Coronavirus, Iowa Caucuses, Kansas City Chiefs: Your Monday Briefing

 Coronavirus, Iowa Caucuses, Kansas City Chiefs: Your Monday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering the latest updates in the coronavirus outbreak and the Chiefs’ 31-20 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. We’re also looking ahead to tonight’s Iowa caucuses.

The virus that has spread from China around the world appears to be readily transmitted between humans, but infectious disease experts are uncertain how lethal it will be.

The virus has killed more than 360 people in China, a toll that exceeds the one during an outbreak of SARS in the country in the early 2000s. SARS had a mortality rate of 9.6 percent, but only about 2 percent of those reported to have been infected with the new coronavirus have died. Here are the latest updates.

The details: In the past three weeks, the number of confirmed cases has soared from about 50 in China to more than 17,000 in at least 23 countries, including the U.S. and Canada. Our maps track the spread.

Closer look: Wuhan, the city of 11 million where the outbreak originated, is now under a virtual lockdown. Our correspondent there reports that residents are finding it nearly impossible to get the care they need.

Another angle: Stocks in Asia fell today in response to the outbreak. As China has evolved into a principal element of the global economy, the epidemic represents a potent threat.

History and mathematics suggest that no more than four of the Democratic candidates will emerge from tonight’s caucuses with a plausible case to be the party’s presidential nominee.

We’ll have live election results starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. Here’s what to watch for and a primer on how Iowa’s first-in-the-nation nominating contest works.

A Times polling average found Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden tied for first place in the state, which has an imperfect record of predicting a party’s eventual nominee. Our correspondent in Des Moines reports on the final weekend of campaigning.

Go deeper: Iowa’s outsize role in the presidential race has been criticized because the state is more white and more rural than most of the U.S. But it does mirror the nation’s economy and demographics in an important way: its aging population.

The Daily: In today’s episode, we asked caucusgoers how they felt about the election.

The Senate will reconvene today at 11 a.m. Eastern for up to four hours of closing arguments, divided equally between impeachment managers and President Trump’s lawyers.

The proceedings come after Republicans last week blocked Democrats’ efforts to call additional witnesses and evidence.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly stressed that he did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine, but several Republican senators on Sunday stressed a more nuanced argument: The president’s actions were inappropriate, but they didn’t merit his removal from office.

What’s next: Senators will be allowed to make floor speeches on the articles of impeachment on Tuesday, before Mr. Trump delivers his State of the Union address that evening. The trial will conclude on Wednesday with a vote that is expected to acquit the president.

Another angle: With impeachment all but behind him, Mr. Trump spent a celebratory weekend at Mar-a-Lago, where he was focused on potential election opponents, particularly Michael Bloomberg.

The halftime show: Jennifer Lopez and Shakira led a performance that was heavy on hip-shaking Latin pride. Read our music critic’s review.

The ads: With a heavy dose of nostalgia mixed with sentimentality, the 80-plus commercials during TV’s biggest advertising day generally avoided divisive issues.

The billionaire Leslie Wexner bought Victoria’s Secret in 1982, and turned it into a lingerie powerhouse with annual fashion shows that became a global cultural phenomenon.

But the company had a secret of its own: a degrading work environment where women were objectified and complaints of sexual harassment were buried, a Times investigation found.

Expanding travel ban: The Trump administration has extended immigration limits to six countries, including four in Africa. The ban will affect nearly a quarter of the 1.2 billion people on the African continent, according to one estimate.

Subway’s clash of egos: Even as New York City’s transit system emerged from a crisis, a feud grew between its leader, Andy Byford, and his boss, Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Our reporter explains the background of the dispute, which led to Mr. Byford’s resignation.

Snapshot: Above, volunteer firefighters in Australia last week. The country has relied heavily on civilians during the recent wildfires, but for individuals on the front lines, the pressure to be a hero can be overwhelming. Read more from our bureau chief in Sydney.

Overlooked no more: Homer Plessy helped challenge segregation in 1890s New Orleans, and his case of civil disobedience later prompted one of the most notorious rulings in the Supreme Court’s history. He’s the latest entry in our series about people who didn’t receive obituaries in The Times.

Metropolitan Diary: In this week’s column, splitting up, finding a car key and more reader tales of New York City.

What we’re listening to: The “Best Known Method” podcast. Our health reporter Anahad O’Connor welcomed its return for a second season. “Greatly enjoyed this discussion with Professor Emily Oster,” he tweeted, “especially now that I’m a dad and can benefit from her parenting insights.”

Read: Coming-of-age stories and a Supreme Court drama are among 14 books to watch for this month.

Smarter Living: Our Social Q’s column offers advice to a woman who finds her husband’s nieces and nephews “unruly, unintelligent and uninteresting.”

The yearslong exit from the European Union happened at midnight Friday in Brussels, which is 11 p.m. in Britain itself. (They’re in different time zones.)

Our London correspondent Ben Mueller was on duty. “It felt a little anticlimactic,” he said. “There had been such fireworks, and then the legislation passed without contention.”

Alcohol was banned in Parliament Square for the big celebration, but vendors brought in beer. “They couldn’t do without it,” Ben said.

The immediate difference? “Britain no longer has representation or say in the machinery of the European Union.”

Many other aspects of the departure remain, to be resolved (or not) during a transition period that will end when 2020 does. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already signaled a tough stand for trade talks that will begin in March.

Ben noted that even hopes to have the moment marked by a bong from Big Ben had been dashed. The Palace of Westminster is under renovation, and speeding the process up to allow the clock bell to sound would have cost 500,000 pounds (about $650,000). Efforts to raise the money fell short, and parliamentary officials nixed the plan.

So a recording of Big Ben was played outside. Inside 10 Downing Street, Mr. Johnson banged a gong.

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

— Chris

Thank you
Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. Andrea Kannapell, the Briefings editor, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about the Iowa caucuses.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Camel’s watering hole (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times stylebook says, “Kansas City datelines always specify a state (Kan. or Mo.).” Mr. President, take note.

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