Monday, October 21, 2019

MixedTimes - John Hayward

Kurds Claim Turkish Forces Immediately Violated Ceasefire Agreement

Kurds Claim Turkish Forces Immediately Violated Ceasefire Agreement

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reported on Friday morning that Turkish forces violated the five-day ceasefire agreement announced on Thursday afternoon almost immediately, as Turkish-allied ground forces continued to attack the town of Ras al-Ain with Turkish air and artillery support.

Report: Iraq Used Iranian Militia Snipers to Kill Protesters

Report: Iraq Used Iranian Militia Snipers to Kill Protesters

Two unnamed Iraqi security officials told Reuters on Thursday that snipers from Iran-backed militia units were employed to kill civilians during the massive protests that erupted in the first week of October.

Pro-Democracy Lawmakers Chase Hong Kong Chief Out of Legislature

Pro-Democracy Lawmakers Chase Hong Kong Chief Out of Legislature

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam attempted to deliver a policy address to the legislature, known as LegCo, on Wednesday, but pro-democracy lawmakers heckled her so aggressively that the meeting was adjourned and Lam was literally chased out of the building.

Hayward: Democrat Debate Filled with Illusions, Obfuscations, and Lies on Syria

Hayward: Democrat Debate Filled with Illusions, Obfuscations, and Lies on Syria

War-torn Syria is one of the murkiest and bloodiest places on Earth. Little clarity could be found on the subject during Tuesday night’s Democrat presidential debate, during which the candidates energetically criticized President Donald Trump, but grew vague and evasive when asked to describe the situation in Syria or explain how they would handle it.

Hong Kong Protesters Don NBA Jerseys for Anti-LeBron Basketball Game

Hong Kong Protesters Don NBA Jerseys for Anti-LeBron Basketball Game

In the wake of basketball star LeBron James bowing to Communist China and criticizing Houston Rockets Manager Daryl Morey for speaking up on behalf of Hong Kong, protesters there decided to stage a cheeky demonstration on Tuesday night in which they will put on NBA jerseys and play street basketball.

Police Fire at Protesters amid Ongoing Mask Ban Marches in Hong Kong

Police Fire at Protesters amid Ongoing Mask Ban Marches in Hong Kong

Hong Kong saw more huge protests over the weekend, many of them explicitly directed at the new emergency law forbidding demonstrators to wear masks. Police fired at protesters in the Mong Kok district, a frequent scene of large protests.

Hayward: The Case for Kurdish Statehood

Hayward: The Case for Kurdish Statehood

Turkey is a legitimate nation-state with long-standing memberships in major international organizations like the U.N. and NATO. The Kurds are stateless actors, a large ethnic group broken into many factions and spread across several different countries.

Turkish Invasion Brings Syrian and Iraqi Kurds Together

Turkish Invasion Brings Syrian and Iraqi Kurds Together

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the semi-autonomous Kurdish provincial leadership in Iraq, expressed solidarity with the Syrian Kurds on Thursday, denounced Turkey’s invasion of northeastern Syria, and criticized the United States for failing to prevent the Turkish operation.

Hong Kong Student Protester Accuses Police of Sexual Assault

Hong Kong Student Protester Accuses Police of Sexual Assault

A female student at Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on Thursday spoke out at a public forum on campus, removing her mask and revealing her name to accuse Hong Kong police officers of sexually molesting her during an arrest.

Five Things You Should Know About the Kurds

Five Things You Should Know About the Kurds

Turkey’s invasion of northeastern Syria to drive the Kurds away from the Turkish border is bringing more Western attention to the Kurds than they received during the long and bloody Syrian civil war, where they played a key role in defeating the Islamic State.

Hong Kong Police Officer Caught Disguised as Belligerent Protester

Hong Kong Police Officer Caught Disguised as Belligerent Protester

The acrimonious relationship between Hong Kong protesters and police took a turn for the worse on Tuesday night when an undercover police officer disguised as a protester was caught on video behaving in a highly belligerent manner toward bystanders.

