July 2020 This is a newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, commencing September 2017. It consists of headlines with weblinks to published news articles and political analysis. Occasional commentary by the website publisher, Roger Annis, appears in square brackets [ ] ). For months preceding July 2020, go to ‘News pages archives’ on the home page of A Socialist In Canada and use the drop-down menu. To find past stories on this and other news pages on this website, use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser. Headlines in red denote original items published on the home page of A Socialist In Canada.
World news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, July 2020
The coronavirus pandemic as of July 13, 2020: View global as well as by-country statistics here at the website of Worldometer. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern over the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (Covid-19 illness). On March 11, WHO declared an worldwide pandemic.
Florida shatters Covid-19 infection record with 15,300 new cases reported on July 12 from previous 24 hours, Washington Post, July 12, 2020 Florida has shattered previous highs of 11,694 reported by California last week and 11,571 reported by New York on April 15. …new cases reached record levels in states across the United States over the weekend, even as weekly testing plateaued. Seven-day averages for new cases hit new highs in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Puerto Rico. Deaths were trending sharply up in nearly every major region of the country… The seven-day average for cases nationwide, considered a more reliable indicator of the virus’s impact than single-day totals, has risen almost 165 percent over the past month, from 20,594 in the second week of June to 54,499 at the end of last week, according to tracking by The Washington Post… Despite the soaring numbers, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has stuck to an aggressive reopening plan. State officials recently ordered schools to reopen five days a week in the new academic year, drawing objections from local leaders. The state is also set to hold the Republican National Convention next month in Jacksonville…
South Africa imposes curfew and alcohol ban as hospitals overwhelmed, Globe and Mail, July 12, 2020 …The SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread so swiftly in South Africa in recent weeks that the country now has the fifth-largest number of active cases in the world. It is also generating the fourth-largest number of new daily cases, behind only the United States, Brazil and India. As of the night of July 12, South Africa had recorded a total of 276,242 coronavirus cases and 4,079 deaths…
Air pollution exposure linked to higher COVID-19 cases and deaths, new study conducted in The Netherlands finds, by Matt Cole and Ceren Ozgen (University of Birmingham) and Eric Strobl (Université de Berne), The Conversation, July 13, 2020
WHO now says airborne transmission of COVID-19 may be possible in some settings. A Toronto infectious diseases expert explains and offers advice, Toronto Star, July 10, 2020
* Aerosols are a bigger coronavirus threat than WHO guidelines suggest – here’s what you need to know, The Conversation, July 9, 2020
Let’s defund the Pentagon, too, by John Horgan, Scientific American, July 8, 2020 (John Horgan directs the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey). For many years, he wrote the immensely popular ‘Cross Check’ blog for Scientific American.)
Biden’s vision comes into view, and it’s much more liberal than it was, Washington Post, July 12, 2020 …“I think the compromise that they came up with, if implemented, will make Biden the most progressive president since FDR,” Senator Bernie Sanders told MSNBC…
* Biden pledges New Deal-like, ‘America first’ economic agenda to counter Trump, Associated Press, July 9, 2020
* Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders deepen their cooperation, New York Times, July 8, 2020
* Liberals want more from Biden than an anti-Trump message, Washington Post, July 8, 2020
Samoa’s deadly measles outbreak in 2019, despite the availability of a highly successful vaccine, is a lesson for Covid-19 pandemic, Washington Post, July 7, 2020 ‘Vaccines don’t save lives, vaccinations save lives. A vaccine dose that remains in a vial is zero-percent effective.’
Background: 2019 Samoa measles outbreak, Wikipedia
Is the COVID-19 pandemic cure really worse than the disease? Here’s what our research found, The Conversation, July 7, 2020 …We estimate that by the end of 2020, public health measures to mitigate COVID-19, including shelter-in-place orders, school and business closures, social distancing and face mask recommendations, would save between 900,000 and 2.7 million lives in the U.S. The economic downturn and loss of income from shelter-in-place measures and other restrictions on economic activity could contribute to between 50,400 and 323,000 deaths, based on an economic decline of 8%-14%…
* Five COVID-19 myths that U.S. politicians have repeated but that just aren’t true, The Conversation, July 8, 2020
Coronavirus deaths in U.S. take an expected turn for the worse, Asscociated Press, July 11, 2020 …According to an analysis by Associated Press of data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily reported deaths in the U.S. has increased from 578 two weeks ago to 664 on July 10 — still well below the heights hit in April. Daily reported deaths increased in 27 states over that time period, but the majority of those states are averaging under 15 new deaths per day. A smaller group of states has been driving the nationwide increase in deaths. California is averaging 91 reported deaths per day while Texas is close behind with 66. Florida, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey and South Carolina also saw sizable rises…
* After months of decline, coronavirus death rate in the U.S. is rising, Washington Post, July 10, 2020 …The death count has begun to rise, surpassing 800 deaths each of the past four days. Although still below the highs in April and May, when more than 2,000 people per day were regularly dying from the virus, experts warn that the trend could continue to get worse…
* U.S. death toll rises as new infections reach record levels, Washington Post, July 11, 2020
* Are U.S. states doing enough coronavirus testing?, New York Times, July 10, 2020 The number of daily coronavirus tests conducted in the United States is only 39 per cent of the level considered necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus…
* Corporate media team with Trump to disparage public health experts, by Julie Hollar, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, July 10, 2020
After the fastest recession in U.S. history, the economic recovery may be fizzling, Washington Post, July 11, 2020 Experts see signs of an extended recession
Two U.S. Marine bases in Japan’s Okinawa locked down after at least 61 Covid-19 cases confirmed, South China Morning Post, July 11, 2020 …Okinawa has about 150 cases of the coronavirus. In all, Japan has some 21,500 cases and almost 1,000 deaths, with Tokyo reporting more than 200 new cases for a third straight day on July 11… [Okinawa is home to more than half of the approximately 50,000 American troops based in Japan under a bilateral treaty. Many Okinawans have long campaigned to close the U.S. military bases in Okinawa; many consider Japan to be an occupying power, too.] Related: Coronavirus outbreak at U.S. bases in Japan (Okinawa) roils an uneasy relationship, New York Times, July 12, 2020 The Marines reported 94 new cases on Okinawa, an island that had seen just 148 other infections. Local officials say the military is not doing enough.
