Hello and good afternoon! Here are a few of today’s headlines from the US and around the world. As always, the headlines come to us courtesy of Newseum:
The New York Times, Published in New York, NY
The federal government and the state of Oregon appear to have agreed on a conditional deal to withdraw federal agents from the city of Portland. The negotiations were spearheaded by Vice President Pence and will result in withdrawal of most federal agents on condition that Oregon law enforcement will be able to keep the federal courthouse and other buildings secure. The decision to send in agents of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Marshalls, and other federal agencies appeared to have backfired, breathing new life into the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland and causing national outrage as footage of federal agents carrying off protesters in unmarked vans began to make the rounds on social media and television.
The Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland, where federal officers have been sent to protect against protesters
Politico, Published in Arlington, VA
“We’re not even close to a deal,” said White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. “It means enhanced unemployment provisions will expire.” Congress has been unable to reach an agreement on a new stimulus package to combat America’s collapsing economy. President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin proposed in the meantime extending temporarily the $600-a-week unemployment insurance boost and the moratorium on evictions until a broader deal could be worked out. But the Democrats have refused the short-term measures and as such both provisions will expire this week, at a time when the US economy can ill afford it. “When it’s time to actually make a law, Democrats would rather keep political issues alive than find a bipartisan way to resolve them.” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “When we have a reasonable bill put forth by Senate Republicans for us to discuss, let’s have a discussion about our differences.” said House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries. Last quarter GDP declined at an eye-popping annualized rate of 32.9% and last week saw yet another increase in jobless claims. The loss of the unemployment benefits increase will see aggregate demand collapse still further; according to The Guardian the extra payments now account for 15% of America’s wages.
Haaretz, Published in Tel Aviv, Israel
Members of Kahol Levan, which entered into coalition with Likud following a series of deadlock elections, have voted against a right to equality amendment to the Israeli Nation-State Law. The law, which passed in 2018, recognized Israel as “the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it.” It also downgraded Arabic from an official language to a “special status” language. “The Nation-State Law ignores a quarter of the country’s citizens, I among them. It’s unethical and undemocratic.” said Gadeer Mreeh, a former Kahol Levan member and the lawmaker who introduced the equality amendment. Notably absent from the vote was Benny Gantz, the head of Kahol Levan, who campaigned on the promise of amending the Nation-State Law.
The Japan Times, Published in Tokyo, Japan
The membership of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party are beginning to take a more hawkish stance towards China. With persistent encroachment by Chinese vessels into Japan’s Senkaku Islands in the South China Sea and the recent security law that stripped Hong Kong of its autonomy and civil liberties, many within the LDP are calling for a tougher stance on China. Yasuhide Nakayama’s foreign affairs division in the Japanese Diet’s lower house has passed a resolution criticizing the security law in Hong Kong and urging the government to issue work visas to its citizens as well as another resolution calling on the government to cancel a planned state visit with President Xi Jinping that was delayed due to the coronavirus.
The Japanese Coast Guard protecting the waters of the Senkaku Islands
Portland Federal Courthouse, courtesy of Wikimedia
Japanese Coast Guard, courtesy of Wikimedia
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