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As the situation in Arizona grows, a neighboring Mexican state is trying to shut down the Americans.

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As the situation in Arizona grows, a neighboring Mexican state is trying to shut down the Americans.
But this weekend, as Arizona rolls under the weight of the corona, it is Mexico that is trying to prevent the Americans from heading south.

Government officials in Sonora, the Mexican state bordering Arizona, have set up additional checkpoints across the border over the weekend to prevent unauthorized travel and to conduct health checks on people passing through the United States.

In a statement, the governor of Sonoran, Claudia Pavlovic Arelano, said the goal was to prevent “people”. [living in the US] who want to come over the weekend and leave us a heavier weight than Covid. ”

The United States and Mexico agreed to close their common borders in March on all unnecessary activities. It will remain closed at least until the end of July.

Crossroads that are considered necessary for issues such as trade or medical appointments are allowed.

However, Mexican President Andre Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters on Friday that there had been several recent incidents of people crossing from Arizona to Sonora for non-essential reasons. That’s why he agreed to develop federal resources to help staff at the new checkpoints.

“The Sonora government is guarding the border to keep the rules in place, but [the rules] it’s not new, “he told a news conference Friday morning.

Sonoran government officials have reason to worry about the virus spreading from Arizona. The state recently saw an increase in corona cases, with high increases over the past week as the number of cases approached nearly 100,000. And ICUs in hospitals across the state are approaching capacity.

Sonoran health officials have reported more than 8,000 cases in the state, but that number has more than doubled in the past month as the Mexican epidemic continues to worsen.

In the border communities in the USA and in Mexico, it is common to travel back and forth across borders.

There is an alarm in Sonora that the big US holidays, when families travel for rallies and cooking utensils, could escalate the outbreak in northern Mexico.

Checkpoints will be located at ports and on nearby roads and highways. Popular tourist areas will also be monitored.

“We already know which places … Americans usually visit,” said Governor Pavlovich.

Immigration officials, members of the Mexican National Guard and state police will be deployed to staff the checkpoints, which will run until Sunday, July 5, according to a statement from the Mexican consulate in Tucson.

Mary Trump appears in written testimony as battle for publication of her book

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Mary Trump appears in written testimony as battle for publication of her book

In court proceedings Thursday night, Mary Trump and her lawyers said the book’s exclusion would be unconstitutional. But they also support it The New York Times’ An investigation into the Trump family’s taxes makes it clear that the settlement agreement – and the accompanying non-disclosure agreement – that Mary Trump signed two decades ago was fraudulent and should be considered a dispute.

“The detailed analysis and research of the New York Times revealed for the first time that the assessments I relied on when concluding the Settlement Agreement, which were used to determine my compensation under the Agreement, were fraudulent,” said Mary Trump Jury. confirmation. “I relied on the false assessments given to me by my aunts and uncles and I would never have entered into the Agreement if I knew the true value of the assets involved.”

Robert Trump – Donald Trump’s younger brother – led the effort to block their niece’s book, ordering a temporary restraining order and claiming that such a book would violate the terms of the confidential settlement agreement reached by the family. death of family patriarch Fred Trump.
In a blow to Robert Trump’s efforts, a court ruled earlier this week to lift the temporary restraining order against the book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster. However, there is still a temporary restrictive decision against Mary Trump pending a July 10 hearing. The book is set to release on July 28.

In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday night, Mary Trump’s lawyer, Ted Butros, said there was no reason for the court to continue to abide by the confidentiality agreement.

“The settlement agreement that includes the non-disclosure agreement was a product of fraud, so it is invalid, it cannot be implemented,” Butros said. “It’s one of the many reasons it’s not worth the paper that’s printed at this point.”

The court’s latest allegations – which acknowledge that Mary Trump was the source of the Times’ tax investigation – only reveal teases about the kind of revelations that could accumulate in her forthcoming speech.

Mary Trump’s lawyers said the book was “his own life story as a member of the Trump family – a story involving information about financial and family offenses by the President of the United States and his brothers,” she said. filing on Thursday. “This book deals with issues of profound importance to our country, with critical knowledge about the President of the United States, the years of its formation and the financial transactions of his family. Mrs. Trump offers a personal perspective on President Trump – valuable source material for historians and citizens. “

In her affidavit, Mary Trump claimed that she never envisioned a settlement agreement that could one day prevent her from telling the story of her life.

“I never thought that the Settlement Agreement to resolve distinct financial disputes could prevent me from telling the story of my life or publishing a book that discusses everything in the Book, including my uncle’s behavior and character. “My aunt Maryanne, a former federal judge, or my uncle Robert, a prominent public figure,” said Mary Trump, during his campaign for re-election. “In addition, my uncle, the president, , he spoke about our family and the disagreement in many cases. “

Charles Harder, Robert Trump’s lawyer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday’s submission.

Mary Trump’s lawyers claim that if the attempt is to prevent possible damage to the family’s reputation, it is too late.

Robert Trump “worries that Mrs Trump will reveal details about her dealings with The New York Times, her difficult relationship with her family and Trump’s family’s financial dealings. But all of this has been made public.” , Mary Trump’s lawyers said in a statement, citing the Times’ tax investigation and other family news. “Modern news about Mrs. Trump’s costume twenty years ago put a quick link between the Trump family and Mrs. Trump.”

