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Trump impeached for second time; WHO delegates arrive in Wuhan; Afghan intelligence foils ISIS plot to assassinate US diplomat

Trump impeached for second time; WHO delegates arrive in Wuhan; Afghan intelligence foils ISIS plot to assassinate US diplomat

US President Donald Trump has been impeached for a historic second time on a single charge: “incitement of insurrection” after an angry mob of Trump loyalists violently stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6. The Senate is expected to hold a trial, but not until after Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.

By
The World staff

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gavels in the final vote of the impeachment of President Donald Trump, for his role in inciting an angry mob to storm the Congress last week, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

Credit:

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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US President Donald Trump has been impeached for a historic second time on a single charge: “incitement of insurrection” after an angry mob of Trump loyalists violently stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6. As National Guard troops filled the Capitol on Wednesday to secure the building, the House voted 232-197 to impeach the president. Ten Republican lawmakers defected by joining Democrats in a “yes” vote — the most members of a president’s party ever to vote for impeachment in US history. 

Hours later, Trump posted a video calling for peace and unity via the official White House Twitter account, days after Twitter banned his own account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” The Senate is now expected to hold an impeachment trial, but not until after inauguration. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell rejected bringing senators back for an emergency session before Jan. 20. Impeaching an ex-president is uncharted territory in US politics. 

Security threats still loom and the FBI has warned of future planned attacks in the days leading up to the inauguration. Many white supremacist and paramilitary groups present at the deadly Capitol siege were banned from major social media platforms to prevent violence, but have reportedly migrated to alternative encrypted sites like Telegram, hitting 500 million users over the last week. Anticipating more chaos next week, Washington, DC, has preemptively locked down the city, with police sealing off key areas near the inauguration site. The National Mall will be closed. Airbnb has also canceled and refunded all Washington bookings.

What the world is following

After months of tense diplomatic negotiations, 15 delegates from the World Health Organization have arrived in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus was first detected, to investigate its origins. The virus that has killed an estimated 1.9 million people worldwide was possibly spread from bat to human in China’s wet markets, but Beijing claims the virus came from abroad. Amid concerns that China has been secretive about the coronavirus for over a year, the delegation will “exchange views” with scientists but may not be allowed to gather any evidence. After gaining control of the virus, China now faces its worst outbreaks since last summer, forcing two major cities of over 17 million people into lockdown again.

Afghan intelligence said they have foiled an ISIS plot to assassinate US diplomat Ross Wilson, in Kabul, the capital, according to CNN. Four suspected ISIS members have been arrested by Kabul’s intelligence agency, the NDS, in a special military operation in Kama district, Nangarhar province, including ISIS strongman Abdul Wahid. ISIS has claimed multiple attacks in Kabul in recent months, including education centers where scores of students died. Peace talks with the Taliban got off to a slow start this month in Qatar, as the Trump administration announced its plans to accelerate a major troop withdrawal this month.

From The WorldInternet ‘blackout’ as Ugandans vote in tense election

Security forces drive past a polling station in Kampala, Uganda, Jan. 14, 2021. 

Credit:

Jerome Delay/AP

Millions of Ugandas vote on Thursday in their presidential election. Ugandan authorities cut off internet access in the country in the tense run-up to the vote that has been marked by violence and the arrest of opposition figures.

The incumbent, Yoweri Museveni, is a longtime US partner but he’s ruled the country for more than 30 years. Nearly 70% of Ugandans are under the age of 25 — for them, Museveni has been their only president. Now though, Museveni faces a challenger. He’s a musician named Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu — better known as pop singer Bobi Wine. Host Marco Werman talks with The World’s Africa correspondent, Halima Gikandi in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city (🎧).

Why Canada may designate the Proud Boys a terrorist group

People wearing shirts with Proud Boys on them join supporters of President Donald Trump in a march Nov. 14, 2020, in Washington, DC.

Credit:

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

David Hofmann, a sociology professor at the University of New Brunswick, has studied the rise of white extremism in Canada. He spoke to The World’s host Marco Werman about how Canada’s right-wing extremist groups are inspired by the US. Hofmann said if the Proud Boys were designated a terrorist group, it would have symbolic value.

“But as an expert in this field, I am of the opinion that it doesn’t have any real strategic value. What it means is, essentially, that they can be tried and be found criminally liable under the Canadian Criminal Code for group membership.”

Bright spot

Scientists have found something unexpected in giraffes: dwarfism. Michael Brown, a conservation science fellow, said he did a double take in Uganda after noticing the short stature of a giraffe there. Normally, giraffes average 16 feet in height, but Brown’s giraffe was around 9 feet. It was considered an anomaly until another giraffe in Namibia was found with the same condition.

after everything I really needed this article about short giraffes https://t.co/7MpXupfF6O

— Eli Chen (@StoriesByEli) January 8, 2021In case you missed it Listen: Trump impeached for historic second time

Donald Trump was impeached for a second time Wednesday as the House of Representatives debated whether to remove the US president. And, Canadian authorities are considering designating the Proud Boys, a right-wing extremist group founded by a Canadian, as a terrorist organization in the wake of the crisis at the US Capitol. Also, the European Union’s Food Safety Authority said on Wednesday that mealworms are safe for human consumption.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

 

Impeachment looms after US Capitol attack; Pakistan plunges into darkness; Taiwan-US diplomatic ties strengthened

Impeachment looms after US Capitol attack; Pakistan plunges into darkness; Taiwan-US diplomatic ties strengthened

Pressure mounts on Monday across the political spectrum to impeach President Donald Trump — for the second time.

By
The World staff

Members of the US National Guard stand inside anti-scaling fencing that surrounds the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 10, 2021.
 

Credit:

Alan Fram/AP

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Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

In the aftermath of the Jan. 6 siege by a pro-Trump mob on the US Capitol that left five people dead and injured dozens of others, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced urgent plans to move forward to impeach President Donald Trump, calling him a “imminent threat” to democracy. Pelosi and fellow lawmakers are giving Vice President Mike Pence 24 hours to invoke the 25th Amendment that would oust Trump for being unfit to lead after he incited his base to storm the Capitol building, wreaking havoc.

Pressure mounts across the political spectrum to remove Trump, with top Republican lawmakers such as Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, calling for Trump to resign. Mukowski was joined by fellow GOP Senator Sen. Pat Toomey who called on Trump to “go away as soon as possible.” However, with just 10 days remaining in office, many Republican lawmakers — including 147 who objected to the Biden win and voted to overturn election results — are instead calling for “unity.” In a rare rebuke, a group of US State Department officials condemned Trump and called for his removal, while the nonpartisan American Civil Liberties Union board also unanimously called for impeachment, which would be the first time in US history that a sitting president gets impeached — twice.

What the world is following

Pakistan’s massive power outage over the weekend threw the country into total darkness after a major technical problem in the generation and distribution system. Millions across Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad first reported the outage on Twitter, flooding the internet with humorous #blackout memes as internet connectivity hovered at just above 60%. Energy Minister Omar Ayub urged patience, saying full restoration of power will take time.

And, China appeared to fume after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scrapped restrictions on how US diplomats interact with and visit Taiwanese counterparts, in an effort to strengthen ties with the self-governing island. Pompeo claimed these restrictions had been put in place to appease Beijing, who insist Taiwan unifes with the mainland. On Monday, Taiwan issued a new passport design that reinforces its disconnect with China, with the words “Taiwan passport” writ large on the cover. The government said the redesign was an attempt to reduce confusion with China, amid coronavirus travel restrictions. However, the words “Republic of China” also appear on the cover, albeit with smaller letters.

From The World How Trump’s ‘dangerous state of mind’ in wake of Capitol riot could harm US national security

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally protesting the Electoral College certification of Joe Biden as president, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

Credit:

Evan Vucci/AP

The breaching of the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob on Wednesday could have serious implications for US relations with China, Russia and Iran, says Michèle Flournoy, a US defense policy expert.

“I think longer term, the biggest concern I have is with China and Russia,” Flournoy told The World’s Carol Hills. “They both like to perpetuate and proliferate this narrative of US decline, and you can be sure that the news, state-run media in both countries, are running the clips of the insurrection and the mob violence on the Capitol over and over and over again — not only to undermine US credibility but to discredit democracy itself. And that’s a very harmful impact.

‘We could crush this outbreak’ with mass vaccinations, says Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a news conference with the coronavirus task force at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. 

Credit:

 

Susan Walsh/AP

The United States’ top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warns the COVID-19 death toll could rise in the next few weeks. But mass vaccination will bring the end of the pandemic.

“I’ve made an estimate, it’s purely an estimate, about 70-85% of the population vaccinated, I believe we would have what’s called an umbrella or a blanket of herd immunity over the country,” Fauci said. “And if the rest of the world does that, we could crush this outbreak. Absolutely. Vaccine is the answer.”

Bright Spot

Thousands of apple varieties exist around the world. Now, thanks to a serendipitous find in southwest England, a new fruit could soon be added to the list 🎧.

In other news!

1/ This could be a new variety of apples Archie Thomas stumbled upon in the British countryside 🍎

📏They range in size from a kiwi 🥝to a grapefruit 🍊

🌳 The Royal Horticultural Society (@The_RHS) says they come from a tree that could be 100 years old pic.twitter.com/AcazxwLrFn

— The World (@TheWorld) January 8, 2021In case you missed it Listen: Attack on US Capitol raises national security concerns

US President Donald Trump supporters participate in a rally in Washington. Far-right social media users for weeks openly hinted in widely shared posts that chaos would erupt at the US Capitol while Congress convened to certify the election results, Jan. 6, 2021.

Credit:

John Minchillo/AP

The attack on US Capitol building Wednesday by a mob of pro-Trump extremists has raised new questions about US national security. And, the top infectious disease doctor in the US and incoming medical adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, discusses the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, lessons from the past, and what changes to expect in the US response as Biden takes office. Also, thousands of apple varieties exist around the world. Now, thanks for a serendipitous find in southwest England, a new fruit could soon be added to the list.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

COVID-19 flareups in China, Japan, US; 1-year anniversary of Ukrainian jet tragedy; National security concerns after US Capitol siege

COVID-19 flareups in China, Japan, US; 1-year anniversary of Ukrainian jet tragedy; National security concerns after US Capitol siege

New coronavirus cases have surged in the US with more than 4,000 deaths in a single day on Jan. 7, making it the nation’s deadliest day for the pandemic. China locks down Shijiazhuang, a city of 11 million, after cases spike, and Japan issues a state of emergency for Tokyo.

By
The World staff

A station passageway is crowded with commuters wearing face mask during a rush hour Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, in Tokyo. 

Credit:

Eugene Hoshiko/AP

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Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Amid chaos at the US Capitol this week, new coronavirus cases have surged in the US with more than 4,000 deaths in a single day on Jan. 7, making it the nation’s deadliest day for the pandemic. The US continues to lead the world in COVID-19 deaths and infections. And in China, just a year after the city of Wuhan shut down to control the spread of the coronavirus, 11 million residents of Shijiazhuang, in northern Hebei province, southwest of the capital Beijing, will undergo a complete lockdown after a major COVID-19 flareup. The city reported 120 new, local cases, making it China’s biggest rise in virus cases in months.

Japan is also struggling to contain the virus, declaring a one-month state of emergency for Tokyo. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga warned that restrictions may need to expand to other parts of the country, which could push Japan into another recession just as it was starting an economic recovery.

🎧 Listen: Today on The World

WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week that the “world has entered a new phase of the pandemic, where solidarity is needed like never before. That we are in a race to save lives right now.”

Today on The World, host Carol Hills speaks with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who said we’ve been in this phase all along. “Whenever you have a global pandemic you have to have solidarity between countries. Because what affects one country, in one part of the world — when you’re dealing with a communicable disease that has a high degree of efficiency and transmitting from person-to-person — you have to have interconnectedness with regard to cooperation, collaboration and solidarity,” Fauci said.

Listen to our interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci on today’s show.

What the world is following

One year after Iranian forces shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 passengers, more questions than answers remain. Ukraine and several other countries have called on Iran to compensate victims’ families and come forward with more details about what exactly happened when the jet was shot down on the same night that Iran also launched a ballistic missile strike against US bases in Iraq. Iran claims “human error” for the deadly crash and has approved payments of $150,000 to each of the victims families. But some victims’ families say they’ve experienced alleged harassment from Iranian authorities whose investigation into the crash lacks transparency and accountability.

And, national security questions persist after a deadly siege on the US Capitol on Wednesday that claimed the lives of at least five people, including US Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, who died of injuries sustained during the riots. In the aftermath of the rampage, there are growing calls from both sides of the political aisle to impeach President Donald Trump or invoke the 25th Amendment to oust him for inciting the violence, with just 12 days remaining in his presidency.

From The World ‘I fear for our democracy,’ says Rep. Mondaire Jones in calling for Trump’s removal

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the West wall of the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Credit:

Jose Luis Magana/AP

Newly elected Congressman Mondaire Jones of New York was in the US Capitol on Wednesday when pro-Trump extremists breached the building. He is among a group of congressmembers who unveiled a resolution Thursday to impeach Trump.

“We need to remove this president. He’s shown himself to be a danger even in the final weeks of his presidency,” Jones said.

How cartoonist view the attack on the US Capitol

Trump committed political suicide at the last minute!#Republicans #AFG #25th Amendment #WorldPeace #afghanistan_peace_process pic.twitter.com/3izGLUVxlJ

— atiq shahid (@atiqshahid2) January 8, 2021

Afghan cartoonist Shahid Atiq draws his take on the motives of Donald Trump after the president’s supporters stormed the halls of Congress this week.

Listen to The World on Friday as we explore the satirical opportunity this tragic event provided to people from countries usually considered unstable in an interview with Lebanese satirist Karl Sharro who blogs and tweets under the monicker Karl reMarks.

In case you missed it Listen: A lens on the US after violence on Capitol Hill

Trump supporters are shown breaking through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.

Credit:

Julio Cortez/AP

 

The US has presented itself as a beacon of democracy around the world. How have the events of this week impacted the US’ image? And, among those who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday were supporters of QAnon, a dangerous conspiracy theory that has grown internationally. Also, host Carol Hills speaks with Sri Lankan writer Indi Samarajiva who shares his experience living through the recent coup in his country and the violent events that followed.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Mass arrests of opposition lawmakers in Hong Kong; Sudan and US sign historic ‘Abraham Accords’; All eyes on Georgia Senate runoffs

Mass arrests of opposition lawmakers in Hong Kong; Sudan and US sign historic 'Abraham Accords'; All eyes on Georgia Senate runoffs

Early morning arrests in Hong Kong were the most sweeping crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement since the controversial national security law was imposed by Beijing last June.

By
The World staff

Pro-democratic party members shout slogans in response to the mass arrests during a press conference in Hong Kong, Jan. 6, 2021.
 

Credit:

Vincent Yu/AP

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Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

In an early Wednesday morning raid, Hong Kong police arrested at least 53 opposition figures and democracy advocates for allegedly violating the controversial new national security law by participating in last year’s primaries and “subverting state power.” Among them is American human rights lawyer John Clancey, chairman of the Asian Human Rights Commission. 

