Your Friday briefing

We’re covering President Biden’s first meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the G7 summit, and the EU calls for an investigation into Covid.

President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson used their first meeting on Thursday to accentuate what they called a growing divide between democracies and their autocratic rivals, led by Russia and China. Biden and Johnson met in Cornwall, ahead of Friday’s Group of 7 summit. Here are the latest updates.

The two leaders unveiled a new “Atlantic Charter” as they sought to draw the world’s attention to emerging threats from cyber attacks, the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

In what he hopes is a powerful demonstration that democracies – not China or Russia – are capable of responding to global crises, Biden also used his first full day abroad to officially announce that the United States United would donate 500 million doses of Pfizer. BioNTech Covid vaccine in 100 poorest countries.

A source of tension: One of the most difficult problems is the status of Northern Ireland, where tensions fueled by Brexit threaten a return to sectarian violence. Biden is a staunch Roman Catholic and Irish American, fueling speculation he is more sympathetic to the Irish nationalist cause.

Leaders of the European Union joined calls for a full investigation into the origins of Covid-19, which was first discovered in Wuhan, China. The President of the European Council pledged to “support all efforts aimed at achieving transparency and knowing the truth”.

The comments came ahead of the Group of 7 summit, which begins on Friday, during which world leaders will be under pressure to do more to stop the coronavirus.

A survey this year by The World Health Organization has found it to be “extremely unlikely” for the virus to escape from a laboratory in China, but many viewed it as incomplete due to lack of cooperation from the Chinese government. Governments and scientists have called for a more comprehensive examination of the origins of the virus.

At the end of last month, President Biden ordered US intelligence agencies to investigate the origins of the virus, an indication that his administration took seriously the possibility of a laboratory leak.

Access to China: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said “investigators need full access to information and sites” to “develop the right tools to make sure this doesn’t happen again”.

Here is the latest updates and pandemic cards.

In other developments:

Beijing lawmakers on Thursday approved a law that prohibit multinational companies from complying with foreign sanctions against China, leaving companies between a rock and a hard place.

The US and the EU have banned all dealings with a growing list of companies and individuals accused of human rights violations. But companies that obey these laws are now at risk of violating Chinese laws.

The new legislation was the latest in a series of measures taken by Beijing to repel international pressure on its conduct in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang region.

Quote: The president of the EU Chamber of Commerce said the new Chinese law would discourage foreign investment and make companies feel like “sacrificial pawns in a political chess game.”

Asian News

Among the Afghans worried about the withdrawal of American troops, there are interpreters, who are make urgent requests for US visas as part of a special program to protect them. Employment by the US military often makes it a target. Many say they are terrified, fearing that they will be denied, or approved only after being hunted down and killed.

Climate change and collapse of biodiversity have traditionally been treated as two separate crises. According to scientists from two leading research groups, this is not the right way to look at it. A new report says we can’t effectively solve either of these problems without looking at the state of nature as a whole. Here is what you need to know.

How we got here

The main culprits of the biodiversity crisis: habitat loss due to agriculture and, at sea, overfishing. For climate change, it’s the burning of fossil fuels.

What is not working

Companies and countries are increasingly turning to nature to offset their emissions, for example by planting trees to absorb carbon. But the science is clear: Nature cannot store enough carbon to allow us to continue to spew greenhouse gases at our current rate.

The solutions

By protecting and restoring nature, according to the report, we can save biodiversity, help limit global warming, improve human well-being and even find protection against the consequences of climate change, such as increased flooding and flooding. storms.

In Brazil, parts of Cerrado, a biodiversity-rich savannah that stores large amounts of carbon, have been planted with monocultures of eucalyptus and pine trees in an attempt to meet a global reforestation target. The result, the researchers wrote separately, is a disaster that destroys the indigenous ecosystem and the livelihoods of local communities, including indigenous peoples.

What to cook

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. – Melina

PS The Times just won several awards as part of the Silurians Press Club Excellence in Journalism competition for his work on New York City and area.

The last episode of “The DailySays Dr. Katalin Kariko, a pioneer of mRNA vaccines.

You can reach Melina and the team at

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