Sunday, June 13

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Belarus, Aleksei Navalny: Your Monday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering the effects of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a weekend of protests in Belarus and Britain’s attempts to avoid a second national lockdown.

The U.S. is mourning the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the deeply admired Supreme Court justice who died on Friday. Her death has set the stage for a polarizing battle to replace her on the court.

From Sept. 28, the government will impose fines of 1,000 pounds, about $1,300, against those who do not self-isolate after testing positive for the virus or after being traced as a close contact of someone infected. Repeat offenders or those guilty of more serious breaches face a maximum fine of £10,000. People with low incomes who are told to self-isolate will also be eligible for a £500 payment intended to cushion the blow of any financial loss and to encourage compliance.

“We’ve relied on people’s civic duty to do the right thing, but there is a minority of people who are not,” Matt Hancock, the British health secretary, told the BBC on Sunday.

Roughly 10 million people in central and northern England have already been banned from meeting with anyone outside their household as part of local restrictions, while pubs and restaurants in those areas have been told they must close at 10 p.m. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is pushing for similar restrictions to be implemented in the British capital.

Here are our latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:

  • Residents of Madrid took to the streets on Sunday to protest lockdowns affecting 850,000 people in dozens of areas of the Spanish capital, mostly in densely populated, working class suburbs.

  • Italy is allowing as many as 1,000 spectators to attend top-tier soccer matches nationwide starting on Sunday.

  • Almost 200,000 people in the U.S. and close to one million people around the world are dead from the coronavirus.

  • Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, moved closer to easing lockdown rules after recording only 14 new cases on Sunday.

Now, wildfires have scorched more than five million acres of the American West, leaving dozens dead and a smoke cloud that crosses the continent.

They say history doesn’t repeat; it rhymes. In this case, it practically stuttered.

Traveling through the burned-out countryside, just weeks after the fires, I was struck by how quickly and effectively communities had rallied to support those who had been affected. That generosity of spirit was partly to make up for a government response that had fallen well short of expectations. But it also stemmed from the simple fact that, despite deep political differences that divide Australian society just as they do in the United States, people recognized that their neighbors needed help. And they reached out.

Witnessing all of that has left me changed. Despite the despair I feel when I look out my Brooklyn window and see smoke that might have come from Oregon, I’m also hopeful. The challenges — wildfires and much more — burning through our country are enormous, but when we see those in our community suffering, we will do what Australians, Americans, humans do best. We will help.

Thanks for starting your week with The Times. Until tomorrow.

— Natasha

Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is on the messy return to school in New York.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Drenched” (Three letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The word “scoophead” — a species of hammerhead shark — appeared for the first time in The Times on Sunday, according to the Twitter bot
• Today, Times Opinion is launching “Sway,” a new podcast with Kara Swisher about power and influence.

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