Aug 18, 2018

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan dies at 80

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, died early on Saturday morning due to an "undisclosed illness," Reuters reports. He was 80 years old.

The big picture: UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Annan "was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination." He was the first black African to lead the UN, CNN reports, and passed away "peacefully" with his family at his side.

Annan received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 along with the UN for efforts to "give priority to human rights issues," Reuters reports.

  • He was criticized during his tenure for the UN's failure to stop the Rwanda genocide.
  • He said of the UN last year: "The UN can be improved, it is not perfect but if it didn't exist you would have to create it."
  • Former President Barack Obama said in a statement: "Kofi Annan was a diplomat and humanitarian who embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others. His integrity, persistence, optimism, and sense of our common humanity always informed his outreach to the community of nations. ... Michelle and I offer our condolences to his family and many loved ones."

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Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor from delaying state's primary

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Wisconsin's Supreme Court on Monday blocked an executive order by Gov. Tony Evers (D) that attempted to delay in-person voting for the state's primary election — currently scheduled for Tuesday — until June 9.

Driving the news: Judges ruled 4-2 along ideological lines that Evers does not have the power as governor to unilaterally postpone the election, despite the fact that the state has a stay-at-home order in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Stocks jump 7% despite bleak coronavirus projections

People passing by the New York Stock Exchange amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.

Why it matters: The huge market surge comes amid rare optimistic signs that the spread of the coronavirus may be slowing in parts of the country, including New York. But government officials say this will be a difficult week, while economists — including former Fed chair Janet Yellen today — warn that the pandemic could have a catastrophic impact on the global economy.