(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)
Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Miami rolled back business openings after a 10-fold increase in the daily number of new coronavirus cases in just a few weeks.
The mayor of Miami-Dade County banned dining at restaurants, effective Wednesday, and shut down gyms and party venues as part of an effort to crack down on group events. Above, a temperature check at a Miami restaurant last week.
Florida reported more than 10,000 new cases on Sunday. The state’s contact tracers say some infected people attending private parties refused to divulge whom they went out with or had over to their house, making it hard to track how the virus spread.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned that the country was still “knee-deep in the first wave.” The more than 50,000 new cases a day recorded several times in the past week were “a serious situation that we have to address immediately,” he said.
In other coronavirus developments:
New federal data shows that Black and Latino people have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, not just in urban areas, but in a widespread manner throughout the country.
Restaurants, medical offices and car dealerships were the top recipients of large loans from the federal government’s $660 billion small business relief program, according to White House data. Here are some of the companies that received funding.
Here’s how to protect yourself from the virus in the air. Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny airborne droplets.
2. President Trump defended the Confederate flag.
He suggested on Twitter that NASCAR made a mistake in banning the flag from its racing events, and he falsely accused a top Black driver of perpetrating a hoax involving a noose found in his garage.
The noose incident last month at an Alabama raceway came after the driver, Darrell Wallace, above in Indianapolis yesterday, had called for NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag. Officials said a noose discovered hanging in his garage had been tied as early as October 2019, before Mr. Wallace had the stall.
Another NASCAR driver tweeted in reply to Mr. Trump: “We did what was right and we will do just fine without your support.”
The president also noted the possibility that the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians would change their names, saying it was an effort to be “politically correct.” Walmart said it would stop selling Redskins merchandise on its website, and Target is dropping the team’s gear from both physical and online stores.
3. The Supreme Court ruled that states can require Electoral College members to cast their votes for the presidential candidates they had pledged to support.
The unanimous opinion curbs the independence of electors and limits one potential source of uncertainty in the 2020 presidential election.
In the last election, seven electors cast so-called faithless votes. The justices said that states are entitled to remove or punish electors who change their votes. Above, electors in Colorado casting their votes in 2016.
Richard Pildes, a law professor at New York University, praised the ruling. “The court’s decision strikes a blow for legal and political stability and sanity,” he said.
4. A white woman who accused a Black man of threatening her life in Central Park will be charged with filing a false report, a misdemeanor.
Amy Cooper, above, is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 14. If convicted, she faces up to a year in jail or a conditional discharge. She could also be sentenced to community service.
Ms. Cooper encountered Christian Cooper, a bird watcher, while she was walking her dog in Central Park. He asked her to put her dog on a leash, and when she refused, the encounter turned ugly.
Mr. Cooper, who is not related to her, used his phone to record her as she called the police. In the call she said, “A man, African-American, he has a bicycle helmet and he is recording me and threatening me and my dog.”
5. Facebook said it won’t turn over user data to Hong Kong while it reviews the new national security law.
The social network said its assessment of the Chinese law, which has had a chilling effect on political expression in Hong Kong, would include human rights considerations. Above, protesters on Friday.
The rare public questioning of Chinese policy by an American internet giant will likely raise hackles in Beijing as well as put pressure on companies like Apple and Google.
6. The next target for carbon-free proponents: natural gas.
Dominion Energy, which Berkshire Hathaway just snapped up after the utility canceled plans to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, is making a big bet on renewable energy.
But Dominion, like other utilities, also plans to build new power plants that burn natural gas, a fossil fuel that emits greenhouse gases. Natural gas is likely to remain a cornerstone of the nation’s electric grid for years.
As the use of coal fades, proponents of a carbon-free grid are facing off against those who champion natural gas, an abundant fuel that produces about half the greenhouse gas emissions that burning coal does.
7. Charlie Daniels, a force in country and rock music, died at age 83 in Nashville.
A singer, songwriter and fiddle player, his greatest acclaim came as the leader of the Charlie Daniels Band, a country-rock ensemble, in the 1970s. He died of a hemorrhagic stroke, his publicist said. Above, Mr. Daniels performing in Nashville in 1992.
And the Broadway actor Nick Cordero, 41, whose battle with the coronavirus was followed closely on social media, has died.
His wife, Amanda Kloots, chronicled his experience, including weeks in a medically induced coma and the amputation of his right leg, on Instagram.
8. Italy’s shadow safety net: the pawnshop.
In the U.S., pawnshops are associated with “Guns, Gold and Cash” signs and reality show spinoffs. But in Italy, they have been part of the banking system for centuries.
Activity in the Italian collateral loan sector — the institutional name for pawnshops — increased by 20 to 30 percent after the lockdown began, and with emergency benefits about to wind down, they expect a new surge. Above, Luigi Milano, a pawnshop owner, in Naples.
“They are making bucketloads of money,” the owner of one gold-buying store said. “They are hoping this virus goes on and on.”
9. Gleaning — the tradition of gathering leftover food crops after a harvest — is helping solve rampant hunger.
Volunteer gleaning groups collect a very small fraction of the nation’s unharvested food and provide far less than donations from supermarkets and distribution hubs. Above, Iola Brown at a Florida farm picking corn to be donated.
But the pickers have their place. “What gleaners do really well is work within the spaces missed by more traditional food recovery and hunger programs,” one gleaning pro said.
10. And finally, this is not a polar bear.
It’s a rare Spirit bear, found in British Columbia, Canada. During the fur trade of the 1800s, the existence of the ghostly bears was kept secret to keep them safe.
New research shows that the gene that turns their coat white is even less common than previously estimated, which may give fresh impetus to efforts to protect their habitat.
Spirit bears can be born to parents that may or may not have white fur themselves. It’s the same genetic quirk that causes red hair in humans and auburn fur in dogs and mice.
Have an uncommon evening.
Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.
Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.
What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at [email protected].