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We’re covering Britain banning Huawei from its 5G network, the pandemic’s economic toll and a racial awakening in France.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had faced growing political pressure at home to take a hard line against Beijing, and the move signaled a new willingness among Western countries to confront China.
The announcement came as President Trump’s national security adviser was in Paris for meetings about China with representatives from Britain, France, Germany and Italy.
Response: Critics have said that Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government mean the equipment could be used for espionage, claims that Huawei has long rejected. The company called the announcement on Tuesday “bad news for anyone in the U.K. with a mobile phone.”
U.S.-China fissures become chasms
Sanctions over Hong Kong and Xinjiang. A campaign against Huawei. Challenges to Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea. In a matter of weeks, the Trump administration confronted China on several fronts.
For a long time, historians dismissed the idea of a Cold War between the U.S. and China. But relations between the powers are growing increasingly distrustful, laying the foundation for a confrontation with the same characteristics — and dangers.
As the two superpowers jockey over cyberspace and outer space, the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, there is the risk of small disputes escalating into military conflict.
No matter the outcome of this year’s U.S. presidential election, the coronavirus pandemic has turned existing fissures into chasms that could be difficult to overcome, our correspondents write.
Quotable: U.S. policy toward China is “fraught with emotions and whims and McCarthyist bigotry,” China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said. “It seems as if every Chinese investment is politically driven, every Chinese student is a spy and every cooperation initiative is a scheme with a hidden agenda.”
Latest: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that China’s expansive maritime claims across most of the South China Sea were “completely unlawful,” setting the stage for potential American military confrontations with Beijing.
A fuller picture of the coronavirus’s economic toll
Reopenings have happened in fits and starts, but a clearer picture is emerging of the pandemic’s economic impact.
Reports from the U.S. earnings season, which kicked off on Tuesday, showed banks and airlines reporting losses. More shutdowns are likely in the next months amid a surge in coronavirus cases.
In Britain, the economy only grew 1.8 percent in May, which was supposed to be a month of economic recovery — far less than the 5.5 percent widely predicted. The nation is on track for the “largest decline in annual G.D.P. for 300 years,” the government’s independent budget review said.
Some good news: Consumers in Europe are going on a shopping spree as their economies reopen, offering hope of a recovery. Investors were initially worried that people would be too shaken to spend, as happened with consumers in China. But retail sales in the eurozone surged 17.8 percent in May as governments aimed to limit job losses.
In other developments:
If you have 6 minutes, this is worth it
A racial awakening in France
With an eye on the U.S., children of immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean are bringing race into the public discourse.
“Here, they want us to melt into a single body and put aside our cultural diversity,” said Almamy Kanouté, above, who is leading protests against police violence there. “With us, that’s not possible. We’re French, but we don’t forget what makes us whole.”
Here’s what else is happening
Poland election: President Andrzej Duda won a narrow victory after running a bitter campaign that attacked gay people and tore at the social fabric of the country. Voters remain polarized, and the results are likely to be challenged in the Supreme Court.
Russia politics: The nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky has been forced to disavow protests over the arrest of a governor from his own party, underscoring growing domestic volatility as street protests supporting that governor continued for the fourth day.
North Macedonia: In his 30 months as prime minister, Zoran Zaev led North Macedonia into NATO and toward the European Union by altering its name. That could cost him in an election on Wednesday, with many Macedonians angered by the change.
Frieze fairs canceled: The centerpieces of London’s busiest art market week will revert to an online-only format because of the “challenges” of the pandemic.
What we’re reading: This Interview magazine Q. and A. with the writer Jia Tolentino. “What really struck me about this interview is Jia’s ability to synthesize such broad, weighty topics and current events into crystal clear, thoughtful responses,” says Sanam Yar, from the team at The Morning briefing.
Now, a break from the news
And now for the Back Story on …
When the virus strikes at home
Edgar Sandoval, a reporter on our Metro desk, wrote about the calamitous sweep of the coronavirus through New York City before volunteering to cover the outbreak in his hometown on the Texas-Mexico border. In that outbreak, his family became part of the story. Here’s what he wrote.
The day before I boarded a plane from New York, my youngest sister sent me a text message that froze me in place. “Brother, it looks like all of the Sandovales have Covid,” it read in Spanish.
Five in my family, including my mother, Arcelia; my father, Filiberto; two sisters; and a nephew, all had symptoms, she said. By the time my plane landed the next day, that number had doubled.
I did not worry much for myself — I had come down with the virus earlier in New York, and had antibodies that might fend it off.
On July 1, I hurried to my parents’ home and found my mother — I usually call her “Ama” — in the living room, gasping for air.
By the time my sister and I got her into the emergency room at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in McAllen, her blood oxygen level had reached a paltry 80 percent, and a nurse quickly connected her to an oxygen supply. X-ray images showed her lungs nearly covered in what resembled pale spider webs.
Less than an hour after a nurse administered a coronavirus test, he announced that she was positive. “No surprise there,” Ama said.
Two attendants arrived with a stretcher to transport her into a Covid wing at another location, where she would not be allowed to have visitors, I knew. My throat tightened.
I fought the urge to reach for her and say something profound. Should I say I love you? Was it time for a heartfelt farewell? What if this was the last time I would see her alive?
I decided that if I said something poignant, she might interpret it as a final goodbye and give up. Instead, I decided to act as casual as possible.
Nearly a week after I had dropped her at the emergency room, her mood and breathing had significantly improved. She was able to sit upright and hold a phone conversation for five minutes. We began talking about preparations for her eventual return home.
I wanted to say I loved her. But again I choked. Don’t make it sound like you’re saying goodbye, I told myself.
After we hung up, I sent her a GIF of a white bunny that shoots hearts every time it hugs.
“I love you,” the message flashed, over and over.
That’s it for this briefing. You can tune into Milan Fashion Week online. See 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.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode includes an interview with a doctor in Italy who reflects on triaging care at the peak of the pandemic.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword puzzle, and a clue: Quick punch (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• “Father Soldier Son,” The Times’s first feature documentary on Netflix, debuted its trailer last week and will premiere this Friday, July 17. It follows a single father injured in combat and his sons as they try to heal.