The mass arrests were the most sweeping crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement since the law was imposed by Beijing last June. Hong Kong-based lawyer Antony Dapiran called the move “the largest single attack upon democracy” in Hong Kong yet. Amid international outcry, Beijing defended the round-ups as necessary to defend China’s stability and security

What the world is following

Sudan and Washington strengthened ties Wednesday in a historic signing of the “Abraham Accords,” paving the way for the nation to normalize ties with Israel. During a visit by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the capital Khartoum, the two countries also agreed to settle Sudan’s debt to the World Bank, widely seen as a critical step toward Sudan’s economic recovery after years of crippling sanctions under former dictator Omar al-Bashir.

Once designated a pariah state, its recent removal from the US’ terrorism list positions Sudan for better diplomatic relations with the West, and was a key incentive for agreeing to normalize relations with Israel. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok tweeted that the visit came “at a time when our bilateral relations are taking historical leaps towards a better future.” 

And, all eyes are indeed on the state of Georgia, Wednesday, as results roll in from two hotly contested runoff races that could flip the control of the US Senate from majority Republican to Democrat. Democratic candidate Pastor Raphael Warnock made history, winning against Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, becoming the first Black senator in his state. And, as we hit send on this newsletter on Wednesday, US Senate candidate Jon Ossoff is claiming victory against Republican David Perdue, thanking Georgians for electing him, though the race is still too close to call.

From The WorldBrazilians flock to the coast during the height of tourist season while coronavirus cases surge

People stand next to offerings during a ceremony in honor of Yemanja, the goddess of the sea, which is part of New Year’s celebrations to plea for relief from the coronavirus pandemic and asks for a better new year at Praia Vermelha beach in Rio de Janeiro, Dec. 31, 2020.

Credit:

Bruna Prado/The World 

Brazil is well into its second wave of the coronavirus, with rising numbers of cases and deaths. Last week, there were more than 1,000 deaths three days in a row in Brazil. Nevertheless, tourists flocked to the coast at the end of the year for one of the country’s biggest tourist seasons.

Menace or delicacy? It’s hairy crab season in China.

Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs for sale. 

Credit:

Rebecca Kanthor/The World 

The hairy crab is considered an illegal, invasive species in some parts of the world like the UK and the US. But in China, at this time of year, the craving for hairy crabs is strong. The start of hairy crab season in the fall is as eagerly awaited as pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks.

Bright spot

Officials in Italy announced plans to reconstruct the Colosseum’s historic floor. The government is seeking bids to build a new retractable floor in the iconic building complete with trap doors and hidden lifts.

🏟️🏗️🏟️ Design teams wanted to add a retractable floor to the Colosseum – https://t.co/BwoA1XU7h7 (via @dezeen) 🏟️🏗️🏟️ pic.twitter.com/nqOETC37vJ

— Master Prophet (@tomravenscroft) January 6, 2021In case you missed it Listen: India begins ambitious COVID-19 vaccination campaign

A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a man to test for COVID-19 in Ahmedabad, India, Jan. 4, 2021. India on Sunday authorized two COVID-19 vaccines, paving the way for a huge inoculation program.

Credit:

Ajit Solanki/AP

Health professionals in India are gearing up to begin the world’s most ambitious vaccination campaign after officials there approved the emergency use of two COVID-19 vaccines. And, one of the main issues the US President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will be dealing with when it enters the White House is the war in Afghanistan. Also, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain have ended their 3-year-old land, air and sea blockade on Qatar.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Canada urged to investigate the death of Baloch human rights activist 

Canada urged to investigate the death of Baloch human rights activist 

Karima Mehrab Baloch, 37, advocated for Balochistan's regional independence from Pakistan. Her death in Canada has sparked an international outcry.

By
Rupa Shenoy

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Supporters of Baloch political activist Karima Mehrab Baloch participate in a demonstration to condemn her killing, in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020.

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Fareed Khan/AP

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From small groups in downtown Toronto, and outside the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC, to huge marches in the streets of Karachi, Pakistan, there are growing calls for an investigation into the death of Karima Mehrab Baloch, a 37-year-old Pakistani national living in Canada.

Related: Uighurs hail EU, UK steps toward holding China accountable

On Dec. 21, Karima Mehrab went for a walk alone along Toronto’s lakefront and never returned. Her husband reported her missing, and a day later, police found her body in the water. Less than 24 hours later, they concluded it was a “non-criminal death” with no foul play suspected. The Toronto Police Service declined to explain more.

“We never imagined something could happen here like this,” said Karima Mehrab’s close friend Lateef Johar Baloch, deputy coordinator of the Human Rights Council of Balochistan. “Police is [sic] saying she hurt herself, but I can’t believe this. How you can conclude a case within hours after someone’s death? Like, a high-profile person?”

Karima Mehrab was a leader in the independence movement for Balochistan, Pakistan’s southern province and home to the Baloch ethnic group. Many of its people use the last name Baloch. Ayesha Jalal, a Tufts University history professor who studies Pakistan, said Balochistan never wanted to be part of Pakistan. But its people didn’t get a say in 1947, when the British negotiated a deal to split its former colony into India and Pakistan. 

“Balochistan has been a troubled part of Pakistan, but this is a country that has had a troubled relationship with democracy. … The problem has been more concentrated in Balochistan, largely because it has been denied basic democratic rights.”

Ayesha Jalal, history professor, Tufts University

“Balochistan has been a troubled part of Pakistan, but this is a country that has had a troubled relationship with democracy,” she said. “The problem has been more concentrated in Balochistan, largely because it has been denied basic democratic rights.”

Related: 10 years after the Arab uprisings, Egypt at ‘lowest point’ for human rights 

The situation has grown even more fraught over the last few years because of a deal Pakistan has with China. Balochistan’s Gwadar Port is a crucial final link in a new network of highways and railways that would connect China to the Arabian Sea through Pakistan. Pakistan recently said it would erect a barbed wire fence around the 10-square-mile area that makes up Gwadar Port because there have been so many attacks by members of the independence movement.

“When they started building up the Gwadar Port, it was clear that there were lots of resources — there’s a huge copper mine, lots of other untapped natural resources of Balochistan,” Jalal said. “These people [the Baloch] felt that they were really being sidelined. And that actually has been a major factor that has fueled the anger.”

Human rights activists say Pakistan’s military government has responded to critics, including people calling for Baloch independence, with brutal efficiency. Faiz Baluch, the UK coordinator for the group International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, said thousands of people have gone missing from Pakistan in recent years. Often, they’re forced into unmarked cars by men in plain clothes with guns. In 2012, Baluch’s group appealed to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, and it sent staffers to Pakistan to investigate

Related: New documentary captures life of Iranian human rights activist 

“But the problem is they were not free to go and meet people everywhere in Balochistan,” he said. “They were confined in a hotel, guarded by the army. So few people came and met them, but mostly, people stayed away.”

One of those who disappeared in 2014 was Zahid Baloch, the chair of a prominent activist group called the Baloch Student Organization. Karima Mehrab took his place, becoming the first woman to lead the organization. Her stature grew as she toured the country giving speeches and appearing on TV.  In 2017, the BBC named her in its annual list of 100 inspirational and influential women. But soon, the Pakistani government charged her with terrorism and she fled to Canada. 

“It might seem my people are fighting for the independence of Balochistan, but in faith, we are fighting for an idea, that all men and women have the right to be free.”

Karima Mehrab Baloch, human rights activist

“It might seem my people are fighting for the independence of Balochistan, but in faith, we are fighting for an idea, that all men and women have the right to be free,” Karima Mehrab told an audience in Toronto in August 2017, on Balochistan Independence Day. “Today, 70 years earlier, we achieved our independence from the British. We will achieve it again from Pakistan.”

Karima Mehrab’s friend Lateef Johar said Pakistani officials threatened to kill her friends and family if she didn’t come back. And one of her uncles was killed. Then, in May, Karima Mehrab’s friend Sajid Hussain, a Baloch journalist, was found dead in a river in Sweden, where he had been granted asylum. Lateef Johar said Karima Mehrab told Canadian authorities about the threats she had received — but instead of helping, they questioned her like she was a potential terrorist. 

“This is unfortunate. They should be protecting us. Instead, they are trying to know if maybe we are involved in something,” he said. 

Lateef Johar and others are urging Canadian authorities to investigate Pakistan’s possible involvement in Karima Mehrab’s death. He said it will be difficult to carry on — Karima Mehrab was the one who always convinced them that the fight for Baloch independence was worth it, despite the danger.  

“She was very courageous, she was very strong. She was like a bridge between us and our friends and families and everywhere.”

Lateef Johar Baloch, deputy coordinato, Human Rights Council of Balochistan

“She was very courageous, she was very strong. She was like a bridge between us and our friends and families and everywhere,” Lateef Johar said. “Now, myself or some other friends we have to build that bridge. But we cannot replace her. So it will be a big responsibility.” 

Lateef Johar said the fight for Balochistan will continue: Even though his family in Pakistan has already been threatened and attacked, he’s preparing to lead the movement in Karima Mehrab’s absence. 

The international politics of COVID-19: Part II

The international politics of COVID-19: Part II

By
Sam Ratner

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron wrap up a joint press conference at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France. 

Credit:

Andrew Harnik/AP

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This analysis was featured in Critical State, a weekly newsletter from The World and Inkstick Media. Subscribe here.

This week, Critical State finishes up its coverage of the journal International Organizations’ special issue on COVID-19 and its effects. More articles from the issue are forthcoming, but here it takes a look at political scientist Daniel Drezner’s article discussing COVID-19’s effects on the international system overall.

Related: The international politics of COVID-19: Part I

Political scientist Daniel Drezner predicts that COVID-19 will result in a greater entrenchment of existing international power structures.

Many have portrayed the COVID-19 pandemic as a system-altering shock — something that will leave the world forever changed. Drezner, however, gazes down from the heights of wherever it is that political scientists consider the basic interactions of states (Walnut Hill, in Drezner’s case) at a disease that has killed over half a million people worldwide and says, basically, “enh.” Rather than foreseeing a massive shift in the structure of international relations, Drezner predicts COVID-19 will result in the opposite: a greater entrenchment of existing international power structures.

To make his case, Drezner looks at the history of disease and world politics. What he finds is that while pandemics have caused major changes in international relations in the past — such as when the Antonine Plague of 165 AD ended the territorial expansion of the Roman empire or when smallpox and measles hastened the European genocide of native population in the Americas — those effects have lessened over time. Since Napoleon, developments in science and public health have increased the capacity of states to cope with pandemics and lessened their impacts on international politics. The influenza pandemic of 1918, for example, was basically forgotten in popular history until COVID-19, despite its massive demographic effects, because states had the ability to absorb the losses it produced. By the time SARS came around in 2003, it was contained quickly enough to barely be a blip on China’s remarkable economic expansion. 

Drezner sees that trend continuing today. Despite stumbles, some major, by both countries in their COVID-19 response, it does seem that the US and China will exit the pandemic as the most powerful players in the international arena, the same as they entered the crisis. Though the pandemic has upended the US economy, it has not appreciably diminished US economic power, which it has demonstrated through the Federal Reserve offering other central banks access to dollars and propping up liquidity within the US. 

While China has gained plaudits for controlling the virus before the US, its attempts to grow its international profile through international pandemic response have largely backfired, Drezner argues. The personal protective equipment and other material aid China has distributed to other countries has often been poorly made, and allegations that China bullied the World Health Organization into unduly praising its early pandemic response make both the country and the WHO look bad.

Indeed, the pandemic has not even produced a major shift in economic competition between the US and China.

Indeed, the pandemic has not even produced a major shift in economic competition between the US and China. Early in the pandemic, Drezner points out, the Trump administration pursued its trade deal with China rather than pressing China on public health cooperation. The resulting trade deal remains in place, even as rhetoric between the two countries has again grown heated.

Ultimately, it is unlikely that COVID-19 will cause a transformation of the international system on its own. Instead, like in so many crises, the default result will be increased power for those who already hold it. In this age, shaking up the balance of power requires political organization rather than simply waiting for nature to have its say.

Critical State is your weekly fix of foreign policy without all the stuff you don’t need. It’s top news and accessible analysis for those who want an inside take without all the insider bs. Subscribe here.

Slowing deforestation could save humanity from the next pandemic

Slowing deforestation could save humanity from the next pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to cost several trillion US dollars. But a new study suggests that spending just a tiny fraction of that to curb deforestation and the wildlife trade could prevent another costly pandemic.

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Adam Wernick

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An aerial view of cleared land is seen during an operation to combat illegal mining and logging conducted by agents of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, or IBAMA, supported by military police, in the municipality of Novo Progresso, Pará state, North Region, Brazil, Nov. 11, 2016. 

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Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

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COVID-19 has thus far cost the world over 700,000 lives and vast sums of money in lost gross domestic products and government rescue plans. A new study published in the journal Science suggests we might avoid the next pandemic and save trillions of dollars by spending just a fraction of that amount to curb deforestation and the wildlife trade.

Many human diseases originate in animals — HIV, malaria, Lyme disease and, of course, COVID-19. Scientists call them zoonotic diseases. The novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 was initially believed to have started in the wet markets of Wuhan, China, from a bat or a pangolin on sale there.

“We see the appearance of new diseases like COVID[-19] overwhelmingly coming from wild animals and to a lesser extent, domesticated animals,” explains Dr. Aaron Bernstein, a pediatrician with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a co-author of the study. “That reflects increasing contact between people and wildlife, in particular, and of course, the reality that we live in a highly connected world with many densely populated cities.”

These two things together amplify the chances that a disease will spread to many other people, once an animal transmits it to a human.

“The reality is that we swim in a common germ pool with all other animals. … So we shouldn’t be terribly surprised that…these diseases, particularly viruses, tend to pop out into people.”

Zoonotic diseases are actually more the exception than the rule, Bernstein notes. The reality, he says, “is that we swim in a common germ pool with all other animals. … So we shouldn’t be terribly surprised that when we’re changing life on Earth at such a rapid rate today, that we’re sort of stirring the pot of the common germ pool, so to speak, and that these diseases, particularly viruses, tend to pop out into people.”

RelatedCOVID-19 threatens global progress in fight against other communicable diseases 

Bernstein says the recent paper came about because “a group of folks were bewildered by how much was being spent to deal with one emerging zoonotic virus. And the question was, how much would we have to spend to do what we know we need to do to prevent these viruses from spilling over into people?”

“The question was, how much would we have to spend to do what we know we need to do to prevent these viruses from spilling over into people?”

Many of these emerging diseases come from deforestation, he notes — not necessarily from cutting down trees, per se, but from all the activities associated with it: building roads, establishing settlements in forests, gathering or poaching wildlife. “So we looked at how much it would cost to reduce deforestation in places that are particularly high risk,” Bernstein says.

COVID-19 is believed to have started in one of China’s wet markets, likely through consumption of a bat or pangolin.

