Tagged with "#newsworld"
Breaking News ! China accuses US of 'weaponizing' extended Shanghai lockdown
Category: Ning News
Tags: #newsworld

China has lashed out at the United States for ordering its consulate staff to leave the locked-down city of Shanghai, accusing officials of "weaponizing" the financial hub's failing attempt to contain the spread of Covid-19.

On Monday, the US State Department "ordered" the departure of non-emergency employees and their families from the city of 25 million "due to a surge in Covid-19 cases and the impact of restrictions related to (China's) response," according to a statement on its website.
The notice came just days after the State Department authorized the "voluntary departure" of staff from Shanghai. A travel advisory also urges Americans to "reconsider travel" to all of China, citing stringent Covid restrictions including "the risk of parents and children being separated."
China's most populous city has been laboring under a chaotic and uncompromising citywide lockdown for weeks, with many residents unable to access basic goods including food and medical care.

China's Foreign Ministry has notified the US it "firmly opposes" the consulate order, ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in a news briefing on Tuesday.
"We express strong dissatisfaction with the politicization and weaponization of evacuations by the US," Zhao said, adding that the US was "smearing China."
Zhao also defended China's Covid prevention and control policies as "scientific and effective," insisting the government had "every confidence in bringing the new wave of Covid-19 under control" despite rising case numbers.
The financial hub reported more than 26,000 new locally transmitted cases on Monday, the sixth consecutive day over 20,000, according to China's National Health Commission (NHC). So far, more than 320,000 cases have been reported across 31 provinces -- including those in Shanghai -- since March 1.
Zhao's assertion stands in stark contrast to more somber messages from other Chinese officials, including the NHC deputy director Lei Zhenglong, who on Tuesday warned Shanghai's outbreak has "not been effectively contained."
He added that the outbreak had since spread to many provinces, and that the number of new infections is expected to remain high in the coming days.

Lockdown frustrations
Shanghai's lockdown has been mired in controversy and dysfunction since it was first introduced, seemingly with little warning, on March 29.
Public anger has been exacerbated by stories of parents being separated from their infected children, even toddlers, under Shanghai's rules on isolation, and of a pet corgi being killed by Covid prevention workers after its owner was placed into quarantine.
Videos circulating online show protests breaking out last week at a residential complex in southwestern Shanghai, with residents confronting police at the gate and shouting, "Give us supplies."
CNN was not able to independently verify the images or reach local authorities for comment.

Social media posts show rising desperation as well, with one recent video showing a mother begging for medication for her child from neighbors at midnight in Shanghai. "Do you have medicine for fever? My child has fever. Is anyone home? Excuse me, sorry to bother you! Everyone! Is anyone awake?" the mother can be heard crying in the video.
Since the start of pandemic, China has tightened rules around selling and buying fever medication, requiring a prescription and a negative Covid test.
CNN has geolocated the residential compound in the video to be in Shanghai, but could not independently verify the video and has not identified the mother involved.
In the past week, Shanghai's outbreak has spilled over to nearby cities including Hangzhou and Ningbo in Zhejiang province. Some nearby cities were put under lockdown, including Haining in Zhejiang, and Kunshan in Jiangsu province.
Meanwhile, the southern city of Guangzhou has reported dozens of cases since early April as well, prompting several rounds of mass testing and the closure of schools. Residents have been discouraged from leaving the city, and are required to present a negative PCR test if they want to leave.
On Monday, Shanghai officials began easing measures in neighborhoods that had not reported any positive cases in 14 days. However, authorities warned those residents should only be going out if necessary, get tested twice a week, and that lockdown would be re-imposed if any new cases were detected in the neighborhood. That still leaves the vast majority of the city's 25 million residents under lockdown.


Category: Ning News
Tags: #newsworld

Former President Jimmy Carter said Thursday that Russia's invasion of Ukraine violates international law and "threatens security" in Europe and around the globe, joining the other living former Presidents in condemning the Kremlin's attack on its neighbor.

"Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine using military and cyber weapons violates international law and the fundamental human rights of the Ukrainian people," Carter said in a statement posted on Twitter. "I condemn this unjust assault on the sovereignty of Ukraine that threatens security in Europe and the entire world, and I call on President Putin to halt all military action and restore peace."
The US and allies, the former President said, "must stand with the people of Ukraine in support of their right to peace, security, and self-determination."
Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine early Thursday, sending troops into the ex-Soviet nation from three fronts and firing missiles on several locations near the capital, Kyiv, in a broad attack that has drawn deep condemnation from world leaders. In the US, President Joe Biden unveiled harsh new sanctions meant to punish Moscow for its full-scale invasion, and his predecessors joined in castigating Russia's move.

