Weekly Reports Archives — CANVAS

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...

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...

Weekly Report May 29 2020

Coronavirus After U.S. President Donald Trump reported that he has been using hydroxychloroquine, an antimalaria drug, to keep him from contracting COVID-19, “prescriptions surged 2,000% in March.” However, scientists have stated that coronavirus patients who take the drug actually have a higher risk of death than those who do not take it. Users have a higher chance of developing heart issues, and the Food and Drug Administration has warned that hydroxychloroquine should not be used because of its “serious side effects, including muscle weakness and heart arrhythmia.”     United States Black Lives Matter: After a video of a police officer killing an unarmed African American man surfaced online, Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets demanding justice for the deceased party. The protests were initially peaceful until police used tear gas to disperse the crowds; there have also been reports of police firing rubber bullets at protesters. The protests have evolved into riots; buildings are being set on fire, including police precincts, and stores are being looted. The riots have ensued for four days and show no signs of slowing down.  President Donald Trump tweeted about the looting and stated that the military stands with the city; the National Guard has also gotten involved. Trump also tweeted that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter has since flagged the tweet because it violates “policies regarding the glorification of violence.”  The officer responsible for Floyd’s death, Derek Chauvin, as well as the three other officers at the scene, has been fired. Lawmakers, politicians, and protesters are demanding that Chauvin be arrested and tried for murder.  The murder of...