Home featured Presidential Race, Chadwick Boseman, September Books: Your Weekend Briefing

Presidential Race, Chadwick Boseman, September Books: Your Weekend Briefing


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Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

1. General election season is officially in full swing.

A weeklong Republican offensive against Joe Biden ended with President Trump’s formal acceptance of his party’s nomination. The national political conventions set the battle lines for the election’s remaining weeks: Mr. Biden is focusing on Mr. Trump’s virus management, while the president is sticking to a law-and-order message.

Throughout the convention, Mr. Trump shattered the traditional boundaries between government and politics. Public housing tenants in New York City said they weren’t told their interviews with a government official would be used at the convention.

But never before has a convention by a major party felt compelled to call such a diverse array of speakers to defend the character of a sitting president, our politics reporters write. Above, Mr. Trump in Londonderry, N.H., on Friday.

Late last night, a man was fatally shot as a caravan of Mr. Trump’s supporters drove through Portland, Ore., for a pro-Trump rally and clashed with counterprotesters. The man who was killed was wearing a hat with a far-right insignia.

Credit…Michael Starghill Jr. for The New York Times

2. A Trump administration program to cover uninsured virus patients has fallen short, a Times review found.

President Trump said in April that the government would help the uninsured, but the quickly concocted plan has not lived up to its promise. Some patients like Luis Fernandez of Houston, above, are still receiving bills for tens of thousands of dollars. Others don’t qualify because conditions other than Covid-19 were their primary diagnosis.

Some of the nation’s leading public health experts are concerned that the standard diagnostic test for the coronavirus may be too sensitive and too slow. Instead, new data underscore the need for more widespread use of rapid tests, even if they are less sensitive.

Nearly six million people in the U.S. have been infected and at least 182,611 have died. Here’s the latest map and case count.

Credit…Pete Kiehart for The New York Times

3. College campuses are pioneering technology that could help combat the coronavirus crisis.

They are trying out wastewater tests in dormitory sewage, above at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, dozens of health-check apps and versions of homegrown contact-tracing technologies. And they are experimenting with testing methods that may yield faster results and be easier to administer, such as using saliva instead of nasal swabs.

Credit…Jon Cherry/Getty Images

4. This was supposed to be a year of big plans for Breonna Taylor.

She had just bought a new car and wanted to buy her own home, and perhaps have a baby with her boyfriend. They had already picked out a name. And then the police came to her door in Louisville, Ky.

Interviews, documents and jailhouse recordings help explain how she landed in the middle of a deadly drug raid. An ex-boyfriend’s run-ins with the law entangled her even as she tried to move on, leading to what her family’s lawyer called “catastrophic failures” by the police that ended in her killing.

And in Wisconsin, days after a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake, the authorities provided new details on what led up to the videotaped encounter that has prompted heated street protests and calls for reform.

Credit…William Widmer for The New York Times

5. Days after Hurricane Laura cut a destructive path across Louisiana, hundreds of thousands of people remained without electricity. At least seven people have been killed by carbon monoxide from generators.

The situation is especially dire in Lake Charles, above, a city near the coastline where many residents are without power and running water. President Trump visited there Saturday afternoon.

Laura’s destruction could have been much worse, but Hurricane Rita, a 2005 storm, forced changes to building codes and attitudes that might have saved lives.

And in the West, wildfires continue to burn from California to Minnesota, leaving millions of people to cough and wheeze through the toxic air. Sporadic power outages and the relentless heat have made life indoors almost equally intolerable.

Credit…Belapan/via Reuters

6. Middle-class Belarusians long tolerated the eccentricities of the country’s ruler, Aleksandr Lukashenko. That changed this month.

Mr. Lukashenko wears the moniker of “Europe’s last dictator,” building a system that stifled personal freedoms and political opposition. And it was a system that many could live with: Stay out of politics, and you can live very well by Eastern European standards.

But Belarusians hit their breaking point. The coronavirus crisis set the stage, followed by a blatantly falsified presidential election. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have rallied against Mr. Lukashenko, despite the threat of arrest.

Credit…Marvel Studios, via Associated Press

7. It’s nearly impossible to make dignity interesting. Chadwick Boseman found a way.

That’s Wesley Morris’s assessment of the actor, who died on Friday from a yearslong battle with colon cancer. He was 43. “In playing dignity,” Morris writes, Mr. Boseman “often seemed tasked to perform its burden,” adding, “But there was always more to him in these parts than heft.”

Mr. Boseman portrayed pathbreaking Black Americans onscreen, including Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall. But it was his role as King T’Challa in “Black Panther,” above, that represented a moment of hope, pride and empowerment for Black moviegoers around the world. Here’s his full obituary.

Explaining how he humanized those heroes, he told The Times last year: “You’re a strong Black man in a world that conflicts with that strength, that really doesn’t want you to be great. So what makes you the one who’s going to stand tall?”

Credit…Mohamed Sadek for The New York Times

8. “It was feminine, it was sexy, it was strong, and I was hooked.”

Princess Lockerooo, above in pink, is one of a few dedicated New Yorkers who have preserved the art of waacking, a 1970s club dance. Just as “Soul Train” brought the dance into living rooms across the country, Instagram and TikTok have turned the retro technique of rapid but contained gestures into a social media sensation.

Has your TikTok feed been overwhelmed with Santa Claus lately? Within the past month, an entire network of Christmas-focused accounts has popped up, fueled by videos of holiday cheer.

9. September, the publishing industry’s biggest month, does not disappoint this year.

There’s new fiction from Elena Ferrante, Yaa Gyasi and Marilynne Robinson, a tell-all from Mariah Carey and several deep dives into Cold War espionage, among others. Here are 15 titles our editors are looking forward to.

Books that were bumped from spring and early summer because of the pandemic are now colliding with long-planned fall releases, making this one of the most crowded fall publishing seasons ever. There’s just one problem: Publishers have to figure out how to print all of those books.

Credit…D’Angelo Lovell Williams for The New York Times

We’re in the homestretch of summer. Have a leisurely week.

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