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Monday Briefing | May 10

Photo credit: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-56678489

Stories to follow:

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Northern Ireland’s foundation, and the European Parliament recently voted to approve Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal. However, the reality of Brexit has been much messier. On Thursday, the EU ambassador to the UK said that the EU is “committed to finding solutions” to logistical problems related to Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol. Under the Protocol, goods from the UK crossing the Irish Sea must go through EU-regulated customs checks before they can enter Northern Ireland. This agreement allows the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to remain open even after Brexit forced Northern Ireland out of the EU single market. Unfortunately, the EU’s red tape has made commerce difficult, “causing disruptions to supplies of food” and other goods. It’s even threatened supplies of certain drugs. These disruptions have led to a resurgence of violent riots over the past month and, on April 28, the resignation of Northern Ireland’s first minister Arlene Foster. The ruling party, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), will select a new leader on May 14.

India is grappling with a serious “public health emergency” as COVID-19 makes waves through its population. On Tuesday, its tally of COVID-19 infections passed an eye-watering 20 million cases, although the actual numbers “could be five to ten times higher than those reported,” according to medical experts. Times of India reported on May 7 that death tolls have “stayed above 3,000 for 10 days in a row,” which is “the highest death roll reported by any country for a 10-day span.” Meanwhile, the government’s “shambolic” response and focus on politics at the expense of public health (e.g., Prime Minister Modi attending crowded rallies while campaigning for his BJP party) has attracted considerable criticism, and unsurprisingly, it cost Modi’s party the election.

Meanwhile, in Colombia, violent protests against economic inequality have resulted in “at least 25 people killed and hundreds injured” in 247 cities and towns across the country, prompting concerned statements from the US and EU. These protests first started on April 28 when the Colombian government announced plans for an “unpopular tax reform,” which many argue would hurt lower-income workers. The heavily militarized response to protests is also concerning: “police have used lethal weapons, including rifles and semi-automatic guns,” against protesters. On May 5, for example, “riot police fired tear gas at protesters in Bogotá,” according to Reuters.

Happening this week:

The Brooklyn Museum‘s newest exhibit, “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” is open to the public. It’s part of the museum’s year-long series “celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art,” and explores “the differences in male and female access to the afterlife” with recent feminist scholarship in mind, featuring 27 artifacts from its ancient Egypt collection. 

On Wednesday, May 12 at 9:00 A.M. (ET), the Atlantic Council (a DC-based think-tank) is hosting a free online event “exploring what the future may hold for the commercial relationship between China and Latin America and the Caribbean” by 2035. You can learn more and/or register here.

Remember to take care of yourself as the semester comes to a close, and that your grades do not determine your self-worth. And if you’re graduating, celebrate!

In your free time:

Finals are approaching, and everyone studies best in a different way. If you prefer to study with others, you’re in luck! You can now reserve study spaces on campus for groups of up to four people on the Scan and Reserve app, the same way you can reserve seats for quiet study or quick stops.

This week’s Monday Briefing was brought to you by Elisa Ron.

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