Weekly Reports Archives — CANVAS

Weekly Report 27 March 2020

Coronavirus The Latest: There are currently 427,138 confirmed active cases of the coronavirus around the world with 26,889 deaths. The United States now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, surpassing the number of cases in Italy and China on Thursday with a total of 82,404. Ceasefire: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a global ceasefire in all conflicts. He told reporters that “it is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.” Millions around the world are having to stay inside as governments issue requirements to shelter in place and follow curfews. After much pressure from the international community, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been delayed. They are now set to take place in 2021. China China is ending its two-month lockdown in the province of Hubei, which was hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. While people with a clean bill of health will be allowed to leave their homes, the city of Wuhan will remain shut down for another two weeks. Censorship: Reporters Without Borders reported that if the Chinese media were free and if there had been no censorship by the authorities, they would have informed the public about COVID-19 much earlier. In its analysis, they said that the Chinese authorities have even banned the publication of the genome of the virus. Hong Kong The streets of Hong Kong are slowly filling back up with protesters following weeks of silence. Hundreds took to the streets on Sunday to commemorate fifteen-year-old activist Chan Yin-lam who was found dead last September. In a separate incident, activists were attacked by...

Weekly Report 20 March 2020

Coronavirus The Numbers: Over the past three months, there are have been 265,873 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world and 11,181 deaths. At the current moment, 164,089 people are infected, and 7,793 people are in critical condition. Since the pandemic originated, 90,603 people have recovered. Border Closures: Countries around the world are closing their borders and implementing curfews in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. The United States has closed its border with Canada. It has also enacted a travel ban that prevents foreign travelers from entering the country if they have recently visited countries that have been particularly affected by the pandemic. The European Union has also closed its borders to non-citizens for 30 days. Even the Schengenscheme is temporarily suspended as some EU-member states imposed some restrictions among themselves. Economy: The stock market has continued to take serious hits, and the looming threat of a recession has sent Americans into a frenzy. Lebanon, a country that was already struggling financially before the virus, is still experiencing massive debt; its economy is “tanking.” Venezuela is facing the same problems. The IMF denied Venezuela’s $5 billion loan request, as it does not recognize Maduro as a legitimate president. Vaccines: Three countries are currently testing vaccines on both human and animal subjects. The tests are being administered in the United States, China, and Europe. Results have yet to be reported. New Discovery: The second dog to test positive for the coronavirus was reported on Thursday in Hong Kong. According to the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department, “there’s no evidence that pets can transmit the virus to...

Weekly Report 13 March 2020

Venezuela Juan Guaidó called for a new round of protests, the first since returning home from his international tour earlier this year, but a disappointing result left the movement unsure of how to move forward. Only a small amount of people turned out in support, and the march was broken up quickly by police with tear gas. Opposition protests drew millions a few years ago, but now it is surprising to even see 1,000. Protesters are growing weary with no sign the government is changing course, and an increasingly harsh police force is making it dangerous. Russia The Russian Parliament approved an amendment to their national constitution that would reset Vladamir Putin’s term count, allowing him to stay in power for another 12 years after his current term ends in 2024. The revised constitution will go to a nationwide vote next month. The amended document includes a ban on same-sex marriage and adds “a belief in God” to a list of Russia’s traditional values. Iraq After a week of deadly violence, Iraq’s foreign minister summoned ambassadors from the United States and Great Britain for an emergency meeting. Overnight airstrikes against the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah killed five, which were in response to a previous attack on US and British soldiers. The violence comes less than a week after security forces used tear gas against protesters in Baghdad, injuring 16 demonstrators. Iran Satellite images of the city of Qom show mass graves being dug, confirming that the COVID-19 outbreak in the country is much more serious than the government is letting on. The minister of health has already been accused of...

