June 2020 — CANVAS

Weekly Report June 19 2020

  Coronavirus As anti-racist protests continue to shake the U.S. and other parts of the world, some officials expressed worry that they could cause spikes in coronavirus cases. Additionally, some of the aggressive police responses to protests, like tear gas and pepper spray have been demonstrated to further enhance the possibility of transmission. Latin America remains the epicenter of the virus with devastating implications for the region’s politics and people.   United States Friday marks Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, in the United States, which marks the effective end of slavery in the United States. Disregarding the significance of the holiday, President Donald Trump announced his intention to hold a rally in Oklahoma, but rescheduled to Saturday after met with backlash. This decision comes as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to rage across the country against the deep racial inequities felt in the country and long-standing police brutality against people of colour. Meanwhile, infections have been increasing in much of the U.S., indicating the country is due for a second wave of coronavirus. The virus has reportedly left more Americans dead than the First World War.   China Twenty Indian soldiers died after a violent clash with Chinese troops along the countries’ de facto border in the Himalayas. The deaths are the first military casualties along the disputed border for more than 40 years. China has reportedly also freed ten Indian soldiers seized during the clash. U.S. President Donald Trump signed a law to introduce sanctions punishing Chinese officials for human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority in the country. In response, China promised to “resolutely...

Weekly Report June 12 2020

  Coronavirus As COVID-19 peaks in Latin America, the new epicenter of the virus, disillusionment with democracy is reportedly on the rise. Survey data by the Latinobarómetro reveals that trust in government in the region fell from 45% in 2010 to 22% in 2018. The effect of delayed elections due to the pandemic have yet to be measured.   United States As protests for Black Lives Matter continue to rage across the United States, statues venerating Christopher Columbus and Confederate leaders have become the new targets for the movement, leading to widespread defacement of these monuments. Meanwhile, there is an alarming rise in coronavirus cases following several states’ decision to roll back lockdowns. An associated Press analysis reveals that cases are rising in nearly half the states, a worrying trend spiking fear of a second wave and new lockdowns.   China Twitter has taken down 170,000 China-linked accounts identified as part of a coordinated campaign to spread disinformation and “deceptive narratives” around the Hong Kong protests, COVID-19, and U.S. protests in relation to George Floyd. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute found that while Twitter is blocked in China, the campaign was targeted at Chinese-speaking audiences outside the country. After U.S. and Hong Kong-based activists reported that their Zoom accounts had been suspended and meetings disrupted after they attempted to hold events related to the anniversary of China’s Tiananmen Square crackdown, Zoom said that it would not allow further requests from the Chinese government to affect users outside the country. Elsewhere, American aircraft carriers have begun patrolling Indo-Pacific waters for the first time in nearly three years, a show of...

Weekly Report June 5 2020

Image: Tiananmen Vigil, Hong Kong. 4 June 2020.   Coronavirus The World Health Organization (WHO) declares the Americas as the new epicenter of the novel coronavirus pandemic and urges countries not to ease restrictions as case numbers increase across the region. In China, a travel warning has been issued asking citizens to reconsider travel to Australia in light of reported rise in anti-Chinese racism.   United States Protests demanding justice for George Floyd and countless other black lives affected by police brutality have spread across all 50 states, some escalating to violence after protestors clash with police and military. Both former Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, and current Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, have publicly criticized President Trump’s approach to combating the protests. The police officers onlooking the death of Mr. Floyd, captured on a video that catalysed the Black Lives Matter movement protests, were charged Wednesday with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. The charge of the officer presumed responsible, Derek Chauvin, was increased to second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Meanwhile, the suspect in the Ahmaud Arbery case, involving the killing of an unarmed black jogger, is accused of using a racial slur after shooting.   China Chinese state media seized upon anti-racism protests sweeping across the U.S. to criticize its rival for being a “double standard nation” in response to civil unrest. Amid rising diplomatic and trade tensions, the U.S. has moved to ban Chinese passenger airlines from flying to the U.S., beginning mid-June. In its dispute with India, China has also moved “a significant number” of its troops into a tense, contested section...