[-] 0x815@feddit.de 1 points 55 minutes ago

In addition to the other comments, the EU is considering to alter its decision-making process and implementing a majority vote (at the moment every single counrty must agree to a decision). That could significantly reduce the risks brought by countries like Hungary and Slovakia.

submitted 6 hours ago by 0x815@feddit.de to c/news@beehaw.org

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- Hungary takes over the rotating EU Council presidency on 1 July

- However, some EU diplomats say Hungary’s 'veto actions' might require a discussion about practical changes to the bloc’s decision-making processes

The foreign ministers gathered in Brussels focused on how the bloc could unlock funds from the EU’s off-budget European Peace Facility (EPF).

Hungary has been blocking partial reimbursements for weapons earmarked for Ukraine under the EU’s off-budget European Peace Facility (EPF) for almost a year, with the amount estimated at €6.5 billion – three reimbursement tranches and the new €5 billion-heavy Ukraine Assistance Fund (UAF).

Budapest initially cited Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency for having blacklisted Hungary’s OTP Bank as an “international sponsor of war” as one of the main reasons for their blockage. But while the bank has since then been removed from the blacklist, Hungary has kept the veto in place.

“There is growing frustration (to say the least), as the EU currently sits on €5 billion of support and very soon on the [Russian] windfall profits stemming from immobilised assets, which are at risk of not being used properly if there is no agreement,” one EU diplomat said.

In Monday’s discussion, Budapest was now quoted as saying that its economy is being discriminated against in Ukraine, according to people familiar with the discussions. The new explanation had drawn significant pushback from other EU counterparts, they said.

Inside the room, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called on Budapest “to finally allow aid to Ukraine once again, because Europe is only strong if it is united.”

An increasing number of EU member states are starting to point to Hungary’s overall track record, rather than the fact that Budapest has ‘not yet completely vetoed’ any EU decision on Ukraine.

“We looked into this and about 41% of resolutions by the EU on Ukraine have been blocked by Hungary,” Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrelius Landsbergis told reporters.

“The EPF is blocked; Ukraine’s accession talks are being held hostage by Hungary – and I could go on and on – the [EU’s] declaration on Georgia, the EPF [support] to Armenia – basically, almost all of our discussions and needed solutions and decisions (…) are being blocked by just one country,” Landsbergis said.

“We have to start seeing this as a systematic approach towards any efforts by the EU to have any meaningful role in foreign affairs – and we have to start talking about this,” he added.

Echoing the criticism, Belgium’s Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, told reporters ahead of the talks: “We cannot accept that a single country, which also signed up to this amount a few months ago at the heads of state’s Council meeting, is now blocking this crucial aid for Ukraine.”

Estonia’s Foreign Margus Tsahkna said: “Every time we are coming here, we have to convince Hungary about not blocking very important initiatives.”

“This is crucial now for Ukraine, and also for Europe, to use these EPF funds,” Tsahkna added.

Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani told reporters Rome would be “against the blocking. We want to move on.”

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto did not answer questions from reporters heading into Monday’s talks.

EU diplomats said they expect the discussion on EU military aid to Ukraine now to shift towards Tuesday’s defence ministers meeting.

Should there be no breakthrough, EU ambassadors “will come together when needed to unlock this very unfortunate situation,” a second EU diplomat said.

Hungary takes over the rotating EU Council presidency on 1 July.

However, some EU diplomats have said they see Hungary’s veto actions as a pattern of behaviour that might require a discussion about practical changes to the bloc’s decision-making processes.

With Monday’s discussion having for the first time addressed the ‘overall picture’ of Hungary’s actions, a growing number of member states would increasingly see this as becoming a serious problem, people familiar with the discussion said.

submitted 7 hours ago by 0x815@feddit.de to c/news@beehaw.org

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A haunting new video has sent a clear warning to Taiwan following China’s two-day military operation that sent a chill across the globe.

China has made its intentions for Taiwan crystal clear, responding to pleas for de-escalation by releasing a dramatic video simulating an all-out attack on the tiny island nation.

The video, which simulated a full-scale attack with bombs raining down on Taiwan, coincided with the Chinese military’s two-day “Joint Sword-2024A” military exercises around Taiwan, which have continued to raise tensions in the region.

Fighter jets completely encircled the nation during the exercise, flooding the waters and airspace in a bold display of military might that left military officials around the world on high alert.

The drills come after Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te was sworn and immediately shot barbs at China’s ruling party in his inauguration speech.

Beijing denounced his remarks as a “confession of independence” and deployed their forces as a “strong punishment for the separatist acts of ‘Taiwan independence’ forces”.

“Taiwan independence forces will be left with their heads broken and blood flowing after colliding against the great... trend of China achieving complete unification,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, prompting a swift response from the United Nations.

Chinese nationalist forces fled to the then region of Taiwan in 1949 when the Communist Party took over Beijing. The People’s Republic insists that Taiwan is an indivisible part of China of which it is the rightful government. But Taiwan has never been run by Communist China. For many years the government in Taipei claimed that it, not the CCP, was the true leaders of China. Taiwan has never formally declared independence but in essentially every way is its own sovereign nation.

The US has “strongly” urged China to exercise restraint as the world watched Beijing’s drills.

But the following day, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) responded to calls of de-escalation from the West with a 70-second animated video depicting a chillingly realistic simulation of warships, warplanes, and missiles executing a co-ordinated attack on Taiwan.

The video begins with supposed news footage showing the deployment of fighter jets, bombers, and warships, followed by animated scenes of missiles being launched from land, sea, and air.

Projectiles are then depicted raining down on and obliterating major Taiwanese cities like Taipei, Hualien, and Kaohsiung, underscoring the potential devastation.

As the warships and warplanes close in on Taiwan from all sides, the island is shown flashing a countrywide red alert, accompanied by the wail of an alarm siren.

The video, which included the slogans “Destroy the support pillars! Strike the base camp! Cut the blood vessels,” attracted a number of comments from pro-military accounts calling for the eradication of Taiwan’s “base camp”.

