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How COVID-19 changed the climate conversation

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No paywall. “We have a choice,” he said. At last week’s IEA meeting, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appealed to national governments to recognize that their recovery plans represented a crossroads. “We can go back to where we were, or we can invest in a better, more sustainable future.”Editor’s note: As a public service,   all our coronavirus coverage   is free.

But the election is still four months away, and the Trump administration faces a more immediate challenge, with COVID-19 cases still on the rise in a number of states.Amid the mixed signals, and relatively few dramatic new examples so far of clean energy commitment, there is concern among climate activists that the post-pandemic investment “moment” could be lost. No longer is it assumed that carbon policy can only shift slowly and incrementally.For the time being, only a few national governments are taking the opportunity to invest heavily in green technologies so as to reduce carbon emissions and thus global warming. It has come close to closing down, and governments are budgeting trillions of dollars for recovery. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?But one thing has changed: The question of priorities is at least being asked in pretty much every country now plotting its path toward a post-coronavirus economic recovery.Even before the pandemic climate awareness had been building, especially among younger people, many inspired by the teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. As alternative energy becomes cheaper to exploit and deliver, returns on traditional high-carbon investments have actually been getting less attractive. Loading… Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Activists protest in front of Social Democratic Party headquarters for immediate phaseout of hard coal-powered plants in Berlin, July 1, 2020. His rival in the upcoming presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden, this week announced a $2 trillion economic investment plan focused on reducing carbon emissions. The 27-nation European Union, of which both are members, has unveiled a recovery plan devoting 25% of an $850 billion overall package to a “green new deal” that would cut carbon emissions.In Asia, the picture is mixed. The post-pandemic reset could be a chance for nations to put money behind climate commitments. And with the immediate priority likely to be shortening the coronavirus-related downturn, clean energy projects could take a back seat.In other major economies, there are also signs of at least a short-term drive to protect existing energy companies in order to spur a return to growth. In Europe, the continent’s largest economy, Germany, and Denmark have said they will make clean energy an explicit building block of their revived economies. Critics, however, have dismissed the government’s plans to invest only $11 billion over two years in this project as insufficiently ambitious.Similar doubts have been raised about the scale of clean climate investment in Japan. Climate activists’ hopeful pleas for dramatic cuts in carbon emissions are now in front of hard-nosed policymakers, as governments worldwide perform a hard reboot of their pandemic-frozen economies.It’s a moment without precedent. Virginia Mayo/AP

Frans Timmermans, European commissioner for European Green Deal, and Kadri Simson, European commissioner for energy, address the media at European Union headquarters in Brussels, July 8, 2020. President Donald Trump has yet to set out the kind of recovery program that other countries are launching. Will it go green?The answer, so far, is decidedly mixed. The COVID-19 economic shutdowns, meanwhile, dramatized the impact of human activity on climate change, as cities around the globe suddenly became cleaner, their skies clearer. And the coronavirus itself was a reminder of how the forces of nature can, if not properly understood and stewarded, upend the most comfortable of everyday lives.Yet the key factor that has put climate policy front and center on national government agendas is the sheer scale of the pandemic’s economic damage and the extraordinarily large sums of money being devoted to recovery. Will policymakers set out in a new, climate-friendly direction? Last year, BlackRock, the world’s leading asset-management firm, announced that its actively managed funds would stop investing in companies that earned more than a quarter of their revenue from thermal coal. No paywall. Capitol, June 30, 2020, in Washington. )

By Ned Temko
Correspondent

For years, pleas by climate change activists for policies to slow global warming have generally fallen flat. It’s also reportedly considering increasing the number of charging stations for electric vehicles. With tens of millions out of work as a result of the pandemic, some governments seem to be prioritizing getting their old economies back on track as soon as possible, rather than changing direction so as to favor cleaner energy.Editor’s note: As a public service,   all our coronavirus coverage   is free. “We can go back to where we were, or we can invest in a better, more sustainable future.”

London
The theoretical has suddenly become real. Leah Millis/Reuters

U.S. That could be because, so far, money has been spent on immediate needs – to save businesses and jobs.Now comes the crunch. Trump has in the past been dismissive of scientists’ warnings about the effects of global warming. July 15, 2020

Two ways to read the story

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Deep Read ( 4 Min. How COVID-19 changed the climate conversation

Why We Wrote This

Out of chaos comes opportunity, at least that’s what advocates of climate action are urging governments. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference with House Democrats to unveil a plan to cut nearly 90% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, on the steps of the U.S. So far, most of the federal government money earmarked to cope with COVID-19’s ravages has been aimed at saving businesses and jobs.Mr. The key question now is priorities: where the money will go. There, the jury is still out. California seemed to do everything right. In Russia, Australia, Canada, France, and even South Korea, government support for fossil fuel businesses so far has been outweighing investments in clean energy.That’s also true of the world’s largest economy, and second-largest emitter: the United States. South Korea has announced a green new deal of its own, pledging to support renewable energy and phase out dependence on coal. Declaring that the world was at a “key moment,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol urged that “rather than letting the COVID-19 crisis undermine our clean energy transitions, we need to take advantage of the massive economic recovery plans to achieve a definitive peak in carbon emissions and put the world on a path to sustainable recovery.”Some national recovery plans unveiled so far have made the transition to clean energy, and thus less global warming, a priority. The pre-pandemic political assumption that policy shifts on carbon emissions would almost always be limited and incremental is no longer operative.The International Energy Agency caught the altered tone at a ministerial meeting last week. And other Asian countries, including India and Indonesia, have so far shown no sign of significant focus on climate change as part of their recovery plans.The key state is China – the world’s second-largest economy and its largest carbon emitter. But COVID-19 might change that.The global pandemic has done so much economic damage, and governments are putting so much money into recovery plans, that a new opportunity has arisen to change the shape of the world economy. More broadly, it is moving aggressively on research and development of the kind of new technologies likely to be key in future clean energy networks.Still, in the first half of this year, China also stepped up the pace at which it opened new coal-fired power plants – a traditional remedy when the government is chasing quick and easy economic growth. Or will they fall back on the old, familiar ways?“We have a choice,” U.N. Scientists and climate-policy experts had been intensifying calls for action amid signs that the effects of global warming were getting worse even more quickly than they had feared.Private investors had also begun to think differently. The government has pledged that one major focus of its $500 billion recovery fund will be on new infrastructure, such as ultra-high-voltage electricity transmission. Secretary-General António Guterres said last week. The world economy hasn’t just slowed, as it did after the 2008 financial crash.
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Virus cases surge, countries double-down on lockdowns – again

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“Unless there is a miracle.”South Africa, Africa’s most developed country, is already showing signs of being overwhelmed by the pandemic – an ominous outlook for the rest of the continent of 1.3 billion people. Yuriko Koike said Wednesday that the spread of the infections in the Japanese capital have escalated to levels tantamount to “issuing an alarm” and requested residents and business owners to step up their preventive measures, while urging the government to legalize penalties for violators.However, even as new restrictions are imposed, steps were being taken to help restore a sense of normalcy.On Tuesday night, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko announced reopening the border with Russia and resuming the transport connection between the two countries “in the coming days.”Travelers arriving in Russia starting Wednesday had to either provide coronavirus test results at the border or take a virus test within three days of arriving to the country. Virus cases surge, countries double-down on lockdowns – again

From Australia to South Africa, renewed restrictions are going into effect around the world as countries attempt to curb new surges in coronavirus cases. Masks were mandated on public transit for the first time, with the non-compliant being fined.After a surge in daily infections beginning last month, Israel moved last week to reimpose restrictions, closing events spaces, live show venues, bars, and clubs. The area is closed off, with police checkpoints outside every municipality. Starting Wednesday, all incoming travelers crossing the border point are required to carry negative coronavirus test results issued in the previous 72 hours and translated into English.The new rules saw a drop in arrivals compared to recent days early Wednesday.Residents of Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, were warned on Wednesday to comply with lockdown regulations or face tougher restrictions. “Where we are is in a very serious and deadly position.”
California seemed to do everything right. Those measures replace a mandatory two-week self-isolation for those arriving to Russia. Bars and restaurants are only open for takeout or delivery.In Hospitalet de Llobregat, a densely populated town on the outskirts of the regional capital, Barcelona, dozens of people lined up Tuesday at a local health center to be tested for the virus, as infections have shot up from a few dozen to more than 200 in just over three days.Starting Wednesday, three neighborhoods are seeing more restrictions, including limits to the number of customers in shops and restaurants, while authorities are strongly urging people not to socialize.Authorities in the English town of Blackburn have imposed new restrictions on social mingling amid what they say is a “rising tide” of new coronavirus cases.Director of Public Health Dominic Harrison said that if infection numbers didn’t fall by July 27, officials would begin to reimpose lockdown measures such as the closing of shops and other businesses.Tokyo Gov. Melbourne’s 5 million people and part of the city’s semi-rural surroundings are a week into a new, six-week lockdown to contain a new outbreak there.“The time for warnings, the time for cutting people slack is over,” Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?The developments come with more than 13 million cases of coronavirus cases confirmed worldwide, and with over 578,000 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.The actual numbers are thought to be far higher due to a number of reasons including limited testing.In Serbia, which has been hit hard by a spike in infections and anti-government protests, a government crisis team expanded a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people from Belgrade to encompass the entire country. As other countries face a resurgence of the virus, China is easing restrictions on domestic tourism after more than a week of reporting no new local cases. Loading… "Unless there is a miracle," lockdowns are the best tool, said Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein. Masks were also made mandatory in public spaces where there is no opportunity for around five feet of distancing, such as in lines to enter shops and bus stations.Renewed restrictions took effect in Hong Kong on Wednesday, with public gatherings limited to four people, restaurants restricted to takeout after 6 p.m., and a one-week closure for gyms, karaoke bars, and selected other businesses. It has imposed lockdowns on areas with high infection rates, which in some cases sparked protests from residents.Officials have warned that if case numbers don’t come down in the coming days, Israel will have no choice but to lock the entire country down again, as it did in the spring.“I don’t see what other tools we have aside from a lockdown,” Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein told the Israeli news site Ynet. The government reimposed a ban on alcohol sales this week, with the aim being to slow the spread to free up more badly needed hospital beds.In Spain, authorities in the northeastern Catalonia region made fresh attempts to stem the spread of new coronavirus outbreaks as health experts warned that more and better contact tracing is needed.Since midnight Tuesday, 160,000 residents in and around the city of Lleida have been forbidden to leave their homes unless it’s properly justified. Mark Schiefelbein/AP

People wearing face masks wait to cross an intersection in Beijing, July 15, 2020. July 15, 2020

By Castas Kantouris, Vanessa Gera, and Rod McGuirk
Associated Press

Promachonas, Greece
Countries around the world are reimposing lockdowns and implementing new health restrictions at their borders in an effort to curb a resurgence of the coronavirus before it spins even further out of control.Stricter health checks went into effect at Greece’s border with Bulgaria following an increase in tourism-related COVID-19 cases.

It’s free. AP reporters around the world contributed to this report.Editor’s note: As a public service, the Monitor has removed the paywall for all our coronavirus coverage. This story was reported by The Associated Press.
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‘Fills me with pride’: New statue replaces UK slave trader

Material from The Guardian was used in this report. Editor’s note: As a public service, the Monitor has removed the paywall for all our coronavirus coverage. It’s free. This story was reported by The Associated Press.

‘Fills me with pride’: New statue replaces UK slave trader

Anti-racism demonstrators pulled down the 18-foot bronze likeness of Edward Colston and dumped it in the River Avon – sparking both delight and dismay in Britain and beyond. Now we’re crystallizing it.”The Guardian reported:  
The ambush sculpture is likely to reignite the debate over public statuary in the UK that began with the toppling of the Colston figure five weeks ago. Colston was a 17th-century trader who made a fortune transporting enslaved Africans across the Atlantic to the Americas on Bristol-based ships. City authorities fished the Colston statue out of the harbor and say it will be placed in a museum, along with placards from the Black Lives Matter demonstration.Mr. “They were so efficient.”
Mr. A statue of a Black Lives Matter protester now stands in its place. 

Matt Dunham/AP

Activists secretly erected "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020" by London sculptor Marc Quinn on the empty plinth of the toppled statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston, July 15, 2020, in Bristol, England. His money funded schools and charities in Bristol, 120 miles southwest of London.The toppling of his statue was part of a worldwide reckoning with racism and slavery sparked by the death of a Black American man, George Floyd, at the hands of police in Minneapolis in May.Mr. Reid, who came to inspect her likeness, said “it’s something that fills me with pride.””I think it’s amazing,” she said. “It looks like it belongs there. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?The Guardian reported:  
Arriving in two lorries before 5 a.m., a team of 10 people worked quickly to install the figure of [Ms.] Reid, who said she had been secretly working with [Mr.] Quinn on the idea for weeks. The mayor said it is up to the people if it will stay. Rees cast doubt on whether the new statue would be allowed to stay.”This will be critical to building a city that is home to those who are elated at the statue being pulled down, those who sympathize with its removal but are dismayed at how it happened and those who feel that in its removal, they’ve lost a piece of the Bristol they know, and therefore themselves,”   he said in a statement. Quinn, one of Britain’s best-known sculptors, said Ms. “I just knew it was going to happen,” said [Ms.] Reid. Reid had “created the sculpture when she stood on the plinth and raised her arm in the air. After meticulous planning to ensure the statue could be erected quickly enough to have it in place before officials arrived, the vehicles left the scene about 15 minutes after they got there. July 15, 2020

By AP Staff
Associated Press

London
An artist has erected a statue of a Black Lives Matter protester atop the plinth in the English city of Bristol formerly occupied by a statue of a slave trader.Marc Quinn created the life-size resin and steel likeness of Jen Reid, a protester photographed standing on the plinth after demonstrators pulled down the statue of Edward Colston and dumped it in Bristol’s harbor on June 7.The statue, titled “A Surge of Power (Jen Reid)” was erected before dawn on Wednesday without approval from city officials.Ms. Loading… “It’s just incredible,” she said. It looks like it’s been there forever.”
California seemed to do everything right. A cardboard placard reading “black lives still matter” was placed at the bottom of the plinth. On Wednesday morning police said they had had no complaints and it was “a matter for Bristol city council.”
Marvin Rees, the city’s mayor, issued a statement saying that “the future of the plinth and what is installed on it must be decided by the people of Bristol.” He said the sculpture was “the work and decision of a London-based artist,” and added: “It was not requested and permission was not given for it to be installed.”
But he stopped short of saying that the council would act to remove it. It came as a complete surprise to the authorities, who are yet to announce their plans for the location. Shortly after the vehicles drove away, [Ms.] Reid stood in front of the statue with her fist in the air.