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Whiz-Ka/Flickr

Emerging infections also come from wildlife trade, he continues. “The part of the wildlife trade that we were most concerned with is actually not at the buyer end; it’s at the procurer end, [the] people who are going out into wilderness and harvesting animals for pets, for medicines, for furs, for all kinds of stuff. And those contexts are the high-risk ones…So, we focus on what it would take to really address the risks.”

The third area that the researchers tackle is surveillance. Ultimately, Bernstein says, it’s impractical to end the wildlife trade and deforestation, as much as people would like to do so. The solution, then, is to have much better surveillance of the wildlife and the people who are at high risk for spillover. “So we try and think through which organizations [could do this] and what the budget would be to do it,” he explains.

There are small-scale programs in various parts of the world already trying to find ways to limit human-wildlife interaction or to track it better. The new paper calls for a scaling up of these efforts, and “we talk in this paper about how important it is to really do good science around the efficacy of these interventions as they scale up,” Bernstein says.

Dramatically reducing deforestation and the wildlife trade would have other valuable benefits, such as saving crucial carbon sinks like the tropical forests and protecting global biodiversity. These benefits are “a critical part of our argument,” Bernstein notes.

“I think many people would rightly be a bit skeptical of how effective the interventions we propose are going to be,” he acknowledges. “I think we are pretty clear that while we know preventing deforestation, addressing the wildlife trade and really doing better surveillance carry the potential to reduce risks of spillover, we can’t say with great certainty what the return on investment is, because we haven’t really done it at scale. And so we need to really understand that.”

“But at the same time,” he continues, “we have a bunch of reasons to be doing these things anyway. Preventing deforestation is the clearest example. We not only have the carbon value, there’s huge water value. Tropical forests are hugely important to local water resources. There’s Indigenous rights. But there are other things that protecting forests does: It prevents fires. And so you see the compounding value that occurs when you protect forests. And now we add another dimension, which is prevention of disease spread.”

Related: Decades of science denial related to climate change has led to denial of the coronavirus pandemic

What’s more, taking these actions would cost a fraction of what the nations of the world are currently spending to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, he points out. The COVID-19 pandemic has so far cost roughly $6 trillion in lost GDP and governments have spent huge sums of money to try and prop up their economies. And when you put a dollar value on all the lives that have been lost, the cost rises by several trillion dollars more, Bernstein notes.

Bernstein and his colleagues estimate that substantially increasing the budget for addressing the wildlife trade, putting in measures to reduce deforestation by half and improving surveillance would cost between $20 to $30 billion.

“Even if you spent that $20 to $30 billion every year for a decade, you’d still only be on the order of 1% to 2% of the costs of this one pandemic,” Bernstein says. “And it’s very easy to forget that there’s nothing written that this can’t happen again. And there’s also nothing written that this is the worst pathogen that might spill over into people.”

“So, it becomes clear that salvation comes cheaply,” he concludes.

This article is based on an interview by Bobby Bascomb that aired on Living on Earth from PRX.

Colleges brace for steep drop in international enrollment this fall

Colleges brace for steep drop in international enrollment this fall

By
Kirk Carapezza

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Northeastern University sophomore Pavithra Rajesh, 18, took the last three weeks of her spring classes online from her parents’ apartment in Bangalore, India. Like many international students, Rajesh says she is unsure whether she will return to Boston for classes in the fall.

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Pavithra Rajesh, a Northeastern University sophomore from India, frantically packed her bags and boarded a plane home when the college abruptly shut down in March.

“I’m a very careful planner. … So, telling me that within three days you have to figure out where you’re going to go, move things into storage, figure out how you’re going to do online classes from a country whose time zone is so different from the one I’m in right now — it was pretty nerve-wracking.”

Pavithra Rajesh, sophomore student from India, Northeastern University

“I’m a very careful planner,” Rajesh, 18, said. “So, telling me that within three days you have to figure out where you’re going to go, move things into storage, figure out how you’re going to do online classes from a country whose time zone is so different from the one I’m in right now — it was pretty nerve-wracking.”

Related: International students are in coronavirus limbo. So are universities.

Back home, Rajesh quarantined herself in her parents’ apartment in the southern city of Bangalore for 14 days. The journalism major and theater minor took her last three weeks of spring courses online. India is 9.5 hours ahead of eastern daylight saving time. 

“Every night I was up till almost 3 a.m., 4 a.m.,” she said.

Looking ahead to the fall, Rajesh and her parents worry about her returning to campus in just two months.

“I’d be transiting through three very crowded airports,” she said. “The US right now has quite a lot of cases. It’s pretty vulnerable.”

So are the finances for universities like Northeastern, where more than a third of all students come from abroad — many from India and China — with most paying full freight. Hundreds of thousands of international college students sent home this spring are still stuck there because of travel and visa restrictions. Major colleges in the Boston area, which were already losing enrollment because of the anti-immigrant political environment, are bracing for losing still more students this fall.

The Trump administration had already been tightening travel and visa restrictions on foreign students and workers. Now, both the federal government and the pandemic are preventing international students who aren’t already in the US from returning in time for the fall semester. That’s all leading to a lot of confusion and anxiety for students.

“The pandemic, as well as the political difficulties between China and the United States, has ushered in a period of enormous uncertainty.”

Bill Kirby, history professor of Chinese studies, Harvard University

“The pandemic, as well as the political difficulties between China and the United States, has ushered in a period of enormous uncertainty,” said Bill Kirby, a history professor who teaches Chinese studies at Harvard University. 

Kirby points to a recent study by the Institute of International Education that finds nearly 90% of colleges expect international enrollment to decrease next semester.

“And some 70% anticipate that some international students won’t be able to get to their campuses for in-person classes this fall,” said Kirby, adding that the virus and uncertainty on campuses are damaging the country’s global relationship with China, India and other countries.

“Parents always worry about the health of their children,” Kirby said. “So I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least some pause, even if the world were to open up immediately, about sending students to a place where the public health systems are clearly not as robust as they are in Europe or Japan or Korea.”

If international students take their studies and dollars elsewhere, that would have devastating effects on Boston’s economy.

“We are — particularly in higher education — in a highly globalized and interdependent world. This is the most serious thing that’s ever happened [to American higher education] without any question whatsoever.”

Phillip Altbach, founder, Center for International Higher Education, Boston College

“We are — particularly in higher education — in a highly globalized and interdependent world. This is the most serious thing that’s ever happened [to American higher education] without any question whatsoever,” said Phillip Altbach, founder of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College.

“International students spend a lot of money in this area, not only the direct tuition cost for universities but also housing and other expenses that they have around town,” said Altbach.

International students contribute about $4 billion to the state’s economy each year, nearly a tenth of the more than $40 billion they spend in the entire US economy, according to the Association of International Educators. Colleges that are overly dependent on international dollars are going to take a big hit, said Altbach.

“In the Boston area, that includes, of course, Boston University and Northeastern particularly, but also smaller schools like the Berklee College of Music, Emerson [College] to some extent,” he added.

Students and researchers from other countries bring significant brainpower to their work in the US, Altbach said.

“If you look at Silicon Valley or the biotech industry here in Massachusetts, international students, scholars and high-skilled immigrants are a key part of the labor force for these industries, so it’s a huge hit and a terrible mistake for the country,” he said.

It remains unclear how many international students will want — or be able — to return this fall.

Related: What the US can learn from other nations with free college tuition

This month, Northeastern announced its Boston campus and dorms will reopen in the fall and students will have the option to take classes in-person, online, or a mixture of both. This summer, the university is surveying thousands of international students about their plans for the fall and developing online platforms for any students who see a delay in returning to Boston.

Sitting in her room in Bangalore, Rajesh says she’s eager to get back in the classroom.

“I don’t think anyone can say that online classes will ever match up to the worth of an in-person class,” she said. “For me, doing three weeks of online classes from India was hard for sure. I don’t think I could do that same thing for three months.”

Still, she’s skeptical about whether students packed into dorms would be willing to follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks.

“There’s so many people, so little residence halls on campus,” she said. “I don’t really know how that is going to play out.”

Trump announces new visa restrictions; Saudi Arabia planning only a limited Hajj; White House trade adviser walks back comments

Trump announces new visa restrictions; Saudi Arabia planning only a limited Hajj; White House trade adviser walks back comments

By
The World staff

US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 20, 2020.

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US President Donald Trump temporarily suspended the issuance of new work visas for certain foreign workers yesterday, a move widely opposed by business groups. Trump’s presidential proclamation bars most H-1B visas for skilled employees as well as H-2B seasonal worker visas. It also restricts some H-4, J-1, and L-1 visas. Tech companies like Amazon, Google and Twitter, who rely heavily on the H-1B visas, are objecting to the directive.

The White House said the move would help the economy rebound amid the coronavirus crisis and that targeted visa categories pose “a risk of displacing and disadvantaging United States workers during the current recovery.” Critics argue the order is part of the Trump administration’s broader efforts to curb immigration.

The visa suspension, which exempts those already in the US and visa holders abroad, as well as some agricultural, health care and food industry workers, takes effect Wednesday and lasts until the end of the year.

What The World is following

Saudi Arabia said yesterday it plans to allow only a limited Hajj this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement bars foreign travelers, allowing only people already living in the kingdom to make the religious pilgrimage. As many as 2 million people come to the holy city of Mecca every year for the Hajj.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Monday on Fox News that the China trade deal was “over.” The comment stoked volatility in markets. Later, Navarro walked back the remarks, suggesting his comments were taken “wildly out of context.”

The German region of Guetersloh in the northwest of the country was put under lockdown today as the number of coronavirus cases surged past 1,000 following an outbreak at a meatpacking plant. Guetersloh is home to about 360,000 residents and is the first area in Germany to go back into lockdown.

Russia jails Pussy Riot manager for 15 days for petty hooliganism

Anti-Kremlin activist Pyotr Verzilov poses for a photo before an interview with Reuters in Berlin, Sept. 28, 2018.

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Reinhard Krause/Reuters 

A Moscow court jailed Pyotr Verzilov, an anti-Kremlin activist and associate of the Pussy Riot punk group, for 15 days on Monday after finding him guilty of petty hooliganism for swearing in public. Kirill Koroteev, a lawyer and the head of the International Practice of Agora, the group that has taken up Verzilov’s case, spoke to The World’s host Marco Werman about what happened.

Discussion: What’s next in the fight against the coronavirus?

A man walks next to a graffiti depicting a cleaner wearing protective gear spraying viruses with the face of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro amid the coronavirus outbreak, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 12, 2020. 

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The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 9 million people globally and caused 440,000 deaths worldwide. With countries starting to reopen while we await vaccines and treatments, what can we expect next and how can we prepare and respond? As part of our series of conversations addressing the coronavirus crisis, The World’s Elana Gordon will be taking your questions while moderating a discussion with epidemiologist Caroline Buckee from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health on Tuesday, June 23, at 12 p.m. EST.

Morning meme

Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu opera reopened its doors to potted plants Monday. Spanish conceptual artist Eugenio Ampudia had the idea to place the plants in the theater, inspired by his connection to nature during the pandemic. The plant-based reopening came a day after Spain’s three-month state of emergency ended.

Nursery plants are seen placed in people’s seats at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, June 22, 2020.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

In case you missed itListen: Face masks and the coronavirus crisis

A supporter of US President Donald Trump wears a protective face mask among many other supporters without masks during a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 20, 2020.

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Leah Millis/Reuters

The more we learn about the coronavirus, the more the evidence points to the importance of face coverings in limiting the virus’s spread. Still, if you’re confused about the what and the how of masks, you are not alone. And, Beijing had some strong words for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning: “Stop making irresponsible remarks.” Trudeau reiterated his belief that China’s decision to charge two Canadians with spying was retribution for the arrest of a Chinese tech executive. Also, temperatures above 100 degrees have been recorded in a small town in Eastern Siberia.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Nicholas Burns: Bolton allegations on Trump ‘as damaging as any in modern American history’

Nicholas Burns: Bolton allegations on Trump 'as damaging as any in modern American history'

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The World staff

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Then-National Security Adviser John Bolton listens as US President Donald Trump holds a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 9, 2018.

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John Bolton’s memoir from his time as the national security adviser in the Trump White House is set to publish Tuesday, but advance copies are already making waves. 

In the book, Bolton says explicitly that President Donald Trump is unfit for office. 

“I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” Bolton writes.

Trump fired Bolton this past September after roughly 17 months as his national security adviser.

The Trump administration is suing to block the book’s publication, claiming it contains classified information and would compromise national security. 

Nicholas Burns, a former career foreign service officer who served as undersecretary of state for former President George W. Bush, knows John Bolton from his years in government. He’s now professor of the practice of diplomacy at Harvard University and an adviser to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Burns spoke to The World’s host Marco Werman about the most disturbing allegations in Bolton’s book.

Related: Nicholas Burns: US’ ‘unusual’ absence on world stage is bad for Americans

Marco Werman: First of all, how do you know John Bolton? What’s he like? 

Nick Burns: Well, truth be told, I’ve had my share of differences with him in the past. We worked very closely together at one point in the George W. Bush administration. It was not always a pleasant experience, I’m sure, for either of us. He is an arch-conservative, a loyal Republican, highly intelligent. Lots of experience at the high levels of government, a true national security expert. And he’s a patriotic person. Despite my differences with John, I have to credit him with all that. 

How do you judge the veracity of the claims he’s making in his book? 

Well, these allegations are about as damaging as any in modern American history. I mean, it’s explosive, when John Bolton says that President Trump agreed with President Xi Jinping of China that Xi should build concentration camps for Uighurs, the Muslim population of western China. President Trump encouraging President Xi to buy US farm products in order to help President Trump win the 2020 election. And I think the most explosive revelation in the book is that John Bolton is confirming the charge by House Democrats back in the impeachment trial that President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine until the government in Kyiv would provide political dirt on Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. 

And you remember, Marco, the Republican defense of President Trump back in the impeachment trial in January was: “Well, all these people who testified, they were secondhand sources. They never met or engaged with the president.” John Bolton was in the Oval Office with the president every day and had lots of discussions about this specific issue. And I think that is the most meaningful charge in the book. 

So, if John Bolton had so much damning information, why did he not come forward during the impeachment inquiry? What was his motivation? 

I can’t know what his motivation was, but he should have come forward. Back in December and January, during the impeachment inquiry, he had information, really, that no one else had that was central to the question being debated by the House and the Senate: Was the president guilty of impeachable offenses on the issue of Ukraine? Bolton knew the history. He had the details. He should have come forward. 

I mean, it’s not unusual, really, for any president to always be thinking about election prospects. It sounds like what you just said is what makes this administration different. 

It is what has distinguished the tenure of President Trump in office. What underlies all of these different revelations in the Bolton book — and Bolton says this, specifically — the president was always looking out for his own self-interest or his family’s self-interest, rather than the national interest. And we elect the president to represent all 330 million of us, to put aside his family’s financial interests, which this president has not done. And that, to me, is the most disturbing aspect of this. Of course, a lot of us — I certainly suspect that this is the way the president operated. But this is not from a journalist. This is not from a Democrat who might be opposed to the president politically. These are revelations from a true conservative and a true Republican who has never broken with his party in the past. 