Legal expert says threat of Hong Kong’s new security law is overblown, Globe and Mail, July 10, 2020 [The hysteria being whipped up by Western editorialists and government leaders over China’s new national security law is evidently on shaky grounds, if this news article is any indication. The article appears, surprisingly, in the anti-China Globe and Mail, authored by the newspaper’s lead anti-China writer, no less.]
The fallacy of denouncing ‘both sides’ of the U.S.-China conflict, by the Qiao Collective, published in Passage (Toronto), June 29, 2020 In order to challenge the New Cold War against China, the left must abandon equivalencies and disrupt the U.S. war machine.
The impact of the economic war on Venezuela, by Pasqualina Curcio, translated and published in Resumen LatinoAmerica and the Third World, July 6, 2020
Related: On Venezuela, Biden and Trump are two sides of the same coin, by Leonardo Flores, published by Code Pink, July 9, 2020
China views U.S. attempts to involve it in talks on New START Treaty as political hoax, TASS news service, July 9, 2020 …The head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of Arms Control says China is ready to join the U.S.-Russia disarmament talks only on condition that the U.S. reduces its arsenal to match that of China… “We are urging the U.S. to respond to Russia’s appeal to renew the New START Treaty and on that basis continue the further reduction of its large nuclear arsenal in order to create conditions for other nuclear powers to take part in the nuclear disarmament talks.”…
* Remembering the ‘Nuclear Freeze’ movement of the 1980s and its futility, by Howard Lisnoff, CounterPunch, July 13, 2020 The problem with the movement to reverse the global arms race was that while it raised consciousness about nuclear war and nuclear proliferation, it made no demands on power.
* The Russiagate spectacle: Season two?, by Gerald Sussman, CounterPunch, July 13, 2020
[There are many important truths explained in this article. But this, from the article, is not one of them: “Trump seems to understand that it’s in the interest of the United States to work with Putin, a position seen by others as threatening to the national security state and the war machine.” Many of the writers who are critical of the U.S.-led new cold war against Russia and China nevertheless continue to peddle the myth that the Trump regime in Washington is less hawkish than its Democratic Party predecessors and a hoped-for Democratic replacement to be led by war criminal Joseph Biden.]
‘Qualified immunity’ is how the U.S. police state stays in power, by John Whitehead, published by The Rutherford Institute, June 16, 2020 (John Whitehead is the founder and president of The Rutherford Institute, a civil and political rights organization based in Virginia.)
UN report links disease outbreaks to global warming crisis and industrial farming, interview with Delia Grace, broadcast on Democracy Now!, July 9, 2020 (16-minute interview. Delia Grace is the lead author of report by the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Livestock Research Institute.)
Related: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission, report by United Nations Environment Programme and the International Livestock Research Institute, issued on July 6, 2020 (full report, 82-page pdf, is at the weblink)
Writers’ open letter against ‘cancel culture’ is about stifling free speech, not protecting it, by Jonathan Cook, published on his website blog, July 9, 2020 An open letter published online on July 7 by Harper’s magazine [print monthly] and signed by dozens of prominent writers and public figures has focused attention on the apparent dangers of what has been termed a new “cancel culture”. The letter brings together an unlikely alliance of genuine leftists such as Noam Chomsky and Matt Karp, centrists such as J K Rowling and Ian Buruma, and neoconservatives such as David Frum and Bari Weiss, all speaking out in defence of free speech…
Related: Rich, famous transphobes ask you to stop being so mean to them, in terrible Harper’s Magazine open letter, by Vivian Kane, published in The Mary Sue, July 8, 2020
Africa’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surge past 500,000 with South Africa as the continent’s hotspot, The Associated Press, July 8, 2020
Related: COVID-19 crisis in South Africa exposes the fault lines of the country’s inequalities, Globe and Mail, July 5, 2020 …Four months after early Covid-19 cases involving tourists returning from Europe, the virus has become a devastating disease of inequality and poverty. It has ripped through South Africa’s poorest and most vulnerable communities, killing thousands of people from the crowded streets and shacks where people cannot afford to distance…
Why a third quarter economic rebound in the U.S. will falter, lengthy essay by Jack Rasmus, published on his website Predicting the Global Economic Crisis, July 6, 2020 (Jack Rasmus holds a PhD in political economy and teaches economics at St. Mary’s College in California. He is the author of numerous books on the world economy. ) …Economies experiencing deep and rapid contractions—which is typical of both great recessions and economic depressions—inevitably experience periods of leveling off for a time, or even a slight bounce back—i.e. a rebound. But that’s not a recovery. ‘Recovery’ means a sustained, quarter to subsequent quarter economic growth that continues more or less unabated until the lost economic ground is ‘recovered’…
Related: Escalating plunder, essay by Robert Brenner, published in the May-June 2020 issue of New Left Review The Fed’s 23 March declaration [Federal Reserve System, Wikipedia] that it intended to provide loans to non-financial corporations was decisive in indicating the Fed’s assumption of leadership of the government’s corporate bailout, signalling what was expected of Congress and the Treasury, and specifying the intended form and level of support for big business in the coronavirus economic crisis…
