Good morning! Here are a few of today’s headlines covering attempts to contain the spread of Covid-19, a protest in Wisconsin turned violent, the collapse of police reform legislation in Congress, and diplomatic backlash over Israel’s plans to annex the West Bank next week. The headlines come to us courtesy of Newseum:
The New York Times, Published in New York, NY
Across the world governments are transitioning from nationwide lockdown containment strategies to targeted local interventions. Governments are asking for greater flexibility in easing and tightening restrictions where new cases are either rising or abating. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has referred to his country’s new containment strategy as “Whac-a-Mole.”
Wisconsin State Journal, Published in Madison, WI
Yesterday, protesters tore down the state capitol’s “Forward” statue as well as that of abolitionist Union Army Colonel Hans Christian Heg, assaulted a state senator from Milwaukee, and set off a small fire downtown over the arrest of a local black activist. Officials from both parties are appalled by the senseless violence, intimidation, and vandalism that has taken place and Governor Tony Evers has activated Wisconsin’s National Guard to support law enforcement officers.
The statue of Colonel Hans Christian Heg, now torn down, who died fighting to end slavery
Austin American-Statesman, Published in Austin, TX
Governor Greg Abbott has warned of record high coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The governor stated that Texas is facing a “massive outbreak” and that containment depends on Texans continuing to social distance. The 7-day average of new cases has spiked from around 50 from the end of March to early June to around 250 in the past two weeks.
Politico, Published in Arlington, VA
It appears that police reform legislation will not occur this year after Democrats blocked debate on the GOP’s Senate bill. With the exception of three members of the caucus, the Democrats believe the meager reform bill is a nonstarter and are hoping to force McConnell back to the table to approach the bill in a more bipartisan way or to push the bill through the Judiciary Committee first, where it would have a better chance of being amended. “I’m not sure that this type of pressure’s going to work this time.” said Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) stated, “They’d rather have a campaign issue than actual police reform.” The idea was that the Republican Senate bill would go to conference with the more robust Democratic House bill for reconciliation. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), the author of the GOP bill, painted a gloomy picture: “We'll move on. People will forget about it. And you know what's going to happen? Something bad. And we'll be right back here talking about what should have been done.”
Haaretz, Published in Tel Aviv, Israel
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN special envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov have called on Israel to end its plans to annex the West Bank as it would violate international law. The EU members of the UN Security Council have stated that annexation would ruin the relationship between Europe and Israel and would be met with diplomatic consequences (German Finance Minister Heiko Maas earlier threatened sanctions). Despite general outrage within the UN over Israel’s plans the US Ambassador Kelly Craft told the Security Council: “I understand that many of you have concerns with this issue of the potential extension of Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank. At the same time, we ask that you also hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for acts they are responsible for.”
US Secretary of State Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu meeting in December
Statue of Colonel Hans Christian Heg, courtesy of Wikimedia
Meeting between Pompeo and Netanyahu, courtesy of US Department of State at Flickr
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