Amid racial protests and a pandemic, this July Fourth weekend offered two views of U.S. history - and its future. For most Americans, traditional celebrations were muted as confirmed COVID-19 cases rose in 40 states. Smaller than normal crowds gathered to watch fireworks at the National Mall in D.C.. President Donald Trump vowed to protect the nation’s heritage from leftists, looters, and agitators. “"We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms. We will safeguard our values, traditions, customs, and beliefs," Mr. Trump said Saturday, July 4, at the White House, echoing themes from the previous night at Mount Rushmore.
His Democratic rival, Joe Biden, attended no Independence Day events, but issued a message describing American history as a “constant push and pull between two parts of our character, the idea that all men and women — all people — are created equal and the racism that has torn us apart....We have a chance to rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country … it's a battle that we can - and we will - win if we act together.
2. A safer world? A fire at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility could slow the enrichment of uranium, Iran officials confirmed Sunday. Iran has long said its nuclear program is for peaceful energy generation. But the cause of the fire may have been a cyber attack, unnamed Iranian officials told Reuters. An article by Iran's state news agency IRNA suggested the possibility of sabotage by enemies, such as Israel and the United States. Both countries fear Iran is close to developing a nuclear weapon.
Why We Wrote This
Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, July 6, 2020, sunrise briefing.
Here are two news events from this past weekend (while you may have been watching fireworks, jet skiing, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.
The underground Natanz site is the country’s main uranium enrichment facility, and the destroyed building housed a new centrifuge assembly center built in 2018. A spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency said the damage would “possibly cause a delay in development and production of advanced centrifuge machines in the medium term.” The Natanz fire came less than a week after an explosion in an area east of Tehran that some analysts believe hides an underground tunnel system and missile production sites.
Tuesday, July 7
U.S. primaries revisited. Delaware (presidential) and New Jersey (presidential and state) hold primary elections, which were postponed earlier in the year.
Ringo’s birthday benefit concert. Celebrate with Ringo Starr by donating to the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and WaterAid. Among the many guest performers will be fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, as well as Joe Walsh, and Sheila E. The music begins at 8 p.m. ET, streaming on YouTube.
Wednesday, July 8
Relationship building. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is scheduled to meet with US President Donald Trump. The two are expected to celebrate the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement that replaced NAFTA.
Reimagining law enforcement. Minneapolis City Council members are scheduled to meet in a public hearing to discuss how to replace the police force in the wake of the George Floyd killing.
U.S. soccer returns. Major League Soccer opens with a month-long tournament in Orlando, Florida. The regular season continues after the tournament.
Saturday, July 11
A massacre remembered. A memorial service is scheduled for the 25th anniversary of the massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys at the Srebrenica enclave in Bosnia in 1995. The Monitor’s David Rohde won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for his reporting about this event.
Better than Tulsa? President Donald Trump plans an outdoor campaign rally in New Hampshire to be held at 8 p.m. at Portsmouth International Airport. Trump narrowly lost the state to Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
He could have let it slide. But he didn’t.
When a woman entered a San Diego Starbucks on June 22 without a face mask, barista Lenin Gutierrez told her he couldn’t serve her. San Diego County requires a mask of anyone doing business indoors. Amber Lynn Gilles left irate, but not before snapping a photo of Mr. Gutierrez. She posted his picture on Facebook in an attempt to shame him and Starbucks. That backfired. Instead, people praised Mr. Gutierrez for “doing the right thing.” Then, a stranger to both Mr. Gutierrez and Ms. Gillies, set up a GoFundMe page to collect tips for Mr. Gutierrez. And tips were collected. A lot of tips. At last count, more than $105,000 worth of gratitude has been sent to Mr. Gutierrez.
He told ABC-10 News in San Diego that he was grateful to donors from around the world for their generosity. Mr. Gutierrez said he plans to use the money to pursue his dreams of becoming a dancer.
Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:
In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about defunding the police, European style.
Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday's subscription-only Daily Edition:
- On America’s most political holiday, clashing visions are nothing new
- Germany’s recipe for lockdown: Reduced hours, not layoffs
- Conservation vs. copper: Minnesota town debates its future with a mine
- Coronavirus effect? For some small farms, it’s sales (video)
- As police face a public grilling, so do iconic cop shows
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