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Why Jane Curtis is still fighting for justice at 102

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You don’t just sit here and eat food and drive a car. When Woodstock turned out for a Black Lives Matter rally in June, Jane Curtis and her daughter were the first in a long line of cars.Ms. She worries about the division in the U.S., saying she has the same “uneasy feeling” she had when observing 1930s Europe, with dictators making big promises and millions believing them.“Things are breaking apart, and now we have to act,” Ms. Jane and Kate attended a Black Lives Matter rally in June. “She just plunged in and moved ahead. Curtis says she’s been inspired to see the younger generations protesting both in Vermont and across the U.S.Democratic state Sen. “You’re not just a wife and a mother, you have a duty. Donahue says.One of those people is Democratic state Sen. Curtis, now 102, has spent a lifetime fighting for justice. Trump’s inauguration in 2017. Curtis says about her fellow women.“They should be told that they’re powerful,” Ms. In 1962, Mr. Curtis was elected to a term as a representative in the state Legislature.The Curtises also bought the Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock in the early 1960s and ran it until 1973; it is still operating as Vermont’s longest-running independent bookstore. Curtis says. A year earlier, Mr. Curtis’ legacy in an extension of remarks in the congressional record just before her 100th birthday. Curtis learned early in life. She didn’t ask for permission, she acted.”The centenarian says that determination to act was heightened after the election of Donald Trump. Curtis says she’s been inspired to see the younger generations protesting both in Vermont and across the U.S.“There’s a big kettle of fire that’s steaming up, and people are getting anxious to act,” she says. July 15, 2020

Two ways to read the story

Quick Read
Deep Read ( 5 Min. Ms. She has championed women’s rights, environmental causes, and getting out the vote. California seemed to do everything right. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?Taking responsibility for her country is something Ms. You have to try to make this country work.”The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has ushered in the largest wave of protests since the civil rights movement, and Ms. Clarkson. Alison Clarkson has joined Ms. Kate Curtis Donahue says that to see her mother continue her activism into her 100s is no surprise.“She’s been this role model in Woodstock, and she’s inspired many people,” Ms. You have to try to make this country work.”The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has ushered in the largest wave of protests since the civil rights movement, and Ms. Curtis appreciates the accolades and kind words, but it’s far more important to her to keep working for justice. Why Jane Curtis is still fighting for justice at 102

Why We Wrote This

For Vermonter Jane Curtis, patriotism means protest. She joined activists in nearby Woodstock, and they would march every Sunday afternoon, as some passing motorists screamed at them.“I just could not sit down and watch this stupidity without protesting,” Ms. The centenarian activist has spent her life fighting for the causes and country she believes in. Tensions were high, and she could feel it.“I remember standing there in the park really scared, because there were so many people who were angry,” she recalls. )

By Gareth Henderson
Correspondent

When Jane Curtis was born, women didn’t have the right to vote. Curtis says the gulf deepened between her and her husband’s very conservative family.“It got to the point where we could not visit each other,” she says. Among decades of accomplishments, he noted her years of dedication to protecting the Connecticut River watershed.Ms. Curtis has long encouraged women to run for public office. Welch admired Jane Curtis’ activism and says she was a strong voice for women to stand up for justice.“She knew her power,” he says. From the start, Mr. “It was a dreadful time, just dreadful.”On May 6, 1979, Ms. But Ms. Both Curtises were writers who collaborated often, including on many of Will Curtis’ famous “The Nature of Things” commentaries on Vermont Public Radio.After the Vietnam War began, Ms. Curtis attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1939 with a degree in art history. Curtis says.Before World War II, Ms. Curtis founded a local Woodstock group called Women For A Change, which is “committed to protecting, supporting, and promoting the basic democratic values of liberty and justice for all.” The group organized a protest in Woodstock against the Trump administration’s detentions of immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border. Curtis became a staunch anti-war activist. Curtis was born and raised, and was a dedicated activist for environmental causes.For Ms. Curtis was one of 125,000 people protesting nuclear proliferation in Washington, just over a month after the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster in Pennsylvania. Curtis says. She joined the Women’s March in Montpelier, in solidarity with the Washington, D.C., march and many worldwide, the day after Mr. “Being a citizen is a big responsibility. “She’s a model for us all, to never stop caring.”Ms. Ann Hermes/Staff

Jane Curtis in her yard on July 12, 2020 in Woodstock, Vermont. Jane and her daughter, Kate Curtis Donahue, used the ‘Time for a Change’ sign while attending a Black Lives Matter rally in June. Curtis at multiple protests and rallies.“Her passion for supporting women in politics, for supporting all just causes, is contagious, it’s inspiring,” Ms. She would go hiking with her mother on the Appalachian Trail in the mountains of New Hampshire as a teen, soaking up the smell of the pines and the beauty surrounding them. She has been a steadfast supporter for the Vermont chapter of Emerge, an organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to be candidates. Welch honored Ms. Her husband’s nephew was killed in the war, and Ms. Clarkson says. She remembers her mother saying, “It’s absolutely wonderful, but it’s up to you to take care of it.”Now 102, Ms. Rep. In 2019, the Vermont Democratic Party recognized her years of civic contributions with their annual Curtis-Hoff Leadership Award, presented to her by Ms. Loading… Be a citizen and act.”In 2018, Ms. You don’t just sit here and eat food and drive a car. The centenarian was a toddler when women won the right to vote 100 years ago in August.“You just have to,” she says in a July interview at her home about her lifetime of activism. “She’s a model for us all, to never stop caring.”

Woodstock, Vt. Curtis at multiple protests and rallies. After marrying Will Curtis, whom she’d known since childhood, the couple raised sheep in Massachusetts, while Mr. Curtis is still out protesting – for Black Lives Matter, environmental justice, and getting out the vote.“You just have to,” she says in a July interview at her home. Curtis, at her first major protest, faced her fear and stood her ground.She remained vocal back in Vermont as well, joining marches in the state capital of Montpelier and other locations.U.S. Peter Welch, a Democrat and Vermont’s lone congressman, got to know Jane and Will Curtis as neighbors in Hartland, when he was a young public defender in the mid-1970s. Ann Hermes/Staff

Jane Curtis, right, sits with her daughter, Kate Curtis Donahue, in her home on July 12, 2020 in Woodstock, Vermont. As a teen, she would go hiking with her mother on the Appalachian Trail, soaking up the smell of the pines and the beauty surrounding them. She recalls observing from afar when she returned home as Nazis grew their power and dictators took over in Spain and Italy.“They let themselves be walked over by somebody who’s going to ‘solve everything,’” Ms. “Being a citizen is a big responsibility. Some 15,000 to 20,000 people showed up that day, she says, drawing such crowds that authorities had to close several highway exits near Vermont’s capital, home to just under 8,000.“I think they’re realizing, finally, what power they have,” Ms. “It’s a great idea,” she says of the United States, “but it takes goodwill.” Curtis, two summers she spent in Germany with her family in the early 1930s were formative. Alison Clarkson, who has joined Ms. She remembers her mother saying, “It’s absolutely wonderful, but it’s up to you to take care of it.”Her mother walked the talk. Curtis worked for his family’s shoe business. Curtis says.The war’s impact was also personal. They headed to Vermont in 1953 where they eventually bought a farm in the town of Hartland. Curtis recalled she protested tree removals by the town of Scituate, Massachusetts, where Ms.
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“I think we really have to do some work on that, Kate.” Ensuring people know about voting by mail is also important, she adds.“The vote, that’s got to be the big thing,” she says, before turning to her daughter. Curtis that includes making sure women vote this year despite the ongoing pandemic. For Ms.

He used to say Canada’s health care was risky. Now he says it’s the future.

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I’ll regret slandering Canada’s system for the rest of my life.”Editor’s note: As a public service,   all our coronavirus coverage   is free. profit-driven corporate model is failing. He summed up his tweet: “You learn a lot about a health-care system when a global crisis hits & different nations have different results. The U.S. Canada’s single-payer system is saving lives. No paywall.

So why are COVID-19 cases surging?“Amid America’s #COVID19 disaster, I must come clean about a lie I spread as a health insurance exec: We spent big $$ to push the idea that Canada’s single-payer system was awful & the U.S. I’ll regret slandering Canada’s system for the rest of my life.”

Toronto
A Canadian and American might share more in common than any two foreigners – except when it comes to health care.Americans routinely fear Canada’s universal, single-payer system as a socialist regime of endless waits; Canadians look in equal panic upon American insurance policies and its patchwork of copayments and premiums.Wendell Potter is a big reason why.And the former American health insurance executive, amid a deadly pandemic that has hit the U.S. And so you start with that mindset for a lot of folks.”Those attitudes were shaped by Mr. “You harp on it relentlessly year after year after year. per capita much harder, revealed in a recent tweet his role in keeping that gulf as gaping as possible.Editor’s note: As a public service,   all our coronavirus coverage   is free. Now he says it’s the future. “There’s no doubt that we do have some of the best facilities, and some of the best doctors in the world. It was a lie & the nations’ COVID responses prove it.”Wendell Potter, the author of that tweet, says it has hit a nerve at a moment when Americans feel vulnerable, with the world’s largest share of infections (over 3.3 million) and deaths (more than 135,000), and no sign of the pandemic abating. A former insurance executive, Mr. “People just simply can’t imagine that anybody in any other country could do things better than we Americans can do it. “It was one of the most startling things I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said, desperate Americans lined up, some treated in animal stalls.As a former newspaper man dedicated to accuracy and having been brought up as a Southern Baptist, he calls that experience an “epiphany.” He resigned in 2008. He used to say Canada’s health care was risky. Why We Wrote This

Given the diverging trajectories of the United States and Canada during the pandemic, their different health care models are getting renewed attention – especially from a man who says he once lied about the dangers one of them posed. He says he would take “cherry picked” anecdotes from the industry group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, that he then turned into talking points that he made sure got into the hands of lobbyists, politicians, and journalists – creating a propaganda machine that he claims he believed at the time.He worked tirelessly to make Americans think Canadians waited, fatally, for necessary care by honing in on certain data. He says it hit a nerve at a moment when Americans feel vulnerable, with the world’s largest share of cases (over 3.3 million) and deaths (more than 135,000), and no sign of the pandemic abating.He believes this could be a pivotal moment for health care reform, and sees a clear role for himself directing a lens at how, from the inside, the corporate world conspires to shape policy and public opinion, even when the data is not accurate. No paywall. Potter summed up his tweet: “You learn a lot about a health-care system when a global crisis hits & different nations have different results. California seemed to do everything right. system much better. Canada’s response to the pandemic has been markedly better than that of the United States. Jimmy Borg/AP/File

Wendell Potter speaks during a panel at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. And judging by the response it has gotten – more than 86,000 retweets – he may be right.He told the Monitor in an interview he believes this could be a pivotal moment for health care reform, and sees a clear role for himself directing a lens at how, from the inside, the corporate world conspires to shape policy and public opinion, even when the data is not accurate.Mr. ‘Disservice’ seems…light.”He says he does bear responsibility. “You highlight that and you make people think that’s the way it is for everything, and that Canadians are flocking to the U.S. profit-driven corporate model is failing. compares trajectories of the pandemic in other countries, including Canada, which has seen 110,000 cases and fewer than 9,000 deaths. Carlos Osorio/Reuters

A family watches as Toronto police and the city’s front-line responders pay tribute to health care workers in Toronto, Ontario, April 19, 2020. )

By Sara Miller Llana
Staff writer
@sarallana

“Amid America’s #COVID19 disaster, I must come clean about a lie I spread as a health insurance exec: We spent big $$ to push the idea that Canada’s single-payer system was awful & the U.S. Potter says he used to magnify flaws in Canada’s health-care system to scare Americans away from it, something he says he’ll regret for the rest of his life. Do you feel directly responsible? Canada’s single-payer system is saving lives. The U.S. to get the care that they need because they just can’t get it in a timely fashion in Canada,” he says. July 15, 2020

Two ways to read the story

Quick Read
Deep Read ( 4 Min. 20, 2012, in Park City, Utah. Now a major advocate for health care reform as an author and speaker, he also leads the organization Medicare for All NOW!In part of his most recent Twitter thread, he apologized for his “disservice.” Not all were willing to let him off so easily. And while not perfect, the system is criticized here not because it’s universal, but because drugs and long-term care aren’t included.His aha moment came more than a decade ago on a visit home to eastern Tennessee, when he learned of a free medical clinic being held just over the border in Virginia on the grounds of a county fair. Some of the public has been unwilling to accept his apology, but he says that goes with the territory of the whistleblower.“I do think that what we’re going through now can serve as a real wake-up call for a lot more people,” he says, especially as the U.S. Potter as vice president in communications of Cigna, which he joined in 1993. One user replied: “The ‘disservice’ you did kept policies in tact that killed thousands. I know they died because of the inequities, the unfairness of our system, the expensive system that requires so many people to pay out-of-pocket money they just don’t have.”Today he feels society might have an easier time recognizing the shortcomings of American health care after experiencing the grief and anxiety the coronavirus has wrought.“Americans [have feared] that if we moved to a system of universal coverage, in which there is more equality in our system, somehow they will lose something,” he says. For example, knee replacements can be delayed in Canada (one study showed 30% of patients had to wait beyond the recommended time). “My biggest regret is that people undoubtedly have died. He rose through the ranks, spinning data that helped consolidate profits for his company. And Americans are afraid that if we had a system like Canada’s, in their mind they wouldn’t be able to see the doctor when they needed to. system much better. Loading… It was a lie & the nations’ COVID responses prove it.”The six-tweet thread is his most viral, garnering more than 86,000 retweets. They wouldn’t be able to go to the hospital when they needed to.”Meanwhile, most Canadians receive the care they need when it’s urgent. What is not fully understood, although I think there’s more of an understanding of it now, is that exceptionally good care is sometimes available only to those who have the most money.”