A cyclist helps catch a suspected killer by lending an officer to his wheels

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A cyclist helps catch a suspected killer by lending an officer to his wheels

On Tuesday, officers searched an area in the city’s Old Fourth Ward, where a deadly shooting occurred when they spotted the suspect, according to a press release from the Atlanta Police Department.

The man immediately left the area by bicycle and drove away BeltLine, a popular multi-purpose trail that crosses the city, the statement said.

Stephen Willard told CNN he was riding his bicycle at home when he noticed police chasing him.

“I’m going home from work … and the next thing I see is APD officers running towards me,” Willard said. “The next thing I know is that one of the officers is waving his arms and signaling me and saying, ‘Hello, let me borrow your bike!’ “”

Willard took out his bicycle and gave it to the police officer.

The video of the camera posted by the police on the internet captures the officer walking under BeltLine and on busy streets of the city while maintaining the suspect. In audio, it provides updates on the location of the suspect.

After a few minutes, the bicycle officer goes up to the Ponce City Market, a mixed use development. Another officer is already taking the suspect into custody.

“We took him, we took him, we took him,” says the cycling officer.

Meanwhile, Willard had called the court and informed the police where he was waiting. After 30 to 40 minutes, the policeman returned on his bicycle.

“He was really excited to catch the man and thank me enough,” Willard said. “I said, you appreciate it, although your voices complain out loud, you appreciate it.”

Willard and the officer parted ways.

“It was great and it made me feel good and everything worked out very well,” said Willard. “They took the suspect and I got my bike back in one piece.”

Nicholas Fonsaca, 21, of Atlanta, was arrested and charged with murder, according to police. A 37-year-old man was shot dead on Sunday, police said.

Fonsaka is being held in Fulton County Jail and police told CNN it is unknown if she has a lawyer at the moment.

“We are proud of the work undertaken by our investigators in this case and proud of the efforts made by our officers in the search and arrest of this dangerous suspect,” Atlanta police said in a statement.

“In addition, we are grateful for the help of the cyclist who lends us his bike. With the help of the community, we can make the city of Atlanta safer.”

The cracks in Trump-Europe relations are becoming a precipice

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Cracks in the Trump-Europe relationship are turning into a gap
Earlier this week European Union refused to include the United States in its list of “safe countries, “Which means that American travelers will be unwanted within the block in the foreseeable future, due to the obvious numbers of coronavirus infection in the United States. Controversially, the list includes China, the country of origin of the virus, subject to reciprocal agreements.
EU officials insist the decision is not political and is based entirely on epidemiological evidence, hoping to reassure US President Donald Trump, a man who has attacks the block several times.

However, others privately admit that Brussels wanted to make the pill more enjoyable for the American public, they could add sugar coating. “In the past, I see that we may not have included China to keep the United States happy,” said an EU diplomat, who is not authorized to give a brief account of how the decision was made.

It may seem a stretch to take this incident as evidence of a rift in transatlantic relations until you put it in the current geopolitical context. It’s no secret Washington is less interested in European affairs These days. And it is well known that European nations are actively seeking greater diplomatic autonomy than America. This is especially true for the 27 Member States of the European Union.

One of the ways in which Brussels believes it can distance itself from DC is to engage with China as a strategic and economic partner, reducing its dependence on one of the world’s superpowers by balancing its relationship with the other.

In the last few years, Brussels has been sticking to its weapons on major international issues, as Trump is tearing everything apart. Consider the Paris Climate Agreement, the nuclear deal in Iran, 5Gand you are beginning to see a pattern of behavior in which the EU could be seen as a country of China with its oldest ally. Of course, this may be a heterogeneous reading of the situation, given the deep, established connection between Europe and the United States, but in this context, any perception of friendly attitudes towards Beijing inflicts real bruises.

“Knowing what we know about China’s data, how it behaved during the pandemic and the White House’s position, I think we would prevent them in another world,” the diplomat said. This other world he is referring to is not just the world before Trump took office.

A Brussels official working on EU foreign policy but not authorized to speak on the protocol said the shift from Europe as a geopolitical priority began with former US President Barack Obama.

“Obama is not as close to the Middle East as previous presidents, which is geographically a European problem. And he was shifting his priorities from Europe to China and Asia,” the official said.

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However, longtime observers of the alliance believe that it has been strained for the last four years – and will get worse if Donald Trump defeats former Vice President Joe Biden in this year’s US election. “Trump sees the EU, especially Germany, as an economic and trade competitor, which means tensions can be expected if he gets a second term,” said Velina Chakarova of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy.

She said that while the EU was taking steps to “build stronger autonomy in the field of security and defense”, Trump was trying to “undermine such efforts through his attacks on European NATO members, as well as through economic and trade measures”.

The Brussels official explains that “Trump’s disruption from multilateralism” on major international issues such as Iran, combined with US “less responsibility” for European security, has accelerated European thinking to take a step back from America and “do our thing in the world scene. “

The EU diplomat acknowledges this characteristic of a hostile US administration that goes out of its way to avoid working with Europeans. “The problem is that UK officials who want to work with Europe while in contact don’t have a mandate from the government to get involved in any serious way. They’ve hung on as long as they can, but if we get a second Trump term, then we’re in real trouble. “

President Trump has criticized the bloc several times.

