President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden began the first US presidential debate with heated exchanges over coronavirus, race relations and election integrity. The two men frequently interrupted each other with angry interjections, with Mr Biden eventually snapping at his opponent: “Will you shut up, man?” Mr Trump, who has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election, repeated his unfounded allegations that mail-in voting would lead to fraud.
Walt Disney has announced it will lay off 28,000 employees, mostly at its US theme parks. Disney cited the parks’ limited visitor capacity and uncertainty about how long the coronavirus pandemic would last as reasons for the layoffs. The company’s theme parks have taken a major hit from the pandemic. Disney shut all its parks earlier this year as the virus spread.
The UK has imposed sanctions on the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, his son and six other senior government officials judged to be responsible for rigging the August presidential poll and suppressing subsequent street protests. The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, announced the sanctions on Tuesday in coordination with a similar move from Canada. The sanctions include an asset freeze and travel ban imposed on Lukashenko himself.
The ruler of the oil-rich Gulf Arab kingdom of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, has died, according to state television. He was 91 and will be succeeded by his brother, the crown prince Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, Kuwait’s cabinet said Tuesday. Kuwait has been a staunch U.S. ally since the American-led war that expelled occupying Iraqi troops in the 1990s.
Serena Williams has pulled out of the French Open with an Achilles injury ahead of her scheduled second-round match against Tsvetana Pironkova. Williams, 39, was bidding to win a record-equaling 24th grand slam title at Roland Garros having reached the semifinals of the US Open earlier this month. She said the injury that was sustained in New York hadn’t recovered sufficiently for her to compete in Paris.
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International said Tuesday that it was halting its operation in India, citing reprisals from the government and the freezing of its bank accounts by Indian authorities. Amnesty International India said in a statement that the organization had laid off its staff in India and paused its ongoing campaign and research work on human rights.
The global coronavirus death toll rose past a million on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, a grim statistic in a pandemic that has devastated the global economy, overloaded health systems and changed the way people live. “Our world has reached an agonizing milestone,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement. It took just three months for COVID-19 deaths to double from half a million.
Nearly 100 people, including civilians, have died as battles rage on between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The mountainous enclave is recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but has been run by Armenians since a war ended in 1994. The self-proclaimed republic has reported 84 military deaths since Sunday, as well as civilian victims. The fighting that started three days ago now appears to be spilling out of Nagorno-Karabakh.
A plan to roll out 120 million rapid-diagnostic tests for coronavirus to help lower and middle-income countries make up ground in a testing gap with richer countries has been agreed. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and leading partners are to go ahead with the project despite it not being fully funded yet. An emergency-use listing was issued by the WHO last week for the antigen-based rapid COVID-19 diagnostic tests which cost $5 each.
A nursery school teacher in China has been sentenced to death for poisoning dozens of children, one of them apparently fatally, in an act of revenge against a colleague. A court in the central province of Henan said Wang Yun put sodium nitrite into porridge being prepared for her colleague’s students after a falling out with the colleague.