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China pushes emergency use of COVID vaccine despite concerns

China pushes emergency use of COVID vaccine despite concernsIt's an unusual move that raises ethical and safety questions, as companies and governments worldwide race to develop a vaccine that will stop the spread of the new coronavirus. Chinese companies earlier drew attention for giving the vaccine to their top executives and leading researchers before human trials to test their safety and efficacy had even begun. A Chinese health official said Friday that China, which has largely eradicated the disease, needs to take steps to prevent it from coming back.




Posted on 26 September 2020 | 7:19 am

Trump shifts focus to Pennsylvania to shore up reelection

Trump shifts focus to Pennsylvania to shore up reelectionPresident Donald Trump's campaign has grown increasingly focused on making inroads in Pennsylvania to offset potential vulnerabilities in other battlegrounds. Trump narrowly flipped three Great Lakes states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — from blue to red in 2016. There are growing concerns inside the campaign, the aides said, about Trump's ability to retain Wisconsin.




Posted on 26 September 2020 | 6:02 am

If We Can’t Ban Nukes, Let’s Stigmatize Them



Posted on 26 September 2020 | 6:00 am

Trump expected to announce conservative Barrett for court

Trump expected to announce conservative Barrett for courtPresident Donald Trump is expected to announce Saturday that he is nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as he aims to put a historic conservative stamp on the high court just weeks before the election. Trump said Friday he had made up his mind and it was “very exciting,” without giving away the name, aiming to maintain some suspense around his personal announcement. “Well I haven’t said it was her, but she’s outstanding,” Trump said of the Indiana federal judge.




Posted on 26 September 2020 | 5:44 am

Kremlin’s World War III Propaganda Meltdown Shows Putin Is Cornered

Kremlin’s World War III Propaganda Meltdown Shows Putin Is CorneredMOSCOW—Russia these days may look frightening to Americans, who hear often of election meddling and poisoning among other ill deeds. But consider for a moment the view from the other side of the divide, or at least the view presented to Russians by their television sets.The looming potential for World War III has become a regular topic on Russian state propaganda shows. Night after night, Vladimir Soloviev, who is often described as the Kremlin’s top propagandist, condemns the West’s “economically suffocating” strategy of imposing sanctions and suggest war is the logical outcome.The conclusion reached by Soloviev and his like-minded panel of guests is that the country’s politicians and titans of business should break all ties with the West, including communicating with their relatives. A long history of grievances spills out; Soloviev says the conflict between Russia and the West started in the 13th century: “They believe we are barbarians and they are civilized, so they have a right to point out to us how we should live and behave.”Trump Followed Russian Media’s Lead on SCOTUS PredictionThe show, which is broadcast nightly on state channel 1, heats up quickly. This week, Sergei Kurginyan, a pro-Kremlin political expert close to the secret services, accused the West of tearing Russia apart by creating a fifth column in the Far East, where thousands of Russians have been marching in anti-Putin rallies for two months. Putin’s nemesis Alexei Navalny was out East bolstering the opposition rallies when he was poisoned with a deadly nerve agent.Kurginyan has been consistently criticizing the Russian elite for pursuing naïve dreams about becoming part of European society: “Our elites have grown together with Europe through family connections, children, grandchildren. But in the current situation they will have to tear these connections apart. That will be terribly painful but you will have to do that,” he said.A popular newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda announced in plain language on Friday that: “The world is under a threat of the Third World War over the Russian COVID-19 vaccine.” The paper claimed the European Union and the U.S. were furious about Russia selling millions of doses of its vaccines to Brazil and Africa.The Russian nationalist publication Tsargrad also carried an overheated headline on Friday, claiming an invented military victory: “NATO Exercises Failed: Russian Ships Scared Americans and Ukrainians Away.”What has caused this latest storm of anti-Western propaganda?This week, the U.S. imposed new commercial restrictions on Yevgeniy Prigozhin, known as “Putin chef.” The companies operated by Prigozhin, one of Putin’s most trusted lieutenants, are linked to the Wagner mercenary army and troll farms responsible for U.S. election interference. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also suggested this week that the order to poison Navalny came from senior Russian officials, the pressure grows on Putin to explain the poisoning or face yet more sanctions. Both the European Union and Britain are also preparing sanctions against Putin’s partner in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, after a violent crackdown on the opposition and a fraudulent election. The age-old theme of a “conflict of civilizations” between East and West has been resurfacing on state media outlets. This undercurrent is at the core of the West’s issues with Russia, the propaganda outlets insist.If the West continues to punish Vladimir Putin’s allies with economic sanctions and block Russian movement around the world, they say, Moscow will come up with a new strategy building on alliances with other Western antagonists. “We have not sent forces to Ukraine, to Kyiv only for the sake of our relations with Europe; by the new strategy we would deploy the forces and surely our allies in Turkey and China would respect us for such a strong decision,” prominent Kremlin-aligned political analyst Sergey Markov tells The Daily Beast.Russian Media Is Rooting for Civil War in America: ‘The Worse, the Better’The propaganda outlets portray Putin and his allies withdrawing from the world, as if in a besieged castle, to isolate and defend themselves.Russia’s ability to respond in kind with sanctions is limited. A few weeks ago, the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov imposed sanctions against Pompeo after the U.S. state department sanctioned members of his family. But this was widely seen as little more than a joke since Pompeo has no property or bank accounts in Chechnya. Still, the story made the Russian-speaking news. Olga Skobeyeva, a host of one of the more popular political talk shows 60 Minutes, praised Kadyrov’s “cool” sanctions.Germany and France are demanding that the Kremlin investigate last month’s poisoning of Navalny with the Soviet-era chemical weapon Novichok. But the last two decades of Russian history show how strongly Putin resists any demand imposed by the West. Instead, they are ramping up the propaganda. “They say, ‘Oh, you once again want to tear us apart, here is our answer to you—and Putin comes out with a speech about the most powerful hypersonic weapon,” a commentator on independent Rain TV, Pavel Lobkov, told The Daily Beast.Last weekend, on Russia’s Day of the Gunsmith—an obscure holiday which is usually ignored—Putin went on television to discuss Russia’s latest nuclear weapons. They can reach anywhere in the world, he said. The Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles can wipe out a territory the size of Texas or France, viewers were told. Putin blamed the U.S. for the withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic-Missile treaty back in 2002. “We had to create these weapons in response to the U.S. deploying a strategic missile defense system, which in the future would be able to actually neutralize, nullify our entire nuclear potential,” Putin said.On Friday, Putin asked the White House for a truce on the “information war,” which is laughable since Western intelligence agencies say the Kremlin has already been targeting the 2020 presidential election. Nonetheless, Markov explains that Moscow is expecting incoming rhetorical fire during the height of the American election season: “Russian intelligence has informed Vladimir Putin earlier this year of rough attacks on him personally coming up,” he said. “That might happen during the U.S. elections, the conflict might enter a hot phase, so it is time to buy canned food.”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.




