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Hitchhiker’s Guide to an Ancient Geomagnetic Disturbance

About 42,000 years ago, the Earth was beset by strange things. His magnetic field collapsed. Ice caps have leapt across North America, Australasia, and the Andes. The wind belts moved across the Pacific and South Oceans. A prolonged drought has hit Australia; The largest mammals on this continent have disappeared. Humans have gone to caves to make ocher-colored art. Neanderthals are dead for good.

Through it all a giant kauri tree stood tall – until, after nearly two millennia, it died and fell into a swamp, where the chemical records embedded in its flesh were perfectly preserved. This tree, unearthed a few years ago near Ngawha Springs in northern New Zealand, finally allowed researchers to adjust a tight schedule for what previously appeared to be a series of intriguing but vaguely correlated events. .

What if, according to the researchers, the crash of the magnetic field caused the climatic changes of that time? And to think that the Ngawha kauri tree had testified to all this.

“It must have looked like the end of days,” said Chris SM Turney, a geoscientist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and part of a large team that described the results in a published study. Thursday in Science. “And this tree has lived through it all. Which is really amazing.

By comparing ring age data and radioactive carbon concentrations from this and three other kauri trees from the same vintage to recent dating information derived from two stalagmites in Hulu Caves in China, Dr Turney and his 32 co -authors were able to determine when the tree lived and died. This gave them what they call a “calibration curve”, allowing them to convert the radiocarbon from that period into calendar years.

Scientists from all disciplines have said the kauri data is a dazzling addition to the radiocarbon cannon and is long overdue.

“For a radiocarbon person, the kauri recordings are just amazing,” said Luke C. Skinner, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Cambridge, who was not involved in the study. He said fossil kauri were the primary way scientists got information about the radiocarbon from so long ago.

The tree experienced a long decay of the magnetic field, a period known as the Laschamp excursion, when the magnetic poles tried unsuccessfully to change places. As a result, Dr Turney and his co-authors were able to use the new data to more accurately describe when this excursion happened and trace what else was going on, including the bizarre weather and the extinctions.

“It was suddenly, my God, these things are actually happening all over the world simultaneously, all at the same time,” Dr Turney said. “It was just an amazing revelation.”

This discovery opened up a multi-faceted thought experiment. Earth’s magnetic field, which is constantly generated deep within the planet’s molten outer core, protects against dangerous galactic and solar rays. Were all these particular climatic, biological and archaeological phenomena of 42,000 years ago related to the wasted magnetic field? Had its collapse changed the course of life on Earth? And what about other disturbances in the magnetic field, including back then 780,000 years ago when the magnetic poles actually changed places?

Scientists have been trying to find answers to these questions since the fact of magnetic pole reversals was established decades ago. Therefore, this latest attempt has attracted close scrutiny.

“It’s brave enough,” said Catherine G. Constable, a geophysicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, who was not involved in the study.

Using state-of-the-art global climate model simulations that enabled chemical interactions, Dr Turney and his colleagues used the timeline generated by the kauri tree to try to find out what the climate looked like during the excursion.

The data revealed “modest but significant changes in atmospheric chemistry and climate,” according to the article. Among them: a slightly depleted ozone layer; slightly increased ultraviolet radiation, especially near the equator; increased ionizing radiation damaging tissue; and auroras as close to the equator as the 40th parallel of latitude, which would cross the middle of the continental United States in the northern hemisphere and the lower tip of Australia in the south.

Adding a period of low solar activity, known as high solar minima, to the mix produced more dramatic effects. A particular century-old series of beryllium-10 isotope deposits has been identified in ice cores from Greenland, dating from the Laschamp excursion 42,000 years ago. Such isotopes are created when cosmic rays strike the upper atmosphere; in geological records, they indicate times when the Earth experienced a decrease in the magnetic field and, sometimes, solar changes.

In the most extreme computer scenario, with solar effects taken into account, ultraviolet radiation has increased 10-15% from the norm and ozone has decreased by roughly the same amount. These effects have rippled through the climate system, Dr Turney said:

“It was basically like a perfect storm,” he says.