Weekly Report 6 March 2020

Syria After a long week of violence, the presidents of Turkey and Russia came together Thursday, announcing an immediate cease-fire in the Syrian region of Idlib. The deal freezes the conflict lines where there are, not requiring the Syrian government to give back the land that they have won in recent months. The skies were clear Friday, but with no specified way to enforce the truce, whether Assad’s forces will respect the ceasefire is still unclear. The Syrian government’s efforts to take back the last rebel stronghold escalated into a barrage of airstrikes during the past weeks, drawing in Russia and Turkey to protect their allies. Some residents of Idlib have reacted positively to Turkey’s military operations, hoping that they can relieve the Syrian people of their suffering, while others are worried about the high humanitarian cost of the invasion. Turkey As thousands of migrants stream across the Turkish-Greek border, they have faced violence from border police instead of the smooth crossing that President Erdogan promised. Greek riot police have used tear gas and water cannons to keep refugees from entering their country that they insist is still closed. EU member nations are worried that this new spat will revive the debates surrounding immigration that rocked the continent five years ago. The group pledged €700m in aid to Greece, calling the country “Europe’s shield.” The United States  Representatives from the US and the Taliban signed a deal aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan. The agreement, coming after months of negotiations, sets up a way for American and NATO troops to gradually leave the country over the next 14 months...

Weekly Report 28 February 2020

Syria 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in an airstrike Friday, further escalating tensions between Turkey and the Russia-Assad alliance. In response, citizens gathered outside the Russian consulate in Istanbul, chanting “murderer Putin!” The attack was just one in a long week of violence, coming a day after Turkish-backed rebels re-captured Saraqib in Idlib, a strategic town and crossroad of highways M4 and M5. The ongoing violence is becoming increasingly geopolitical as well. Turkey’s NATO membership is causing other member nations to hold emergency talks over intervention. The Turkish government also announced that they would no longer stop the passage of refugees from Turkey to the European Union. An estimated 3.6 million Syrians live in Turkey and had previously been banned from crossing the border into Greece and Bulgaria. India This week, India experienced some of its worst sectarian violence in years as mobs of Hindus and Muslims clashed over President Modi’s controversial citizenship bill. At the same time that US President Trump visited the country, at least 38 people were killed and nearly 200 were wounded. On paper, the Citizenship Amendment Act gives citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants to India, but it has been widely seen as a way to discriminate against the country’s Muslim minority. President Modi, a nationalist, called for peace, but his police were criticized for both failing to stop the violence and for using tear gas, pellets, and smoke grenades. Lebanon The protests that came to define this fall and winter in Lebanon have died down in recent weeks, but many are worried that if the worsening economy is not fixed soon, tensions may flare up...

Weekly Report 21 February 2020

Iran Iranians head to the polls today to elect a new parliament, but recent tensions in the country will test what the citizens think of its leaders. Many citizens of Iran have little to no confidence in their leaders. Little has improved since the last elections four years ago, and recent embarrassments on the national scale does not help. However, Iran’s religious government leaders hold a tight grip on who can run; disqualifying more than 7,000 candidates in favor of those loyal to the Supreme Leader. Hardline loyalists are thus expected to dominate the elections. It is likely that voter turnout will be low, despite Khamenei’s tweet that said that voting will “display our unity against the enemies. China As the number of COVID-19 cases passes 75,000, new sectors of the population are put at risk. Health care employees make up 4% of confirmed cases, with one hospital director passing away Tuesday morning. The widespread ramifications are being felt in new ways. One estimate has the virus costing the airline industry almost $30 billion. Similar declines are being felt in the automobile industry. Also: A new report shows exactly how and why the Chinese government has placed thousands of Uighur Muslims into detention camps. A whistleblower leaked a database that has confirmed that people are placed into camps strictly based on “their religion and their family ties,” contradicting the Chinese government’s claim that these camps are meant to curb political violence and have no relation to religion. Germany Nine people were killed in two shootings on Wednesday night. The far-right gunman targeted neighborhoods that have a large immigrant population,...