Amid escalating US-China tensions, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted Beijing’s maritime claims in the South China Sea as “completely unlawful.” Pompeo cited a 2016 ruling by an international tribunal in the Hague rejecting China’s claims of historic reach in the vital sea lane as a violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. For months, Southeast Asian nations, have complained about Beijing’s territorial claims in the waters off the coasts of Vietnam and Malaysia.
(“US Says Most of Beijing Claims in the South China Sea Are Illegal,” New York Times, July 14, 2020; “Explainer: What’s Behind the Rising Tensions in the South China Sea,” Reuters, June 16, 2020)
When Mexico’s populist President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, ran for president he made derided Donald Trump, and pledged to send a peaceful civilian army to confront U.S. troops at the border.
(“Why ALMO Went to Dinner With Donald Trump,” New Yorker, July 9, 2020; “Mexico’s President Uses US Visit to Tout Ties With Trump,”The Hill, July 8, 2020)
In the late 1960s, riots, and militant protests in dozens of U.S. inner cities led to swift reforms including the federal Fair Housing Act, overturning racist Jim Crow laws. Today, the epidemic of police violence targeting people of color is the focus of national and international attention after the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis. Widespread anger unleashed a new multiracial movement demanding justice under the banner of “Black Lives Matter.” As the toxic legacy of American slavery is exposed, the issue of reparations is once again a topic of debate. Recent polls now find that more than 70 percent of white Americans view racial and ethnic discrimination as a “big problem.”
(“What is Owed,” New York Times Magazine, June 28, 2020)
This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.