With Ginsburg’s death, a more volatile U.S. election
The U.S. is mourning the loss 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. But two Republican senators so far have come out against taking up a Supreme Court nomination before the election, potentially complicating the process if others follow suit.
Democrats have angrily recalled 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. Justice Ginsburg had said that her “most fervent wish” was that she not be replaced before a new president took office.
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.
Turmoil in Belarus continues
Security forces arrested hundreds of women taking part in a protest 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. Tens of thousands of people continued their protests in Minsk on Sunday, despite a heavy police presence.
On Friday, ahead of Saturday’s march, Mr. Lukashenko’s aides convened thousands of pro-government women at a rally at a hockey stadium in Minsk. The president denied that the recent election was rigged and that the police used force against protesters, and he accused European Union members of fueling protests to create a pretext for military intervention in Belarus.
Leaks: After anonymous hackers leaked the personal data of 1,000 Belarusian police officers following Saturday’s clashes, Mr. Lukashenko’s government vowed to find and punish those responsible.
Britain moves to impose heavier fines for rule breaching
Desperate to avoid yet another national lockdown, the British government has announced tougher penalties for those who do not follow coronavirus restrictions, as the number of new daily cases in the country rises above 4,000 for the first time since early May.
From Sept. 28, the government will impose fines of 1,000 pounds, about $1,300, against those who do not self-isolate after testing positive for the virus or after being traced as a close contact of someone infected. Repeat offenders or those guilty of more serious breaches face a maximum fine of £10,000. People with low incomes who are told to self-isolate will also be eligible for a £500 payment intended to cushion the blow of any financial loss and to encourage compliance.
“We’ve relied on people’s civic duty to do the right thing, but there is a minority of people who are not,” Matt Hancock, the British health secretary, told the BBC on Sunday.
Roughly 10 million people in central and northern England have already been banned from meeting with anyone outside their household as part of local restrictions, while pubs and restaurants in those areas have been told they must close at 10 p.m. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is pushing for similar restrictions to be implemented in the British capital.
In other developments:
Residents of Madrid took to the streets on Sunday to protest lockdowns affecting 850,000 people in dozens of areas of the Spanish capital, mostly in densely populated, working class suburbs.
Italy is allowing as many as 1,000 spectators to attend top-tier soccer matches nationwide starting on Sunday.
Almost 200,000 people in the U.S. and close to one million people around the world are dead from the coronavirus.
Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, moved closer to easing lockdown rules after recording only 14 new cases on Sunday.
If you have 8 minutes, this is worth it
A British-Nigerian take on Black joy
Until last year, the British-Nigerian writer Theresa Ikoko, above, was working as a case manager at a youth violence organization. She spent her days pretending to compose long emails, while instead writing the scenes that would eventually become the award-winning play “Girls,” about three girls abducted by a terrorist group, earning her the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright in 2016.
Her first movie, “Rocks,” opened in Britain on Friday. It centers on the joy and resilience of young women of color — a group rarely given mainstream attention in British film — and positions Ms. Ikoko as a major new voice. “You will probably laugh and cry with equal measure,” she said.
Here’s what else is happening
Aleksei Navalny: Nearly a month after being poisoned with a nerve agent, the Russian opposition leader said he had recovered his ability to speak and walk down stairs.
‘Suspicious activity reports’: Thousands of reports filed with federal regulators by major banks show that they helped accused terrorists, drug dealers and corrupt foreign officials move trillions of dollars around the world.
Tour de France: The Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar, 21, on Sunday became the youngest winner of the world’s most famous cycling race since the end of World War II.
Barbados: The Caribbean nation announced it would remove Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and become a republic by November of next year.
Snapshot: Metronome’s digital clock in Manhattan, above, has been reprogrammed to illustrate a critical window for action to prevent the effects of global warming from becoming irreversible. Its digital display formerly counted hours, minutes and seconds to and from midnight.
Lives lived: The historian Stephen Cohen, whose work on Russia examined the rise and fall of Communism and the emergence of a post-Soviet nation still establishing its identity, died at 81 on Friday at his home in Manhattan.
What we’re listening to: This Radiolab podcast about translation. Melissa Eddy, our Berlin correspondent, writes: “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.”
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.”
Keep busy and active 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.
Thanks for starting your week with The Times. Until tomorrow.
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at email@example.com.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is on the messy return to school in New York.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Drenched” (Three letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The word “scoophead” — a species of hammerhead shark — appeared for the first time in The Times on Sunday, according to the Twitter bot @NYT_first_said.
• Today, Times Opinion is launching “Sway,” a new podcast with Kara Swisher about power and influence.