Simulations suggest that the weakening of the magnetic field caused some of the climate changes of 42,000 years ago, and that these changes may have had broader impacts: causing the extinction of many large mammals in Australia, hastening the end. Neanderthals, and possibly giving birth. wall art while humans were in hiding for long periods of time to avoid skin-damaging ultraviolet rays, the authors proposed.

In fact, the effects were striking that researchers gave a new name to the years leading up to the Laschamp excursion midway. They call it the Adams transitional geomagnetic event.

“The Adams event appears to represent a major climatic, environmental and archaeological frontier that was previously ignored,” the team wrote, concluding: “Overall, these results raise important questions about the evolutionary impacts of geomagnetic reversals and excursions at through the deeper geological records. . “

The new name is a tribute to British comedian Douglas Adams, author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and the book and radio series “Last Chance to See” on Extinction. It’s also a nod to Mr. Douglas’ famous phrase that “the answer to life, the universe and everything” is 42 – which Dr. Turney says reminded him of the moment. of the magnetic episode of 42,000 years ago.

“It sounds strange,” he laughs. “How did he find out?

The interpretation is intended to create controversy. Some scientists who read the article expressed their admiration for the breathtaking links between the disciplines.

“One of the strengths of the article, just from the point of view of its academic work, and not necessarily the analytical science it does, is simply the extent to which it combines all of these disparate sources of information to make make their case, ”said Jason E. Smerdon, a climatologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York, who was not involved in the study. He called it a “tour de force”.

Likewise, James ET Channell, professor emeritus of geophysics at the University of Florida, who was not involved in the study but was a peer reviewer, said the researchers had been stuck for half a century by whether a decreasing magnetic field affects life. The document opens up new avenues of research.

“If we knew enough about the tour schedule, maybe we could come back to the problem,” he said.

But other scientists said the in-depth analysis left them wondering if there were other explanations for some of the phenomena during Laschamp’s excursion.

“It’s opening up a box of worms rather than solving a set of questions,” said Dr. Skinner.

Like several other interviewees, he questioned whether the Adams Event nomenclature would lead to confusion in the scientific literature and whether it was necessary. But he praised the document for stimulating discussion.

“I’m certainly more excited about this topic today than I was yesterday,” he said.

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Video: Faith Will ‘Guide Us’, Says Biden at National Prayer Breakfast

TimesVideoFaith will ‘guide us,’ Biden said at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, President Biden spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, calling for unity and the healing power of prayer if needed.

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See Covid Risk in Your County and a Guide to Daily Living Near You



In the majority of counties in the United States, residents are at a extremely high risk for contracting Covid-19 right now, according to an analysis of coronavirus cases and test data by The New York Times and public health experts. Even though cases fell to record levels earlier in the month, an average of more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths per day were reported in January.



The risk of contracting Covid-19 is based on cases and positivity testing.


Source: The New York Times and Resolve to Save Lives risk level assessment based on reported cases and positivity test data. Read more below.

The Times published county-specific tips for day-to-day activities to help lower your personal risk of contracting Covid-19 and protect your community. These tips were developed with public health experts at Johns Hopkins University and Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, and will be updated regularly.

“Providing transparent, real-time information about risks to people is power,” said Dr Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives. “You want to know how much it rains on Covid.”

To visit a detailed page showing the level of risk and specific suggestions for your community, search for a county below.

This winter, the overall risk level of Covid across the country is much worse than at the start of the pandemic. In early fall, a majority of counties were at very high risk, and many more were at medium to high. But by the start of winter, most areas were at extremely high risk. Risk levels for the onset of the pandemic are not available due to a lack of widespread testing and data.


Here’s how to protect yourself and others

Here’s how to reduce your personal risk of contracting Covid-19 and protect your community. If you or a member of your household are older or have other risk factors for severe Covid-19, you may need to take extra precautions.

Indoor activities are extremely dangerous at this time.