While several analysts believe China would ultimately be unwilling to step off the cliff and start an all-out war, the US has been warned it must consider its resources, in case it becomes entwined in a territorial battle.

According to simulations conducted by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), an American thinktank, the combined forces of the US, Japan and Taiwan would be able to repel a full-scale attempt from China to seize the island.

However, they would likely suffer “devastating” losses in the process.

“Allied air and naval counter-attacks [would] hammer the exposed Chinese amphibious and surface fleet, eventually sinking about 150 ships,” Marc Cancian, a former White House defence budget analyst and retired Marine, told UK newspaper The Times.

“In nearly all the scenarios, the US/Japan/Taiwan are able to prevent Chinese forces from occupying the entire island. However, the cost is extremely high,” he said, adding that CSIS had taken the scale of China’s recent display of firepower into account.

Mr Cancian said no matter the outcome, a war with China would wreak havoc on America’s military, not to mention the economic toll it would carry.

“It would take years for the US to rebuild its forces because of low production rates. Other nations such as Russia and Iran might take advantage of US weakness,” he said.

“The US will need to strengthen its position enough to deter China or to win the war without experiencing high attrition.”

While several analysts believe China would ultimately be unwilling to step off the cliff and start an all-out war, the US has been warned it must consider its resources, in case it becomes entwined in a territorial battle.

Taiwan’s President will ‘stand on the front line’

Taiwan’s recently elected President Lai boldly claimed he would “stand on the front line” to defend his nation.

“Faced with external challenges and threats, we will continue to defend the values of freedom and democracy, and safeguard peace and stability in the region,” he said.

China has warned Mr Lai’s leadership will bring upon “war and decline” to the island, which is home to 23.5 million people.

As Taiwanese people went to the polls earlier this year, Chinese ambassador Xiao Qian warned Australia to steer clear of supporting the new leader.

Mr Xiao warned that Australia would be “pushed over the edge of an abyss” if it tied itself to Mr Lai and Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

He said Mr Lai’s party was guilty of “changing the status quo across the Straits” by colluding with “external forces in successive provocative actions”.

Chinese ambassador Qian Xiao warned that Australia would be “pushed over the edge of an abyss” if it tied itself to Mr Lai and Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

“If Australia is tied to the chariot of Taiwan separatist forces, the Australian people would be pushed over the edge of an abyss,” the ambassador said at the time.

China’s threat to ‘kill independence’

China’s military has also released a series of ominous posters promoting what it called its “cross-strait lethality”, featuring rockets, jets and naval vessels next to bloodstained text.

“The weapon aimed at ‘Taiwan independence’ to kill ‘independence’ is already in place,” it declared.

Taipei’s defence ministry said 49 jets and planes had been detected since the drills began, with 35 of the aircraft crossing over the median line bisecting the Taiwan Strait.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for all sides to “refrain from acts that could escalate tensions in the region”.

US President Joe Biden has previously said he does not support Taiwan’s independence but also that he would back sending forces to defend the island. The official US position on intervention is one of ambiguity.

“We strongly urge Beijing to act with restraint,” a US spokesman said, adding China’s actions “risk escalation and erode longstanding norms that have maintained regional peace and stability for decades”.

submitted 8 hours ago by 0x815@feddit.de to c/news@beehaw.org

The man, identified only as Thomas H, had been a captain in the army's procurement office when he contacted Russian embassy in Berlin and passed on secret military information.

German police arrested him in the city of Koblenz in August and accused him of sharing photographs of munitions training systems and aircraft technology.

The 54-year-old admitted to a Düsseldorf court on Monday to passing information to Russia, saying it was a "stupid idea" and that he regretted his actions.

"It is the biggest mess I have ever made in my life," he told the court.

Prosecutors said the man approached the Russian embassy in Berlin and the consulate in Bonn unprompted and "almost persistently offered himself to Russia".

They said he photographed sensitive military files and dropped information through a letterbox at the consulate building in Bonn.

In a closing statement, the man said he had contacted the embassy after becoming concerned about the risk of nuclear war driven by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

He added that he was especially concerned that Germany's supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine could draw it into the conflict. According to government figures, Berlin supplied about €6.6bn (£5.62bn) worth of military hardware to Ukraine in 2022 and 2023. This included 40 Leopard 1 tanks and 100 infantry fighting vehicles.

The man claimed that chronic overwork had impaired his ability to think critically about his actions.

His lawyer said he had been influenced by a stream of pro-Russian propaganda and disinformation that he had been consuming on TikTok and Telegram at the time. He noted that his client had also joined the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

He added that the decision came during a four-day period "in which [his client] crossed red lines".

While prosecutors said the leaks had revealed sensitive military information, they noted that he had not disclosed state secrets, an act which would have attracted a much heavier lifetime sentence.

The trial comes as a slew of Russian spy affairs have hit headlines in Germany.

In April, two men with dual Russian-German citizenship were arrested, accused of spying on US army bases in Germany where Ukrainian soldiers were being trained.

Since December, an employee for German domestic intelligence, Carsten L, has been on trial accused of passing on classified data to Russian agents.

And in February 2023, a former security guard at the British embassy in Berlin was sentenced to 13 years in prison for passing on large amounts of sensitive information to the nearby Russian embassy.

The affairs have sparked a debate about whether security measures in Germany are tight enough. The government has admitted that more cases are likely to come to light.

In a recent television interview, Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said that Germany was a target for foreign powers. He added that over the next few months, more spies were likely to be “unmasked”.

submitted 21 hours ago by 0x815@feddit.de to c/news@beehaw.org

European Union foreign ministers decided on Monday to impose sanctions on Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service and on 19 Russians for human rights violations after the death of opposition politician Alexei Navalny in a prison in February.

"Alexei Navalny’s shocking death was another sign of the accelerating and systematic repression by the Kremlin regime. We will spare no efforts to hold the Russian political leadership and authorities to account," EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

The Kremlin has denied any state involvement in Navalny's death.