U.S. Supreme Court rules that much of eastern Oklahoma remains Indian land, Washington Post, July 9, 2020 read also: report by Associated Press, July 9, 2020 …Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and leaders of five tribal groups issued a joint statement after the ruling indicating they have made “substantial progress toward an agreement” to submit to Congress and the Justice Department that would put in place a framework of shared jurisdiction. “We have a shared commitment to maintaining public safety and long-term economic prosperity for the Nations and Oklahoma,” according to the statement from Hunter and the Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole nations…
The Supreme Court just dealt a huge blow to Congress’s power to investigate Trump, Vox.com, July 9, 2020 The Supreme Court handed down two decisions on July 9 concerning whether the president of the United States enjoys special immunity from criminal investigation or from congressional oversight… The latter case, however, is a significant shift in the law governing congressional investigations, and an equally significant victory from Trump. The upshot of Trump v. Mazars is that House investigators almost certainly will not see potentially damning records concerning Trump’s finances until after the November election… Though Mazars does not preclude the House from seeing those records eventually, by the time those records become available Trump will almost certainly either be an ex-president, or he will be firmly entrenched in his second term…
* U.S. Supreme Court rules that Trump must release his tax records to New York state prosecutors, but shields them from public release, Associated Press, July 9, 2020 Rejecting President Donald Trump’s complaints that he’s being harassed, the Supreme Court ruled on July 9 in favor of a New York prosecutor’s demands for the billionaire president’s tax records. But in good political news for Trump, his taxes and other financial records almost certainly will be kept out of the public eye at least until after the November election. In a separate case, the justices kept a hold on banking and other documents about Trump, family members and his businesses that Congress has been seeking for more than a year. The court said that while Congress has significant power to demand the president’s personal information, it is not limitless. The court turned away the broadest arguments by Trump’s lawyers and the Justice Department that the president is immune from investigation while he holds office…
* Trump on releasing his tax returns: From ‘absolutely’ to ‘it’s a political prosecution’, New York Times, July 9, 2020
* Democrats could have moved faster to get Trump’s tax records. Now he can run out the clock, commentary by Daniel Hemel, Washington Post, July 10, 2020 (Daniel Hemel is a professor of law at the University of Chicago.)
Scientists study, debate the science and dangers of airborne COVID-19 infection, by Carly Weeks, health reporter, Globe and Mail, July 8, 2020
* Calling COVID-19 ‘airborne’ is misleading, Canadian experts say, Canadian Press, July 8, 2020
* Airborne transmission of COVID-19 a ‘real risk’, 239 scientists tell WHO in open letter, Canadian Press, July 6, 2020
* 239 experts with one big claim: The coronavirus is airborne and can transmit that way, New York Times, July 4, 2020 read also: report by Reuters, July 5, 2020 A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries have written a letter to the United Nations, to be published next week in a scientific journal, explaining their research showing that small coronavirus particles lingering in the air can infect people. They are calling for the World Health Organization to revise its recommendations, which presently say otherwise.
Drug overdoses are soaring in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic, Washington Post, July 1, 2020 Suspected overdoses nationally jumped 18 percent in March, 29 percent in April and 42 percent in May, data from ambulance teams, hospitals and police shows.
Related: Overdose deaths increase by 93 per cent among B.C.’s First Nations in first five months of 2020, The Canadian Press, July 6, 2020
‘Miss Confederacy’ statue removed as workers rid Richmond, Virginia of Confederate icons, Washington Post, July 8, 2020
In Trumpland, it’s America vs. the world as coronavirus spreads and hospitalizations rise. Report in Washington Post, July 7, 2020 Amid a resurgent pandemic and rising hospitalizations, President Trump pitted America against the world on July 7, formally moving to pull the United States out of the World Health Organization while his FBI director accused China of hacking U.S. health-care companies that are researching the novel coronavirus.
Related U.S. news:
* Florida invited the country to its reopening, then it became a new coronavirus epicenter, Washington Post, July 7, 2020 Nearly one out of every 100 Florida residents has contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
* Churches in U.S. emerge as major sources of coronavirus cases, New York Times, July 8, 2020
* Coronavirus deaths are rising in U.S. hotspots, Axios, July 7, 2020
* Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar claims that health care workers don’t get infected with Covid-19; in fact, 94,000 have contracted the illness, Common Dreams, July 8, 2020
* The U.S.’s second peak may be less deadly than the first, but coronavirus fatalities in the next three months could still rival U.S. combat deaths during WWI, Business Insider, July 5, 2020
* The ugly truth about millions of American jobs: They are not coming back, CNN, July 7, 2020
* Here are some of the billionaires who got PPP loans while small businesses went bankrupt, NBC News, July 7, 2020
* Over 5,600 fossil fuel companies have taken at least $3bn in US Covid-19 aid, The Guardian, July 7, 2020
Sweden has become the world’s Covid-19 cautionary tale, New York Times, July 7, 2020 Covid-19 has claimed 5,420 deaths in Sweden. Per million people, the country has suffered 40 per cent more deaths than the United States, 12 times more than Norway, seven times more than Finland and six times more than Denmark.
