Monday Sunrise Briefing: Women seeking justice fill the streets

REUTERS/Mariana Greif
A protest against sexual exploitation and the trafficking of women in front of the Parliament building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 8, 2020, was one of many held on International Women's Day.

Challenging gender inequality - seen in less pay, domestic violence, and injustice - women marched in cities around the world Sunday. In Pakistan, rallies were held nationwide, despite legal attempts to stop them.  But Islamists pelted marchers with stones and shoes in Pakistan’s capital. One of the largest demonstrations occurred in Santiago, Chile, where some 125,000 people flooded the streets with dancing, music, and demands for equality. “Enough impunity!” chanted French activists, who focused on France’s unusually high rate of women killed by their husbands. At a school in East London, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, urged daily respect. “For young men ... you have your mothers, sisters, girlfriends, friends in your life - protect them. Make sure they are feeling valued and safe,” she said.

Republican Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona, who was the first U.S. female fighter pilot to fly in combat, recently co-sponsored a bipartisan paid family leave bill and championed historic sexual assault reforms in the military. “I have spent my life fighting stereotypes about what all women could or should do,” she wrote in a Sunday oped for Fox News, adding that in America “we are all created equal and can achieve all we can without limits being placed on us.”

2. Civil liberties tested in Europe. Italy took a page from China’s COVID-19 playbook Sunday, ordering a lockdown of 16 million people - more than a quarter of its population - for nearly a month. Since the outbreak, it was the first major attempt by a democracy to curb the civil liberties of a large swath of the population. The Washington Post reported that Sunday “provided the first glimpse of a coronavirus lockdown, European-style — a test of how the open-borders spirit of this continent might change.”  Areas under lockdown include Milan, Italy's financial hub and Venice. The extraordinary measures will be in place until April 3.

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, March 9, 2020, sunrise briefing.

Here are three news events from this past weekend (while you may have been listening to the new Dixie Chicks song, hiking, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

Stock markets in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe tumbled Monday as oil prices fell amid squabbling by oil producing nations and concerns that the global economy is slowing. U.S. stock market futures were also down.  

3. Portraits of resilience. Members of Mount Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, gathered Sunday for a defiant and gratitude-filled “worship in the rubble” service. It was held in a tent next to the ruins of their church, which was damaged by one of six tornadoes that ripped through the area this past Tuesday. “God is good. He was the conductor on that train and he went around me,” said Bobbie Harris, who lost her rental home, her job, and her church, the Associated Press reported. Pastor Jacques Boyd told those gathered that the church was so much more than the building behind him. “Now that the brick and mortar is gone, do you still love this community?”  The choir raised their hands and voices in a boisterous response.

SpaceX via Instagram
Trustworthy transport: The SpaceX Falcon launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., March 6, 2020, with supplies for the International Space Station. It's the 20th ISS delivery, and minutes later the first-stage booster landed safely back at Cape Canaveral for the 50th time.


Look Ahead

Monday, March 9

Seeking universal justice: The trial begins in a Dutch court for three Russians and a Ukrainian charged with the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The flight was shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine killing all 298 passengers and crew.

Best in College Round Ball: The 32 NCAA conference basketball tournaments get underway this week to see who qualifies on “Selection Sunday,” March 15, the official start of “March Madness.”

Gender justice: Women in Mexico plan to strike as part of a protest against gender violence. In 2017, women staged a similar global strike.

Tuesday, March 10

Super Tuesday, Round II: Will “Joementum” continue or will Bernie bounce back? Six states (Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington) hold primary votes today. Oh yes, the crucial swing state of Michigan will be voting too. 

To Nashville, With Love: Country music stars are holding a benefit concern for victims of the tornadoes that swept through Tennessee last week. Among the performers: Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow, and many more.

Wednesday, March 11

#MeToo justice: Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein faces a sentencing hearing after being found guilty of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree with one woman and rape in the third degree with another. He faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 25 years in prison.

Thursday, March 12

Headcount for democracy: U.S. households start receiving census forms with info about how to respond to the census online, by phone, or by mail. Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the headcount determines congressional representation, steers hundreds of billions in federal funding, and provides data that will impact communities for the next decade.

Saturday, March 14

International Pi Day: Math enthusiasts celebrate the beauty and order of a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, approximately equal to 3.1415…

Generosity Watch

Malcolm Coleman via Facebook
Malcolm Coleman works at Wendy's in Columbia, South Carolina. His home was ravaged by fire last year. Some students at the University of South Carolina are fundraising to help him rebuild.

Malcolm Coleman endears himself to many of the students at the University of South Carolina. He works a late shift, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., in Columbia, and knows his customers. “Walking into Wendy’s, you’ll hear Malcolm just calling people by name in line before they even order.... He has this really strange ability to, if he talks to you twice, he’ll remember your name and your order,” third-year finance and risk management student Robert Caldaroni told The Daily Gamecock.

Mr. Caldaroni learned that Mr. Coleman and his mother had lost their home to fire. He enlisted his Delta Sigma Pi frat mates to make a video and set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to rebuild the Coleman’s house. In the past month, they’ve raised nearly $40,000 of the $75,000 goal. Mr. Coleman told CBS News he’s overwhelmed with gratitude for “these beautiful acts of kindness.

“Working in fast food isn’t easy,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “Sometimes you feel completely disregarded as a person…. Thank you all ever so much for loving me for me and for valuing all that I do.”

Hidden gem

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:

When the friend who has your back is a horse

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about whether the charter school revolution in education has run its course. 

Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday's subscription-only Daily Edition:

  1. With Elizabeth Warren out, women voters ask: ‘What now?’
  2. Caught in the middle: How Mexico became Trump’s wall
  3. ‘The heart of Australia’: Fires are out, but how to save the bush?
  4. Why your next lithium battery might come from the US
  5. Drawing on his roots, a rock guitarist finds a new rhythm in Nashville

This is a beta test - an experiment with an early Monday morning news update. Please give us your feedback via the link below and let us know what you think. Thank you!

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