Israeli artillery pounded northern Gaza early Friday in an attempt to destroy a vast network of militant tunnels inside the territory, the military said, bringing the front lines closer to dense civilian areas and paving the way for a potential ground invasion. Israel has massed troops along the border and called up 9,000 reservists following days of fighting with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza. The stepped-up fighting came as communal violence in Israel erupted for a fourth night, with Jewish and Arab mobs clashing in the flashpoint town of Lod.
When London’s Science Museum reopens next week, it will have some new artifacts: empty vaccine vials, testing kits and other items collected during the pandemic, to be featured in a new COVID-19 exhibition. Thanks to an efficient vaccine rollout program, Britain is finally saying goodbye to months of tough lockdown restrictions. Deaths in Britain have come down to single digits in recent days.
Just weeks ago, the Gaza Strip’s feeble health system was struggling with a runaway surge of coronavirus cases. This week's violence between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers has killed 119 Palestinians, including 31 children, and wounded 830 people in the impoverished territory. Israeli airstrikes have pounded apartments, blown up cars and toppled buildings.
In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. “Today is a great day for America,” President Joe Biden said during a Rose Garden address heralding the new guidance, an event where he and his staff went without masks. Hours earlier in the Oval Office, where Biden was meeting with vaccinated Republican lawmakers, he led the group in removing their masks when the guidance was announced.
These and thousands of other social media posts along with conservative websites and commentators this week misleadingly painted President Joe Biden and his administration as catalysts of chaos — who not only mishandled the temporary shutdown of the nation’s largest fuel pipeline on Friday — but engineered it. In reality, a ransom-seeking cyberattack, not a Biden executive order or energy policy, triggered the shutdown that drove residents of states such as North Carolina to panic-buy so much gas that nearly 70% of service stations in the state remained without fuel on Thursday afternoon. Biden spoke about the hack Thursday as he sought to assuage fears around the supply crunch, reassuring the public that his administration had helped get the Colonial Pipeline back online Wednesday and that remaining outages at gas stations were a “temporary situation" that panic-buying would only exacerbate.
Flouting all evidence and their own first-hand experience, a small but growing number of Republican lawmakers are propagating a false portrayal of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, brazenly arguing that the rioters who used flagpoles as weapons, brutally beat police officers and chanted that they wanted to hang Vice President Mike Pence were somehow acting peacefully in their violent bid to overturn Joe Biden's election. One Republican at a hearing Wednesday called the rioters a “mob of misfits." It’s a turn of events that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, another target of the rioters, called “appalling” and “sick,” and it raises the possibility that the public's understanding of the worst domestic attack on Congress in 200 years — an attack that was captured extensively on video — could become distorted by the same kinds of disinformation that fueled former President Donald Trump's false claims of a stolen election.
Philadelphia's top health official was compelled to resign Thursday after the city's mayor learned partial human remains from the 1985 bombing of the headquarters of a Black organization had been cremated and disposed of without notifying family members. Mayor Jim Kenney said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley made the decision regarding remains of the MOVE bombing victims several years ago. The announcement of Farley's ouster came by design on the 36th anniversary of the MOVE bombing, after Kenney consulted victims' family members.
A top Ukrainian opposition politician with close links to Russian President Vladimir Putin was placed under house arrest Thursday, days after being charged with treason. Viktor Medvedchuk, who heads the Opposition Platform for Life party, the largest opposition force in parliament, denies the charges brought against him last week and says they're politically motivated. Medvedchuk, who has close personal ties with Putin, the godfather of Medvedchuk’s daughter, could face 15 years in prison if tried and convicted.
Former Trump attorney and self-proclaimed “Kraken releaser” Sidney Powell has told prospective donors that her group, Defending the Republic, is a legal defense fund to protect the integrity of U.S. elections. Dominion Voting Systems claims Powell has raided Defending the Republic's coffers to pay for personal legal expenses, citing her own remarks from a radio interview. The Denver-based voting technology vendor sued Powell and others who spread false claims that the company helped steal the 2020 election from Donald Trump.
A key figure in the federal investigation of Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges next week. Joel Greenberg will appear Monday in federal court in Orlando, Florida, for a change of plea hearing, according to court documents. The plea potentially escalates the legal and political jeopardy the Florida congressman is facing and signals that Greenberg could potentially serve as a witness in the Justice Department’s investigation into Gaetz.
The twins were indeed special — they won free rides to the Ivy League, earned medical degrees at prestigious universities, and have thrived in a profession where they are vastly outnumbered by virtue of their skin color. At 33, James and her twin, Dr. Brandi Jackson, have taken on the medical establishment in pioneering work to eliminate racism in medicine. James, an internal medicine doctor, and Jackson, a psychiatrist, have developed anti-racist coursework used in two Chicago medical schools.
More than 120 retired US generals and admirals have published an open letter suggesting that Joe Biden was not legitimately elected as President and questioning his fitness for office. The letter, signed by 124 retired members of the armed forces calling themselves ‘Flag Officers 4 America’, said that America is “in deep peril,” having “taken a hard-Left turn toward Socialism and a Marxist form of tyrannical government”. The letter from US retired military leaders said: “Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the ‘will of the people’ our Constitutional Republic is lost,” and claimed that the FBI and Supreme Court “ignored” irregularities in 2020. The group also questioned the “physical and mental condition of the Commander in Chief” and claimed that questions had been raised about who is really in charge. It also touched on the southern border situation, the Iran nuclear deal, freedom of speech and China.
