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Your Monday Briefing

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In the coming 24 hours or so, the world is likely to pass another painful milestone: more than one million deaths from Covid-19. India, the world’s second-most populous nation, leads in daily virus-related deaths, and the U.S. is second.

The number of lives lost daily to the virus has been rising during most of August and September, reaching more than 5,000 when averaged over seven days. As of this writing, at least 994,457 people have died, and the virus has been detected in nearly every country, according to a Times database.

The World Health Organization said Friday that it’s “not impossible” that the death toll could double if countries did not uniformly work to suppress the virus’s spread.

Details: India recorded about 7,700 daily deaths over the most recent seven-day period, according to the Times database. The U.S. has more than 5,000, followed by Brazil and Mexico. Those four countries account for more than half of the world’s known deaths from the virus.

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Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

  • Premier Dan Andrews has announced an easing of restrictions in the Australian state of Victoria after two months of a severe lockdown in Melbourne. The curfew in Melbourne, the country’s second-largest city, will be lifted starting at 5 a.m. on Monday.

  • With positive virus tests reaching new highs, Israeli officials pleaded with the public to heed lockdown measures heading into Yom Kippur. More than 9,200 cases were reported in a 24-hour period, the health ministry said late Saturday.

  • For those facing daunting seasonal cold, The Times gathered some advice from experts on keeping the virus at bay indoors.

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The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, offered a rare apology last week after a South Korean official was killed at sea by the North’s soldiers. South Korea accused the North of burning the official’s body out of fear that he carried the coronavirus, and on Sunday demanded a joint investigation to determine what happened.

The South also called for the reopening of hotlines between the militaries of both Koreas. The North cut off all communication channels with the South in June.

A rare gesture: In his apology offered Friday, Mr. Kim said he was “deeply sorry” for the death “that delivered a big disappointment to President Moon Jae-in and the people of the South.” The move appeared to have headed off what could have been another serious crisis in North-South relations. Some officials and analysts expressed hope that Mr. Kim’s contrition could help to revive dialogue between the Koreas, which has been stalled for months.

The South Korean response: South Koreans have expressed outrage over the killing of the fisheries official at sea. The South insists the official was trying to defect when a North Korean Navy ship opened fire. According to the South, North Korean soldiers then set his body on fire, but the North denied burning the body and said only his floating device was set on fire.


The Chinese president this weekend called his policies in Xinjiang a “totally correct” success and vowed to do more to imprint Chinese national identity “deep in the soul” of Uighurs and other largely Muslim minorities.

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His remarks during a two-day conference that ended Saturday showed that condemnation from the U.S., the European Union and other powers has not shifted Mr. Xi’s determination to subdue Xinjiang’s Muslim minorities.

How the policy evolved: After a string of attacks and protests by Uighurs, Mr. Xi set policy in Xinjiang on a more radical course, leading to the construction of hundreds of indoctrination camps intended to weaken Uighur and Kazakh adherence to Islam and turn them into loyal citizens who disavow separatism. At the same time, the Chinese government has tried to uproot Uighurs from villages and assign them urban and factory jobs, where officials hope they will earn more and cast aside their traditional lifestyles.

In many parts of the developing world, school closures put children on the streets. Families are desperate for money. At least 24 million children will drop out and millions could be sucked into work, according to U.N. officials. Above, Suman Das, 13, helping his father load bricks at a factory in West Bengal.

Our reporters interviewed more than 50 school-age children, their parents, teachers, contractors and child activists for this look at the surge in child labor during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Nagorno-Karabakh: Fighting broke out on Sunday on the long disputed border of the breakaway republic and quickly escalated. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia claimed action with artillery, helicopter and tanks, and used military language describing the events as war.

China mine disaster: The bodies of 16 people who died of carbon monoxide poisoning were pulled from a coal mine in southwestern China, and a lone survivor was hospitalized. The deadly gas levels were caused by the ignition of belts in the mine, the local government said, adding no details.

Snapshot: Above, Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House, where President Trump announced on Saturday that she was his pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. If confirmed, the 48-year-old judge would move the court to the right, putting at risk the right to abortion in the U.S.

What we’re reading: “In this powerful piece,” Marc Lacey, our national editor writes, “the Los Angeles Times reporter ⁦Greg Braxton⁩ confronts a former editor about a remark that has bothered him for nearly 30 years.”

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Cook: This one-pan orzo with spinach, feta and dill is as appealing as risotto, but without all of the stirring.

Read: Daniel Kraus’s “They Threw Us Away” and “Saucy” by Cynthia Kadohata are among the new crop of children’s books that help revive the genre of richly illustrated novels.

Listen: The latest playlist from our pop critics features some sass and swing from Jennifer Lopez and Maluma, and Wizkid, an Afrobeats luminary from Nigeria.

It’s the start of a new week. Take some time to explore new ideas from our At Home collection on what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe at home.

Since the killing of George Floyd in police custody in May, The Times’s visual investigations unit has examined several cases involving police violence or scenes of protest in the U.S. The team of reporters, editors and producers tries to provide a more complete picture of an event. Our Times Insider series took a look at how they do it.

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“Often there’s one video from these incidents that goes extremely viral for a variety of reasons; it’s intense, it’s graphic, it’s emotional for a lot of people, but very often, those single videos that go viral don’t tell the whole story of what happened,” said Haley Willis, a video producer on the team who worked on the report detailing the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

The visual investigations team uses original recordings, explores open sources like social media, analyzes and authenticates audio components of a recording, reviews incident reports, and applies traditional methods of tracking down sources and mapping out timelines.

For the team, achieving accuracy is always a must. But at a time when these viral events can quickly become politicized, another priority is presenting the information in a way that’s tonally sensitive and responsible.

“We never want to just show something graphic, just to show it,” said Whitney Hurst, a senior producer. “We always want to be able to bring the analysis to the table that can really push the story forward.”

The utmost responsibility of each investigation, Ms. Hurst said, is to uncover and convey the facts of what happened — whether that takes a few hours, a few days or even a few months — and to present the findings in a visual way that offers insight into that news.

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More often than not, Ms. Willis said, the responses their work gets have a common thread: “I thought I knew what happened. But I didn’t.”

Here’s the team’s video investigation of the killing of George Floyd.


Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow.

— Carole


Thank you
To Melissa Clark for the recipe, and to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected].

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P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is on the push to reform policing in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Liver or lungs (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times put together useful information for Americans voting from abroad in the Nov. 3 election.


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