Trump’s worldview forged by neglect and trauma at home, his niece says in her new book, Washington Post, July 7, 2020
Related: The best and most damning parts of Mary Trump’s upcoming tell-all book, by Vivian Kane, The Mary Sue, July 10, 2020
As statues of Founding Fathers topple, debate rages over where protesters should draw the line, Washington Post, July 7, 2020
Related: Columbus statues are falling across the country. Will ‘Columbus’, Ohio, fall, too?, Washington Post, July 7, 2020
White House struggles to defend Trump’s racist and pro-Confederate outbursts, Washington Post, July 6, 2020
Related: The state of Virginia is quickly dropping Confederate names from its schools, this time ignoring calls to ‘preserve history’, Washington Post, July 6, 2020
Rush to reopen led to spikes in cases that threaten to overwhelm hospitals in some states, Washington Post, July 5, 2020 … “We’re right back where we were at the peak of the epidemic during the New York outbreak,” former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on ‘Face the Nation’ on CBS. “The difference now is that we really had one epicenter of spread when New York was going through its hardship, now we really have four major epicenters of spread: Los Angeles, cities in Texas, cities in Florida, and Arizona. Florida looks to be in the worst shape.” …FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn was pressed to analyze President Trump’s comments on July 3 that a vaccine would be ready “long before the end of the year” and that 99 per cent of the cases have been “totally harmless”. Hahn dodged both in appearances on Sunday talk shows…
Related U.S. news:
* As the virus surged, Florida partied. Tracking the revelers has been tough, New York Times, July 6, 2020 [Florida recorded a near-record number of new cases on July 5, at 10,059. It has surpassed California as the state with the third-highest number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S., at 200,111.].
* Joplin, Missouri thought it had dodged the coronavirus. Now it is hitting hard, Washington Post, July 5, 2020 …The one measure that medical experts say could turn the coronavirus tide — widespread use of masks — has become mired in politics. Joplin’s city council spent nearly five hours debating whether to require them last week, only to reject the proposal by a single vote… “Eighty per cent of people here are watching one channel and it’s downplaying the epidemic,” said Toby Teeter, president of the Joplin Chamber of Commerce, referring to Fox News. “So there’s a lot of confusion.”…
The fullest look yet at the racial inequity of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in the U.S., New York Times, July 5, 2020 A trove of data collected by the Centers for Disease Control reveals the racial inequities of the Covid-19 illness. The New York Times had to sue the CDC to obtain the data. …Latino and African-American residents of the United States have been three times as likely to become infected as their white neighbors, according to the new data… And Black and Latino people have been nearly twice as likely to die from the virus as white people, the data shows… The data also showed several pockets of disparity involving Native American people. In much of Arizona and in several other counties, they were far more likely to become infected than white people…
What makes a ‘wave’ of disease? An epidemiologist explains that the concept matters little, by Abram Wagner, University of Michigan, The Conversation, July 6, 2020
Statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass toppled by unknown vandals in Rochester, New York, Associated Press, July 6, 2020 The statue was vandalized on the anniversary of one of Douglass’s most famous speeches, delivered in Rochester on July 4, 1852, ‘What, to the slave, is the Fourth of July?‘.
America explodes as Trump wages domestic war, by Adam Shatz, London Review of Books, June 5, 2020 (in print edition dated June 18, 2020) (Adam Shatz in an author and regular contributor to the London Review of Books. He lives in New York City.)
‘Bountygate’: Scapegoating for the systemic military failure of the U.S. in Afghanistan, feature essay by Scott Ritter, published in Consortium News, July 5, 2020 The story of the alleged scheme in which the Russian military is alleged to have paid gunmen in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers has arisen in the context of top U.S. brass blaming Russia since at least 2016 for America’s defeat in Afghanistan. …On July 2, the House Armed Services Committee voted on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which required the Trump administration to issue several certifications before U.S. forces could be further reduced in Afghanistan, including an assessment of whether any “state actors have provided any incentives to the Taliban, their affiliates, or other foreign terrorist organizations for attacks against United States, coalition, or Afghan security forces or civilians in Afghanistan in the last two years, including the details of any attacks believed to have been connected with such incentives”—a direct reference to the ‘Russian bounty’ leak. … On a weekend [July 4] where America is collectively celebrating the birth of the nation, celebrations will be marred by the knowledge that elected representatives voted to sustain a war everyone knows has already been lost. That they did so on the backs of bad intelligence leaked for the purpose of triggering such a vote only makes matters worse.
(Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who took part in the 1991 Gulf War. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty and was a UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-1998. Prior to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, he declared that the country possessed no significant weapons of mass destruction capabilities. His books include Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein (Nation Books, 2006).)
