Month: August 2020

National Security Law Threatens Hong Kong’s Publishers, Booksellers

Hong Kong’s booksellers and publishers, long known as champions of freedom of expression in the Chinese territory, are now under greater threat following the new National Security Law enacted in July.Now, booksellers could run afoul of laws that carry strict punishments for vague offenses such as “separating the country” and “subverting state power.”Hillway Press, an independent publishing house in Hong Kong, has been mainly publishing online novels and textbooks. After last year’s anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill movement, it began publishing books on social issues. The publisher said authorities are looking for an excuse to publicly punish someone as an example to others.”The printing house has received the information that politicians are looking for publishers of political books to kill the chickens to scare the monkeys,” said a Hillway Press executive who requested anonymity and is referred to as Mr. C.He said the chilling effect had appeared long before the adoption of the national security law. The company’s latest publication, “To Freedom,” which included articles about the anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill movement, was rejected by six printing houses.Bookseller Lam Wing-kee waves to supporters outside his Causeway Bay Books bookstore before taking part in a protest march in Hong Kong, June 18, 2016.The book’s planning and drafting began in April. When the draft was finished at the end of May, China’s Communist Party put the Hong Kong version of the national security law on the National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s agenda. A long-term printing house partner of the publishing house suddenly changed its mind and declined to print the book because of the sensitive content. Hillway Press had to have the book printed and bound at different companies so it could be published.”To Freedom” contains many words that criticize the Communist Party of China. To protect interviewees and business partners, the publishing house deleted the sensitive content. “Liberate” has been changed to “free” and “reconstruct.” “Anti-CCP” has been taken out. Paragraphs discussing “Hong Kong independence” have been deleted, and illustrations with the words “Liberate Hong Kong” on the cover have been reduced in transparency.”I am deeply saddened by this self-castration,” said Mr. C. “Under the new legal framework, the publishing industry’s biggest concern is where the red line is.”The blurry legal definition leads to white terror, which leads to fewer social issues that can be explored and, as a result, fewer books that can be published. Mr. C expects Hong Kong’s publishing industry to shrink.”The most frightening thing about the national security law is that there have been no official and clear instructions as to which words and subject matters can be published and which cannot be mentioned. Under such circumstances, we are actually very worried that we will break the law by accident,” he said.On the fourth day of the legislation becoming law, the Hong Kong Public Library immediately took at least nine political books off its shelves, including the works of Chen Yun, a scholar, Joshua Wong, an activist, and Tanya Chan, a Legislative Council member.”All along, what best reflected freedom of speech in Hong Kong is our freedom of the press,” said Mr. C. “For a long time, Hong Kong was a place where a hundred flowers bloomed, a hundred schools of thought contended. The books that are banned in Taiwan and mainland China could be bought in Hong Kong. With the national security law, some subjects can no longer be discussed, and some words will not be able to get published.”A column of books on the 1989 military crackdown on pro-democracy movement, with a tag which reads “Don’t forget June 4th”, are displayed inside a bookstore in Hong Kong which sells books that banned in mainland China, Nov. 6, 2012.Hong Kong Reader Bookstore is an independent bookstore that sells books on humanities and social sciences, with political books accounting for about 30% of the bookstore’s sales. Daniel Lee, the store’s director, also said the terrible thing about the national security law was the blurring of the redlines.”The usual practice in Hong Kong is that as long as the government does not specify what is illegal, we can do it. However, it has always been the practice in the mainland that you do not know that you have broken the law until the moment you are arrested.”Lee pointed out that there was no clear list of which titles would be officially banned from sale, causing problems for bookstores.”Maybe until one day when the national security police suddenly show up at the bookstore, we won’t know that a book is forbidden. But we will have already broken the law by accident.”Lee said that when he opened the bookstore, he only wanted to promote Hong Kong’s reading culture and never thought that selling books would become a political mission.”We didn’t choose to be on the front line of freedom of speech,” he said. “But in the end, freedom of expression in Hong Kong is endangered, and as bookstores, we have become the reluctant center of this matter.”Adrianna Zhang contributed to this report.