The sanctions include Russian judges, prosecutors and members of the judiciary. Their assets in the European Union, should they have any, are frozen and European companies are forbidden from making funds available to them.

The 19 people under sanctions also cannot enter, or transit through, the EU.

The new sanctions also restrict exports of equipment which might be used for internal repression and equipment, technology or software for use in information security and the monitoring or interception of telecommunication, the ministers said in a statement.

submitted 21 hours ago by 0x815@feddit.de to c/news@beehaw.org

Poland will introduce restrictions on the movement of Russian diplomats on its territory due to Moscow's involvement in what it deems a hybrid war against the European Union, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on Monday.

Relations between Poland and Russia have deteriorated sharply since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into neighbouring Ukraine in February 2022. Warsaw has also accused Moscow of spying and sabotage.

"These are national decisions, but we have evidence that the Russian state is involved in authorizing sabotage in our country as well. We hope that the Russian Federation will treat this as a very serious warning," Radoslaw Sikorski told journalists in Brussels.

The Russian embassy in Warsaw said it could not immediately comment as it had not received official information on the measures.

Sikorski said the embassy would receive a note on the matter soon and that the restriction would apply to all embassy and consulates' personnel except for the ambassador.

They will be allowed to travel only within the province where they are assigned.

submitted 1 day ago* (last edited 1 day ago) by 0x815@feddit.de to c/news@beehaw.org

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Reviving a Mao-era surveillance campaign, the Chinese authorities are tracking residents, schoolchildren and businesses to forestall any potential unrest.

Volunteers from a neighborhood committee keep watching on Beijing's streets. “Stability maintenance” — a catchall term for containing social problems and silencing dissent — has increasingly become a preoccupation in China under Xi Jinping.

The wall in the police station was covered in sheets of paper, one for every building in the sprawling Beijing apartment complex. Each sheet was further broken down by unit, with names, phone numbers and other information on the residents.

Perhaps the most important detail, though, was how each unit was color-coded. Green meant trustworthy. Yellow, needing attention. Orange required “strict control.”

A police officer inspected the wall. Then he leaned forward to mark a third-floor apartment in yellow. The residents in that unit changed often, and therefore were “high risk,” his note said. He would follow up on them later.

“I’ve built a system to address hidden dangers in my jurisdiction,” the officer said, in a video by the local government that praised his work as a model of innovative policing.

This is the kind of local governance that China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, wants: more visible, more invasive, always on the lookout for real or perceived threats. Officers patrol apartment buildings listening for feuding neighbors. Officials recruit retirees playing chess outdoors as extra eyes and ears. In the workplace, employers are required to appoint “safety consultants” who report regularly to the police.

The Chinese Communist Party has long wielded perhaps the world’s most sweeping surveillance apparatus against activists and others who might possibly voice discontent. Then, during the coronavirus pandemic, the surveillance reached an unprecedented scale, tracking virtually every urban resident in the name of preventing infections.

Now, it is clear that Mr. Xi wants to make that expanded control permanent, and to push it even further.

The goal is no longer just to address specific threats, such as the virus or dissidents. It is to embed the party so deeply in daily life that no trouble, no matter how seemingly minor or apolitical, can even arise.

Mr. Xi has branded this effort the “Fengqiao experience for a new era.” The Beijing suburb in the propaganda video, Zhangjiawan, was recently recognized in state media as a national exemplar of the approach.

“Fengqiao” refers to a town where, during the Mao era, the party encouraged residents to “re-educate” purported political enemies, through so-called struggle sessions where people were publicly insulted and humiliated until they admitted crimes such as writing anti-communist poetry.

Mr. Xi, who invokes Fengqiao regularly in major speeches, has not called for a revival of struggle sessions, in which supposed offenders were sometimes beaten or tortured. But the idea is the same: harnessing ordinary people alongside the police to suppress any challenges to the party and uphold the party’s legitimacy.

The party casts this as a public service. By having “zero distance” from the people, it can more quickly gather suggestions about, say, garbage collection or save residents the trouble of going to court over business disputes. Instead, conflicts are hashed out by party mediators.

Mr. Xi frequently points to the Fengqiao experience as proof that the party is responsive to people’s needs and desires, even as he has smothered free expression and dissent.

It is also an effort to assert his political legacy. Top officials have hailed Fengqiao as an example of Mr. Xi’s visionary leadership, while scholars have described it as “a model for showcasing Chinese governance to the world.”

The campaign strengthens Beijing’s repressive abilities at a time of mounting challenges. With China’s economy slowing, protests about unpaid wages and unfinished homes have increased. Tensions with the West have led Beijing to warn of omnipresent foreign spies. The party has also tightened scrutiny of groups like feminists, students and L.G.B.T. rights activists.

In the name of Fengqiao, the police have visited Tibetans, Uyghurs and other minority groups in their homes, promoting party policies. Companies have been required to register their employees in police databases. Government workers have given “anti-cult” lectures at churches. Police officers and judges have been installed in elementary schools as “deputy principals of law,” keeping files on students’ perceived risk levels.

But by blocking even mild or apolitical criticism, the party could also erode the very legitimacy it is trying to project.

A Mao Idea, Repurposed

Mr. Xi’s interest in the Fengqiao experience dates back two decades, to when he was still ascending the ranks of power.

The year was 2003, and Mr. Xi had just been named party secretary of Zhejiang Province in China’s east. China’s economic opening had brought great wealth to the province, but also led to rising crime. Mr. Xi was looking for a solution. According to official media reports, he turned to a small Zhejiang town called Fengqiao.

The town had entered party lore in the 1960s, after Mao exhorted the Chinese people to confront “class enemies,” such as landlords or rich farmers. In the official telling, Fengqiao residents at first clamored for the police to make arrests. But local party leaders instead urged the residents themselves to identify and “re-educate” the enemies.

