The Monday Politics Thread Drinks Anarchy

Infections rise in 42 states; Fauci says it’s ‘horrifying’ to see people cheer lack of vaccinations: COVID-19 updates

Forty-two states saw an increase in COVID-19 cases last week from the week before, a sign that the pandemic is not yet over in the United States.

Only Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota and West Virginia saw a decline in cases from the previous week over the seven-day period that ended Saturday.

The rate of vaccinations has slowed, and less than half of all Americans, 47.9%, are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said more than 99% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. in June were among unvaccinated people. In addition, preliminary data indicates that over the past six months, nearly all of the COVID-19 deaths in various states have occurred in unvaccinated people, she said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top Biden administration adviser, said Sunday that it was “horrifying” to see people at the Conservative Political Action Conference cheering because the government has not been able to get more of the country vaccinated.

USA Today

U.K.’s Johnson to Urge Caution as Covid Restrictions Are Lifted

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will warn people to remain vigilant as he prepares to lift virtually all remaining coronavirus restrictions in England.

In a news conference on Monday, Johnson is widely expected to confirm that mandatory curbs will end as planned on July 19, including the legal requirement to wear masks in indoor settings.

But he’ll also warn that the unlocking will drive a new surge in cases and that people must “all take responsibility” in the coming weeks to help keep infections at a manageable level, his office said in an emailed statement.

Bloomberg

‘Unrecognizable.’ Lake Mead, a lifeline for water in Los Angeles and the West, tips toward crisis

Lake Mead, a lifeline for 25 million people and millions of acres of farmland in California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico, made history when it was engineered 85 years ago, capturing trillions of gallons of river water and ushering in the growth of the modern West.

But after years of an unrelenting drought that has quickly accelerated amid record temperatures and lower snowpack melt, the lake is set to mark another, more dire turning point. Next month, the federal government expects to declare its first-ever shortage on the lake, triggering cuts to water delivered to Arizona, Nevada and Mexico on Jan. 1. If the lake, currently at 1,068 feet, drops 28 more feet by next year, the spigot of water to California will start to tighten in 2023.

Los Angeles Times

Indigenous people are trekking across the US with a 25-foot totem pole. Here’s why

For the House of Tears Carvers, totem poles are more than masterful works of art — they’re a medium for storytelling, for raising consciousness, for healing. The group of artisans from the Lummi Nation, one of the original inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest, has for decades hauled its masterful works of art around the country to unite communities around issues of local and national concern.This year, they’re taking a 25-foot, 5,000-pound totem pole all the way to the nation’s capital.

Organizers are calling the journey the “Red Road to DC,” a two-week nationaltour that will begin July 14 in Washington state and culminate in Washington, DC. Along the way, the House of Tears Carvers plan to stop with the totem pole at a number of sites sacred to Indigenous peoples.

Their goal: To protect those sacred sites from the existential threats of the climate crisis and extractive industries — and to ensure tribal nations have a seat at the table when decisions affecting them are made.

CNN

‘Freedom!’ Thousands of Cubans take to the streets to demand the end of dictatorship

In an unprecedented display of anger and frustration, thousands of people took to the streets Sunday in cities and towns across Cuba, including Havana, to call for the end of the decades-old dictatorship and demand food and vaccines, as shortages of basic necessities have reached crisis proportions and COVID-19 cases have soared.

From the Malecón, Havana’s famous seawall near the old city, to small towns in Artemisa province and Palma Soriano, the second-largest city in Santiago de Cuba province, videos live-streamed on Facebook showed thousands of people walking and riding bikes and motorcycles along streets while chanting “Freedom!” “Down with Communism!” and “Patria y Vida” — Homeland and Life — which has become a battle cry among activists after a viral music video turned the revolutionary slogan “Homeland or Death” on its head.

“We are not afraid!” chanted Samantha Regalado while she recorded hundreds of people walking along a narrow street in Palma Soriano.