We should note, Nick, that the Trump administration says the book is all lies. But it’s also asking the courts to prevent the publication on the grounds that it’s full of classified information. So, how can lies be classified as vital national secrets? 

That’s what a lot of people are asking. And it’s a contradictory statement. And the president, of course, said publicly the other day, every conversation with me is classified — which, of course, is patently untrue. It’s never been the case. It never will be the case. Some conversations are classified. Many are not. 

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. Reuters contributed reporting.

Juneteenth celebrations take on new significance; Australia says China involved in cyberattacks; Anti-poverty program in Indonesia also helps save forests

Juneteenth celebrations take on new significance; Australia says China involved in cyberattacks; Anti-poverty program in Indonesia also helps save forests

By
The World staff

The sun rises on the Lincoln Memorial on Juneteenth — the day celebrating the emancipation of African American slaves more than a century and a half ago, in Washington, DC, June 19, 2020.

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Today is Juneteenth, a 155-year-old holiday celebrating the emancipation of African Americans from slavery. This year, Juneteenth has taken new significance amid protests against systemic racism and police brutality in the US that sparked a global movement. Weeks of demonstrations and mounting demands to end police brutality and racial bias are expected to animate rallies today in cities across the US, but also Canada and elsewhere around the world.

Though it is not a federal holiday, Juneteenth is recognized in 47 US states and the District of Columbia as an official state holiday or observance. Texas became the first state to recognize the holiday in 1980. But many African American communities have been celebrating it since 1865.

Union dockworkers at nearly 30 ports along the West Coast planned to mark the occasion today by staging a one-day strike. But much of the focus of the annual observance will take place online — with lectures, discussion groups and virtual breakfasts — to help safeguard minority communities especially hard-hit by the pandemic.

Listen to The World today for a conversation with Mona Boyd, an African American who has spent the past 30 years living in Accra, Ghana, where she just returned from a Juneteenth celebration.

Also: ‘Willful amnesia’: How Africans forgot — and remembered — their role in the slave trade

What The World is following

China said Friday it has charged two detained Canadians for suspected espionage. Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were arrested in late 2018 soon after Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei chief financial officer, in Vancouver on a US warrant. The indictments could result in life imprisonment.

Australia suggested today that China was the chief suspect in a number of cyberattacks on the Australian government. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a “sophisticated state-based actor” had spent months trying to hack essential service providers and critical infrastructure operators and all levels of the government. China has dismissed the accusation.

From The WorldAnti-poverty program in Indonesia also helps save forests, study shows

Sumbanese villagers work on a field seeding peanuts in Hamba Praing village, Kanatang district, East Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia, Feb. 23, 2020.

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Willy Kurniawan/Reuters 

Helping Indonesia’s poorest people could save the nation’s forests, too, a new study shows. Indonesia is one of the most rapidly deforested places on Earth, and nearly 10% of the population lives below the poverty line.

These struggles are not separate, conflicting issues — but deeply intertwined — the study from Science Advances says. The study shows that where people received services from a national anti-poverty program, 30% fewer trees were cleared — and about half of the saved forests were old-growth.

SCOTUS ruled in favor of DACA. A permanent solution is still needed, advocates say.

Thursday’s much-anticipated ruling ended a yearslong legal battle around how the Trump administration ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and provides some relief to the more than 650,000 DACA recipients in the country. But advocates say there’s still a long road ahead in the fight for more permanent protections for DACA recipients.

Morning focus

Among the many celebrations today for Juneteenth, here’s something special from Yo-Yo Ma and Rhiannon Giddens.

There are so many stories made invisible: too-often-violent histories hidden beneath the surfaces of our cities, our institutions, our music. It’s our job to make them visible. I’m honored to mark #Juneteenth with a new song by @RhiannonGiddens. #blacklivesmatter #songsofchange pic.twitter.com/RraYnGiwzT

— Yo-Yo Ma (@YoYo_Ma) June 19, 2020In case you missed itListen: US Supreme Court issues ruling on DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters celebrate outside the US Supreme Court after the court ruled in a 5-4 vote that President Donald Trump’s 2017 move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was unlawful, in Washington, DC, June 18, 2020.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

In a much-anticipated decision issued Thursday morning, the US Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration’s attempt to cancel Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. And, a new study shows how an anti-poverty program has an unexpected benefit when it comes to saving Indonesian forests. Also, farmers in China turned to livestreaming to sell off their produce during the coronavirus lockdown. It turns out the technique worked so well that some farmers are planning to continue with the online trend.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

New coronavirus spikes cause concern; India-China clashes may be hard to defuse; Sudan war criminal faces ICC

New coronavirus spikes cause concern; India-China clashes may be hard to defuse; Sudan war criminal faces ICC

By
The World staff

A person receives a parcel inside a residential compound that has been put under stricter virus control measures and surrounded by barbed wire after a new outbreak of the coronavirus, in Fengtai district, in Beijing, China, June 17, 2020.

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Thomas Peter/Reuters

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Chinese officials have described the new outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Beijing as “extremely grave.” More than 60% of flights to the capital have been canceled and China’s emergency warning has been raised to its second-highest level. But China is not alone in dealing with growing cases of the virus, as infections have spiked in the US, India and Iran.

Six US states have reported record highs of new cases. Texas is among them — it’s seeing thousands of new cases and hospitalizations after the state agressively reopened the economy in May. Gov. Greg Abbott said earlier this week that the recent spike “does raise concerns, but there is no reason right now to be alarmed.”     

After more than three weeks without a new case of the coronavirus, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced an “unacceptable failure” in which health officials allowed two women returning from London to leave quarantine early on compassionate grounds before being tested. The women later tested positive for the virus. Ardern has now appointed a top military leader to oversee quarantine measures.  

And, while many have pointed to the link between the coronavirus and wet markets, some warn that “in the rush to create a safer food system, culturally significant food practices, which pose comparatively minor public health risks, are coming under threat,” The Guardian reports.

What The World is following

At least 20 people have died in close combat clashes between Indian and Chinese troops on the disputed border in the Himalayas. Soldiers engaged in hand-to-hand combat and reportedly fought with rocks and nail-studded bamboo sticks. Both countries have lobbed accusations at each other. China has recently taken an aggressive tactic on territory and borders, and over the last several decades has built infrastructure around the Line of Actual Control demarkating the region. With the loss of life in this week’s clashes, de-escalation of tensions may be difficult to achieve.  

Controversial Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández has tested positive for the coronavirus, along with his wife and two aides. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s residence now has a disinfectant tunnel to protect him from the disease. But do these tunnels come with more risk

From The WorldTensions continue in Darfur as Sudanese war criminal faces his day in court

After more than a decade evading charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, a Sudanese suspect, Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-al-Rahman, widely known as Ali Kushayb, finally appeared in court. The conflict, which the United States later called a genocide against Indigenous Africans, left an estimated 300,000 people dead and more than 2 million displaced. For some Darfuris, Kushayb’s arrest is a sign that justice, long-elusive, could be on the horizon.

Remembering Sarah Hegazi, the Egyptian LGBTQ activist arrested for unfurling the rainbow flag

Crowds listening to Mashrou Leila concert in Cairo in 2017. 

Credit:

Egyptian Streets/Wikimedia Commons

Sarah Hegazi will be remembered as someone who just wanted to be herself — and was imprisoned and tortured for doing so. During a 2017 music festival in Cairo, Hegazi hoisted a rainbow flag above the crowd — a daring move in a country where homosexuality is taboo. A friend took her photo, and Hegazi became famous after the image spread across on social media. But that moment came back to haunt her. On Saturday, Hegazi died by suicide in exile in Canada. She was 30 years old.

Canadian universal basic income experiment has been life-changing for those unemployed amid coronavirus 

Nick Abrantes walks after purchased three pairs of shoes during a phased reopening from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Toronto, May 19, 2020.

Credit:

Carlos Osorio/Reuters 

Canadians who have lost their job or can’t work because of the coronavirus can apply for an emergency jobless benefit from the Canadian government. It’s a temporary program, but it’s also turned into what may be the world’s largest experiment with a universal basic income. More than 8 million Canadians have applied.

As governments scramble to come up with ways to financially support people out of work because of the pandemic, many economists and politicians say the Canadian program is proof the time has finally come for a no-strings-attached, guaranteed income.

Morning meme

Austrian police have fined a man €500 after he provocatively “let go a massive intestinal wind apparently with full intent.” We’re blown away. 💨

Meanwhile in Vienna. https://t.co/de4VQQ0N2C

— Adriaan Louw (@adriaanhlouw) June 16, 2020In case you missed itListen: China imposes restrictions after new coronavirus cases

Police officers wearing face masks and gloves stand guard outside an entrance to the Xinfadi wholesale market, which has been closed following cases of the coronavirus in Beijing, June 16, 2020.

Credit:

Tingshu Wang/Reuters

A new cluster of cases of the coronavirus in Beijing is raising concerns about a second wave in China. Also, anger is mounting over the deaths of Indigenous people at the hands of police in Canada, sparked by the killing of George Floyd. And, how South Africa’s transition from apartheid to a new South Africa might be instructive for how the United States might use this unprecedented moment of focus on race.

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India, China want peace but blame each other after deadly border clash

India, China want peace but blame each other after deadly border clash

Indian army trucks move along a highway leading to Ladakh, at Gagangeer in Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, June 17, 2020.

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Danish Ismail/Reuters

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India and China blamed each other on Wednesday after soldiers of the two sides savagely fought each other with nail-studded clubs and stones in the remote Galwan Valley, high in the Himalayan border region, killing at least 20 Indian troops.

“We never provoke anyone,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on national television, referring to Monday’s hand-to-hand fighting. “There should be no doubt that India wants peace, but if provoked, India will provide an appropriate response.”   

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the clash erupted after Indian soldiers “crossed the line, acted illegally, provoked and attacked the Chinese, resulting in both sides engaging in serious physical conflict and injury and death.”

He said he did not know of any Chinese casualties, although Indian media quoted officials as saying at least 45 people were dead or injured on the Chinese side.

Zhao said the overall situation at the border was stable and controllable.

Under an old agreement between the two nuclear-armed Asian giants, no shots are fired at the border, but there have been fisticuffs in recent years between border patrols.  

According to Indian officials, soldiers were hit with clubs studded with nails and stones during a brawl that erupted in the remote Galwan Valley, high in the mountains where India’s Ladakh region borders the Aksai Chin region captured by China during the 1962 war.   

The rival armies have been eyeball-to-eyeball at their border for decades, but it was the worst clash since 1967, five years after China humiliated India in that war.

Modi, a strident nationalist, was elected to a second five-year term in May 2019 following a campaign focused on national security after spiralling tensions with old enemy Pakistan, on India’s western border.

India’s gung-ho media and the opposition piled pressure on him to respond aggressively.

“Gloves are off, with the Galwan valley clash, China pushed too hard,” the Times of India wrote in an editorial. “India must push back.”

“Beijing can’t kill our soldiers at the border and expect to benefit from our huge market,” it continued, advocating sanctions against Chinese imports.

Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition Congress party tweeted: “Enough is enough, We need to know what happened. How dare China kill our soldiers, how dare they take our land.”

Hundreds of Indian and Chinese troops have been facing each other since early May at three or four locations on the disputed border in the uninhabited, barren mountains of Ladakh.

India says Chinese troops have intruded into its side of the Line of Actual Control or the de facto border.

China rejects the allegation and has asked India not to build roads in the area, claiming it to be its territory.

Colonel killed

According to the Indian government sources, the fighting on Monday night broke out during a meeting to discuss ways to de-escalate tensions, and the colonel commanding the Indian side was one of the first to be struck and killed.

Many of the other Indian soldiers who died had succumbed to their wounds, having been unable to survive the night in freezing temperatures.

Unlike in India, the incident did not receive wall-to-wall coverage in China, where official media reported a statement on the incident from the spokesperson for the Chinese army’s Western Command.

On social media, bloggers and media aggregating platforms shared Indian media reports, such as the Indian army’s announcement acknowledging that the death toll had risen to 20.

Most vocal was the Global Times, a paper published by the official paper of the country’s ruling Communist Party.

Its editor-in-chief, Hu Xijin, took to domestic and global social media platforms to scold India, saying “Indian public opinion needs to stay sober” and to warn that China did not fear a clash.

By Sanjeev Miglani and Yew Lun Tian/Reuters

Russia, Philippines hand down controversial convictions; Beijing lockdowns return; New Zealand sports fans return to stadiums

Russia, Philippines hand down controversial convictions; Beijing lockdowns return; New Zealand sports fans return to stadiums

By
The World staff

Former US Marine Paul Whelan holds a sign as he stands inside a defendants’ cage during his verdict hearing in Moscow, Russia, June 15, 2020.

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Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

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Ex-US marine Paul Whelan has been found guilty by the Moscow City Court of spying charges, in what he called a “sham trial.” Whelan, 50, was sentenced to 16 years of hard labor by the Russian court Monday. In 2018, he was arrested in a Moscow hotel room with a flash drive that authorities say held state secrets. Whelan says he was set up with a USB stick, which he believed to contain family photos.

The case has strained US-Russia relations, though the White House has not been vocal about Whelan’s situation. US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan condemned the verdict, calling the trial an “egregious violation of human rights,” and criticized the embassy’s lack of access to Whelan. Whelan’s lawyers may lodge an appeal, and his family has called on the US to take steps to bring him home.

In the Philippines, journalist Maria Ressa, founder of the investigative Rappler Media, and her former colleague, Reynaldo Santos, have become the first journalists to be convicted of cyber libel under a highly scrutinized law that opponents warned would be used to silence critics of controversial President Rodrigo Duterte’s government. The Committee to Protect Journalists called Monday’s conviction an “outrageous crime against press freedom.” Ressa and Santos will appeal, but could face up to six years in prison. 

The World spoke with Maria Ressa last April: “Democracies can turn overnight. You can lose rights very quickly and I’m shocked at what’s happened to the Philippines. So — hold the line. I always say, ‘Hold the line.’ I think we need to demand accountability. We need to stop impunity. Those are the two main things.” 

What The World is following

Less than a month after the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis galvanized a movement against systemic racism and police brutality around the world, Rayshard Brooks, also a black man, was killed by a white police officer in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday, reigniting protests in the city

Some areas of Beijing are reentering lockdowns after China’s capital city reported 36 new cases of the novel coronavirus in a single day, likely linked to an outbreak at the Xinfadi wholesale market. In US states with support for Donald Trump, Republican skepticism about the threat of the pandemic could be shifting as the number of cases of COVID-19 increases by the hundreds or more per day. Research suggests that racial attitudes could have reinforced an “empathy gap” for virus victims, which have disproportionately been people of color

In New Zealand, 20,000 fans became some of the first in the world to regather in person for a sporting event — a rugby match on Saturday. The country has been declared essentially virus-free after strict lockdown measures beginning in March effectively quashed the virus there. 

