembly China’s high two diplomats, State Councilor Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi, the Chinese Communist Party international affairs chief, in Anchorage. They are more likely to discuss Hong Kong, the standing of Taiwan and the oppression of Uyghurs.

The technique: The U.S. is shifting to a extra aggressive posture with Beijing, to counter its diplomacy all over the world and make sure that China doesn’t acquire a everlasting benefit in vital applied sciences. The Biden administration is cultivating allies — notably Japan, South Korea, India and Australia — to forge a standard technique in Asia.

From China’s viewpoint: The assembly will probably be a primary demonstration of Beijing’s dedication to face as much as the brand new administration. Chinese officers have been specializing in boosting their very own nation’s power, with China’s chief, Xi Jinping, more and more pivoting away from dependency on others.

Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the U.S., told Chinese media that the nation did “not expect one dialogue to resolve all the issues between the two sides,” however that he hoped it could set in movement constructive dialogue.

The European Medicines Agency said on Thursday that the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe and effective, a discovering that would immediate greater than a dozen international locations to renew use after short-term suspensions.

Germany, France and Italy had been among the many international locations that had paused the shot over issues about doable uncommon unwanted effects involving blood clots. The company stated a brand new warning label could be added in order that medical doctors might be looking out for a possible uncommon complication resulting in bleeding within the mind.

Despite reviews of a handful of troubling incidents involving the AstraZeneca vaccine, a evaluate of hundreds of thousands of circumstances discovered that it didn’t improve the general threat of clots, although “there are still some uncertainties,” stated Dr. Sabine Straus, who heads the company’s threat evaluation committee.

Quotable: “A situation like the one we have seen here is not unexpected,” the E.M.A.’s government director stated. “When you vaccinate millions of people, it’s inevitable that rare or serious instances or illnesses will occur in the time immediately following vaccination.”

Related: The U.S. plans to send millions of surplus doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Mexico and Canada, officers stated.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

  • Seoul authorities got here underneath criticism for announcing a plan to test all foreign workers within the metropolis for the coronavirus, with politicians and locals calling the plan xenophobic. An official stated {that a} cluster of circumstances amongst international employees had led to the transfer.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris plan to visit Atlanta on Friday, the place communities are reeling after a gunman shot and killed eight folks at three therapeutic massage companies within the Southern metropolis. Six of the victims had been ladies of Asian descent.

The nation has reached a “crisis point” in discrimination and violence concentrating on the Asian-American group, lawmakers warned through the first listening to in Congress devoted to the problem in three a long time. In deeply private testimony, the lawmakers described group trauma and argued that the uptick in assaults on Asian-Americans was a direct results of the rise of anti-China rhetoric. The listening to was scheduled weeks in the past, however resonated in a daunting second.

LinkedIn has been the lone main U.S. social community allowed to function in China. To achieve this, the Microsoft-owned service for professionals has censored its posts. But now, it’s in hot water for failing to control political content.

Most pop songs for the reason that 1960s — 84 p.c by the tip of the 1980s — have adopted roughly the identical construction. The opening verse units the scene then the pre-chorus builds to a climax with the refrain. Repeat for many years.

Now that’s being upended, as Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding, co-hosts of the music podcast “Switched On Pop,” write in The Times. Many hits for the reason that 2010s have eschewed the catchy, inflexible construction for one thing wilder and fewer predictable. Their article visualizes these changes, charting the construction of pop hits from Billie Holiday to Billie Eilish.

Unpredictability is a matter of survival within the aggressive panorama of social media platforms and music streaming providers like Spotify. Many artists get to the hook of a music sooner so the listener will hit the 30 seconds usually required for the streaming fee to register, then ship quite a lot of catchy sections — slightly than one repeating refrain — to maintain folks listening.

Streaming has additionally incentivized pop songs to become shorter, partially as a result of folks can simply skip round.

The newest episode of “The Daily” is on the killings in Atlanta and hate crimes towards Asian-Americans.

Sanam Yar contributed reporting. You can attain Melina and the workforce at

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