From South Sudan to Australia: One man’s quest to save stories

Deng says. “Reading our history can be part of our healing,” Mr. “Because we come from an oral culture, this is a job none of my ancestors had, but I think it’s one they would respect.”Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of Victoria University, and incorrectly identified the town where Africa World Books was first founded.
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When South Sudanese refugee Peter Deng realized books about his country, language, and history were scarce, he decided to change that. Many of the southern Sudanese he met in Australia had either been born abroad or were too young when they left to remember life there. Loading… Deng worried that many people he met knew little of their community’s history. Hundreds of thousands live outside the country, and some 25,000 people born in either Sudan or South Sudan live in Australia. “Australians are a kind people, but they don’t always know who we are,” he says.Currently, Africa World Books stocks about four dozen titles, and Mr. Deng says its most popular are grammar manuals for languages commonly spoken in South Sudan – which became independent from Sudan in 2011 – like Dinka and Acholi.Ajak Duany Ajak, a South Sudanese mining consultant who lives in Perth, like Mr. Deng had never worked in publishing. Deng began to worry. He sells not just the old-school histories of southern Sudan written by missionaries and Western academics, but also more contemporary history books, memoirs, and language textbooks written by South Sudanese themselves.The books, he says, are meant to be a resource for both the South Sudanese diaspora and Australians curious about their new neighbors. In the cattle camps where he was raised in southern Sudan, “we passed down our history through songs,” he says.When the country’s brutal civil war forced him to flee his home at the age of 18, he took those stories with him. He imported what he could from Kenya, the United States, and the United Kingdom, but realized that if he were to make his country’s literature and history more accessible, he needed to start printing it himself. One of them is Peter Deng, who moved from the cattle camps where he was raised, to a Kenyan refugee camp, and finally to Perth, Australia.Australia is home to some 25,000 people born in Sudan or South Sudan. “Because we come from an oral culture, this is a job none of my ancestors had, but I think it’s one they would respect.”

Growing up, much of Peter Deng’s world revolved around stories. But along the way, he’d earned a degree in international business at Victoria University in Melbourne, and so he figured, why not try book publishing next?In 2012, he founded Africa World Books. He’d never worked in publishing before, but founded Africa World Books – not only as a resource for the members of the diaspora, but for their Australian neighbors, too. “Reading our history can be part of our healing,” Mr. “And if we cannot read and write Dinka, there will come a time with all of us spread around the world that our stories written in Dinka will disappear.”   Like Mr. It’s as simple as that,” he says. Deng says. He says he hopes to eventually start teaching Dinka to younger South Sudanese in Australia.“If you lose your language, then you lose your culture as a South Sudanese. Since arriving in Australia he’d been an electrician, spray-painted the logo of a pet food company on buildings, made pastries, ran a day care, and started a butchery. John Deng Reng. They tripped over the words when they tried to speak their mother tongues. July 14, 2020

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Deep Read ( 3 Min. Deng says has allowed him to sidestep the traditional financial barriers to publishing and distribute a much wider range of texts. Deng, recently bought a book called “The Dinka’s Grammar” to learn more about the structure of a language he has spoken from birth. Ajak Deng Reng (left), the service director of South Sudan’s prisons, visits with Africa World Books founder Peter Deng in the publisher’s offices in Perth, Australia, in 2020, discussing the memoir of his father, Col. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?Mr. Deng, Mr. From South Sudan to Australia: One man’s quest to save stories

Why We Wrote This

Home isn’t just a place, but a set of stories. “I wanted them to know the history they were a part of.”If he wanted to make his country’s literature and history more accessible, he decided, he needed to start printing it himself.   “I didn’t want people to forget where they came from,” he says. Courtesy of Peter Deng

Gen. But Mr. )

By Ryan Lenora Brown
Staff writer
@ryanlenorabrown

Years of war have forced hundreds of thousands of people from what is now South Sudan to become refugees. Deng began scouring the internet for books on southern Sudanese history to share with other refugees in Australia, but quickly discovered that many were out of print or prohibitively expensive because they were so rare. Ajak worries about what it means that so many South Sudanese don’t know their own homeland because of the wars that have convulsed it for decades. And when, a decade later, he received the news that he was being resettled from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to Australia, the stories he’d memorized all those years before traveled there, too.But as he made his life as a refugee in Australia, Mr. Today, the company prints its titles largely on demand, which Mr. “I wanted them to know the history they were a part of.”In 2009, Mr. They tripped over the words when they tried to speak their mother tongues. “I didn’t want people to forget where they came from,” he says. California seemed to do everything right. They knew little of their community’s history.
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For Russian experts, Taliban bounty report just doesn’t make sense

“We have no interest in aggravating the situation, or hastening U.S. has left.” withdrawal.“The biggest nightmare is that Afghanistan becomes a ‘failed state’ again, with dangerous repercussions all over the region,” he says. Afghanistan is going to be our problem long after the U.S. departure. Vladimir Sotnikov, an expert with the Institute of Oriental Studies of   the Russian Academy of Sciences   in Moscow, says that Russia is consulting with other countries in the region, including China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and India, to try to find ways to manage what is now seen as an inevitable U.S.

“They have killed more Russians than the Soviet war in Afghanistan ever did.”Some Western outlets have suggested that Russian intelligence may be hunting American troops as payback for the CIA’s support for the Afghan mujahideen who defeated the USSR in the 1980s.But “the Soviet experience in Afghanistan is more than 30 years old,” says Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, a Moscow foreign-policy journal. “Nobody associated with that is in power today, and Russia isn’t even the same country. “I understand that in U.S. And even the Kremlin’s critics in the expert community now complain that U.S. assistance. That’s why he says the bounty story makes “no sense at all” in terms of Russian concerns – hastening a U.S. Moscow backed the U.S. But it’s awfully hard to see them coming up with something that counterproductive,” he says.Alexander Golts, an independent security expert and Kremlin critic who is presently at Uppsala University in Sweden, is even more scathing.“For most of my life I have assumed that if something appears in the U.S. That disastrous experience left Russian public opinion deeply averse to any future involvement in the country.“Unlike the U.S., we have to live in this neighborhood, and we are deeply concerned about what comes next in Afghanistan,” says Mr. Everyone is ready to talk about that.”The explosion of poppy production and heroin export since NATO occupied Afghanistan remains a major sore point for Russia.“Opiates from Afghanistan are a huge problem for Russia,” says Mr. And even the Kremlin’s critics complain that U.S. intelligence officers, who accuse us of different things, are involved in drug trafficking. But I know that people who work in Russian military intelligence are rational actors. retreat from the region increases the chance of a revival of past eras, when Russia and the USSR became mired in Afghan conflicts and drug trafficking.“The biggest nightmare is that Afghanistan becomes a ‘failed state’ again, with dangerous repercussions all over the region,” says Vladimir Sotnikov of the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow. In its nine-year intervention, the USSR lost 15,000 troops in battle against the mujahideen, forerunners of today’s Taliban, who had received $20 billion in U.S. 9, 2009, attest. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?More recently, the Soviet Union quite literally broke apart after a costly and futile military effort to tame Afghanistan in the 1980s. But it hasn’t swayed many in Moscow, not even those critical of the Kremlin. That makes Russians wary about the U.S. intelligence about Russia has become completely detached from reality.The bounty story makes “no sense at all” in terms of Russian concerns, says Andrei Kortunov, director of the Russian International Affairs Council. But a recent report suggests that Russia has tried to make it moreso by paying bounties to the Taliban for killing American troops. I fail to find any reasonable motivation Russia could possibly have to kill American soldiers – and at such a high price, may I add cynically?”“Our problem”The Kremlin has labeled the story “fake news” and President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy on Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, fired back this week with an unsubstantiated accusation of his own.“Those wonderful U.S. intelligence about Russia has become completely detached from reality. July 9, 2020

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Deep Read ( 4 Min. intends to get out of Afghanistan, Russia has tried to ensure that the more moderate, nationalist factions of the Taliban prevail over the group’s radical Islamist wing.But the accusation that a Russian GRU military intelligence unit has been paying Taliban-linked militants $100,000 “bounties” for killing American soldiers has blindsided official Moscow. troops, as memorials like this one in Afghanistan’s Farah province on Nov. Kortunov. Their planes from Kandahar, from Bagram [Airfield near Kabul] are flying wherever they want to – to Germany, to Romania – without any inspections,” he said. has left.”

Moscow
From the very start of the American-led invasion of Afghanistan almost 19 years ago, Russian experts were shaking their heads and warning that it would not turn out well.However, the Kremlin warmly welcomed the occupation. media, it is certainly a strongly reported story and probably true. Loading… Kortunov. Moscow has indirectly reached out to the Taliban in open efforts to nudge the peace process in a moderate direction. Afghanistan is going to be our problem long after the U.S. Hastening a U.S. “Something that counterproductive”Russia has been involved in Afghanistan since the czars jostled for influence – sometimes violently – with the British Empire amid the forbidding Hindu Kush in a long 19th-century competition that has been memorialized as “the Great Game.”     
California seemed to do everything right. departure. eyes, Russia is an evil-doer. leaving the region too quickly. when they went into Afghanistan, and they’ve been there for almost 20 years. Maya Alleruzzo/AP/File

Afghanistan has been deadly for U.S. intervention in 2001.In the past few years, as it became clear that the United States intends to get out of Afghanistan, Russian attention has shifted to efforts to ensure that the more moderate, nationalist factions of the Taliban prevail over the group’s radical Islamist wing and the insurgents linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group. Moscow’s main concern, then and now, was that the victory of extreme Islamist forces in Afghanistan would promote instability and insurrection in the vulnerable former Soviet states of central Asia, as it had prior to the U.S. “We have no interest in aggravating the situation, or hastening U.S. Golts says. )

By Fred Weir
Special correspondent

In the past few years, as it became clear that the U.S. It provided intelligence and logistical support, and repeatedly urged NATO to stay and “finish the job” of defeating the Taliban. retreat from the region increases the chance of a return to the bad old days in Afghanistan.“Of course you can never underestimate the intelligence of Russian secret services, and some of the things they do. Lately, I have my doubts,” Mr. Instead, they say it serves only to fuel what they describe as a political civil war between President Donald Trump and his opponents in Washington.“It is not in Russia’s interest to see a rapid U.S. And Russian experts agree that Russian intelligence may also have forged more confidential links with Taliban leaders.But the accusation that a Russian GRU military intelligence unit has been paying Taliban-linked militants $100,000 “bounties” for killing American soldiers has blindsided official Moscow. Why on earth would anyone go looking for revenge now?” For Russian experts, Taliban bounty report just doesn’t make sense

Why We Wrote This

The report of Russia paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan has heated up the political rhetoric in Washington. withdrawal,” says Andrei Kortunov, director of the Russian International Affairs Council, which is affiliated with the Foreign Ministry, “since that would increase the threat of extremists coming to power in Kabul.”

Alexander Sekretarev/AP/File

Russia has firsthand experience with the dangers of Afghanistan, thanks to the Soviet Union’s long, grinding war there in the 1980s against the mujahideen, at whom the Soviet soldiers shown are firing in April 1988. “Every citizen of Kabul will tell you that.

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UK and Australia turn their backs on China, welcome Hong Kongers

China called the move a “serious violation of international law” and threatened Australia with economic retaliation. Mick Tsikas/AAP Image/AP

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, July 9, 2020. UK and Australia turn their backs on China, welcome Hong Kongers

Australia is the latest nation to express concern about China’s new security law by ending its extradition treaty and extending visas for Hong Kongers. California seemed to do everything right. “You could break the law without intending to.”Australia had negotiated an extradition treaty with China, but shelved it in 2017 when it became clear that the Australian Senate would vote it down. for five years.Canada has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and is looking at other options including migration.In Australia, the most likely Hong Kongers to benefit from the new policies are the 10,000 already in the country on student and other temporary visas.Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said he expected the numbers of Kong Hongers who would come to Australia under the new arrangements would be “in the hundreds or low thousands.”Australia last offered “safe haven” visas to Chinese after the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?”That national security law constitutes a fundamental change of circumstances in respect to our extradition agreement with Hong Kong,” he said.The Chinese Embassy in Canberra accused Australia of a “serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations.””We urge the Australian side to immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs,” an embassy statement said. Under the law, police now have sweeping powers to conduct searches without warrants and order internet service providers and platforms to remove messages deemed to be in violation of the legislation.”Our government, together with other governments around the world, have been very consistent in expressing our concerns about the imposition of the national security law on Hong Kong,” Mr. July 9, 2020

By Rod McGuirk
Associated Press

Canberra, Australia
Australia suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and extended visas for Hong Kong residents in response to China’s imposition of a tough national security law on the semi-autonomous territory, the prime minister said Thursday.Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a range of visas that will be extended from two to five years and offers of pathways to permanent residency visas. Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing.China, Australia’s most important trade partner, has already imposed effective import bans on beef and barley from the country and issued a travel warning to its citizens in what was widely seen as political retaliation over legal and other matters.Britain, too, is extending residency rights for up to 3 million Hong Kongers eligible for British National Overseas passports, allowing them to live and work in the U.K. It is not clear how many Hong Kongers are expected to get the extensions.The move comes after China bypassed Hong Kong’s Legislative Council to impose the sweeping security legislation without public consultation. Australia suspended its extradition treaty and extended visas for Hong Kong citizens to five years, and offered a pathway to permanent residency. More than 27,000 Chinese students in Australia at the time were allowed to stay permanently.Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party mouthpieces, this week warned that “no one should underestimate the repercussions to the Australian economy from a further deterioration of bilateral ties.””If the Australian government chooses to continue to interfere in China’s internal affairs, it should be expected that the ‘safe haven’ offer will result in a huge negative impact on the Australian economy, making the issue much more serious than many people would have anticipated,” the newspaper said.China accused Australia of spreading disinformation when the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a travel advisory this week warning that Australian visitors could be at risk of arbitrary detention.The department’s latest advisory for Hong Kong on Thursday warned that visitors could be sent to mainland China to be prosecuted under mainland law.”You may be at increased risk of detention on vaguely defined national security grounds,” the advisory said. Morrison told reporters. Critics view it as a further deterioration of freedoms promised to the former British colony, in response to last year’s massive protests calling for greater democracy and more police accountability.The national security law prohibits what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive, or terrorist activities or as foreign intervention in Hong Kong affairs. Loading… “Otherwise it will lead to nothing but lifting a rock only to hit its own feet.”In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China reserved the right to “take further actions” in response to moves by Canberra.”The consequences will be fully borne by Australia,” Mr. The separate Hong Kong treaty has been in place since 1993.
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It’s free. This story was reported by The Associated Press.Editor’s note: As a public service, the Monitor has removed the paywall for all our coronavirus coverage.

