EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 01/06/2020

File:A man stands on a burned out car on Thursday morning as fires burn behind him in the Lake St area of Minneapolis, Minnesota (49945886467).jpg

Foreign Policy – Allison Carlson and Michael Hirsh / America’s race problem erupts anew, layered with coronavirus tensions

  • In defiance of an 8 p.m. curfew, rioters continued to set fires across the city, and, according to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, who held a news conference in the middle of the night calling for calm, authorities were deploying three times the force they did during the 1960s race riots. It all started in Minneapolis, in one of the country’s most stable and prosperous cities.
  • By Saturday and Sunday, rioting and protests had erupted from New York City to Los Angeles, with Atlanta placed under a state of emergency. Violent confrontations with police continued through the weekend in many cities, including Washington, D.C., where President Donald Trump was taken by Secret Service agents to an underground bunker.
  • All this because a problem that too many Americans thought had eased or decided to ignore—police abuse of minority communities—returned in the most shocking way, with criminals and vandals exploiting what began as legitimate protests. The damage will be long-lasting as many of these small businesses likely won’t recover; much-needed housing development is now also smoldering.
  • Yet in truth the killing of George Floyd has inflamed tensions that have been mounting for years in Minneapolis—due to not only the city’s history with the killing of its black residents by Minneapolis police officers but growing economic inequality, gaps in education and access, and most recently the disproportionate impacts on black and brown communities from the coronavirus, both in terms of infections and deaths but also layoffs.
  • The Washington Post – Rebecca Tan et al. / Night of destruction across D.C. after protesters clash with police outside White House

The New York Times – Donald G. McNeil Jr. and Andrew Jacobs / Blaming China for pandemic, Trump says U.S. will leave the W.H.O.

  • After spending weeks accusing the World Health Organization of helping the Chinese government cover up the early days of the coronavirus epidemic in China, President Trump said on Friday that the United States would terminate its relationship with the agency.
  • In his 10-minute address, Mr. Trump took no responsibility for the deaths of 100,000 Americans from the virus, instead saying China had “instigated a global pandemic.” A spokeswoman for the W.H.O. in Geneva, where word of Mr. Trump’s announcement first landed at 9 p.m., said the agency would not have a response until Saturday.
  • There is no evidence that the W.H.O. or the government in Beijing hid the extent of the epidemic in China, and public health experts generally view Mr. Trump’s charges as a way to deflect attention from his administration’s own bungled attempts to respond to the virus’s spread in the United States.
  • The Infectious Diseases Society of America “stands strongly against President Trump’s decision,” said Dr. Thomas M. File, its president. “We will not succeed against this pandemic, or any future outbreak, unless we stand together, share information and coordinate actions.”
  • The Guardian – Julian Borger / Trump announces US to sever all ties with WHO

Politico – Bjarke Smith-Meyer and Lili Bayer / Too taxing: Brussels can’t explain plan for big company levy

  • It looked like a bold, populist move to help fund Europe’s economic revival — a tax raid on big companies yielding €10 billion a year. But since the European Commission unveiled the proposal Wednesday as part of its €750 billion recovery package, it has struggled to explain how the tax would work and failed to show how it came up with the revenue figure.
  • “We can’t give much detail,” Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, the Commission’s top economic policy official, told reporters Thursday when quizzed about the tax. Commission officials even seemed unsure what the tax was meant to be called. The EU executive’s official documents called it a source of revenue “based on the operation of large companies.”
  • Some commissioners referred to it as a “single market tax,” suggesting it would apply to companies that benefit most from the bloc’s internal market. The document with most detail highlighted that some companies “draw huge benefits” from the bloc’s single market and are also set to get a lot of financial support from the EU.
  • Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn, however, could give only a tentative outline of the plan. “The idea so far is that companies, which have I think on a global scale revenue of more than €750 million, should … contribute a little bit, may I say so, to the benefits they are having from the European single market,” Hahn told reporters on Thursday, noting that “a modest levy” for this access “could yield around €10 billion annually.”
  • Euractiv – Jorge Valero / Will the EU have a new ‘single market tax’ for multinationals?

Bloomberg – Dana Hull and Julie Johnsson / SpaceX astronauts reach space station after milestone voyage

  • Two American astronauts boarded the International Space Station from a SpaceX capsule, marking the first time humans have traveled to orbit on a commercially developed craft, forging a new era for NASA and visionary billionaire Elon Musk.
  • The Dragon craft carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley arrived at the orbiting lab at 10:16 a.m. Eastern time Sunday, about 19 hours after lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. They entered the station at 1:22 p.m. after completing a series of arrival checklists.
  • The milestone flight is the first time American astronauts have flown from U.S. soil since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. The achievement comes 18 years after Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies Corp. with the ultimate goal of populating other planets.
  • The highest-profile U.S. rocket launch in decades captured interest around the globe, watched live on Saturday by approximately 10 million people. The flight comes at a time when people are clamoring for good news amid the Covid-19 pandemic, surging unemployment and growing U.S. protests against police violence.
  • The Guardian – Richard Luscombe / SpaceX Dragon crew capsule docks at International Space Station

Today’s long read:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.

Política Internacional |