The Trump administration has officially notified the UN that he is leaving the World Health Organization, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, accusing the world body of being too close to China. The withdrawal process will take a year, and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden has pledged to reverse the decision and “restore our leadership on the world stage” if he were to win in November.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the administration’s top infectious disease specialist, said this week that the country knee-deep in the first waveFrom the pandemic, with more than 131,000 deaths and an increase in the number of infections at a rate of about 50,000 per day. In a reversal of Donald Trump’s migration rhetoric, some border towns in northern Mexico trying to stop people from crossing from the United States, for fear of spreading the virus.
in Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro insisted he was “fine” after positive test for Covid-19. Like Trump, Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for his lack of response to the disease, which has killed more people in Brazil than in any country other than the United States.
Anti-abortion groups have received millions in federal coronavirus aid
The US government is trying to recover the $ 80 million it loaned to Planned Parenthood under the coronavirus aid program, following criticism from conservative lawmakers. But Christian anti-abortion groups also received millions in taxpayer-guaranteed loans – which represents “a one-year jump in direct government funding of major Christian right-wing political entities on a scale we have never seen before,” says an expert on the American religious right.
Trump’s niece says he was ‘branded’ by his ‘sociopath’ father
Donald Trump’s “narcissism”, “bullying” and “grandiosity” are character traits shaped by her father’s emotional abuse, Fred, who was a “high profile sociopath,” according to the president’s niece – and Fred’s granddaughter – clinical psychologist Mary Trump. It’s just one of the revelations in his next book on The “malignant and dysfunctional” Trump family – which also describes his fear and frustration with the Trump presidency:
I saw Donald in real time shred standards, endanger alliances and trample on the most vulnerable… The only thing that surprised me was the growing number of people willing to allow him.
FBI says China is forcing dissidents in US to return
The FBI director claimed that Chinese agents were pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the United States, trying to force dissidents and critics of the Beijing government to return home. In a speech in Washington DC, Christopher Wray said Chinese espionage was “the greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property and to our economic vitality.”
In Hong Kong, the unofficial pro-democracy anthem Glory to Hong Kong has been banned in schools amid Beijing’s new national security laws. But activists in the supposedly semi-autonomous territory say they intend to continue to express their opposition to the new draconian legislation.
In other news …
More than 3.5 million people have been asked to evacuate in Japan, after torrential rains and floods has already killed at least 58 people.
The organizers of the Facebook boycott are “disappointed“ after a meeting with Mark Zuckerberg, during which the CEO of the social network and other executives failed to commit to concrete solutions to fight hate speech and disinformation on the platform.
Chechens across Europe fear after killings of several dissidents and critics of the Chechen President, Ramzan Kadyrov. The latest victim is Mamikhan Umarov, 43, who was shot on Saturday in Vienna.
Nine in 10 Americans say racism and police brutality are problems in the country, a a poll conducted by Opinium for the Guardian found – suggesting that Trump is increasingly out of step with public opinion.
Who hasn’t been pictured with Ghislaine Maxwell?
Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Princess Diana… Ghislaine Maxwell – the socialite arrested last week for sex trafficking for her association with the late Jeffrey Epstein – was pictured with them all, as reported by a popular new Instagram account. Poppy Noor reports.
Inside the world’s largest urban farm
On a roof in the 15th arrondissement of Paris borough, a team of young people take care of the world’s largest urban farm, growing up to 35 different varieties of fruits and vegetables, without ground. Jon Henley asks if this innovative approach to farming could be a solution to future food shortages.
Opinion: Mount Rushmore speech was an election preview
Trump used his Independence Day speech to assert that the biggest threat to the United States is not the coronavirus, but the political left. Whipping up a culture war is his only re-election strategy, argues Nathan Robinson.
Just as Trump himself often looks like a cartoon of an American businessman, Trump’s July Fourth speech sounded like a cartoon of American Rah-rah jingoism of the 1950s, of a kind that is difficult to take. seriously today.
Last thing: fireflies keep their lights on in lockdown
The annual firefly festival in the Japanese city of Tatsuno has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus. But that did not prevent glowing insects from appearing. City mayor Yasuo Takei says watching the show in silence only makes it more moving: “The brief burst of light is so overwhelming, making me feel like I also have to live my best.”
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