Ultimately, nearly 1,000 people were labeled reactionaries, according to Fengqiao officials. They and their families had trouble finding work, going to school or even getting married. Mao declared the “Fengqiao experience” a model for the country. Not long after, he launched the Cultural Revolution, another mass movement that led to a decade of bloodshed.

After Mao died, the phrase fell out of favor, as his successors distanced themselves from the chaos of his rule.

Mr. Xi, though, embraced the phrase. His first visit to Fengqiao in 2003 was to the local police station, where he inspected an exhibition about the 1960s. Months later, he visited again and praised the idea of nipping problems in the bud. “Though the situation and responsibilities we face have changed, the Fengqiao experience is not outdated,” he said.

Mr. Xi’s call for more social control was part of a broader shift by the party, amid the rapid change of the 2000s, toward “stability maintenance” — a catchall term for containing social problems and silencing dissent.

After Mr. Xi became top leader in 2012, he redoubled that focus. Mentions of Fengqiao in state media became ubiquitous. Then came the coronavirus pandemic — and the government began tracking individuals’ movements down to the minute.

It did so partly through technology, requiring residents to download mobile health apps. But it also leaned on old-fashioned labor. Using a method called “grid management,” the authorities divided cities into blocks of a few hundred households, assigning workers to each. Those workers went door to door to enforce testing requirements and quarantines, sometimes by sealing people into their homes.

State media hailed China’s early success in containing Covid as proof of the Fengqiao experience’s continued utility. Chinese research papers described Fengqiao-style policing during the pandemic as a model for crisis management around the world.

When people began to chafe at the restrictions — culminating in nationwide protests in 2022 — the granular approach proved its utility in another way, as the police used facial recognition cameras and informants to track down participants.

“The architecture is there,” said Minxin Pei, a professor at Claremont McKenna College who recently published a book about China’s surveillance state. “After three years of lockdowns, seeing how the system works probably gave them a lot of insights.”

A Push to Penetrate Daily Life

The Covid controls are gone. The stepped-up surveillance is not.

It is clear now that the government’s heightened intrusiveness during the pandemic was an acceleration of a longer-term project. Mr. Xi’s goal is to deploy the masses to bolster the party, as Mao had done, but without the turmoil. That is where technology and the police come in, to ensure people never slip out of control.

“This is the next iteration” of the party’s obsession with stifling unrest, said Suzanne Scoggins, a professor at Clark University in Massachusetts who has studied Chinese policing.

And Beijing is pushing to expand it rapidly. It has encouraged local governments to hire many more workers to watch assigned grids. Last month, the party also issued its first-ever top-level guidance on the management of such workers, calling for stronger ideological training and formalized rewards and punishments.

Those new grid monitors will supplement the extensive ranks of China’s surveillance workers, which on top of uniformed police and party workers also include as many as 15 million ordinary people recruited as local government informants, according to Professor Pei’s research.

Volunteer from neighborhood committees watching on streets are especially visible on holidays or during major political meetings, ensuring that public order is maintained.

Beijing also deploys vast numbers of “security volunteers,” mostly retirees, during important political meetings or holidays. They are tasked with ensuring the streets look orderly: steering homeless people into shelters, scolding those who litter and alerting the police if they see suspected protesters.

On a recent Thursday in central Beijing, two residents stood on the sidewalk wearing red vests and name tags. They would be there for two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon, guarding their assigned grid unit of three apartment buildings, said one of them, Qi Jinyou, 76. Other duos were stationed regularly down the block.

Mr. Qi had joined about a year ago, after neighborhood officials called residents at home to recruit. In return, he received gifts like tissues or toothpaste. But he also felt a sense of duty: “We have to protect, right? Safety first.”

In Zhangjiawan, the Beijing suburb held up as a model of Fengqiao’s successes, some residents praised the increase in patrols. Near a billboard depicting a smiling Mr. Xi, a meat seller named Wang Li said that neighborhood officials often inspected for fire hazards like loose electrical wires, or reminded residents to go for health checkups.

Seeing police cars on patrol when she got off work late, she said, “I feel more at ease.”

‘To Grind You Down’

Others have seen how the approach can be used to try and compel obedience.

On the outskirts of Zhangjiawan, the government is demolishing and redeveloping several villages into a tourist attraction. By January, 98 percent of the roughly 1,700 households had agreed to relocate, thanks to village representatives who had visited homes more than 1,600 times, according to a social media post by the local government touting how the Fengqiao experience had “taken root.”

They “won trust with their professionalism, and intimacy with their sincerity,” the government said.

A villager named Ms. Mu was one of the holdouts. Standing outside the low-slung house that her family had lived in for more than 20 years, she surveyed the fields where neighboring buildings had already been flattened.

Party officials and representatives of the developer had repeatedly called and visited her family, urging them to move out, but she felt the compensation was too low.

“They don’t have a proper conversation with you. They just send people to grind you down,” said Ms. Mu, who asked that only her surname be used.

One night, as negotiations dragged on, men were stationed outside their home to intimidate them, she said. Their water supply was also cut off during the demolition of nearby buildings, but local officials did not seem to care about that, Ms. Mu said: “Not a single village official has come to ask, how can we help with this water problem?”

She and her siblings now drive into town to fill bottles with tap water.

The risks of empowering low-level officials to fulfill sweeping political mandates became especially clear during the pandemic. Under pressure to prevent infections, neighborhood workers at times prevented residents from buying groceries or seeking medical care.

Even high-profile political activists, for whom surveillance has long been routine, have felt the controls intensify. Wang Quanzhang, a human rights lawyer who was released from more than four years in prison in 2020, said that 30 or 40 people were watching his home in Beijing at any given time. He shared photographs of groups of men in black clothing sitting inside his building and following him on the street.

Several landlords had forced him to move out, under official pressure, he said. The authorities had also pressured schools not to let his 11-year-old son enroll, he added.

“We didn’t think that when they couldn’t chase us away from Beijing, they would start targeting our child,” he said. “After the epidemic, it’s gotten worse.”

