Top story: Huge loans fall due in coming years
Hello, Warren Murray with you as we start the week.
Donald Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes the year he was elected US president, according to a New York Times investigation that could shake up the election and dent Trump’s claims to be a successful businessman and therefore capable steward of the US economy.
The NYT said Trump used “questionable measures” to reduce his bill and faced a possible hit of more than $100m from a continuing decade-long audit battle with tax authorities. He paid $750 in federal income tax the year he became president and in his first year in the White House paid another $750. “He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years – largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.” Among key revelations: since his election Trump’s businesses have received large amounts of money from lobbyists, politicians and foreign officials paying to stay at his properties or join his clubs. But he is also potentially mired in debt with hundreds of millions of dollars in loans falling due in the coming years. The NYT reported: “Should he win re-election, his lenders could be placed in the unprecedented position of weighing whether to foreclose on a sitting president.”
During a rambling, diversionary press conference featuring wild allegations against Joe Biden, the president insisted the NYT stories were “fake news … First of all I paid a lot, and I paid a lot of state income taxes too. The New York state charges a lot and I paid a lot of money in state.” Trump will face Joe Biden at the polls on 3 November. In the last few hours it has emerged that Brad Parscale, who was removed as Trump’s campaign manager in July, has been taken to hospital after threats of self-harm. Parscale was demoted after a much-hyped campaign rally in Tulsa attracted an embarrassingly sparse crowd.
Coronavirus latest – Fines of up to £10,000 are introduced in England from today where people refuse to self-isolate when asked. The changes come with the duty to self-isolate moving into law. Those who instigate breaches of the law, such as an employer who orders or permits people to come to work when they should not, also face the fines. Labour has accused the UK chancellor, Rishi Sunak, of consigning more than 1m jobs to the “scrapheap” after failing to protect workers in the hard-hit wedding, exhibition and festival industries in his emergency Covid plans. As global deaths in the pandemic approach the one million mark, keep up with latest developments at our live blog.
TikTok block stopped – A district judge has temporarily prevented the Trump administration banning Chinese-owned TikTok from app stores. The ban had been set to take effect at 11.59pm on Sunday. Judge Carl Nichols granted a preliminary injunction sought by TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, but declined “at this time” to block other restrictions that are set to take effect on 12 November. Trump has said that TikTok poses a security threat and demanded its US arm be transferred to an American company.
Brexit tarnishes pride in Britain – Fewer than half of people in the UK remain convinced following Brexit that Britain is a force for good in the world, a national poll by Ipsos Mori has found. The proportion who believe Britain should stop pretending it is an important power is up five points from last year to 38%. The polling was commissioned by the EU-UK forum, a new Brussels group seeking to promote a close relationship between Britain and the EU in the coming years. Business leaders from the CBI have heaped pressure on the government to make a trade agreement with the EU after a survey showed only 4% of company bosses from a survey of 648 supported a no-deal Brexit, while 77% wanted a deal. Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI director general, said: “Next week Brexit talks enter the 11th hour. Now must be the time for political leadership and the spirit of compromise to shine through on both sides. A deal can and must be made.”
‘He’s got my kid’ – The police officer whose gunshots paralysed Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin has told investigators he had thought Blake was trying to abduct one of his own children and opened fire when he saw a knife in his hand. Brendan Matthews, the attorney for officer Rusten Sheskey and the Kenosha police union, said that if Sheskey had let Blake leave and something happened to the child “the question would have been ‘Why didn’t you do something?’”. Beforehand Sheskey had heard a woman at the scene say: “He’s got my kid. He’s got my keys.” Blake’s uncle Justin Blake said the allegation Blake was trying to kidnap his own child was “ridiculous” and “outright lies”. The mother of the children, who called police, filed a complaint against Blake that has led to him facing charges of sexual assault. Sheskey and the other two officers from the scene are on leave while the shooting is investigated.
Oxford shields from Hong Kong crackdown – Students at Oxford University specialising in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them against retribution under the sweeping new security law in Hong Kong. Group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones and it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if the classes are taped or shared with outside groups. Top US colleges have taken similar measures. More examination of the situation in Hong Kong appears further down in the lunchtime read section.