According to Chakarova, this is the reason “the EU institutions and the leaders of the member states hope that Joe Biden will be elected in November … he is for multilateralism and he is expected to strengthen ties between the United States and Europe. “

CNN asked numerous officials from EU institutions and diplomats from both sides of the Atlantic for comment. Most declined to comment; several admitted that they believed this to be the case. A European diplomat said: “We will dance with the one on the dance floor, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that cooperation between the EU and the US is weaker at the moment.”

Asked to comment on the EU’s potential turnaround in its historic ties with the United States, a State Department spokesman said: “The United States and the EU share a strong, lasting partnership based on shared democratic values ​​and governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law. , deep economic ties and a commitment to transatlantic prosperity and security. This long-standing partnership is vital as we coordinate many international efforts. “

However, Biden’s potential victory would not be a quick fix for the transatlantic partnership. “The question is not really whether you can return the connection to where it was, but if we can persuade the United States to rejoin the Western order,” said the EU diplomat.

“The US and EU geopolitical guidelines for Asia, the Middle East and trade, respectively, have already begun. The difference now is that we believe the West should move as a whole.”

And even if Biden returns to the Obama-era policy for Europe, there is no guarantee that in four years he will not be replaced by someone more radical than Trump. “The major changes that are happening in the United States are likely to remain, and we need to adapt by making the best of the relationship we can. These shifts, they are structural and not based on just one person,” said the Brussels official. .

Of course, none of this means that the transatlantic alliance will cease to be important. It will remain central to what the West represents, and the United States will always be a more important ally for Europe than China could ever be. In addition, the EU’s big plans to engage more with China have been dealt a severe blow by the Covid-19 outbreak.

However, this fading veneer of heat – with a Europe looking for a new place on the world stage when the global role of the United States becomes inherently more unpredictable – can only be seen as good news for those against whom these historically Western powers have united. not so long ago.

At least 8 secret service agents get stuck in Phoenix with corona after Pence’s trip

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At least 8 secret service agents get stuck in Phoenix with corona after Pence's trip
Last month, up to 15 agents who tested positive for the virus were loaded onto cars and taken home, avoiding flights after being infected while preparing for President Donald Trump’s campaign, according to another source familiar with the situation.
And in South Dakota, agents are on site preparing for Trump’s visit to Mount Rushmore – but also for what some see as inevitable that one or more of them will be infected with the virus.

On Thursday morning, a group of about 20 security officers, including intelligence officials, took a walk around the event, watching the locations at the top of Mount Rushmore amphitheater, the press area and the stage where the President will speak. Only two members of this group wore a mask. a separate group of half a dozen uniformed officers collecting tape measure at the entrance to the park were not wearing masks. But every agent who monitored the participants at the entrance was hidden hours later.

As Trump and Pence repeat regular travel itineraries after months of lock-in caused by a pandemic, the dangers posed by the large U.S. Secret Service staff accompanying them have become apparent, as about a dozen agents – if not more – have been tested positive. for the virus, sources familiar with the situation said.

The health risk has emerged as a pain for many within the body, with sources describing an increased sense of anxiety and anger about putting themselves in what some see as irrational risk. A source in the agency said there was “growing anger and frustration” among some in the Secret Service over what they saw as “unnecessary travel and exposure” due to Trump and Pence’s trip.

“Even Trump’s ardent supporters are tired,” a source close to the agency said. “We signed up to get him a bullet, we didn’t sign up to get sick for him for no good reason.”

In addition to the agents who have fallen ill, many others have been forced to quarantine after coming into contact with others who have tested positive, putting pressure on the agency’s numbers as Trump and Pence continue to plan trips across the country. Each trip requires several groups of agents, who work shifts to ensure proper rest.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the president “takes very seriously the health and safety of everyone who travels to support himself and all businesses in the White House.”

“In preparing and conducting any trip, White House Businesses are working with the Physician to the President and the White House Military Office to ensure that plans include current CDC guidance and best practices on restraint practices. COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible, “he said in a statement.

Inside the agency, some wondered how substantial Trump and Pence’s travels had been, especially the campaign sources they had previously described to CNN as partly to improve the president’s mood.

Pence’s recent travels have focused on the corona – including the states of Sun Belt where cases are on the rise – and aides have said it is important for the vice president to have an on-site view of the crisis.

The vice president’s office did not immediately return a request for comment on CNN.

“President Trump wanted me to be here to tell the people of Arizona that we are with you,” Penes said Wednesday as he met with the governor. “We’ll make sure you have what you need, when you need it, to meet right now.”

But Pence’s trip also results in an urgent need for a pandemic response that Trump is alternately blamed for. And before that, Pence communicated extensively with governors via teleconference.

The tasks required by agents often make it difficult to follow federal guidelines for social distance, although the agency said it is working to keep its employees safe.

“The health and safety of our workforce, their families and those of our protégés remains a top priority for the organization,” said Catherine Milhoan, communications director for the Secret Service. “The service continues to operate in accordance with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the US Health, Safety and Environment Program.

Neither Trump nor Pence have publicly commented on the approximately 12 positively tested agents. When news broke before the Tulsa event that some executives and agents had had positive results, the President was outraged that he had come out before the rally, overshadowing the event itself.

At least eight intelligence agents who were briefed on Pence’s details before his trip to Arizona this week showed a positive for the corona before the vice president was scheduled to travel there, according to a CNN law enforcement source.

It is unclear whether there is any overlap with Tulsa and Phoenix agents.

