Top story: ‘American dream’ v ‘socialist agenda’
Good morning, Warren Murray here to get you out of the gate.
Echoing many of the Republican convention speakers so far, Donald Trump has painted a dark picture about the dangers of electing Joe Biden as president. “This election will decide whether we save the American dream, or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny. Your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans, or whether we give free rein to violent anarchists, agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens … This is the most important election in the history of our country. At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, or two agendas.”
Trump’s remarks were the capstone of a night where speakers focused on national security and safety, depicting the country as rife with chaos and lawlessness in the streets. Speakers also cast Trump as a longstanding friend of the African American community and minorities. Few mentioned the coronavirus pandemic, which has left more than 180,000 Americans dead. Trump himself delivered his speech in front of an audience of around 1,500 officials and supporters at the White House, sitting packed together, few wearing masks.
Japan PM likely to quit – In breaking news the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is expected shortly to announce he will resign for health reasons, according to reports. Abe has been to hospital twice within a week and he is known to suffer from ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition that was partly responsible for forcing him out of office after just a year during his previous term as prime minister in 2007. Abe recently became Japan’s longest-serving prime minister – he came to office for the second time in late 2012.
Coronavirus latest – Up to 97% of primary schools expect to fully reopen to all pupils at the start of the new term next week in England and Wales, though a third have no extra handwashing provision and no PPE for staff, according to a survey by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT). Most of the children returning will have been out of school for five months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The NAHT general secretary, Paul Whiteman, appealed to parents: “Please do not let the very public political difficulties and arguments cloud your confidence in schools. School leaders and their teams have continued to do all that has been asked of them. With cooperation and understanding between home and school we can achieve the very best return possible despite the political noise.”
The risk of severe illness and death to children from Covid-19 is vanishingly small, according to the biggest study yet of those admitted to hospital, which researchers say should reassure parents as they return to school.
Covid-19 death tolls at individual care homes are being kept secret from the public by regulators in part to protect their commercial operators upon whom UK aged care is reliant, the Guardian can reveal. England’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Care Inspectorate in Scotland are refusing to make public which homes or providers recorded the most fatalities. The UK has recorded 1,522 new positive cases in a day, the highest number since 12 June. Hospitalisations as a result of the virus remain low: just 767 people were in hospital due to Covid on 25 August, the lowest number since 27 March. Follow further developments at our live blog.
Homicide charges in Kenosha – Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with two counts of first-degree homicide over the shootings of three protesters in Wisconsin. Two men were killed and a third injured when an alleged “militia” member opened fire at protests over the shooting by police on Sunday of Jacob Blake, 29. The streets in the small Wisconsin city, 40 miles south of Milwaukee, were calm on Thursday following a night of peaceful protests and no widespread unrest for the first time since Blake’s shooting over the weekend.
Covid ‘cover for Maduro crackdown’ – Venezuelan security forces are using the coronavirus pandemic as cover for a “full force” campaign against dissenters, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. It says dozens of journalists, health professionals, human rights lawyers and government opponents have been arbitrarily detained and prosecuted. The HRW report says a bioanalyst was forced to resign and interrogated after messaging colleagues with information about a Covid-19 patient. Venezuela’s official Covid-19 death toll is 351 compared with nearly 120,000 in neighbouring Brazil – many fear the real situation is much worse than President Nicolás Maduro’s government is admitting.
‘British fear of failure’ – Children in the UK have the lowest levels of life satisfaction across Europe, with “a particularly British…