Racism against African Americans in China escalates amid coronavirus

Women wearing protective face masks are seen in a bus, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai, June 9, 2020. 

Credit:

Aly Song/Reuters 

Four years ago, JC, a teacher and poet from Mississippi, moved to China with her husband and two children on a grand adventure. Now, she teaches literature to high schoolers in Guangzhou. 

But she says life has changed amid the coronavirus pandemic. In mid-April, reports of “imported cases” of COVID-19 from abroad triggered a wave of anti-foreigner sentiment across China, especially toward black people.

‘Travel bubbles’: Who’s in and who’s out of the plan to save global tourism

Passengers wait for a regional train at the main train station in Berlin during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Berlin, Germany, June 10, 2020.

Credit:

Gabriela Baczynska/Reuters

The coronavirus pandemic has brought leisure travel to a standstill. International tourism could decline by up to 80% this year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Now, just as the Northern Hemisphere enters the summer season, governments around the world are trying to revitalize their tourism economies.

And: Sweden’s handling of coronavirus drives some people to relocate

Morning meme

Watching Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s moptop emerge is one way to keep track of the calendar, says The New York Times (and this GIF 👇). 

I made a thing! @JustinTrudeau‘s hair from every daily update since March 16, 2020. #Longhairdontcare pic.twitter.com/IvNeKbKhYC

— Steven Tiao (@stiao) June 12, 2020In case you missed itListen: Latin America’s reckoning with racism and police violence

A demonstrator wearing a face mask as a preventive measure against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), holds a sign that reads “I can’t breathe, black lives matter” during a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd and the arrival of U.S. troops in Colombian territory, in Bogota, Colombia June 3, 2020.

Credit:

Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters

The World continues its coverage of campaigns for police reform across the globe. Host Marco Werman speaks with Siana Bangura, an organizer in London, and Miski Noor, an activist with Black Visions Collective in Minneapolis. Also, The World’s Jorge Valencia has a story about police killings in Latin America.  Tensions continue to escalate between the US and China. The US Navy is dispatching two aircraft carriers plus support ships to the western Pacific, a powerful signal to Beijing. Host Marco Werman speaks with military analyst Sim Tack about the escalations. With international tourism falling off a cliff, governments are trying to mitigate things by allowing their citizens to visit neighboring countries. But with “travel bubbles” forming around the world, the US hasn’t been invited to buddy up with anybody. The World’s Bianca Hillier has more. And, US President Donald Trump authorized economic sanctions against the International Criminal Court this week, unhappy about efforts to investigate US personnel. The World’s Rupa Shenoy reports.

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Twitter purges state-backed disinformation accounts; US sanctions ICC staff, Syria

Twitter purges state-backed disinformation accounts; US sanctions ICC staff, Syria

By
The World staff

A 3D printed Twitter logo is seen in front of a displayed cyber code in this illustration taken March 22, 2016.

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Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters

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Twitter has purged and archived more than 32,000 accounts linked to state-backed disinformation operations coming out of China, Russia and Turkey. All of the accounts have been removed for violations of Twitter’s platform manipulation policies, which prevent users from utilizing the platform “to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience.”

Nearly 24,000 of the accounts Twitter purged were removed for pushing “deceptive narratives” about Hong Kong and “spreading geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China.” The social media platform also removed more than 1,100 accounts linked to Russian state-backed political propaganda promoting President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, and more than 7,300 accounts targeting users in Turkey with narratives favoring President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his party.

Earlier this week, the European Commission blamed Russia and China for engaging in “targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns,” with the goal of undermining democracies and projecting distorted views of China’s response to the pandemic. The commission called on social media companies to report monthly on how they are addressing COVID-19 misinformation. 

What The World is following

In an attempt to strong-arm the International Criminal Court and undermine an investigation into possible US war crimes, the Trump administration has authorized sanctions and new visa restrictions on ICC personnel. The tribunal has called the move “an unacceptable attempt to interfere with the rule of law and the Court’s judicial proceedings.” 

And in Syria, where the currency has fallen 70% since April, new US anti-war crimes sanctions could squeeze what remains of the country’s economy, devastating Syrians facing a horrific war and critical food shortages. In neighboring Lebanon, there are increased calls for the government to resign as the currency there depreciated by more than 25% in two days, and protesters took to the streets in some of the most widespread demonstrations in months.

Meanwhile, after countries and states pushed reopening, some are seeing concerning spikes in COVID-19 infections. More than 7.5 million people are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 — and more than 2 million of those cases are in the US. 

 

Also: What South Africa can teach the US about racial justice and reconciliation

From The World

A massive Asian drug bust has stirred a fentanyl mystery

Barrels of chemicals seized from a drug lab in northern Myanmar.

Credit:

Myanmar’s Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control

A recent bust on the Myanmar-China border was too massive to fit inside any room. The police had to spread out their haul in a pasture. The seizure netted 18 tons of meth, mostly in the form of tiny pink pills, nearly 200 million of them stuffed into bulging sacks. But the story behind the raid is quite messy — one involving double-crossing traffickers, Chinese mafia and even the White House.

This Zimbabwe rom-com could be your next Netflix binge

Tendai Ryan Nguni and Tendaiishe Chitima star as Prince and Anesu in the Zimbabwean film, “Cook Off.”

Credit:

Courtesy of Bongani Kumbula/”Cook Off” 

Sometimes, you just need to kick back in front of the TV and watch a rom-com. Here’s a suggestion: “Cook Off.” It’s the story of a single mom who enters a TV cooking competition that might just change her life. And last week, it became the first film from Zimbabwe to get picked up by Netflix.

“It’s a huge milestone for Zimbabwe,” the film’s producer Joe Njagu told The World. “It’s the first time ever a film from this side has been seen on such a platform. For us, we see this as a chance to introduce Zimbabwean films to the world.”

Morning meme

Who knew bath time could be so much fun? 🐼🛀

Bath time for pandas pic.twitter.com/yj0YVJolyo

— Back To Nature (@backt0nature) June 11, 2020In case you missed itListen: The coronavirus crisis is pushing millions into extreme poverty

The coronavirus pandemic could set the planet back on decades worth of progress in securing access to food for millions of people living in poverty. And, protests against police brutality and racism in the US and elsewhere are resonating in South Africa, which has its own complicated history of police violence. Also, Russian emergency teams are still working to contain an oil spill in the Arctic before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean.

 

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Protests raise concerns of COVID-19 spread; Researchers retract hydroxycholorquine study

Protests raise concerns of COVID-19 spread; Researchers retract hydroxycholorquine study

By
The World staff

People protest in solidarity with those in the United States protesting police brutality and the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Sydney, Australia, June 2, 2020.

Credit:

Loren Elliott/Reuters

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As protests reverberate around the world over the police killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, some governments have urged would-be protesters to move their activism out of the streets over fears of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, while underscoring her solidarity with protesters, asked them to find an alternative to gathering physically: “Right now, it is the case, unfortunately and regrettably, that large gatherings of people could pose a risk to health and indeed to life.” Scotland is currently under strict coronavirus lockdown rules which prohibit gatherings of more than eight people and require social distancing of at least six feet.

An Australian court banned a Black Lives Matter protest planned in Sydney, citing COVID-19 concerns. While the curve has flattened in New South Wales, authorities warned, “It’s not a time to throw out our caution.” But organizers say they plan to go ahead with the protest, which has also brought attention to deaths in police custody of black and Indigenous people in Australia.

What The World is following

Researchers retracted a study in the Lancet medical journal that found risks in using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients, saying they can “no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.” The retraction raises concerns about the rush to publish during the pandemic. 

US President Donald Trump tweeted a letter calling demonstrators in Washington, DC’s Lafayette Square “terrorists” and citing other falsehoods after former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis heavily criticized the president. The peaceful protesters were violently cleared from the square Monday for the president’s photo opportunity, prompting a lawsuit from the ACLU.

From The WorldYemen faces spread of COVID-19 ‘with no health care system at all’

Yemen, made vulnerable by more than five years of war, is ill-equipped to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health problem is exacerbated by warring factions, who downplay the threat of the pandemic even as Yemeni hospitals — and graveyards — are crowded with victims.

Police killing of George Floyd strikes a chord in Kenya

A man sits under a graffiti depicting African American man George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, June 4, 2020. The writing reads ”Justice” in Swahili. 

Credit:

Baz Ratner/Reuters

George Floyd’s killing by a police offer in the US has struck a chord with Kenyans who have also spoken out against police brutality. When Kenya enacted restrictive policies to curb the spread of the coronavirus, activists sounded the alarm about deadly policing. According to Kenya’s Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), more than 15 people were killed by police during the coronavirus curfew — including children. Community organizers say that number could be much higher.

From Things That Go Boom: Was the US sleeping through China’s rise? 

China’s millennials reexamine spending habits as economy recovers

Visitors hold face masks at the Shanghai Disneyland theme park as it reopens following a shutdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai, China May 11, 2020. 

Credit:

Aly Song/Reuters

Millennials in China have been known to be big spenders. But as the Chinese economy recovers from a coronavirus-induced slowdown, many young people are reexamining their lives and their spending habits.

Morning focus

Blowing bubbles looks fun across the universe. Watch this black hole send blobs of 400 million billion pounds of matter into space. 

Credit:

M. Espinasse et al./Université de Paris/CXC/NASA

In case you missed itListen: The parallels of police violence in the US and around the world

A man holds a candle in commemoration of George Floyd, a black man killed while in Minneapolis police custody, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 3, 2020.

Credit:

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

We continue to focus on the two biggest stories across the globe: Police violence against black people in the US and around the world, and the coronavirus pandemic. The killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the killing of a 14-year-old boy during a botched police raid in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is forcing a reckoning in both countries. Also, how testing and tracing for COVID-19 is working in the UK. And, pandemic lockdowns have changed the way people around the world are using their streets and sidewalks. We take you to a busy street in Milan to hear how people are using new bike lanes and socially-distanced sidewalks.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Was the US sleeping through China’s rise?

Was the US sleeping through China's rise?

If the US can’t take care of itself in times of major crisis, how exactly is it supposed to “beat” China in global competition?

Host
Laicie Heeley

Producer
Ruth Morris

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Chinese and US flags flutter near The Bund, before US trade delegation meet their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China, July 30, 2019.

Credit:

Aly Song/Reuters

Share

Tres Coronas – Venenosas Lyrics (feat. Buju Banton)

Ahh aah
Ja ja jaja
Yeah PNO ,rocca parcero productions
Straight from new york baby jaja!!!
Sucia sucia ja ja ja ja nomas nomas yeah
Tres coronas, no money no Money

Ayo ayo ayo
This chicas be thinking they f*cking free loaded loaded
Conmigo se joden joden si no sueltan el (CULO!!!)
Entre mas fina mas rica menos le gasto le pica ella se muere de envidia
(SE SE SEGURO)quieres plata ,quiere joyas ,quiere ropa ala moda, quiere cruseros en dólar
Todo que a se le acomoda, los guardias hacen la cola pero conmigo no jodas
Estoy arrecho y sin bromas y no te gasto ni un dólar
Ya me entiendes ya me entiendes no me sonria y pela los dientes
Ya me entiendes ya me entiendes lo tuyo refleja muy evidente
Ya me entiendes ya me entiendes la clase de mujer que quiere joderte
Quiere robarte, quiere comerte quiere dejarte vuelto un demente noooo conmigo no vas a poder noooo ningún centavo va a coger

Sucia sucia ja ja ja ja nomas nomas yeah
Tres coronas, no money no Money

Eh eh eh eh eh eh eh
Quien no conoce quien no ha visto una de esa nenas
Que solo con una mirada ya te envenenan
Te dicen papito mi santo y vivo te entierran
Poquito a poquito te van chupando y te PELAN!!!
Son víboras hermana ya son pirañas y te devoran dejando tiarao tus huesos por alla
Con un vistazo te analizan la ropa te miran que perfume que marca tienes que que es lo que brilla ASESINA!!!
Conmigo no puedes (pra) no tienes corazón (cua) como tu te mueves (pra) en la pista bota tu anzuelo
Vamos pa’ la pesca NIÑA
Yo boto mi malla y te llevo conmigo CHINA
Pulpoy no se duerma no se rinda (pra)
Que eso con ella se le cobra en la carne enseguida (pra)

Sucia sucia ja ja ja ja nomas nomas yeah
Tres coronas, no money no Money

Rwandan genocide suspect found after decades; The dangers of ‘vaccine nationalism’; Probe launched after Trump ousts State Dept. watchdog

Rwandan genocide suspect found after decades; The dangers of 'vaccine nationalism'; Probe launched after Trump ousts State Dept. watchdog

By
The World staff

Readers look at a newspaper June 12, 2002 in Nairobi carrying the photograph of Rwandan Felicien Kabuga wanted by the United States. The United States published a “wanted” photograph in Kenyan newspapers of the businessman accused of helping finance the 1994 killings in Rwanda.

Credit:

George Mulala/Reuters/File Photo

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

After more than two decades, one of the most-wanted fugitives indicted for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide has been apprehended. Félicien Kabuga, 84, was arrested on the outskirts of Paris on Saturday. He is accused of backing Hutu militias and inciting genocidal violence through hate-filled propaganda that left at least 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus dead. His arrest and trial could help shed light on the machinations of leaders who orchestrated the killings, and bring some sense of justice 26 years after the genocide.  

Will WHO global assembly help pandemic coordination?

Despite efforts to reopen economies, the novel coronavirus pandemic is far from over. The World Health Organization is hosting a virtual global assembly on Monday for heads of state and health experts in an attempt to coordinate an international response to the ongoing pandemic. But while WHO director general hailed the gathering one of the most important in the body’s history, diplomatic tensions — particularly between the US and China — could undermine the work to create an effective global response. The Trump administration continues to spread unproven theories about the spread of the virus.

And: Busted: Pentagon contractors’ report on ‘Wuhan Lab’ origins of virus is bogus

Also: Hospitals in Brazil’s São Paulo ‘near collapse’

The dangers of ‘vaccine nationalism’

Moderna, a Massachusetts biotech company, has shown some positive initial results in a human trial of a vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus. While a small study showed antibody responses in some healthy volunteers, there is not yet clear evidence that the vaccine would prevent infection. 

Some 130 groups worldwide are working to develop a vaccine. But the chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has warned that “vaccine nationalism” — or prioritizing domestic inoculation — could leave the rest of the world suffering. Instead, she argues, there should be global distribution focusing on high-risk recipients, such as health care workers and the elderly.  

And: Thermal scanners are the latest technology being deployed to detect the coronavirus. But they don’t really work.

Also: A study said COVID wasn’t that deadly. The right seized it.

Democrats launch probe after Trump ousts State Dept. watchdog

US President Donald Trump on Friday fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, who was investigating Sec. Mike Pompeo‘s alleged misuse of a political appointee to carry out domestic errands, such as picking up dry cleaning and walking his dog. Linick is the fourth government watchdog on Trump’s proverbial chopping block over the last six weeks, leading Democrats to launch a probe into his ouster. 