More than three dozen Senate Republicans are urging President Biden to "unequivocally" support" Israel's right to defend itself, and by "immediately" ending negotiations with Iran on sanctions relief, saying Tehran is "supporting" Hamas’ terrorist activity and recent rocket attacks against Israel.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson dropped plans Thursday to expand the state's Medicaid health care program to thousands of low-income adults after the Republican-led Legislature refused to provide funding for the voter-approved measure. The Republican governor said his administration had withdrawn a request to expand coverage that had been submitted to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in compliance with a constitutional amendment passed by voters last August. "Without a revenue source or funding authority from the General Assembly, we are unable to proceed with the expansion at this time and must withdraw our State Plan Amendments to ensure Missouri’s existing MO HealthNet program remains solvent,” Parson said Thursday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that the deadly school shooting in Kazan “has shaken” the country and ordered the government to revise school security protocols and tighten control over civilian gun ownership. “The tragedy has definitely shaken all of us,” Putin said, speaking at a meeting with government officials via video link Thursday. A gunman on Tuesday morning attacked a school in Kazan, the capital of Russia's Tatarstan republic 430 miles (700 kilometers) east of Moscow.
Several other German cities including Berlin, Hamburg and Hannover have seen anti-Israeli protests over the past few days. At least two synagogues were attacked, and several Israeli flags were torn down and burned since the latest eruption of violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Tents in a Rohingya refugee camp cluster on a muddy hillside in Bangladesh. Saleh Ahmed, CC BY-NDWhile it may seem that much of the world has been locked down during the past pandemic year, more than 80 million people are currently on the move – unwillingly. Facing conflict in Syria, human rights violations in Myanmar and violence in Eritrea, among other hot spots, refugees are trying to relocate to North America and Western Europe, or at least to neighboring countries. Large camps of displaced persons can wreak major environmental damage. Refugees use and pollute water, deplete wood supplies for fuel, and poach animals for food, often harming parks, nature reserves and World Heritage Sites. These impacts make host countries less willing to receive more refugees. International law offers refugees only limited protection. Mainly, it bars forcing them to return to the places where they were persecuted. It is quite difficult for refugees to attain adequate redress or relief. We study international law and the human dimensions of global environmental change. Our research on the environmental calamity caused by over 1 million Rohingya refugees fleeing from Myanmar into Bangladesh has convinced us that a new angle is worth considering. We believe that countries offering safe harbor to refugees should have a legal option to sue the sending country for environmental damages. Such payments would help pay for some of the impacts of housing thousands of displaced persons, and could even provide some direct support to the refugees for their living costs. Refugees strain resources Imagine a million homeless people suddenly moving to your region without jobs, money, food or belongings. They would have myriad needs, starting with clean water, toilets, health care and food. This is the situation in Bangladesh, where over 1 million displaced Rohingya have fled since August 2017 to escape violence in their home country, Myanmar. The resulting environmental damage in Bangladesh is unprecedented and massive. Temporary makeshift housing for Rohingya has destroyed at least 3,713 acres of critical reserve forests as refugees cut trees for housing and fuel. As a result, soil erosion has increased dramatically. More than 100 tons of human waste and garbage has polluted canals and waterways, severely degrading local air quality. Camps have been constructed in areas that are habitat for Asian elephants, leading to clashes between humans and these endangered animals. The limits of international law Under current international law, a sending state that causes people to run away does not typically bear any financial responsibility. We believe it is time to hold governments that cause massive exoduses accountable for human and financial losses. Rohingya refugees search for their belongings following a fire at the Nayapara refugee camp in Teknaf, Bangladesh, Jan. 14, 2021. AFP via Getty Images There are strong historical grounds for holding the sending state responsible for environment damage. In the Trails Smelter Arbitration of 1938 and 1941, the U.S. successfully sued Canada for pollution damages caused by a smelting factory near the border. The Canadian company had to cease operations because its factory emitted harmful fumes, and it was required to pay for the damages it caused. This case established a principle called the “no-harm rule,” which dictates that a state has a strict obligation not to cause environmental harm in another state. Today the no-harm rule reflects customary international law – a set of international rules that all states accept as binding and are obligated to uphold. Like fumes from a factory, refugees can cross international borders as they flee from persecution. The sending state caused them to flee, and could have prevented their exodus from happening. The receiving state presumably has not consented to a huge influx of displaced people that causes severe environmental damage. A state can rely on customary international law to bring a cause of action against another state, and make use of international bodies like the United Nations to engage the process and involve international actors and organizations. States can also invoke principles of customary international law in international courts, such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. The International Court of Justice, for example, relied on the no-harm rule both in its 1996 Advisory Opinion Regarding the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons and a 1997 dispute between Hungary and Slovakia over a hydroelectric dam on the Danube River. Refugee camps in Idlib, Syria, flooded in heavy rains, Jan. 31, 2021. Muhammad al-Rifai/NurPhoto via Getty Images The human right to a clean environment International law does recognize that governments have a duty to protect and preserve the environment, and to provide stable and suitable places for all people. States have begun to codify this responsibility in treaties like the Arab Charter on Human Rights, the American Convention of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Council of Europe also has recognized the right to a clean and healthy environment. Court decisions under the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms have relied on the right to life, the right to health and the right to privacy and family life to uphold a right to a clean environment. More than 100 states have already codified the right to a clean environment in their constitutions. Recent lawsuits against states include one against Indonesia for unhealthy air quality in Jakarta and another against the Brazilian government filed by a number of opposition parties for not adequately protecting the environment, including healthy biodiversity and a safe climate in the Amazon rainforest. The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment created the Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment in 2018. This document affirms that states should work together to prevent global environmental harm and to protect vulnerable groups. Bangladesh could challenge Myanmar in court Based on these principles and precedents, we believe that Bangladesh has a strong legal foundation to challenge Myanmar for environmental damages. The impacts on Bangladesh of accepting huge numbers of Rohingya can be calculated and presented in court. The right to a clean environment also can prevent states from creating forced massive human displacement in the future. [Over 100,000 readers rely on The Conversation’s newsletter to understand the world. Sign up today.] Bangladesh can demonstrate that Myanmar bears responsibility for environmental damages because Myanmar’s persecution of the Rohingya caused them to flee, and it can claim costs involved in caring for them. Long recognized as one of the world’s most environmentally vulnerable countries, Bangladesh needs to avoid further environmental damage as it provides basic needs for the Rohingya population. In our view, the very land that displaced people occupy can help them and their hosts find relief under the law.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Leonard Hammer, University of Arizona and Saleh Ahmed, Boise State University. Read more:I visited the Rohingya refugee camps and here is what Bangladesh is doing rightSyrian refugees in Turkey are there to stay, at least for now The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
The black market for stolen personal information motivates most data breaches. aleksey-martynyuk/iStock via Getty ImagesData breaches have become common, and billions of records are stolen worldwide every year. Most of the media coverage of data breaches tends to focus on how the breach happened, how many records were stolen and the financial and legal impact of the incident for organizations and individuals affected by the breach. But what happens to the data that is stolen during these incidents? As a cybersecurity researcher, I track data breaches and the black market in stolen data. The destination of stolen data depends on who is behind a data breach and why they’ve stolen a certain type of data. For example, when data thieves are motivated to embarrass a person or organization, expose perceived wrongdoing or improve cybersecurity, they tend to release relevant data into the public domain. In 2014, hackers backed by North Korea stole Sony Pictures Entertainment employee data such as Social Security numbers, financial records and salary information, as well as emails among top executives. The hackers then published the emails to embarrass the company, possibly in retribution for releasing a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. Sometimes when data is stolen by national governments it is not disclosed or sold. Instead, it is used for espionage. For example, the hotel company Marriott was the victim of a data breach in 2018 in which personal information on 500 million guests was stolen. The key suspects in this incident were hackers backed by the Chinese government. One theory is that the Chinese government stole this data as part of an intelligence-gathering effort to collect information about U.S. government officials and corporate executives. But the majority of hacks seem to be about selling the data to make a buck. It’s (mostly) about the money Though data breaches can be a national security threat, 86% are about money, and 55% are committed by organized criminal groups, according to Verizon’s annual data breach report. Stolen data often ends up being sold online on the dark web. For example, in 2018 hackers offered for sale more than 200 million records containing the personal information of Chinese individuals. This included information on 130 million customers of the Chinese hotel chain Huazhu Hotels Group. Similarly, data stolen from Target, Sally Beauty, P.F. Chang, Harbor Freight and Home Depot turned up on a known online black-market site called Rescator. While it is easy to find marketplaces such as Rescator through a simple Google search, other marketplaces on the dark web can be found only by using special web browsers. Buyers can purchase the data they are interested in. The most common way to pay for the transaction is with bitcoins or via Western Union. The prices depend on the type of data, its demand and its supply. For example, a big surplus of stolen personally identifiable information caused its price to drop from US$4 for information about a person in 2014 to $1 in 2015. Email dumps containing anywhere from a hundred thousand to a couple of million email addresses go for $10, and voter databases from various states sell for $100. Where stolen data goes Buyers use stolen data in several ways. Credit card numbers and security codes can be used to create clone cards for making fraudulent transactions. Social Security numbers, home addresses, full names, dates of birth and other personally identifiable information can be used in identity theft. For example, the buyer can apply for loans or credit cards under the victim’s name and file fraudulent tax returns. Sometimes stolen personal information is purchased by marketing firms or companies that specialize in spam campaigns. Buyers can also use stolen emails in phishing and other social engineering attacks and to distribute malware. Hackers have targeted personal information and financial data for a long time because they are easy to sell. Health care data has become a big attraction for data thieves in recent years. In some cases the motivation is extortion. A good example is the theft of patient data from the Finnish psychotherapy practice firm Vastaamo. The hackers used the information they stole to demand a ransom from not only Vastaamo, but also from its patients. They emailed patients with the threat to expose their mental health records unless the victims paid a ransom of 200 euros in bitcoins. At least 300 of these stolen records have been posted online, according to an Associated Press report. Stolen data including medical diplomas, medical licenses and insurance documents can also be used to forge a medical background. How to know and what to do What can you do to minimize your risk from stolen data? The first step is to find out if your information is being sold on the dark web. You can use websites such as haveibeenpwned and IntelligenceX to see whether your email was part of stolen data. It is also a good idea to subscribe to identity theft protection services. If you have been the victim of a data breach, you can take these steps to minimize the impact: Inform credit reporting agencies and other organizations that collect data about you, such as your health care provider, insurance company, banks and credit card companies, and change the passwords for your accounts. You can also report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission to get a tailored plan to recover from the incident.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Ravi Sen, Texas A&M University. Read more:Data insecurity leads to economic injustice – and hits the pocketbooks of the poor mostData breaches are inevitable – here’s how to protect yourself anyway Ravi Sen does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
The GOP once stood up for small government or big business, or to foreign enemies or domestic taxes. Now it’s just a cult of personality ‘The Grand Old Party is now willing to twist and turn to the whims of its sociopathic former leader.’ Photograph: Carlos Barría/Reuters What is the point of the Republican party? This isn’t a flip question. It’s one prompted by the last four months of grappling with the fallout of the bloody insurrection on Capitol Hill, and by the last four years of grappling with the fallout of installing a fascist in the White House. So, for real: what does the GOP stand for? Apart from trying to seize back power, what does it want to do? The answer, as Liz Cheney has learned, is to pander to the ego of a single Florida resident who has no obvious or coherent political purpose. This might just explain why the party has been struggling so hard to respond to the last four months of the most tenuous Democratic control in Washington. The Biden team has not commanded the nation’s capital from a position of strength because of LBJ-like powers of persuasion, Democratic unity or structural majorities. They have succeeded because Republicans sorely lack – as George HW Bush used to put it – the vision thing. There was a time, not so long ago, when the GOP stood for small government, or big business, or at least big churches, or sometimes the little guy. They were for standing up to foreign enemies and domestic taxes. There was, for what it was worth, a contest of ideas and worldviews between the two sides of the aisle: between the notion that government could do big things, and that government should only do small things – that markets and businesses either needed regulation, or were marvelously efficient at solving all our problems. After four years of Donald Trump, that is no longer the world we’re living in. To be fair, three decades’ worth of upheaval – the colossal failures of the war on terror, the financial crisis, a historic pandemic, the climate crisis and a technological revolution – may have made matters worse. But here we are nonetheless at a point where the Grand Old Party has shrunk into a small old cult of personality, willing to twist and turn to the whims of its sociopathic former leader. Consistency meant nothing inside the cult. More billions of spending on a nonsensical border wall? The deficit hawks said no problem. More bullying business leaders by presidential tweet? The capitalist caucus said bring it on. More cozying up to the leaders of Russia, China and even North Korea? The defense hawks thought that sounded fine. Paying off porn stars with campaign dollars? The party of family values barely blushed. Each one of these big and small sellouts brought the party to the point where it fired Liz Cheney from the House leadership on Tuesday for stating the obvious: Trump lost the election last year and stoked an insurrection to save face. Cheney is a conservative’s conservative, who voted with Trump 92.9% of the time – more than the party’s Senate leader, Mitch McConnell. But Cheney knows that if we cannot agree on democratic principles like free and fair elections, or the constitution, we cannot begin to debate the principles or policies that separate Republicans from Democrats. “I am a conservative Republican and the most conservative of conservative principles is reverence for the rule of law. The electoral college has voted. More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple judges he appointed, have rejected the former president’s claims,” she said on the House floor on Tuesday. “Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the constitution. Our duty is clear. Every one of us who has sworn the oath must act to prevent the unraveling of our democracy. This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans. Remaining silent, and ignoring the lie, emboldens the liar.” Clearly most Republican members of Congress don’t care – mostly because they think they are on a winning track. There is a near-universal expectation that the Republicans will take back at least half of Congress next year, and that its lickspittle House leader Kevin McCarthy, will finally rise from his semi-prone position to become speaker. Democrats have succeeded because Republicans sorely lack – as George HW Bush used to put it – the vision thing But while incumbent presidents tend to lose power in their first midterms, there is nothing pre-ordained about this prognosis. It just gets repeated so often, it feels that way. There was a president, not so long ago, who bucked that trend. His name was George W Bush and his vice-president was a man named Dick Cheney, father of Liz. While their opponents wanted to re-litigate the disputed election of 2000, Bush and Cheney were focused on supposedly keeping the country safe. Yes, the 2002 elections were the first after the 9/11 attacks, but the framing was devastatingly effective: are you with the president’s party, or with the terrorists? It wasn’t fair or accurate, but it was simple and successful enough to pick up seats in both the House and Senate. It’s not hard to imagine a similar election for Democrats next year, the first after Covid is finally crushed. Are you for or against the pandemic? Are you for or against building back better? Are you for or against investing in bridges, or childcare, or community college? Instead, the Republican party is determined to answer its own burning question about whether you are for or against Donald Trump. This may satisfy the legions of hardcore Trump fans, but they clearly do not represent a winning majority. So far, their broader attempts to portray Joe Biden as a scary socialist have failed: Biden’s approval ratings are much higher than Trump’s, and that includes positive ratings from almost half of Republicans. Where does the GOP end up? Much like its sidekick for the last several decades, the National Rifle Association. The NRA has been a fearsomely effective political machine, blocking any attempt at gun safety laws by mobilizing just 5 million members. Along the way, it became a cult of personality and corruption revolving around its leader, Wayne LaPierre. Now, after a failed legal gambit to declare bankruptcy, it faces the full force of New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, who is suing to shut the NRA down. “The rot runs deep,” she said on Tuesday. “No one is above the law. Not even one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in the country.” The rot runs deep across the right. Powerful political parties and organizations can suddenly seem brittle after years of hollowing out. Americans might love big personalities, but they love the law even more.
A group of United Nations members has demanded that China grant "immediate, meaningful and unfettered access" to Xinjiang for the group's human rights chief to inspect alleged abuses of Uygurs and other Muslim minorities there. In a virtual hearing called by Britain, Germany and the United States and backed by 15 other mostly Western UN member states, China was accused by a procession of ambassadors, rights groups and academics of "systematic" persecution of minorities in the far western region. China was also accused of using its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council - as well as its growing economic heft - of blocking efforts to investigate events in Xinjiang. Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. "We appeal to China to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and we ask China to tear down the detention camps. If you have nothing to hide, why do you not finally grant unimpeded access to the commissioner for human rights?" Christoph Heusgen, the German ambassador to the UN, asked. Christoph Heusgen, Germany's UN ambassador, asked: "If you have nothing to hide, why do you not finally grant unimpeded access to the high commissioner for human rights?" Photo: Europa Newswire/Gado/Getty Images alt=Christoph Heusgen, Germany's UN ambassador, asked: "If you have nothing to hide, why do you not finally grant unimpeded access to the high commissioner for human rights?" Photo: Europa Newswire/Gado/Getty Images The UN's special rapporteur on minority issues, Fernand de Varennes, said the UN had itself been "timid" in its failure to criticise the situation in Xinjiang more insistently. "Given the scale of what we have been hearing, or the allegations that have been made, I must admit it seems very timid and I would acknowledge that seems very timid from the side of the UN not to be more vocal and assertive in trying to obtain collaboration from the government of China," he said. "Where there's smoke, there's fire, and there's a heck of a lot of smoke right now affecting hundreds of thousands of people, most of them minorities, most of them Muslims and most of them Uygurs," Varennes added. The Turkish delegation described the situation facing Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang as "extremely worrying", saying that Ankara had raised the issue with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on his visit to the country in March, adding that it supported "immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region" for the UN human rights chief. In a strongly worded, unconventional interjection, Guo Jiakun, a member of China's UN delegation, decried the "lies of the century" and reiterated Beijing's consistent position that no human rights abuses are taking place in Xinjiang. As he spoke, someone held a mobile phone up to the camera and played a video of a former US army officer claiming that the West seeks to use unrest in Xinjiang to destabilise the central Chinese government. The clip, which has gone viral on the Chinese internet, shows Lawrence Wilkerson - who was chief of staff to Colin Powell when he was US secretary of state - addressing a 2018 Washington conference by the conservative Ron Paul Institute, saying that the Central Intelligence Agency would mount an operation in China using Uygurs in Xinjiang. "So the truth is, it is not about human rights in Xinjiang, it's about using Xinjiang as a political tool for containing China," Guo said, adding that allegations of genocide and forced labour are "lies of the century, which never happened, and it will never happen in China". "We welcome everyone to visit Xinjiang, but we oppose any kind of investigation based on lies, and with the presumption of guilt," he added. The UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has been in talks about a visit to Xinjiang, but no human rights commissioner has visited the country since September 2005. A planned visit to the region by EU ambassadors in March stalled over their request for access to Ilham Tohti, the jailed Uygur academic. Reuters reported last week that China's UN delegation had urged members not to attend the hearing, saying: "We request your mission NOT to participate in this anti-China event." But China was greatly outnumbered at the hearing, after diplomats from nations including Australia, Denmark, France and Slovakia all made statements condemning Beijing's actions in Xinjiang and calling for an independent inspection of the situation. US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield joined the call for China to grant the UN's human rights chief "immediate, meaningful and unfettered access" to Xinjiang. Photo: AP alt=US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield joined the call for China to grant the UN's human rights chief "immediate, meaningful and unfettered access" to Xinjiang. Photo: AP Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, argued that there were "credible reports that many Uygur people and other ethnic and religious minorities who only wish to practice basic freedom of religion, belief, expression and movement are being forced to work until they drop, manufacturing clothes and goods at the behest of the state". Xinjiang has become a major bone of geopolitical contention between China and the West. In March, Britain, Canada, the European Union and the US coordinated sanctions on Chinese officials and an entity for their roles in the alleged abuses; Beijing immediately followed with reprisals on a host of European elected officials, academics and ambassadors. The tit-for-tat sanctioning has raised questions concerning the completion of a broad EU-China investment deal, reached at the end of 2020 but yet to be ratified by the European Parliament. Last year, the US government, then led by Donald Trump, became the first to classify the collective programme of actions in Xinjiang as "genocide". Joe Biden's administration has maintained this stance. Parliaments in Britain, Canada and the Netherlands have also defined Xinjiang abuses as genocide, but their respective governments have not endorsed the stances. Human rights groups and academics speaking at Wednesday's hearing said that without access to Xinjiang, it was difficult to ascertain the conditions of genocide, but urged governments not to play down the gravity of lesser "crimes against humanity". "What's going on in Xinjiang is clearly an example of crimes against humanity, which is very severe. There's this tendency to feel that if you do not call it genocide is not really bad, that is wrong. You know, crimes against humanity is awful," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. Roth said the UN should explore "alternative avenues to justice" that could bypass China's use of its Security Council veto. This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Why would an anonymous, unpublished, non-peer reviewed, allegedly academic report attract the attention and angst of a tribe of China watchers? Answer: when the topic is Xinjiang. The vast Xinjiang region of China - three times the size of France and with a population of 25.8 million - has drawn intense controversy over allegations of forced labour and state-sponsored internment of people from Muslim ethnic groups living there. Politicians in the United States, Canada, Britain and the Netherlands have said China's policies in Xinjiang amount to genocide, citing allegations of as many as 1 million Muslim ethnic Uygur people from the region being held in detention camps. Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Beijing has rejected those accusations, saying the camps are vocational schools and part of efforts to combat poverty as well as counter extremist groups that instigated violence and terror attacks and sought to radicalise Muslim communities in the region. As Xinjiang becomes another front in the multiplying lines of conflict between China and a grouping of countries allied with the US, an anonymous 18-page document started to appear in the email in-boxes of academics in mid-April titled: "Xinjiang: what do we know, how and why?" The report says much of the evidence used by critics of China's policies in Xinjiang is exaggerated and inaccurate, and that the claims of mass internment of Uygurs have not been verified. A footnote in the paper says the authors wish to remain anonymous to avoid "hate mail, letters sent to their employers, or additional risks to tenure". The South China Morning Post has not been able to establish who the authors are, or whether they are academics as the footnote indicates. However, the report has found an audience and generated debate among China specialists in the West. Allegations over China's treatment of Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region have drawn intense controversy. Photo: AFP alt=Allegations over China's treatment of Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region have drawn intense controversy. Photo: AFP Professor Jane Golley, an economist and China specialist at the Australian National University, picked up on the report during a speech at Australia's National Press Club on April 21. "Just last week, I received a scholarly article that debunks much of what you have read in Western media on this topic, including the figure of 1 million Uygurs in detention camps, the pervasive use of forced labour, and on calling it genocide," she said. "But the authors have sent this anonymously, because they fear the reaction here in Australia, by those who are committed to the dominant narrative, fact or not." Golley later told The Sydney Morning Herald that she received the report from a former Australian ambassador to China, who she declined to name. She said she did not know who wrote the report, but that they would be "persecuted" if known. Golley told the Post by email that she was trying to argue for rational debate. "I was trying to make the point that I found some of the [paper's] contents convincing. I did not endorse it," she said. Timothy Grose, an associate professor of China studies at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Maryland, said he was interested when he heard about the new Xinjiang report, believing it could bring new information to light. Grose said he had made more than a dozen research trips to Xinjiang since 2002 and written several peer-reviewed articles on China's ethnic policies in the region. He is also fluent in Uygur and Mandarin. However, he was less than impressed with the Xinjiang paper. "It was built up as this path-breaking piece of research, and when I read it, I was shocked at how poorly it was written, and just the lack of academic rigour that was put in the piece," he said. Much of the Xinjiang paper focuses on the work of German anthropologist Adrian Zenz, a non-resident fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington. Zenz has become a go-to authority on Xinjiang in the Western media for his research into allegations of internment camps, forced labour, and sterilisation of Uygur women. The paper said the methodology Zenz used in a 2018 peer-reviewed article, published in the academic journal Central Asian Survey, was flawed because it took data from Chinese government documents on ethnic minorities detained in smaller geographic areas and then extrapolated the information to cover the entire region. "We should stress that the point here is not about whether such actions are ethically acceptable, but that many of the claims about their scale appear to be seriously exaggerated, and not well based in evidence. In fact, Zenz's article [from 2018] reveals no direct, verifiable evidence of mass internment," the report said. In an interview, Zenz said the report was a bad-faith attack on his work because it ignored subsequent articles that cited government documents listing thousands of members of ethnic minorities in detention camps. By focusing on estimates, the unnamed authors were trying to question if there is a campaign of mass internment of members of Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, he said. "We don't have hard data on the actual internment numbers, those are of course estimates and interpolations from smaller data sets," Zenz said. "Regardless if it's 800,000, 1.2 million, or 2 million, we know it's mass internment." Xinjiang specialist Grose said that many scholars, including Zenz, had said the figure of 1 million detainees was an estimate, but that has not translated into media reports. "Oftentimes, the 1 million figure is used uncritically, and especially it's reproduced and recycled in media where it's almost become this undisputed fact," he said. Regardless of the media approach, Grose said he disagreed with the paper's suggestion there was no hard evidence of mass internment. Grose is part of the Xinjiang Documentation Project, a joint scholarly effort to share primary source material on the lives of the region's Uygurs and Kazakhs, the two largest Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. He said he had put 325 documents from official Chinese sources related to incarcerations in Xinjiang on the project's website. Grose said the paper suggested it was more plausible that local ethnic people were graduating from vocational schools rather than political re-education camps, an argument he said was disingenuous. "I have posted and made publicly available Chinese sources that call students of these vocational schools 'detainees', you don't call students 'detainees'," he said. The paper also argues that research by Zenz and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a think tank, misconstrues China's policies to provide jobs to low-income citizens as forced labour. It also challenges Zenz's findings on alleged sterilisation of Uygur women. Zenz said he was well aware of labour policies in developing countries, such as China. "The difference is how it is done and [in Xinjiang's case] it is done in the context of a police state, and a mechanism of social control," he said. Zenz's allegations of forced sterilisations in Xinjiang were the basis for a June 2020 report