Pressure is mounting over the appointment of the Supreme Court
Since the presidential elections are only a few weeks away, the US Senate is threatened with a fight to fill the position on the Supreme Court that was still open due to the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Judge Ginsburg will rest before the Supreme Court this week. President Trump, who wants the Senate to confirm a replacement before election day, vowed to wait until after her funeral to announce his candidate – likely on Saturday. That would only leave 38 days until election day; The verification process takes about 70 days on average.
Democrats would have to influence two more Republican senators to block the nomination. Much is at stake: Another Trump-appointed judiciary could cement conservatism in the country’s supreme court and have a significant impact on issues such as abortion, immigration and health care.
Front runner: Judge Amy Coney Barrett is believed to be Mr. Trump’s most likely choice. Conservative Christians and anti-abortion activists see it as a home run. Read our profile.
Europe is imposing targeted bans to contain viruses
Many European leaders are scrambling to avoid widespread lockdowns as coronavirus cases rise in France, hospitals replenish in Spain and British officials warn that a six-month battle against the virus is imminent.
New targeted lockdown measures went into effect in Madrid on Monday, preventing nearly a million residents from leaving their neighborhood, except for essential activities such as work, school or emergency medical care. The number of new cases in Spain rose to an average of more than 10,000 per day in the past week and exceeded the official number in the spring when Spain was one of the worst affected nations in Europe. Tests are more common now.
Senior scientific and medical advisors in the UK warned that infections could hit 50,000 a day by next month, a trend similar to that seen in France and Spain. On Monday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that pubs and restaurants would be limited to table service from Thursday and close at 10 p.m. Wales announced an extension of lockdown measures, due to go into effect on Tuesday.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
Almost a million people have died from the virus worldwide, an astonishing number. At least 73 countries are seeing increases in newly discovered cases.
Munich will need masks in some of its open spaces from Thursday, including busy streets and popular squares, the mayor said.
In India, where the number of cases is among the highest in the world, the Taj Mahal reopened on Monday with restrictions.
Cuba faces one of the worst food shortages in years after the pandemic devastated its tourist-dependent economy.
The aftermath of a police shootout in South Africa
Police deaths in South Africa are hardly unusual – it is estimated that one South African dies every day in a police operation. But the shooting of 16-year-old Nathaniel Julies last month sparked protests that have received unusually high levels of attention in South Africa and beyond.
Nathaniel, who had Down syndrome, was severely disabled and barely able to form complete sentences. A well-known person in his neighborhood, he was often seen in local shops in the hope that someone would buy him his favorite cookie, or on the dance floor with his typical moves.
It is not known what happened next to a broken down van within sight of his family home the night he was killed. But three officers were charged in connection with his death; The charges include murder and obstruction of justice.
Go deeper: In South Africa, in contrast to many places where police murders have sparked protests, a predominantly black police force is accused of abusing a majority of black citizens. For example, the police station at the center of this case is mostly manned by officers who are black or have a mixed racial heritage. It was the subject of 80 brutality complaints from 2012 to 2019, 10 of which related to death.
If you have some time, it’s worth it
The frustration, loneliness and fear of those left behind
The US coronavirus crisis has claimed nearly 200,000 lives, young and old, people who live in dense cities and small towns, people who have spent their days as nursing home carers, teachers, farm workers and retirees. Those who mourn her are trapped in a state of agony in a country still ravaged by a pandemic. Above is a woman saying goodbye to her mother in a Texas hospital this month.
In dozens of conversations with our reporters, those who stayed behind described their turbulence. The daughter of a 71-year-old who died after contracting the virus had unanswered questions: “What if we were there?” “What if we hadn’t intubated him?”
The following also happens
The Emmys: HBO’s “Succession” won Best Drama. But “Schitt’s Creek,” which won the comedy awards, and “Watchmen,” with its socially resonant themes, stole the show.
Ireland: The The impact of the coronavirus on the country’s economy has rocked the once frenzied real estate market in Dublin, particularly Airbnb listings that have been hit by a collapse in tourism.
Elections in Italy: A center-right coalition led by the anti-immigrant league party led by Matteo Salvini, the nationalist former deputy prime minister of Italy, won regional elections on Monday but failed to win the important region of Tuscany.
Mwazulu Diyabanza: The Congolese activist is due to appear in a Paris court this month after attempting to retrieve an African treasure from a museum. He said it was looted. The case raises broader questions about France and its attitude towards its colonial past.
Snapshot: The Thai environment minister was so tired of trash in a national park that he vowed to find the culprit. When social media and old-fashioned detective work exposed the culprits, government officials sent them a box of the trash they’d left in a tent upstairs.
Lived life: Soul singer and songwriter Roy Hammond, who wrote and produced Barnstorm political funk “Impeach the President” in 1973, died Wednesday at his Allendale, SC home at the age of 81
What we read: This Atlantic article about the “Schitt’s Creek” character Moira Rose, written last year. Carole Landry of the Briefings Team writes, “This piece analyzes the fashion and vocabulary used to build Catherine O’Hara’s hilarious character.”
Now a break from the news
Whether you are looking for a book or a snack, At Home has plenty of ideas for what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe at home.
And now for the background story about …
Conspiracy theorists on social media
QAnon is a series of conspiracy theories that center on the idea that powerful institutions are controlled by cannibalistic pedophiles who planned against President Trump. The followers tailored their ideas to Facebook, which QAnon did not restrict despite its promises. Sheera Frenkel, who works on cybersecurity, spoke to our On Tech newsletter about the spread of this glaring phenomenon.
What should Facebook do about QAnon?
The one idea we keep hearing is that Facebook is preventing its automated recommendation systems from suggesting groups that support QAnon and other conspiracies. Otherwise every expert has a different opinion.
One I spoke to said Facebook had to decide if it would take a hard line against all conspiracies. Another said it would be more productive to slowly reduce the spread of QAnon-related information on Facebook and give people clear information about why this is wrong and dangerous.
Have internet companies managed to slow the spread of false QAnon ideas?
Reddit was ground zero for QAnon until an entire section of the site dedicated to the conspiracy was banned in 2018. There are still QAnon articles on Reddit, but most of the content has been moved to another location – including Facebook.
Could things have been different with conspiracies on Facebook?
I wonder how different our world would be if Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter worked with Reddit to take coordinated and effective action against QAnon. That’s what companies did in 2015 when the Islamic State used social media to attract new followers. You could see in almost real time that ISIS has lost a large part of its online recruiting ability.
In my eyes, this was the clearest example of internet companies taking action to remove a dangerous group that was ubiquitous.
That’s all for today’s briefing. Until tomorrow.
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at email@example.com.
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