Today in Focus podcast: Covid helpline that didn’t
Hundreds of people believe the 111 helpline failed their relatives. Now the Guardian’s David Conn reports that they are demanding a full inquiry into the service.
Lunchtime read: Who runs Hong Kong now?
In the three months since China shocked Hong Kong and the world by imposing sweeping and punitive security legislation, the city that was once a haven for Chinese dissidents and a rare enclave of freedom has been transformed with remarkable speed. Elections have been put off for at least a year, protest slogans banned, schools forced to teach patriotism and a cadre of Communist party hardliners loyal to President Xi Jinping shipped in to remake the territory.
Our series The fight for Hong Kong is examining profound changes being imposed on the home of more than seven million people. Freedom swimmers who battled their way across the water to British-ruled Hong Kong to escape China’s brutal Cultural Revolution have told of their dismay at seeing, after so many years, a “resentful and vengeful” Beijing regime enact draconian rule in their onetime haven. “We struggled so hard to come here and now they are turning it into China.”
Andy Murray leaves Paris several days earlier than he wanted to after one of the two heaviest defeats of his grand slam career – a 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 loss to Stan Wawrinka at the French Open. One year after her run to the Roland Garros semi-finals, Johanna Konta also fell at the first hurdle after a thorough 6-3, 6-3 beating from Coco Gauff. Pep Guardiola said Manchester City’s 5-2 humbling by Leicester was a result of his players lacking stability and belief, after a rampant Jamie Vardy scored a hat-trick for the visitors. Newcastle snatched a 1-1 draw at Tottenham thanks to another contentious VAR penalty decision after Eric Dier was deemed to have handled in injury time. Lewis Hamilton believes he and his Mercedes team are being unfairly targeted because of their Formula One success after the world champion took two penalties at the Russian Grand Prix won by his teammate Valtteri Bottas.
As Saracens made for the airport on Saturday night after losing to a late Racing 92 try in Paris, Exeter were booking their ticket to the Champions Cup final and a tilt at the league and European double that their Premiership rivals achieved last year. Manchester City, the Women’s FA Cup holders, saw off the challenge of a new-look full-time Leicester to set up a semi‑final against the 14-times winners Arsenal. Essex won the Bob Willis Trophy after drawing their last game of the season against Somerset. Julian Alaphilippe made a characteristic late solo attack on the final climb to hold off the big race favourite Wout Van Aert to win the men’s world championship road race. And NFL hall of famer Joe Montana foiled a kidnapping in his Malibu home on Saturday evening.
Asian shares have mostly been higher ahead of the first US presidential debate and a national holiday in China later in the week. China’s statistical bureau reported on Sunday that industrial profits rose 19% in August from a year earlier, with the economy seen as recovering from the pandemic downturn. The FTSE is forecast to open higher while the pound is worth $1.277 and €1.097 at time of writing.
The Telegraph leads with “Neighbours told to call the police on isolation cheats”. It gives the picture slot to the killing of Sergeant Matiu (Matt) Ratana at Croydon police station, as does the Metro which has as its splash “Call time on curfew: Johnson faces Covid backlash as drinkers spill on to streets at 10pm”. The Mail has “Police start corona spot checks” while the Express trumpets “Boris to defy rebels in blitz on virus cheats”, almost as if the PM will be door knocking personally.
“Emergency lockdown plan to ban socialising” says the Times, saying strict measures could be adopted across “much of northern Britain and potentially London”. The Guardian leads with “World leaders back 10-point pledge to halt destruction of planet Earth”. The i’s splash is dismaying: “Rollout of UK vaccine faces years of delay”.
The Mirror has “Ban this hell meat from UK” as it pairs up fears about UK/US trade negotiations with images of cattle held in pens in America. The FT’s top story is “Trump says Obamacare will be terminated after November poll” as Republicans line up to rush through a conservative appointment to the supreme court before the election.
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