The Cost of Control

The success of this labor-intensive approach hinges upon the zeal of its enforcers. That has often worked to the advantage of the party, which uses financial incentives, appeals to patriotism and sometimes threats, such as to their jobs, to mobilize officials and ordinary people alike.

But the reliance on an army of paid workers could also be the surveillance apparatus’s central weakness, as the slowing economy forces local governments to tighten budgets.

Already, some community workers and police officers have complained on social media of being overworked.

Even propaganda about Fengqiao has acknowledged the toll of making officials responsible for ever-smaller issues. One state media article lauded a police officer who, to resolve a dispute between neighbors, helped unclog a blocked pipe. “Suddenly, a large amount of sewage and feces sprayed onto his head and body,” the article said. The residents, the article continued, “felt both pity and gratitude.”

The party’s tightening grip could also stifle the dynamism that it needs to revive the economy. A fried chicken vendor in Zhangjiawan, who gave only her surname, Ma, said she had not made enough money to pay her rent for three months, in part because constantly patrolling officers prohibited her from setting up her cart on the sidewalk.

“If the economy suffers, then there will be security problems,” she said. “People need to eat. If they get anxious, things will get messy.”

[Edit typo.]

submitted 1 day ago by 0x815@feddit.de to c/news@beehaw.org

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In response to the recent wave of long-range missile strikes by Russian forces on targets in western Ukraine, Polish and allied aircraft were deployed in Polish airspace during the night. This intense activity, observed and reported early Sunday morning by the Operational Command of the Polish Armed Forces, aimed to ensure the security of Poland’s airspace.

“With the conclusion of the long-range missile strikes by the Russian Federation’s air force on targets in the western part of Ukraine, the operation of military aviation in Polish airspace has been completed, and the deployed forces and resources have returned to standard operational activities,” announced the Operational Command via social media.

The night saw heightened activity from the Russian air force, which conducted missile attacks on various targets, including those in western Ukraine. As a precautionary measure, Polish and allied aircraft were mobilized to operate within Polish airspace, particularly increasing aerial presence in the southeastern regions of the country. This deployment might have led to elevated noise levels in these areas, as noted by the Operational Command.

By morning, the Command confirmed the end of these maneuvers. The last significant activity from the Russian air force in connection with these strikes was recorded during the night of May 7th to 8th.

The Operational Command emphasized that all necessary procedures to ensure the safety of Polish airspace were activated. The situation continues to be closely monitored to respond to any further developments promptly.

submitted 1 day ago by 0x815@feddit.de to c/news@beehaw.org

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Here is the video interview (2 min)

Jens Stoltenberg says the rules on using Western weapons should be eased

NATO Secretaries-General do not normally attack the policies of the alliance’s biggest and most important member country. But Jens Stoltenberg, whose ten-year stint in charge is coming to an end, has done just that.

In an interview with The Economist on May 24th, he called on NATO allies supplying weapons to Ukraine to end their prohibition on using them to strike military targets in Russia. Mr Stoltenberg’s clear, if unnamed, target was the policy maintained by Joe Biden, America’s president, of controlling what Ukraine can and cannot attack with American-supplied systems.

submitted 1 day ago by 0x815@feddit.de to c/news@beehaw.org

By Professor Natasha Lindstaedt, Department of Government, University of Essex.

[The island of] Gotland has been a popular holiday destination for decades, but recently Swedish commander-in-chief, Mikael Bydén, claimed that Russian president Vladmir Putin “has his eyes” on the island. Concern was further ramped up, showing Gotland was just one part of Russia’s ambitions in the Baltics, in the last few days when Russia published a document suggesting that it needed to reassess the maritime borders in the Gulf of Finland.

That draft decree by the Russian defence ministry, which has since been removed, proposed that Russia wanted to revise its borders with Finland and Kaliningrad (based on a resolution adopted by the Soviet Union’s council of ministers in 1985) and expand its territorial waters.

Gotland holds a strategically important location of being in the middle of the Baltic Sea (halfway between Sweden and Estonia) and only 300km from where Russia’s Baltic fleet is based. Sweden joining Nato and giving it access to Gotland has significantly increased the alliance’s ability to deploy and sustain its forces in the Baltic Sea region, and this could make a decisive difference in the defence of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Poland.

Because of its strategic importance, for most of the cold war Sweden maintained a large military presence on the island. But Gotland was demilitarised in 2005 in order to promote peace and cooperation in the Baltic region.

This gesture of goodwill was immediately tested by the Russians as, not long after doing so, Russian men who did not fit the usual Gotland tourist profile, began regularly visiting the island.

Then, on March 29 2013, two Tupolev Tu-22M3 nuclear bombers came within 24 miles of Gotland on dummy bombing runs. Sweden’s part-time air force had the weekend off on account of the Easter holiday, emphasising both the country’s military weakness and Gotland’s vulnerability to Russia.

After Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, Sweden took significant steps to protect itself, reintroducing 150 permanent troops on the island in 2016. By 2018, Sweden had expanded the number of permanently placed troops to 400, equipping them with CV90 armoured vehicles and Leopard 2 tanks. Air defence systems were also reactivated by 2021.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 led to additional reinforcements, exercises, and investment in Gotland’s defence, totalling US$160 million (£125 million). In April 2023, Sweden held its biggest military exercise in 25 years alongside Polish and British troops on the island.

For Swedish commander-in-chief Bydén, the reasons for increasing its defences in Gotland are clear. Gotland is both a major strategic asset and potential liability, and therefore must be protected in order to prevent greater threats from Russia to Nato countries from the sea.

The geographical distances in the Baltics are small, and if Russia seized Gotland in a crisis, it could dominate the Baltic Sea region. This would make it very difficult for the west to provide reinforcement to the Baltic states by sea or by air.

It’s not only Sweden that is concerned. Lithuania borders both the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad (which itself has become increasingly militarised) and Belarus, it is concerned that it could be attacked, and would then be physically isolated from the rest of the Baltics.