To avoid indoor dining room, the bars, gymnasiums, cinemas and non-essential purchases, as good as have friends at homeand personal care services inside like haircuts and manicure. Given the severity of the outbreak, spending time indoors with people from other households puts you at risk of catching the coronavirus or spreading it to others.

Whenever possible, you should choose delivery or curbside pickup instead of shopping in person. If shopping in person is the only option, limit yourself to buying only essential supplies, shop during less busy hours, and keep your visits as short as possible.

Avoid non-essential travel.

Avoid everything non-essential travel. If you have to take a Taxi, open the windows and sit away from other people in the vehicle. If you must take public transport, try to avoid rush hour and crowds in order to keep your distance from others. If you are traveling, choose less frequented flights or airlines that keep the middle seats empty.

Avoid events with more than a handful of people.

Weddings, funeral, concerts, sport events and other gatherings that bring together multiple households are places where Covid can easily spread. At this level of risk, even outdoor events aren’t safe, so consider postponing. Religious services are safer when taken outdoors and without singing.

Outdoor activities can be a good substitute.

While walking, cycling, operation and other individual outdoor training are the safest types of exercise. Low-contact outdoor sports like singles tennis, skateboarding and golf can be enjoyed safely. Contact sports like basketball and soccer should be avoided.

Due to the extremely high risk of Covid, even outdoor meal and outdoor bars are dangerous.

Protect yourself at work and at school.

Work remotely when possible and avoid in-person meetings. In the workplace, the less crowded hours are the safest to work.

Children tend to have less severe symptoms, but can still spread the coronavirus, so consider the health risks for everyone in your household when making decisions about your child’s activities.

Learning environments in which students stay small groups at all times it is safer for the youngest to go school. Older students should choose online instruction if possible. To avoid play dates and extra-curricular activities.

Get medical attention if you need it.

Don’t jump and don’t delay medical care, including mental health care. Talk to your doctors about postponing any non-essential appointments. If you have an appointment, call ahead of your visit to find out if you need to take any special precautions and ask if telehealth is a good option for you.

Take these important precautions all the time.

You should stay at least six feet away people living in other households. Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when you are outside your home and when you are with people who do not live with you, including visitors to your home.

If you feel ill or have been exposed to someone with Covid, you should stay at home and get tested. If anyone in your household is feeling sick or has been diagnosed with Covid-19, everyone should wear a mask, wash their hands often, and stay at least six feet from each other, even outside. inside your home.

To avoid crowdsand limit the number of people you meet and the time you spend with them. Avoid interior spaces with poor air circulation. Wash your hands often, especially after visiting a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

It is important to continue to take these precautions even after you have been vaccinated. the vaccine East safe and very efficient by preventing you from catching the coronavirus. But researchers don’t yet know if this also stops you from infecting other people after being vaccinated.

About risk levels

Each county’s Covid-19 risk level is primarily based on the number of reported cases per capita over the past two weeks. Additional precautions are suggested if more than 10 percent of tests have given a positive result within the last two weeks of available data. This may mean that the county is not testing enough and the number of cases may be underestimated.

Although county risk levels are assigned based on expert advice and careful analysis, it is possible that the risk level in a specific county may be overestimated or underestimated due to a lack of reliable data.

In some cases, a county may not have a risk level if recent data is insufficient or if inconsistencies are found in the data. If recent test data from a county was not available, the state’s positive test rate was used, along with recent cases, to calculate the level of risk.

To learn more about county risk levels and advice, visit a specific county page using the search function above.

A county is at a extremely high risk level if it has reported more than 640 cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks. A county with fewer cases may also be in this category if more than 10 percent of the tests have given a positive result in the past two weeks. This may mean the county is not testing enough and the number of cases may be underestimated.

A county is at a very high risk level if it has reported more than 160 cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks. A county with fewer cases may also be in this category if more than 10 percent of the tests have given a positive result in the past two weeks. This may mean that the county is not testing enough and the number of cases may be underestimated.