Carrie Lam Teases Chinese Takeover of Hong Kong Protests

Carrie Lam Teases Chinese Takeover of Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that she will not rule out asking the mainland Chinese government for help if “limitless and lawless” violence continues in her semi-autonomous city.

Hayward: El Salvador's Millennial President Warns U.N. May Go the Way of Blockbuster, Takes Selfie

Hayward: El Salvador's Millennial President Warns U.N. May Go the Way of Blockbuster, Takes Selfie

President Nayib Armando Bukele of El Salvador began his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday by pulling out his cell phone, snapping a selfie, and sending it to the “new world” that could not be present in the chamber but was accessible via “the largest network in the world, a network where billions of persons are connected in real-time and share almost every facet of their lives.

Hong Kong Braces for Fifth Anniversary of Umbrella Movement

Hong Kong Braces for Fifth Anniversary of Umbrella Movement

Hong Kong police on Thursday gave their approval for a rally on Saturday to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Umbrella Movement, until now the most vigorous pro-democracy demonstrations since control of Hong Kong passed to China.

Crown Prince Discusses U.S. Troop Boost to Saudi Arabia with Defense Secretary

Crown Prince Discusses U.S. Troop Boost to Saudi Arabia with Defense Secretary

Discussions within the administration, and between Washington and Riyadh, continued this week as the U.S. considered how many troops to send to Saudi Arabia.The assessment comes in the wake of Iran’s attack on its oil facilities, and how those troops should be deployed.

Rouhani Threatens Europe at U.N.: 'Our Patience Has a Limit'

Rouhani Threatens Europe at U.N.: 'Our Patience Has a Limit'

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly was a lengthy rant against the United States and its allies, with a constant drumbeat of threats that regional “peace” and “stability” can only be achieved by meeting Iranian demands.

Chinese Media Pressure a Weakened Justin Trudeau to Free Huawei CFO

Chinese Media Pressure a Weakened Justin Trudeau to Free Huawei CFO

China’s state-run Global Times on Sunday suggested embattled Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should alleviate one of his biggest international political headaches by dropping a U.S. extradition request against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou and letting her go free.

China Commands Congress to Drop Bill It Doesn't Like

China Commands Congress to Drop Bill It Doesn't Like

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday commanded the U.S. Congress to withdraw the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, denouncing the bill as interfering in China’s internal sovereign affairs.

Chinese Media Cites Lincoln Assassination to Call for U.S. Gun Ban

Chinese Media Cites Lincoln Assassination to Call for U.S. Gun Ban

Chinese media tends to be very astute at picking up and exacerbating hot-button American political issues, doing everything it can to highlight controversies even when China’s authoritarian brutality makes the criticism absurd.

China Arrests Dissident for Sharing Hong Kong Video

China Arrests Dissident for Sharing Hong Kong Video

Chinese democracy activists are demanding the release of Lai Rifu, a dissident living in Guangzhou who was snatched off the street on Monday in a bizarre arrest and incarcerated for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” by posting a video that used the unofficial anthem of the Hong Kong protest movement, “Glory to Hong Kong.

China Lashes out at George Soros for Criticism of Huawei

China Lashes out at George Soros for Criticism of Huawei

China’s state-run Global Times gave a big thumbs-down on Tuesday to the September 9 Wall Street Journal editorial penned by left-wing billionaire political activist George Soros, in which Soros praised President Donald Trump for adopting the right trade strategy toward China and urged Trump to stay the course against Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

Hundreds Swarm Hong Kong Court to Support Protesters Accused of Rioting

Hundreds Swarm Hong Kong Court to Support Protesters Accused of Rioting

A Hong Kong courtroom on Tuesday was packed with hundreds of supporters of three young protesters accused of rioting and assaulting police officers. The crowd outside the courtroom chanted “Fight for freedom” and “Stand with Hong Kong, while many seated in the public gallery wore the type of face masks favored by protesters.