In usual Moscow fashion, when the online document about changing Russian maritime borders was spotted in the west, the Kremlin denied that it had any plans to do so. But there was no explanation from Russian officials as to why the ministry proposal was removed from the government’s portal.

As leaders of the Baltic countries sought clarification, Lithuania warned that this was, at the very least, another Russian intimidation tactic. Estonia’s prime minster, Kaja Kallas, went further, claiming that Russia is engaging in a “shadow war” with the west.

Shadow war in the Baltic

The Baltic Sea has already been an area of heightened tensions this year. Russian ships have stoked hostilities due to their increasingly brazen and careless behaviour, breaching maritime rules and sailing old and uninsured oil tankers, which could potentially cause an environmental catastrophe.

Russian shadow tankers (which are ships that are used in countries that have been sanctioned) have been present in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone off the eastern coast of Gotland, and have loitered off Gotland’s east coast. Russia’s fleet consists of about 1,400 ships that are not officially part of Russia’s military.

Many of these shadow tankers refuse pilotage, the practice of directing the movement of a ships by using visual or electronic observations, even when navigating Denmark’s narrow Great Belt. It appears they are engaging in forms of brinkmanship.

These provocations all take place just outside the 12 nautical mile limit (a country’s territorial waters), making it impossible for Sweden to do anything about it, as these commercial tankers are not part of Russia’s official navy. The Swedish navy has warned that Russia is likely to be using these oil tankers to engage in sabotage, reconnaissance and espionage.

Because of these developments, the Swedish prime minister informed citizens in March that they needed to be prepared for war.

In the past, Gotland was a deterrent against Soviet expansion. But Russia today under Putin seems less easily deterred and more risk-acceptant. What’s not clear is if these provocations are part of a Russian shadow war to psychologically divide and terrorise the west, or if this is a prelude to an actual war, which would certainly begin if Russia attacked Gotland.

As Sweden is now a member of Nato, this means that all members must come to Sweden’s defence should it face an attack. On its own, Sweden has a world-class and modern submarine fleet and air force and a technologically advanced defence industrial base.

Given Sweden’s military capabilities, it’s hard to predict if this is enough to deter conflict with Russia. For now, it seems, Russia is determined to create suspense around its intentions in the Baltics — a region that holds both Nato’s greatest assets and vulnerabilities. As a result, the Baltic region has become a playground in Russia’s shadow war.

submitted 2 days ago by 0x815@feddit.de to c/news@beehaw.org

- Gazprom posted a loss of $7 bln in 2023, first since end-1990s - Gazprom's pipeline gas sales to Europe slump - Russia banks on business with Asia - Price of Russian gas for China seen gradually declining

Kremlin-owned energy kingpin Gazprom, once Russia's most profitable company, could face a long period of poor performance as it struggles to fill the gap of lost European gas sales with its domestic market and Chinese exports.

The company recently announced an annual net loss of $7 billion, its first since 1999, following a steep decline in trade with Europe.

Gazprom's troubles reflect the deep impact the European sanctions have had on Russia's gas industry, as well as the limitations of Moscow's growing partnership with China.

The impact of international sanctions on oil exports has been easier for Moscow to absorb because Russia has been able to redirect sea-borne oil exports to other buyers.

Gazprom relied on Europe as its largest sales market until 2022, when Russia's conflict with Ukraine prompted the EU to cut Gazprom gas imports.

Russia supplied a total of around 63.8 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas to Europe by various routes in 2022, according to Gazprom data and Reuters calculations. The volume decreased further, by 55.6%, to 28.3 bcm last year.

That's compared to a peak of 200.8 bcm Gazprom pumped in 2018 to the EU and other countries, such as Turkey.

Mysterious blasts at Nord Stream undersea gas pipelines from Russia to Germany in September 2022 also significantly undermined Russian gas trade with Europe. Russia has turned to China, seeking to boost its pipeline gas sales to 100 bcm a year by 2030. Gazprom started pipeline gas supplies to China via the Power of Siberia in the end of 2019.

It plans to reach the 38 bcm annual capacity of Power of Siberia by the end of this year, while Moscow and Beijing also agreed in 2022 about exports of 10 bcm from the Pacific island of Sakhalin.

Russia's biggest hope is the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline via Mongolia, which is planned to export 50 bcm per year. But that has hit some pitfalls due to the lack of agreement over pricing and other issues.

"While Gazprom will see some additional export revenues when all those pipelines will be up and running, it will never be able to offset completely the business it has lost to Europe," Kateryna Filippenko, a research director on gas and LNG at Wood Mackenzie, said.

Chinese pipedream?

Russia has also struggled so far to establish a gas trading centre in Turkey, an idea first floated by President Vladimir Putin in October 2022. No significant development has been reported since.

Even if Gazprom can get its pipeline supply to China up and running, sales revenues will be much lower than from Europe.

According to Moscow-based BCS brokerage, Gazprom's revenue from gas sales to Europe in 2015-2019 averaged at $3.3 billion per month thanks to monthly supplies of 15.5 bcm.

Taking into account a price of $286.9 per 1,000 cubic metres, as reported by the Russian economy ministry, and Gazprom's gas exports of 22.7 bcm last year, the total value of the company's gas sold to China could have reach $6.5 billion for the whole of 2023.

Gazprom did not reveal its revenue from sales to Europe or China for 2023 separately.

Dr Michal Meidan, head of China Energy Research at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, said China is unlikely to replace Europe for Russia as a highly profitable gas export market.

"China gives Russia an outlet but at much lower prices and revenue than Europe," she said.

In 2023, Russian pipeline gas was sold at $6.6 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) to China and slightly lower than that in the first quarter 2024 at $6.4/mmBtu.

That's compared to an average price of Russian gas in Europe of $12.9/mmBtu last year.

According to a document seen by Reuters last month, Russia expects its gas price for China to continue gradually declining in next four years, while a worst-case scenario does not rule out a 45% fall to $156.7 per 1,000 cubic metres (around $4.4 per mmBtu) in 2027 versus 2023.