The positive tests forced a one-day delay in the trip so that the Secret Service could exchange a healthy team – Pence was scheduled to go to Arizona on Tuesday, but instead traveled on Wednesday. Prior to Pence’s trip, the state had set high records for both new daily cases and deaths since the state began publishing public data in mid-March.

After positive tests, quarantine agents at a hotel in Phoenix reported people familiar with the matter. Some are accidental and are being monitored by a doctor, although no treatment has yet been required, sources said.

Pence’s trip initially included several public appearances, including Yuma’s, but the trip was cut short by the recent boom in Covid’s case in Arizona. While there, Pence received updates and updates from local officials and did not leave the airport.

It came more than a week after Trump’s rally in Oklahoma, which disappointed the president due to low turnout, but nevertheless caused a stir in matters between his staff and the details of the secret service.

Although the number of agents released publicly and positively working at the Tulsa rally is two, a source familiar with the matter said the actual number is closer to 15.

Secret Service agents were tested in Talsa on June 19, a day before the rally, and those with a positive result received their results within 48 hours – meaning that some or all could be on the rally without knowing it. that they had been tested positively. Everything was tested again in Washington six days after the rally.

In order to avoid the planes, these positive agents drove back to their bases – including Dallas and Houston – to enter quarantine for at least 14 days. These agents who tested negative for Tulsa were also required to quarantine at home for 14 days. most have now decided to return to work over the weekend.

In addition to Secret Service personnel, several Trump campaigners have expressed positive results about coronavirus while working on the Tulsa rally. Many campaign officials went on quarantine after the event as a precaution. Everything was tested again days after the rally.

At least one high-ranking supporter of the President who attended the rally, former presidential candidate Herman Cain, was treated for coronary artery disease. The spokesman told him it was impossible to know if he had contracted the virus in the rally, where he saw him without a mask.

CORRECTION: This story has been corrected to reflect that not all people who walked before the event were walking.

CNN’s Betsy Klein and Nikki Carvajal contributed to the report.

Coronavirus: If the United States was my patient

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Coronavirus: If the United States was my patient

Seven weeks later, as we approach the patient’s birthday – July 4 – I thought it would be a good time to check in and see how the patient does.

It turns out that the answer is: it’s not good at all.

In fact, with daily infection rates breaking records in many days over the past two weeks, we are undoubtedly worse off today than anywhere else in the pandemic. Think about it: This week, 15 states saw the highest average in seven days and the country is seeing about 50,000 new cases a day. We have less than 5% of the world’s population, but about 25% of corona cases and deaths. Several states, including Texas and Arizona, are on the verge of recently contracting patients from the hospital.

As a doctor, I am disappointed. I think the deterioration of our patient should not have happened and there were many unnecessary mistakes.

I really thought we would have a different conversation in the country at this point. I thought that together with the fireworks, we were celebrating the progress we have made so far. Instead, I must tell the patient, “The infection has returned in retaliation. It has spread and is in danger of spiraling out of control in certain parts of your body.”

And I’m worried – I’m worried that we will get to the point where the existing treatments we have, the drugs we carry in our small black bag, will no longer be effective and we will have to resort to the big guns, the most aggressive measures.

But at the same time, I still have some hope. we still have some time to change the situation, to restart our medicine, to take it faithfully – but we can’t waste another minute.

The best care, the best advice

“If the country, like the human body, became ill or infected, it would have to seek better medical guidance and follow it, as hard as it could be,” I wrote in May.

Well, throughout the disease, this patient had the advantage of excellent medical care. This country hosts some of the most creative minds, the best doctors and the most experienced public health workers in the world. And, along with equally talented international researchers, they took action to try to decipher the genetic makeup of the virus, learn how it spreads and how to alleviate this spread, discovering all the ways in which the disease manifests itself, calculating how to treat it together. and desperately trying to develop a vaccine that will prevent new cases of infection in the future.

However, a few weeks after a doctor’s order, our patient – our country – chose to turn his back on the advice of these health experts. He didn’t like what the doctors were saying and stopped taking the prescription drugs because they were unpleasant.

Some of the recipes, such as social removal and the restriction of our daily activities, were bad and difficult to swallow. Others, such as the face mask, created a little physical discomfort and a lot of political friction. And the most aggressive drug of all, home-ordered orders caused mass layoffs that had never been seen before in many areas of the economy and the decline had just skyrocketed. In other words, very real pain.

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But difficult, as it was to put the patient in a medically induced coma with the orders to stay at home, in order to control the infection, it seemed to have worked.

When I first wrote the piece, shortly before Remembrance Day, at the time of another national holiday, it seemed that the patient was moving in the right direction. Infection rates have dropped significantly in some of the worst-hit areas, such as Michigan, Massachusetts and New York, and have remained stable in much of the country.

Discontinue treatment very soon

I was worried about stopping the drug too early – and that’s exactly what happened.

The patient came out of the medically induced coma very quickly and chaotically, with each condition doing its own thing. Some states reopened immediately, while infection rates rise (I see Georgia), while other states and some cities expected a little more. However, few, if any, states met all the so-called “gate criteria” for the opening of the White House and the CDC.

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In addition to the action very soon, these new openings were often accompanied by a violation of rules, a lack of social distance and a growing refusal to wear masks by a strong minority. We’ve all seen the photos full of beaches, full of bars, protests in favor of the opening and presidential press conferences with officials behind the podium, and a few, if any, wearing masks.