* The New York Times takes anti-Russian hysteria to new level with report on Russian ‘bounty’ on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, commentary by Scott Ritter, in RT, June 28, 2020 …The Times‘ story has been quickly “confirmed” by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers and has taken social media by storm… There is just one problem — nothing in the New York Times could be corroborated. Indeed, there is no difference between the original reporting conducted by the New York Times, and the “confirming” reports published by the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal…
* U.S. claim of ‘Russian bounty’ paid to fighters in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers is dubious and dangerous, interview with Max Blumenthal, broadcast on ‘Pushback’, on The Grayzone, with host Aaron Maté, June 30, 2020
* ‘Russian bounty’ story shifts: New York Times now claiming Afghan criminals, not Taliban militants, were paid to kill U.S. soldiers, is still citing anonymous sources for its claims, RT, June 30, 2020
Sleeping outside in a pandemic: Evictions on the rise as U.S. states abandon renter protections, New York Times, July 4, 2020
Related U.S. news:
* Trump’s push to amplify racism unnerves Republicans who have long enabled him, Washington Post, July 4, 2020
* With department stores disappearing in the U.S., malls could be next, New York Times, July 5, 2020 …Malls were already facing pressure from online shopping, but analysts now say that hundreds are at risk of closing in the next five years. That has the potential to reshape the suburbs, with many communities already debating whether abandoned malls can be turned into local markets or office space, even affordable housing…
* The impending retail apocalypse, by Jennifer Kingson, Axios, July 6, 2020
* The U.S. is lagging behind other wealthy countries in per capita income and life expectancy, commentary in New York Times, July 2, 2020 The United States is different. In nearly every other high-income country, people have both become richer over the last three decades and been able to enjoy substantially longer lifespans. But not in the United States. Even as average incomes have risen, much of the economic gains have gone to the affluent — and life expectancy has risen only three years since 1990. There is no other developed country that has suffered such a stark slowdown in lifespans…
In ‘Russian bounty’ story, evidence-free claims from nameless spies became fact overnight, by Alan MacLeod, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR.org), July 3, 2020 Based upon a bombshell New York Times report (6/26/20), virtually the entire media landscape has been engulfed in the allegations that Russia is paying Taliban fighters bounties to kill U.S. soldiers…
In the name of anti-Trumpism, media elevate lying warmonger John Bolton, by Bryce Greene, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR.org), July 3, 2020
Trump uses speech at Mount Rushmore spectacle to deliver divisive culture war message, New York Times, July 3, 2020 …”Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children,” Mr. Trump said, addressing a packed crowd of sign-waving supporters, few of whom wore masks. “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.” Mr. Trump barely mentioned the frightening resurgence of the pandemic, even as the country surpassed 53,000 new cases and health officials across the nation urged Americans to scale back their Fourth of July plans… As the president departed Washington for South Dakota on Friday, at least five states — Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, North Carolina and South Carolina — reported their highest single day of cases yet. Newly reported cases of the virus were rising in all but a handful of states, and many large cities, including Houston, Dallas, Jacksonville and Los Angeles, were seeing alarming growth… Mr. Beschloss compared Mr. Trump to Woodrow Wilson, who presided over the influenza pandemic in 1918 by trying to pretend it was not happening, and to Herbert Hoover, who in 1932 tried to project that the Great Depression was not as bad as people were saying… Despite his rosy outlook, the coronavirus on Friday for the first time infiltrated Mr. Trump’s family circle. The president’s elder son, Donald Trump Jr., and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, had traveled to South Dakota separately with plans to meet up with the president. But they left before Mr. Trump’s arrival after learning Ms. Guilfoyle tested positive for the virus…
* Full transcript of Trump sppech at Mt. Rushmore spectacle on July 3, 2020, here
* Pence’s visit to Arizona this week postponed for a day after Secret Service agents due to accompany him contract coronavirus, Washington post, July 3, 2020
* Police and Pentagon are bringing our wars home, commentary by Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Phyllis Bennis, published in Orlando Sentinel, June 28, 2020
At coronavirus crossroads, U.S. weighs ‘one more chance’ to quell escalating outbreak, Washington Post, July 4, 2020 …On July 3, the U.S. recorded 51,468 new infections and reached a new high in its seven-day average of cases, as it has done consecutively for the past 25 days. At least 35 states this past week reported single-day increases that eclipsed new cases in all of Italy, the center of the European outbreak…
Can we become immune to the coronavirus? What the evidence says so far, by Graham Lawton, New Scientist (print weekly), July 1, 2020 (print edition of July 4, 2020)
Some Canadian businesses want to let Americans back in. Most Canadians don’t, Washington Post, July 3, 2020
Related: Mexican border states raise new concerns about Americans bringing coronavirus south, Washington Post, July 3, 2020
The flag of Mississippi is finally coming down. Goodbye to a symbol that told Black Americans to ‘know your place’, commentary by Natasha Trethewey (former poet laureate of the United States and former poet laureate of Mississippi), in New York Times, July 3, 2020
Related: The Confederate flag finally falls in Mississippi, by W. Ralph Eubank, The New Yorker, July 1, 2020 …Retiring the flag has been an idea that Mississippi has tried to kill for decades. What made the difference this time is that the voices involved were so loud and numerous that they could finally not be ignored. First, a multiracial gathering of thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters converged on the state capitol [see photo gallery at weblink] on June 6 to protest police violence against African-Americans. They chanted ‘Change the flag’ as well as the names of those killed by police violence. This was the largest protest in Jackson since Freedom Summer, in 1964. The rallying cry grew louder… When Mississippi’s now-discarded flag was adopted, in 1894, the Reconstruction era was over. The flag represented a reassertion of power by conservative Democrats, which also meant unifying the state’s whites, who were divided politically, economically, and socially. The so-called Mississippi Plan disenfranchised most African-Americans, and Jim Crow laws followed…
