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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told states to prepare for a possible coronavirus vaccine by early November, raising concerns about politicized timing.
In documents sent out the same day that President Trump’s Republican National Convention speech forecast a vaccine before the end of the year, the C.D.C. outlined technical scenarios to public health officials for an unidentified “Vaccine A” and “Vaccine B” for health care workers and other high-risk groups, the latest sign of an accelerating timeline.
The Trump administration has been encouraging private development of an array of faster and cheaper testing techniques. But with no national strategy, there is confusion about how many and what types of tests are needed, and when they should be administered and to whom.
3. What if early results show President Trump ahead, and he declares victory before mail-in votes are counted? It’s a doomsday election scenario for Democrats, one many of them say is worth preparing for.
Polls suggest that far more Democrats than Republicans plan to vote by mail, which a Democratic data group backed by Michael Bloomberg said could create a “red mirage” on election night — a false picture of a Trump landslide.
Aside from a Kennedy losing, election night in Massachusetts on Tuesday felt almost normal: The primary winner was announced a few hours after polls closed. While the state may offer the country a model for how to count votes, casting ballots wasn’t always seamless. Above, the Boston electoral commission on Tuesday.
4. We’re 114 days from Christmas, and retailers are very worried.
September may seem early to be thinking about holiday shopping, but big stores are already acknowledging that it will be transformed in fundamental ways. They’re making decisions about inventory, staffing, holiday displays, how best to connect with customers — and how to keep Santas safe.
Also, federal debt is on track to exceed the size of the U.S. economy in 2021, the Congressional Budget Office said, a level not seen since 1946. The deficit is expected to reach $3.3 trillion for the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.
And the Trump administration announced an eviction moratorium through Dec. 31. Here’s how it works.
5. A Minnesota man is the first person known to have died of Covid-19 after attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally last month.
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in South Dakota for the 10-day event, many showing little interest in social distancing or wearing masks. The state has seen a sharp increase in coronavirus cases since the rally ended Aug. 16 — more than 2,000 new cases in the past week.
South Koreans, for their part, have been proud of their government’s handling of the virus. But new outbreaks are raising doubt.
6. The Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok, the German government said.
The Soviet-era weapon, invented for military use, was also used against Sergei Skripal, a former Soviet spy, in Salisbury, England, in 2018. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said the poisoning of Mr. Navalny, pictured in 2014, “raises very serious questions that only the Russian government can and must answer.”
Doctors are keeping him in a medically induced coma at the Berlin hospital he was flown to on Aug. 22, days after collapsing in agony on a flight to Moscow from Siberia.
President Vladimir Putin has never publicly mentioned the opposition leader’s name in 20 years of speeches and interviews. Why? He is “completely out of their control,” which is intolerable, one analyst says.
7. Japan formally surrendered to the U.S. 75 years ago today, signifying the official end of World War II, a conflict that changed millions of lives and the course of history. Above, Hiroshima two months after an atomic bomb hit the Japanese city.
The Times Magazine set out to recount stories both personal and profound, and explore the end of the war and its aftermath, something we are still living in. Act III of the war — After the War — is now simply part of our daily reality, in America and globally, writes Tom Hanks. Read the entire series here.
President Trump visited Wilmington, N.C., in a swing state, to address a small gathering of surviving veterans, in their 90s or older, next to the battleship U.S.S. North Carolina.
8. Maureen Dowd interviewed Jane Fonda, at length.
At 82, the actress turned environmental activist has a fascinating past. She talked with Maureen, our Op-Ed columnist and Magazine writer, about the leg warmers, the importance of good posture, the Black Panthers, Hanoi Jane and her battle with eating disorders, among other topics. But she emphatically does not live in the past.
“This is where civil disobedience comes in,” Ms. Fonda said of her environmental activism.
She also reveals one of her greatest regrets (not sleeping with Marvin Gaye) and her lineage to Jane Seymour, one of the wives of Henry VIII. “That’s what my mother always told me and it’s why my name until the fourth grade was Lady,” Ms. Fonda said.
In other entertainment news: Six months after ceasing to be working members of the British royal family, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, signed a production deal with Netflix to make documentaries, feature films and children’s programming.
9. With summer nearly over, it’s time to think about houseplants.
Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have inherited your grandmother’s favorite plant, or maybe you’ve been babysitting a friend’s plant during quarantine. You may still want to add to your collection.
Here’s our best advice on what to buy and how to care for it — durable favorites like a Clivia, above, or Moses-in-the-cradle, a few oddballs like the climbing onion and the most cooperative orchids — during the hunker-down season ahead. (Hint: Ignore social media.)
10. And finally, do you have five minutes?
In the past we’ve asked some of our favorite artists to choose a passage of a performance they would play to make someone fall for classical music, the piano, opera and the like. Now it’s time to find a place in your heart for the sweet, songful violin.
Hilary Hahn, a violinist, holds her breath every time she listens to or plays Vaughan Williams’s “The Lark Ascending.” Elgar’s Violin Concerto “reveals the violin as the most vocal of instruments,” says the composer John Adams. For Zachary Woolfe, The Times’s classical music editor, Bach’s Double Concerto serves as “dessert doubled.”
Take a listen and have a virtuosic evening.
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