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Federal health minister cites lack of animosity in Canadian politics as asset in COVID fight

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There is no politician in Canada that does not understand that the economy of Canada is actually critically connected to the health of Canada

Hajdu said data collection had improved as the crisis went on and they were getting the basic data they needed, but more granular information, like the race and ethnicity, was also required.

The federal government is negotiating with the provinces, offering $14 billion to help the economy restart, but has insisted the money be spent on items like contact tracing, testing and support for municipalities.

Hajdu said standardized data collection was also one of the items they were looking for from the provinces and she was hopeful it would happen.

“We have got quite a significant amount of money on the table right now as we negotiate safe restart with the provinces and territories,” she said. “One of the areas that we’re negotiating with the provinces and territories about is actually stronger data standards nationally.”

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5 Things To Watch This Week In Politics And Protests – NPR

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President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for Independence Day events Friday at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, S.D.

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images


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Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Updated 10:45 a.m. ET

In an unusually divisive speech for a president on the Fourth of July holiday weekend, President Trump on Friday decried a “growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for.”

What is it? Terrorism? Polarization? A lack of trust in institutions?

No, Trump said at Mount Rushmore, it’s an attempt to erase American history and values. And one part of that, Trump said, is “cancel culture,” which he described as “driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism … .”

Cancel culture is a form of group shaming — excluding someone who has done something objectionable or offensive, or withdrawing support from corporations or public leaders for the same reason. It’s often pushed from the left of the political spectrum, and there are certainly those who think it’s gone too far in some instances.

Apart from the merits of the argument, it’s ironic that Trump is arguing for inclusivity. The fact is, there are few quicker than Trump to “cancel” people for not believing the same as he does — or supporting him faithfully. He just doesn’t call it that.

On Monday morning, Trump went further, launching a baseless attack on NASCAR and driver Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver on the circuit. It was reported that a noose was found in Wallace’s garage. The FBI determined it was a pull cord. Wallace isn’t the one who found it or reported it — and yet Trump is calling it a “hoax” and claiming that incident and banning the Confederate flag “has caused lowest ratings EVER!” — as if that’s what really matters.

Driver Tyler Reddick responded to Trump, saying, “We did what was right and we will do just fine without your support.”

Trump’s emphasis on cancel culture — another element of his broader culture war — can be seen as a distraction, a shiny metal object that Trump wants to use to switch the narrative and see if it sticks because he is struggling in his reelection bid.

But there are things in all likelihood that will shape this presidential election far more than “cancel culture.” Here are six, from public opinion surveys:

58% — Trump’s record disapproval: The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that Trump’s disapproval rating was 58%, the highest of his presidency. What’s more, 49% “strongly” disapprove of the job he’s doing. That kind of intense opposition to a president has never been seen before, since polling began.

87% — Dissatisfaction is the highest of Trump’s presidency: Amid this coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic freefall, the Pew Research Center recently found that 87% of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction of the country. And 71% say they are angry, 66% say they’re fearful and just 17% are proud of the way things are going.

56% — Trump’s (mis)handling of the coronavirus: About 130,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus. That’s about a quarter of all the deaths worldwide.

And an average of 56% of people disapprove of his response to the pandemic, the highest level so far. That’s taken its toll on Trump politically, especially as states in more politically conservative places are seeing spikes in cases and hospitalizations. Pew found Democrat Joe Biden has an 11-point advantage on who’s best to handle the public health impact of the coronavirus pandemic, 52% to 41%. Fifty-two also happens to be the percentage of voters saying they would vote for Biden over Trump in the general election, according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

67% — Making racial tensions worse: A separate NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, conducted in early June, found two-thirds of Americans thought Trump mostly made racial tensions worse. That was after a week of protests and right after law enforcement forcibly removed peaceful protesters outside the White House so he could walk to a partially burned church across the street and pose with a Bible.

Yet Trump has only doubled down since then. He’s not only pushed a “law and order” message but amped it up, saying, for instance, if “Black Lives Matter” were painted on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, it would be a “symbol of hate.”

Another eyebrow-raising number is the 52% who now say they are in favor of removing Confederate statues from public spaces around the country, according to a Quinnipiac poll. Three years ago, 39% said so.

47% — An economic handling decline: Gallup found that from January to June, the percentage of Americans approving of the job Trump’s doing on the economy declined 16 points, from 63% to 47%. The strong economy was undoubtedly buoying Trump to some extent, and now it’s not. Trump’s lead over Biden on handling of the economy has shrunk, though he’s still up on the question in most polls.

35% — Trump’s suburban cratering: One set of numbers that will make you rub your eyes is about suburban voters. In 2016, Trump won suburban voters, 49% to 45%, according to exit polls. The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, though, has Trump losing them by a whopping 60% to 35%. That’s not a typo. That’s a 29-point swing, from +4 to -25. That kind of cratering in the suburbs is part of why Democrats won the House in 2018, are favored to keep it in 2020, and have made inroads with an unfavorable Senate map. It’s tough to see Trump winning reelection without turning things around in the suburbs.