From South Sudan to Australia: One man’s quest to save stories

He’d never worked in publishing before, but founded Africa World Books – not only as a resource for the members of the diaspora, but for their Australian neighbors, too. “Reading our history can be part of our healing,” Mr. But Mr. They tripped over the words when they tried to speak their mother tongues. “I didn’t want people to forget where they came from,” he says. Courtesy of Peter Deng

Gen. “And if we cannot read and write Dinka, there will come a time with all of us spread around the world that our stories written in Dinka will disappear.”   From South Sudan to Australia: One man’s quest to save stories

Why We Wrote This

Home isn’t just a place, but a set of stories. It’s as simple as that,” he says. He imported what he could from Kenya, the United States, and the United Kingdom, but realized that if he were to make his country’s literature and history more accessible, he needed to start printing it himself. They tripped over the words when they tried to speak their mother tongues. Deng says its most popular are grammar manuals for languages commonly spoken in South Sudan – which became independent from Sudan in 2011 – like Dinka and Acholi.Ajak Duany Ajak, a South Sudanese mining consultant who also lives in Perth, recently bought a book called “The Dinka’s Grammar” to learn more about the structure of a language he has spoken from birth. He says he hopes to eventually start teaching Dinka to younger South Sudanese in Australia.“If you lose your language, then you lose your culture as a South Sudanese. Since arriving in Australia he’d been an electrician, spray-painted the logo of a pet food company on buildings, made pastries, ran a day care, and started a butchery.   “I didn’t want people to forget where they came from,” he says. “Because we come from an oral culture, this is a job none of my ancestors had, but I think it’s one they would respect.”

Growing up, much of Peter Deng’s world revolved around stories. Deng had never worked in publishing. Today, the company prints its titles largely on demand, which Mr. When South Sudanese refugee Peter Deng realized books about his country, language, and history were scarce, he decided to change that. Deng began scouring the internet for books on southern Sudanese history to share with other refugees in Australia, but quickly discovered that many were out of print or prohibitively expensive because they were so rare. In the cattle camps where he was raised in southern Sudan, “we passed down our history through songs,” he says.When the country’s brutal civil war forced him to flee his home at the age of 18, he took those stories with him. Deng says has allowed him to sidestep the traditional financial barriers to publishing and distribute a much wider range of texts. They knew little of their community’s history. Ajak Deng Reng (left), the service director of South Sudan’s prisons, visits with Africa World Books founder Peter Deng in the publisher’s offices in Perth, Australia, in 2020, discussing the memoir of his father, Col. “I wanted them to know the history they were a part of.”If he wanted to make his country’s literature and history more accessible, he decided, he needed to start printing it himself. Deng began to worry. And when, a decade later, he received the news that he was being resettled from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to Australia, the stories he’d memorized all those years before traveled there, too.But as he made his life as a refugee in Australia, Mr. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?Mr. )

By Ryan Lenora Brown
Staff writer
@ryanlenorabrown

Years of war have forced hundreds of thousands of people from what is now South Sudan to become refugees. One of them is Peter Deng, who moved from the cattle camps where he was raised, to a Kenyan refugee camp, and finally to Perth, Australia.Australia is home to some 25,000 people born in Sudan or South Sudan. July 14, 2020

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Deep Read ( 3 Min. “I wanted them to know the history they were a part of.”In 2009, Mr. Deng worried that many people he met knew little of their community’s history. He sells not just the old-school histories of southern Sudan written by missionaries and Western academics, but also more contemporary history books, memoirs, and language textbooks written by South Sudanese themselves.The books, he says, are meant to be a resource for both the South Sudanese diaspora and Australians curious about their new neighbors. Deng says. Many of the southern Sudanese he met in Australia had either been born abroad or were too young when they left to remember life there. “Australians are a kind people, but they don’t always know who we are,” he says.Currently, Africa World Books stocks about four dozen titles, and Mr. Loading… California seemed to do everything right. John Deng Reng. But along the way, he’d earned a degree in international business at the University of Victoria in Melbourne, and so he figured, why not try book publishing next?In 2012, he founded Africa World Books in a small office park in the city of Perth, where he lives.
Ajak worries about what it means that so many South Sudanese don’t know their own homeland because of the wars that have convulsed it for decades. Like Mr. Hundreds of thousands live outside the country, and some 25,000 people born in either Sudan or South Sudan live in Australia.“Reading our history can be part of our healing,” Mr. “Because we come from an oral culture, this is a job none of my ancestors had, but I think it’s one they would respect.” Deng says. Deng, Mr.
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In a post-COVID-19 world, the choice to regress, reform, or reset

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On that score, the prognosis so far is mixed.While COVID-19 and economic shutdowns have heightened awareness of climate change and of the human causes of carbon emissions, it’s not yet clear whether the world will adopt new, greener investment strategies wholesale.The European Union does seem committed to a “green new deal”; Britain has announced new investment in green infrastructure. And the whole world has been thrown into flux – not just by the pandemic, but by a cacophony of social, political, and economic crosscurrents – at a time when the old post-World War II order and institutions were already under unprecedented pressure.I wonder how many of the changes in my own life will prove lasting. It remains desperately poor.Yet in the decades since declaring itself a state, it has established and maintained peace. Initially, European countries abandoned ideas of continental solidarity, and each followed its own policies. The extraordinary determination of human-rights activists in Egypt and Gulf states to keep pushing, at potential risk to their liberty or even their lives, for the values that inspired the Arab Spring a decade ago.There were major business figures trying to refashion and reform a capitalist economic system that is increasingly favoring shareholders and top executives over the interests of employees, customers, and society as a whole.And there was a whole country, or an almost-country. The two leading exemplars, President Donald Trump in the U.S. It is an indispensable communications tool for individuals or communities on all sides of an argument.Ultimately, though, any major political change will require action by governments or other established institutions. It’s not a big deal for me, and while I can do it, I like to help people in your position.”Our shared shut-in experience has also led to a new, closer relationship with our neighbors, who’ve always been friendly enough, but who now draw less deeply on their well of English reserve.This may all sound trivial. Somaliland split itself off from Somalia in 1991 during that country’s civil war. And it has raised new voices.One recurring theme in the series has been the way in which ordinary citizens, from the Persian Gulf to America’s Midwest, have risen up to press for solutions to their problems. It cannot, by itself, disentangle the “uncertainties” mapped out and investigated in our Monitor series. Loading… A number of major American companies have embraced the anti-racism message of the protests that followed George Floyd’s death. It has freeze-framed the world, forcing citizens to confront challenges ranging from climate change to inequality, race relations, and global governance. )

By Ned Temko
Correspondent

When The Christian Science Monitor launched its “Navigating uncertainty” series in February, exploring the ways in which the world seemed to have come unmoored from its traditional political, economic, and social tethers, we did not dream of the global COVID-19 pandemic.But the catastrophic spread of the coronavirus has brought to a head many of the issues we had already intended to consider. In a post-COVID-19 world, the choice to regress, reform, or reset

Why We Wrote This

COVID-19 has transformed our personal lives and brought to a head pressing political, economic, and social questions. Since my wife and I are both of an age that qualifies us as “COVID-vulnerable,” we’ve been in self-isolation for months, since before Britain declared its formal lockdown in late March. COVID-19 has amplified social problems and accelerated political movements; people are readier to confront and talk bluntly about race, climate change, corporate responsibility, and other issues of our age.Grassroots activism alone will not solve the major domestic and international challenges that confront us. London
Welcome to my office. Through assiduous efforts to secure financial support from diaspora Somalilanders in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere, it is staying afloat. Most significantly, it has interrupted life-as-usual for millions upon millions of people; it has freeze-framed our world, forcing us to stop and look afresh. Unlike millions around the world, I’m able to self-isolate. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, polling shows dramatic movement in Americans’ opinions on police brutality and racial injustice. It looked into the appeal of strongman populist leaders like Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, and at the way technology and social media have become powerful tools for right-wing extremism.But it also told another story, one that seems especially relevant and hopeful in a world that was changing dramatically as the series unfolded, influenced by COVID-19 and by the international wave of popular protest in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in the U.S.That other story was one of remarkable human resilience. Germany, the largest EU economy, is leading efforts to raise financing for a single, central fund to support all member states in their recovery from the economic effects of the pandemic.It’s also conceivable that the COVID crisis could prompt some voters to rethink their support for populist, strongman leaders. But the landscape in which they will be working has changed. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?Odd though this may seem, given the enormous number of lives and jobs tragically lost to COVID-19, an issue-by-issue look into the post-pandemic future offers reason, if not for unbridled optimism, at least for cautious hope.Many of these potentially hopeful strands emerged in a Monitor series, beginning early this year and concluding with this article, called “Navigating uncertainty.” Planned well before the first coronavirus cases emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan, it drew on our writers from around the globe and sought to delve into the ways that, even before COVID-19, our world had become untethered from decades-old institutions and alliances, and from basic life assumptions.The series explored the many forces pulling nations, and sometimes citizens, apart from each other. California seemed to do everything right. Within days, all across London a group of younger people formed and got in touch to volunteer their help with whatever “self-isolators” like us might need.One young woman had been helping us for weeks, picking things up from local shops – sometimes at scandalously short notice – when I texted her to say that I hoped my wife and I would be able to take her out for a post-pandemic dinner to convey the depth of our gratitude. People power, in one form or another, seems here to stay. So can my wife. July 13, 2020

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Deep Read ( 7 Min. We have running water, electricity, Wi-Fi. It was about individuals and communities taking ownership of problems they faced and pressing for their resolution. But it seems to me part of a genuine rekindling of simple human connections that I fully expect to outlast COVID-19.And another social change with far wider implications – the rekindling of individual agency, of engagement across different communities and countries, races and age-groups, to promote change by tackling shared problems – seems likely to last as well. And a laptop, on which to write or WhatsApp or Zoom. They have defied a widespread loss of trust in the authorities and asserted their sense of agency, their faith that they can make a difference.The direction that the post-pandemic world takes – whether we will see a reset or a return to our old ways – will depend largely on governments, businesses, and international organizations. Some have even taken a step unthinkable just a few months ago: They’ve paused advertising on Facebook, the most powerful social media platform on earth, to protest its handling of hate-speech and conspiracy theories.International connectionsGeopolitically, it’s too early to say whether the enormous human cost of the world’s failure to coordinate its response to COVID-19 will prompt governments to breathe new life into international institutions and alliances.But in Europe, at least, a shift appears underway. Her answer: “Not at all! I can work remotely. Their answers could transform the world, but much depends on whether we’ve reached a “reset moment” – and what role citizen activism may play. Last in our global series “Navigating uncertainty.”

Astra Temko

Ned Temko works in his office/garden shed in London on July 10th, 2020. There’s an electric fan and a space heater. Progress on climate change is still going to require international action, not to mention short-term costs that may prove particularly unappealing amid the economic downturn from the pandemic. The wave of protest against racism and police violence following George Floyd’s killing is more than just a rekindling of human agency. A home of our own.Yet even so, our life has changed beyond recognition. With at least some policy changes at local or state level already announced, it has validated and vindicated it. Could the recent trend toward populism and narrow nationalism give way to some form of resurgent international cooperation?And will today’s single most important international rivalry – between a United States that has been in diplomatic retreat and an increasingly assertive China – become more starkly adversarial in the wake of heightened public sparring over the coronavirus? Actually, my garden shed.On one side, a lawnmower; on the other, a leaf blower. But other countries, including the U.S., Russia, Canada, and France, are devoting more of their economic recovery budgets to the fossil fuel sector than to renewable energy sources.In business, the signs are more positive. The Arab Spring has given way to an Arab winter, with old-style authoritarian rulers back in command.For business leaders, talking about reform is easier than actually changing the way they see their bottom line. It has put governments worldwide through an unprecedented stress test, and revealed a lack of any coherent, truly international response. It has built a working democracy. Now, though, the European Union is poised to bridge a longstanding divide between wealthy, fiscally conservative northern states and its more indebted, harder-pressed southern members. And it was all the more striking because it seemed at odds with a powerful trend that has fed polarization and populism in many countries: a loss of trust in government and a loss of the sense of agency that anything they could do as individuals could really change the course of events.A number of examples in the Monitor series stood out. And far more importantly for the world, how many of the COVID-induced changes, in public health and education, in race-relations and climate change, will persist? It covered the growing ambitions abroad, and authoritarianism at home, of China under leader Xi Jinping. And the prospect of international recognition for Somaliland remains roughly zero: The international community is wary about setting a precedent for other potential breakaway states.A changed contextStill, the context for these examples of resilience, of human agency in action, has changed dramatically over recent months.One reason is the pandemic itself. And all of this without international recognition as a country – or, crucially, the access to international aid funds that such recognition would bring.It might well be said, of course, that the prospect of any of this leading to real change remains daunting. I’m healthy. There were the “citizens’ juries” discussing and debating, learning and listening, and recommending policies at local or national level to confront climate change. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Demonstrators protest near the White House in Washington June 6, 2020, over the killing of George Floyd as he was detained by police in Minneapolis. The protests have also served as a reminder that the power of social media can be put to work by anybody, not only far-right political parties or populist politicians. and Brazil’s President Bolsonaro, who have both played down the seriousness of the pandemic, preside over the two nations that top the death toll rankings.Still, with politics across the world still in unprecedented flux, the exact shape of a post-pandemic world can only be guessed at.So why the cautious hope?Come back to my garden shed. And in the age of COVID-19, I’m constantly aware that I am one of the very luckiest ones. It has shone a glaring spotlight on issues like climate change and gaping economic inequalities.