Carter is widely revered as a US President who took a special interest in foreign policy and championed human rights. Speaking at the University of Notre Dame's 1977 commencement ceremony, Carter defined his outlook on foreign policy by saying: "Our policy is based on an historical vision of America's role. Our policy is derived from a larger view of global change. Our policy is rooted in our moral values, which never change. Our policy is reinforced by our material wealth and by our military power. Our policy is designed to serve mankind."
Former US Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton shared Carter's sentiments, condemning the invasion in their own statements on Thursday.
"The American government and people must stand in solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people as they seek freedom and the right to choose their own future. We cannot tolerate the authoritarian bullying and danger that Putin poses," Bush said in his statement.
Obama called for bipartisan support of Biden's sanctions, saying,"There may be some economic consequences to such sanctions, given Russia's significant role in world energy markets. But that's a price we should be willing to pay to take a stand on the side of freedom."
Clinton said that "the world will hold Russia and Russia alone accountable, both economically and politically, for its brazen violation of international law."
On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump called Russia's military operation in Ukraine "a very sad thing for the world" and claimed in a Fox interview that it wouldn't have happened during his administration. But speaking to a conservative radio show on Tuesday hosted by Clay Travis and Buck Sexton, Trump had hailed Russian President Vladimir Putin's dismembering of independent, democratic, sovereign Ukraine as an act of "genius."



Putin's use of crude language reveals a lot about his worldview
Category: Ning News
Tags: #Newsworld

Russian President Vladimir Putin set Russian media abuzz Tuesday following his news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The subject of Putin's remarks? The Minsk agreements, a ceasefire protocol signed by Ukraine and Russia in 2015, and whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky could abide by them. But it was Putin's coarse language, rather than the technical details of the truce that generated the most clicks in Russia.
"As for the Minsk agreements, are they alive and do they have any prospect or not?" Putin said. "I believe that there is simply no other alternative. I repeat once again, in Kyiv, they either say that they will comply, or they say that this will destroy their country. The incumbent president recently stated that he does not like a single point of these Minsk agreements. 'Like it or don't like it, it's your duty, my beauty.' They must be fulfilled. It won't work otherwise."

Once again, Putin has given the world a sense of his soul. The Kremlin leader's position on the Minsk agreement is not new. But his crude vernacular -- addressing Zelensky in condescending and gendered language -- left some Russian journalists wondering openly if the president was, in essence, making a crude joke.
Asked in a conference call with reporters if those remarks might be "hinting at a sexual subtext," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov gave an anodyne response. "The president meant that if a state committed to certain obligations, if there is a signature of the head of state [under them], then these commitments must be fulfilled," he said.
A reporter pressed further: Was Putin, perhaps, familiar with the work of a Russian-language folk-punk band that apparently had a line similar to Putin's in one of their songs? Peskov gave a firm no.

"I am quite convinced that Vladimir Putin is not familiar with the work of this group," he said. "And I suspect that perhaps at some point this group might have borrowed it [the line] from Russian folklore."

Folklore or not, the remark laid bare Putin's bullysome attitude toward Ukraine, which the president has made clear he doesn't see as a real country. And it was also reminder of a strain of unrepentant misogyny in both Putin's politics and his public remarks.
For starters, the talk about forcing a "beauty" lie back and take abuse is coming from the same person who, exactly five years ago, decriminalized forms of domestic violence.
Putin's trash talk pops again and again, and has reportedly included making light of rape.
The Russian leader's tough-guy talk is sometimes explained away as a sort of folksiness that is a performance for a domestic audience, but Putin's choice of verb терпеть in his remarks on Monday (to take it, or to endure) shows an ugly underlying sentiment about the role of women.
Asked about Putin's remarks, Zelensky reformulated the Russian leader's words in a language Putin would understand.

"Of course, there are some things we can't argue about with the president of the Russian Federation," Zelensky said. "Ukraine is a beauty. As far as 'my' is concerned, that's a slight overstatement."
Regarding the line about being dutiful and taking it, Zelensky added, "I think Ukraine is very patient. Because that's wisdom. I think that's important not just for Ukraine, but for all of Europe."
It's not the first time Putin has used such language. One of his most famous quotes dates back to 1999, when he was still prime minister, when he vowed to crush Chechen separatists, saying, "If they're on the toilet, we will waste them out in the outhouse."
The same applies to the current crisis. When he discards the diplomatic language, Putin speaks that we may see him.



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