Germany’s Far Right, ‘Hotel Rwanda,’ Spain: Your Tuesday Briefing
Germany’s Far Right, ‘Hotel Rwanda,’ Spain: Your Tuesday Briefing
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We’re covering the rise of coronavirus cases in Spain, the arrest of the hero of “Hotel Rwanda” and the growing anger of Germany’s far-right fringe.
A second wave of coronavirus sweeps across Spain
If Italy was the harbinger of the first wave of Europe’s coronavirus pandemic in February, Spain is the portent of its second.
Already one of the hardest-hit countries on the continent, Spain has recorded more than 53,000 new cases in the past week, with 114 new infections per 100,000 people. The virus is spreading faster in the country than in the U.S., about eight times the rate in Italy and Britain, and 10 times the pace in Germany.
Analysis: Spain’s rapid reopening, a rise in large family gatherings, growing tourism, and a lack of adequate housing and health care for migrants have all been blamed for the surge. Some experts also point to the revival of nightlife, which was reinstated earlier and with looser restrictions than in many other parts of Europe.
In other developments:
Australia reported its highest daily death toll from the virus on Monday, all within the state of Victoria, though the number included deaths from the past month that had not been previously recorded.
New Zealand reported 14 new cases on Tuesday, including nine imported cases and five community cases linked to a cluster in Auckland, the country’s largest city, which came out of lockdown on Sunday.
As some U.S. schools begin in-person classes, cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus are increasing at a faster rate in children and teenagers than among the general public.
A German far-right faction troubles officials
It was a scene many Germans thought had been confined to their history books: Hundreds of far-right activists, who were waving the black, white and red flag of the pre-1918 German Empire that once inspired the Nazis, broke through a police barrier and tried to force their way into the German Parliament.
The events on Saturday were an alarming escalation of the demonstrations against Germany’s response to the pandemic. The protests have grown steadily bigger and — on the fringes, at least — angrier. While the majority of Germans approve of the country’s largely successful measures to control the coronavirus, some 38,000 protesters from all over the country flocked to Berlin in opposition. Among them were about 3,000 members of the far-right scene.
Closer look: “We have everything from Hare Krishna fans to Adolf Hitler fans on the streets,” said Matthias Quent, the director of an institute that studies democracy. “It’s a very disparate crowd, but what unites people is an angry discontent with the establishment. It’s a mix of populist and egoist outrage.”
Official responses: “It is intolerable that the Reich flag should fly again at the German Parliament,” said Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the head of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party. Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, called the episode “an unbearable attack on the heart of our democracy.”
The hero of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ is held on a terrorism charge
Paul Rusesabagina, whose bravery in saving more than 1,200 Rwandans during the 1994 genocide was depicted in the 2004 film, has been arrested by the authorities in Rwanda on charges that include terrorism, arson and murder.
In recent years, Mr. Rusesabagina has become an opponent of Rwanda’s long-serving president, Paul Kagame, who is accused by human rights groups of brutally silencing his critics. In a statement posted on Twitter on Monday, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau said that Mr. Rusesabagina was suspected of being “the founder, leader, sponsor and member of violent, armed, extremist terror outfits,” including the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change and the Party for Democracy in Rwanda, both opposition parties.
Mr. Rusesabagina, who has not lived in Rwanda for many years, was arrested “through international cooperation,” according to the bureau. It did not reveal which countries or agencies assisted, or where or when he was arrested.
Looking back: It has been 25 years since the genocide that killed as many as a million people. Rwanda continues to grapple with its legacy.
If you have 15 minutes, this is worth it
The stories of 2020
In a year of tragedy and catastrophe, of filled morgues, emptied schools, shuttered workplaces, swelled unemployment lines and an increasingly polarized electorate, our reporters chronicled the lives of five people in the U.S. caught in the upheaval and pain.
For Amber Rodgers, above, a resident of Kenosha, Wis., learning that her neighbor Jacob Blake had been shot brought sadness, anger and worry — for herself, her three children and her boyfriend. “That could have been my son; that could have been my cousins,” she said.
Here’s what else is happening
Lebanese leadership: Mustafa Adib, a little-known diplomat who has served as the Lebanese ambassador to Germany, was designated on Monday as Lebanon’s next prime minister.
Middle East: An Israeli airliner carrying Israeli diplomats and a U.S. delegation headed by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, flew through Saudi airspace in a symbolic first direct flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates. Separately, Israel and Hamas agreed to stop bombarding each other, as coronavirus cases rise in Gaza.
Chinese exports: After the country started reopening businesses in late February, China has come roaring back, with its share of global exports rising to nearly 20 percent in the April-to-June quarter of 2020, up from 13.1 percent last year.
India: The Indian economy shrank nearly 24 percent last quarter, the biggest decline of any major economy, as lockdown restrictions meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus wiped out jobs and businesses.
Deal: Keeping a journal can be a little like therapy, and provides a chronicle of our times. Here’s how to get started.
Looking for new ways to entertain and feed yourself and your family? We have lots of ideas in At Home, including recipes, book and movie recommendations and more.
And now for the Back Story on …
The Democratic National Convention
The coming U.S. presidential election is being portrayed by both President Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, as a battle for the soul of the nation. Rachel Dry, the deputy politics editor at The Times, held live panel discussions with Times political reporters after both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
Here are edited excerpts from the conversation about the D.N.C., featuring Astead W. Herndon, Katie Glueck and Matt Flegenheimer. The conversation about the R.N.C. will follow later this week.
It seemed as though the Democratic National Convention tried to reach a lot of different demographics. What kind of party invites both John Kasich, the Republican former governor of Ohio, and Riley Curry, the 8-year-old daughter of the N.B.A. star Stephen Curry?
ASTEAD W. HERNDON: This convention and the Biden campaign have basically made the choice that they could be for everyone, that they don’t have to pick a segment of the population that they’re going to zero in on. That’s partly because they have a candidate who can appeal to different groups through the personal or the political.
Katie, was there one moment you were thinking about as you watched Biden’s speech, after covering him during the primary?
KATIE GLUECK: I had this moment last fall where I’d been with him for quite a long time in Iowa, and the speeches were a little low on energy. He is someone who tries so hard to connect with audiences, and for a variety of reasons it was not working for him there. And then I went with him to North Carolina. He was speaking to a crowd there, and he was a different candidate. He was so energetic. The crowd was responding to him, and it was a reminder that, depending on the environment, he absolutely can bring that energy.
Matt, you wrote about why this campaign worked for Biden — it was his third run for president over more than 30 years. Why was this the moment?
MATT FLEGENHEIMER: In ’88, he ran on a personal integrity message, despite his relative youth. In ’08, as the kind of elder statesman senator, he ran on experience and foreign policy knowledge. That didn’t work, either.
In some ways he’s marrying those two in this campaign. There is the steady-hand statesman who has seen it and done it and knows all the players. And there’s this dominant frame around his own integrity, all the losses he has suffered, all the resiliency he’s demonstrated.
That’s all for today’s briefing. Looking forward to seeing you next time.
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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