A county is at a high risk level if it has reported more than 40 cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks. A county with fewer cases may also be in this category if more than 10 percent of the tests have given a positive result in the past two weeks. This may mean that the county is not testing enough and the number of cases may be underestimated.

A county is at a medium risk level if it has reported more than 10 cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks.

A county is at a low risk level if it has reported less than 10 cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks.

In some cases, a county may not have a risk level if recent data is insufficient or if inconsistencies are found in the data. If recent test data from a county was not available, the state’s positive test rate was used, along with recent cases, to calculate the level of risk.

Coronavirus monitoring


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Why remove Trump now? Guide to the second impeachment of a president

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, the House was set to impeach President Trump for the second time, a first in American history, accusing him of “inciting insurgency” a week after pushing a crowd of supporters who stormed the Capitol as Congress convened to formalize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Democrats moved quickly to impeach Mr. Trump in the wake of the assault, which unfolded after he told his supporters at a rally near the National Mall to march on the Capitol in an effort to bring the Republicans to reverse defeat. At least five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died during the siege and immediately after.

The process is proceeding at extraordinary speed and will test the limits of the impeachment process, raising questions never before considered. Here is what we know.

Impeachment is one of the most important tools the Constitution gives Congress to hold government officials, including the President, accountable for the fault and abuse of power.

House members consider whether to impeach the president – the equivalent of an indictment in a criminal case – and Senate members consider whether to remove him, holding a trial in which senators act as a jury. The test, as defined by the Constitution, is whether the president has committed “treason, a bribe or other serious crimes and misdemeanors.”

The House vote only requires a simple majority of lawmakers to agree that the president has, in fact, committed serious crimes and misdemeanors; the Senate vote requires a two-thirds majority.

The article, written by Representatives David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Jerrold Nadler of New York, accuses Mr. Trump of “incitement to insurgency,” claiming he is guilty of “inciting violence against the United States government.”

The article cites Mr. Trump’s week-long campaign to falsely discredit the November election results, and directly quotes the speech he gave on siege day in which he told his supporters to surrender at the Capitol. “If you don’t fight like hell,” he said, “you won’t have a country.

While the House has moved with remarkable speed to impeach Mr. Trump, the Senate trial to determine whether to impeach him cannot begin until January 19, his last full day in office. This means that any conviction would almost certainly not be over until after he left the White House.

Democrats have argued that Mr. Trump’s offense – using his power as leader of the country and commander-in-chief to incite an insurgency against the legislature – is so serious that it needs to be dealt with, even by a few. days of his term. Leaving him unpunished, Democrats argued, would set a dangerous precedent of impunity for future presidents.

“Is there little time left?” Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and Majority Leader, said during the debate. “Yes. But it’s never too late to do the right thing.”

Republicans, many of whom voted to overturn the election results, have argued that going through the impeachment process so late in Mr. Trump’s tenure would foster unnecessary division and that the country would have to come out of the siege last week.

A conviction in an impeachment trial would not automatically disqualify Mr. Trump from future public office. But if the Senate were to condemn it, the Constitution allows a subsequent vote to prohibit a public servant from performing “any function of honor, trust or profit under the United States.”

This vote would only require a simple majority of senators. Such a move could be an attractive prospect not only for Democrats, but also for many Republicans who have set their sights on the presidency themselves or are convinced that it is the only thing that will purge Mr. Trump of their party. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, would have the latter opinion.

There is, however, no precedent for disqualifying a president from future office, and the issue could end up in the Supreme Court.

Democrats who control the House can choose when to send their impeachment article to the Senate, in which case that chamber will have to move immediately to begin the trial. But since the Senate is not to hold an ordinary session before January 19, even if the House immediately shifts the charge to the other side of the Capitol, an agreement between the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate would be necessary to resume it before that date. . .

Mr McConnell said on Wednesday he would not agree to do so, which means the process could only be started the day before Mr Biden was sworn in. Given that the Senate needs time to set the rules for an impeachment trial, this means the proceedings would likely not begin until Mr. Biden is president and Democrats have operational control of the Senate.