Posted on 26 September 2020 | 5:25 am

China’s State Media: We Should Carve Up Facebook Just Like TikTok

China’s State Media: We Should Carve Up Facebook Just Like TikTokHONG KONG—As Trump and China hawks lock horns with Beijing on TikTok, trade, and Huawei, the Chinese Communist Party and its leader Xi Jinping are threatening to target U.S. companies with similar nationalistic bans—and signalling to Chinese firms at home that they expect total loyalty.Private Chinese companies that have managed to establish a foothold on U.S. shores increasingly rely on the CCP’s backing, particularly when the Oval Office decides to place them within its crosshairs. Some do this by choice, others because they have no other option when they head overseas. In any case, in Xi’s view, they are one clan, one tribe, and they need to stick together, with the party at their core.Speaking to entrepreneurs in 2018, Xi indicated that the public and private sectors in China are, in his view, one and the same. He said, “The public economy and non-public economy ought to be complementary, not opposing or offsetting. This is written in the constitution, in party articles. It cannot change.” To top it off, Xi told the execs who sat before him (and others who would read the transcript later) that “we’re all a family.”The caveat is that the patriarch of this family demands subservience and respect, and his word-bearers are eager to remind everyone else of their station.Trump’s TikTok and WeChat Ban Could Backfire Inside ChinaLast week, Ye Qing, the vice chairperson of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce—a nominally non-governmental chamber of commerce that in reality is linked to the CCP’s United Front Work Department, which is charged with exerting influence in elite and wealthy circles at home and abroad—gave a speech to map out how CCP committees must be embedded within private companies and become part of decision-making processes.If private enterprises benefit so much from “the system,” Ye opined, then it is only expected that these entities safeguard the system and the party that shapes it.This idea goes beyond speeches given at exclusive gatherings. Business leaders in China are expected to participate in pomp and practice. Just last year, the C-suite executives of 45 top Chinese tech companies were corralled by the country’s internet watchdog to visit sites that are politically and historically significant for the CCP, as part of a “study tour” and “celebration” of Mao Zedong’s deeds. A local newspaper reported that the tech execs “relived the red memory” to “inherit the revolutionary spirit.”It is no secret that professional success in China is at times dependent on joining the Chinese Communist Party, and many people who fill its ranks do not subscribe to the party’s ideological or nationalistic bent. But having one’s name on the party’s rosters muddles the relationship between state and private enterprise in a market socialist economy, a condition that party leadership has exploited more than ever in recent years as Chinese companies attempt to become globally recognized names.The latest example is TikTok, a video app that was developed by ByteDance, a Beijing-based tech conglomerate that was already the subject of an investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, before Trump issued an executive order in early August to ban transactions related to the app, suggesting that it posed a “national emergency with respect to the information and communications technology and service supply chain.”On Sunday, the nationalistic state media outlet Global Times said the Chinese government would likely approve what it called a “reasonable” deal for TikTok. But that changed the following day, when it said the arrangement that involves TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart was “unfair” and that Washington was applying “hooligan logic” to wrest control of a Chinese-owned business that has found success in the U.S.Hu Xijin, the chief editor of Global Times, argued that if TikTok needed a “trusted” partner from the U.S. to operate in the country, then the same should apply to American businesses that want to make money in China. He wrote in a tweet on Monday, “The US restructuring of TikTok’s stake and actual control could be used as a model and promoted globally. Overseas operation of companies such as Google, Facebook shall all undergo such restructure and be under actual control of local companies for security concerns.”Hu’s outlet also said that “Chinese companies cannot be turned into lambs that are slaughtered by America, one by one.”On Wednesday, another state media outlet, China Daily, took a slightly softer tone and wrote that what the Trump administration has done to TikTok was “dirty,” “underhanded,” “extortion,” and “almost the same as a gangster forcing an unreasonable and unfair business deal on a legitimate company.” At the moment, Beijing’s earlier optimism has been completely replaced by a sense of indignity, and the party’s news workers, as they are called, are pouring ink and pixels into expressing just that.This is not the first time the Chinese government has voiced its displeasure about how Chinese companies are treated by Trump. After the U.S. applied sanctions on Huawei, state media has regularly published articles to voice unabashed support for the company, echoing foreign ministry spokespersons’ criticisms of the “U.S. suppression” inflicted upon the telecommunications hardware provider. While the Chinese government and Huawei both vehemently deny any links with each other, the two are consistently mentioned in the same breath.In response to U.S. sanctions on Huawei, China’s commerce ministry is drafting a list of American companies that may be the targets of sanctions, sales and investment restrictions, or other forms of punishment. The ministry said the blacklist is “strictly limited to a very small number of illegal foreign entities.” For now, Chinese officials have not decided whether they will act before the November presidential election in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported.After this all shakes out, the CCP will have even deeper involvement in China’s private industries, particularly those that need to lean on Beijing’s power to negotiate business environments abroad. And in the U.S., concerns about national security or data privacy will likely remain unaddressed. Hastily cobbled together, any new structure for TikTok’s global operations is a foil for the erratic, self-contradicting patterns of decisions that come out of the Oval Office, where Trump attempts to look tough on China, but in so doing swings a gilded wrecking ball through the United States’ governmental processes, like sober examinations of data security and information influence concerns.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.




Posted on 26 September 2020 | 5:04 am

He's not running, but Morales looms large in Bolivia vote

He's not running, but Morales looms large in Bolivia voteNational rifts that contributed to chaos in Bolivia in 2019 threaten to destabilize the Oct. 18 vote and its aftermath nearly one year after Morales, Bolivia's first Indigenous president from the Aymara group, was forced to resign following disputed vote results, protests, violence and a military call for him to go. The country is divided mainly along ethnic, regional and socioeconomic lines, and between those who applaud Morales as a voice for the historically poor and disenfranchised and those who say he became increasingly corrupt and authoritarian during 14 years in power. The interim government that replaced him has also been accused of undermining Bolivia’s democratic institutions, including the judiciary.




Posted on 26 September 2020 | 5:00 am

Russia, China block release of UN report criticizing Russia

Russia, China block release of UN report criticizing RussiaRussia and China blocked the official release of a report by U.N. experts on Libya that accused its warring parties and their international backers -- including Russia -- of violating a U.N. arms embargo on the conflict-wracked country, U.N. diplomats said Friday. Germany’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Günter Sautter, said he brought the issue to the Security Council after the two countries blocked the report’s release by the committee monitoring sanctions on Libya, which Germany heads.




Posted on 26 September 2020 | 4:50 am

Global pH Meters Industry



Posted on 26 September 2020 | 4:36 am

S. Korea calls for N. Korea to further investigate shooting

S. Korea calls for N. Korea to further investigate shootingSouth Korea said Saturday it will request North Korea to further investigate the killing of a South Korean government official who was shot by North Korean troops after being found adrift near the rivals’ disputed sea boundary while apparently trying to defect. Seoul could also possibly call for a joint investigation into Tuesday’s shooting, which sparked outrage in the South and drew a rare apology from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Kim was quoted as saying he was “very sorry” over what he described as an “unexpected, unfortunate incident" in a message sent by Pyongyang's United Front Department, a North Korean government agency in charge of inter-Korean relations.




Posted on 26 September 2020 | 4:27 am

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