It’s like our patient just got up after waking up and said, “It was a weird nightmare. I’m glad it’s over,” before he got out of bed and walked out of the hospital. But the infection was still simmering beneath the surface.

Like Cassandra, the predictions were ignored

Since then, a health expert after a health expert has tried to remind us that this pandemic has not disappeared. Not only that, he will be here with us for the foreseeable future. But there is no unifying directive or action plan from the White House. States respond independently of each other. And so the patient continued to do his business, often ignoring the risk.

People in parts of the country continued to have no social distance, and the war on mask wear became even more vocal and well-established, with the President, his vice president and other elected officials refusing to shape the very behavior recommended by health experts. : Wear a mask and stay 6 feet away. For some time, the rulers of some states, including Arizona and Texas, have even prevented local officials from issuing mask orders in their cities and counties.

However, thanks to a slight concern about the alarming increase in cases, we may have reached a turning point last week. Nearly two dozen states have halted or reopened efforts to reopen. The rulers of a handful of waiting states – including Texas, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Kansas – have issued mask orders. Some in the GOP and the vice president began wearing a mask. Even President Trump recently said it was “all about masks.” And a government health expert after a government health expert – including Dr. Anthony Faucchi and Dr. Deborah Bix, Dr. mask. Embrace universal face covers.

It’s too late;

As I have said many times, this corona is not durable and because of this, small spoons of medicine can go a long way. It doesn’t travel much, so staying 6 or 10 meters away can help. With good air circulation, it disperses quickly, so don’t concentrate indoors. And wear a mask – that’s great. Studies have shown that it can reduce transmission to others while protecting the user. Even bandanas and even paper surgical masks work better than nothing.

In fact, researchers at the Institute for Measurement and Health Assessment at the University of Washington say that if 95% of people wear masks, about 24,000 lives could be saved in October.

If we can get our patient to follow these small steps – these tried and true public health measures that have worked in places like South Korea – the number of daily infections can be slowly reduced to manageable levels. And then we can start restricting efforts, such as detecting contacts and isolating potentially infected people.

But we are not yet at this stage, and it is not possible to talk about reducing the virus when there are 50,000 or 10,000 new infections a day. To do that, we need to bring the country closer to one in a million people infected a day. That’s more than 300 new infections a day – not 50,000.

And that brings me to another point: We need more testing, no less. It is the only way to see the patient’s condition, to see if the infection subsides or spreads. Tests in many parts of the country are still difficult to do. Test data is sometimes incomplete and results are slow to arrive. And now that more people want to be tested, test sites on some of the new hotspots are full, with large lines. This will further increase the wait for the results as the laboratories try to continue. We need massive access to a quick, easy and inexpensive test that can work in minutes, not days, so tests can be done more easily and results returned faster.

Things will get worse before they get better

Make no mistake, the patient will feel worse in the next few days until the medicine starts working, until the public health measures that are applied again have the opportunity to do their job. And the patient may still require aggressive treatment in some places – we may see some parts of the country being partially closed again.

In the spring, everyone made great personal and financial sacrifices trying to normalize the curve. No one wants to lose that progress and no one wants to go back to the coma.

But we must now act, as a nation, indivisible and with a guiding voice. This would be a wonderful birthday present for our patient.

Andrea Kane contributed to this story.

Cracks in the Trump-Europe relationship are turning into a gap

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Cracks in the Trump-Europe relationship are turning into a gap
Earlier this week, the European Union refused to include the United States in the list of “safe countries”, which means that American travelers will be unwanted within the bloc for the immediate future due to US coronavirus infection numbers. Instead, the list includes China – the country from which the virus originated – subject to mutual settlement.
EU officials insist the decision is not political and is based entirely on epidemiological evidence, in the hope that it will reassure US President Donald Trump, a man who has repeatedly attacked the bloc.

However, others privately admit that if Brussels wanted to make the pill more palatable to an American audience, they could have added a sugar coating. “In the past, I have seen that we may not have included China in keeping the United States happy,” said an EU diplomat, who was not authorized to speak on how to make the decision.

It may seem a stretch to consider this incident as proof of a rupture in transatlantic relations, until you place it in the current geopolitical context. It’s no secret Washington is less interested in European affairs these days. And it is well known that European nations are actively seeking greater diplomatic autonomy than America. This is especially true for the 27 member states of the European Union.

One of the ways in which Brussels believes it can distance itself from the DC is to work with China as a strategic and economic partner, reducing its dependence on one of the world’s superpowers by balancing its relationship with the other.

In recent years, Brussels has stuck to its weapons on major international issues as Trump tore everything apart. Consider the Paris Climate Agreement, the Iran Nuclear Agreement, 5G, and you are beginning to see a pattern of behavior in which the EU could be seen as aligned with China over its former ally. Sure, it can be a generous read of the situation, given the deep, established link between Europe and the United States, but in this context, any perceived friendship with Beijing is causing a very real bruise.

“Knowing what we know about China, how it behaved during the pandemic and the attitude of the White House, I think in another world we would keep them away,” he said. The other world he is referring to is not just the world before Trump took office.

An Brussels official who is involved in EU foreign policy but is not authorized to speak on the spot said that the transition from Europe as a geopolitical priority began under former US President Barack Obama.

“Obama has not been so closely interested in the Middle East as previous presidents, which is geographically more than a European problem. And he is changing his priorities from Europe to China and Asia,” the official said.