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Court Filing Shows Big Ten Presidents Voted 11-3 to Postpone Football Season

A court filing disclosed Monday shows Big Ten Conference presidents voted 11-3 to postpone the football season, bringing some clarity to a key question raised in a lawsuit brought by a group of Nebraska football players. The vote breakdown was revealed in the Big Ten’s response to the lawsuit.  The court documents did not identify how each school voted, but a person familiar with the outcome told The Associated Press that Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio State voted against postponing the fall football season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Big Ten was not planning on making the specifics of its vote public. The Big Ten announced Aug. 11 it would move its football season from fall to spring semester because of health risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The Pac-12 followed suit, joining the Mid-American Conference and the Mountain West.The eight football players are seeking the reinstatement of a fall season.  FILE – Ohio State wide receiver K.J. Hill (14) holds the trophy following the team’s 34-21 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Dec. 8, 2019, in Indianapolis.”The Big Ten Conference continues to share the disappointment that student-athletes and families are feeling,” the conference said in a statement. “The Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force will continue to be transparent as it actively considers options to get back to competition when it is safe to play.” The lawsuit in Lancaster County District Court contends, among other things, that the players are losing a chance for development, exposure for a possible pro career and won’t be able to market themselves to eventually capitalize on name, image and likeness revenue opportunities. The Big Ten filing was a response in opposition to the players’ motion for expedited discovery. The filing said the 11-3 vote “far exceeded” the 60% threshold the Big Ten requires. The filing also said the Big Ten based its decision on multiple factors, including the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee. Listed as plaintiffs are Brant and Brig Banks, Alante Brown, Noa Pola-Gates, Jackson Hannah, Garrett Nelson, Ethan Piper and Garrett Snodgrass. The players’ attorney, Mike Flood, declined immediate comment, saying he needed to read the filing. FILE – Nebraska Speaker of the Legislature Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk follows debate in the legislature, April 18, 2012.Flood, a former speaker of the Nebraska Legislature, owns five radio stations that broadcast Cornhuskers football games as part of the Husker Sports Network. The lawsuit says the Big Ten’s decision-making process was “flawed and ambiguous” and called into question whether the league’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors formally voted on the decision. The medical studies used to make the decision, the lawsuit says, were not relevant to the circumstances of college-age athletes and did not take into account school safety measures. “This decision did not occur in a vacuum,” the conference said in its filing. The decision not to play fall football has created a firestorm in Big Ten country, fanned by the fact the ACC, Big 12 and SEC are pushing ahead with plans to start their seasons in September. Commissioner Kevin Warren has faced sharp criticism for not clearly laying out how the decision was reached. He has sidestepped questions about the vote breakdown, and his explanations of the medical reasons were panned for not being detailed enough. A group of Nebraska player parents have been most vocal in demanding answers from the commissioner, and parents from other Big Ten schools joined them. The Big Ten said last week the lawsuit “has no merit and we will defend the decision to protect all student-athletes as we navigate through this global pandemic. We are actively considering options to get back to competition and look forward to doing so when it is safe to play.” Flood, in his role representing the Nebraska player parents, previously sent a letter to Warren asking for documents relating to any votes taken, how each school voted, meeting minutes and all audio and video recordings and transcripts of meetings where votes were cast. He also wanted copies of studies, scientific data and medical information or advice considered by the presidents. Flood had threatened a federal lawsuit if the materials weren’t delivered to him. The Big Ten did not respond to the letter.  

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Canada Signs Deals with Novavax, Johnson & Johnson for Coronavirus Vaccines

Canada reached an agreement in principle on Monday with both Novavax and Johnson & Johnson for millions of doses of their experimental coronavirus vaccines, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. Canada’s two agreements follow separate deals with Pfizer and Moderna announced weeks ago, and are the latest example of countries rushing to secure access to vaccines. Canada is also in “the final stages of negotiations” to secure AstraZeneca’s potential vaccine and is in talks to secure more doses of the Pfizer vaccine candidate, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said. “What we are trying to do is make sure that when a vaccine is developed, we are at the front of the line,” Anand told reporters. Canada has a population of about 38 million, and the four vaccine agreements signed so far “give Canada at least 88 million doses with options to obtain tens of millions more,” Trudeau said when he announced the deals in Montreal. More doses possibleAll four agreements announced so far have options to purchase more doses if needed, officials said. Trudeau also said the government will invest C$126 million ($96.7 million) over two years to build a biomanufacturing facility at the Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre in Montreal capable of producing up to 2 million doses of a vaccine per month by next year. Last week, Canada’s National Research Council said it had ended its partnership on a coronavirus vaccine with China’s CanSino Biologics because the company lacked the authority to ship the vaccine. Help for businessesSeparately, Canada extended to the end of October a program to provide loans of up to C$40,000 ($30,666), a quarter of which is forgivable, to small businesses struggling amid the pandemic. It had been due to expire Monday. Novavax said it expects to finalize an advance purchase agreement to supply doses of the vaccine, beginning as early as the second quarter of next year. Novavax has agreed to supply up to 76 million doses of its experimental vaccine, while Johnson & Johnson will supply up to 38 million doses of its vaccine candidate. Both agreements are subject to the vaccines obtaining licenses from Health Canada. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Shares of Novavax were up 1.7% at $109.59 and Johnson & Johnson shares were little changed at $153.72 on Monday afternoon. 

