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China on Monday said it is sanctioning leaders of U.S. government-affiliated bodies that promote democracy around the world in response to what it calls practices that “blatantly meddle in Hong Kong affairs.” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the measures would cover the senior director for Asia at the National Endowment Democracy, John Knaus, the regional director for the Asia-Pacific at the National Democratic Institute, Manpreet Singh Anand, and two of the institute’s officials responsible for Hong Kong. Hua gave no details and the institute said in a news release that it had no further information but that it “remains steadfastly committed to these core principles and to continuing our work in support of democracy worldwide.”
Multinational corporations including Nike and Coca-Cola are lobbying to water down legislation that would ban products made with forced labor in China's Xinjiang province, the New York Times reported on Sunday.China has attempted to cement state power over millions of Muslim citizens in Xinjiang, mostly Uyghur Muslims along with Kazakhs and other minorities. The ruling Communist Party has placed Uyghurs in so-called reeducation camps that attempt to erase their attachment to Islam, and has also embarked on a campaign of forced sterilization of Uyghur women.Numerous global supply chains are based in Xinjiang, including for cotton and coal, and China has employed forced Uyghur labor for various factories. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which passed the House 406-3 in September and is currently under consideration in the Senate, would ban imports of good from Xinjiang unless U.S. customs officials could verify that the goods were not produced using forced labor.However, multinational companies are lobbying against the legislation, saying that while they do not support use of forced labor, the bill could have a detrimental impact on their supply chains. Along with Nike and Coca-Cola, tech giant Apple is also pushing to weaken some restrictions, the Washington Post reported last week.Coca-Cola "strictly prohibits any type of forced labor in our supply chain" and employs third-party auditors to enforce the policy, the company said in a statement to the Times. Nike said it "did not lobby against" the legislation but had "constructive discussions" with congressional aides on keeping its supply chain free of forced labor.Pro-business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have also joined the lobbying efforts.A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in March of this year concluded that at least 80,000 Uyghurs have been sent away from their homes to labor in factories in other parts of China.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) warned on Monday that if the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to quickly rise, projections show the state's intensive care units could reach capacity by mid-December.Because of the risk of overwhelming parts of the state's health care system, Newsom said, he may soon have to impose a "more dramatic" and "arguably drastic" stay-at-home order for certain areas, so California can get its coronavirus numbers back down. The state, he said, will not "just sit back" and plans to "improve upon our existing efforts."There are 7,733 ICU beds in California, and 75 percent of them are now occupied. Newsom said 1,812 of the ICU beds are filled by coronavirus patients, the Los Angeles Times reports. As of Sunday, there were 7,787 coronavirus patients hospitalized in California, an increase of about 89 percent from two weeks ago. Over the last week, California has averaged 13,937 new cases per day, nearly a 75 percent increase from two weeks ago. More than 19,100 Californians have died from the coronavirus.Los Angeles County has placed new capacity limits at stores and banned most gatherings of people not from the same household, and this had to be done because "we are at the most difficult moment in the pandemic," L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. "We don't really have any choice but to use all the tools at hand to stop the surge. Until there is a vaccine, each of us needs to protect all of those around us — both those we know and those we don't. The virus is running rampant through almost every part of our county."More stories from theweek.com Americans are choosing death over deprivation GOP Sen. Josh Hawley tries to explain how Democrats are both 'Marxists' and 'corporatists' Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead.
The South Carolina Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of a death row prisoner after corrections officials said they couldn’t obtain the necessary lethal injection drugs in time. Richard Bernard Moore had been scheduled to be put to death on Friday. The court scheduled the execution earlier this month after Moore exhausted his federal appeals.
President launches attacks on his own party despite two decisive Senate races in Georgia next month
he Supreme Court appeared skeptical on Monday that President Trump could exclude people living in the country illegally from the population count used to assign seats among the states in the House of Representatives.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) suggested Monday that he might oppose President-elect Joe Biden's nomination of Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary because Biden's Cabinet picks are "a bunch of corporate liberals and warmongers." Over the summer, The Bulwark's Tim Miller pointed out, Hawley told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the Democratic Party "in thrall" to "the Marxist left.""Hawley could have ignored the criticism — after all, it’s not like his target audience is going to complain that he attacked the Democrats in two mutually exclusive ways," Jonathan Chait noted at New York. But Hawley, "a prep school kid with degrees from Stanford and Yale" who "still craves the respect of elites," evidently "felt compelled to show that he is not just a glib demagogue mouthing slogans." So this is how he reconciled his contradictory accusations:> Let me explain this to you. Corporate liberals are woke capitalists. The corporatists love critical race theory and all the other warmed-over Marxist garbage. They sell out working Americans and sneer at them at the same time. That’s the New Left https://t.co/pOrG5NdXsq> > — Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 30, 2020If that doesn't make much sense to you, get in line. Some critics pointed out that Hawley's policies and fat donations from corporate interests aren't all that helpful to "working Americans," while others delighted in the word-salad incoherence of his explanation:> Tell us more about the corporate liberal Marxist capitalist critical-race-theorist socialist Wall Street leftist corporatist antifa fascist communists> > — Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 1, 2020> This is the kind of answer on an exam in high school where the teacher would say quit using a bunch of words you read or heard somewhere without putting anything together in a paragraph that makes sense.> > — Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) November 30, 2020"Big corporations do not like Marxists who want to discredit and destroy the system," and "Marxists do not support uses of the American military," Chait summarized. But "the most precious line Hawley's lecture to Miller is 'Let me explain this to you.' As if any fool can see the obvious congruity of his two attacks on Biden. Only the elites can't spot the obvious. Just ask any regular hardworking Missouri farmer, and he'll explain that neoliberal corporate warlords are working hand in glove with Marxists to use critical race theory in order to advance Janet Yellen's candidacy for Treasury secretary."More stories from theweek.com Americans are choosing death over deprivation Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. How camp explains Trump
A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely collapsed on Tuesday. The telescope's 900-ton receiver platform fell onto the reflector dish more than 400 feet below. The U.S. National Science Foundation had earlier announced that the Arecibo Observatory would be closed.