Also: Trump escalates war on government watchdogs

And: Barr’s Flynn dismissal motion portends greater abuses ahead

What history tells us about building climate coalitions

With major economies drawing up enormous economic packages to cushion the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, many investors, politicians and businesses see a unique opportunity to drive a shift toward a low-carbon future.

But meaningful action on climate change will take a lot of political will. Professor Matto Mildenberger speaks with The World’s Marco Werman about whether there is enough to spur actual change. 

And: Is 2020 an economic write-off?

What Facebook’s $52M pay out means for international contractors

In a landmark decision that could have implications for content moderators around the world, Facebook has agreed to pay $52 million to compensate some US-based workers for the trauma they endured on the job.

This is the first time a social media company will pay workers who say their mental health suffered as a result of exposure to disturbing content, according to lawyers who represented the content moderators in the lawsuit. The new settlement covers only workers based in the US, but the unprecedented move could have an impact on content moderators in other parts of the world.

Little Manila’s ‘Meal to Heal’ effort brings food to Filipino health workers

Filipino nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic at Elmhurst Hospital Center in New York pose with donated food from Meal to Heal, a Filipino American community initiative.

Credit:

Courtesy of Rocco Cetera

People of Filipino descent play an outsize role in the US health care workforce. They’re 1% of the US population, but comprise 7% of health workers. And because so many Filipino Americans are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, it has taken a devastating and outsized toll on their community.

In New York City, a group of Filipinos in the Little Manila neighborhood of Woodside, Queens, is taking care of their own during the pandemic. Their mutual aid initiative, called “Meal to Heal,” is bringing free meals to hospitals and health facilities heavily staffed by Filipinos — while also raising funds to help Filipino restaurants struggling because of the stay-home order.

Morning meme

Fashion faux pas? A South Korean K-league soccer club apologized after it says it mistakenly used sex dolls instead of fashion mannequins to fill stadium seats.

2016 K League winners FC Seoul inadvertently used sex dolls rather than fashion mannequins to help fill empty stands this weekend. The club has apologised. Both the club and the supplier are pointing fingers at others. (It’s not just COVID-19 you need to avoid catching!) #kleague pic.twitter.com/59rSU8XxYL

— Devon Rowcliffe (@WhoAteTheSquid) May 17, 2020In case you missed itListen: Reassessing the effects of the coronavirus on children

A teacher takes the children’s temperature at the entrance of a flemish primary school during its reopening as a small part of Belgian children head back to their schools with new rules and social distancing during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brussels, Belgium, May 15, 2020.

Credit:

Johanna Geron/Reuters

For awhile it seemed kids were largely spared by the impacts of the coronavirus. But doctors are beginning to reassess this. In very rare instances, the virus now appears to be associated with an extreme overreaction of the immune system in children, requiring intensive care. The World’s host Marco Werman speaks to Dr. Lorenzo D’Antiga in Bergamo, Italy. Spain has been one of the European countries hit hardest by the coronavirus. But this week, some parts of the Mediterranean country saw a partial easing of the lockdown. Airlines in many of the world’s richest economies are receiving help from their governments to stay in business. That’s not in the case in Latin America. The World’s Jorge Valencia reports on the status of two air carriers in Colombia. And, people of Filipino descent make up 1 percent of the US population, but 7 percent of the health care workforce. In New York City, a group in the Queens neighborhood. known as Little Manila is taking care of their own. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

WHO chief promises review of coronavirus response, China defends its performance

WHO chief promises review of coronavirus response, China defends its performance

Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, February 2020.

Credit:

Denis Balibouse/Reuters/File Photo

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The head of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday an independent evaluation of the global coronavirus response would be launched as soon as possible during a virtual meeting of the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, facing global criticism over his county’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, defended China’s handling of the crisis but also backed the WHO’s review.

US President Donald Trump has fiercely questioned the WHO’s performance during the pandemic and led international criticism of China’s handling of the early stages of the crisis.

Tedros, who has always promised a post-pandemic review, said it would come “at the earliest appropriate moment” and provide recommendations for future preparedness.

“We all have lessons to learn from the pandemic. Every country and every organisation must examine its response and learn from its experience. WHO is committed to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement,” Tedros said.

The review must encompass responsibility of “all actors in good faith,” he said.

“The risk remains high and we have a long road to travel,” Tedros added, saying preliminary tests in some countries showed that at most 20% of populations had contracted the disease but most places that less than 10%.

Related: Is 2020 an economic write-off?

A resolution drafted by the European Union called for an independent evaluation of the WHO’s performance and appeared to have won consensus backing among the health body’s 194 states.

China has previously opposed calls for a review of the origin and spread of the coronavirus, but Xi signalled Beijing would be amenable to an impartial evaluation of the global response once the pandemic is brought under control.

“This work needs a scientific and professional attitude, and needs to be led by the WHO. And the principles of objectivity and fairness need to be upheld,” he told the meeting via video.

Calling the pandemic the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War Two, Xi said: “All along we have acted with openness and transparency and responsibility.”

Wildlife origins

A draft of the EU resolution made no mention of China.

WHO and most experts say the virus is believed to have emerged in a market selling wildlife in the central city of Wuhan late last year.

A draft text of the EU resolution urges Tedros to initiate an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the  response to COVID-19 under the WHO “at the earliest appropriate moment.”

Diplomats said the United States, which suspended its funding of the WHO during the crisis, was unlikely to block a consensus backing the resolution.

But it could “dissociate” itself from sections referring to intellectual property rights for drugs and vaccines, and to continued provision of services for sexual and reproductive health during the pandemic, they said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the WHO “irreplaceable.” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Africa affirms its “full support,” but assistance to the continent should include debt relief and help with diagnostics, drugs and medical supplies.

Barbados’ prime minister said Caribbean states need a restructuring of debt or a debt moratorium to “provide certainty to both borrower and lender” during the pandemic.

By Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge/Reuters

Is 2020 an economic write-off?

Is 2020 an economic write-off?

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The World staff

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People wait in line at a food bank at St. Bartholomew Church, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Elmhurst section of Queens, New York City, New York, May 15, 2020.

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The US Commerce Department said retail sales, a significant portion of the economy, plunged 16.4% last month, the biggest decline since the government started tracking the figures in 1992. That data followed a historic 20.5 million job losses last month.

Germany’s economy slumped in the first quarter at its steepest rate since 2009 with worse expected by mid-year, but it is weathering fallout from the coronavirus better than other EU states where outbreaks have been more disruptive.

Indian lenders are facing a jump in virus-related defaults on credit card dues and personal and vehicle loans, forcing them to set aside hundreds of millions of dollars and take steps like asking sales staff to track down borrowers who have vanished.

These dramatic movements in the economy are happening all over the globe. Simon Cox is the emerging markets editor for The Economist. He spoke to The World’s Marco Werman from Hong Kong for the worldwide perspective on the economy.

Marco Werman: So, Simon, I guess there’s bad and then there’s really bad. How does this economic meltdown compare to the Great Recession back in 2008 or other downturns?

Simon Cox: It’s far worse. I mean, if you look at the global economy as a whole, it actually takes quite a lot to make it shrink. And back in the global financial crisis, which was this unprecedented depression-like event, it shrank, but only a very small amount. This pandemic, though, is going to produce a convulsion, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Great Depression.

Related: Brexit? It’s still a thing. 

So, are we talking about the entire world being engulfed by this or are there some areas that are harder hit than others and will continue to be harder hit?

There’s almost nowhere that’s escaped. In Asia, Singapore has been very hard hit. It’s obviously a hub; it depends very much on people feeling free to move about. Thailand’s been very hard hit because of the tourism industry. Then, there are countries like Taiwan, and China itself that are going to come through it with actually less damage than some of their neighbors. Vietnam is another country that’s been damaged, but it’s less so.

Related: Is Vietnam the coronavirus-fighting champ of the world?  

So, what makes a difference between countries that are better positioned to weather the economic storm? You mentioned Vietnam, like what went right there? What did they have that kind of shielded them?

So, it’s a combination of two things. First, it’s a fairly quick response to the pandemic itself. So, good public health response, including surveillance, tracking. Vietnam actually has quite a lot of experience in dealing with flus of various kinds. So, it was set up to sort of deal with this. It has high state capacity, to use the term. And then the second thing is a reasonably robust economic position at the beginning. So, countries that were able to respond to this slowdown with a fair amount of stimulus, perhaps because their fiscal situation wasn’t too stretched beforehand, perhaps their central banks had room to cut interest rates. Those things combined are what you really need to come through this with the minimum damage.

Related: Amsterdam’s coronavirus recovery plan embraces ‘doughnut economics’ for people and the planet

So, the US and China have been sparring, but that’s really been happening since President Donald Trump came into office. Trump has long talked about shifting production away from China. Do you think the pandemic could achieve what Trump so far has not been able to do? And what could the implications be for other countries in China’s orbit and in the kind of US-China orbit?

Yes, we have seen some of that. There is some sense supply chains are going to get shorter. An announcement just this week was that one of the big Taiwan semiconductor factories would set up a plant in the US. Now, that comes with some efficiency costs. It’s obviously more efficient to produce goods wherever they’re cheapest to produce. But I suppose for the populists and the people who are very keen to repatriate manufacturing, they see this, perhaps, as a good side of the pandemic.

Related: What will a post-coronavirus world look like? 

From an economic standpoint, is this year a total write-off, and more focus is just going to be put on 2021? Or is it too soon to even focus on 2021?

It’s a little bit staggered. So, you know, the countries that got hit first are going to recover first. China being the most obvious example. So, for those countries that can hope to see some sort of recovery in the second half of this year. Everyone else is going to have to wait until 2021. And even then, it’s going to be a very qualified recovery. You know, we might get back to where we were in late 2019, but we’re never going to get back to where we would have been if this pandemic had never struck. And it’s important to bear that in mind, I think.

Related: The slow burn of a long-term slowdown

Finally, help us understand — why it seems that is the case, but markets globally are shaken, but not really stirred to the degree that a lot of fearmongers were predicting?

Yeah, no, that’s quite interesting. It’s partly because of the response of central banks. They’ve been very active, I think, commendably so, in trying to ensure financial stability. It’s also because financial markets are very forward-looking, so they’re pricing, not just this year’s earnings, not just next year’s earnings, but the next 20 years’ earnings. And over that kind of timescale, perhaps, the pandemic begins to look like a smaller event. And it’s also that clearly, it’s got a bit carried away. I think there was quite a lot of cash on the sidelines looking for buying opportunities. And the fear of missing out kicks in quite quickly once the sort of fear of losses subsides. And so, I think the rally got a bit ahead of itself. And we’re already seeing this week some pullback.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Reuters contributed reporting. 

COVID-19 shakes up international student life — and university budgets

COVID-19 shakes up international student life — and university budgets

More than a month after the coronavirus pandemic shut down US universities, international students continue to face uncertainty over what the coming school year will look like — some aren't sure if they would be able to come back to campus. What kind of financial hit could US universities expect if there's a drop in enrollment among international students?

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Marnette Federis

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A student carries bags to her car before a deadline to vacate University of Dayton in Ohio on-campus housing due to measures to combat the spread of novel coronavirus, in Dayton, Ohio, March 11, 2020.

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When the novel coronavirus pandemic forced US university closures in March, Julia Jing, a sophomore at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, wasn’t sure if she should return home to Beijing or to stay in the US. 

The journalism and art design student eventually purchased a ticket home to China, but that flight was canceled. Jing has since been hunkering down in her apartment near campus and taking classes remotely. But she’s also spending a lot of her time contacting the US embassy in China and trying to figure out what she’ll do next. 

“It’s hard to connect with the embassies. They didn’t answer my phone and they didn’t reply to my email. And I don’t know what to do right now.”

Julia Jing, sophomore, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

“It’s hard to connect with the embassies. They didn’t answer my phone and they didn’t reply to my email,” Jing said. “And I don’t know what to do right now.”

An estimated 1.1 million international students were enrolled at US universities during the 2018-19 academic year. And by paying tuition, renting apartments and buying books and supplies, they contributed an estimated $41 billion to the US economy, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators. 

But those students have been forced to scramble as universities across the country closed in-person education this spring to slow the spread of the virus. Some who lived on campus had to find a new place to live, while others rushed to get back to their home countries before flights were canceled or national governments shut down borders. There is still uncertainty about what the coming academic year will look like for international students. Some, like Jing, aren’t sure if they’ll be able to return to campus in the fall. 

Related: International students displaced by COVID-19 face headaches with online classes

Her student visa expires in June, and the US government requires her to return to China to renew it. But flight cancellations may stretch into the coming months, and services at US embassies may still be suspended this summer. And if Jing does go home and can’t renew her visa, she’s not sure if she will be able to return to Illinois and enroll in the fall.

“If I cannot come back, I would just get a year off and stay in China,” she said. 

The American Council on Education predicts that “enrollment for the next academic year will drop by 15%, including a projected decline of 25% for international students,” according to letters it submitted to Congress. That could have serious effects on institutions’ budgets. The organization is advocating for more financial aid for higher education institutions to mitigate the effects of the crisis.

Related: COVID-19: The latest from The World

The potential decline is a troubling scenario for many in higher education. 

International students typically pay full tuition at colleges, which means they pay higher rates compared to most domestic students, said Dick Startz, an economics professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

“Universities all use that money to help subsidize the education of American students. If we lost a whole lot of our international students, a lot of universities would have a really serious financial shock.”

Dick Startz, economics professor, University of California, Santa Barbara 

“Universities all use that money to help subsidize the education of American students,” Startz said. “If we lost a whole lot of our international students, a lot of universities would have a really serious financial shock.”

Already, since 2016 fewer new international students have been choosing to study in the US. Higher education experts attribute that decline to the Trump administration’s stricter immigration policies and anti-immigrant rhetoric. 

Rachel Banks, senior director for public policy and legislative strategy with NAFSA, said the pandemic will only accelerate the decline. If the number of international students falls, Banks says, the impacts will not just be financial, but could also extend to research and the overall academic learning environment of universities.

Related: Indians stranded in the US due to coronavirus face headaches for online classes

“At the graduate level, a majority of international students are here studying … in STEM fields, and they serve a role on campus as student teachers, supporting faculty and working in research labs,” said Banks.

Universities say they are preparing for all possible scenarios and potential financial losses. But many questions remain unanswered. For example, it’s unclear if international travel will still be limited in the coming months. The overall health of the global economy could impact international students’ ability to enroll. And it’s uncertain if US embassies and consulates around the world will be able to open up and issue student visas for those that need them in time for the fall. 

Another big question is whether the Department of Homeland Security will allow current international students to take classes online next semester.

Another big question is whether the Department of Homeland Security will allow current international students to take classes online next semester. Typically, those with student visas can only count one online class to their full course to remain eligible. But the agency temporarily suspended the rule in light of the pandemic this spring. It’s also unclear if newly admitted international students would be allowed to take classes remotely.

