EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 28/07/2020

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The New York Times – Emily Cochrane and Jim Tankersley / As Republicans embrace cut in jobless aid, divisions weaken their leverage

  • Senate Republicans and the White House on Monday threw their support behind a substantial cut in jobless aid for tens of millions of Americans laid off amid the pandemic, proposing a weekly reduction of $400.
  • The proposal was part of a $1 trillion opening bid that would have to be reconciled with Democrats, who were pushing a recovery package that would spend three times as much and extend the $600 per week in extra unemployment aid through the end of the year.
  • Economists say that the money, slated to expire this week, has provided a crucial economic buffer for the unemployed, and that lowering the payments could have a cascade of damaging effects across the economy. 
  • The Senate Republicans’ decision to embrace the decrease reflects the predicament in which they find themselves during a worsening pandemic and continued economic recession, little more than three months before Election Day.
  • The Washington Post – Erica Werner, Jeff Stein and Seung Min Kim / Economic relief talks ramp up as GOP releases bill; Democrats, White House officials meet

Euractiv – Samuel Stolton / Facebook takes EU antitrust regulators to court

  • US technology giant Facebook is suing EU regulators after a spat between the two parties erupted over access to company documents as part of an ongoing antitrust probe.
  • EU competition enforcers have been investigating Facebook for practices related to the use of data in apps since last year, as well as reviewing how the company operates its online marketplace.
  • As part of the EU’s ongoing investigations it has transpired that Facebook is appealing the Commission’s right to access thousands of “irrelevant” documents that contain “highly personal information”, the company has confirmed.
  • The source added that many of the documents identified in the Commission’s request include such articles as employee medical records, childcare information and data related to private investments and insurance.
  • EU Observer – Andrew Rettman / Facebook cries foul on EU request for internal documents

Financial Times – Hannah Kuchler / Moderna begins first late-stage US trial of Covid vaccine

  • Moderna has given the first doses of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine to participants in what will be a 30,000-person trial, as the US moved into a new phase in the race to develop a vaccine by the start of next year.
  • The company’s shares were up as much as 10.6 per cent before paring some of their gains. Donald Trump, president, said it was “the fastest a vaccine for a novel pathogen has ever gone”. Mr Trump said other vaccines were also heading into final trials soon.
  • Moderna’s trial is being conducted in conjunction with the US National Institutes of Health at sites across the US, under the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed public-private partnership.
  • Moderna took just 42 days from receiving the genetic sequence of Sars-Cov-2, the virus behind Covid-19, to produce a vaccine for testing. In its phase-three trial, Moderna and the NIH will be testing whether it can prevent symptomatic Covid-19 disease.
  • South China Morning Post / Moderna coronavirus vaccine could be ready by end of year, US says as drug maker begins final-stage trial

The Guardian – Oliver Milman / How the global climate fight could be lost if Trump is re-elected

  • The lifetime of the Paris agreement, signed in a wave of optimism in 2015, has seen the five hottest years ever recorded on Earth, unprecedented wildfires torching towns from California to Australia, record heatwaves baking Europe and India and temperatures briefly bursting beyond 100F (38C) in the Arctic.
  • These sorts of impacts could be a mere appetizer, scientists warn, given they have been fueled by levels of global heating that are on track to triple, or worse, by the end of the century without drastic remedial action.
  • “The choice of Biden or Trump in the White House is huge, not just for the US but for the world generally to deal with climate change,” said Stern. “If Biden wins, November 4 is a blip, like a bad dream is over. If Trump wins, he seals the deal.”
  • Trump, who once famously called climate science a “hoax”, has never looked kindly on the deal, which he framed as an international effort to damage the US while letting China off too lightly.
  • Financial Times – Johan Rockström / Why we need to declare a global climate emergency now

Today’s story:

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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