The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed two of President Donald Trump's picks for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in a move that could secure a Republican majority on the panel through June. The Senate passed Mark Christie, a Republican, and Allison Clements, a Democrat, by voice vote to FERC, an independent panel of the Energy Department.
Judge asks Georgia administration not to alter, destroy or erase data on any Dominion voting machine
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has returned to his Washington office two weeks after he tested positive for COVID-19, his team announced Monday.While Grassley wasn't the first lawmaker to contract the virus, many people were concerned about the diagnosis because the senator is 87. It turned out, however, that he remained asymptomatic throughout the course of his infection and was able to keep working remotely.Still, Grassley didn't let his fortunate situation reshape his stance on the severity of the pandemic. In a statement, he noted that the disease "affects people differently" and "more than a thousand Americans are dying every day and many more are hospitalized." So, Grassley said, he'll "continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing."He also repeated his previous calls for Congress to pass a "long overdue," bipartisan relief bill to "help families, businesses, and communities get through this crisis." Tim O'Donnell> Grassley, 87, is back at the Senate today after testing positive for Covid-19. His office says he was asymptomatic the entire time. pic.twitter.com/qJImIJl8ZC> > -- Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) November 30, 2020More stories from theweek.com Americans are choosing death over deprivation GOP Sen. Josh Hawley tries to explain how Democrats are both 'Marxists' and 'corporatists' Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead.
The news that former Vice President Joe Biden would become the next president of the United States was met in Russia with grim resignation, bordering on despair. Experts on Russian state television have described Biden’s presidency as “Obama’s third term” and predicted a slew of new sanctions dreaded by the Kremlin. This anticipation revived the wave of racist attacks against former President Barack Obama, which were commonplace during his administration.Overt racism in Russian state media is far from uncommon but nonetheless continues to be shocking. Tigran Keosayan—the husband of Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Kremlin-funded RT and Sputnik—took racist mockery to new lows on his program Mezhdunarodnaya Pilorama (“International Sawmill”). Keosayan described Barack Obama as “the dark page of American history,” while introducing a highly offensive sketch by an actress in blackface impersonating the former president, which was first reported by the Moscow Times.The purported portrayal of Obama was tasteless and crude, with the actress in a bandana gesticulating as a rapper and describing the former president as a “chocolate bunny.” The show, which aired on NTV—a network funded by state-owned gas company Gazprom, mocked “Black Lives Matter” and claimed that none of Obama’s relatives know how to write. The sketch concluded with a recommendation that rather than read Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, viewers should opt for “reading the label on the bathroom air freshener.”Facing worldwide condemnation for the latest racist episode, Margarita Simonyan—heralded as one of the most influential women in news media—attempted to backpedal, using her husband’s Armenian ethnicity as some kind of an excuse for his indefensible racism. She described the offensive sketch as a “parody of Obama” and disingenuously claimed, “As someone who is part of an ethnic minority in Russia, Tigran regularly makes fun, on the air, of his large 'ethnic' nose and his belonging to a 'Black' community (look it up if you don't know which ethnicities are referred to as 'Black' in Russia).”Despite Simonyan’s clumsy excuses, her husband is not the only one who considers himself somehow entitled to mock Black Americans. In June, RT’s editor-in-chief shared a despicably racist article from the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, which made references to “muscular criminal Negroes,” described “twerking” as the “national Negro dance,” recommended the use of amphetamines, and encouraged violence and death.Russian state media outlets have long expressed their desire for civil unrest in the United States. The author of the article, Dmitry Steshin, urged, “Beat the whites until they turn Black.” Simonyan shared the article, describing it as a piece of “good advice from an international journalist to the negroes of Minnesota and the United States.”Simonyan’s husband followed up the obscene sketch on his program with a ludicrous assertion: “There is no racism in Russia.” It was no more believable than the notorious Soviet claim, “There is no sex in the USSR.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.