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|Defense secretary says coronavirus vaccine will be available within months, but experts skeptical
Pentagon leaders expressed strong confidence Thursday that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by January, and possibly as early as this fall — claims that were met with skepticism by scientific experts.
POSTED MAY 28, 2020 4:30 PM
|White House encourages hydroxychloroquine use for coronavirus again
Speaking during a press briefing on Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany strongly endorsed the “prophylactic” use of hydroxychloroquine: that is, to prevent contracting the coronavirus.
POSTED MAY 28, 2020 5:03 PM
|Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck had 18 previous internal complaints against him
The Minneapolis police officer who was filmed kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for several minutes even as he said “I can’t breathe” has previously been the subject of multiple complaints filed to the Minneapolis Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, it has emerged.Mr Chauvin, who has been fired along with the other three police officers who apprehended Mr Floyd, was reported to the division 18 times. According to a police summary, only two of the complaints were “closed with discipline”.
POSTED MAY 29, 2020 3:09 AM
|Long Island serial killer victim IDed 2 decades later
A woman whose skeletal remains were found along a suburban New York beach highway, in an area where body parts of 10 other people had been strewn, was identified as a Philadelphia escort who went missing two decades ago, police said Thursday. Suffolk County police said the woman previously known as “Jane Doe No. 6” was identified through genetic genealogy technology as Valerie Mack, who also went by Melissa Taylor and was last seen in 2000 near Atlantic City, New Jersey. Determining the victim's identity has brought clarity to a long-running Long Island mystery that attracted national headlines, was featured on true-crime TV shows and was the subject of a recent Netflix film, Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said.
POSTED MAY 28, 2020 2:13 PM
|Iran Guards warn US after receiving new combat vessels
Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Thursday warned the United States against its naval presence in the Gulf as they received 110 new combat vessels. "We announce today that wherever the Americans are, we are right next to them, and they will feel our presence even more in the near future," the Guards' navy chief Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said during a ceremony in southern Iran. Iran and the United States have appeared to be on the brink of an all-out confrontation twice in the past year.
POSTED MAY 28, 2020 9:15 AM
|Can you contract coronavirus from a surface or object?
The CDC says that it may be possible to contract COVID-19 by coming in contact with a surface or object that has the virus on it, but you're much more likely to get the coronavirus through person-to-person transmission.
POSTED MAY 29, 2020 6:48 PM
|Minneapolis mayor responds after night of protests and violence in wake of George Floyd's death
At a press conference on Thursday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said protests and unrest after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man seen on video pinned to the ground by the neck while being arrested by a white police officer, were the result of “built-up anger and sadness” in the black community over the past 400 years.
POSTED MAY 28, 2020 2:23 PM
|The reality of the 'new cold war' with China
It's a good time to be a China hawk. Beijing's new national security law for Hong Kong, the latest effort to neuter the region's promised autonomy, has rung alarm bells across the political spectrum about China's intentions. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already declared that the move would justify revoking the various special trade and financial agreements the United States has with the territory, and Biden advisers have announced that the presumptive Democratic nominee would impose even greater sanctions on China. While America's options for helping the people of Hong Kong are distinctly limited, that's unlikely to stop us from trying, even if an ineffectual move could backfire. The logic of confrontation appears to be taking over.It's important, though, to understand why.The "great unwinding" of America's economic entanglement with China has deep causes, and, more proximately, the novel coronavirus has revealed in stark terms how important it is from a national security perspective for the United States to reduce its outright dependence on the People's Republic. But that process need not lead to confrontation — indeed, it would be perfectly compatible with a policy of global retreat that would probably make China feel more secure.On the other side, the nature of China's regime has indeed been changing dramatically under Xi Jinping, becoming more nationalistic and repressive as well as less institutional, with power increasingly concentrated in a single leader's hands. But that process also need not lead to conflict — indeed, at the time of Nixon's opening to China, when Mao was in his final years, the communist country was far more insular and repressive, and its