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Europe, bid au revoir to American tourists

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The European Union's decision to bar US citizens from visiting as it reopens its borders to more than a dozen countries could harm European businesses that rely on US dollars to survive. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen reports.

Posted: Jul 1, 2020 8:21 PM
Updated: Jul 1, 2020 8:21 PM

The Canadians will be in Europe this summer, and the Thais and the Moroccans. You might bump into a Rwandan, and no doubt Aussie backpackers will give it a go. If Beijing reciprocates on border openings, Chinese travelers could be on their way, too.

But if you live in the European Union, you probably won't be running into American tourists. The bloc is expected to agree on Tuesday that Yanks will be barred from its member states as the US fights a Covid-19 resurgence.

The move will highlight the failed US effort to suppress the coronavirus pandemic: Charts of new confirmed coronavirus cases on each side of the Atlantic are moving in exactly the opposite direction. Europe's openings could still have the same painful effect that they did in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona. But European states generally imposed earlier, tighter lockdowns than in the US, and mask wearing is not the polarized issue it is here.

If it comes, the EU ruling will be another personal embarrassment to President Donald Trump over his botched management of the pandemic. The President often explodes at perceived slights. But since he's pretty much ignoring the Covid-19 crisis in the US, he might let this one slide. Plus, as the White House has already pointed out, European entry into the US is already suspended.

No-shows by US tourists will hurt the shuttered European tourism industry. Millions bring their dollars across the Atlantic every year, drawn by the continent's history, cuisine and ambience. Italy, France, Germany and Spain welcome the most Americans, according to EU data. But until the two-way flow between the Old and New Worlds is restored, the murmur of admiring visitors in Europe's cathedrals and museums will be missing that certain je ne sais quoi of the overheard American twang.

See you next year, hopefully.

'Oh my God, don't make that phone call'

What has Trump learned of statecraft, after hundreds of "highly classified" phone calls and negotiations with foreign leaders? Not much, according to months of reporting for CNN by veteran Washington reporter Carl Bernstein, whose sources in government say there's little evidence that Trump has become more competent with practice. Rather, staffers say the President still refuses to read briefings before calls, boosts himself personally to strongmen like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and insults female leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel as "stupid" and weak.

Among the revelations: Erdogan's timing for calls was so perfect that some staffers wondered if he had access to Trump's personal schedule. And Trump's haranguing of Merkel was "so unusual" that special measures had to be taken in Berlin to ensure that the calls' specific contents remained secret, according to a German official. No wonder staffers grit their teeth when the President's fingers head for the phone.

Spies who love the spotlight

For an intelligence service that is supposed to operate in the shadows, Russia's GRU seems to attract a lot of headlines. The GRU -- formally known as Main Directorate of the General Staff -- has long been accused by the West of orchestrating brazen and high-profile attacks, including the hacking of Democratic Party email accounts during the 2016 US presidential election and the 2018 nerve agent attack in Salisbury, England.

Now the spy agency is again at the center of international attention, after reports that US intelligence concluded GRU operatives offered cash incentives to the Taliban to kill American and British troops in Afghanistan. But strangely, the alleged operation could potentially conflict with Russia's own stated goal to bring warring parties to the table in Afghanistan.

Russia has cultivated contacts with the Taliban and other warring parties in Afghanistan as a way to influence outcomes in a region it considers its strategic backyard. "It's long been known that there were Russian contacts with the Taliban and at minimum some greasing of the relationship with benefits as a hedging technique," says Laurel Miller, program director for Asia with International Crisis Group.

However, she added, an operation to put bounties on US troops would be far more provocative and a "different thing" from its typical behavior. "It conflicts with what Russian official policy is," she said. In other words, the alleged GRU operation targeting US and coalition troops could have blowback: potentially undermining US support for withdrawal, or perhaps prompting fresh sanctions on Russia.

Yet the agency has a reputation for brazenness -- and has operated seemingly opportunistically or independently of official policy before. Andrew Weiss, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, points out that the GRU does aggressively pursue operations that cause diplomatic fallout.

Intelligence experts say the Salisbury poisoning -- which led to the investigative outlet Bellingcat unmasking the alleged GRU operatives through open-source research -- showed a pattern recklessness and overt brutality, rather than a secretive approach to spycraft. And that sent a message to the GRU's enemies.