Overall, these numbers aren’t great for Trump. One saving grace is that his supporters love him — and intensely so. His base is more enthusiastic about voting for him than potential Biden voters are for voting for the former vice president, and that’s a wildcard to watch. But while enthusiasm is important, it doesn’t always translate into more votes. Reelections, after all, are always about the sitting president. Trump may wind up driving his base out to vote, but also Democrats in opposition to him.


5 things to watch this week:

Trump meets with New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew on Dec. 19, 2019, before he switched parties from Democrat to Republican.

Evan Vucci/AP


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Evan Vucci/AP

1. Woke up this morning … and there were more elections on Tuesday: There are primaries in two states, New Jersey and Delaware.

The race to watch is in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District. Democratic candidates are vying to take on Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who switched parties from Democrat to Republican during Trump’s impeachment. Five Democrats are on the ballot, and the race is largely between Amy Kennedy and Brigid Callahan Harrison. Kennedy, a former educator, is a member of the politically elite Kennedy family. (She’s married to former Rep. Patrick Kennedy.) She also has the endorsement of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. But Harrison has the endorsement of South Jersey power broker George Norcross and state Senate President Steve Sweeney.

2. Trump to Florida, New Hampshire: Want another sign of what the battleground states are? Look at Trump’s travel this week. He’s set to hold a high-dollar — in-person — fundraiser in Florida this week and then head to New Hampshire, where he will hold an outdoor rally Saturday. It’s his first attempt at a rally since his underwhelming (indoor) event in Tulsa, Okla. Trump’s Florida fundraiser is reportedly for $580,600 per couple. Trump and the Republican National Committee trailed Biden and the Democratic National Committee in fundraising, $141 million to $131 million, in June.

3. Awaiting more key Supreme Court decisions: There are more decisions coming from the Supreme Court — as early as Monday — including on whether Trump can block disclosure of his financial records and whether lay teachers at parochial schools are protected by the civil rights laws.

4. The Pentagon and protests: The hearing to watch this week on Capitol Hill involves the Department of Defense’s role in civilian law enforcement. Slated to testify Thursday before the House Armed Services Committee are Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Milley last month said he regretted his role in Trump’s walk to the partially burned church across the street from the White House. And Esper broke with the president and said, “The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now.”

5. Mexico’s president will visit the White House: In his first U.S. trip, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will visit Washington Wednesday to commemorate the signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada, or USMCA, trade agreement. López Obrador is seen as friendlier to Trump than past Mexican presidents, and they also share another thing in common — a dislike of the media. He wondered aloud this weekend of what he calls the “corrupt media”: “How much are they paid to attack me?”


Quote of the weekend:

“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future.”

— Kanye West announces his 2020 run for president on Twitter on July Fourth

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How a Rising Political Star's PTSD Fueled His Addiction to Work – Harvard Business Review

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July 06, 2020

Many high achievers are also workaholics. Jason Kander was on track to be a major force in American politics. But for him, working – and succeeding – was a way to escape the pain of PTSD and depression, after his military service in Afghanistan. Kander had to step away from his career to focus on therapy and healing.

HBR Presents is a network of podcasts curated by HBR editors, bringing you the best business ideas from the leading minds in management. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Harvard Business Review or its affiliates.

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Black Lives Matter: Should sports and politics mix? – Al Jazeera English

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LeBron James was told to “shut up and dribble” by a Fox News anchor in 2018 in response to the three-time NBA champion’s comments on racism and being Black in the United States.

Colin Kaepernick was driven out of the NFL after the 2016 season and blasted by Donald Trump for taking a knee during the national anthem – protesting racism, police brutality and racial inequality.

In 1968, Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos, two Black medal-winning athletes, were booed before being expelled from the Olympics for their podium protest against racism.

Earlier this year, tennis star Noami Osaka was trolled online and faced a backlash after joining the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests on social media and in Minneapolis and Los Angeles.

Osaka said what she felt because she believed “being silent is never the answer”.

“Everyone should have a voice in the matter and use it,” Osaka said before rubbishing calls that forbid athletes from speaking out on politics, human rights and social issues.

“I hate when random people say athletes shouldn’t get involved with politics and just entertain. What gives you more right to speak than me?”

Osaka is not the only athlete who spoke out following the death of George Floyd in May.

The United Kingdom’s Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton attended a BLM protest in London and said he was “extremely positive that change will come”.

Coco Gauff, 16-year-old tennis sensation, addressed a protest in Florida, saying: “I was eight when Trayvon Martin was killed. So why am I here at 16 still demanding change?”

But what happens when athletes, with their enormous following, take a stance and are told to “shut up” as they are “not qualified enough” to be discussing matters off the field?

“It’s infuriating. We need the world to know that we’re not just players, we’re individuals with families, rights and feelings,” Hafsa Kamara, a Black American track athlete, told Al Jazeera.