“We don’t know what it’s going to look like in August,” said Martin McFarlane, director of International Student and Scholar Services at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign said. “But these things are going to be restricting for returning students, just like they’re going to be restricting to new students, as well.”

At the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, McFarlane said accepted international students still have a lot of interest in coming to the US.

“I did speak to the admissions office very recently,” said McFarlane. “They say the number of international students accepting their offer remains on pace with what we’ve seen in recent years. Our incoming class at the moment are hopeful and believe they’re going to be able to attend and fall.” 

Jing also wonders how new international students will fare in the fall, especially if classes are remote. She said she decided to study in the US for the experience of being on campus and meeting new people. 

“I like to experience the life here, how you join some clubs, hang out with friends … having this experience is more special for me,” Jing said.

She hopes to be able to continue studying in Illinois in the fall and to be with her friends, but if classes continue to be remote, she said she’ll enroll to make sure she can graduate on time.  

“I’m worried about my future,” she said. 

Brazilian Supreme Court orders probe into Bolsonaro; El Salvador prison crackdown risks coronavirus spread; Harvard student creates PPE supply chain from China to Boston

Brazilian Supreme Court orders probe into Bolsonaro; El Salvador prison crackdown risks coronavirus spread; Harvard student creates PPE supply chain from China to Boston

By
The World staff

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro walks as he leaves the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, January 22, 2020.

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Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered an investigation into accusations from Sergio Moro, the former justice minister, that allege President Jair Bolsonaro tried to “interfere” with police work for political gain. Moro — previously an anti-corruption judge — resigned last week, sending the administration into turmoil. A majority of Brazilians believe there is truth to accusations against Bolsonaro, but are split on whether or not he should be impeached.

And: Embraer takes Boeing to arbitration over failed deal as Brazil eyes China tie-up

Also: A Republican effort to sabotage Obamacare was just rejected by the Supreme Court

El Salvador prison crackdown risks coronavirus spread

“No ray of sunlight” will enter prison cells holding gang members, said El Salvador’s security minister Osiris Luna, after a spate of homicides occured over the weekend. The government says prisoners were passing messages to the outside about the targets of the killings. Photos released by the office of President Nayib Bukele show inmates stripped down to shorts and crammed together on prison floors, most with no protection from the spread of the novel coronavirus. Human rights organizations have warned about the deadly consequences of the virus in Latin America’s overcrowded prison facilities. 

And: ‘Calamitous’ — domestic violence set to soar by 20% during global lockdown

WHO warns children could die as vaccinations for other diseases are delayed

The World Health Organization warns that children are at risk as the pandemic has created vaccine shortages in at least 21 countries for other potentially deadly diseases. Immunizations and treatment for diseases such as malaria have been put on hold, which could lead to a spike in cases later. “The tragic reality is children will die as a result,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urging countries to ensure vaccine programs are funded. 

Also: Vaccine rates drop dangerously as parents avoid doctor’s visits

And: US was warned of threat from anti-vaxxers in event of pandemic

Discussion today: Pandemic exposes health inequities

With the coronavirus pandemic making its way around the globe, poor communities and communities of color have been hit particularly hard, exposing longstanding health disparities. As part of our weekly series, The World’s Elana Gordon will be taking your questions and moderating a conversation with Dr. Mary Bassett, director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and former commissioner of health for New York City, on Tuesday, April 28 at 12 p.m. ET.

Harvard grad student creates PPE supply chain from China to Boston

The coronavirus pandemic is creating an insatiable demand for medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) that has overwhelmed the world market. China has ramped up the production of needed supplies by bringing new manufacturers online. In an international marketplace where companies, federal and state agencies are fighting for equipment, Harvard business student Sophie Bai and her colleagues are creating a new supply chain.

And: Shutdowns have led to cleaner air quality. Is it sustainable?

COVID-19 interrupts fertility plans for hopeful couples in the UK

Thousands of women may lose out on their chance to have a baby because of COVID-19. Fertility clinics across Britain shut their doors in mid-April, pausing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment for many women midcycle. The decision has left thousands in limbo. No one knows when the clinics will open up again and for those who have spent years trying to conceive — the closure is a cruel blow.

Also: Kids in Spain venture outside for the first time in weeks as lockdown gradually eases up

Corona Diaries: Open-source project chronicles pandemic life via voice notes

A map of Europe and North Africa showing locations where people have tagged recordings uploaded to the crowdsourced project, Corona Diaries.

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Corona Diaries

During the novel coronavirus pandemic, some are turning to their diaries to document this incredible time. Fellows from Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism had a different idea to chronicle daily life. They have started the “Corona Diaries” — an open-source audio project where anyone — including you — can contribute their audio story.

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Chris Woodhead is taking a more permanent approach to tracking his pandemic experience: a tattoo for every day in lockdown.

    View this post on Instagram         

Self-isolation tattoo no.31

A post shared by Chris Woodhead (@adverse.camber) on Apr 16, 2020 at 6:39am PDT

In case you missed itListen: As some countries ease lockdowns, UK’s Boris Johnson asks Britons to be patient

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks outside 10 Downing Street after recovering from the coronavirus, in London, England, April 27, 2020.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is back on the job and urging the public to be patient with the lockdown restrictions. Meanwhile, the British parliament is back up and running though, without the traditional rancor for which the body is known. And, different countries are enforcing rules on self-isolation and quarantine differently. In the Philippines, a large part of the country is on lockdown with potentially deadly curfews. Also, the “Corona Diaries” gives people an opportunity to share their experiences of life under lockdown. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS

Pandemic security must be ‘top line concern’ says former Amb. Power

Pandemic security must be ‘top line concern’ says former Amb. Power

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The World staff

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Joyce Hackel

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United States then-Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power addresses media at the United Nations in Manhattan, New York City, Dec. 19, 2016.

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Combatting the novel coronavirus is a herculean effort that many experts say depends on global solidarity and cooperation. But the US response to the novel coronavirus pandemic has brought into question the role of American leadership on the world stage.

That’s a stark contrast to six years ago, when the US under former President Barack Obama worked to assemble a global coalition to fight the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.  

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was part of that US effort in 2014. Power describes that work in her recent memoir, “The Education of an Idealist.” During the Ebola outbreak, she says, the US collaborated with other nations to stem the spread of the outbreak at its source.

She says the coronavirus can only be tackled if wealthy nations work hand-in-hand with the developing world.

Power spoke with The World’s host Marco Werman about how lessons from that experience apply to the pandemic the globe is facing today. 

COVID-19: The latest from The World

Marco Werman: Ambassador Power, you helped assemble the global coalition to combat Ebola in 2014. That was a very deadly outbreak. It took some 11,000 lives — mainly in West Africa — with just one fatality here in the US. Looking back at that time, did we just get lucky?

Samantha Power: I don’t think so.  One of the greatest professional experiences of my life was to be tapped by President Obama who said, ‘Go to the Chinese, go to the French, go to the British.’ Secretary of State John Kerry [was] doing the same. Our diplomats all around the world [were] going to governments and hustling them to try to secure resources.

And it’s just the kind of global campaign that’s needed now. Given that developed economies, of course, are having their own severe challenges and are suffering heartbreaking losses, to still, at the same time, be organizing in order to help those countries that have nowhere near the infrastructure or the resources that these developed economies have, we have to walk and chew gum at the same time. Because even if you’re only looking at it from the narrowest, most self-interested perspective, for as long as this pandemic is raging in parts of the developing world, it’s going to be very hard to restore economic normalcy globally.

Related: Samantha Power stresses ‘political evolution, rather than revolution’

So did other countries step up? I mean, what were the results of that hustle?

Absolutely. I mean, 60 to 70 countries were part of the coalition. The United States took a leadership role in the country of Liberia in West Africa. But we went to the British and said, “OK, you take Sierra Leone.” And the British stepped up in really important ways in a leadership role, backing, of course, the work of the Africans on the ground, which was the most important. The French stepped up in Guinea. Cuba — this tiny country with whom we were estranged at the time, we’ve not reopen diplomatic relations — Cuba’s incredible medical professional corps was taken advantage of and they deployed more doctors per capita to West Africa than any other country involved in the coalition. Malaysia sent rubber gloves. Japan worked on the hazmat suits to try to make them cooler.

Related: Is coronavirus reshuffling the global power deck?

I’m just curious, I mean, are there some legitimate concerns about China’s approach to the pandemic, as well as its transparency, that may not allow the same level of cooperation today?

I think there are more than legitimate concerns. I mean, China’s response was that of a cover-up in the earliest stages, firing whistleblowers, locking people up who tried to raise the alarm. China has a huge amount to answer to. China now, of course, is trying to rehabilitate itself in relation to this pandemic and is shipping vast supplies to particularly developing countries that don’t have those supplies on hand. But many of those supplies are defective. China does not yet really work effectively at building global coalitions around what they themselves do. China is much more interested in its brand and in bilateral assistance and not really yet in a position to or really showing much interest in leading the world.

Related: US leads in coronavirus cases, but retreats from global leadership

So COVID-19 is very different from Ebola. It’s often asymptomatic, and an individual can be contagious and asymptomatic at the same time. Like Ebola, though, COVID-19 represents a national security threat. I’d just love to hear from you, though, Ambassador Power, what kind of national security threat does COVID-19 pose?

Pandemic security always needed to be a top-line concern. I think it was in the Obama administration, but it’s been very hard over the decades to secure adequate funding and resources. So you have heard it talked about as a core security threat, but compared to the resources deployed, for example, in fighting terrorism, it’s just night and day. I mean, since 2010, the United States has spent $180 billion a year on counterterrorism operations and just $2 billion a year on pandemic and infectious disease response infrastructure. So that gives you a sense of how much more weighted America’s understanding of national security has been toward hard security, counterterrorism, the military, than toward crises like this, which proved far more lethal when they strike.

Related: High-profile Syrian war crimes trial opens in Germany

Global cooperation is also the US reaching out when it needs help. South Korea sending half a million test kits to Maryland. It’s a move that appears to have annoyed President Trump. As this crisis continues, do you think the Trump administration will be open to receiving more international help?

Well, I think states are open because state governors and state officials are on the frontlines seeing, every day, the human consequences of the lack of stockpiles and the lack of prevention. So what you’re seeing now is everything from California to Maryland to the city of New York reaching out to whatever international partner they can find. Bill de Blasio went to the United Nations in order to get a stash of masks — tens of thousands of masks from the United Nations headquarters in the earliest stages of his pandemic. I don’t think that urgency is evident at the highest levels of the federal government, unfortunately. And I wonder if that’s just because of the remove that federal officials may feel from the frontlines where this crisis is striking so many thousands of American families. I can’t really explain it.

But what’s important is that those supplies are procured, that our frontline workers have the prophylactic provisions that they need. They’re already risking so much in service of our broader communities. And, you know, it’s admirable to see governors hustling. But it shouldn’t be necessary. We have a whole apparatus that carries out our foreign policy every day. And to the degree that we can’t make up the shortfall through national production and manufacturing, that foreign policy apparatus — which unfortunately, of course, has been gutted in large measure by the Trump administration — but that should be deployed in getting other countries to provide the kinds of supplies that we do not have on hand.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

High-profile Syrian war crimes trial opens; Countries debate rescue packages, billionaires ask for bailouts; Missouri sues China over economic coronavirus losses

High-profile Syrian war crimes trial opens; Countries debate rescue packages, billionaires ask for bailouts; Missouri sues China over economic coronavirus losses

By
The World staff

Syrian defendant Eyad A. hides himself under his hood prior to the first trial of suspected members of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s security services for crimes against humanity, in Koblenz, Germany, April 23, 2020.

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Germany began the trial of two accused Syrian war criminals Thursday: Anwar Raslan, a former colonel, and Eyad al-Gharib, a former security officer. Raslan is the first high-ranking Syrian official in service of President Bashar al-Assad to face charges of crimes against humanity, and the trial is the first in the world to deal with state-sponsored torture in the Syrian war. The case will be decided by five judges, and is expected to take up to two years.

And in the US, the response to the coronavirus pandemic is “shaking fundamental assumptions about American exceptionalism” and the leadership role the US has played on a global scale since WWII. Former Ambassador Samantha Power will discuss with host Marco Werman on The World today. 

Also: In Central African Republic, a colossal struggle against COVID-19

Countries debate rescue packages, billionaires ask for bailouts

European Union leaders are debating a rescue package in the trillions of euros to protect the bloc’s single market. In the US, the House of Representatives will vote on a $484 billion package that would refill a loan program for small businesses and provide health care funds, but no money for state governments. 

In the UK, billionaire Richard Branson is asking for a bailout for his Virgin Group airline and hospitality company, saying he would offer his own Caribbean private islands as collateral. And the Trump Organization is seeking a bail out from the UK and Ireland for its European golf resorts. 

Also: Why major food and hotel chains are getting stimulus money meant for small businesses

Missouri sues China over economic coronavirus losses

The US state of Missouri is suing the Chinese government over the novel coronavirus pandemic. The state says China mishandled the disease and did little to stop its spread, leading to billions of dollars in economic losses for Missouri residents. But the legal ground for a US state to sue a sovereign nation is shaky. Experts question how far the case will get — and if resources are being diverted from other pressing matters. 

And: In shadow of coronavirus, China steps up manuvers near Taiwan

Narcotics dealers take hit during pandemic

The novel coronavirus pandemic has slowed cross-border trade across the world. One area that’s been hit hard? Drug cartels. Sourcing chemicals for drugs such as methamphetamine and fentanyl has been disrupted, and the bars and nightclubs that often serve as fertile ground for dealers are closed. And with supply limited, prices are soaring. “Virtually every illicit drug has been impacted, with supply chain disruptions at both the wholesale and retail level,” AP reports.

And: Keep critical food supply chains operating to save lives during COVID-19, urges new UN-backed report

Also: 4.4 million Americans sought jobless benefits last week, as economic pain continued across the United States

How science denial hampers the US response to COVID-19

Science denial in the United States has for decades fueled resistance to taking action on climate change. As a consequence, the battle to prevent its worst effects may already be lost. That same science denial continues today as the country fights to fend off or delay the worst effects of COVID-19.

And: How do you stop the spread of misinformation?

US and Mexico block children from asking for asylum because of coronavirus

A migrant child, who is seeking asylum in the US, wears a protective mask as he stands in line for food, amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the migrant camp of Matamoros, Mexico, April 1, 2020.

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Go Nakamura/Reuters

As the coronavirus crisis sweeps across the US, asylum-seekers stuck in Mexico have grown increasingly desperate, terrified for themselves and for the children they have in tow. An untold number have decided their children’s best hope is to try and enter the US alone, even if that means never seeing them again.

