A little over a week ago, we provided some fact-based examples of how the world is getting better – despite how it may sometimes seem. Today we’re digging into public sentiment polls to answer the question: what do people think about the direction the world is heading?
37% of U.S. voters feel the current protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police will lead to long-term, meaningful racial change in America. 31% disagree, while 32% are uncertain, according to a recent Rasmussen poll.
Of 11 global emerging economies surveyed in a Pew Research center study, 42% of their residents believed their countries were better off due to increasing racial, ethnic, and national diversity. 22% said their countries were worse off, and 30% said it made no difference.
36% of Americans feel that current economic conditions are poor, while 41% say they are ‘only fine.’ About one third (33%) of those polled say conditions are getting better, while 62% say conditions are getting worse.
43% of registered voters think their children will be financially better off than themselves, according to a recent Hill-HarrisX poll. 36% believe their children will be in about the same financial situation, while 21% fear they will be worse off.
41% of American adults say they are comfortable going out to eat at a restaurant as dine-in restrictions have eased across the country, up from 35% who said the same the week before.
45% of non-mask-wearers report they are continuing to socialize in public places, while only 15% of mask-wearers say they are comfortable with public socializing.
Two-thirds (67%) of U.S. adults believe the federal government is doing too little to reduce the effects of global climate change.
Similarly, 63% of Americans say that more stringent environmental regulations are worth the cost, with ~30% saying stricter regulations would hurt the economy and result in job loss.
That’s A Wrap… But before you go further down the newsletter, here are a few positive stories to give you a brief respite from the doom and gloom:
NYC-Based Study Improves A1c Levels in Poverty Areas With High Diabetes Prevalence
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Global cases rose to nearly 9.03 million yesterday (up ~460k from Friday), with almost 469,500 deaths (up ~14k). The number of confirmed U.S. cases rose past 2.35 million (up ~95k), with 122,239 confirmed deaths (up ~1,618).
The U.S. is experiencing a coin shortage due to the partial closure of the economy, per the Federal Reserve. The central bank is working to fix the problem.
China Details New HK Security Law
China’s state media released details on its proposed National Security Law on Saturday. China plans to set up a bureau in Hong Kong to investigate crimes it considers threatening to national security. The new law will also make all HK government bodies directly answerable to Beijing’s central government.
More: Beijing’s move effectively overturns the “one country, two systems” principle that has governed Hong Kong since it was handed over to China by the UK in 1997.
On Friday afternoon, Attorney General Barr said Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was stepping down from his post. Berman publicly denied Barr’s claim Friday night, saying he would remain in office until a successor was chosen. On Saturday, President Trump fired Berman and replaced him with Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.
More: In other administrative news, a federal judge denied the Trump administration’s request to block the release of John Bolton’s book. It is set to be published on Tuesday as scheduled.
Track the recovery of the U.S. economy as lockdowns are phasing out with these five charts.
U.S. traffic volume has returned to approximately 90% pre-pandemic levels, according to data from INRIX.
Robinhood announced new changes to its free-trading app on Friday, making it more difficult for users to access its options trading features. The announcement comes after a 20-year-old college student committed suicide last week and, in a note, mentioned he incurred $730,000 in losses on the trading platform. A relative later said the student may have misinterpreted the state of his account.
Down To The Wire
Wirecard CEO Markus Braun resigned on Friday after 18 years at the helm of the German fintech company. The move comes a day after auditing firm Ernst & Young (EY) announced they couldn’t locate $2.1 billion of cash on the company’s balance sheet. Shares of Wirecard have fallen ~77% since Thursday’s announcement from EY.
More: In other accounting fraud news, several banks won court orders to liquidate tens of millions of dollars worth of Luckin Coffee stock belonging to Chairman Charles Lu.
You’ve Got A Friend In Me
Billy Flanigan, an entertainer at Walt Disney World, has spent the last 38 years making friends with his coworkers. When the theme park shut down in March due to the pandemic, the wheels in Billy’s mind began to turn as he thought of a safe way to bring cheer to his isolated cast members.
Since Disney’s closure, Billy has cycled more than 3,000 miles around Orlando, FL, delivering personalized song and dance routines – called “Flanigrams” – to his colleagues’ front doors. So far, Billy has visited more than 265 friends and colleagues, with many more eagerly awaiting his arrival.
The Show Must Grow On
Nature has quickly begun to replace humans in urban spaces, as stay-at-home orders around the globe have brought the bustle of cities to a halt. In fact, for the first post-lockdown concert of Barcelona’s Liceu opera house, no human attendance is allowed.
Next week, a string quartet at the venue will play composer Giacomo Puccini’s Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums) to an audience of 2,292 potted plants – although human opera enthusiasts may watch the performance via livestream. After the concert, the venerable vegetation will be donated to health workers as thanks for their efforts.
Giving Out Golden Belts
With limited independence and infrequent visits from family members, seniors living in nursing homes can feel lonely and helpless. Recognizing the empowering impact of martial arts on his own life, 15-year-old Jeffrey Wall of Ohio decided to share the sport with the elderly in his area.
Jeffrey, a black belt in the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do, founded the Golden Age Karate program to keep seniors physically and mentally active. Acting as a surrogate grandchild, Jeffrey connects with his students – who he calls “Super Nanas” and “Super Grandpas” – through interactive lessons and handwritten letters.
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