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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Two final firsts.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal jurist and trailblazer for women, became the first woman and first Jewish American to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. The honor brought to a close a week of public memorials.
“Justice did not arrive like a lightning bolt, but rather through dogged persistence, all the days of her life,” Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt said. Women led the tribute to the justice’s work and life. Democratic and Republican female lawmakers stood on the steps of the Capitol as her coffin left the building.
President Trump has selected Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative favorite, to succeed Justice Ginsburg. He plans to announce that she is his choice on Saturday, according to people close to the process. The president met with Judge Barrett, pictured below, at the White House this week.
Mr. Trump will now try to force Senate confirmation before Election Day in a move that would significantly alter the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court for years.
2. Senior leaders at the Pentagon are worried about President Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.
The president’s hedging — along with his threat in June to send active-duty troops onto American streets to quell protests over the killing of George Floyd — has caused deep anxiety among senior military and Defense Department leaders, who insist they will do all they can to keep the armed forces out of the election.
Several Pentagon officials said many of Mr. Trump’s senior generals, including General Mark Milley (pictured walking with the president in June), would resign if they are ordered to intervene.
Other countries have been stunned by Mr. Trump’s statements. The president’s dismissiveness of a central tenet of democracy, coupled with America’s struggle to contain the coronavirus, has left people from Myanmar to Mexico sympathetic and shocked. “Personally, it’s like watching the decline of the Roman Empire,” a mayor in Canada said.
3. Florida is lifting all state restrictions for restaurants and other businesses, Gov. Ron DeSantis said. Above, diners in Miami.
4. New York City’s Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods are suffering a surge of virus cases. Officials have conducted emergency inspections of religious schools, sent police to enforce social distancing rules and are threatening a lockdown if progress isn’t made by Monday, which is Yom Kippur.
Community leaders said residents have been resisting the public health guidelines because of the growing influence of President Trump, whose skeptical views on masks and the pandemic have been widely embraced. If the outbreak further spreads in the Orthodox community, it could endanger the city’s easing lockdown and even force the closure of public schools.
New York, which operates the country’s largest school system, is trying to bring students back with a so-called hybrid learning model, combining in-person and at home learning. But can the city pull it off?
6. Google’s owner agreed to new anti-harassment measures as the company settled a wave of lawsuits filed after a disgraced executive received a $90 million severance.
The settlement between Alphabet and a group of shareholders makes it difficult for senior management to ignore issues of harassment and discrimination. The company agreed to greater oversight by its board of directors in future cases of sexual misconduct and committed to spend $310 million over the next decade on corporate diversity programs. Above, a protest at the company’s headquarters in 2018.
Google is also facing the possibility of multiple antitrust lawsuits. Here’s what lies ahead.
7. An 18-year-old Afghan student who narrowly avoided a deadly attack on her tutoring center in 2018 received the highest score this year on the national university exam.
Shamsea Alizada’s accomplishment and persistence is a sign of the progress of girls’ education in Afghanistan. But it also highlights one of the main pressure points between the Afghan government and the Taliban ahead of long-awaited peace negotiations. At stake are achievements of the past two decades, including the rights of women and the treatment of minority groups.
In Thailand, pro-democracy protests in recent weeks have been dominated by an emerging political force: young women, speaking out against a patriarchy that has long controlled the country’s most powerful institutions.
8. Before the selfie, there was the self-portrait.
The latest in our Close Read series examines one of the earliest stand-alone self-portraits in Western painting, from the German Renaissance painter Albrecht Dürer. It’s not exactly a welcoming image — Dürer’s portrait is “supremely arrogant,” our critic writes.
The painting shows the beginning of a Renaissance conception of the self: the self as a subjective individual, the author of one’s own life story.
And at MoMA PS1, “Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration” features work by inmates of the U.S. prison system. Materials include Popsicle sticks, cigarette-pack foil, recycled tea bags and prison bedsheets. The exhibition “complicates the definition of crime itself, expanding it beyond the courtroom into American society,” our critic writes.
9. “Father of the Bride, Part 3 (ish)” was born amid worry and a desire to help. George Banks, a self-described overreactor played by Steve Martin, would approve.
The 1990s films starring Mr. Martin, Diane Keaton and Martin Short are having a quarantine revival. More than 30 years after the debut of the first movie, a short sort-of sequel revisits the Banks family during the pandemic. It’s set to debut on YouTube today as a fund-raiser.
“Thinking about how George Banks might respond to sheltering at home kept me up at night,” the director Nancy Meyers writes. “The pandemic brought me back to being a writer.”
10. And finally, small but mighty.
A rat named Magawa was recognized with a prestigious honor from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals for his work detecting mines and explosives in Cambodia. The 5-year-old African giant pouched rat has discovered 39 land mines and helped clear more than 1.5 million square feet of land over the past four years.
Magawa is part of the “Hero Rat” initiative run by a Belgian nonprofit that trains rats to detect land mines and tuberculosis across South East Asia and Africa. When he is not in the minefield, the two-foot-long critter likes snacking on bananas, peanuts and watermelons, and taking a spin on an exercise wheel.
“He is very quick and decisive,” Magawa’s handler said, “but he is also the first one to take a nap during a break.”
Have a heroic weekend.
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