5 things to know for July 14: Covid-19, stimulus, Hong Kong, Roger Stone, in memoriam


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Large cities around the world are shrinking as coronavirus cases continue to climb. Florida alone has more cases than all but eight, and nearly one in 100 Americans has now tested positive for the virus. India could reach 1 million cases by the end of the week, a devastating surge that country experts attribute to a hasty reopening. And there could be more bad news on the horizon: the British Academy of Medical Sciences is warning countries to prepare for a winter peak in Covid-19. He points out that people spend more time indoors in winter, in poorly ventilated areas. In addition, health care systems are generally more taxed during the winter months due to seasonal illnesses. Speaking of taxed medical systems, the limited and delayed deployment of the Defense Production Act in the United States has resulted in an ongoing shortage of personal protective equipment on the front lines. Oh, and that post-Covid immunity that some people seem to rely on? A new study suggests it could last just a few months.

2. Stimulus

Senate GOP leaders and senior administration officials are preparing a new coronavirus recovery bill, but their Democratic counterparts are unlikely to like what they serve. Republican lawmakers said their plan should include financial incentives to push schools to reopen and would also protect healthcare workers and businesses from coronavirus lawsuits. Protecting against liability is essential, according to the majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, but Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said that it will remove responsibility from employers and institutions. The package is expected to cost around $ 1.3 trillion and will be rolled out next week. However, both sides are skeptical of reaching a bipartisan agreement before Congress adjourns for its summer break in August.

3. Hong Kong

When Beijing implemented its new security law in Hong Kong two weeks ago, authorities assured that it would only affect a small handful of citizens. However, China is now saying that the opposition elections this weekend in Hong Kong may have been illegal under the new security law, which means that the 600,000 or more voters who participated could have violated. The government has declared that the organizers of the opposition primary are trying to stage “a serious provocation of the current electoral system” by obtaining a parliamentary majority and, with it, significant legislative power. To critics, the announcement is an example of how China can easily move goal posts to take advantage of the new law, which has caused widespread concern and unrest.

4. Roger Stone

President Trump’s longtime political confidant Roger Stone said he did not protect the president from legal consequences in exchange for a commutation. Stone was convicted in November of seven counts – including lying to Congress, falsifying witnesses and obstructing the work of a congressional committee – in the investigation of the former special advisor Robert Mueller on Russia. Prosecutors said Stone had intentionally misled Congress on several issues for the sake of protecting the president. President Trump commuted his sentence on Friday, saving Stone from months in prison. The move raised political opponents and Mueller himself, who wrote an editorial defending Stone’s lawsuits against his office and pointing out that he is still a convicted criminal.

5. In memory

It has been an immensely sad day in the entertainment industry. The body of “Glee” star Naya Rivera was found in a lake in California a few days after his disappearance while he was sailing with his son. Authorities now say the 33-year-old actress used the last of her strength to hoist her 4-year-old child on her rental boat, saving him before his death. Meanwhile, Grant Imahara, host of “Mythbusters” and “White Rabbit Project”, has died, according to Discovery Channel; he was 49 years old. Nicole Thea, a 24-year-old YouTube star who is eight months pregnant, also died with her unborn son. And Hollywood is also mourning the loss of actress Kelly Preston, wife of John Travolta, who died this weekend after a two-year battle with breast cancer.


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