But it has profoundly changed the landscape in which established institutions – governments, businesses, and international organizations – will have to address them.And whatever else may settle back into the old normal once the worst of COVID-19 has passed, “people power,” in one form or another, seems here to stay.

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Turkey names Hagia Sophia a mosque. Int’l leaders aren’t happy.

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AP writers Zeynep Bilginsoy and Ayse Wieting in Istanbul; Derek Gatopoulos in Athens; Menelaos Hadjicostis in Nicosia, Cyprus; and Jim Heintz in Moscow contributed to this report.Editor’s note: As a public service, the Monitor has removed the paywall for all our coronavirus coverage. This story was reported by The Associated Press. It’s free.
So why are COVID-19 cases surging?In a televised address to the nation, Mr. Turkey names Hagia Sophia a mosque. It has been a museum for the past 86 years. Within hours, President   Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed a decree handing over Hagia Sophia to Turkey’s Religious Affairs Presidency. Others believe it should remain a museum, as a symbol of Christian and Muslim solidarity.”It was a structure that brought together both Byzantine and Ottoman histories,” said Zeynep Kizildag, a social worker, who did not support the conversion. Nationalist and conservative groups in Turkey have long yearned to hold prayers at Hagia Sophia, which they regard as part of the Muslim Ottoman legacy. “This decision clearly affects not only Turkey’s relations with Greece but also its relations with the European Union, UNESCO, and the world community as a whole.”In Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki, protesters gathered outside a church that is modeled on Hagia Sophia and bears the same name. California seemed to do everything right. Erdoğan said the first prayers inside Hagia Sofia would be held on July 24, and he urged respect for the decision.”I underline that we will open Hagia Sophia to worship as a mosque by preserving its character of humanity’s common cultural heritage,” he said, adding: “It is Turkey’s sovereign right to decide for which purpose Hagia Sofia will be used.”He rejected the idea that the decision ends Hagia Sophia’s status as a structure that brings faiths together.”Like all of our other mosques, the doors of Hagia Sophia will be open to all, locals or foreigners, Muslims and non-Muslims,” Mr. Hagia Sophia was the most popular museum in Turkey last year, drawing more than 3.7 million visitors. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that the landmark should remain a museum to serve as bridge between faiths and cultures. International leaders criticize the move as politically motivated and contrary to the building’s legacy of bringing faiths together. A large crowd later prayed outside it.In the capital of Ankara, legislators stood and applauded as the decision was read in Parliament.Turkey’s high administrative court threw its weight behind a petition brought by a religious group and annulled the 1934 Cabinet decision that turned the site into a museum. His comments drew a rebuke from Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, which said Hagia Sophia was a domestic issue of Turkish national sovereignty.Mr. The building was originally a cathedral, then was turned into a mosque after Istanbul’s conquest by the Ottoman Empire. In a major symbolic move, Mr. Erdoğan recited the opening verse of the Quran there in 2018.Built under Byzantine Emperor Justinian, Hagia Sophia was the main seat of the Eastern Orthodox church for centuries, where emperors were crowned amid ornate marble and mosaic decorations.The minarets were added later, and the building was turned into an imperial mosque following the 1453 Ottoman conquest of Constantinople – the city that is now called Istanbul.The building opened its doors as a museum in 1935, a year after the Council of Ministers’ decision.Mosaics depicting Jesus, Mary, and Christian saints that were plastered over in line with Islamic rules were uncovered through arduous restoration work for the museum. “The decision to turn it into a mosque is like erasing 1,000 years of history, in my opinion.”Garo Paylan, an ethnic Armenian member of Turkey’s Parliament tweeted that it was “a sad day for Christians [and] for all who believe in a pluralist Turkey.””The decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque will make life more difficult for Christians here and for Muslims in Europe,” he wrote. Erdoğan had spoken in favor of turning the hugely symbolic UNESCO World Heritage site back into a mosque despite widespread international criticism, including from United States and Orthodox Christian leaders, who had urged Turkey to keep its status as a museum symbolizing solidarity among faiths and cultures.The move threatens to deepen tensions with neighboring Greece, whose prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, condemned the decision as an affront to Hagia Sophia’s ecumenical character.”It is a decision that offends all those who recognize Hagia Sophia as an indispensable part of world cultural heritage” Mr. Int’l leaders aren’t happy. Emrah Gurel/AP

Muslims at evening prayer outside the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, July 10, 2020. I think that short of economic growth, nothing will restore Erdoğan’s popularity.”In Paris, the United Nations cultural body, UNESCO, said Hagia Sophia is part of the Historic Areas of Istanbul, a property inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a museum.”States have an obligation to ensure that modifications do not affect the ‘outstanding universal value’ of inscribed sites on their territories,” Director-General Audrey Azoulay said.The Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, considered the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, warned last month that the building’s conversion into a mosque “will turn millions of Christians across the world against Islam.”On Friday, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America said the decision runs counter to the vision of secular Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk “who understood that Hagia Sophia should serve all Turkey’s people and indeed the whole world.””The days of conquest should remain a closed chapter of our collective histories,” he told The Associated Press, adding that Turkey’s government “can still choose wisely” but letting Hagia Sophia remain a “monument to all civilizations and universal values.”Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, called for “prudence” and the preservation of the “current neutral status” for the Hagia Sophia, which he said was one of Christianity’s “devoutly venerated symbols.”U.S. Originally a cathedral, Hagia Sophia was turned into a mosque after Istanbul’s conquest by the Ottoman Empire but had been a museum for the last 86 years, drawing millions of tourists annually.There was jubilation outside the terracotta-hued structure with its cascading domes and four minarets. Dozens of people awaiting the court’s ruling chanted “Allah is great!” when the news broke. Mitsotakis said. Cagaptay, the author of “Erdogan’s Empire.” “But I don’t think this strategy will work. They chanted, “We’ll light candles in Hagia Sophia!” and held Greek flags and Byzantine banners.Cyprus “strongly condemns Turkey’s actions on Hagia Sophia in its effort to distract domestic opinion and calls on Turkey to respect its international obligations,” tweeted Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy head of the foreign affairs committee in the Russian upper house of parliament, called the action “a mistake.””Turning it into a mosque will not do anything for the Muslim world. Erdoğan said.Mr. It does not bring nations together, but on the contrary brings them into collision,” he said.The debate hits at the heart of Turkey’s religious-secular divide. Its dome was big enough for all.”The group that brought the case to court had contested the legality of the 1934 decision by the modern Turkish republic’s secular government ministers, arguing the building was the personal property of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, who conquered Istanbul in 1453.”I was not surprised at all that the court weighed to sanction Erdoğan’s moves because these days   Erdoğan gets from Turkish courts what   Erdoğan wants,” said Soner Cagaptay, of the Washington Institute.”Erdoğan wants to use Hagia Sophia’s conversion into a mosque to rally his right-wing base,” said Mr. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has officially converted Istanbul’s famous Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque. Loading… July 13, 2020

By Suzan Fraser
Associated Press

Ankara, Turkey
The president of Turkey on Friday formally converted Istanbul’s sixth-century Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship, hours after a high court annulled a 1934 decision that had made the religious landmark a museum.The decision sparked deep dismay among Orthodox Christians. Erdoğan, a devout Muslim, has frequently used the Hagia Sophia issue to drum up support for his Islamic-rooted party.Some Islamic prayers have been held in the museum in recent years. “Hagia Sophia was a symbol of our rich history.

Can Egypt’s new #MeToo wave bring change? Activists hope so.

Several attempts by The Associated Press to contact him or his lawyer were unsuccessful.Amr Adib, Egypt’s most prominent TV host, said in a recent episode that he’d spoken with the young man’s father, who occupies a high-ranking position at a telecommunication company. It’s a departure from the norm for the conservative Muslim majority country where most women wear headscarves.There are also other corners where accusations of sexual harassment are emerging, such as in civil society groups and businesses.Two rights groups said they fired one employee and suspended another, and opened investigations after allegations of sexual   misconduct against them were made public. July 13, 2020

By Samy Magdy
Associated Press

Cairo
Their accounts are similar. The university’s president said the institution has a zero tolerance policy concerning sexual harassment, but that he would not comment on an ongoing case. The school has filed a 54-page criminal complaint with the Spanish police, seeking further investigation into his actions.The head of the American University in Cairo, Francis Ricciardone, said the university has a zero tolerance policy concerning sexual harassment, but that he would not comment on an ongoing case.According to accusations posted on social media in the past two weeks, the former student would mine the pool of mutual friends on Facebook, online groups, or school clubs. … We are just using what we have, lending our voices to hopefully create some kind of change,” she said.A court has ordered the accused to remain in custody pending an investigation into an array of accusations that include attempted rape, blackmail, and indecent assault, according to a five-page statement by the public prosecutor. The amendment still needs parliamentary approval and Mr. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?Sexual assault and harassment are deep-seated problems in Egypt, where victims must also fight the undercurrent of a conservative culture that typically ties female chastity to a family’s reputation. He would start with flattery, then pressure the women and girls to share intimate photos that he later used to blackmail them to have sex with him. Activists say the case shows that misogyny cuts across the country’s stark class lines; many in Egypt have previously portrayed harassment as a problem of poor urban youth.Women’s rights champions hope the authorities’ swift response signals change in how Egyptian society handles accusations of sexual assault.”What’s before this case is totally different from what’s after,” said Nehad Abul Komsan, head of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights and a lawyer representing some of the alleged victims. Can Egypt’s new #MeToo wave bring change? Over a hundred allegations of sexual harassment against a former student at Egypt’s most elite university renewed the #MeToo campaign in the country. Authorities also detained a prominent publisher over the weekend after a poet filed a complaint with the Cairo police, accusing him of sexually harassing her, the state-run al-Ahram reported. He said his son dismissed the allegations.At least 10 women have officially reported their claims, according to Ms. The current series of complaints has prompted Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s foremost religious institution, to speak out on sexual harassment and assault, even challenging the widely held belief that a woman is at fault if her clothing is less than modest. The publisher denied the allegations in a Facebook posting. It would appear that he then enrolled at the European Union Business School in Spain, in an online program last year.In February, he spent three weeks at its Barcelona campus, but the school expelled him after an accusation of online harassment that was subsequently proved false, said Claire Basterfield, a spokesperson for the EUBS. It’s resulted in a new #MeToo firestorm on social media, and the arrest of the suspect last week from his home in a gated community outside Cairo. Komsan said. Some were minors when the alleged crimes took place. Activists also set up the Instagram account @assaultpolice to collect allegations, said Sabah Khodir, a U.S.-based writer who helps run the account. She said there are more than 100 accounts.”We are demanding to be listened to. In the same statement, the prosecutor urged more alleged victims to come forward.Last week, the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi moved to amend the country’s criminal law to increase protections for the identities of sexual assault victims, which activists have welcomed. Activists hope so. He was released late Sunday on 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($313) in bail, pending an investigation.The recent cases – reaching into the Egyptian elite – have “refuted all previous arguments and justifications for harassment, from poverty to illiteracy and things like that,” Ms. If they did not, he would threaten to send the pictures to their family.In some cases, he “attracted their sympathy by claiming he was going through a crisis,” then lured them to his home in an upscale compound where he sexually assaulted them, the prosecutor’s statement alleged.In Egypt, sexual assault complaints have typically involved street harassment. California seemed to do everything right. Komsan, of the women’s rights center. During and after the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, women were frequently harassed, groped – and in some cases, beaten and sexually assaulted – during mass protests.This time, there are signs of wider ripples throughout the society. Now religious institutions are voicing support for victims and authorities have arrested the accused man. 

Maya Alleruzzo/AP

Students walk in the campus of the American University in Cairo, in New Cairo, Egypt, May 9, 2011. In all, more than 100 accusers have emerged online in the past two weeks. Loading… The girls and women describe meeting the young man – a former student at Egypt’s most elite university – in person and online, followed by deceit, then escalating to sexual harassment, assault, blackmail, or rape. Sisi’s signature to be made law.The allegations against the student cover a period of at least three years.Many of the anonymous accounts appear to be from fellow students at the American International School, one of the country’s most expensive private high schools, and the American University in Cairo, which school officials said the accused left in 2018. In courts, the burden of proof lies heavily on the victim of such crimes.In a statement, the public prosecutor’s officer said the accused man acknowledged he blackmailed at least six girls, saying he would send sensitive photos of them to their families if they cut ties.

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It’s free. This story was reported by The Associated Press. Editor’s note: As a public service, the Monitor has removed the paywall for all our coronavirus coverage.

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Pandemic pulls Latin America’s trans community into the spotlight

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Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that LGBTQ+ employment discrimination is unconstitutional, they hold potential for progress.“We have a small but powerful movement,” says Daniela Maldonado Salamanca, a Colombian trans woman and founder of the Trans Community Network in Bogotá. But the officers interrogated her and denied her entrance, she reported to a human-rights group later that week. “All want to know much more about how this policy has affected us,” she says. Martínez. What are you doing?   She took a deep breath, trying to cover her fear, and explained she had a doctor’s appointment. The second officer, who is also a neighbor, punched her in the face when she tried to step outside on a separate, subsequent date, she said.Panama, along with a handful of other Latin American cities and nations, has introduced gender as a guideline in their attempts to limit the number of people outside during the coronavirus pandemic. The Trans Community Network in   Bogotá documented dozens of cases of violence and discrimination in three weeks. Videos of trans people harassed in grocery stores or stopped in the streets, and in some cases assaulted for breaking lockdown orders, inspired some governments to overturn their gender-based policies. Activists are capitalizing on the missteps, creating new conversations on trans rights. Martínez, and “the entire society began policing gender as well.”The Panamanian Association for Trans People has received over 40 reports of discrimination against trans people since April 1. Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters

Alis Nicolette Rodriguez, who is transgender and nonbinary, shops at a supermarket during gender-based quarantine restrictions, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in Bogotá, Colombia, May 2, 2020. In Peru, the national government revoked its decision just one week after its introduction, stating it did not succeed in limiting mobility. It’s led to new, broader conversations about “exclusion in our daily lives.”Fight for trans rightsEach country’s implementation of the gender quarantine policy has differed.After Bogotá announced its decree, about a dozen local governments across Colombia followed. That includes the treatment of trans sex workers, deaths and disappearances of trans people, and discrimination in the health care sector. Tejada says. She says expecting respect for gender identity simply because governments asked security officials to do so was naive and “disingenuous.”Despite those efforts, NGOs documented various cases of police violence against trans and nonbinary people, says Dr. July 13, 2020

Two ways to read the story

Quick Read
Deep Read ( 4 Min. Today only women can be outside,” the woman, who is transgender and asked not to be identified by name for her security, recalls one officer saying. It gives her hope.“This movement demonstrated their organization and their capacity to mobilize rapidly,”   says Dr. Panama paused the measure for just one week, then reinstated it as COVID-19 cases surged. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that LGBTQ+ employment discrimination is unconstitutional, they hold potential for progress. “We are demanding the rights that already exist [for others] that have been denied to us,” says Venus Tejada Fernández, president of the Panamanian Association for Trans People. “We want to see change, and I know we can do this.”