Once the Senate receives the charge of impeachment, it must immediately deal with the matter, as articles of impeachment carry the highest privilege. Under rules that have been in place for decades, impeachment is the only issue the Senate can consider while a trial is pending; it cannot simultaneously consider other legislative matters.

But Mr Biden asked Mr McConnell if it would be possible to change that rule, allowing the Senate to conduct Mr Trump’s impeachment trial on a parallel track to the scrutiny of his cabinet candidates, dividing his days between the two. Mr McConnell told Mr Biden he would consult with the Senate parliamentarian to see if that would be possible.

If such a forked process was not possible, House Democrats could choose to withhold the article to give Mr Biden time to gain confirmation from his team before the trial begins.

The Senate could hold a trial for Mr. Trump even after he leaves, although there is no precedent for this. Only two presidents other than Mr. Trump were removed from office – Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 – and both were ultimately acquitted and completed their terms.

Nicolas fandos contribution to reports.

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Why remove Trump now? Guide to the second impeachment of a president

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, the House was set to impeach President Trump for the second time, a first in American history, accusing him of “inciting insurgency” a week after pushing a crowd of supporters who stormed the Capitol as Congress convened to formalize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Democrats moved quickly to impeach Mr. Trump in the wake of the assault, which unfolded after he told his supporters at a rally near the National Mall to march on the Capitol in an effort to bring the Republicans to reverse defeat. At least five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died during the siege and immediately after.

The process is proceeding at extraordinary speed and will test the limits of the impeachment process, raising questions never before considered. Here is what we know.

Impeachment is one of the most important tools the Constitution gives Congress to hold government officials, including the President, accountable for the fault and abuse of power.

House members consider whether to impeach the president – the equivalent of an indictment in a criminal case – and Senate members consider whether to remove him, holding a trial in which senators act as a jury. The test, as defined by the Constitution, is whether the president has committed “treason, a bribe or other serious crimes and misdemeanors.”

The House vote only requires a simple majority of lawmakers to agree that the president has, in fact, committed serious crimes and misdemeanors; the Senate vote requires a two-thirds majority.

The article, written by Representatives David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Jerrold Nadler of New York, accuses Mr. Trump of “incitement to insurgency,” claiming he is guilty of “inciting violence against the United States government.”

The article cites Mr. Trump’s week-long campaign to falsely discredit the November election results, and directly quotes the speech he gave on siege day in which he told his supporters to surrender at the Capitol. “If you don’t fight like hell,” he said, “you won’t have a country.

While the House has moved with remarkable speed to impeach Mr. Trump, the Senate trial to determine whether to impeach him cannot begin until January 19, his last full day in office. This means that any conviction would almost certainly not be over until after he left the White House.

Democrats have argued that Mr. Trump’s offense – using his power as leader of the country and commander-in-chief to incite an insurgency against the legislature – is so serious that it needs to be dealt with, even by a few. days of his term. Leaving him unpunished, Democrats argued, would set a dangerous precedent of impunity for future presidents.

“Is there little time left?” Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and Majority Leader, said during the debate. “Yes. But it’s never too late to do the right thing.”

Republicans, many of whom voted to overturn the election results, have argued that going through the impeachment process so late in Mr. Trump’s tenure would foster unnecessary division and that the country would have to come out of the siege last week.

A conviction in an impeachment trial would not automatically disqualify Mr. Trump from future public office. But if the Senate were to condemn it, the Constitution allows a subsequent vote to prohibit a public servant from performing “any function of honor, trust or profit under the United States.”

This vote would only require a simple majority of senators. Such a move could be an attractive prospect not only for Democrats, but also for many Republicans who have set their sights on the presidency themselves or are convinced that it is the only thing that will purge Mr. Trump of their party. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, would have the latter opinion.

There is, however, no precedent for disqualifying a president from future office, and the issue could end up in the Supreme Court.