Miami Herald

Naomi Osaka Wins Best Athlete in Women’s Sports at 2021 ESPY Awards

Naomi Osaka has another accomplishment to add to her ever-growing resumé: the 23-year-old was just named Best Athlete in Women’s Sports at the 2021 ESPY Awards.

The tennis star, who also won the award for Best Athlete in Women’s Tennis, attended the ceremony on Saturday, July 10 at New York City’s The Rooftop at Pier 17 alongside boyfriend Cordae. Pictures of Naomi on the red carpet and onstage show the athlete donning a flowing black-and-white striped top paired with a green skirt, her hair pulled back in a tight, high ponytail. Her look, featuring Luis Vuitton pieces, was styled by Karla Welch with jewelry by Ana Khouri.

In her speech while accepting the award for Best Athlete in Women’s Sports, Naomi acknowledged the challenging year that many have experienced—including herself. “I know this year has been really…tough for a lot of us,” she said, per People. “For me, I just want to say, I really love you guys and this is my first ESPYs so it’s really cool to be surrounded by all these incredible athletes. I think all of you guys are really cool and I watch some of you on TV, so it’s really surreal to be here. Thank you so much, and I really appreciate it.”

Teen Vogue

Bronze Confederate Monument That Sparked Deadly Charlottesville Rally Removed on Saturday

Work to remove two statues erected in honor of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in Charlottesville, VA began Saturday morning.

According to WSLS News, the removal of the statues comes years after a movement to get the statue of Lee taken down originally began in 2016. Things came to a head in 2017, when the statues were used as a rallying point for white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Klan members during the Unite the Right Rally.

That rally infamously turned into a violent affair after a man drove into a crowd of counter protestors and killed Heather Heyer, while injuring several others.

The Root

Why so many geographic sites in the US still have racist names

This article, which focuses on sites named using outdated racial terminology, contains terms that many may find offensive.

Around the country, school, county and even bird names are being reconsidered and changed, as greater attention is paid to their origins and the racism the names may invoke.

CNN

South Africa violence spreads to Johannesburg in wake of Zuma jailing

Shops were looted overnight, a section of highway was closed and stick-wielding protesters marched through Johannesburg on Sunday, as sporadic violence following the jailing of former South African President Jacob Zuma spread.

The unrest had mainly been concentrated in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), where he started serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court on Wednesday night.

Reuters

Nigeria: Gunmen raid palace, kidnap emir and family members

Gunmen kidnapped an emir and 10 members of his family in northwest Nigeria’s Kaduna state early on Sunday, police said.

Police and members of Nigeria’s army are currently engaged in a search and rescue mission in a forest close to where the Chief of Kajuru, 83-year-old Alhaji Alhassan Adamu, was kidnapped.

Adamu’s abduction marked the first time such a high-profile victim had been kidnapped in the state.

Deutsche Welle

Early returns in Moldova point to win by pro-EU reformers

A pro-reform party seeking closer ties for Moldova with the European Union appeared to be heading to a clear majority in Sunday’s snap parliamentary elections, according to early results.

The election was called by President Maia Sandu, who sought to gain a parliament made up of pro-EU reformists in the former Soviet republic.

Voter turnout in the nation of 3.5 million people — Europe’s poorest country, landlocked between Ukraine and Romania — was just over 48%.

AP News

Out of the shadows: How China’s Communist Party is now claiming credit for the Hong Kong success story

Following the old rules of revolutionary struggle, the party has surely succeeded in defeating the challenge to its authority and has now said so in no uncertain terms. National party leaders have come out to claim credit for all aspects of Hong Kong’s transition to Chinese rule: from the initial 1980s Sino-British negotiations to the suppression of the 2019 challenge and the current national security clampdown. 

But the continuous refrain is still “one country, two systems,” and Beijing’s full definition of what that means in practice remains unspecified, along with the definitions of socialism and capitalism. 

Hong Kong Free Press