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However, longtime observers of the alliance acknowledge that it has been strained for the past four years – and it will only get worse if Donald Trump defeats former Vice President Joe Biden in this year’s US election. “Trump sees the EU, especially Germany, as an economic and trade rival, which means tensions could rise if he takes a second term,” said Velina Tsakarova of the Austrian Institute for European and Political Security.

He said that as the EU takes steps to “build stronger autonomy in the field of security and defense”, Trump is trying to “undermine such efforts through his attacks on NATO members in Europe as well as through economic and trade measures”.

The Brussels official explains that Trump’s “break from the multilateralism” on major international issues such as Iran, combined with the US taking “less responsibility for European security”, has accelerated European thinking to take a step away from America and “doing our thing in the world stage.”

This characterization of a hostile US government that avoids cooperating with Europeans is what the EU diplomat acknowledges. “The problem is, DC officials who want to work with Europe while in contact do not have “The government has taken it seriously. They have been hanged as much as they can, but if we take a second Trump, then we are in real trouble.”

President Trump has repeatedly criticized the bloc.

That, according to Tsakarova, is why “EU institutions and leaders of the Member States hope that Joe Biden will be elected in November … he is in favor of the multilateral and the expectation is that he will strengthen ties.” between the US and Europe “

CNN approached many officials from EU institutions and diplomats on both sides of the Atlantic for comments. Most declined to comment. Many acknowledged that this was true. A European diplomat said: “We will dance with anyone on the track, but we don’t need genius to see that EU-US cooperation is low at the moment.”

Asked to comment on a possible EU axis away from its historical ties with the United States, a State Department spokesman said: “The United States and the European Union share a strong, enduring partnership based on shared democratic values ​​and governance, respect for human rights. and the rule of law, deep economic ties and commitment to transatlantic prosperity and security. This long-term partnership is vital as we coordinate a number of international efforts. “

However, a possible victory for Biden will not provide a quick solution for the transatlantic partnership. “The question is not whether you can bring the relationship back to where it was, but whether we can persuade the United States to rejoin the West,” he said.

“The geopolitical axes of the United States and the European Union for Asia, the Middle East and trade have already begun, respectively. The difference at the moment is that we believe the West must rotate as one.”

And even if Biden returns to the Obama-era policy of Europe, there is no guarantee that in four years he will not be replaced by someone more radical than Trump. “The fundamental changes that are taking place in the United States are likely to remain and we need to adjust, making the best of the relationship we can. These changes are structural and not just one-man,” said the Brussels official.

Of course, none of this means that the transatlantic alliance will stop being important. It will remain central to what the West represents, and the United States will always be a more important ally of Europe than China could ever be. After all, the EU’s major plans to work more closely with China were a major blow to the Covid-19 outbreak.

However, this weakened veil of warmth – with Europe seeking a new place on the world stage as the US global role becomes inherently more unpredictable – can only be seen as good news for those who joined these historic Western powers. so long ago.

Tips for Americans from afar on how to control the corona this holiday weekend

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Tips for Americans from afar on how to control the corona this holiday weekend

A few months ago, the outbreak of coronavirus in the United States was serious, but it was not so different in Europe. Now that hard-hit European nations, such as Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Spain, have been brought under control, the situation in the United States remains bleak.

There is a lot to learn from the affected countries that managed to turn things around, as well as from those that were so fast and organized that all but the elimination of the virus.

Here are some tips from abroad on how Americans can move forward.

Don’t take it like 1999

It can be tempting to spend July 4th with dozens of friends at a bar, a pool or a house party. But from what we know about how the virus spreads, meeting in large groups, especially indoors, could be dangerous.

In South Korea, which has been celebrating the delivery of a virus response model, reopening nightclubs in the capital, Seoul, has led to an increase in cases in May. The city was forced to close all bars and clubs immediately afterwards.

The difference is that South Korea had the virus so well controlled, and had such a well-oiled test and detection system, that the authorities were able to contact most of the people affected and include the case.

In the US, the increases in case the numbers have also been forced to close, but many states you don’t have enough contact trackers in place to ensure the same restriction.
We also know, even from US experience, that bars and nightclubs can be a breeding ground for the spread of the virus. More than 150 cases have been linked to a bar in Michigan.

Reopening plans vary from state to state, but overall, America has opened up much faster than it has affected European countries. In the UK, for example, pubs are expected to reopen on Saturday, 15 weeks after ordering closed, and as the UK curve clearly flattens out. You can no longer say that about the curve in the US, and bars in many states have long been open.

Arizona closed on March 20. But as restaurants allowed them to reopen on May 11, many bar owners at Phoenix Metro found a window serving food so they could reopen. In fact, there were only seven weeks of closing bars there, compared to 15 in the UK. Arizona now has one of the countries more dramatic peaks in cases.

So, waiting for an indoor visit with a large crowd this weekend will undoubtedly help you prevent the spread of the virus. In many states, crowds are limited to less than 100, or 50, or even 10, and some have closed their bars again.

Wear this mask

There has been a very mixed exchange of messages about whether your mask protects against the transmission or capture of Covid-19, with the World Health Organization (WHO) not initially recommending the use of face masks. In the United States, the issue has also become politicized – President Trump is never photographed wearing one and was reluctant to tell Americans to do so.

