By Andrew Shi
Seoul’s Mayor Park Won-soon was found on the morning of Friday, 7/9, near the presidential office. A recent prominent political contender for the South Korean presidency, Mayor Park has recently come under scrutiny due to a recent police investigation stemming from a sexual harassment allegation from a municipal employee. This comes as a great surprise to many as he, through this career as both a lawyer and a public servant has had a proven track record of support for the MeToo movement in South Korea.
Early in his legal career, Park found himself defending many women in sexual assault cases, and would be a front runner on gender equality through career.
Since graduating from university, he was a notable human rights advocate, and was known for his demands as a student against inequality and was an avid critique of Japanese mistreatment of women during the second world war. More recently, he was a preeminent member of the block of politicians calling for accountability and the later ousting of the president.
Recently, however, he has become a prominent member of the South Korean political system and was poised to be one of the many candidates to run for the presidential office. As Mayor Park was expected to become a more liberal voice in a conservative state, his passing will likely be a great loss to Korean politics for years to come; nonetheless, his legacy of activism and controversy will live on.
By Shivam Shah
Today was a historic day among the several days that have turned into months that people have been lounging on their couches at their homes, waiting for this current Covid-19 pandemic to pass. Just recently, Washington’s very own Whitman County was approved to move to stage 3 of the opening. This was the first county in the United States to take the risk to open up to stage 3, implying that residents can gather in large crowds of “up to 50 people” and restaurants can operate freely at “75% capacity”.
However, many people have and still are wondering if this historic transition is safe or even warranted. Among growing protests and higher risks of transmission of this airborne disease, people fear that the entire cycle may repeat itself, and rather than progressing forward, we will be progressing backward to stage 2. Fortunately, this move was confirmed and justified by Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman and Governor Jay Inslee. We will continue to monitor the situation as cases in this county remain stagnating at an astounding low of 20 cases and no deaths.
Read More at:
By Andrew Shi
Critical to many agrarian communities, the influx of migrant workers have become the backbone of many European states, and a foundation to the spring harvest. These individuals, however, are now finding themselves between the difficult choice of either returning home without work or staying and facing dangerous conditions.
On of the strongest EU economies, Germany has found itself in this position. For decades, Germany has invited individuals from across Europe into its agrarian countryside during harvest. With its aging population, there are significantly fewer young workers who are willing to opt into backbreaking labor in agriculture. To meet these labor demands, an expected 260,000 people need to relocate to Germany.
For every laborer who has relocated for the spring harvest, they are now forced to chose between the safety and health of themselves and their family, in comparison to the economic needs that the farms provide. Often coming from less economically prosperous states, and in such uncertain times, many workers find themselves forced to chose to work despite inadequate labor and safety conditions. As the reopening of the economy continues, policies that would protect migrant workers are highly needed to protect the most vulnerable individuals.
Source: Reuters, The New York Times
By Luca Adamo
On Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump issued a roughly seven-minute statement in the White House Rose Garden. The remarks came on the 7th day of widespread protest across the United States in response to the May 25th death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Below is a chronological summary of some President Trump's statements made in his speech. The full transcript can be viewed by following the link at the end of this update.
It was expressed that the Trump administration will “uphold the laws of [The United States], and are “fully committed that for George [Floyd] and his family, justice will be served.”
Trump expressed he was an “ally of all peaceful protesters”, and that “ we cannot allow the righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob”, who is cited as “professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa and others.”
“A number of state and local governors have failed to take necessary action to safeguard their residence.”
Specific instances of violence are cited. Vandalism and destruction of historic sites, such as the Lincoln Memorial, the WW2 Memorial, and St. John's Church is mentioned. President Trump stated that “These are not acts of peaceful protest. These are acts of domestic terror.”
It is stated that the above mentioned violence is why “immediate action”, with the mobilization of “all federal resources, civilian and military to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your second amendment rights.”
This action is composed of the following:
Recommendation to “every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets.” If “a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.” This action is in accordance with rights provided to the POTUS in The Insurrection Act of 1807 (Link at the end of the post to learn more about the act).
Protection of Washington DC from “rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the … destruction of property”, which will be done through the “dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers”,“strict” enforcement of the seven o’clock curfew, and the arrest and detainment and prosecution of those committing acts of violence.
“Severe criminal penalties and lengthy jail sentences” for “Antifa and others who are leading instigators of this violence.”
The address ended with Trump stating that he is “going to pay [his] respects to a very, very special place”, being the aforementioned St. John’s Church.
Insurrection Act of 1807: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insurrection_Act#:~:text=March%203%2C%201807.&text=The%20Insurrection%20Act%20of%201807,disorder%2C%20insurrection%2C%20and%20rebellion.\
By Shivam Shah, Yihan (Bradley) Tian
Today, Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, has addressed the coronavirus and the spreading pandemic in New York. Throughout this situation, he has been the center of the debate, often challenging the legal soundness of President Trump’s restrictions. However, Governor Cuomo’s evolving perspective is manifested through his policies.