political system far more personalized, than it is today.What's truly different, and the necessary additional element that explains the "new cold war" that may be aborning, is the sheer scope of Chinese power. China has now grown sufficiently potent for it to reasonably expect to be able to shape the international order to its liking, and not merely thrive within it as it exists. That expectation would be alarming to the United States even if China were not increasingly repressive, and even if America had not allowed itself to be vulnerable to supply chain disruption.Consider the situation in Hong Kong. Imagine that China, instead of using a hammer on all visible nails, used softer tactics to woo Hong Kong's citizens over to a more complaisant stance, as it had been doing for years prior. Suppose, similarly, that rather than bullying Taiwan, Beijing put the bulk of its efforts into corrupting the island's political system — as, again, it has to some extent done. Suppose these efforts began to bear fruit, to the point that Taipei began to distance itself from Washington in an effort to avoid angering Beijing, and the prospect of reunification was in the air. Suppose that South Korea followed suit. Would the United States view these events with equanimity?Of course not. They would be obvious signs of dramatically weakened American clout in Asia. Moreover, they would materially weaken our military position in the case of a future confrontation with China. And that possibility could never be ruled out, even if China's regime at that moment were less-confrontational.Or consider the ongoing conflict with Europe over Huawei, China's 5G powerhouse. The United States is legitimately concerned for national security reasons about the prospect of a Chinese company becoming dominant in this area, because of the opportunities for espionage. But those concerns — along with the concerns about future Western dependence on Chinese technology in this area, as well as other areas like artificial intelligence — would obtain even if China were less-overtly truculent and bullying. After all, alarm bells were rung in the 1980s over increasing Japanese dominance in high technology, and Japan was an American ally with a pacifistic constitution. How could we not be more alarmed by the rise of a much larger China to something approaching peer-competitor status?In international affairs, intentions are important, but capabilities matter more. That's a tragic reality that Thucydides identified as a key cause of the ruinous Peloponnesian War, and that in modern times paved the way for World War I. The rise of China makes the United States more vulnerable — economically and militarily. We'd need to worry about those vulnerabilities even if China were more benevolent than it now appears, because there could be no guarantee that they would remain benevolent. Indeed, we're observing that transformation in China right now, and ruing the degree to which we have already allowed ourselves to give ground.China's turn to authoritarianism may well make it easier for us to pursue a policy of confrontation — easier to accumulate allies abroad as well as easier to justify ideologically at home — just as the Trump administration's full-spectrum obnoxious incompetence makes it harder. It may also make it seem necessary, since Beijing has closed off many other possible avenues to coexistence. But perceived lack of choice is precisely what leads to tragedy.Because however much we say that we have no quarrel with the Chinese people, all our efforts to respond to our vulnerability will be aimed at constraining their power. We're not trying to preserve a balance of power, after all, however much we may tell ourselves that we are. We're trying to preserve an American preponderance of power. If we choose that path, we should expect China to respond the way we would to efforts to impose such constraints on us, and prepare accordingly.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.More stories from theweek.com Amy Klobuchar didn't prosecute officer at center of George Floyd's death Minnesota governor says Trump's Minneapolis tweets are 'just not helpful' 'A riot is the language of the unheard,' Martin Luther King Jr. explained 53 years ago
POSTED MAY 29, 2020 5:45 AM
|Greece to open airports to arrivals from 29 countries from June 15
Greece said Friday it would reopen its airports in Athens and Thessaloniki to arrivals from 29 countries from June 15, the start of the tourist season. Visitors would be allowed to fly into Greece from 16 EU countries, including Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Czech Republic, Baltic countries, Cyprus and Malta, the tourism ministry said in a statement. Outside the European Union, holidaymakers from Switzerland, Norway, and neighbouring Balkan countries such as Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia will be allowed to land at Greece's main airports from June 15.
POSTED MAY 29, 2020 10:42 AM
|Republican lawmakers accused of hiding positive COVID-19 test result from Democrats, who call it 'immoral'
Democratic lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are demanding answers after learning that one of their Republican colleagues tested positive for COVID-19, shared that information with GOP leadership, but never informed them.
POSTED MAY 28, 2020 2:54 PM