Philippines: Duterte Confesses Hit on Political Opponent; Spokesman Claims Translation Error

Philippines: Duterte Confesses Hit on Political Opponent; Spokesman Claims Translation Error

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was venting his frustrations about corruption and drugs before a group of government officials on Tuesday when he blurted out that he ordered an assassination attempt against the former Daanbantayan mayor Vincente Loot in 2018 and was severely disappointed the “son of a bitch” survived.

Chinese Media: American Democracy Is an ‘Outdated Fantasy’

Chinese Media: American Democracy Is an ‘Outdated Fantasy’

China’s state-run Global Times on Monday took the occasion of the International Day of Democracy to scoff at the image of the United States as a “beacon of democracy” and argue the American concept of democracy is an “outdated fantasy” idolized only by misguided souls such as the “rioters” in Hong Kong.

Saudis Back up U.S. Assessment of Iranian Weapons Used in Oil Field Attack

Saudis Back up U.S. Assessment of Iranian Weapons Used in Oil Field Attack

The military coalition assembled by Saudi Arabia to intervene in Yemen’s civil war said on Monday that the weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities was conducted with Iranian weapons, and those weapons were not launched from Yemen, despite claims to the contrary by the Iran-backed Houthi insurgency.

International Response to Attack on Saudi Oil Urges Caution

International Response to Attack on Saudi Oil Urges Caution

The international response to an apparent Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields urged caution and a careful investigation before assigning blame for the strike or taking retaliatory action.

Chinese Media: U.S. Sanctions Are ‘Human Rights Violations’

Chinese Media: U.S. Sanctions Are ‘Human Rights Violations’

An op-ed at China’s state-run China Daily on Thursday denounced American sanctions against nations like Iran and North Korea as “human rights violations” on the grounds that they cause ordinary civilians to suffer much more than the leadership of rogue regimes.

China Wants State-Owned Firms to Take More Control over Hong Kong

China Wants State-Owned Firms to Take More Control over Hong Kong

Chinese business executives revealed to Reuters on Thursday they were summoned earlier in the week to a meeting in Shenzhen, the city closest to Hong Kong, and urged to invest more heavily in Hong Kong so they could help the Chinese Communist Party exert more control over the city.

Student Leader Flees Hong Kong After Bus Station Attack

Student Leader Flees Hong Kong After Bus Station Attack

University of Hong Kong student union leader Davin Kenneth Wong resigned from his position on Thursday and left the city after he reported being attacked by a man wearing a white T-shirt.

Yazidi Former Sex Slave to Face German Islamic State Jihadi in Court

Yazidi Former Sex Slave to Face German Islamic State Jihadi in Court

A 28-year-old Yazidi former sex slave named Shatha Salim Bashar is scheduled to testify in German court next month against one of the fourteen Islamic State jihadis who allegedly enslaved and raped her, used her as a human shield, and forced her to watch her best friend die.

Report: Chinese Communists Fear Xi Jinping Preparing Mao-Style Purge

Report: Chinese Communists Fear Xi Jinping Preparing Mao-Style Purge

Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping has long faced dissent from Communists who think he is insufficiently loyal to Marxist dogma, but he is increasingly provoking unease among Chinese Communist Party (CCP) elders who fear he might be a little too Communist in his outlook – or, more specifically, Maoist.

Hong Kong Police Ban Weekend Protests

Hong Kong Police Ban Weekend Protests

Hong Kong police on Thursday announced that a protest scheduled for Sunday will be banned on the grounds that it might endanger “public safety.”

Hong Kong Activists Halt Protests to Remember 9/11

Hong Kong Activists Halt Protests to Remember 9/11

Hong Kong activists announced on Wednesday that protests would be suspended to observe the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Meanwhile, China’s state-run media accused the protesters of planning 9/11-style terrorist attacks themselves, complete with photos of the planes hitting the World Trade Center in 2001.

Rocket Falls Near U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan on 9/11 Anniversary

Rocket Falls Near U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan on 9/11 Anniversary

A rocket attack was launched in central Kabul near the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. It was the first major terrorist attack in Kabul since President Donald Trump announced that negotiations with the Taliban are “dead.