Democrats who control the House can choose when to send their impeachment article to the Senate, in which case that chamber will have to move immediately to begin the trial. But since the Senate is not to hold an ordinary session before January 19, even if the House immediately shifts the charge to the other side of the Capitol, an agreement between the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate would be necessary to resume it before that date. . .

Mr McConnell said on Wednesday he would not agree to do so, which means the process could only be started the day before Mr Biden was sworn in. Given that the Senate needs time to set the rules for an impeachment trial, this means the proceedings would likely not begin until Mr. Biden is president and Democrats have operational control of the Senate.

Once the Senate receives the charge of impeachment, it must immediately deal with the matter, as articles of impeachment carry the highest privilege. Under rules that have been in place for decades, impeachment is the only issue the Senate can consider while a trial is pending; it cannot simultaneously consider other legislative matters.

But Mr Biden asked Mr McConnell if it would be possible to change that rule, allowing the Senate to conduct Mr Trump’s impeachment trial on a parallel track to the scrutiny of his cabinet candidates, dividing his days between the two. Mr McConnell told Mr Biden he would consult with the Senate parliamentarian to see if that would be possible.

If such a forked process was not possible, House Democrats could choose to withhold the article to give Mr Biden time to gain confirmation from his team before the trial begins.

The Senate could hold a trial for Mr. Trump even after he leaves, although there is no precedent for this. Only two presidents other than Mr. Trump were removed from office – Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 – and both were ultimately acquitted and completed their terms.

Nicolas fandos contribution to reports.

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A guide to recovery for an “ electrifying ” economist

The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

The pandemic has made it clear how much the economy relies on unpaid labor – mostly taken on by women – as well as undervalued jobs in female-dominated industries. How can governments now begin to raise these jobs and integrate them into broader economic growth policies?

Covid-19 has greatly increased our focus on what is of value in an economy – which equates to what we can price and what we can trade. It turns out that the areas we see as “high value” – finance and real estate, for example – are not the parts of society that we rely on as “fundamental.” Covid-19 has led to government definitions of “key” or “essential” work: our most valuable and irreplaceable citizens are those who work in health and social services, education, public transport, supermarkets and delivery services. These jobs are disproportionately occupied by women, as well as people of color, in Europe, the UK and the US. Suffering is not inevitable for these groups more than for others – it is a political choice like any other.

Is it a moon to think that unpaid household work could be counted in measures of GDP? How would that actually work?

Well first of all, we shouldn’t try to fit everything and adjust to take into account GDP.As a measure, GDP is inherently imperfect, because within it, economic value is determined only on the basis of market transactions – only goods and services sold in markets are counted. GDP is used to justify excessive inequalities in income and wealth while trying to turn value extraction into value creation.

There are components and evaluation parameters that are much more dynamic than GDP

In Wales, planned public sector projects are appraised and evaluated by the Commissioner for Future Generations, whose mandate is to make recommendations based on impacts on the unborn.

In New Zealand, the government launched the first ‘well-being budget’ in 2019. The authentic progress indicator attempts to separate environmental and social costs from benefits, to value household and volunteer work and ‘adjust to inequalities.

If a mixture of these types of evaluative approaches were encouraged and adopted, then perhaps we would have a better indication of the real direct and indirect implications for society of something like working in a household.

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Your electoral guide

Would you like to receive The Morning by email? Here is the inscription.

With just one day before Election Day, we are using today’s newsletter to present our ranking of the 12 most important results of this year.

1. The presidency. This one is obvious. The United States will be a very different country under Trump’s second term as opposed to a Joe Biden presidency.

The first thing to watch for tomorrow night will be whether Biden wins Florida, Georgia or North Carolina. Any of these will likely give him the presidency. If it appears to be losing them all, the country may be considering a long night – or a long week – of counting, with the result boiling down to a combination of Arizona and Pennsylvania.

2. Control of the Senate. Even if Biden wins, he may struggle to pass major legislation unless Democrats also control the Senate. And if President Trump wins, the Senate will determine how many judges he can appoint for a second term.

