Monday Sunrise Briefing: Is a global tax a path to fairness?

Here are three news events - a global corporate tax deal, elections, and a California gun rights decision - from this past weekend (while you may have been harvesting green beans, visiting a national park, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

Henry Nicholls/Pool Photo via AP
Group of Seven finance ministers and other officials gather for a photo at Lancaster House in London, Saturday, June 5, 2021. The officials agreed to a new minimum corporate tax.

Some of the biggest democracies agreed Saturday on the first step toward a fairer global tax system. The Group of Seven finance ministers are backing a global minimum corporate tax of at least 15% to deter multinational companies from dodging taxes by stashing profits in countries with lower rates. The tax deal has two main parts. The first lets countries tax the profits earned by big companies (such as Google, Facebook, Amazon) that have no physical presence in a country but have substantial sales. The other key part of the proposal is for countries to tax their home companies' overseas profits at a rate of at least 15%. For it to work, more countries would need to sign on, and many details are yet to be ironed out. A G20 summit in Venice next month could be the next stage of progress.

2. Democratic tests in Peru, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Mexican and Peruvian voters went to the polls Sunday against the backdrop of the pandemic-induced economic slowdown and anger over the handling of the health crisis. Preliminary results in Peru’s presidential election showed Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the former president, with a slight lead. She’s a conservative former congresswoman who promised a $2,500 one-time payment to each family with at least one COVID-19 victim. But the race is too close to call. The urban votes are mostly counted, but the rural votes are still coming in where Pedro Castillo, a former school teacher and political novice from a Socialist party, has strong support.

In Mexico, the midterm congressional elections were seen as a referendum on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s presidency. Initial results Sunday night suggest his party lost ground in the lower house of congress. Voters are also choosing 15 state governorships and thousands of mayorships. 

Meanwhile, in Nicaragua, democratic principles continued to be undermined. On Saturday, another opposition figure was arrested, the latest in a series of moves by President Daniel Ortega to prevent candidates from running against him in his third consecutive re-election bid. 

3. California safer? A federal judge has overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, calling it a “failed experiment” that violates the Second Amendment, the constitutional right to bear arms. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled on Friday that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives Californians of weapons allowed in most other states. California is one of seven states, plus Washington, D.C., that ban assault weapons. California is by far the most regulated state in America when it comes to restricting the sale, use, and ownership of guns. Gov. Gavin Newsom condemned the decision, calling it “a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period."

REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
Costa Rica's Leilani McGonagle at the ISA World Surfing Games in Tamanique, El Salvador, June 5, 2021. The contest was the final qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics.

Look Ahead

TUESDAY, June 8

Democracy watch. Voters in New Jersey and Virginia are scheduled to vote in gubernatorial primaries today.  These are the only two states voting for governors in odd years after a presidential election.

Global justice watch. A United Nations court delivers its verdict in the appeal by former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic against his convictions for genocide and other crimes for masterminding atrocities throughout the Bosnian war.

Racial reckoning. The Supreme Court of Virginia is scheduled to hear arguments in the legal challenges to a plan to take down a 130-year-old statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in downtown Richmond.

WEDNESDAY, June 9

Politics of transparency. A Moscow court holds a hearing on a petition to permanently outlaw Alexei Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption. The case is part of a sweeping crackdown on Mr. Navalny, his allies, and his political infrastructure.

Best of Country. The 2021 CMT Music Awards are scheduled to be held in Nashville, Tennessee, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Carrie Underwood, Gladys Knight, Chris Stapleton, and Luke Bryan are expected to perform.

THURSDAY, June 10

Sunrise sky show. The moon will glide in front of the sun early Thursday morning, resulting in a partial solar eclipse visible from parts of North America and Europe.

FRIDAY, June 11

Best of European soccer. The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, delayed for a year, is scheduled to begin in Rome with Turkey vs. Italy. The month-long tournament pits teams from 24 countries. 

Leadership summit. Britain hosts the G7 Summit (Germany, Italy, Canada, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) leaders in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, June 11-13. It will be President Joe Biden’s first G7 summit and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s last.

Honoring creative excellence. The 2021 Pulitzer prizes for journalism, books, drama, and music are scheduled to be announced at 1 p.m. E.T., via video stream at Pulitzer.org.

Generosity Watch

Since 1771, the phrase “to give the shirt off your back” to someone was considered the height of generosity. The 2021 update is to “give the shoes off your feet.”

Daverius Peters arrived at his high school graduation in Boutte, La. on May 19 wearing black pants, white dress shirt, a tie, and black leather sneakers under his graduation gown. But a school matron at the entrance said his shoes didn’t pass the dress code. Mr. Peters looked around anxiously and spotted a teacher he knew: John Butler, who was there to watch his daughter graduate. But Mr. Butler also failed to persuade the dress code enforcer. So, he slipped off his own shoes and gave them to Mr. Peters (size 9). 

“I wasn’t surprised because Mr. Butler is that type of person,” Mr. Peters told the Washington Post. “At school, if you’re having a bad day, he’ll be the one to take you out of class, walk around the school with you and talk to you.”

Mr Peters shuffled across the stage in Mr. Butler’s size 11s and got his diploma.“Our young Black men need good role models and mentors like Mr. Butler,” Mr. Peter’s mom said later. 

The Hahnville High School says it’s reviewing its graduation dress code policies. 

Hidden Gem

Courtesy of Margaret Jankowski
Students in a 2013 sewing class test their new skills on a suite of machines donated by The Sewing Machine Project to a community center in New Orleans. So far, the project has shipped 3,350 machines to places in the U.S. and abroad.

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

Sew it goes: The Sewing Machine Project stitches lives back together

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about why the U.S. job outlook for new college graduates is looking up.

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

  1. Critical race theory: Who gets to decide what is history?
  2. An Indigenous children’s grave unearths Canada’s grim history
  3. In polarizing election, Peru hears echoes of the past
  4. A couch is not a home: Where the hidden homeless get housing vouchers
  5. How Venetian artisans marry tradition and innovation

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