The Washington Post – Dan Keating and Leslie Shapiro / For unvaccinated, coronavirus is soaring again
- The country’s summer of freedom from covid-19 is turning savage for the half of the nation that is still not fully vaccinated. Coronavirus cases are increasing almost exclusivelyin the unprotected population.
- So The Washington Post adjusted its case, death and hospitalization rates to account for that — and found that in many places, the virus continues to rage among those who have not received a shot.
- The Post’s adjustments for vaccinations reveal the rate among susceptible, unvaccinated people is 91 percent higher than the unadjusted case rates reported on coronavirus websites and state tracking systems.
- Like deaths, hospitalizations from covid-19 are almost entirely limited to unvaccinated patients. Even though treatments are better than they were originally, a larger share of patients are ending up in intensive care, and the fatality rate for those patients remains high, experts said.
- The New York Times – Apoorva Mandavilli / Why vaccinated people are getting ‘breakthrough’ infections
Politico – David M. Herszenhorn, America Hernandez and Laurenz Gehrke / US and Germany have Nord Stream 2 deal, but lack authority to implement it
- A day after the U.S. and Germany announced a deal allowing the completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, top officials conceded that neither the White House nor the Chancellery have the authority to implement some of its most crucial components.
- As a huge outcry went up from opponents of the Russia-led pipeline project, Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged that her agreement with President Joe Biden hardly settled their political disagreements, and that much remained uncertain.
- “The agreement with the U.S. government does not cement the differences, but it does not overcome all differences either,” Merkel said at a news conference. “The differences remain.”
- Perhaps the biggest obstacle will be political and legal challenges by the Ukrainian government, which made clear that it has no intention of surrendering to the whims of Berlin and Washington.
- CNBC – Amanda Macias / U.S., Germany strike a deal to allow completion of controversial Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline
The Guardian – Andrew Roth / Belarus NGOs condemn government crackdown after ‘black week’ of raids
- The government of Belarus has launched a broad crackdown on civil society, launching raids and arrests on dozens of organisations in what has been described as a “black week” for the country’s NGOs.
- The raids, which began last week, have touched all corners of civil society, from groups that campaign for political prisoners’ rights to those that crowdfund medical care and have helped medics in the fight against coronavirus.
- The pressure follow mass arrests of opposition politicians and the closure and harassment of much of the country’s independent media, as longtime leader Alexander Lukashenko seeks to stamp out even apolitical efforts by Belarusians to self-organise.
- The blow against NGOs has also extended to groups that focus exclusively on charity work, crowdfunding and organising medical aid for vulnerable communities that now face being cut off entirely.
- The New York Times – Valerie Hopkins / Pulling levers in exile, Belarus opposition leader works to keep her influence alive
The Economist / A 3ºC world has no safe place
- The ground under the German town of Erftstadt is torn apart like tissue paper by flood waters; Lytton in British Columbia is burned from the map just a day after setting a freakishly high temperature record; cars float like dead fish through the streets-turned-canals in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou. All the world feels at risk, and most of it is.
- Greenhouse-gas emissions have produced a planet more than 1°C (1.8°F) warmer than it was in Burke’s pre-industrial days. Its atmosphere, stoked up and out of joint, is producing heavy weather in ways both predicted and surprising. And, with emissions continuing, it will get worse.
- Unfortunately, 2021 will probably be one of the 21st century’s coolest years. If temperatures rise by 3°C above pre-industrial levels in the coming decades—as they might even if everyone manages to honour today’s firm pledges—large parts of the tropics risk becoming too hot for outdoor work.
- Cutting emissions is thus not enough. The world also urgently needs to invest in adapting to the changing climate. But they also have limits. Making do with less water may be possible; getting by on none is not. Some levels of temperature and humidity make outdoors activity impossible. There comes one flood too many, after which you abandon the land. When the reef is gone, it is gone.
- Financial Times – Neil Hume / Thermal coal prices soar as demand for electricity rebounds
Further reading for the weekend: