The United States urged China to release a dozen human rights activists and religious figures it said were detained before a planned meeting with a visiting US diplomat. International religious freedom envoy David Saperstein said the activists -- including respected human rights lawyer Zhang Kai, pastors and other Christian figures -- were held during his August 20-28 trip to China. "These detentions fit into the disturbing pattern of state intimidation of public interest lawyers, Internet activists, journalists, religious leaders," Saperstein told reporters. "They clearly underscore the precariousness of religious life in China." The United States has escalated warnings to China on the thorny issue of human rights and religious freedom that could overshadow talks between President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama during the Chinese leader's state visit later this month. Saperstein said that Zhang, who he described as a defender of religious rights, was part of a group that had gathered for a meeting with the envoy but that they were all detained the night before it was due to happen. Other people who he did manage to see were later detained too, he added. "It is a source of great concern to us and we are calling on the government to immediately release all these human rights activists and religious leaders." The Communist Party keeps tight control over religion for fear it could challenge its grip on power, requiring believers to worship in places approved by the state and under government supervision. Since Xi came to power in 2013, the government has taken a harder line towards civil and religious society. More than 200 lawyers and activists, including Zhang, were questioned or detained in July as part of a sweeping nationwide crackdown, according to rights groups. In the eastern province of Zhejiang, authorities have stepped up a long-running campaign to remove church crosses, and several Catholic and Protestant churches have been destroyed.
The Senate minority leader previously said he had no hard feelings toward the men, but his actions said otherwise.
- Good Housekeeping
During a recent taping of 'Today With Hoda and Jenna,' NBC journalist Hoda Kotb called out Jenna Bush Hager for misunderstanding the topic discussed on the air.
The debate might've been even weirder than we thought.
Trump says that if he's reelected he won't use the powers of the presidency to punish his enemies, but adds that he'd be 'entitled to a revenge tour'
In an interview with Hugh Hewitt, Trump went on a tirade against news outlets that reported on Russian interference during the 2016 election.
- Buccaneers Wire
See what Rob Gronkowski had to say to Tom Brady following the GOAT's second retirement announcement
- Miami Herald
An elementary school teacher in Homestead was charged Wednesday with having sex with one of his students. The relationship, police said the 13-year-old victim told them, was “romantic” after referring to him as her “boyfriend.”
Jessie James Decker took a brief break from her jam-packed schedule to enjoy some fun in the sun with her friends. See her bikini pic here.
- Business Insider
AOC to GOP: Don't tell me you're condemning anti-Semitism when a Republican 'who has talked about Jewish space lasers' gets a plum committee assignment
"This is about targeting women of color in the United States of America," she says of the vote to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the foreign affairs committee.
- USA TODAY Sports - Golfweek
‘Just a Hall of Fame player that didn’t create controversy’: For Jordan Spieth, one LIV member is missed more than others
"He was a friend of mine. He is a friend of mine. I just haven't seen him. But I always really enjoyed playing with him and being around him."
- NBC Sports BayArea
After Tom Brady's second retirement announcement, could another high-profile quarterback end up in the Bay?
In a new interview, Meghan Markle opens up about how she and Prince Harry were initially not able to afford their $14 million home in Montecito after stepping..
Tom Brady is looking back at special times with the people closest to him, which include ex Bridget Moynahan, with whom he shares son Jack
‘I promise to give all of my money away before I die’: World’s biggest YouTuber paid for 1,000 people to get eye surgery but is slammed for ‘making content out of people who can’t see’
1,000 people had their curable blindness paid for by a YouTuber - but the internet isn't happy.
- Patriots Wire
This was Bill Belichick's statement regarding Tom Brady's retirement on Wednesday.
- The Weather Network
A powerful surge of Arctic air diving south will bring some communities their coldest air in years.
Mahogany Geter, a model in Tennessee, was born with lymphedema in her left leg, which she says caused it to eventually swell to 100 pounds.
Let it go: Here are 3 crucial things you must 'say goodbye' to in retirement. Most folks can't do it — but can you?
Change doesn't have to be bad.
Warren Buffett’s right-hand man Charlie Munger, who once called crypto ‘rat poison,’ says we should follow China’s lead and ban cryptocurrencies altogether
“A cryptocurrency is not a currency, not a commodity, and not a security,” Munger said Wednesday in a WSJ op-ed. “It’s a gambling contract."
Alina Habba is withdrawing as Trump's lead attorney for E. Jean Carroll's rape claim. Last month, a federal judge sanctioned her $1 million for bad lawyering.
Donald Trump's new lawyer in the case, Joe Tacopina, has experience representing the Washington Commanders as well as rappers like Meek Mill.
Kylie Jenner was spotted in a thong bikini during a solo beach vacation—check out the pics.