Rapid Arctic meltdown in Siberia alarms scientists, Washington Post, July 3, 2020 …Already this year, springtime fires arrived earlier and with more ferocity compared to last year’s record fire season… In Siberia and across much of the Arctic, profound changes are unfolding more rapidly than scientists anticipated only a few years ago… Shifts that once seemed decades away are happening now, with potentially global implications… Scientists have long maintained that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. But in reality, the region is now warming at nearly three times the global average…
* New research shows the South Pole is warming faster than the rest of the world, by Kyle Clem (University of Wellington), published in The Conversation, June 29, 2020
* Heatwave trends accelerate worldwide, by the Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes (CLEx) at the Australian Research Council, published in Phys.org, july 3, 2020 The first comprehensive worldwide assessment of heatwaves down to regional levels has revealed that in nearly every part of the world heatwaves have been increasing in frequency and duration since the 1950s. The research published in Nature Communications has also produced a new metric, cumulative heat, which reveals exactly how much heat is packed into individual heatwaves and heatwave seasons. As expected, that number is also on the rise…
Analyzing the ‘Green wave’ that washed across the June 28 municipal elections in France, by Ethan Earle, published on the website of the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation, July 1, 2020
The U.S. military his its knee on the throat of the world, by Ellen Taylor, in CounterPunch, July 3, 2020
Coronavirus cases are peaking again in the U.S. Here is how it’s different this time, New York Times, July 2, 2020
* What media aren’t telling you about reopening risks, by Neil Demause, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR.org), July 3, 2020
* As coronavirus rebounds, more patients are being hospitalized and capacity is stretched, Washington Post, July 2, 2020 Patients suffering from covid-19 are rapidly filling hospitals across the South and West, with Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Nevada and Arizona setting records for hospitalizations Thursday, a sign that the coronavirus pandemic is entering a dangerous new phase. In Arizona, where the virus appears to be spreading out of control, hospitals rushed to expand capacity and adopted practices similar to those employed at the height of the outbreak in New York City and Italy…
* As coronavirus cases skyrocket across Texas, hospitals grapple with patient influxes, Washington Post, July 2, 2020
Sioux tribal leaders will protest the Trump regime spectacle to take place at Mount Rushmore on July 3, Washington Post, July 2, 2020
Surge in demand in U.S. for guns, ammunition is unprecedented, Daily Tribune (Mississippi), June 2, 2020
Related: Bolstered by lax gun laws, armed protesters confront anti-racism rallies, American University Radio (Washington DC), July 2, 2020 …Armed counterprotesters, mostly white and some members of the militia movement, have confronted anti-racism rallies in at least 33 states, according to a review of reporting and social media by Guns & America. Some say they’re there to protect businesses. Others oppose the Black Lives Matter movement. Some have acted like police, stopping protesters and demanding identification. And it has led to violence…
Deaths in Mexico City during Covid-19 pandemic are three times normal, Washington Post, July 2, 2020 …”Certainly it’s on a par with what we’ve seen in the most hard-hit areas of the United States,” said Daniel Weinberger, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health who has studied excess deaths during the pandemic…
[Mexico is #10 in the world for Covid-19 cases and #10 in the world for population. Its per capita rate of Covid-19 illness is one fifth that of the U.S. but eight times that of Venezuela.]
Venezuela’s borderlands have been assaulted by COVID-19, by Vijay Prashad, Eduardo Viloria Daboín, Ana Maldonado and Zoe PC, published on MR Online, July 1, 2020 (also published in CounterPunch, July 3, 2020)
* Venezuela tightens quarantine measures in COVID-19 hotspots along Colombia border and capital city region as daily new cases rise, Venezuela Analysis, June 29, 2020 Government sources estimate that over 70,000 Venezuelan emigrants have returned to the country since the start of the pandemic, principally from the Covid-19 hotspots of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. [Venezuela, population 28.9 million, has suffered 6,273 total cases of Covid-19, including 1,710 during the past week. It is simultaneously suffering economic sanctions and threats of military intervention by the U.S., Canada and Europe. Colombia, population 49.7 million, has suffered 106,110 total cases of Covid-19, including 25,511 during the past seven days. The country is governed by a violent, repressive regime and is a subordinate of the triumvirate of imperialist countries seeking the violent overthrow of the government of neighbouring Venezuela.].
* UK court rejects Venezuela’s effort to access its $1bn gold reserve stolen by Bank of England in late 2018, throws in recognition of ‘Juan Guaido’ as ‘president’ of Venezuela, Venezuela Analysis, July 2, 2020
* Venezuela expels ambassador from European Union after the imperialist bloc follows new U.S. sanctions against Venezuelan leaders, Venezuela Analysis, June 30, 2020
U.S. anti-Iran policy has trouble making headway at UN Security Council meeting on July 1, Press TV, July 2, 2020
* Iran charges ‘piracy’ as U.S. threatens seizure of more tankers bringing gasoline to Venezuela, Associated Press, July 2, 2020
Germany disbands elite army unit infiltrated by neo-Nazis, Associated Press, July 1, 2020 [Since the coup in Ukraine in 2014, the German government has been providing vital political cover for the post-coup government in Kyiv. Ukraine’s police and military have been overhauled to integrate neo-Nazi paramilities into their ranks, all with the blessing, funding and training by NATO and European Union governments. In 1995, the then-Canadian government was obliged to disband its ‘elite’ Canadian Airborn (paratroop) Division after it was assigned to intervene in Somalia and news reports revealed that the regiment was infested with racist and neo-Nazi cadre and ideology.]