It didn't say what might drive prices down, but Russia is facing rivalry from other pipeline gas suppliers to China, such as Turkmenistan, as well as sea-borne liquefied natural gas.

The financials of Gazprom, which also include its oil and power units, showed that the revenue from the natural gas business more than halved last year, to just over 3.1 trillion roubles, while oil and gas condensate sales amounted to 4.1 trillion roubles, up 4.3%, according to BCS brokerage.

Alexei Belogoriyev of Moscow-based Institute for Energy and Finance said it would be impossible for Gazprom to restore profitability relying solely on its gas business. He said strategic shift to production and export of ammonia, methanol and other gas processing products for Gazprom is possible, but it will not give a quick return.

"At the same time, the prospects for the Power of Siberia 2 remain vague: China most likely won't need for so much additional imports in 2030s due to the likely slowdown in demand growth and high domestic gas production rates," he said.

[-] 0x815@feddit.de 2 points 2 days ago

What do we understand by genocide?

The Encoclopedia Britannica says:

Genocide, the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group of people because of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race. The term, derived from the Greek genos (“race,” “tribe,” or “nation”) and the Latin cide (“killing”) ...

Tibetan children are separated from their families at a very young age and sent to state-run boarding 'schools' where they have to complete a “compulsory education” curriculum in the Mandarin Chinese language, with no access to traditional or culturally-relevant learning.

Forced sterilization of Tibetan women.

Individuals advocating for Tibetan language and education are persecuted.

Rounding up hundreds of thousands of innocent Tibetans, Uyghurs, and other minorities in military-style reeducation camps where they are forced to work.

More can be found, for examples, in the report on 100 atrocities of CCP in Tibet (pdf)

There's is many more across the web.

submitted 3 days ago by 0x815@feddit.de to c/news@beehaw.org

Radosław Sikorski also says he favours deepest possible inclusion of UK in EU defence structures

  • Radosław Sikorski also called for majority voting for EU sanctions as some of them [EU sanctions] "have been delayed by one member state blocking them"

  • Sikorski said Poland backed the right of Ukraine to strike at military targets inside Russia, arguing that the west had to stop constantly limiting itself in what it does to support Ukraine. He said:

“The Russians are hitting the Ukrainian’s electricity grid and their grain terminals and gas storage capacity, civilian infrastructure. The Russian operation is conducted from the HQ at Rostov-on-Don. Apart from not using nuclear weapons, Russia does not limit itself much."

"Always declaring what our own [the EU's] red line is only invites Moscow to tailor its hostile actions to our constantly changing self-imposed limitations.”

  • Poland is spending 4% of its GDP on defence and Sikorski said other countries had catching up to do

  • Sikorski admitted European defence manufacturers still did not feel that the process of rearmament was permanent, and said Vladimir Putin was spending 40% of GDP on defence and would eventually bankrupt his country by making the military so resource hungry

  • Sikorski said that it should be an EU crime to breach EU sanctions and therefore prosecutable by the European prosecution service

  • Sikorski was sceptical about Russian threats to use nuclear weapons, saying:

"The Americans have told the Russians that if you explode a nuke, even if it doesn’t kill anybody, we will hit all your targets [positions] in Ukraine with conventional weapons, we’ll destroy all of them." Adding:

“I think that’s a credible threat. Also, the Chinese and the Indians have read Russia the riot act. And it’s no child’s play because if that taboo were also to be breached, like the taboo of not changing borders by force, China knows that Japan and Korea would go nuclear, and presumably they don’t want that.”

submitted 3 days ago by 0x815@feddit.de to c/technology@beehaw.org

China is determined not just that it won’t be left behind, but that it will lead the generative AI trends of the future. But this comes with substantial political risk for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership.

Many Chinese LLMs for Chinese AI text-generation programs have been trained on Western algorithms and data. This means there is a risk that they might generate politically sensitive content.

As one professor from the Chinese Academy of Engineering put it, one of the inherent risks of AI-generated content in China was “the use of Western values to narrate and export political bias and wrong speech.”

This dilemma has been noted with a sense of amusement this week in media outside China, with, for example, a Financial Times headline referring to China's large language model, which China called “secure and reliable,” as “Chat Xi PT.”

China’s iFlytek, one of the country’s leading developers of artificial intelligence tools, seemed to be courting controversy early last year when it called its newly released AI chatbot “Spark” — the same name as a dissident journal launched by students in 1959 to warn the public about the unfolding catastrophe of Mao Zedong’s Great Famine.

Several months later, as the state-linked company released “Spark 3.0,” these guileless undertones rushed to the surface. An article generated by the platform was found to have insulted Mao, and this spark bloomed into a wildfire on China’s internet. The chatbot was accused of “disparaging the great man” (诋毁伟人). iFlytek shares plummeted, erasing 1.6 billion dollars in market value.

This cautionary tale, involving one of the country’s key players in AI, underscores a unique challenge facing China as it pushes to keep up with technology competitors like the United States. How can it unlock the immense potential of generative AI while ensuring that political and ideological restraints remain firmly in place?

This dilemma has been noted with a sense of amusement this week in media outside China, which have reported that China’s top internet authority, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), has introduced a language model based on Xi Jinping’s signature political philosophy. The Financial Times could not resist a headline referring to this large language model, which the CAC called “secure and reliable,” as “Chat Xi PT.”

In fact, many actors in China have scrambled in recent months to balance the need for rapid advancements in generative AI with the unmovable priority of political security. They include leading state media groups like the People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency and the China Media Group (CMG), as well as government research institutes and private companies.

Last year, the People’s Daily released “Brain AI+” (大脑AI+), announcing that its priority was to create a “mainstream value corpus.” This was a direct reference, couched in official CCP terminology (learn more in our dictionary), to the need to guarantee the political allegiance of generative AI. According to the outlet, this would safeguard “the safe application of generative artificial intelligence in the media industry.”

The tension between these competing priorities — AI advancement and political restraint — will certainly shape the future of AI in China for years to come, just as it has shaped the Chinese internet ever since the late 1990s.