Democrats will likely lose the Senate seat they currently occupy in Alabama, meaning they would have to reverse four seats held by Republicans to regain control if Vice President Kamala Harris sever ties with the Senate (and five if Vice President Mike Pence still is).

Democrats have remained consistent, albeit modest, on four Republican incumbents in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and North Carolina. The races for five other seats held by the Republicans are tight: Iowa, Montana, South Carolina and two in Georgia.

3. State legislatures. The oversight of state legislatures is especially important in a census year, such as 2020, as they attract congressional districts in many states. Overall, Democrats control 19 legislatures and Republicans control 29, with Minnesota divided and Nebraska non-partisan.

Tomorrow, Democrats hope to take full control of Arizona, Minnesota and North Carolina, and gain partial control of Iowa, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Texas. (Daily Kos’s Stephen Wolf has a detailed breakdown.)

4. The house. It would be higher on the list, but the result seems clear. Democrats are big favorites to retain control and perhaps widen their margin to 35 seats.

A few races to watch: Republicans risk losing seats in New York, New Jersey and Ohio. The incumbent Democrats stand to lose in southern New Mexico, Staten Island and Minnesota.

5. Prosecutors and courts. Some major cities and counties – including Los Angeles, Orlando and Arizona’s Maricopa County – could elect prosecutors who have spoken out against mass incarceration. These candidates generally oppose the death penalty and the prosecution of simple drug possession cases, as Daniel Nichanian of The Appeal explains.

In Michigan and Ohio, Democrats hope to take control of state supreme courts, which could reduce gerrymandering, protect workers ‘and voting rights, and support governors’ pandemic policies.

6. Populist economy. Several states will consider voting initiatives to reduce economic inequality, including: a move to establish a minimum wage of $ 15 in Florida; a move towards a more progressive income tax in Illinois; higher taxes on the wealthy in Arizona; and an increase in property taxes on businesses in California.

7. Abortion in Colorado. Voters will decide to ban abortions after 22 weeks gestational age. Many Red States already have such laws, but Colorado would arguably become the most liberal state to pass one.

8. State of Puerto Rico. Citizens will vote in a non-binding initiative to signal whether they want the island to become a state. If passed, a future Congress is more likely to add two new states – Puerto Rico and Washington, DC

9. Democrats à la Bernie. Justice Democrats – the progressive group that recruited Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – has endorsed five House candidates trying to win the election for the first time. Perhaps the most intriguing: Kara Eastman, who runs in a swinging neighborhood in Nebraska. So far, Bernie Sanders-style Democrats like Eastman have won virtually no races in competitive districts.

10. The future of Uber and Lyft in California. The companies are backing an initiative that would allow them to continue paying their drivers as independent contractors rather than as employees, saying it’s vital to the business model. Many unions oppose the measure, saying it would prevent drivers from earning a living wage.

11. Classified choice vote. Voters in Alaska, Massachusetts and a handful of cities will decide whether or not to adopt the priority vote, making it easier to vote a third without hurting a candidate from a major party. Currently, only Maine uses the system statewide.

12. Pharmaceutical policy. Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota will consider versions of the legalization of marijuana, while Oregon and Washington, DC, will vote on whether to relax restrictions on marijuana. mushrooms.

For a longer list: See this guide to “What’s on the Ballot,” by Nichanian, political scientist.

Campaign 2020

  • One morning read: “When did I get from Columbus Circle to the park?” I just started to cry. The same emotions. The New York City Marathon was canceled this year, but that hasn’t stopped some runners.

  • Lives lived: After being sacked by The New Yorker, reporter Dan Baum told his story in 350 tweets in 2009, producing one of the first examples of a Twitter feed. He died at 64.


The Times can help you navigate the election – to separate fact from fiction, make sense of polls, and make sure your ballot counts. To support our efforts, please consider subscribing today.

How do Americans with the first name Jennifer plan to vote? What about people named Joe – or Donald?