Bogotá, Colombia
On the crowded streets of Panama City, a woman approaches a hospital, clutching her purse and phone. Peruvian activist groups documented   at least 20 cases   in the one week the policy was in place. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?Since these policies were enacted, scores of videos have circulated on social media chronicling trans shoppers kicked out of stores, harassed on the streets, and even assaulted. The increased visibility has forced some governments and the public to acknowledge discrimination against transgender individuals. The combination of international pressure and outspoken pushback from LGBTQ+ groups, who argue the measures put trans and nonbinary individuals at heightened risk, resulted in most Latin American countries and cities revoking the gender-based lockdown measures.The victory wasn’t universal: At least one Colombian municipality still persists with the policy, and Panama, after initially reversing the policy, reinstated the gender-based restriction in early June as COVID-19 cases once again spiked.Still, activists say the conversations sparked by these policies give them hope for the future. She was contacted by Panama’s Ministry of Social Development, the Institute of the Public Defender’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and local and international NGOs. “You! Before she reaches the entrance, two police officers block her path. While the successes are not nearly as resounding as the U.S. Because of the attention discrimination against trans communities drew during the lockdown measures, many NGOs say they’ve found solidarity in new, promising alliances.“Various institutions have called us and want to have a conversation about this,” says Venus Tejada Fernández, president of the Panamanian Association for Trans People. It has had unintended consequences, like trans violence and discrimination, often at the hands of police.Editor’s note: As a public service,   all our coronavirus coverage   is free. Loading… Eventually, almost all cities ended the policy. In Panama, trans NGOs are pushing for a law that protects gender identity, as well as amendments to police protocols that will limit harassment. “I don’t think they ever imagined a small group that has been historically ignored would be listened to this time,” she says of the policy’s repeal in most of Colombia. In response, LGBTQ+ groups have circulated videos of abuse, coordinated with international press, written to local and national governments, and created petitions to draw attention to the impacts of the gender-based policy on trans rights.Thaina Duarte Diaz, an Afro Colombian philosopher and trans woman in Cartagena, says this measure “exposed the inequality we experience” daily, even pre-pandemic. In order to build momentum and create any kind of lasting change, “dialogue is essential,” Ms. Maldonado, from the Trans Community Network in Bogotá.Moving forward, advocates regionwide hope to harness the international momentum around these policies to amplify the conversation beyond the pandemic. California seemed to do everything right. No paywall.Panama’s decree requires people adhere to the sex assigned on their birth certificate, and does not recognize sex changes legally. )

By Jennifer Bitterly
Correspondent

Scores of transgender citizens in cities and countries across Latin America found themselves under a microscope this year, after decades of living in the shadows.A handful of national and local policies dictated movement amid COVID-19 quarantines that were broken down by gender. She sees it as a sign of burgeoning political power for trans activists in the region, where historically trans rights have been overlooked, even as gay-rights movements have achieved more recognition and important legal victories.We “have taken advantage [of the moment] to talk … not only about the gendered quarantine policy, but also about how historically we have lived in exclusion,” says Ms. As a result, trans women must either leave on “days for men,” a gender they don’t identify with, despite their birth certificates, or journey outside on even dates and subject themselves to harassment. And the international community and media joined in conversations around trans rights in the region. While the successes are not nearly as resounding as the U.S. Pandemic pulls Latin America’s trans community into the spotlight

Why We Wrote This

COVID-19 sent governments scrambling, but some policies – like allowing people outside based on gender – had unintended consequences. The Central American nation, however, was   praised by   Human Rights Watch for its statement against trans discrimination.LGBTQ+ groups and academics say they believe most governments that implemented the measure were ignorant about how it could affect transgender citizens.While several Colombian governments released statements encouraging authorities to respect trans and nonbinary individuals, “the police have been   (and continue to be)   one of the primary aggressors of trans people’s rights throughout Latin America,” says Dr. Juliana Martínez, professor of gender and sexuality at American University, via email. Government ministries and nongovernmental organizations that never publicly concerned themselves with trans rights have reached out to leading activists to form alliances and coalitions in the wake of gendered lockdown policies.

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Tejada says. “We want to see change, and I know we can do this. There is willpower, and I am witness to it.”Editor’s note: As a public service,   all our coronavirus coverage   is free. No paywall. “We are demanding the rights that already exist [for others] that have been denied to us,” Ms.

Monday Sunrise Briefing: Where a resurgence stalls reopening

Welcome to your Monday, July 13, 2020, sunrise briefing. Here are two news events from this past weekend (while you may have been farmstand hopping, swimming, and enjoying an offline life). July 13, 2020

By David Clark Scott
Audience Engagement Editor
@davidclarkscott

The rising tension at play in the U.S. Disney’s Magic Kingdom opened Saturday in Florida (at reduced capacity). 2. Shown here after completing naval flight school, July 7, 2020, in Kingsville, Texas. Loading… Adding that, despite the risk of prison under the new security law, “we still support democracy and freedom.”  

Anne Owens/U.S. Navy’s first Black female Tactical Air Strike pilot and will receive her Wings of Gold on July 31. Monday Sunrise Briefing: Where a resurgence stalls reopening

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! The president has reportedly said privately that a mask could make him look weak and focus attention on the COVID-19 crisis instead of economic recovery. But a national mask mandate could prevent both new lockdowns and a 5 percent drop in the U.S. Florida hit a national record Sunday for the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases. “A high turnout will send a very strong signal to the international community that we Hong Kongers never give up,” Sunny Cheung, told Reuters. The unofficial poll was to select the strongest pro-democracy candidates to contest Legislative Council elections in September. In South Africa, a ban on alcohol sales and a nightly curfew were enacted Sunday with the intent to reduce the number of hospital patients with non-COVID-19 related injuries. In Poland, the conservative, populist incumbent, President Andrzej Duda narrowly defeated a challenge by the liberal, pro-Europe mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski, officials said Monday. A new wave of infections in Eastern Europe led to riots over possible renewed lockdowns in Serbia, mandatory face masks in Croatia, and travel bans or quarantines imposed by Hungary. Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP

Guests wear masks as required on reopening day of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Saturday, July 11, 2020.. 2. economy, according to a recent Goldman Sachs report. And President Donald Trump wore a mask in public for the first time Saturday. Navy via AP

Making history: Lt. In Hong Kong, hundreds of thousands participated in a symbolic protest vote against tough new national security laws imposed by Beijing. But it was primarily intended to send a message. Also, what to look for in the news this week. Madeline Swegle is the U.S. – and around the globe – is illustrated by two weekend facts: 1. j.g. High voter turnout in Poland and Hong Kong Sunday suggest an engaged population, especially when democratic freedoms are threatened. Defending democracy.
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Susan Collins in November. China and NASA also have Mars missions planned to lift off this month. Gratitude Watch

Courtesy of Shelly S. Another streaming service. But this was a little different. Today, it’s typically celebrated with fireworks and parades.A book from Donald Trump’s niece. Look AheadMonday, July 13Leadership summit. We’ve left big tips for essential workers ranging from grocery shoppers to fast food servers. Rosie didn’t just become indispensable since the pandemic. Curb the cops? It’s a sign of our times that a Texas neighborhood would throw a surprise party for the UPS driver. The Berkeley City Council plans to vote on a proposal to prohibit the city’s police officers from conducting traffic stops and shift that responsibility to public works officials. We’ve put up heart signs and sung from balconies to honor health care workers. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?A month of Mars. The first of three Mars missions is scheduled to launch today when the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) embarks on its first-ever interplanetary effort, the Hope Mars mission. So, in that respect, it’s not that unusual that Roosevelt Petty Jr., known to everyone as “Rosie,” should be thanked by customers. Licensed clinical psychologist, Mary Trump, has written her own Trump tell-all, “Too Much and Never Enough.” It scheduled to be released today. Petty told KLTV-News in Tyler, Texas. The free online event begins today, including speakers such as Meghan Markle and Michelle Obama.Tuesday, July 14
California seemed to do everything right. This outpouring reflects the fact that he’s spent nearly 40 years of graciously delivering packages – and generous smiles. The uprising fostered the French Revolution and a culture of civil disobedience. Wednesday, July 15Different reopening paths. Bastille Day celebrates the populist seizure of power from French tyrannical rule in 1789. Localized democracy. I’ve tried to give nothing but love and I’m receiving love today and I really appreciate the people here in Whitehouse.”Hidden gemStart your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:How one woman turned a small Vermont town into an arts destinationSneak previewIn tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about why the plans for reopening schools in North America are all over the map. “ It really makes you feel good that people give back what you’ve tried to give to them. Petty

UPS driver Roosevelt Petty Jr., (aka as Rosie) was honored on July 9, 2020 by his customers in Whitehouse, Texas, for “going above and beyond” with his delivery services. He was given a plaque for “going above and beyond” as well as some small gifts and heartfelt applause for his service. “You just want to break down and cry but then you look and you think about how easy this job has been made by the people here in Whitehouse,” Mr. Voters participate in congressional primaries in Maine, and primary runoffs in Alabama and Texas. The Hope craft is designed to study the Red Planet’s atmosphere, weather, and climate from above. In Alabama, the Republican Senate runoff is between former U.S. NBCUniversal is set to launch Peacock, a streaming service with sitcoms such as   “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,”   and “Saved By The Bell.” There have also been promises of a “Friends” reunion. Girl Up,   a movement to advance girls’ skills, rights, and opportunities to be leaders, hosts a   three-day virtual global summit to bring together those committed to gender equality. President Donald Trump is due to visit Atlanta and may weigh in on a clash between Atlanta’s mayor and Georgia’s governor over the pace of reopening and the wearing of masks. The novel plan may be a first in the U.S. On July 9, families in the Waterton neighborhood in Whitehouse, Texas, gathered on their front lawns holding signs as a surprise event for Mr. In Maine, three Democrats face off to see who runs against Republican Sen. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former football coach Tommy Tuberville.Revolutionary ideas. Petty, who arrived driving his regular route.

Thank you! Why two US allies are on a collision course. ‘I can’t keep this up much longer’: Parents struggle with pandemic strain

People flocking to Cape Cod – but for a different kind of vacation

Editor’s note: As a public service,   all our   coronavirus coverage   is free. Please give us your feedback via the link below and let us know what you think. Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday’s subscription-only Daily Edition:
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War in Libya? No paywall.This is a beta test – an experiment with an early Monday news update.

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Poland presidential election a victory for conservative values

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Duda’s victory opens the way to new clashes between   Poland   and the European Commission as the EU tries to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising nationalism across the 27-member bloc.Before PiS and Mr. Duda in its programming.But to many religious conservatives in   Poland, a predominantly Catholic nation, he came to represent the threats facing traditional values when he pledged to introduce education about LGBT rights in the city’s schools.”It’s what populists do very effectively. But it has become increasingly combative, with divisions focusing on climate change and migration, in addition to democratic norms.EnemiesWarsaw mayor since 2018, Mr. Trzaskowski’s strong showing could energize the opposition, which has struggled until now to formulate a cohesive narrative in the face of the PiS success in winning over many Poles with its economic and social agenda. July 13, 2020

By Joanna Plucinska and Marcin Goclowski
Reuters

Warsaw, Poland
Polish President Andrzej Duda has won five more years in power on a deeply conservative platform after a closely fought election that is likely to deepen the country’s isolation in the European Union.Nearly final results from Sunday’s presidential election put him on more than 51%, giving him an assailable lead over Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, who won almost 49% of the votes, the National Election Commission said.Mr. REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

Polish President Andrzej Duda, his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda and their daughter Kinga Duda shortly after the second round of the presidential election in Warsaw, Poland, July 12, 2020. Trzaskowski of being at the center of attempts to allow minorities to “terrorize” the rest of society.Economic policy was also at the heart of the election, with Mr. He has criticized PiS’ rhetoric, vowing to abolish state news channel TVP Info, which critics say gave overt support to Mr. Duda ran an acrimonious campaign, laced with homophobic language, attacks on private media, and accusations that Mr. California seemed to do everything right. Poland presidential election a victory for conservative values

Polish President Andrzej Duda has won five more years in power, giving the government a new mandate to pursue reforms of the judiciary and media. This is what was used in this campaign, the fear of others,” Anna Materska-Sosnowska, a political scientist at the Warsaw University.In the last week of campaigning, PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski accused Mr. Loading… Trzaskowski serve foreign interests instead of   Poland’s. You name the enemy and you focus on combating him. Duda came to power in 2015,   Poland   had one of the most pro-European administrations in the bloc’s ex-communist east. Duda is allied with the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, and his victory will give the government a new mandate to pursue reforms of the judiciary and media which the executive European Commission says subvert democratic standards.”I don’t want to speak on behalf of the campaign staff, but I think that this difference is large enough that we have to accept the result,” Grzegorz Schetyna, the former head of the opposition Civic Platform grouping that fielded Trzaskowski.Backed by PiS, Mr. Duda painting himself as a guardian of generous PiS welfare programs that have transformed life for many poorer Poles since the party came to power in 2015.PiS now faces the prospect of three years of uninterrupted rule with the next parliamentary election scheduled for 2023.Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro suggested late on Sunday the party could push on quickly with its conservative agenda following the vote, and with its ambition to spur change in private media ownership towards outlets more favorable to its ambitions.”We need to take care of the issue of values more than before,” he told state broadcaster TVP. “There is also the matter of an imbalance among the media.”Some observers say Mr. Trzaskowski dismissed the accusations. Trzaskowski had said he would seek a more tolerant   Poland   if elected. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?Mr.
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Big Hong Kong voter turnout in defiance of Chinese security law

