EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 30/06/2020

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Euractiv / WHO says pandemic ‘not even close’ to over as death toll passes 500,000

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is “not even close to being over”, the WHO warned Monday, as the global death toll passed half a million and cases surged in Latin America and the US.
  • In another grim milestone, the number of infections recorded worldwide topped 10 million, while some authorities reimposed lockdown measures that have crippled the economies worldwide.
  • The virus emerged at least six months ago in China, where the WHO will send a team next week in the search for its origin, Tedros said. COVID-19 is still rampaging across the US, which has recorded more than 125,000 deaths and 2.5 million cases.
  • In a reminder of the constant threat of newly-emerged pathogens, researchers in Chinese universities and the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced they had discovered a novel swine flu that was capable of triggering another pandemic.
  • Financial Times – The editorial board / Learning to live with coronavirus

The Guardian – Lily Kuo and Verna Yu / China passes controversial Hong Kong national security law

  • Beijing has passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong that critics fear will crush political freedoms and pave the way for China to cement its control over the semi-autonomous territory.
  • Less than 40 days after Chinese lawmakers first proposed imposing an anti-sedition law on Hong Kong, the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, on Tuesday approved the measure, according officials and multiple media reports.
  • The legislation, criminalising secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, deals a devastating blow to Hong Kong’s autonomy as promised under the “one country, two systems” framework.
  • According to a summary released previously by Chinese state media, the law will see Beijing set up a national security agency in Hong Kong to “guide” the territory’s implementation of the law.
  • South China Morning Post / Hong Kong national security law unanimously passed by Beijing, while Joshua Wong and associates announce decision to quit party politics

The Economist / Israel weighs the future of the West Bank

  • On June 22nd thousands of Palestinians held a protest in Jericho against a possible Israeli annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank. They were joined, unusually, by diplomats from across the globe: Britain and Russia, Jordan and Japan.
  • The United Nations envoy, Nickolay Mladenov, made a speech. After months of public warnings and quiet pressure, the world’s collective diplomatic clout perched on plastic chairs beneath the beating summer sun.
  • On July 1st Israel’s cabinet can start to discuss annexation. The date is less a deadline than a starting-point laid down in the coalition agreement signed in April by Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, and his governing partners.
  • Israel could decide to annex a large swathe of territory or annex nothing at all, or—as seems likely—do something betwixt the two. If it does anything, it will happen over widespread objections. 
  • Haaretz – Chaim Levinson and Noa Landau / After Gantz pours cold water on annexation, Netanyahu says issue not up to him

The New York Times – Abdi Latif Dahir / Coronavirus is battering Africa’s growing middle class

  • Beyond the devastating consequences for the continent’s most vulnerable people, the pandemic is also whittling away at one of Africa’s signature achievements: the growth of its middle class.
  • For the last decade, Africa’s middle class has been pivotal to the educational, political and economic development across the continent. New business owners and entrepreneurs have created jobs that, in turn, gave others a leg up as well.
  • Educated, tech-savvy families and young people with money to spare have fed the demand for consumer goods, called for democratic reforms, expanded the talent pool at all levels of society, and pushed for high-quality schools and health care.
  • About 170 million out of Africa’s 1.3 billion people are now classified as middle class. But about eight million of them could be thrust into poverty because of the coronavirus and its economic fallout, according to World Data Lab, a research organization.
  • The Guardian – Adam Tooze / Covid-19 is now a truly global health crisis – the solutions must be too

Today’s analysis:

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.

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