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Your Monday Briefing - The New York Times


The prime minister of Japan announced his resignation on Friday, leaving office a year early with no obvious successor.

The eventual replacement for Mr. Abe, who cited ill health in his decision, will confront many challenges without having the stature that Mr. Abe has built over a record-setting run of nearly eight years.

Myriad troubles: The Japanese economy has taken a nosedive. The coronavirus could yet rage out of control and force a second postponement of the Olympics. Chinese military aggression is rising in the region just as the U.S., Japan’s closest ally, is embroiled in a polarizing presidential election. “It makes me wonder why anybody would want to be prime minister,” said Jeffrey Hornung, an analyst at the RAND Corporation.

Wannabes: There is no shortage of aspirants. Those who have already announced their desire to stand for prime minister include Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister; Toshimitsu Motegi, the current foreign minister; Taro Kono, the defense minister; Shigeru Ishiba, a former defense minister who once ran against Mr. Abe for the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party.

The list also includes two women — Seiko Noda, a member of the lower house of Parliament, and Tomomi Inada, another former defense minister — but the possibility of a female prime minister appears remote.


With more than 75,000 new infections per day, India’s coronavirus caseload is growing at a faster rate than that of any other country.

The U.S. and Brazil have the world’s largest outbreaks over all, but they have been reporting in the range of 40,000 to 50,000 new daily infections in recent days.

“Everything right now is indicating toward a massive surge in the caseload in coming days,” said Dr. Anant Bhan, a health researcher at Melaka Manipal Medical College in southern India. “What is more worrying is we are inching toward the No. 1 spot globally.”

On a per capita basis, however, India has had far fewer deaths from the virus than the U.S. and Brazil as well as many other countries.

Factors: One reason India is reporting a steep rise in infections now is because it has sharply increased testing, reaching nearly a million tests a day compared with 200,000 a day two months ago. Another reason: Crowded cities, lockdown fatigue and a lack of contact tracing have spread the virus to every corner of the vast country.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

  • Global confirmed cases have surpassed 25 million, reaching 25,020,700, according to a Times database, and at least 842,700 people have died from the virus.

  • Millions of pupils in Britain will be returning to the classrooms this week, many for the first time since March, raising fears of a new spike in infections.

  • California has become the first U.S. state to pass 700,000 known coronavirus cases, according to a New York Times database, even as its infection rate continues a steep decline.


Military tensions across the Taiwan Strait have surged in recent months as Taiwan has increasingly become a focal point in the confrontation between China and the U.S. In response, Taiwan’s leaders are moving to shake up the military and increase spending.

President Tsai Ing-wen is taking action to strengthen Taiwan’s reserves, a force that would be crucial to defending the island against any invasion. This month, the government announced that it would increase the defense budget by 10 percent, after a 5 percent increase the year before.

Taiwan also finalized a deal to buy 66 American F-16 fighter jets, worth $62 billion, over the next 10 years.

A growing threat: Chinese aircraft and warships have in recent months conducted drills intended as a warning to Taiwan, while Chinese officials have compared its military to “an ant trying to shake a tree.” “The likelihood of a military clash is much higher than before,” said Lin Yu-fang, a former legislator from the Kuomintang, the party that governed Taiwan for decades but is now in opposition.

When the bodies of unidentified migrants wash up on the beaches around Nador, a city on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast, they usually go unclaimed at the local morgue. Boubacar Wann Diallo, above, a migrant from Guinea, has made it his life’s work to see that they are identified and get proper burials.

He reaches out to families for photographs, seeks help from consulates and embassies, and has set up a Facebook page with postings to remember the dead. “It’s a joy for me to bury them,” said Mr. Wann Diallo in this profile that highlights the racism and danger faced by migrants, even before they reach Europe.

Portland shooting: A man wearing a hat with the insignia of a right-wing group was shot and killed on Saturday as a large group of supporters of President Trump drove a caravan into Oregon’s largest city, which has seen nightly protests against police violence and racism. Mr. Trump reiterated his call that the National Guard should be brought in.

TikTok: As the sale of the video app to a U.S. buyer enters its final stages, China updated its export control rules, and state media published a commentary suggesting that the change could require the app’s owner, ByteDance, to get a license to sell — moves that signaled China’s intention to dictate the terms of any potential deal.

Banksy migrant rescue ship: A rescue vessel funded by the British street artist became overloaded and had to evacuate more than 200 migrants in the central Mediterranean — most of them to a fellow humanitarian vessel. Banksy accused European officials of ignoring maritime distress calls from non-Europeans.

Snapshot: Above, protesters in Minsk, Belarus, on Sunday, who chanted “Go Away!” as they pressed demands for President Aleksandr Lukashenko to step down. Despite a crackdown, anger against Mr. Lukashenko over a disputed Aug. 9 election does not appear to be abating.

What we’re reading: This article in Soundings about how U.S. boaters made it home from the Caribbean as the coronavirus closed islands and their waters. “This opened a window on another world,” writes Gina Lamb, a Special Sections editor. “Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.”

Do: You can build your own tossing game from newspaper and tape. Here’s how to make a catapult launcher and a basket target.

Our At Home collection has lots of great ideas about how to stay occupied while staying safe at home.

Of the 4.8 million Americans who live abroad, 2.9 million are eligible to vote, but their turnout is consistently low. This year, the pandemic is making voting more complicated.

Canada, Britain, Israel, France, Australia and Japan have large numbers of eligible U.S. voters. Here’s a look at how to vote from abroad in the November elections.

Request your ballot as early as possible — like, today.

If you’re an overseas voter, it’s good practice to fill out a Federal Post Card Application at the start of each calendar year to ensure you’re on the rolls for all primary, general and special elections in your state. (Overseas Americans generally vote in the state where they last lived, even if they no longer have any ties to that location.) But if you haven’t done that yet, it’s not too late.

Cutoff dates for requesting your ballot vary by state, but they are as early as Oct. 3, so don’t put this off.

Do as much online as possible.

At a time when both international and U.S. mail services are in a state of disarray, it’s best to avoid them altogether. Submitting your ballot request online is a good start, and it is allowed in almost every state.

Have a backup plan.

If you don’t receive your ballot by Sept. 19, contact your local election official (check your spam folder, too). In the meantime, you can fill out the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, which serves as a backup specifically for overseas voters, and send it by mail, fax or email according to the same rules as your official ballot.


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

— 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 briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is on Donald Trump Jr’s journey to Republican stardom.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Absolutely!” (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The August issue of The New York Times for Kids, which was published on Sunday, featured a package centered on race and racism.

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