India and China tussle on the roof of the world, by Arshad Khan, CounterPunch, July 3, 2020
Evidence casts new doubts over accusations of Russian athletic doping, by Thilo Neumann, Der Speigel English bulletin, July 3, 2020 …What is known about events [at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia] is largely attributable to the descriptions and records of a key witness: Grigory Rodchenkov, 61. The chemist headed Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory until 2015, when he moved to the United States. There, he shared his account of what allegedly happened in Sochi with the New York Times… Rodchenkov [who lives in hiding in the U.S.] provided the names of athletes who were allegedly doped in Sochi and presented lists of competitors who, he claimed, were provided with protection by the Sports Ministry. Three years ago, this led the IOC to sanction 43 athletes and remove them from the results lists of the Sochi Olympics. Almost all of those cases were appealed, and 28 were successful in getting the decision overturned. The decisions to reverse the sanctions were made due to insufficient evidence. Three rulings are still pending – the one for medal-winning biathelete Maria Zaitseva and the other two biathletes…
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose by nearly 50 per cent in June, led by states that reopened first, Washington Post, July 1, 2020 …The novel coronavirus continued its recent spread, especially in the South and Southwest. More than 52,000 new cases were reported in the United States on Wednesday, the highest total since the start of the pandemic, according to data collected by The Post. Record-shattering numbers of new cases were reported on July 1 in six states — California, Georgia, Texas, Alaska, North Carolina and Arizona… Los Angeles County has been the epicenter of the virus in the south of California, passing 100,000 cases earlier this week. But new cases also have risen sharply in the Bay Area and the capital, Sacramento…
Related U.S. news:
* Trump tells Fox News that Covid-19 is ‘going to sort of just disappear, I hope’ on same day that new cases in U.S. top 50,000 for first time, Common Dreams, July 2, 2020
* As cases surge in the U.S., lines for coronavirus tests stretch miles in the summer heat and stretch the limits of testing resources, Washington Post, July 1, 2020
* Myrtle Beach in South Caolina reopened to survive the summer, now, it’s a coronavirus ‘petri dish’, Washington Post, July 1, 2020 …”We all expected once we opened up and people started coming from other areas that we would see those [case] increases and we certainly have,” said Myrtle Beach mayor Brenda Bethune. “On the other hand, how do you keep things closed, and keep people out of work, when families have to pay their bills?”… The pandemic had just started to wane in some parts of the country when South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) lifted some of the restrictions he had imposed, paving the way in April for Myrtle Beach and its surrounding communities to open their hotels fully by mid-May, just in time for Memorial Day…
* Trump campaign is still contending with the political fallout from the June 20 rally in Tulsa, Washington Post, July 1, 2020 Previously reported: Campaign workers at Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa were directed to remove stickers from thousands of seats placed by arena owners to remind people of social distancing, Washington Post, June 20, 2020
* City of Richmond, Virgina takes down statue of Stonewall Jackson, followed by a second Confederate statue the following day, Washington Post, July 2, 2020
French government continues to resist recording the health data of racial minorities even as Covid-19 takes a deadly toll on them. Report in Washington Post, July 1, 2020
New Trump immigration policy would disqualify asylum for people from countries with spreading disease, Washington Post, July 1, 2020 …Sarah Pierce, an analyst at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, said the Trump administration’s latest asylum proposal would allow the government to keep obstacles in place once the pandemic subsides and emergency border controls are lifted. And she said it is consistent with the administration’s wider effort of building layers of enforcement mechanisms into the immigration system. “They use multiple bureaucratic and policy tools to insulate their changes from litigation,” Pierce said. “The administration has been using the pandemic to move its immigration agenda forward.” …
Related: Federal judge strikes down Trump asylum rule targeting Central Americans, Washington Post, July 1, 2020 A federal judge in Washington struck down a Trump administration policy late June 30 that bars most Central Americans and other migrants from requesting asylum at the southern border, saying the government failed to justify making the sudden change last July without public notice or comment. The policy is aimed at blocking Central American migration by requiring asylum seekers from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and elsewhere first to apply for asylum in countries they pass through on the way to the United States, particularly Mexico or Guatemala….
Minneapolis had progressive economic policies but black families were still left behind, Washington Post, July 1, 2020
Ghislaine Maxwell arrested by FBI, accused of helping Jeffrey Epstein lure girls into sexual abuse, Associated Press, July 2, 2020
‘Massive case of denial, idiotic government policy, lack of any strategic planning’: Science writer Laurie Garrett slams Covid-19 response by U.S. federal and state governments, interview with Laurie Garrett, broadcast on Democracy Now!, June 29, 2020 (20-minute interview)
* COVID-19 messes with Texas: What went wrong, and what other states can learn as younger people get sick, by Murray J. Côté and Tiffany A. Radcliff (Texas A&M University), The Conversation, June 30, 2020 Previously reported: How Texas swaggered into a coronavirus disaster, commentary in New York Times, June 28, 2020
* New Covid-19 cases reported for June 30 in selected U.S. states: Texas 7,959 (a new record), California 7,906 (a new record), Florida 6,093, Arizona 2,228.
Mapping Covid-19 outbreaks in the U.S. food system, by Leah Douglas, Food and Environment Reporting Network, updated on July 1, 2020 (read also: Covid-19 outbreaks at meat-processing plants in U.S. being kept quiet, The Guardian, June 30, 2020) According to data collected by the Food and Environment Reporting Network, as of July 1 at noon eastern time, at least 363 meatpacking and food processing plants (262 meatpacking and 101 food processing) and 57 farms and production facilities have had confirmed cases of Covid-19. At least 37,297 workers have tested positive for Covid-19 (30,497 meatpacking workers, 3,263 food processing workers, and 3,537 farmworkers) and at least 127 workers have died (113 meatpacking workers, 12 food processing workers, and two farmworkers) …
* Ontario is repeating the mistakes on farms that it made with long-term care, by Robyn Urback, columnist, Globe and Mail, July 1, 2020 [The columnist uses the term ‘disaster’ to describe the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on long-term care homes for the elderly in Ontario. But she also uses the term ‘mistake’, as does the Globe and Mail headline writer. There have been 8,639 deaths in Canada caused by Covid-19, of which 81 per cent were residents of care homes for the elderly, the highest death rate among OECD countries. These were caused by ‘mistakes’? Hardly. They were they caused by ‘criminal negligence’ and ‘decades of cuts and privatizations to long-term care for the elderly’?].