Chinese 'Scholars': English Language Is a 'Dialect' of Mandarin

Chinese 'Scholars': English Language Is a 'Dialect' of Mandarin

A group of Chinese scholars has suggested that many contemporary Western languages, including English, were derived from Mandarin Chinese. According to their research, the French, German, and Russian languages were also strongly influenced by Chinese culture.

China Bullies Spanish Retailer Zara Because Hong Kong Stores Didn’t Open Fast Enough on Strike Day

China Bullies Spanish Retailer Zara Because Hong Kong Stores Didn’t Open Fast Enough on Strike Day

Chinese “netizens” are staging another one of those boycotts and social media swarms that just happen to coincide with the political objectives of the Chinese Communist Party, this time targeting Spanish fashion retailer Zara because it allegedly supported the Hong Kong protest movement by keeping its stores closed on Monday when the protesters called for a strike.

China: ‘U.S. Has Its Own Culture to Blame’ for Fentanyl Crisis

China: ‘U.S. Has Its Own Culture to Blame’ for Fentanyl Crisis

A senior Chinese official on Tuesday accused the U.S. government of falsely blaming China for the deadly fentanyl crisis and suggested America’s own “culture, policies, and companies” are to blame for thousands of deaths caused by powerful drugs imported from China.

China Claims Trade War Hinders Efforts to Control Carbon Emissions

China Claims Trade War Hinders Efforts to Control Carbon Emissions

The Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment claimed on Friday that the trade war between the U.S. and China is making it difficult for the latter to hit carbon emissions targets, even though Chinese researchers claimed just two weeks ago they were well ahead of schedule on meeting their emissions goals.

Hong Kong Protesters Plan ‘Airport Traffic Stress Test'

Hong Kong Protesters Plan ‘Airport Traffic Stress Test'

Hong Kong protest organizers on Thursday sarcastically invited supporters to schedule a “weekend getaway” at the international airport and give the facility a “stress test” on Sunday and Monday by blocking off the roads and overloading the railway system.

Hong Kong Protesters Hold #MeToo Rally Against Police Sexual Abuse

Hong Kong Protesters Hold #MeToo Rally Against Police Sexual Abuse

The Hong Kong protest movement held a rally on Wednesday dedicated to protesting alleged sexual assaults on pro-democracy demonstrators by police officers. Organizers modeled the event after the #MeToo movement, while participants came up with their own hashtag, #ProtestToo, and began writing it on their arms with lipstick.

Push for Martial Law in Hong Kong Could Save, or Destroy, the Economy

Push for Martial Law in Hong Kong Could Save, or Destroy, the Economy

After Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam made remarks on Tuesday that indicated she might invoke a law that would give her broad emergency powers to deal with the protest movement, arguments about whether such a move would save, or destroy, Hong Kong’s economy have boiled across the island and among international observers.

Xi Calls for ‘Improved Planning’ as China’s Economic Anxieties Deepen

Xi Calls for ‘Improved Planning’ as China’s Economic Anxieties Deepen

Chinese Communist Party head Xi Jinping, who has been keeping a relatively low profile since the protest movement in Hong Kong erupted, addressed a meeting of China’s central planning committee on Monday and called for some “improvements” that belie deep economic anxieties in Beijing.

Chinese State Media: G7’s $20M Firefighting Aid Offer to Brazil Is ‘Chump Change’

Chinese State Media: G7’s $20M Firefighting Aid Offer to Brazil Is ‘Chump Change’

An editorial in China’s state-run China Daily on Wednesday dismissed the G7’s offer of $20 million in firefighting aid to Brazil as “chump change” given the scale of the Amazon crisis and inadvertently revealed one of the reasons China is interested in the outcome: Brazil is a major source of soybeans, a crop central to the trade war between the United States and China.

Rubio: Americans Threatened by Huawei's Surveillance Technology

Rubio: Americans Threatened by Huawei's Surveillance Technology

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Tuesday warned that Chinese surveillance technology, particularly facial recognition systems, is appearing in cities around the world and poses a serious threat to Americans traveling abroad.

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