But the tide is turning. Health experts agree that masks are useful, especially when a virus is prevalent in the community. The WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now proposing the use of a mask in public places.

Several studies show that the use of face masks is effective, but these have not yet been evaluated by peers and there is simply no evidence of how successful they were in this pandemic.

Nevertheless, it has been pointed out over and over again that some Asian countries are more likely to respond in infectious respiratory diseases have extensive mask use in their populations, a practice that studies show that they helped prevent transmission during the SARS epidemic in 2003. SARS is a respiratory disease also caused by a type of corona.

Apart from Asia, Germany was one of the fastest-growing countries to adopt mandatory nationwide mask use, while much of the world was still discussing its effectiveness. There are many reasons for Germany’s success in keeping its mortality rate low and slowing its infections, but at least part of its success is due to wear and tear on face masks.

Even Trump’s most loyal supporters, including Vice President Mike Pence, are starting to wear faces. Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday ordered most people in the state to hide from the public, as the state experience is one of the worst increases in the country in terms of infection numbers. Other states, such as California, have also issued public service announcements encouraging people to wear them.

Even if your state has not made the mask mandatory, if you know there are cases in your community, you could wear one. There are even easy ways to make them yourself.

Try it if you think you should

At the beginning of the epidemic, it was almost impossible to get tested in the US unless you were hospitalized. That has changed, and while there may be obstacles, testing is more affordable than ever.

President Trump has made the unwarranted argument that the country needs to reduce testing in order to maintain the numbers of its cases. The WHO reiterated that testing is the key to keeping the virus under control. Parts that have had some of the most successful responses – South Korea, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand and Australia – have, among other things, tried everything at a high rate.

The CDC’s advice is that if you have symptoms, you should call your doctor and ask if a test is recommended. Even some asymptomatic individuals should be tested in some specific cases.

As in Florida, for example, the White House Coronation Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birks, urged all Florida residents who have attended mass rallies over the past four weeks to be tested, even if they show no symptoms.

Quarantine when requested (and sometimes even when you are not)

Extensive testing goes hand in hand with efficient tracking, tracking and quarantine systems.

The idea is that anyone who has recently come in contact with an infected person will be notified by authorities and asked to quarantine, usually for 14 days. This means that if you are infected, even if you have no symptoms, you will probably not transmit it to anyone outside your home.

How to celebrate a fun fourth of July at home

The United States as a whole is struggling to acquire several contact trackers to run an efficient system, as have some other countries, including the United Kingdom. The CDC aims to have 30 contact trackers for every 100,000 people in the country.

According to Nefron Research, an independent healthcare research company that monitors state-of-the-art contacts, only six states and the District of Columbia have exceeded this limit. They are: Utah (37), South Dakota (39), New York (49), North Dakota (46), Nebraska (38), Massachusetts (36) and District of Columbia (42). Any other state is not served, which means that cases may not be detected.

This is particularly worrying for eight states that are hotspots for Covid-19: Nevada (13), Florida (7), Arizona (5), Idaho (14), Texas (11), Tennessee (9), Georgia (2). and South Carolina (8).

If your state has not yet established an effective contact tracking system, there is no reason why you should not be able to request a test if you suspect that you may have come in contact with an infected person.

In the meantime, it may make sense to keep your plans until the fourth of July and continue to socialize until the US controls the virus.

Jacqueline Howard and CNN’s Natalie Croker contributed to this report.

Hong Kong’s security law could have a dramatic effect on press freedom

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Hong Kong's security law could have a dramatic effect on press freedom

In what was once considered a safe haven for free speech for local and foreign news organizations operating in the region, journalists and their sources are becoming increasingly wary that as China becomes more rigid in Hong Kong, they could be prosecuted.

The new law applies to any person in Hong Kong, both locals and foreigners. Criminalizes actions such as calling for Hong Kong independence or cooperating with a foreign entity “To incite hatred” towards the Chinese government. A new enforcement committee will strengthen the management of Hong Kong-based NGOs and the media. Police will also have new powers to search stores, intercept suspects and order individuals to “delete information or provide assistance”.
Article 4 of the law stipulates that “the freedoms of speech, of the press, of the press, of the cooperative, of the assembly, of the procession and of the demonstration shall be protected.” But it also criminalizes the leak of “state secrets,” an indefinite term commonly used in China to cover a range of issues that are considered to be in the national interest and have been used in the past to imprison journalists such as Gao Yu in the mainland. This could prevent both journalists and sources from reporting or collaborating on stories related to government affairs.

Hong Kong holds a unique position in the region as it hosts the only free press in any region or territory managed by the Chinese government. However, there is no clear guidance on what the new safety law means for the city’s long-standing media community.

Intentional ambiguity

The fact that the legislation does not have specific details is not an omission, according to experts such as Sophie Richardson, China’s Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“This law is so vague and so exaggerated that it could possibly apply to almost any kind of behavior or speech, and that is exactly the goal of the Chinese government: Everyone wants to start and think, ‘Wait a minute, is this repression?’ Oh wait a minute, is this a collision? “Richardson said.

The indefinite nature of the law will lead to this censorship, which may be exactly what Beijing wants, said Steven Butler, director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

“The Chinese Communist Party can achieve what it wants to achieve without ever having to enforce the law,” he said.

Both Butler and Richardson said the new law could align Hong Kong with the way the media are treated in China, one of the worst countries in the world for press freedom. According to Reporters Without Borders and where self-censorship is common.

Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam has argued that it will not affect freedom of speech, which is enshrined in the city’s 1997 de facto constitution called the Basic Law. But the new law could replace such protections, Butler said.

When asked by CNN in a press conference on Wednesday whether people would be allowed to criticize the new law, Lam said: “If people, including journalists from CNN, fulfill their role and feel that something is wrong and want to criticize, then I don’t do it see why this would be a crime under this law. “

But he warned, “If there is more, if you are involved in the organization or collusion, that is another matter. It is a matter of evidence and law.”

Disastrous consequences;

Freedom of the press in Hong Kong has come under pressure in recent years, Butler said, adding that journalists covering demonstrations in favor of democracy in the city have been targeted by police.

In 2018, the Financial Times news editor in Asia, Victor Mallet, was denied the usual extension of his visa, months after overseeing a debate at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, in which an independence activist participated.

For journalists who are citizens of Hong Kong, the consequences of violating the new law could be dire. They can be tried behind closed doors and sentenced to life in prison. Those found guilty of involvement in or aiding and abetting crimes may also face between three and 10 years in prison.

Hong Kong authorities have not outlined how the new media law enforcement committee will influence foreign journalists, who – unlike their counterparts in mainland China – do not need special journalistic views.

China is attacking the United States with new restrictions on the media as tensions rise
These views on foreign journalists in mainland China are being closely monitored and the government has in the past journalists fired, including about a dozen recently from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Then there are sources and interview topics, many of which are likely to be even more cautious to talk to the media – something journalists in mainland China are already facing, said Richardson of HRW.

Butler, in the CPJ, said in recent days that journalists had already been called from sources and were asking for an interview to delete previous articles or communications with sources that could be considered provocative.

CNN, which has a large office in the city, spoke with sources who have expressed their reluctance to participate in interviews. Within hours of the bill being approved, sources called for the previous WhatsApp chats to be deleted and expressed their concern about articles about the law.

Waiting for “test” cases

Butler and Richardson said it was only a matter of time before there was a “trial” where a journalist would be tried under the new law.

“I would not be surprised if some journalists end up being prosecuted under this law at some point in the not-too-distant future,” Richardson said.

For now, news organizations and proponents of press freedom can only try pushes the Hong Kong government.

Security law could hurt Hong Kong as a global business hub

“Hong Kong has been a leader in supporting the rights of the free press in Asia for decades and it is important that it continues to do so, especially given the treatment of members of the independent press in mainland China and the global nature of the corona pandemic,” a spokesman said. of the New York Times on CNN Business, adding that he is closely monitoring the situation.

Butler said he hoped Hong Kong’s position as a financial center and an important Asian gateway for Western companies would protect press freedoms.

“You can’t have an international financial center without freedom of speech and the press,” he said.

– Jessie Yeung, Ivan Watson and James Griffiths contributed to this article.

New York Times: New US memo highlights gaps in information reports on Russian generosity

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New York Times: New US memo highlights gaps in information reports on Russian generosity

Citing three officials, the paper said the National Intelligence Council, headed by National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe, wrote the two-and-a-half-page note, which is dated Wednesday – just days after the first mentionted last week on the knowledge of secret service employees about the generosity and subsequent inaction of the White House.

Officials told the Times that the timetable and key points of the memorandum, which is said to contain no new details, implied that it was aimed at strengthening the government’s efforts to defend that it remains silent on the news. Many former national security officials said in the document that the display of the note indicated that it may have been influenced by political intentions.

The CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center had assessed with “moderate confidence” that a unit of the Russian military intelligence service GRU had offered the money, two of the officials informed about the content of the note in the document.

However, the National Security Service and other members of the intelligence community concluded that they did not have sufficient evidence to reach this level of certainty and, therefore, had less confidence in the identification, the two officials told the newspaper. A third official familiar with the note told the Times that the CIA’s level of confidence in the conclusion was higher than that of other services.

A DNI spokesman declined to comment. CNN also reached out to the CIA.

News of the memo follows White House denials that President Donald Trump was “personally informed” of reports that Russia had offered money to Taliban fighters to kill US troops in Afghanistan.
However, intelligence was included in one of Trump’s daily news updates sometime in the spring, according to a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the latest information. And a source familiar with the situation told CNN that the White House was given such information in early 2019.
CNN also reported on Wednesday that Trump’s resistance to information warnings about Russia led the national security team, including those who gave the Daily Brief to the President, to inform him orally less often about threats related to Russia in the United States. According to many former administration officials who briefed Trump, he was present for updates and prepared documents for his information.

The Times reported on Friday that the memo was supposed to cross-reference the information behind the services’ findings. This included reports of meetings between Russian military intelligence officials and leaders of criminal networks linked to the Taliban, a GRU account that transfers money to the network and arrests of members of the lower echelons that confirm Russia’s use of money to incite such assassinations.

The two officials who elaborated on the note, however, told the Times that the note underscored the lack of evidence of what exactly GRU officials and network leaders said during the meetings – and therefore could not be sure. that Russia has explicitly extended donations for the deaths of American soldiers.

He also stressed that the NSA did not have surveillance videos on the accounts of the detained members who had been arrested or clear evidence that the money transferred should be paid for the money, officials told the Times.

The note also states that the Defense Intelligence Service did not have any information directly linking the alleged offers with the Kremlin, officials told the newspaper.