This winter squash and wild mushroom curry is perfect for a fall evening (and it’s vegan). The key is to use a mixture of mushrooms, like oysters, shiitakes and portobello.


‘The Best of Me’, David Sedaris’ new book, features a collection of stories and essays spanning the author’s career. Whether you’re familiar with Sedaris’ work or not, “You’ve got to read ‘Best of Me’,” writes Andrew Sean Greer in a review. “It is miraculous to read these pieces placed close together, the first written without any knowledge of where things would lead, the last laughing at the ridiculousness of what they did.


Painter Bob Ross, with his iconic perm and soft voice, filmed his PBS show “The Joy of Painting” in Muncie, Indiana. Today the town is home to “The Bob Ross Experience”, a permanent display of memorabilia like Ross’s easel and paintbrushes. Cultural journalist Sarah Bahr describes the busy scene on opening day.

Friday’s spelling pangram was familiarly. Today’s puzzle is above – or you can play it online if you have a Games membership.

Here are today’s mini crosswords, and a hint: how to cut your hair (five letters).


Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. – David

PS The word “squiddish” – in an article about ram’s horn squid – first appeared in The Times yesterday, as the Twitter bot noted. @NYT_first_said.

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President’s Taxes: A Reader’s Guide

In recent weeks, The New York Times has published the results of its investigation into more than 20 years of President Trump’s federal tax records – information he has fought to keep hidden in defiance of presidential tradition.

This series of reports is the culmination of work that began over four years ago, with a scoop in a cardboard envelope mailed in the closing weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign: three pages of Mr. Trump’s 1995 tax returns. The resulting story, reporting that Mr. Trump reported a business loss of $ 916 million in that year, offered a glimpse into the opaque finances of a male candidate. the presidency, in large part, on his image as a self-taught and very successful business mogul. .

Since then, by obtaining and reporting an increasing amount of his tax information, a group of Times reporters have continued to broaden public understanding of the president’s business career.

Their report chronicles how Mr Trump’s father funded his first fortune, his story of deploying often questionable methods to avoid paying taxes, the billions of dollars in business losses that defined his career, and the real conflicts of interest. and potentials accompanying his passage in the White House. Taken together, the articles below provide the most comprehensive portrait ever of this President’s singularly complex finances.

The tax records that Mr. Trump has long fought to keep a secret show how years of business losses have kept him from paying federal income taxes for much of the past two decades.

The success of “The Apprentice” reignited Mr. Trump’s dying career by creating the tale of a masterful businessman who ultimately helped propel him to the presidency.

More than $ 21 million in unusual payments were made to Mr. Trump through companies linked to his Las Vegas hotel, his 2016 campaign running out of cash.

Tax records provide a detailed account of the president’s business career – losses, impending financial threats, and a huge disputed IRS refund

After his election, Mr. Trump’s hotels and clubs replaced the Washington “swamp” as the favorite haunt for business-seekers and foreign dignitaries.

Tax records reveal the president’s hitherto unknown bank account in China, where he has spent more than a decade researching trade deals.

Despite reports of generous donations, the vast majority of Mr. Trump’s philanthropy has involved promises of tax evasion not to develop land.

When a skyscraper project deteriorated, Mr. Trump managed to get out of around $ 270 million in debt and avoid most of the resulting taxes.

The tax reports of the 1980s and 1990s mark a tumultuous chapter in the President’s booming economic career.

A Times investigation pierced the myth of Mr. Trump’s self-proclaimed billionaire, showing how his career was propelled by questionable tax evasion strategies and his father’s hundreds of millions of dollars.

An anonymously sent package opened a window on Mr. Trump’s finances, revealing his 1995 tax records and a loss of $ 916 million.

Mr. Trump, employing a strategy later banned by Congress, evaded tax payments on hundreds of millions of dollars in income.

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The Anxious Person’s Guide to the 2020 Election

The Anxious Person’s Guide to the 2020 Election Common Questions on Voters’ Minds As Election Day Approaches By Matt Flegenheimer, Gabriel Gianordoli, Denise Lu and Eden Weingart