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Новые ракетные катера для Украины и стелс B-21 для прорыва про путляндии

Новые ракетные катера для Украины и стелс B-21 для прорыва про путляндии.

Ракетные катера для Украины от Англии и B-21 для ВВС США, ракетные стрельбы ВМС Турции, новое оружие США от Байдена для ВСУ, конфликт Греции и Турции, а также ситуация в Сирии и Ливии с С-300
 

 
 
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Шпиономания: дегенераты обнаружили украинского шпиона в сибирской дивизии ракетных войск

Шпиономания: дегенераты обнаружили украинского шпиона в сибирской дивизии ракетных войск.

По данным польского издания, в районе города Барнаул, на Алтае, псы-феесбешники провели операцию захвата «шпиона», работавшего на иностранную разведку. Задержанным оказался некто Сергей Сидорчук, военнослужащий в звании старшего лейтенанта, который проходил службу в 35-й дивизии ракетных войск стратегического назначения
 

 
 
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Интервентов кацапов будем жечь! – беларусы устроят “теплый” прием путиноидам

Интервентов кацапов будем жечь! – беларусы устроят “теплый” прием путиноидам.

Своей четкой, не оставляющей сомнения позицией вы можете спасти и независимость своей страны, и множество жизней
 

 
 
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Розстріляне Відродження. Як таке могло статись? Хвильовий, Бойчук, Курбас

Розстріляне Відродження. Як таке могло статись? Хвильовий, Бойчук, Курбас.

Розстріляне відродження (також Червоний ренесанс) — духовно-культурне та літературно-мистецьке покоління 20-х і 30-х рр. XX ст. в Українській СРР, яке дало високохудожні твори у галузі літератури, філософії, живопису, музики, театру, кіно та яке було знищене сталінським режимом. Хвильовий, Бойчук, Курбас та інші…
 

 
 
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Буларусская скрепа погнулась, гундяевская секта после Киева теряет Минск

Буларусская скрепа погнулась, гундяевская секта после Киева теряет Минск.

У синода секты гундяева своя логика. И эта логика полностью совпадает с политической логикой обиженного карлика пукина
 

 
 
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Poll Shows 40 Percent of Americans Back Trump Executive Order on TikTok

Forty percent of Americans back President Donald Trump’s threat to ban videosharing app TikTok if it is not sold to a U.S. buyer, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national poll, suggesting that many support the effort to separate the social media upstart from its Chinese parent.The poll published Monday, which surveyed 1,349 adult respondents across the United States, found that 40% backed Trump’s recent executive order forcing China’s ByteDance to sell its TikTok operations in the United States by Sept. 15. Thirty percent of the respondents said they opposed the move, while another 30% said they didn’t know either way.The responses were largely split along party lines, and many of those who agreed with Trump’s order said they do not know much about TikTok. Among Republicans, for example, 69% said they supported the president’s order while only 32% said they were familiar with the app. Twenty-one percent of Democrats also supported Trump’s order and 46% said they were familiar with TikTok.The figures suggest most Americans had only “a fleeting knowledge of the brand,” said Dipanjan Chatterjee, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. Chatterjee said the negative attitudes were likely the result of the public rhetoric around TikTok – and increasing tensions with Beijing.”Clearly there’s been a politicization of TikTok,” he said.TikTok users have captured the teenage zeitgeist with catchy song-and-dance videos in the United States and elsewhere, but its parent company’s ties to Beijing have been the subject of bipartisan concern as relations with China deteriorate.Those worries culminated earlier this month in a do-or-die order from Trump to ByteDance, with the Trump administration saying that TikTok is a potential national security risk due to the vast amount of private data the app is compiling on U.S. consumers. TikTok claims about 100 million monthly active users in the U.S.The Chinese company must now divest TikTok in the United States. Microsoft Corp and Oracle Corp are among U.S. companies fighting to snap up its assets.The Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 38% of respondents said they were either very or somewhat familiar with the app and 25% said they had watched a video on the platform. Thirty-five percent agreed with the statement that they had “heard of it, but that’s about it.”Americans also appeared to be more critical of the Chinese company than they were of American-based technology companies: 47% of respondents said they either held very unfavorable, somewhat unfavorable, or “lean towards unfavorable” attitudes toward TikTok. By contrast, just 11% said they had similarly unfavorable impressions of Seattle-based Amazon – the world’s largest online retailer which is facing allegations of monopolistic behavior from both sides of the U.S. political aisle. 

