The rising tension at play in the U.S. - and around the globe - is illustrated by two weekend facts: 1. Disney’s Magic Kingdom opened Saturday in Florida (at reduced capacity). 2. Florida hit a national record Sunday for the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases. And President Donald Trump wore a mask in public for the first time Saturday. The president has reportedly said privately that a mask could make him look weak and focus attention on the COVID-19 crisis instead of economic recovery. But a national mask mandate could prevent both new lockdowns and a 5 percent drop in the U.S. economy, according to a recent Goldman Sachs report. A new wave of infections in Eastern Europe led to riots over possible renewed lockdowns in Serbia, mandatory face masks in Croatia, and travel bans or quarantines imposed by Hungary. In South Africa, a ban on alcohol sales and a nightly curfew were enacted Sunday with the intent to reduce the number of hospital patients with non-COVID-19 related injuries.
2. Defending democracy. High voter turnout in Poland and Hong Kong Sunday suggest an engaged population, especially when democratic freedoms are threatened. In Poland, the conservative, populist incumbent, President Andrzej Duda narrowly defeated a challenge by the liberal, pro-Europe mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski, officials said Monday. In Hong Kong, hundreds of thousands participated in a symbolic protest vote against tough new national security laws imposed by Beijing. The unofficial poll was to select the strongest pro-democracy candidates to contest Legislative Council elections in September. But it was primarily intended to send a message. "A high turnout will send a very strong signal to the international community that we Hong Kongers never give up," Sunny Cheung, told Reuters. Adding that, despite the risk of prison under the new security law, “we still support democracy and freedom."
Monday, July 13
Leadership summit. Girl Up, a movement to advance girls' skills, rights, and opportunities to be leaders, hosts a three-day virtual global summit to bring together those committed to gender equality. The free online event begins today, including speakers such as Meghan Markle and Michelle Obama.
Tuesday, July 14
A month of Mars. The first of three Mars missions is scheduled to launch today when the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) embarks on its first-ever interplanetary effort, the Hope Mars mission. The Hope craft is designed to study the Red Planet's atmosphere, weather, and climate from above. China and NASA also have Mars missions planned to lift off this month.
Curb the cops? The Berkeley City Council plans to vote on a proposal to prohibit the city’s police officers from conducting traffic stops and shift that responsibility to public works officials. The novel plan may be a first in the U.S.
Localized democracy. Voters participate in congressional primaries in Maine, and primary runoffs in Alabama and Texas. In Maine, three Democrats face off to see who runs against Republican Sen. Susan Collins in November. In Alabama, the Republican Senate runoff is between former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former football coach Tommy Tuberville.
Revolutionary ideas. Bastille Day celebrates the populist seizure of power from French tyrannical rule in 1789. The uprising fostered the French Revolution and a culture of civil disobedience. Today, it’s typically celebrated with fireworks and parades.
A book from Donald Trump's niece. Licensed clinical psychologist, Mary Trump, has written her own Trump tell-all, "Too Much and Never Enough." It scheduled to be released today.
Wednesday, July 15
Different reopening paths. President Donald Trump is due to visit Atlanta and may weigh in on a clash between Atlanta's mayor and Georgia's governor over the pace of reopening and the wearing of masks.
Another streaming service. NBCUniversal is set to launch Peacock, a streaming service with sitcoms such as "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation," and "Saved By The Bell." There have also been promises of a "Friends" reunion.
It’s a sign of our times that a Texas neighborhood would throw a surprise party for the UPS driver.
We’ve put up heart signs and sung from balconies to honor health care workers. We’ve left big tips for essential workers ranging from grocery shoppers to fast food servers. So, in that respect, it’s not that unusual that Roosevelt Petty Jr., known to everyone as “Rosie,” should be thanked by customers. But this was a little different. Rosie didn’t just become indispensable since the pandemic. This outpouring reflects the fact that he’s spent nearly 40 years of graciously delivering packages - and generous smiles.
On July 9, families in the Waterton neighborhood in Whitehouse, Texas, gathered on their front lawns holding signs as a surprise event for Mr. Petty, who arrived driving his regular route. He was given a plaque for “going above and beyond” as well as some small gifts and heartfelt applause for his service. “You just want to break down and cry but then you look and you think about how easy this job has been made by the people here in Whitehouse,” Mr. Petty told KLTV-News in Tyler, Texas. “ It really makes you feel good that people give back what you’ve tried to give to them. I’ve tried to give nothing but love and I’m receiving love today and I really appreciate the people here in Whitehouse.”
Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:
In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about why the plans for reopening schools in North America are all over the map.
Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday's subscription-only Daily Edition:
- ‘Law School 101’: How Supreme Court ended its term
- Religious liberty’s big week at the Supreme Court
- War in Libya? Why two US allies are on a collision course.
- ‘I can’t keep this up much longer’: Parents struggle with pandemic strain
- People flocking to Cape Cod – but for a different kind of vacation
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