In his latest briefings, Governor Cuomo stated that during this pandemic, many families are put at immense health risks due to their family members fighting on the front lines. Currently, many states have not issued any help or support - except for a few private organizations and initiatives - to help these families. Governor Cuomo’s recent issuance of full death benefits to susceptible families represents a significant step in acknowledging and supporting these front-line heroes.
In addition, Governor Cuomo also stated that as the situation has not improved, gatherings are “inherently dangerous in the context of the pandemic.” This emphasis on caution and insurance as a whole indicates that he wishes not for the immediate implementation of progressive reopening policies, but rather policies that protect the residents of New York and appreciate those who fight on the front lines.
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By Eric Liu
The cases of the coronavirus surpassed 5 million today. Latin America overtook the United States and Europe in the past week to report the largest portion of new daily cases globally.
The number signifies the start of a new phase in this global pandemic. The virus initially peaked in China in February and rapidly moved across to Europe and North America with large-scale outbreaks. Now the trend is shifting again to South America and Africa.
“Latin America accounted for around a third of the 91,000 cases reported earlier this week. Europe and the United States each accounted for just over 20%.
A large number of those new cases came from Brazil, which recently surpassed Germany, France, and the United Kingdom to become the third-largest outbreak in the world, behind the United States and Russia.”
Source: Reuters, 1Point3Acres
By Luca Adamo
On Sunday, President Donald Trump sent a letter to Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
In the letter, Trump details reasons for the April 14th funding cut, as well as findings from the following “investigation… of the organization's failed response to the COVID-19 outbreak”. The letter states that the investigation “Confirmed many of the serious concerns [President Trump] raised last month and identified others that the World Health Organization should have addressed, especially the World Health Organization’s alarming lack of independence from the People's Republic of China.
In paraphrase, the letter asserts that the following is now known:
President Trump expresses that the World Health Organization:
President Trump then compared Dr. Tedros’ COVID-19 response to previous Director-General Dr. Haram Brundtland’s response to SARS in 2003, stating “many lives could have been saved if you followed Dr. Brundtland’s example.” Trump then The letter ended with “I can not allow American taxpayer dollars to continue to finance an organization that, in its present state, is so clearly not serving America’s interest”.
By Shivam Shah
As Coronavirus sweeps across the world, many countries have imposed restrictions on their population. In India, there is a stay at home order restricting residents. In Canada, on April 22, the 30-day travel restriction was extended for another month. However, in the United States, there is a strife between the federal government and the state government on the restrictions that are being created at the national level. They have to achieve the perfect balance for businesses and other groups “to reopen and protecting the public the spread of the novel coronavirus.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many states are starting to reopen many public areas such as beaches and parks while others remain on lockdown. An example of one of these states that remained on lockdown, North Carolina, tried to limit social gatherings; however, Judge James C Dever III decreed that the ban violated the 1st amendment in that it limits religious gatherings. So, religious groups in NC can assemble for the next 14 days. This debate is being carried over in other states as well which is a sign that needs to be monitored further in the future as we observe how other states react to this ruling.
By Andrew Shi
Sweeping across much of the world, Covid-19 has decimated many of the strongest economies of the world, halting trade and commerce in many of the hubs of trade around the world. For states with both less developed healthcare systems, as well as a developing economy, they find themselves particularly vulnerable to shocks within global markets.
As economies depend on both foreign investments and exports of raw materials, this makes them specifically vulnerable to shifts within foreign economies. Crashes in the price of oil and dips in consumer good purchases have resulted in manufacturers importing less of minerals for production, hampering extraction, and instituting a spike in layoffs. IMF predicted 1.6 percent GDP growth for the region for 2020.
Moreover, the undersupplied hospitals and underfunded medical services have resulted in a spike in cases especially within already impoverished communities and underserved communities. The extent of the damage will be determined by the measures taken by states in the following weeks.
Source: PBS, Foreign Policy
By Alexandra Singereanu
In a Senate hearing on May 12th, 2020 Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that moving rapidly in re-opening the country will only result in serious consequences. Dr. Fauci suggests that prematurely allowing businesses to resume operations increases the risk of additional outbreaks and deaths. Currently, there is no known vaccine or drug to treat nor prevent the virus, and as long as this stands true, outbreaks will be triggered again without any means of control. Currently, there are over 100 potential vaccines undergoing trials and development, but according to Fauci, "there's no guarantee that the vaccine is actually going to be effective." Although Fauci does emphasize that a vaccine is essential to moving forward, he is uncertain of whether there will be one safe and ready to use by the next school year.
Currently, the United States stands at over 1.3 million cases with over 80,600 deaths. Regardless, states are looking to return to pre-quarantine standards. Texas, for example, has taken the quickest and most expansive efforts to reopen its economy. Regarding situations like these, Fauci warns of “little spikes that might turn into outbreaks.”
Texas has seen 1,000 new cases today for the fifth day in a row. Overall, Fauci reiterates that skipping over crucial steps and checkpoints in “...the guidelines to 'open America again,' will increase the danger of exacerbating outbreaks throughout the country.”
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