So why are COVID-19 cases surging?Defying warnings from a senior   Hong   Kong   official that the vote might fall foul of the national security law, residents young and old flocked to over 250 polling stations across the city, manned by thousands of volunteers.Long queues formed, with people voting via their mobile phones after having their identities verified.”See the courage”Organizers said 592,000 people had voted online, and 21,000 had cast paper ballots at the end of two full days of polling – more than expected, and representing around a third of voters who backed the democrats in an election last year.”Even under the shadow of the national security law, there were still 600,000 people coming out,” said an organizer, Au Nok-hin. July 12, 2020

By Jessie Pang and James Pomfret
Reuters

Hong Kong
Hong   Kong’s opposition camp said on Sunday that over 600,000 citizens in the Chinese-ruled city cast ballots over the weekend in primaries it cast as a symbolic protest vote against tough national security laws imposed by Beijing.The unofficial poll will decide the strongest pro-democracy candidates to contest elections in September to   Hong   Kong’s Legislative Council. Loading… Lam Yik/Reuters

A voter scans a QR code during the primary election aimed at selecting democracy candidates for the September election in Hong Kong, China, July 12, 2020. “You can see the courage of the   Hong   Kong   people in this … Hong   Kongers have created another miracle.”The new law punishes what China describes broadly as secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison and allows mainland security agents to operate officially in   Hong   Kong   for the first time.Despite this tactical vote to maximize their chances, some pro-democracy activists fear authorities may yet try to stop some candidates from running in September’s election.”They can arrest or disqualify any candidate they don’t like under the national security law without a proper reason,” said Owen Chow, a young democratic “localist” candidate.At a time when   Hong   Kong   authorities have barred public marches and rallies for months on end amid coronavirus social restrictions, and arrested individuals for shouting slogans and holding up blank sheets of paper, the vote was seen as a crucial and rare window for populist expression.”I can really feel that young people haven’t given up yet, even though we are facing a very depressing future,” said Prince Wong, a candidate in the New Territories West district.”It helps me become more determined to fight.” Big Hong Kong voter turnout in defiance of Chinese security law

At estimated 600,000 citizens voted this weekend in a symbolic Hong Kong election to protest against tough national security laws imposed by Beijing. Then, they aim to seize majority control for the first time from pro-Beijing rivals by riding a wave of anti-China sentiment stirred by the law, which critics say has gravely undermined   Hong   Kong’s freedoms.While the primaries are only for the opposition camp, the level of participation is seen as a guide to popular opinion in the city of 7.5 million people, a major financial hub.”A high turnout will send a very strong signal to the international community, that we   Hong   Kongers never give up,” said Sunny Cheung, 24, one of a batch of aspiring young democrats out lobbying and giving stump speeches.”And that we still stand with the democratic camp, we still support democracy and freedom.”
California seemed to do everything right.
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Poland presidential vote: What’s at stake in Sunday’s election

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California seemed to do everything right. It has also deepened social rifts with verbal attacks on urban liberals, Jews, and the LGBT community.Mr. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?Mr. AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

Voters cast their ballots in Poland’s tight presidential election runoff between conservative incumbent President Andrzej Duda and liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski in Lomianki, near Warsaw, Poland, on July 12, 2020. The polls had margins of error of plus-or-minus 1 percentage point and 2 points, respectively.Official results are not expected until Monday or Tuesday.The results would lead Poland down starkly different political paths, at least until 2023, when the next parliamentary election is scheduled. They used their own pens to mark ballots. Duda said the turnout was around 70%, which would be a record high for a presidential election in the 30 years since Poland threw off communism, embraced democracy and later gained membership in NATO and the EU.Long lines outside some polling stations Sunday night forced them to stay open past their official closing time of 9 p.m. Trzaskowski would give him the power to veto laws passed by the ruling conservatives and give Poland a less contentious relationship with European Union officials.Mr. Trzaskowski said he still believed the numbers could turn in his favor. Poland presidential vote: What’s at stake in Sunday’s election

Sunday’s presidential runoff between President Duda and Rafal Trzaskowski may be the closest election in Poland’s history, reflecting  deep divisions. Duda had the full mobilization of the government, public media, and the help of President Donald Trump, who welcomed him at the White House last month and said he was doing a “terrific job.”The ballot was supposed to be held in May but after much political wrangling was delayed by health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. Loading… Poland has registered over 37,000 infections and almost 1,600 virus-related deaths. Duda’s campaign also cast Mr. He seized on gay rights as a key theme, denouncing the LGBT rights movement as an “ideology” worse than communism.Mr. He represented the centrist opposition Civic Platform party, which was in power in from 2007 to 2015.Mr. July 12, 2020

By Vanessa Gera and Monika Scislowska
Associated Press

Warsaw, Poland
A late exit poll in Poland’s presidential runoff Sunday showed the conservative, populist incumbent, Andrzej Duda, leading against the liberal, pro-Europe mayor of Warsaw, but with the race still too close to call.It appeared to be the closest election in Poland’s history, reflecting the deep divisions in this European Union nation. Duda and the ruling party, both in power since 2015.At an election night event, Mr. An earlier exit poll had showed Mr. Trzaskowski saw the election as possibly a last chance to halt an erosion of the rule of law and discriminatory rhetoric under Mr. Trzaskowski 30.5%.The ruling party and Mr. Duda expressed confidence that the results would confirm his victory, and he called the high turnout “a beautiful testimony of our democracy.”Mr. Duda is reelected, the populist Law and Justice party will keep a close ally in the president and maintain its hold on almost all key instruments of power in the nation of 38 million people. Duda said he didn’t regret anything he said in the campaign because “I said what I believe.”Mr. Duda with 50.4% and Mr. for what many considered to be one of the most crucial elections in these three decades of democracy.Those supporting Mr. Trzaskowski, a former European Parliament lawmaker, jumped into the race relatively late to oppose Mr. A win for Mr. In the first round with 11 candidates, Mr. Some 30 million voters were eligible to cast ballots. Duda have won popularity through a welfare program that improved the lives of many impoverished retirees and families with children, especially in rural areas and small towns, and also through their attachment to Poland’s traditional Roman Catholic values.But the ruling party has drawn criticism from EU leaders for taking steps to politically influence the justice system and the media in Poland. Trzaskowski 49.6%. Exit polls do not reflect the votes cast from abroad, and a majority of them were expected to go to Mr. Sunday’s exit polls showed his support strongest among younger people, in larger cities and among more highly educated people.Due to the pandemic, the voting was held under strict sanitary regulations. Trzaskowski as someone who would sell out Polish families to Jewish interests, tapping into old anti-Semitic tropes in a country that was home to Europe’s largest Jewish community before being decimated by Germany in the Holocaust.On Sunday night Mr. Duda turned further to the right in search of votes. Duda got 43.5% support and Mr. Trzaskowski.He said he was still dreaming of a Poland “that knows how to rebuild a united society, that is proud of it’s tradition, that is looking to the future, that is just, European, tolerant, where no one divides us.”If Mr. Trzaskowski vowed to close the social rifts in Poland but keep the benefits payments coming. Duda’s and Law and Justice’s erosion of democratic rights under the ruling party. Duda with 50.8% of the vote and challenger Rafal Trzaskowski with 49.2%. Voters had to wear masks and gloves, maintain a safe distance and use hand sanitizer. Duda, who is backed by the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party and the government, campaigned on traditional values and social spending in this mostly Catholic nation as he sought a second 5-year term.As the race became tighter in recent weeks, Mr. Although the country is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic and problems in its health and education systems, the campaign was dominated by issues of culture and saw strains of homophobia and anti-Semitism.The late exit poll by the Ipsos institute showed Mr.

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Points of Progress: Fiji reefs restored with traditional knowledge, and more

(Florida Museum)3. Jackson became NASA’s first Black female engineer in 1958, and was the author or co-author of several research reports. United StatesResearchers have reencountered the ultra-rare blue calamintha bee, which was last observed in 2016. Participants promise to act as good stewards of the land and refrain from chopping down additional trees or hunting the forest’s animals. Deforestation spiked after a 2016 peace deal with the country’s largest rebel group, the FARC, and the ecosystem is threatened by drug cultivation. ColombiaColombian environmental group WebConserva is helping build protective borders around forests by persuading farmers in San Lucas to plant coffee instead of coca, which is used to make cocaine. The dense forests are home to rare predators such as ocelots, a type of small wild cat, and highly endangered spectacled bears. Cover Images/NASA/AP/File

Mary W. Loading… Jackson began her career at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, as a mathematician in the 1950s. United StatesNASA’s headquarters building in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, the agency’s first African American female engineer. The shiny navy blue bee is believed to live only in the Lake Wales Ridge region of Florida, one of the country’s most diverse and fastest-disappearing ecosystems. In a first-of-its kind project, WebConserva has partnered at least 10 families with coffee roasters across Colombia who in turn will protect nearly 1,000 acres of forest. Oliver Griffin/Reuters

Arcadio Barajas stands among his coffee plants in San Lucas, Colombia, Feb. The ruling reaffirms the country’s Basic Law, which states that any Germans who were denaturalized based on political, racial, or religious grounds during Adolf Hitler’s 12-year reign can get their citizenship back, along with their descendants. (Reuters)4. The goal is to protect roughly 50,000 acres of forest by signing on 200 families. GermanyThe Constitutional Court has ruled that children of unmarried people who were denaturalized by Nazis are eligible for German citizenship. July 10, 2020

By Lindsey McGinnis
Staff Writer
@BylineLindsey

1. Ms. Her story was popularized by the 2016 book and movie “Hidden Figures.” Three years later, she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, along with her colleagues Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Christine Darden. Points of Progress: Fiji reefs restored with traditional knowledge, and more

Why We Wrote This

This is more than feel-good news – it’s where the world is making concrete progress. The fields were once full of coca plants. In fact, scientists weren’t sure the rare insect still existed. Depending on what researchers discover in the coming months, it could qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Staff

Places where the world saw progress, for the July 20, 2020 Monitor Weekly. “NASA facilities across the country are named after people who dedicated their lives to push the frontiers of the aerospace industry,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. Florida’s State Wildlife Action Plan currently lists the blue bee as a species of greatest conservation need. Over the next year, researchers will continue recording its whereabouts to better understand the species’ range and behavior. The court found the woman, born in 1967 in the United States, was entitled to the same naturalization rights as children of married couples, and local courts had unlawfully discriminated against her because of her parents’ marital status. 26, 2020. After getting special permission to participate in a training program at a segregated high school, she was promoted to engineer. A roundup of positive stories to inspire you. (Reuters) The case centered around a woman born to an American mother and Jewish father who was stripped of his German citizenship by Nazis in 1938. Chase Kimmel/Courtesy of Florida Museum of Natural History

A rare calamintha bee is captured for study, then released. “The nation is beginning to awaken to the greater need to honor the full diversity of people who helped pioneer our great nation.” (NASA)2.

“We had forecasting methods before but they were not as good,” said David Koros, principal meteorologist at the Kenya Meteorological Department. AfricaWith the help of an updated weather forecasting system, meteorologists in Africa can now track incoming storms and alert people, allowing them to avoid being caught by mudslides and flooding. Tabus, or no-fishing zones marked with pillars in the sea floor, had not been used in the Navakavu reef for about half a century. As extreme weather becomes more common across the continent, a project at the University of Leeds in England has made real-time satellite data available to countries such as Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. “It’s very important because we can issue information for the safety of lives, property, and the environment.” (Thomson Reuters Foundation)6. Originally, tabus were used after a chief’s death to close off fishing grounds for 100 days until a memorial feast. 5. Before reviving the tabu tradition, fish were not maturing to a size that would sustain local communities, and reefs were dying because of pollution from nearby cities and boats. The modern tabu was suggested during a community consultation with marine scientists, and today’s closures are meant to be indefinite. The life-saving technology has been used by developed countries for years, but was largely unavailable in sub-Saharan Africa. FijiLocal reefs are in robust health after Fijians reintroduced an ancient reef and fishery management tool following decades of overfishing. (The Guardian) Hemo Marvela, chairman of a committee that governs the marine area, said the community still struggles with poachers, but the reef has become much healthier in recent decades.
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War in Libya? Why two US allies are on a collision course.

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“We might see a lot of escalations before November.” “The White House is never going to be interested in Libya in an election year, and it has the unique problem that the closest allies in the region to this presidency are fighting each other in Libya,” says Tarek Megerisi, Libya expert and policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.“The fear that Trump may lose the election and we may go back to a state of normal American policy may even encourage the UAE and Egypt to get their punches in before the bell rings,” he says.

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They want to escalate to test everyone’s resolve and see whether these red lines are real,” says Mr. “What that means in practice is unfortunately those parties and their local affiliates are doing what they want on the ground.”

