With Ginsburg’s death, a more volatile U.S. presidential race
The U.S. is mourning the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the deeply admired Supreme Court justice who died on Friday. Her death has set the stage for a polarizing battle to replace her on the court.
With just six weeks to go before the Nov. 3 election, President Trump has vowed to fill her vacant seat “without delay” and said that he would choose a woman.
Justice Ginsburg had said that her “most fervent wish” was that she not be replaced before a new president took office, and Democrats are angrily recalling Republicans’ refusal in 2016 to consider President Barack Obama’s nominee for a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died nine months before that year’s election.
The stakes: Justice Ginsburg’s death has the potential, at least in part, to shift the race from a referendum on Mr. Trump and his handling of the coronavirus crisis to a battle over the court and volatile issues like abortion.
Voting from abroad: U.S. citizens who asked for an electronic ballot should have received one over the weekend. If not, they should contact their local election office. Voting officials recommend completing the ballot as early as possible, especially if the relevant state requires it to be returned by mail. It’s not too late to request a ballot — here’s a guide.
Add trolling to Covid-19 risks in South Korea
South Korea owes much of its success against the coronavirus to tracing those infected with surveillance cameras, smartphone data and credit card records.
That aggressive approach has also fed a growing culture of online harassment and raised questions about privacy.
Case in point: The authorities revealed information about Kim Ji-seon, a 29-year-old office worker after she tested positive, including her age, her church affiliation and recent whereabouts. Online trolls then accused Ms. Kim of belonging to a cult, and matched her movements with that of another church member who had tested positive to conclude she was cheating on her fiancé.
“I was flabbergasted,” Ms. Kim said. “How could they make fun of people who were struggling for their lives?”
Here are our latest updates and map of the pandemic.
In other developments:
The British government announced that as of Sept. 28, it would impose fines of 1,000 pounds, or about $1,300, against those who do not self-isolate after testing positive for the virus, as the number of new daily cases rose to above 4,000 for the first time since early May. The fines could escalate to a maximum of £10,000 for repeat offenders or for the most serious breaches.
A man who traveled to New Zealand from India last month developed symptoms after his two-week quarantine and infected two household members, officials said over the weekend. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is set to announce today whether restrictions will be further eased in Auckland and lifted entirely in the rest of the country.
U.S. judge freezes Trump’s effort to ban WeChat
A federal judge in California temporarily halted President Trump’s effort to ban the Chinese social media app WeChat from operating in the U.S.
The Trump administration has said the app offers China a conduit to collect data on Americans and to censor the information shared by WeChat’s more than a billion monthly users. Mr. Trump signed an executive order banning WeChat from carrying out U.S. transactions after Sunday.
The California judge granted an injunction on Sunday sought by a group called the U.S. WeChat Users Alliance, which includes prominent Chinese-American lawyers. The group says it has no connection to Tencent Holdings, the Chinese company that owns WeChat.
TikTok deal: The administration had also moved to bar TikTok from U.S. app stores, but on Saturday, the president approved an American investment deal that he said would resolve his national security concerns. That deal, which still needs formal U.S. approval, would create a new U.S.-based company, TikTok Global, in which Oracle and Walmart would own 20 percent.
Big picture: The U.S. and China are locked in a race for technological superiority, even as their relations deteriorate.
If you have 6 minutes, this is worth it
China has trouble making friends in Europe
As relations with the U.S. soured, China turned to Europe, hoping for a counterweight and a more willing partner. But Europeans are angry over trade, Hong Kong and human rights among other issues.
Several countries, including Britain, France and Slovenia, have followed the U.S. in moving to restrict investments by Huawei. Our Beijing bureau chief and European correspondents took a closer look at the shift.
Here’s what else is happening
Belarus protests: Security forces arrested hundreds of women taking part in a protest march on Saturday against President Aleksandr Lukashenko. Often holding flowers and wearing white shirts, women have come to symbolize the peaceful nature of the protests and offer a stark contrast to the brutality of the security apparatus.
World War II submarine: A team of divers found the wreckage of the U.S.S. Grenadier in the murky waters of the Strait of Malacca, about 90 miles south of Phuket, Thailand. The submarine was scuttled in April 1943 after being attacked by Japanese bombers.
Snapshot: Above, Thai antigovernment protesters pushing through a barricade in front of the Grand Palace in Bangkok on Saturday, on a weekend that saw the largest rally since a coup in 2014. The demonstrators are calling for change to the military-dominated government, to the army-drafted constitution and, most explosively, change to the exalted status of the monarchy.
What we’re listening to: This Radiolab podcast about translation. Melissa Eddy, our Berlin correspondent, writes: “Much of my job consists of translating, from interviews to government statements and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speeches and once a homily by the former Pope Benedict XVI. This podcast captured with humor the bridge — or gap — that lives in the space created by trying to connect different words used by different peoples to express, more or less, the same ideas.”
Overlooked No More: In the early 1900s, Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, joined the women’s struggle in the U.S. for the right to vote. But she was different from her fellow suffragists: She was a Chinese immigrant.
Now, a break from the news
Watch: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court justice who died on Friday, was a celebrated pop culture figure late in her life, and the subject of two films: “RBG” and “On the Basis of Sex.”
It’s easier to stay active and engaged with our At Home collection of ideas on what to read, cook, watch, and do while staying safe at home.
And now for the Back Story on …
Looking back at Australia’s fires
John Pappas is a producer and director of “Hurricane of Fire,” a documentary filmed in Australia earlier this year during the wildfires that is part of the series “The New York Times Presents.” He wrote about recording the experiences of survivors. Here’s an excerpt.
As one colossal event followed another — the pandemic, the economic crisis, the movement for racial justice — I started to wonder if the story of fires that had decimated some 46 million acres and left thousands homeless was even worth paying attention to anymore.
Now, wildfires have scorched more than five million acres of the American West, leaving dozens dead and a smoke cloud that crosses the continent.
They say history doesn’t repeat; it rhymes. In this case, it practically stuttered.
Traveling through the burned-out countryside, just weeks after the fires, I was struck by how quickly and effectively communities had rallied to support those who had been affected. That generosity of spirit was partly to make up for a government response that had fallen well short of expectations. But it also stemmed from the simple fact that, despite deep political differences that divide Australian society just as they do in the United States, people recognized that their neighbors needed help. And they reached out.
Witnessing all of that has left me changed. Despite the despair I feel when I look out my Brooklyn window and see smoke that might have come from Oregon, I’m also hopeful. The challenges — wildfires and much more — burning through our country are enormous, but when we see those in our community suffering, we will do what Australians, Americans, humans do best. We will help.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is on the messy return to school in New York.
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• Today, Times Opinion is launching “Sway,” a new podcast with Kara Swisher about power and influence.