Trump ends special status for Hong Kong; Sculpture of a Black protester erected in Bristol; Biden outlines climate plan

The World
US President Donald Trump is shown standing at a podium and wearing a blue suit and red tie.

Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

President Donald Trump announced an end to Hong Kong's special status under US law on Tuesday. His executive order revokes the preferential trading status for Hong Kong and paves the way for possible sanctions on companies and officials there.

"No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies," Trump said at a news conference, before veering off to a variety of other topics.

The order was a response to what Trump called China’s "oppressive actions," including enacting a controversial new national security law for Hong Kong. "Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China," he added. China has vowed to retaliate against Trump's actions.

What The World is following

A sculpture of a Black protester with her fist raised was erected overnight in Bristol, England, in place of the toppled statue of the 17th century English slave trader Edward Colston. The Colston statue was pulled down last month by protesters in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis. The new clandestine sculpture depicts protester Jen Reid, who was photographed standing on the plinth of Colston's statue just after it was pulled down.

Also, former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the US presidential race, outlined a climate plan yesterday that would spend $2 trillion over four years investing in clean-energy infrastructure. Biden’s plan, slammed by politicians from energy-producing states, is part of a broader economic recovery package and targets lowering fossil fuel emissions to tackle climate change.

And, in a reversal, the Trump administration has abandoned a plan to strip international students of their visas if their coursework is entirely online. The policy, announced July 6, prompted an uproar — and multiple lawsuits — from colleges and universities that would have potentially lost tens of thousands of students and millions of dollars as they struggled to reopen their campuses amid the coronavirus crisis. A judge announced the Trump administration's about-face in a court hearing yesterday.

From The World

He's out of prison and has COVID-19. But he's still sheltering from ICE.

After spending almost his entire adult life in a cell, Chanthon Bun was released from prison July 1 and expected to be put in ICE custody for potential deportation. But ICE agents never showed up — and it may be due to a public campaign to keep immigrants out of ICE detention during the coronavirus pandemic.

This Japanese university offers a master’s degree in ninja studies

A man wears black and practices a ninja move.

Mitsuhashi Genichi recently received a master’s degree in ninja studies.


Japan Ninja Council on YouTube 

Hear it on The World today: At the International Ninja Research Center, students learn ancient espionage tactics from feudal Japan — and unlearn all the inaccurate history they may have picked up from movies and video games.

Morning meme

The anonymous artist and activist Banksy didn't let the pandemic stop him. His latest work, titled “If you don't mask — you don't get,” was set in London's Underground and included spray-painted rats sneezing, wearing masks and using hand sanitizer. Authorities have already taken the work down, but you can still watch the video here.

In case you missed it

Listen: Questions about immunity and the coronavirus

Two women are shown sitting on a small curb and wearing hats and protective facemasks with two small white dogs also sitting nearby.

Elderly women wearing masks to curb the spread of the coronavirus chat as they sit with their dogs in Beijing, July 13, 2020.


Ng Han Guan/AP

Contracting the coronavirus doesn't mean you're immune to catching it again, according to a new study from King's College London. And, the British government has banned Huawei from the county’s future 5G network. Also, the anonymous street artist, Banksy, has entered the mask debate with his latest work — a series of stencils on London's Underground that features his trademark rats struggling to come to terms with surgical masks.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.