Top story: More than fifth of victims in US
Hello, Warren Murray alerting you to the gaining of an unwanted milestone.
The number of people who have died from Covid-19 has exceeded one million, according to a tally of cases maintained by Johns Hopkins University, with no sign the global death rate is slowing. The milestone was reached early on Tuesday morning UK time, nine months after authorities in China first announced the detection of a cluster of mystery pneumonia in Wuhan. But “if anything the numbers currently reported probably represent an underestimate of those individuals who have either contracted Covid-19 or died as a cause of it”, Mike Ryan, the WHO’s top emergencies expert, has told a briefing in Geneva.
More than one-fifth of the tallied deaths have occurred in the US, the most of any country in the world, followed by more than 142,000 in Brazil and more than 95,000 in India, which is currently recording the most new cases per day. Our interactive presentation shows how the death toll reached a million. In the UK the IFS thinktank has calculated that a prolonged battle against Covid-19 would swallow up a large chunk of the chancellor’s planned increase in public spending and force Rishi Sunak into a choice between fresh austerity, higher taxes or more borrowing. And the government is to offer free college courses to adults in England who don’t have A-levels or equivalent qualifications to help boost their employment prospects in the post-Covid-19 economy. We’ve got further coronavirus developments covered at our global live blog.
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President and challenger enter arena – Donald Trump and Joe Biden will face off tonight – actually two o’clock Wednesday morning, UK time – in their first presidential debate. The Ohio clash is the first of three ahead of the election on 3 November. Here’s Adam Gabbatt from Guardian US with what you need to know. In news we never thought we would need to write: there are fears that too few international observers are available to confirm the integrity of the US election – in an atmosphere where Donald Trump has refused to say he will accept losing. The international Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), wanted to send 100 long-term and 400 short-term observers after deeming the US election “the most challenging in recent decades” but can send only 30 because of coronavirus restrictions and other problems.
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No smoking from the sidelines – Wales is to become the first country in the UK to ban spectators from smoking on the sidelines of children’s football games. The initiative will be phased in over two years. Though it is being heralded as a ban, individual clubs will have to write a no-smoking rule into their codes of conduct, and coaches and club officials will have to try to enforce it. The Football Association of Wales (FAW) will ask all 522 junior clubs in the country to tell parents and other spectators not to smoke during matches and training sessions for children aged five to 13.
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‘Issue of great public interest’ – An anonymous juror has succeeded in pressuring the Kentucky attorney general to release recordings from the trial of three police officers accused of shooting and killing Breonna Taylor. A court filing had accused Daniel Cameron of using the grand jury “as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for those decisions”, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. “The full story and absolute truth of how this matter was handled from beginning to end is now an issue of great public interest and has become a large part of the discussion of public trust throughout the country,” said the juror’s court filing. The decision not to directly charge any of the officers with killing Taylor, a black emergency medical technician, has led to protests in Kentucky and across the US. One officer, Brett Hankison, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment related to shots that hit neighbours’ walls.
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Salty ponds of Mars – A network of saltwater ponds may exist beneath the south pole of Mars alongside a large underground lake, raising the prospect of life on the red planet. Italian scientists have estimated the lake to be 12-18 miles across and buried a mile beneath the icy surface, with three smaller bodies of water around it. They based their findings on more than 100 radar observations by the Mars Express spacecraft from 2010 to 2019, combined with methods used on Earth to detect buried lakes in the Antarctic and Canadian Arctic. The potential water raises the possibility of microbial life on Mars, with high concentrations of salt likely keeping the water from freezing when the surface temperature above sits around -113C.
Today in Focus podcast: The flight of Nathan Law
He is one of Hong Kong’s most prominent democracy activists, but his years of campaigning have made him a target for the Chinese government. Law discusses the toll it has taken and why he had to flee to London. Guardian correspondent Emma Graham-Harrison looks at what the future holds for Hong Kong.
Lunchtime read: Falling from the sky
Coronavirus has hit few sectors harder than air travel, wiping out tens of thousands of jobs and uncountable billions in revenue. By mid-April about 14,400 passenger planes around the world – 65% of the global fleet – had been placed into storage, according to one research firm Cirium. With fleets grounded, the industry was forced to reimagine its future.
Jürgen Klopp said he “loved pretty much each second” of Liverpool’s convincing 3-1 win over Arsenal and rejected suggestions from the Sky pundit Roy Keane that his side had been sloppy in parts. Goals by Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane and Tyrone Mings delivered a 3-0 Premier League victory for Aston Villa against Fulham at Craven Cottage. Jim Courier has joined the chorus of voices defending Andy Murray after Mats Wilander suggested the 33-year-old should step aside for younger players. In Paris, Serena Williams progressed to the second round of the French Open with a 7-6 (2), 6-0 win over Kristie Ahn.
Essex have admitted the celebrations that followed their victory in the Bob Willis Trophy on Sunday did not meet the county’s “inclusive values” after Feroze Khushi, a young Muslim cricketer, was sprayed with alcohol on the balcony at Lord’s. England recovered from a shaky start against West Indies to post 166 for six – their highest total of the series so far – and finish with a fourth consecutive win, this time by 44 runs. Chris Robshaw’s final home match for Harlequins ended on a sour note as a dramatic turnaround in the last 10 minutes clinched a bonus-point win for Wasps. And Lewis Hamilton’s claim that he and his Mercedes team are being unfairly targeted to make Formula One more competitive has been strongly denied by the FIA.
Asian stocks have been mixed after Wall Street recovered some of this month’s losses. Shanghai and Seoul advanced while Tokyo and Hong Kong declined. Sydney was little changed. Overnight the S&P 500 index gained 1.6% led by big tech stocks. The FTSE should go a shade higher at the open while the pound is trading around $1.285 and €1.101 this morning.
The Guardian leads with the “Global deal to roll out snap Covid tests” that give results in minutes. The Telegraph says “Elderly face winter flu vaccine shortage”. The Mirror is apocalyptic and has the government presiding over “Deadly chaos” with “curfews doing more harm than good … local lockdowns a muddle” and a litany of other deprecations in its front-page furniture.
The Times has “Tories lash out against ‘Big brother’ Covid fines” and the Mail warns of a “Red wall revolt over new curb on freedoms”. Likewise the i: “New Covid offences fuel Tory rebellion”. But the Express naturally gets out the fire hose: “Peace deal to head off rebels’ virus revolt” – the Guardian expects the rebellion to be thwarted.
The Metro’s splash headline is “Carry on campus … no food, loo roll or lectures and Christmas may be called off amid chaos at universities”. A lot happening there – our Guardian report looks at the lockdown at Manchester Metropolitan University and the broader issue of tuition fee refunds. And finally the FT: “HSBC shares climb 10% after China’s Ping An raises stake” – we’ve got that story here.
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