1. Republican lawmakers reacted with nearly complete silence to a New York Times investigation of President Trump’s federal income taxes.

Democrats in the House who have long sought access to the president’s tax records, however, hailed the revelations that he paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and none at all in 11 of 18 years as proof that their inquiries were justified. Above, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a Senate subway car on Capitol Hill last week.

Mr. Trump initially called the article “totally fake news,” and then shifted to falsely accusing the paper of basing the report on illegally obtained information about his finances.

He lashed out at the suggestion that he is not as wealthy as he has repeatedly claimed to be, insisting — without providing any evidence — that his finances are in very good shape.

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said that the report raised national security concerns because the president owes money, possibly to foreign lenders.

That’s Chris Wallace, the “Fox News Sunday” anchor, above, about his role tomorrow night as moderator of the first presidential debate of the 2020 race. So don’t expect him to be a fact checker — he’ll leave that to the debaters themselves.

In previous debates, Donald Trump emerged as a showman, with a keen sense of how to seize the spotlight and often use false claims that are difficult to rebut in real time. By contrast, Joe Biden, currently ahead in the polls, is a classic orator, with knowledge of history and the nuances of policy, and he draws on the tragedies of his life.

How, then, to handle an opponent like Mr. Trump who does not play by the rules? Mental health professionals offered suggestions.

New virus clusters are constantly emerging around the globe, with India in particular a hot spot. India, the U.S., Brazil and Mexico account for more than half of the world’s total deaths from the virus. Above, a testing site in Uttar Pradesh, India.

In the U.S., New York City and its northern suburbs are seeing a spike in the rate of new cases, just as the city’s elementary, middle and high schools are to reopen this week for the first time since March.

In Europe, the ranks of those dismissing the dangers of the virus or calling it a government-led hoax have swelled. “People are drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis,” a psychology expert said.

4. Homicides in 27 U.S. cities were up 53 percent this summer from a year ago.

An updated analysis by a nonpartisan research group also found that aggravated assaults increased in June, July and August, by 14 percent.

But many other types of crime plummeted, including residential burglaries, larcenies and drug offenses. Across the country, overall crime rates remain at or near generational lows, despite striking increases in violence in some cities. Above, Minneapolis police at a crime scene in June.

The F.B.I. reported separately that last year, violent crime continued its downward trend, but preliminary figures for 2020 show a 15 percent increase in homicides, the largest single-year increase on record.

Judge Barrett is a new kind of icon for some, one they have not seen before in American cultural and political life: a woman who is both unabashedly ambitious and deeply religious.

Although President Trump is more popular with men than he is with women, conservative women are a critical voting bloc for the president in November. The president’s advisers hope the nomination of Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court will energize his base.

“She’s someone who is challenging a mainstream consensus that there’s a certain way that women need to live their lives in order to succeed,” said Gabrielle Girgis, 30, above, a Catholic and mother who recently completed a Ph.D in politics.

The judge was scheduled to begin courtesy visits tomorrow with Republicans on Capitol Hill. Some top Democrats turned down offers to meet.

Two fast-moving fires burned more than 26,000 acres in Northern California since they began on Sunday, and the greater Bay Area is under “a red flag warning” with dry and windy conditions and low humidity. Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate. Above, the Glass Mountain Inn consumed by flames in St. Helena, Calif.

Wildfires this year have left more than 25 people dead, destroyed more than 7,000 structures and scorched more than five million acres in California, Oregon and Washington. State leaders and experts have linked the devastating fire season to climate change.

A Federal Reserve study that is considered to be the gold standard on financial circumstances showed families advanced in income and net worth in the three years leading up to the coronavirus pandemic. Above, a processing center for unemployment claims in Oklahoma.

The 2016-19 improvements were the legacy of the longest economic expansion on record and an unemployment rate at a half-century low.

But wealth inequality remained stubbornly high. The share of wealth owned by the top 1 percent of households was still near a three-decade high. Many economists expect the crisis to worsen inequality.

8. It’s a common reaction: We have a bad restaurant meal, and we get on social media to grumble about it.

An American who complained on TripAdvisor that a resort hotel in Thailand wanted to charge him a $15 corkage fee for bringing his own bottle of gin to the restaurant was arrested this month and spent a weekend in jail. If convicted of criminal defamation, he faces up to two years in prison. Above, the Sea View Koh Chang resort, which had the charges brought.

After a backlash, the resort had some regrets. “We agree that using a defamation law may be viewed as excessive for this situation,” the hotel acknowledged.

Labels, of course, are often loaded with information about the character and nature of the wine within. But the more detail they offer to knowledgeable wine consumers, the more baffling they seem to the uninitiated.

Here’s help from our wine expert, Eric Asimov, in decoding a dozen basic types of labels.

As part of our “Is It a Scam?” series, we took a deep dive into zinc, the second most common trace mineral in our bodies. It affects all organs and cells and is needed for metabolism and for our sense of taste and smell.

It may also help with the common cold. But beware: There is no definitive scientific evidence that it will help fight Covid-19.

In fact, the Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to five companies for promoting zinc products for the prevention and treatment of the virus.

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Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/28/briefing/trumps-taxes-presidential-debate-virus-deaths.html

News – Trump’s Taxes, Presidential Debate, Virus Deaths: Your Monday Evening Briefing