published by The Jamestown Foundation think tank based in Washington. This report, which said the Chinese government could be committing genocide as defined by the United Nations, became the cornerstone for the US government's decision to use the term "genocide" to describe China's policies in Xinjiang. Since then, the parliaments of Canada, the Netherlands and Britain have all passed motions to call the policies in the region a genocide against Uygurs. The Xinjiang report said Zenz's work did not give proof that China's government had intent to destroy the Uygur ethnic group. It noted a decline in the Uygur birth rate, but attributed it to China implementing family planning policies that the Han majority have been subject to for decades. Zenz said this again misrepresented the data he presented. "What I show is that the birth rate for Uygurs dramatically declined in 2017 and 2018. I also said that there was family planning among the Han, but of course, the Han have nowhere ever had a birth decline like the Uygurs in those two years," he said. However, other Xinjiang specialists critical of China's human rights record disagree with the genocide label. James Leibold, a professor specialising in China's ethnic minorities at La Trobe University in Australia, argued in The Diplomat magazine on May 1 that colonialism better described what was happening in Xinjiang, not genocide. "Aspects of China's new policy direction [on Xinjiang] are certainly destructive, yet their colonial intent ultimately seeks to transform - not exterminate - the physical and social landscape of Xinjiang and other peripheral regions under the government's control," he wrote. Xinjiang scholar Grose said articles such as Leibold's were an example of a good-faith critique of the genocide designation. He said this compares with the authors of the report citing risk of losing tenure as a reason for not publishing their names and affiliations. "It's almost cowardly," he said. "[Leibold] published the article with his name, and to my knowledge he's not getting any sort of nasty backlash from it, certainly people can disagree on this but his disagreement is based on engagement with sources and proper contextualisation," he said. Zenz said the anonymous paper ignored the obstacles the Chinese government put in the way of those trying to understand what was happening in the region. "It does not acknowledge anything, limited access to journalists, lies, counterpropaganda, attacking witnesses, stopping information flow, stopping the publication of certain data," he said. Zenz has been sanctioned by China's government for his research on Xinjiang and state media publishes regular articles attacking him. A watchtower on a high-security facility near what is believed to be a re-education camp on the outskirts of Hotan in Xinjiang. Beijing says the camps are vocational schools. Photo: AFP alt=A watchtower on a high-security facility near what is believed to be a re-education camp on the outskirts of Hotan in Xinjiang. Beijing says the camps are vocational schools. Photo: AFP Professor Barry Sautman, who teaches political science and international law at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and specialises in China's ethnic policies, has a different view of the report. "Given the limitations of the data that we currently have, the paper in question is a sound examination of the principal politicised Xinjiang-related issues, because it tests the claims being made in the mainstream Western discourse of Xinjiang, both empirically and logically, and finds them wanting," he said. Sautman said he was not convinced of a genocide taking place in Xinjiang and thought it was highly probable that there was no forced labour either, but that China had a long way to go to prove otherwise. He said it would require a list of publicly available statistics, including a complete list of all "vocational centres" that exist or existed in Xinjiang, how many people were in such centres, for how long, and what proportion were there voluntarily or otherwise. Field studies of labour practices in Xinjiang and of other Uygurs who work outside the region would also be needed. "For any of that to happen, the Chinese government would have to change its perspective on how social science investigation is carried out, to make it transparent and multinational," he said. "It is a long way from doing that at present." This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lawyers for Meng Wanzhou will open another front in her marathon extradition battle next month, when they seek to admit new evidence from HSBC that they believe will bolster their contention that the Huawei Technologies executive is the victim of an abuse of process. An application to admit the evidence will be made on June 7, and a hearing conducted on June 29 and 30, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said at a case management conference in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver on Wednesday. The nature of the evidence has not been revealed, although Meng's lawyers say the material is "copious". The evidence is being provided as the result of a court ruling in Hong Kong last month, in which HSBC agreed to provide the material. Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Meng, who is Huawei's chief financial officer and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, has been fighting against a US request to have her extradited to face trial in New York ever since she was arrested at Vancouver's airport on December 1, 2018. She is accused of defrauding HSBC by lying about Huawei's business dealings in Iran, thus putting the bank at risk of breaching US sanctions on the Middle Eastern country. She denies the charges. Meng, who attended Wednesday's hearing by phone, was bound over until May 31 when another case management conference will be held remotely in accordance with pandemic precautions. She spoke briefly to confirm she would return to court in person on June 29. The court had originally been expected to hear final arguments in the extradition case this month. But Meng's lawyers last month secured an adjournment to have those arguments heard in August instead, giving them time to assess the HSBC evidence. Canadian government lawyers representing US interests in the case have accused Meng of using delaying tactics. Meng's arrest triggered upheaval in China's relations with Canada and the US. Two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, were arrested in China soon after her detention, and recently underwent closed-door trials for espionage. No verdicts have been announced, while Canada has said the men are victims of arbitrary detention and hostage diplomacy by China. Wednesday's case management conference had been postponed last week due to technical problems with the remote hearing. This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Dublin, May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Ambulance and Emergency Equipment: Global