Monday Sunrise Briefing: A cautious, global economic reawakening

Staff is seen arriving at Shanghai Disney Resort as the Shanghai Disneyland theme park prepared to reopen Monday following a shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, in Shanghai, China, May 11, 2020.

Around the world, nations continued the struggle to balance public and economic health. In the U.S., 45 states eased stay-at-home restrictions even as 15 of those states saw a rise in COVID-19 cases. In France and the Netherlands, primary schools are reopening this week. In China, the Shanghai Disneyland theme park reopened Monday. Some countries that have seen success in battling coronavirus - South Korea, China, and Germany - are now seeing small regional upticks in cases. Seoul re-closed all bars and nightclubs. In Britain, the prime minister announced Sunday a modest easing of its lockdown. In Washington, three members of the Trump administration's coronavirus task force are now in self-quarantine, while on TV news shows Sunday, some of the president's economic advisers emphasized the importance of getting more businesses opened.

2. A blueprint for the return of sports? On Saturday, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts promotion company, held the first live, televised sporting event in the U.S. in two months. The event in Jacksonville, Florida, was conducted with a list of health and safety protocols, including no fans, social distancing, and testing of athletes and trainers. Some, including President Trump, hailed it as a model for other pro sports. Others say it failed to practice the safety measures it publicized. “If this was your system working as designed, your system is bogus,” tweeted Zachary Binney, an adjunct instructor of epidemiology at Emory University. NASCAR plans to return to the track (without spectators) next Sunday at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. And Major League Baseball will tell team owners on Monday about a plan that starts a shortened season in July, reports The Wall Street Journal. 

3. A creative Mother’s Day. On Sunday, sons and daughters around the world embraced the challenge of celebrating mom at a distance. They leaned on technology, neighbors, and inspiration. In Mexico, the mariachi serenades were delivered to mom by video - or a drive by. In New Canaan, Connecticut, Anna Francese Gass, her husband, and three children brought daffodil and tulip bulbs to her mom’s nearby home. Mom supervised from the window while they planted them in her flower bed. Willie Greer lives in Memphis so he enlisted his mom’s neighbor in Dallas to bake a pecan pie (her favorite) and deliver it. Then, he and his siblings planned to make a video of them singing “A Mother’s Love” by Gena Hill. “I’m pretty sure this is the part where my mom cries her eyes out,” said Mr. Greer. 

Maksim Bogodvid / Sputnik via AP
WWII veteran Rustam Khabibulin and his wife Zulfa watch a parade organized in his honor Saturday outside his house on the 75th anniversary of Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in WWII, in Kazan, Russia.

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, May 11, 2020, sunrise briefing.

Here are three news events from this past weekend (while you may have been spelunking, mulching, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

Look Ahead

Monday, May 11

Justice via live audio. The U.S. Supreme Court continues to hold hearings this week via conference call. Today, the justices are scheduled to hear a case about exemptions for religious employers in discrimination lawsuits. On Tuesday, a case about accessing President Trump’s financial records is expected. On Wednesday, the court hears arguments about casting Electoral College ballots.

Tuesday, May 12

An in-person primary. Nebraska votes today, the first in-person statewide presidential primary since the controversial April 7 vote in Wisconsin. A record number of mail-in ballots have been requested. 

Window on November? The political fight to fill a vacant House seat in California is getting national attention because Republican Mike Garcia is leading his rival, Democrat Christy Smith, in the polls. For two decades, the seat has gone to a Democrat.  

Wednesday, May 13

A new-old government. Cleared last week by Israel’s Supreme Court to form a new government, despite facing charges for fraud and bribery, Benjamin Netanyahu embarks on a fourth consecutive term as prime minister. His corruption trial is scheduled for May 24. 

Friday, May 15

Gratitude. The annual Peace Officers Memorial Day pays tribute to law enforcement officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. On Wednesday, the names 307 police officers were set to be engraved on National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall in Washington, D.C..

Graduation celebration. To honor the 2020 grads who won't get to don caps and gowns due to the pandemic, Facebook is hosting an event with Oprah Winfrey, Miley Cyrus, and Lil Nas X to celebrate students Friday at 2 p.m. E.T. on Facebook Watch.

Saturday, May 16

More graduation celebration. Former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama plan to give an address as part of a two-hour virtual commencement ceremony for HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) graduates who have had their traditional ceremonies canceled.

Gratitude for patriotic service. The U.S. Armed Forces Day (established in 1950) honors all active members of the five military branches (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard). It’s distinct from Memorial Day (honoring deceased military service members) or Veteran’s Day, (honoring living or deceased military service members).   

Integrity Watch

Albuquerque Police Department
Recognition for a right decision: José Nuñez Romaniz (center) was presented with a $500 check, among other things, by Albuquerque Police Chief Mike Geier and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller on Thursday, May 7, 2020.

What would you do if you found a bag full of $135,000 in cash?

Nineteen-year-old José Nuñez Romaniz may have been tempted to take the money left next to a Wells Fargo ATM machine in Albuquerque, New Mexico. But, then, he thought about his mom. 

“What she would do if I came home with the money and what she would do with her chancla,” he told KRQE-TV in Albuquerque with a laugh. In other words, she'd have greeted him with a flipflop to the side of his head. She'd taught him right from wrong.

José called the bank and the police. It turns out a bank contractor had failed to fill the ATM and left the cash behind. 

And integrity has its own rewards. For making the right choice, José was given a $500 check by PNM (New Mexico's public utility company), a local restaurant chain, El Patron, also gave him $500 and a gift card, and the local ESPN radio station gave Jose and his family University of New Mexico football season tickets, and a signed Brian Urlacher football.

“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. José is studying criminal justice at Central New Mexico Community College and wants to pursue a career in law enforcement. He's off to a good start.

Hidden gem

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

Another effect of the coronavirus crisis: Forgiveness

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about grandmothers taking on Poland's right-wing government. 

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

  1. The virus isn’t partisan. But it’s intensifying America’s red-blue divide.
  2. A modern posse shot Ahmaud Arbery. Has stand your ground gone too far?
  3. Reopen economy with virus-immune workers? It’s a maybe.
  4. Is this crisis giving capitalism a moral nudge?
  5. Milk, bread, and comfort at Vermont’s country stores

Editor’s note: As a public service, all our coronavirus coverage is free. No paywall.

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