"That was a pattern we've seen many times in Ukraine," Weiss said, referring to Russian intelligence activities there. "The Kremlin is hardly a well-oiled machine, but time and again, Putin -- either by denying blatant Russian misdeeds or throwing a safety blanket over his security establishment -- does little to improve Russia's international image." -- CNN's Nathan Hodge writes to Meanwhile from London

Trump says he was never briefed about the GRU's alleged bounty scheme. Asked about that by CNN's Jake Tapper, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded, "If they had this intelligence, they should have briefed the President. Why didn't they? Because they know it makes him very unhappy, and all roads for him lead to Putin" -- a phrase she's used before about Trump's Ukraine and Russian election interference scandals.

In fact, intelligence about the apparent plot did appear in one of Trump's daily briefs early this year, a US official with direct knowledge also told CNN on Monday -- and that it was considered serious enough that the National Security Council staff met to discuss "possible response options," including sanctions, if the intelligence developed.

'If I could build a wall around us...I would'

Trump's not the only US leader itching to build a wall. In light of a massive resurgence in coronavirus cases across the United States, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said Monday that he wouldn't mind a wall just for his region. "We have lived through hell in this state to get to where we are," he said, referring to New Jersey's battle with Covid-19. "Frankly, I'd never thought I'd say these words, but if I could build a wall around us or around our region I would. But we can't, so we have to rely on personal responsibility and the right behavior, the common sense for the common good." Out-of-state visitors must now quarantine for 14 days after arriving in New Jersey.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 775686

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1066871814
Lake572681031
Allen43500701
Hamilton37653427
St. Joseph37508568
Elkhart29882471
Tippecanoe23732232
Vanderburgh23634405
Porter19690327
Johnson19020394
Hendricks18271323
Clark13730199
Madison13719348
Vigo12949256
Monroe12691180
LaPorte12645225
Delaware11218198
Howard10832237
Kosciusko9851124
Hancock8855150
Bartholomew8343157
Warrick8216157
Floyd8128183
Grant7457181
Boone7289105
Wayne7273201
Morgan6988143
Marshall6376117
Dubois6327118
Cass6130112
Noble607391
Dearborn605878
Henry6001111
Jackson520977
Shelby514898
Lawrence5020128
Gibson471697
Montgomery464792
Clinton462755
DeKalb461485
Harrison459277
Huntington429082
Whitley421045
Steuben414561
Miami411573
Jasper403957
Knox397291
Putnam388762
Wabash373884
Adams358956
Ripley354571
Jefferson351487
White341854
Daviess3110100
Wells305981
Greene298485
Decatur294393
Posey288235
Fayette287764
Scott285458
LaGrange278873
Clay277649
Washington257638
Randolph248583
Jennings243349
Spencer240531
Fountain239050
Starke231559
Owen226759
Sullivan224143
Fulton210446
Jay204132
Carroll200623
Orange194456
Perry193139
Vermillion183444
Rush179127
Tipton174348
Franklin173935
Parke157816
Pike144034
Blackford138732
Pulaski124748
Newton124137
Benton111615
Brown106743
Crawford106716
Martin92715
Warren88715
Switzerland8568
Union73910
Ohio58711
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1132798

Reported Deaths: 20530
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1312911496
Cuyahoga1180592268
Hamilton830231263
Montgomery541901064
Summit491891018
Lucas43982835
Butler40324615
Stark34056941
Lorain26232511
Warren25125312
Mahoning22881614
Lake21602397
Clermont20592261
Delaware19295138
Licking16977227
Fairfield16959207
Trumbull16940493
Medina16019278
Greene15721254
Clark14439309
Portage13548219
Wood13411201
Allen12124245
Richland11870214
Miami11140229
Wayne9344228
Columbiana9282236
Muskingum9207137
Pickaway8796123
Marion8774140
Tuscarawas8756257
Erie8220166
Ashtabula7318180
Hancock7080135
Ross7070165
Geauga7032153
Scioto6887108
Belmont6261179
Lawrence6033106
Union595149
Jefferson5787162
Huron5678122
Sandusky5536130
Darke5476131
Seneca5391128
Washington5391111
Athens528660
Auglaize510587
Mercer492885
Shelby487798
Knox4678112
Ashland450198
Madison450066
Defiance444599
Fulton443275
Putnam4366104
Crawford4152112
Brown414163
Preble3988107
Logan396379
Clinton395667
Ottawa378281
Highland370768
Williams361878
Champaign351760
Guernsey334054
Jackson324954
Perry300550
Morrow298544
Fayette291350
Hardin280465
Henry279067
Coshocton275161
Holmes2735102
Van Wert254465
Gallia254150
Adams253658
Pike247137
Wyandot236557
Hocking224163
Carroll203349
Paulding181542
Meigs153940
Monroe139446
Noble138739
Harrison115738
Morgan112024
Vinton88217
Unassigned04
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Van Wert
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The heat and humidity builds into the region as we head into the weekend.
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