Markets" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. Emergency medical services (EMS) or ambulance services provide prehospital medical care and transportation services to hospitals and medical facilities. The rise in demand for emergency medical services has led to the growth in the ambulance equipment market. This accelerated demand is partly due to the economic recession, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sociopolitical factors such as BREXIT in Europe and other factors that led to many people losing their health insurance coverage. As a result, many of these individual's health issues escalated into conditions requiring emergency medical services. The other factor driving the growth of this market is the increase in the aging population and the subsequent increase in the incidence of chronic health issues that require emergency healthcare services. The population of people age 65 and older will continue to grow through the forecast period (2025) and will impact the growth of this market in future years. This report offers a detailed picture of the market for ambulance and emergency equipment. It highlights the current and future market potential for an ambulance and emergency equipment and provides a detailed analysis of the competitive environment, the regulatory scenario, drivers, restraints, opportunities, and trends in the market. This report also covers market projections through 2025 and market shares for key market players. This report details market shares for an ambulance and emergency equipment based on type and geography. Based on type, the market is segmented into the following: infection control; cardiac and respiratory; transportation ambulance and emergency equipment; diagnostics; trauma and burn care; blood and hemorrhage control; and hypothermia prevention. By geography, the market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Rest of the World. Detailed analyses of major countries (the U.S., Canada, Germany, the U.K., France, Spain, Italy, Japan, China, and India) are covered in regional segments. For market estimates, data has been provided for 2019 as the base year, with forecasts for 2020-2025. Estimated values are based on ambulance and emergency equipment manufacturers' total revenues. The report includes: An updated overview of the global market for an ambulance and emergency medical services (EMS) equipment within the healthcare industryAnalyses of the global market trends, with data from 2020, estimates for 2021, and projections of five-year compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2025Discussion of factors driving the growth of ambulance and EMS equipment markets, trends and patterns, regulatory standards, and technological advancements shaping the marketplaceEstimation of the actual market size and revenue forecasts for the ambulance and emergency equipment, and corresponding market share analysis with major regions and countries involvedPatent analysis with significant patent allotmentsCompany profiles of the major listed players, including 3M, Dragerwerk AG & Co. KGaA, General Electric, GE Healthcare, Koninklijke Philips, Medtronic, and Stryker Corp. Key Topics Covered: Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Summary and Highlights Chapter 3 Market and Technology Background Chapter 4 Impact of COVID-19 Impact of COVID-19 on the Global EconomyGovernment Expenditures on COVID-19Predictions for the Global EconomyQuick RecoveryGlobal SlowdownImpact of COVID-19 on the Medical Device MarketProduction Capacity for Medical SuppliesImpact on the Medical Device Supply ChainImpact on the Production of Medical Devices in the Middle East and AfricaImpact on Insurance ProvidersImpact on Health Technology Assessment Chapter 5 Analysis of Market Factors Supply Chain AnalysisOverviewR&D, Product Design and Early Design PrototypingRegulatory Submissions and ApprovalsRaw Material SupplyManufacture of Ambulance and Emergency EquipmentPorter's Five Forces Chapter 6 Market Breakdown by Type of Equipment Global Market by Type of EquipmentInfection ControlCardiac and Respiratory EquipmentTransportation EquipmentDiagnosticsTrauma and Burn CareBlood and Hemorrhage ControlHypothermia Prevention Chapter 7 Market Breakdown by Region Chapter 8 Patent Analysis Chapter 9 Regulatory Landscape Regulatory AspectsFDA Recalls and Safety AlertsAmbulatory Equipment Regulatory Organizations Chapter 10 Competitive Landscape Transportation EquipmentBlood and Hemorrhage Control EquipmentTrauma and Burn Care EquipmentDiagnostic DevicesCardiac and Respiratory Control EquipmentInfection ControlHypothermia Prevention Chapter 11 Company Profiles 3M5.11 TacticalAllegro IndustriesAllied Healthcare ProductsAlmeva BvAmbu A/SAmerican Diagnostics Corp.Ansell Ltd.Asahi Kasei Corp.Aseptic Control Products Inc.BLS Systems Ltd.Bound Tree MedicalBowen MedicalBriggs HealthcareBlackhawkBurnfreeCertified Safety Manufacturing Inc.CFM Technologies Inc.Chief SupplyChinook Medical Gear Inc.Combat Medical SystemsCreative Health Products Inc.Cura SurgicalDefibtech LlcDick Medical SupplyDragerwerk Ag & Co. KgaaDukal Corp.Emergency Medical InternationalEmergency Medical Products Inc.Estill Medical Technologies Inc.Ferno Washington Inc.Fieldtex Products Inc.First Care Products Ltd.General ElectricGraham MedicalHammond Enterprises LlcH&H Medical Corp.Heartsine Technologies Inc.Honeywell Safety ProductsInnovative Trauma CareInternational BiomedicalJunkin Safety Appliance Co.Kimberly-ClarkKoninklijke Philips N.V.Mansell Neonatal Retrieval SystemMckesson Corp.Mcr Medical Supply Inc.Medicepax LlcMedtrade Products Ltd.MedtronicMetrex ResearchMichigan InstrumentsMinto Research & DevelopmentMobi Medical SupplyMorrison MedicalNational Creative Enterprises (NCE)Nice Neotech Medical SystemsNorth American Rescue LlcNumask Inc.Phoenix Medical SystemsPrestige MedicalQuake KareQuantum Ems LlcSafetec Of America Inc.Stryker Corp.Water-Jel Technologies LlcWelch Allyn Inc.Ziamatic Corp.Z-Medica Corp.Zoll Medical Corp. For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/1o5lfm About ResearchAndMarkets.comResearchAndMarkets.com is the world's leading source for international market research reports and market data. We provide you with the latest data on international and regional markets, key industries, the top companies, new products and the latest trends. CONTACT: CONTACT: ResearchAndMarkets.com Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager email@example.com For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900
“If Facebook lets Trump back on Facebook and Instagram, he'll assuredly restart his assault on democracy.”
“Facebook should have known better than to believe that it could limit speech on its platform without setting a terrible precedent.”
“Providing a microphone and an amplifier for deceit isn't fighting the good fight for free speech.”
“It’s no defense of Mr. Trump’s conduct to say that the digital public square shouldn’t suppress speech by political leaders.”
“The former president no longer gets the ‘head of state’ exception to terms of service.”