Amman, Jordan
As U.S. Fatih Aktas/Turkish Foreign Ministry/AP

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (left) and Muhammed Tahir Siyala, foreign minister of Libya’s internationally recognized government, speak at the airport, in Tripoli, Libya, June 17, 2020. In a matter of months Turkey had reversed advances that General Haftar and his backers Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and France had made in five years.Red lineIn the past two weeks, Ankara rejected an offer by Cairo for a cease-fire, and pushed further outside Tripoli to capture airbases and strategic points as part of a move into central Libya, sparking alarms in Cairo. Arab and Western sources say those phone conversations leave both sides believing Washington supports their conflicting positions. Why We Wrote This

A principle of President Trump’s foreign policy is to allow local players to resolve regional conflicts. July 10, 2020

Two ways to read the story

Quick Read
Deep Read ( 6 Min. Sisi’s government.But there is a much deeper and more immediate fear in Egypt: jihadist militants.Following the 2011 Libyan revolution, a flow of Islamist militants between eastern Libya and the porous western Egyptian desert led to a series of terrorist attacks on Egyptian soil. War in Libya? )

By Taylor Luck
Special correspondent
@Taylor_Luck

Turkey and Egypt, whose authoritarian leaders have relatively warm relations with President Donald Trump, seem headed toward a war that neither really wants in Libya. Loading… Karen Norris/Staff
In a televised speech at an airbase near the Egyptian-Libyan border late last month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned that the central Libyan city of Sirte was a “red line” and that any threat to the 690-mile Egyptian-Libyan border would result in a “direct intervention” in Libya.“Be prepared to carry out any mission here within our borders or, if necessary, outside our borders,” President Sisi told Egyptian pilots and commandos at the base.In recent years the Egyptian military has famously refused commitments beyond its borders, rejecting calls by its allies to take part in the conflicts in Syria or Yemen or in airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq. In Libya, Turkey also sees as an economic foothold in North Africa that could allow it to extend influence in the continent.But Libyan observers say its main prize is a maritime border agreement signed with the GNA that gives Turkey exclusive rights to oil and gas exploration off the Libyan coast.Analysts say Turkey is looking to extend its influence in Libya as far east as possible to have a stronger position in eventual negotiations. Eljarh.Security threatsFor Egypt, the Turkish presence outside Tripoli represents a direct threat to the regime and the nation.The animosity between Egypt and Turkey stems from then-General Sisi’s 2013 overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi.Egypt and its allies Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Jordan have worked for the past seven years to prevent a Turkish or Islamist foothold in the Arab world, banning the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in several states.Turkey, meanwhile, has declared the Sisi government “illegitimate” and continues to harbor Brotherhood exiles and Egyptian opposition figures.There are concerns in Cairo that a permanent Turkish presence in Libya will lead to a Muslim Brotherhood hub from which activists and groups will work to undermine Mr. Ismail Zitouny/Reuters

A man and his children pass a destroyed fighting vehicle belonging to the eastern forces led by Khalifa Haftar in Gharyan, south of Tripoli, Libya, June 27, 2019. allies Egypt and Turkey clashing in Libya, could a solution just be a phone call away? But with U.S. Why two US allies are on a collision course. The Pentagon has been vocal in recent weeks over the interference of Moscow, which has placed mercenaries in Libya and, it fears, aims to establish a Mediterranean naval base.“The main reason that the U.S. Erdogan and Mr.   Cairo begrudgingly backed General Haftar and his fledgling forces in 2014 to secure the Libyan side of the border.With covert Egyptian support, over the past four years General Haftar and his forces cleared the eastern region of militants ranging from Al Qaeda to ISIS, forcing survivors to regroup in the deserts of central and southern Libya and giving Egypt a 500-mile-wide buffer.Cairo now fears that should Turkish-backed forces gain a foothold in central Libya or further east, militants and ISIS fighters will be encouraged to once again head toward Egypt. has been consumed with Russia and resuming oil and gas production in Libya. It believes this path runs through Sirte.“Despite their military victories, the GNA and Turkey realize that their negotiation standing is still weak. Observers say each side is hoping the other backs down, but that a diplomatic void left behind by a distracted United States and a divided Europe has allowed Turkey’s economic pursuits and Egypt’s security fears to place the regional rivals on colliding paths.Rather than focusing on a peaceful resolution, the U.S. Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters/File

Permanent representatives of the Arab League take part in an emergency meeting to discuss Turkey’s plans to send troops to Libya, at the League’s headquarters in Cairo, Dec. “Egypt’s security concerns with Libya are legitimate;   it has   an extremely long   border   with Libya, and in the past few years we have seen the consequences of that space   being not fully under control,” says H.A. Sisi, President Trump has yet to use those relationships to call for a cease-fire. So why are COVID-19 cases surging?Analysts say the defeat was a game changer. has been consumed with Russia and resuming oil and gas production in Libya.The Pentagon has been vocal in recent weeks over the interference of Russia, which has placed mercenaries in Libya and, it fears, aims to establish a naval base near Sirte, giving Moscow another foothold in the Mediterranean.Yet no diplomatic push has been made for America’s allies and their proxies to end the hostilities.“The main reason that the U.S. administration is even paying attention at all is because of the Russian angle, and even that has not convinced them to take real diplomatic efforts to bridge the gaps between Turkey and Egypt and the UAE,” says Ben Fishman, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Libya director at the National Security Council in the Obama administration.“What that means in practice is unfortunately those parties and their local affiliates are doing what they want on the ground.”Despite boasting close ties and regular phone calls with both Mr. Yet Egyptians say Libya is different.Although Turkey rejected the warnings, observers say that the international community should take seriously a threat that is far from idle.“Logically, Egypt does not want to intervene, but Egypt may soon be put in a place where it cannot afford not to intervene,” says Mohamed Eljarh, a Libya analyst.As part of its ongoing saber-rattling, Egypt held surprise drills on the Libyan border Thursday, deploying its air force and ground battalions in what the military described as “training to face mercenaries of irregular armies and target their hotbeds.”Economic gainsTurkey chose to intervene in Tripoli last November to save the besieged GNA in pursuit both of political opportunity and economic interest.The GNA coalition includes the Muslim Brotherhood – which has ideological ties to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling AKP party – and other Islamists, the last remnants of the movements Turkey has spent the past decade trying to prop up across the Arab world. Despite their defeat at Tripoli, General Haftar’s forces still retain 90% of the oil and gas fields in southern Libya and a majority of the country’s territory.With Ankara having invested treasure, troops, and military equipment to support the GNA, it wishes to impose its terms on the rival government in the East in order to secure its interests. Hellyer, a Cairo-based political analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.“With Ankara’s ambivalence towards the   Egyptian   government and   support for opposing forces, it is unsurprising that [Cairo] would not rely on Turkey to hold   militant   groups back from crossing the border.”To prevent such a scenario, Egypt is exploring options including airstrikes to support General Haftar’s forces, raising a Libyan tribal army, and limited ground incursions in order to repel any Turkish-GNA advance, Arab official sources say.America missingRather than focusing on a peaceful resolution, the U.S. administration is even paying attention at all is because of the Russian angle, and even that has not convinced them to take real diplomatic efforts to bridge the gaps between Turkey and Egypt and the UAE,” says Ben Fishman at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. California seemed to do everything right. 31, 2019. attention has drifted from Libya, the threat of war between two of Washington’s longtime regional allies and military partners is rising in the divided North African country.Turkey and Egypt, whose authoritarian leaders have relatively warm relations with President Donald Trump but have long been at opposing ends of a contest for regional influence, are beating war drums and drawing lines in the sand over their support for rival governments and militias in Libya.Observers and former officials say each side is hoping the other backs down, but that a diplomatic void left behind by a distracted or disinterested United States and a divided Europe has allowed Turkey’s economic pursuits and Egypt’s security fears to place the rivals on colliding paths.And a Western diplomatic effort is needed, analysts say, to reach an understanding between Ankara and Cairo that would defuse the crisis and lead to a cease-fire on the ground in Libya.Tensions have risen since Turkish-backed forces and Libya’s U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord, or GNA, repelled the Egyptian-backed warlord, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, and his self-styled Libyan National Army from the capital of Tripoli in June, ending a yearlong siege.

For Russian experts, Taliban bounty report just doesn’t make sense

Moscow’s main concern, then and now, was that the victory of extreme Islamist forces in Afghanistan would promote instability and insurrection in the vulnerable former Soviet states of central Asia, as it had prior to the U.S. Moscow backed the U.S. “Every citizen of Kabul will tell you that. intervention in 2001.In the past few years, as it became clear that the United States intends to get out of Afghanistan, Russian attention has shifted to efforts to ensure that the more moderate, nationalist factions of the Taliban prevail over the group’s radical Islamist wing and the insurgents linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group. departure. “They have killed more Russians than the Soviet war in Afghanistan ever did.”Some Western outlets have suggested that Russian intelligence may be hunting American troops as payback for the CIA’s support for the Afghan mujahideen who defeated the USSR in the 1980s.But “the Soviet experience in Afghanistan is more than 30 years old,” says Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, a Moscow foreign-policy journal. That makes Russians wary about the U.S. retreat from the region increases the chance of a revival of past eras, when Russia and the USSR became mired in Afghan conflicts and drug trafficking.“The biggest nightmare is that Afghanistan becomes a ‘failed state’ again, with dangerous repercussions all over the region,” says Vladimir Sotnikov of the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow. And Russian experts agree that Russian intelligence may also have forged more confidential links with Taliban leaders.But the accusation that a Russian GRU military intelligence unit has been paying Taliban-linked militants $100,000 “bounties” for killing American soldiers has blindsided official Moscow. “We have no interest in aggravating the situation, or hastening U.S. intelligence about Russia has become completely detached from reality. “Something that counterproductive”Russia has been involved in Afghanistan since the czars jostled for influence – sometimes violently – with the British Empire amid the forbidding Hindu Kush in a long 19th-century competition that has been memorialized as “the Great Game.”     
On America’s most political holiday, clashing visions are nothing newMore recently, the Soviet Union quite literally broke apart after a costly and futile military effort to tame Afghanistan in the 1980s. assistance. Hastening a U.S. Golts says. withdrawal,” says Andrei Kortunov, director of the Russian International Affairs Council, which is affiliated with the Foreign Ministry, “since that would increase the threat of extremists coming to power in Kabul.”

Alexander Sekretarev/AP/File

Russia has firsthand experience with the dangers of Afghanistan, thanks to the Soviet Union’s long, grinding war there in the 1980s against the mujahideen, at whom the Soviet soldiers shown are firing in April 1988. Their planes from Kandahar, from Bagram [Airfield near Kabul] are flying wherever they want to – to Germany, to Romania – without any inspections,” he said. For Russian experts, Taliban bounty report just doesn’t make sense

Why We Wrote This

The report of Russia paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. July 9, 2020

Two ways to read the story

Quick Read
Deep Read ( 4 Min. Kortunov. Moscow has indirectly reached out to the Taliban in open efforts to nudge the peace process in a moderate direction. It provided intelligence and logistical support, and repeatedly urged NATO to stay and “finish the job” of defeating the Taliban. “I understand that in U.S. retreat from the region increases the chance of a return to the bad old days in Afghanistan.“Of course you can never underestimate the intelligence of Russian secret services, and some of the things they do. Everyone is ready to talk about that.”The explosion of poppy production and heroin export since NATO occupied Afghanistan remains a major sore point for Russia.“Opiates from Afghanistan are a huge problem for Russia,” says Mr. intelligence about Russia has become completely detached from reality.The bounty story makes “no sense at all” in terms of Russian concerns, says Andrei Kortunov, director of the Russian International Affairs Council. Kortunov. Afghanistan is going to be our problem long after the U.S. Lately, I have my doubts,” Mr. But it hasn’t swayed many in Moscow, not even those critical of the Kremlin. troops, as memorials like this one in Afghanistan’s Farah province on Nov. And even the Kremlin’s critics complain that U.S. troops in Afghanistan has heated up the political rhetoric in Washington. I fail to find any reasonable motivation Russia could possibly have to kill American soldiers – and at such a high price, may I add cynically?”“Our problem”The Kremlin has labeled the story “fake news” and President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy on Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, fired back this week with an unsubstantiated accusation of his own.“Those wonderful U.S. has left.”

Moscow
From the very start of the American-led invasion of Afghanistan almost 19 years ago, Russian experts were shaking their heads and warning that it would not turn out well.However, the Kremlin warmly welcomed the occupation. Maya Alleruzzo/AP/File

Afghanistan has been deadly for U.S. But I know that people who work in Russian military intelligence are rational actors. That’s why he says the bounty story makes “no sense at all” in terms of Russian concerns – hastening a U.S. intends to get out of Afghanistan, Russia has tried to ensure that the more moderate, nationalist factions of the Taliban prevail over the group’s radical Islamist wing.But the accusation that a Russian GRU military intelligence unit has been paying Taliban-linked militants $100,000 “bounties” for killing American soldiers has blindsided official Moscow. “Nobody associated with that is in power today, and Russia isn’t even the same country. But it’s awfully hard to see them coming up with something that counterproductive,” he says.Alexander Golts, an independent security expert and Kremlin critic who is presently at Uppsala University in Sweden, is even more scathing.“For most of my life I have assumed that if something appears in the U.S. eyes, Russia is an evil-doer. when they went into Afghanistan, and they’ve been there for almost 20 years. 9, 2009, attest. media, it is certainly a strongly reported story and probably true. Why on earth would anyone go looking for revenge now?” Instead, they say it serves only to fuel what they describe as a political civil war between President Donald Trump and his opponents in Washington.“It is not in Russia’s interest to see a rapid U.S. )

By Fred Weir
Special correspondent

In the past few years, as it became clear that the U.S. That disastrous experience left Russian public opinion deeply averse to any future involvement in the country.“Unlike the U.S., we have to live in this neighborhood, and we are deeply concerned about what comes next in Afghanistan,” says Mr. leaving the region too quickly. In its nine-year intervention, the USSR lost 15,000 troops in battle against the mujahideen, forerunners of today’s Taliban, who had received $20 billion in U.S. But a recent report suggests that Russia has tried to make it moreso by paying bounties to the Taliban for killing American troops. And even the Kremlin’s critics in the expert community now complain that U.S. intelligence officers, who accuse us of different things, are involved in drug trafficking. Loading…

has left.” Vladimir Sotnikov, an expert with the Institute of Oriental Studies of   the Russian Academy of Sciences   in Moscow, says that Russia is consulting with other countries in the region, including China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and India, to try to find ways to manage what is now seen as an inevitable U.S. Afghanistan is going to be our problem long after the U.S. departure. “We have no interest in aggravating the situation, or hastening U.S. withdrawal.“The biggest nightmare is that Afghanistan becomes a ‘failed state’ again, with dangerous repercussions all over the region,” he says.
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