* Ontario tops Canadian provinces for new Covid-19 cases with agricultural areas leading the numbers, Toronto Star, June 29, 2020
* Public health officer for Ontario’s Windsor-Essex county won’t allow the new Ontario gov’t policy that allows for ‘asymptomatic’ carriers of Covid-19 to continue working at farms and greenhouses, Globe and Mail, June 30, 2020 …Ontario has more than 940 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among migrant farm workers, with more than half in the Windsor area, according to a Globe and Mail count…
Hospitals in Bolivia close or collapse due to rises in Covid-19 cases, Telesur, June 30, 2020
[Bolivia suffered a coup following its general election on October 20, 2019. The re-elected president, Evo Morales, fled the country in fear of his life and those of his supporters. Today, he lives in Mexico. The coup was spearheaded by pro-U.S./pro-imperialist politicians. With a population of 11.4 million, Bolivia has suffered 33,219 Covid-19 cases and 1,123 deaths. Venezuela has succesfully resisted a threated coup as well as economic sanctions by the U.S./Canada/Europe imperialist nexus. With a population of 28.9 milllion, it has seen 5,832 Covid-19 cases (14 times less than Bolivia per capita) and 51 deaths.]
Scant evidence of anti-racism protests in U.S. causing increases in Covid-19 cases, Washington Post, June 30, 2020
Which drugs and therapies for Covid-19 treatment are proven to work and which ones don’t?, by William Petri (Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia), published in The Conversation, July 1, 2020
How the U.S. trained killer cops across the hemisphere, by Brett Heinz,Current Affairs, June 29, 2020
Police and big tech are partners in crime. We need to abolish them both, by Edward Ongweso Jr, Vice.com, June 25, 2020 Silicon Valley has made billions of dollars empowering the police by pitching surveillance and data analysis technology as unbiased. They are not.
Putin’s constitutional changes reflect the needs of a revitalized state, by Ernest Reid, conservative commentator, publidhed on RT, June 30, 2020
U.S. troops secure oil fields in northeast Syria oil as widespread contamination imperils lives, by Dan Wilkofsky and Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor, June 30, 2020
Highlights from World news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, June 2020 (To view the full news headline archive for June 2020, click here.)
How the world missed Covid-19’s silent spread, New York Times, June 27, 2020 …Interviews with doctors and public health officials in more than a dozen countries show that for two crucial months — and in the face of mounting genetic evidence — Western health officials and political leaders played down or denied the risk of symptomless spreading…
Affluence is killing the planet, warn scientists in Australia, Britain, Germany, by Thomas Wiedmann, Julia K. Steinberger and Manfred Lenzen, published in The Conversation, June 24, 2020 Affluence trashes our planetary life support systems. What’s more, it also obstructs the necessary transformation towards sustainability by driving power relations and consumption norms. To put it bluntly: the rich do more harm than good. This is what we found in a new study for the journal Nature Communications. Together with co-author Lorenz Keyßer from ETH Zürich, we reviewed recent scientific literature on the links between affluence and environmental impacts, on the systemic mechanisms leading to overconsumption and on possible solutions to the problem. The article is one of a series of Scientists’ Warnings to Humanity…
Related: The affluent are consuming the planet to death, by Matthew Rozsa, Salon.com, June 23, 2020 A new study published this month in the academic journal Nature Communications argues that despite all of the talk about using green technology to address man-made environmental problems, the only way for human consumption to become sustainable is if we rein in the affluent…
Yes, defund the cops. And put them under community control, by Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report, June 25, 2020
Essay by Vladimir Putin on the history of World War Two provokes the ire of editors of Germany’s state-run media outlet Deutsche Welle. Item published in Deutsche Welle, June 24, 2020 [In this item, the editors of Deutsche Welle seek out several journalists to echo the editors’ viewpoint sharply condemning an essay on the origins of World War Two by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The essay is dated June 18 and was published on the website of the Russian president. Putin wrote: “I would like to once again recall the obvious fact. The root causes of World War II mainly stem from the decisions made after World War I. The Treaty of Versailles became a symbol of grave injustice for Germany. It basically implied that the country was to be robbed, being forced to pay enormous reparations to the Western allies that drained its economy.” Deutsche Welle critiques one historical fact only in Putin’s essay, namely, the essay’s explanation that Poland’s pre-WW2 leaders helped bring disaster upon the country in 1938 by refusing to sign a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union and collaborating with Nazi Germany in its invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia in October 1938. (See ‘German occupation of Czechoslovakia’, in Wikipedia.) In addition to that, the DW editors voice sharp criticism that Russian embassies are writing to news outlets and journalists in the West, including in Germany, inviting them to publish the president’s essay. The item in Deutsche Welle hitting out against the Russian president appears at the same time that the Russian Parliament has once again accused Deutsche Welle of fomenting hostility and spreading false information to its readers about Russia. See the following news headline item.].
* Deutsche Welle rejects new disinformation allegations against it by Russian parliament, News article/commentary in Deutsche Welle, June 24, 2020
* Australia’s ‘New Matilda’ alternative media outlet publishes Vladimir Putin’s lengthy essay on WW2, but not without inserting its own editorial comments and recommending a recent, lengthy propaganda article by the leading anti-Russia journalist in Canada. See ‘A Russian leader’s take on how the Soviets beat the Nazis’, published in New Matilda, June 24, 2020, with an editorial introduction [The editorial insertions by New Matilda editors into the text of Putin’s essay largely consist of tweets by an anti-Soviet historian which challenge Putin’s (and historians’) claim that the then-government of Poland chose to collaborate with Nazi Germany prior to the German invasion in September 1939 rather than enter into a defense pact with the Soviet Union. They also include a positive invitation to read a terribly biased, anti-Russia feature article published in Canada’s Globe and Mail daily on June 20: ‘We also recommend this article in the Globe and Mail, for a more critical analysis of Putin’s world view.’].
Previously reported: 75th anniversary of the great victory: Shared responsibility to history and our future, by Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, published on the website of the President of Russia, June 18, 2020 (9,000-word essay)