“We are a voice of someone who lives in the same world as others. We need to be heard. People make us feel like we’re only paid to dribble balls and run fast. That’s taking away our rights,” added Kamara, who represented Sierra Leone at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refused to stand for the national anthem before basketball games in 1996.

US footballer Megan Rapinoe has campaigned for equal pay for women footballers.

Former Afghanistan captain Khalida Popal chose football as a tool to “stand for my rights, and to help other women stand for their rights”.

Marcus Rashford used the coronavirus-enforced break in the English Premier League (EPL) to force the British government to continue providing free school meals for vulnerable children outside term time.

Former Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi regularly spoke about the human rights violations in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Arsenal and Germany footballer Mesut Ozil spoke out against the persecution of the Uighurs in China.

Rob Koehler, director-general of Global Athlete, a pressure group, said, “Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right”.

“To say an athlete can’t use their platform when they’re unpaid workers coming to the games, bringing all the revenues in, and they can’t use their voice to express about a cause that is important to them, is outdated and out of touch,” Koehler told the AFP news agency. 

In 2016, San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, centre, Eli Harold, left, and Eric Reid took a knee during the US national anthem before an NFL game. [John G Mabanglo/EPA]

While athletes using sport and the field as a platform to highlight societal issues is not new, the backlash and the hostility, even from fervent followers, continues to be loud and dismissive.

Some have even opted to stay clear, most notably when Michael Jordan refused to endorse African American Democrat Harvey Gantt against Republican Jesse Helms, a notorious racist, in the 1990 Senate race.

But the recent global anti-racism protests have made it clear: Sport cannot stay out of politics.

“Athletes are humans like the rest of us, and they have a right to speak out like the rest of us,” Douglas Hartmann, professor and chair of sociology at the University of Minnesota, told Al Jazeera.

“What makes that difficult is the social construction we have of sport being separate from politics. This separation, in many ways, is a constructed and fictitious one,” added Hartmann, who is also author of Midnight Basketball: Race, Sports, and Neoliberal Social Policy.

The convergence of sports and celebrity can have a powerful influence on everyday politics, according to a research paper published last year.

But the courage and the act of speaking out does not come without fear of being reprimanded, rebuked and punished.

Smith and Carlos had their careers ended by the podium protests in 1968.

Gwen Berry and Race Imboden were reprimanded for protesting on the medal stand at the 2019 Pan-Am Games.

In 2018, Manchester City football club’s manager Pep Guardiola was fined for wearing a yellow ribbon in solidarity with the independence movement in Catalonia.

Earlier this year, the International Olympic Committee handed out guidelines banning participants in the now-postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics from kneeling, fist-raising or “any political messaging”.

People make us feel like we’re paid only to dribble balls and run fast. That’s taking away our rights

Hafsa Kamara

But following the recent surge in voices calling for equality and inclusiveness – and their reach, influence and intensity – sport bodies and organisations have taken unprecedented steps.

The West Indies cricket team was given the all-clear to wear a BLM emblem on their collar during their upcoming Test series in England.

Footballers playing in the EPL had “Black Lives Matter” displayed on their jerseys and were allowed to kneel at the start of the games.

For the league, it seems that all of a sudden, Black lives did matter. But it was quick to clarify the move was “not endorsement of political movement”, and there is a worry among many that it will be temporary – and what happens when players take on the next issue.

“Premier League clubs might have BLM on their shirts, but there are still hardly any Black coaches, for example,” Danyel Reiche, associate professor for Comparative Politics at American University of Beirut, told Al Jazeera.

“It remains to be seen how sports associations react if athletes raise their voices on other issues which are considered as more sensitive, such as the discrimination of Palestinian football players by Israel.

“This also violates the inclusive nature of sport, and I believe such protest should be also accepted,” added Reiche, whose research interests include sport policy and politics.

The EPL also admitted that the display by Rashford and other footballers could set “uncomfortable precedents”.

As a result, Olympian Kamara is not entirely convinced by the genuineness of the associations’ involvement in the protests.

“I feel right now there is the branding and marketing; it’s an opportunity to get into the trends and be part of the hashtags,” Kamara said.

Hartmann also does not feel that the NFL owners “had a big change of heart”.

“They realised who their workers are. It’s far more about where the consumer base is, how dependent the industry is on the celebrity athletes and their voices. They (the owners) have to acknowledge them and allow them the power to do that.”

But in addition to what some athletes term “temporary” gestures by the authorities, there is also still concern about the longevity and lastingness of the movement that has recently seemed to gain momentum.

While Hartmann believes the recent movement has “opened a door” and led to a “significant shift in public perception”, Kamara has reminded her fellow athletes the onus was on them to not “let up” and be a greater and longer part of the conversation despite the criticism.

“If we continue to keep at it, wear the armbands, take a knee and speak up, we’ll let people know it wasn’t a one-off, but it’s our lives we’re talking about – on and off the court.

“We understand that we live a very privileged life. We have a following, and we need to use it to its extreme. We have to keep our word and stand our ground.”

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