August 2020 — CANVAS

Weekly Report August 14 2020

  Coronavirus Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a locally developed vaccine for Covid-19 has been given regulatory approval after less than two months of testing on humans. Amid fears that safety could have been compromised, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged Russia last week to follow international guidelines for producing a vaccine against Covid-19. Meanwhile, global cases of coronavirus have passed 20 million, with over 5 million in the United States, 3 million in Brazil, and 2 million in India.   United States President Trump repeated the claim this week that the election could be riddled with fraud if mail ballots were widely used, and he made clear that he opposed Democratic demands for additional funding for both the post office and election security measures because of his opposition to mail-in voting. He left open the possibility that he could come to a deal as part of a larger negotiation over a new round of economic stimulus. Meanwhile, large-scale protests continue in the U.S.; this past week in Portland, protesters set fire to the police union headquarters, and in Chicago, hundreds of young people responded to reports of a police-involved shooting by looting downtown stores.   China The U.S. and China will reportedly review the progress of their “phase one” trade deal later this week — roughly six months after the agreement came into effect. This comes as President Trump imposed sanctions on top Chinese officials after China imposed Hong Kong’s new security law, which has already led to the arrest of journalists and activists.   Hong Kong As a result of Hong Kong’s new security law, Jimmy Lai, a Hong Kong media tycoon and prominent pro-democracy figure, was arrested...

Weekly Report August 9 2020

  Coronavirus The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs in July, but the momentum of the recovery appears to be slowing. Africa has surpassed one million cases of the coronavirus, but the true toll may be much higher, hidden by extremely low testing rates. The global number of confirmed cases approach 20 million, and deaths approach 750,000; the top 3 centers of the virus remain the United States, Brazil, and India.   United States Oregon has experienced violent clashes this week between protesters and police, ratcheting up tensions in the city days after an agreement between state and federal officials appeared to bring calm. Demonstrators continued to rally in Portland on Thursday night, hours after the city’s mayor criticized the current unrest that has roiled Portland since George Floyd was killed. “You are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said on Thursday in a hastily called news conference alongside Portland police chief Chuck Lovell. Earlier this week, Amnesty International released a report documenting widespread and egregious human rights violations by police officers against protesters, medics, journalists and legal observers who gathered to protest the unlawful killings of Black people by the police and to call for systemic reform in May and June of 2020.   China Last week, a video surfaced showing a first-hand account of China’s highly secure and secretive detention system in Xinjiang. Over the past few years, estimates suggest more than one million Uighurs and other minorities have been forced into a network of highly secure camps in Xinjiang that China has insisted are voluntary schools for anti-extremism training.   Hong...

Weekly Report July 17 2020

  Coronavirus The United States reported more than 75,600 new cases on Thursday shattering its previous single-day record. It was the eleventh time in the past month that the record has been broken, and the number of daily new cases has more than doubled since June 24th. Elsewhere, India became the third country to see more than one million total cases, joining Brazil and the United States. Brazil passed two million cases, adding one million cases in a month.   United States  The United States is steadily increasing its case count, repeatedly shattering its daily virus count record. On Thursday, the U.S. daily record hit 75,600 new cases, with the number of deaths also increasing. This week, the Trump administration announced that it is considering a sweeping ban on travel to the United States by members of the Chinese Communist Party, based on the same statute in the Immigration and Nationality Act that inspired a travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries.   China The U.K. has barred the use of Huawei’s 5G equipment in its high-speed wireless infrastructure, marking a victory for the Trump administration. The U.S. government is also purportedly considering a sweeping travel ban on Chinese Communist Party members amid worsening relations. The CCP has 92 million members, and enforcement would be unclear. Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General William Barr has accused Hollywood and U.S. tech firms of bowing down to Beijing in order to do business in China. Barr further alleged that the Chinese government was able to access Apple phones though the company had denied similar access to the US government, emblematic of an emerging...