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Chadwick Boseman’s Death Leaves Saddening Mark on Rough 2020

Kobe Bryant. Rep. John Lewis. And now, Chadwick Boseman.So far, 2020 has been marred with bad news and tragedy with the deaths of several popular Black icons including Bryant, Lewis and recently Boseman, who died Friday. All three were viewed as leaders in their respective fields of sports, politics and film — places where people, particularly in the Black community, have often looked for inspiration during a year of racial tension and protests against the police brutality of unarmed Black people.But for many, the loss of another major figure such as Boseman is taking a toll. The actor, who starred in the blockbuster superhero Marvel film “Black Panther,” shockingly died at the age of 43 in his home in Los Angeles after he privately battled colon cancer for four years.The Rev. Al Sharpton arrives to speak at the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks March,” in Washington, Aug. 28, 2020, on the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.”These are pillars in our community,” Rev. Al Sharpton said. “In times of instability, you depend on pillars. It’s bad enough when there’s a storm outside and you hear the lightning and thunder. It gets worse when the pillars that you’re building and standing on (are) shaking. It’s like they’re chipping away at our foundation. The very building is shaking down, because the things that undergird and protect us from the storms are being removed.”Sharpton called Boseman an important pillar that humanized several Black historical trailblazers in his roles — including color-line breaking baseball star Jackie Robinson, legendary singer James Brown and the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Boseman’s family said he endured “countless surgeries and chemotherapy” while portraying King T’Challa of Wakanda in the Oscar-nominated “Black Panther,” a film that proved a person of color could lead in a successful superhero film.”For him to pass at this time when we are disproportionately affected by COVID and have all of these attacks by law enforcement, and him being the symbol bringing us to Wakanda, it’s just a blow,” Sharpton said. “To hear that our superhero who projected a positive light was now gone, it was a gut blow.”The Los Angeles Clippers kneel to pay respect to the Black Lives Matters movement while a photo of actor Chadwick Boseman is displayed on a screen being the team before their NBA first round playoff game against the Dallas Mavericks, Aug. 30, 2020.Boseman was elevated to a stage that many Black actors don’t get the chance to occupy, said Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. And his ability to be “transcendent” on that stage brought a comic book character to life for many in the Black community.”Even though we knew that it was like a fictional story, it actually felt real. It actually felt like we finally had our Black superhero and nobody could touch us. So to lose that, it’s sad in our community,” James said, lamenting on the loss of “the Black Panther and the Black Mamba in the same year.”In January, Bryant died in a helicopter crash involving eight others including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. Lewis died in July after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year.Other notable deaths this year include actress Naya Rivera, civil rights leader C.T. Vivian, music executive Andre Harrell and Hall of Fame Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson, who was the first Black coach to lead a team to an NCAA championship and prioritized academics to his athletes.”The year 2020 has been up and down for everybody,” Milwaukee Bucks player Giannis Antetokounmpo said, adding that Boseman left “so much behind.””It’s a lot to unpack,” said Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul. “Chadwick was a special guy. I think everyone took it hard, especially the Black community. That was one of our black superheroes. I think ‘Black Panther’ was something so powerful, for myself along with my kids to see a superhero that looks like them and the way that he played it with such class and elegance. That was tough.”Activist Martin Luther King III called Boseman’s death another “great loss.” But he encourages people not to lose hope even in a year of tumult.”We could easily say ‘Oh my God. This is the most terrible year that existed.’ But I choose not to say that,” said the son of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “Our ancestors had to go through so, so much. And yet, we’re still here. We are nowhere where we need to be, but we are always making progress and moving ahead.”Gil Robertson, the co-founder and president of the African American Film Critics Association, said Black people are at a critical crossroads of their survival in America.”We’re getting it from all sides of the fort,” Robertson said. “We’re losing these strong men. These men who operated with a level of integrity. A level of authenticity. I find all of this alarming. I hope that our community can really come together. … Not just for one cause. Just to make a consistent effort to rehabilitate our community.”

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