Weekly Reports Archives — 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...

Weekly Report July 10 2020

  Coronavirus The United States and Brazil continue to record confirmed cases at record pace. The United States again hit its daily record for cases, its sixth in 10 days, with 59,880 cases on Thursday. Brazil’s President Bolsonaro announced on Tuesday that he had contracted the virus, and Brazil experienced over 47 thousand new cases on Wednesday.   United States The coronavirus continues to devastate the United States as the country hits three million cases, recording a record 60,000 daily increase on Wednesday. As many universities announce prolonged transitions to remote or hybrid learning for the upcoming school year, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported that it would not provide student visas for online learning, threatening the over one million foreign students studying in the country. Various universities have recently launched lawsuits challenging these modifications to be heard in court next week.   China The United States has imposed sanctions on a number of officials in Xinjiang, condemning the reported human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in the region. China vows to retaliate for these measures, claiming them as foreign interference in its internal affairs, and also dismissed the U.S. offer for arms control talks, reporting Beijing has “no interest” in any such negotiations.   Hong Kong  China has stopped operations of TikTok in Hong Kong after the passing of the new Chinese security law, which has broad implications for the semi-autonomous region. Beijing-based ByteDance, the company that launched the popular app, announced that it may return to Hong Kong under a new business structure, adding that it has never provided data to the Chinese government, nor...

Weekly Report July 3 2020

  Coronavirus Latin America remains the epicenter of the virus while the United States sees a new spike in cases that has resulted in a return to stricter measures.   United States The country’s coronavirus count takes a turn as it sets a new daily record of infections on Thursday. The spike in cases has led many states to pause reopening and reimpose restrictions in an attempt to curb infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects thousands more deaths this month.   China China has warned of strong countermeasures against the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. should they pursue retaliatory actions against their national security law in Hong Kong. Senior officials have said that the U.K. has no right to grant residency to Hong Kongers, and that it would “bear all consequences” for breaching international law. In the latest standoff between China and India that began with a violent border clash, India has banned 59 apps developed by Chinese firms over concerns that these apps were engaging in activities that threatened India’s national security. Among the apps banned are TikTok, WeChat, QQ, and Xiaomi which count India as one of their biggest overseas markets. Disturbing new evidence from leaked Chinese government documents have also revealed a systematic state campaign to suppress minority births in Xinjiang with potentially genocidal sterilization plans. This campaign’s explicit aim is to reduce 2020 birth and population growth rates in Xinjiang’s southern Uighur regions by “at least” 0.4 percentage points below the 2016 level. Last but not least, researchers in China have discovered a new type of swine flu with purported pandemic...

Weekly Report June 26 2020

  Coronavirus Despite warnings from public health officials, new research suggests Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. have not led to a jump in coronavirus cases. A new study, published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, used data on protests from more than 300 of the largest US cities, and found no evidence that coronavirus cases grew in the weeks following the beginning of the protests.   United States The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed an expansive policing overhaul bill aimed at combating racial discrimination and excessive use of force in law enforcement, as Democrats sought to respond to a nationwide outcry for racial justice and pushed through legislation that is doomed in the Republican-controlled Senate. Republicans have said the bill is a federal overreach into policing, and the White House has threatened a veto. However, the bill was endorsed by over 100 civil rights groups as well as some of the families’ of the victims. The bill would create a national registry to track police misconduct and require law enforcement agencies to report data on the use of force, aim to force departments to eliminate the use of chokeholds, and condition some federal grants on the adoption of anti-discrimination training and practices, among other reforms.  The most recent theme of the anti-racist protests is the toppling of statues that glorify the confederacy and slave owners; more than a dozen statues have been toppled, including several Confederate figures. This has inspired similar actions across the world; in England, a 17th-century slave trader was dumped into Bristol Harbor; in Antwerp, a Belgian king who...