Reopening economy emerges as new political battleground | TheHill


As Washington policymakers scramble to contain the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, the question of how quickly to reopen the economy has emerged as the latest political battleground dividing the two parties.

Behind President Trump, Republicans are increasingly eager to get businesses reopened and customers into their doors, warning that a prolonged economic shutdown — even in the name of protecting public health — will do more harm to the nation’s long-term viability than the coronavirus itself.

Source: Reopening economy emerges as new political battleground | TheHill

Why Tackling Corruption Is Crucial to the Global Coronavirus Response


There are countless other stories around the world detailing how corruption has undermined the fight against the novel coronavirus. They include dodgy procurement contracts that were fast-tracked through the approval process under emergency measures in Slovenia, cops soliciting “coronavirus risk allowances” from citizens in Zimbabwe, and contractors overcharging for supplies in Colombia.

In the U.S., senators have been accused of capitalizing on the crisis to make a killing in the stock market, while President Donald Trump has openly used political loyalty as the basis for distributing life-saving medical equipment to states.

Trump has also brazenly tried to undermine the independent federal watchdog established by Congress to oversee the implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief law.

Deep-seated corruption within governments around the world has decimated their ability to deal with pandemics.

Source: Why Tackling Corruption Is Crucial to the Global Coronavirus Response

EU: Strongly United for Health—Deeply Divided on the Economy | Think Global Health

First you try and save yourself—then you realize that you need your neighbors, said Ylva Johansson the EU commissioner for home affairs. Under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen, the commission’s president, member states have been cajoled, pushed, and bullied into solidarity.

We must, she said, “not have twenty-seven small hearts, but one big European heart.”

Source: EU: Strongly United for Health—Deeply Divided on the Economy | Think Global Health

EU leaders urge capitals to coordinate coronavirus lockdown exit | POLITICO


EU leaders urged national capitals to cut the chaos and coordinate a careful easing of coronavirus lockdown measures when conditions permit.

With some EU countries already pushing ahead with their own exit strategies, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel on Wednesday presented a “roadmap” for winding down the containment rules that have restricted the freedoms of millions of people and put much of the EU’s economy in a deep freeze.

Source: EU leaders urge capitals to coordinate coronavirus lockdown exit – POLITICO

Artificial intelligence: made by men for men? | Juliane Bir

Digitalization is encroaching further and further into all our lives in ways of which we are scarcely aware. Algorithms and artificial intelligence guide a vast range of society’s choices and opportunities.

Trade unions are alarmed that AI poses a threat to gender equality, by undermining women’s job opportunities and reinforcing stereotypes in the workplace and society, incorporating biases and prejudices into algorithms and programs. The European Trade Union Confederation is calling for tough measures to ensure women are not second-class citizens in the digital revolution.

Source: Artificial intelligence: made by men for men? – Juliane Bir

GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy | TheHill


Some Republican senators are calling to quickly reopen parts of the economy shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic, but are warning that it won’t be an instantaneous return to normal.

The goalpost setting comes as President Trump has appeared eager for restrictions to be scaled back soon, initially claiming he had “total” authority to make the call. He has eased off those comments amid pushback from individual governors, though has named an economic task force to help come up with a strategy for reopening the country.

Source: GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy | TheHill

Brexit: Transition in a time of pandemic | The Federal Trust


It may be that, as before in the Brexit saga, the government finally and in panic accepts the pressure of reality, agreeing to extend the transition period into 2021 or 2022. A limited number of pro-Brexit MPs and columnists have already publicly called for an extension. Even the Sun’s political editor has suggested a month by month extension of the negotiations is currently being considered by the government.

A clear majority of British voters would, according to opinion polls, either welcome or at least accept such a postponement.

Against this background, it might seem puzzling that Boris Johnson’s government, facing a major crisis of public health in the UK, is reluctant to pare back its immediate political agenda and “flatten the curve” of the Brexit negotiations by extending their timetable.

Source: Brexit: Transition in a time of pandemic | The Federal Trust

How COVID-19 will change the nation’s long-term economic trends, according to Brookings Metro scholars


Will the coronavirus change everything?

While that sentiment feels true to the enormity of the crisis, it likely isn’t quite right, as scholars from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program have been exploring since the pandemic began.

Instead, the COVID-19 crisis seems poised to accelerate or intensify many economic and metropolitan trends that were already underway, with huge implications of their own.

Source: How COVID-19 will change the nation’s long-term economic trends, according to Brookings Metro scholars

A tale of two Koreas in the age of coronavirus


The Korean Peninsula typically appears in the U.S. news cycle when North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un issues some blustery comment, or conducts nuclear or missile tests. Or, occasionally, if there is some movement (or not) on denuclearization talks with Washington.

But in recent months, both North and South Korea have been in the news for how they are managing the COVID-19 outbreak. The former touts that it has zero cases, while the latter initially struggled with its spiraling number of cases and then emerged as the model of pandemic crisis management.

Source: A tale of two Koreas in the age of coronavirus

Why we need reparations for Black Americans


Central to the idea of the American Dream lies an assumption that we all have an equal opportunity to generate the kind of wealth that brings meaning to the words “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” boldly penned in the Declaration of Independence. The American Dream portends that with hard work, a person can own a home, start a business, and grow a nest egg for generations to draw upon.

This belief, however, has been defied repeatedly by the United States government’s own decrees that denied wealth-building opportunities to Black Americans.

Today, the average white family has roughly 10 times the amount of wealth as the average Black family. White college graduates have over seven times more wealth than Black college graduates.

Source: Why we need reparations for Black Americans