From The World: Xenophobia ‘takes its toll’ as Trump works to curb immigration

Also: Trump signs order pausing immigration for 60 days, with exceptions

Morning meme

Do you have trouble judging six feet of distance? This machine might be for you. #canttouchthis

In case you missed itListen: Europe takes tentative first steps to reopen

An employee places a sign as she prepares to reopen a shop after a partial end of the lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Berlin, Germany, April 18, 2020. Sign reads: “Please keep your distance! 1.50 meters to the next person.”

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Christian Mang/Reuters

In Europe, a number of countries are taking tentative steps to reopen amid the coronavirus crisis. The key concern is a relapse and no one at this point can be sure what will happen next. After almost a decade of civil war in Syria, two former Syrian government officials will go on trial in Germany. Also, from Afghanistan to the Philippines, Scotland, Serbia and more, environmentalists around the world are connecting online to celebrate Earth Day.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

China raises coronavirus death toll; political shakeups in Brazil; restoring Notre Dame’s soundscape

China raises coronavirus death toll; political shakeups in Brazil; restoring Notre Dame's soundscape

By
The World staff

A man wearing a face mask is seen under a bridge of Yangtze river in Wuhan after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province and China’s epicenter of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, April 15, 2020.

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Denmark reopens schools as experts advise caution globally; IMF warns of second Great Depression; Racing to develop a drug to fight COVID-19

Denmark reopens schools as experts advise caution globally; IMF warns of second Great Depression; Racing to develop a drug to fight COVID-19

By
The World staff

Parents with their children stand in a line waiting to get inside Stengaard School following the coronavirus outbreak north of Copenhagen, Denmark, April 15, 2020.

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Credit: Ritzau Scanpix/Bo Amstrup/via Reuters

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Denmark’s youngsters are returning to schools this week. The country was among the first in Europe to set restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus and has been praised for its swift action. But critics warn that reopening schools is a risky strategy, and some parents refuse to let their children be “guinea pigs.” 

US President Donald Trump intends to announce plans Thursday to reopen the American economy. But public health officials and the business leaders the Trump administration haphazardly assembled into advisory groups say that testing in the US is nowhere near the capacity needed to allow people to safely return to work. 

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced some lockdown rollbacks, but urged “extreme caution.” Merkel, who has a doctorate in physics, was also able to clearly explain how the disease transmission works, highlighting the value of politicians who understand science when creating policy. 

From The World: Madeleine Albright: ‘Globalization is not a four-letter word’

And: COVID-19: Making sense of all the numbers

IMF warns of second Great Depression

The International Monetary Fund warned the global economy could contract by 3% this year and $9 trillion in output could be lost over two years, according to the organization’s 2020 World Economic Outlook, issued this week. Some experts speculate it’s the end of the world economy as we know it

Economists estimate that China, the world’s second-largest economy, may have shrunk by 6% in the first quarter. It would be the first quarterly economic contraction for the country since records began. Manufacturers slowly reopening are going to extreme lengths to fend off a resurgence of the virus.   

And: California is giving 150,000 undocumented adults $500 each

Also: Japan’s Abe to give blanket cash handouts in coronavirus

Millions of South Korean voters head to the polls amid COVID-19 pandemic

After winning praise from across the globe for mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus, South Korea has held parliamentary elections despite concerns that rolling back distancing and quarantine measures could expose voters to the disease.

On Wednesday, at least 29 million South Koreans lined up at polling places to cast ballots for the 300-seat National Assembly — a vote that was widely seen as a measure of public support for the government’s response to the pandemic.

Every 30 Seconds: Young Latino voters in Seattle view November election through lens of pandemic

Racing to develop a drug to fight COVID-19

Doctors in China and the US have transfused antibodies from recovered patients directly into the blood of people with severe cases of COVID-19. Dr. Mario Ostrowski and his collaborators want to identify the genes that encode these antibodies and use them to mass produce lab-grown versions — to turn into a drug to treat the infection.

And: India hospital segregates Muslim and Hindu coronavirus patients

A history of the drug that conquered the world

With little evidence, US President Donald Trump has touted chloroquine’s potential for treating the novel coronavirus, and the clamor for the drug has alarmed leading scientists. But the race for chloroquine is far from new. This remedy and its natural derivative, the cinchona plant, have defined world powers and symbolized hope for cures to destructive diseases for centuries.

And: How an anti-malarial drug has become a tool of India’s diplomacy

In a new MoMA audio guide, security guards are the art experts

Museum of Modern Art security guards pose outside the museum with artist Chemi Rosado-Seijo, far right, creator of an audio guide where the guards explain their favorite works of art.

Credit:

Catalyst Program, The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Beatriz Meseguer/onwhitewall.com. © 2020 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Museum visitors usually don’t acknowledge security guards. But they’re often incredibly knowledgable about the art they keep watch over — and may even be artists themselves. A new MoMA audio guide puts the guards front and center. In a series of 20 audio essays, the guards each choose a piece of art and speak about it.

You can listen online even though the museum is closed as part of countrywide stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Morning meme

Conservationists in Vietnam recently got some good news: A species feared extinct, the Vietnamese silver-backed mouse-deer, was documented for the first time in nearly 30 years.

The silver-backed chevrotain lives in the scrubby forests of Vietnam’s coast. These animals, also known as mouse-deer, are the world’s smallest ungulates, or hooved animals. This photo is the first documentation of its existence in nearly 30 years.

Credit:

Courtesy of SIE/GWC / Leibniz-IZW/NCNP

In case you missed it:Listen: Outcry over Trump’s WHO funding cut order

US President Donald Trump addresses the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, April 14, 2020.

Credit:

Leah Millis/Reuters

President‌ ‌Donald Trump‌ ‌says‌ ‌he’s‌ ‌halting‌ ‌funding‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌World‌ ‌Health‌ ‌Organization‌ ‌pending‌ ‌a‌ ‌review.‌ ‌How‌ would the funding ‌cut ‌affect‌ ‌the‌ ‌WHO’s‌ ‌work‌? And, there’s a global backlash against Trump’s WHO announcement, especially in places where the organization is vital like in Democratic Republic of Congo, where they are not only dealing with COVID-19 but also Ebola. Also, a priest in Vancouver, Canada, has a social distancing solution for confessionals for his congregation: a drive-through option.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Trump cuts WHO funding; online threats increase amid pandemic; deportations could be spreading COVID-19

Trump cuts WHO funding; online threats increase amid pandemic; deportations could be spreading COVID-19

By
The World staff

US President Donald Trump arrives to address the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, April 14, 2020.

Credit:

Leah Millis/Reuters

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

In an attempt to deflect blame from his own ineffective handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, US President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he would halt funding to the World Health Organization, pending a review. World leaders, including the United Nations, swiftly denounced the move. The WHO is at the helm of the COVID-19 crisis, which has infected nearly 2 million people worldwide, including more than 600,000 in the US. Trump has been widely criticized for his response to the public health crisis and for spreading disinformation from the bully pulpit.

And the AP reports China delayed informing the public of a potential pandemic from the novel coronavirus for six key days in January, which may have changed the trajectory of the disease. 

From The World: Top scientist says he quit research council over poor European response to COVID-19

And: Bolsonaro’s denial of coronavirus puts the country at risk

Online threats increase amid pandemic

Computer games and apps have helped maintain connections as people remain self-isolated. But as screentime has increased, cybercrime has surged in recent weeks. Hospitals, companies and even individuals are targets. That’s where the COVID-19 Cyber Threat Intelligence League steps in. The group of over a thousand cybersecurity experts from around the world volunteer their time to help fend off attacks.

And: The Pentagon hasn’t fixed basic cybersecurity blind spots

Also: Do screen time rules still apply in lockdown?

Israel’s Arab citizens contemplate their future under Trump peace plan

Israel’s Arab citizens living in so-called “Triangle communities” may become citizens of Palestine under Trump’s “peace to prosperity” plan. If implemented, some 350,000 Arab Israeli citizens could lose their citizenship. They would not relocate, but they would become citizens of the Palestinian Authority. But not all of them are ready to give up their Israeli citizenship.

And: Scarce resources in Syria’s rebel-held areas amid COVID-19 fears: Only one machine to test samples available in area with over three million people.

US deportations could be spreading the virus

While many countries, including the US, have limited international commercial aviation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, planes deporting people from the US are still taking off. The flights not only put people in deportation proceedings at risk, but also threaten to spread the coronavirus to countries ill-equipped to deal with the disease. Guatemala’s health minister said that on one such flight arriving in the country, about 75% of those deported tested positive for the virus.  

Also, “You Clap for Me Now,” a coronavirus poem featuring immigrants who are essential workers in Britain, hits on racism in the UK. 

And: Canadian nurses who work in the United States are being made to pick a side

Joy in water: One family’s life in the Chinese mountains of Tianmushan

“The intelligent find joy in water. If Confucius is right, we must all be prodigies. We moved to this mountain village, a three-hour drive from our home in Shanghai, because of the water, because of the air, because the inner-city pollution was quite literally making us sick.”

Art historian Lindsay Shen writes about the refuge her family found in the cool, clear streams of the mountain village of Tianmushan, China, in Zhejiang Province.

Morning meme

Who knew squirrels had such good table manners?

Credit:

Screenshot from Twitter

In case you missed itListen: France stays under lockdown while other countries debate lifting restrictions

A man wearing protective suit and face mask leaves a supermarket after shopping in Nice, as a lockdown is extended to slow the rate of the coronavirus in France, April 14, 2020.

Credit:

Eric Gaillard/Reuters

While US President Donald Trump clashed with state governors over plans to reopen the economy, French President Emmanuel Macron announced Tuesday that France will remain under lockdown for four more weeks. And, earlier this month, top cybersecurity officials in the US and the UK issued a warning about COVID-19-related scams and phishing attempts. Also, in Calgary, Canada, high school students launched a hotline called Joy4All. Dial it, and you can hear local students share jokes, short stories and acts of kindness.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Jeezy – Don’t Make Me Lyrics

Play this song

[Intro]
Yeah
Justice League
We’re here now
We’re here
Yeah
Hundred and three plus one, yeah
Don’t make me do it
Yeah‚ ’cause you know I will‚ nigga

[Chorus]
China from China (China from China)
My shit’s designer (My shit designer)
I came from nothin’ (I came from nothin’)
Thought I’d remind ya (Thought I’d remind ya)
My hustle soared (My hustle soared)
Step on the floor (Step on the floor‚ yeah)
My door go up (My door go up, yeah)
Aventador (Woo, let’s go)

[Post-Chorus]
Go get it right (Go get it right)
Break out the ice (Break out the ice)
Go get the money (Go get the money‚ yeah)
And count it twice (And count it twice)

[Verse 1]
Don’t make me get back up on my shit, boy (Shit)
Take a whole thang, break it all down to nicks (Nicks‚ yeah)
Ziploc, nigga, that’s a bag full of tricks (Ha-haa)
And the doors go up (Up), all that’s for kicks (Yeah)
Ten on the floor, nigga, that’s money well-invested (Ayy)
Got it from my dawg, I ain’t even gotta test it (Nah)
Thank God for hustle (Hustle), that’s exactly what I’m blessed with (Blessed with)
Iron out the grind (Woo) ’til you get the shit perfected (Ayy)
True wealth is in your heart, boy (Boy), gotta hustle hard, boy (Yeah)
All the hard times got you doubtin’, then you’re gone, boy

[Chorus]
China from China (China from China)
My shit’s designer (My shit designer)
I came from nothin’ (I came from nothin’)
Thought I’d remind ya (Thought I’d remind ya)
My hustle soared (My hustle soared)
Step on the floor (Step on the floor)
My door go up (My door go up)
Aventador (Yeah, let’s go)

[Verse 2]
Don’t trust a soul, exactly what it told me (Me)
Couldn’t even trust him is what he showed me (Yeah)
When you broke the rules, dawg, you broke my heart (My heart)
Ten-room mansion sittin’ in the dark (Damn)
Ten steps ahead, I’m a visionary (Woo)
Richest place in the world is the cemetery (That’s right)
If the streets a jungle, I’m a fuckin’ lion (Lion)
Shit can be impossible, I’m fuckin’ tryin’ (Yeah)
Went from baggin’ reefer, now we sell tequila (‘Quila)
Mix the water with the soda like a margarita (Ha-haa)
Who ever knew the game of life was so for real?
So many layers in the onions you just gotta peel (Yeah)

[Chorus]
China from China (China from China)
My shit’s designer (My shit designer)
I came from nothin’ (I came from nothin’)
Thought I’d remind ya (Thought I’d remind ya)
My hustle soared (My hustle soared)
Step on the floor (Step on the floor)
My door go up (My door go up)
Aventador (Yeah, let’s go)

[Outro]
Don’t make me do it, nigga
Don’t make me
Yeah
‘Cause you know I will
Yeah
Aventador
My door go up
Aventador
Break out the ice
Go get it right
Safe in the floor
Aventador
Yeah
Go get it right
Break out the ice
Safe in the floor
Yeah
Richest place in the world is the cemetery

GoldLink – Rumble Lyrics

Play this song

[Intro]
Damn, daddy, this shit crank
Exclusive

[Chorus: GoldLink]
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’

[Verse 1: GoldLink]
Uh, touch down my grid on my shit, I got risk on my bones, huh
This ain’t a rental, I rap it like rentals, my mental make you watch your tone now
Speaking of me, I got blood on my sneakers from runnin’ the game too long, huh
This ain’t a thing that you fond of, pussy niggas wanna play like Juwana
Me and shorty might just bond up, huh

[Refrain: Lil Nei & GoldLink]
That’s the sound of the riot [?], lift off (They be like, I be like, they be like, fuck it)
I break shit then drift off (They be like, I be like)
Look now I’m big dawg, back up, let the fifth off (They be like, fuck it)
Co-come and get drift off (They be like, I be like)
[?] make ’em drop, do the criss-cross (They be like, fuck it)
Shoot from the hip, though (They be like, I be like, ah)

[Chorus: GoldLink]
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’
I keep my energy calibrated
Only show off so they know I made it
All my diamonds elite, hydrated
When I touch down, oh, they celebratin’

[Verse 2: Jackson Wang]
Jackson
Get in, losers (Losers)
I’ll be flyin’ (Flyin’)
On the longest (Longest)
Bottles poppin’ (Poppin’)
In the air (Air), huh
Outfits with the made in China on them tags
Team Wang on the beat, now bring them bags
When I touch down, they gon’ celebrate
Feel the tide ba ba ba, triple eight
Ta men shuo guo juede, wo bao bei
Wo bao bei, double G’s your fit (G’s your fit)
Play at The Forum, I know I’m the one (One)
Giving respect to her, but I feel none (None)
‘Cause you need the booty bae, you rubber band (One)
Journey to the West, I’m ready for the run (Bang)

[Refrain: Lil Nei & GoldLink]
That’s the sound of the riot [?], lift off (They be like, I be like, they be like, fuck it)
I break shit, then drift off (They be like, I be like)
[?] now, pick them back up, let the fifth off (They be like, fuck it)
Co-come and get drift off (They be like, I be like)
[?] make ’em drop, do the criss-cross (They be like, fuck it)
Shoot from the hip, though (They be like, I be like, ah!)