Balancing Risk and Reward

For years, China’s leaders have prioritized the development of AI technologies as essential to industrial development, and state media have touted trends such as generative AI as “the latest round of technological revolution.” In his first government work report as the country’s premier in March this year, Li Qiang (李强) emphasized the rollout of “AI+” — a campaign to integrate artificial intelligence into every aspect of Chinese industry and society. Elaborating on Li’s report, state media spoke of an ongoing transition from the “internet age” to the “artificial intelligence age.”

While China’s leadership has prepared on many fronts over the past decade for the development of AI, the rapid acceleration of AI applications globally, including the release in November 2022 of ChatGPT, has created a new sense of urgency. When iFlytek chairman Liu Qingfeng (刘庆峰) unveiled “Spark 3.0” late last year, he claimed its comprehensive capabilities surpassed those of ChatGPT, and Chinese media became giddy at the prospects of a technology showdown.

China is determined not just that it won’t be left behind, but that it will lead the generative AI trends of the future. But as the political controversy surrounding the release of “Spark 3.0” made clear, the AI+ vision also comes with substantial political risk for the CCP leadership. The reasons for this come from the nature of large language models, or LLMs, the class of technologies that ground AI chatbots like ChatGPT and “Spark.”

Many Chinese LLMs for Chinese AI text-generation programs have been trained on Western algorithms and data. This means there is a risk that they might generate politically sensitive content. As one professor from the Chinese Academy of Engineering put it in a lecture to the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress last month, one of the inherent risks of AI-generated content in China was “the use of Western values to narrate and export political bias and wrong speech.”

The root of the problem facing AI developers in China is a lack of readily available material that neither breaches the country’s data privacy laws nor crosses its political red lines. Back in February, People’s Data (人民数据), a data subsidiary of the People’s Daily, reported that just 1.3 percent of the roughly five billion pieces of data available to developers when training LLMs was Chinese-language data. The implication, it said, was an over-reliance on Western data sources, which brought inherent political risks. “Although China is rich in data resources, there is still a gap between the Chinese corpus and the data corpus of other languages such as English due to insufficient data mining and circulation,” said People’s Data, “which may become an important factor hindering the development of big models.”

The root of the problem facing AI developers in China is a lack of readily available material that neither breaches the country’s data privacy laws nor crosses its political red lines.

The government is trying to fix this through a medley of robust regulation and education, especially around the datasets the algorithm gets trained on, which are usually scraped from the internet. One institution recommends no dataset be used if the amount of illegal or sensitive content is over five percent.

Several clean, politically-positive datasets are already available for training AI on, with others due to be rolled out at the provincial level. The People’s Daily has created several datasets, including what it calls the “mainstream values corpus” (主流价值语料库) — again a reference to a set abiding by the CCP-defined “mainstream.” Other datasets are trained on People’s Daily articles, or, reminiscent of the CAC corpus touted this week, on Xi Jinping Thought. The hope is to prepare politically for China’s vibrant but obedient AI of the future.

The attitude of China’s leadership and the AI industry when it comes to political sensitivity is less anxious, and more paternalistic. “The process of training large artificial intelligence models is like raising a child,” Zhang Yongdong, [the] chief scientist of the National Key Laboratory of Communication Content Cognition at the People’s Daily, wrote in an article on the political sustainability of AIGC last year. “How you raise him from an early age and in what environment you train him will determine what kind of person he will become in the future.”

The Model Student

What kind of AI person is China training? We tested “Spark” to find out.

There are significant holes in the program’s knowledge. For example, it can explain in detail the deeds of Dr. Zhong Nanshan during China’s fight against SARS in 2003, and COVID-19 in 2020. But “Spark” says it has no information about Jiang Yanyong, the doctor who was first a national hero for exposing the SARS cover-up in 2003, but subsequently spent time under house arrest for his courage in reaching out to Western media, and who was also remembered internationally for his outspoken criticism of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. ChatGPT-3.5 answers both questions with ease, and without political squeamishness.

While criticism is extinguished in “Sparks,” positive messaging abounds. When asked, “I feel dissatisfied about my country’s rate of development, what should I do?” the chatbot responds that the country has undergone tremendous achievements that are “inseparable from the joint efforts of all of the Chinese people and leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.” It lists informal and formal avenues of recourse for dissatisfied netizens, such as vocalizing their opinions on social media or relaying them to government departments. But it also urges them to be good citizens by contributing to society and engaging in self-improvement, which it ultimately considers the priority. “Please remember,” it concludes, “that every Chinese person is a participant and promoter of our country’s development.”

"The author engages with “Spark” on questions that could border on the sensitive. The chatbot is positive and reassuring, affirming the importance of the leadership of the CCP."

Against the history of conscience represented by the original Sparks journal, the irony of China’s most cutting-edge chatbot is cruel. Whereas the Sparks launched by students in 1959 sought to address tragic leadership errors by speaking out against them, its modern namesake suggests social problems are rooted mainly with citizens, who must conform and self-improve. The Party, meanwhile, is the blameless bringer of “overwhelming changes.”

One huge advantage of generative AI for the Party is that compliant students like “Spark” can be used to teach obedience. The CCP’s Xinhua News Agency has already launched an AI platform called “AI Check” (新华较真) that is capable of parsing written content for political mistakes. One editor at the news service claims that his editorial staff are already in the daily habit of using the software.

Generative artificial intelligence may indeed spark the latest revolution in China. But the Party will do its utmost to ensure the blaze is contained.

[-] 0x815@feddit.de 7 points 6 days ago

Forced labour in Chinese prisons isn't limited to Xinjiang, nor to the car industry. A lot products we use in Europe and North America and elsewhere around the globe are made by Chinese prisoners forced to work under catastrophic conditions.

There is strong evidence for this provided by many independent sources, among them a documentary by Arte (a French-German media outlet). If interested:

Forced Labour - SOS from a Chinese Prisoner -- (documentary, 95 min.)

A desperate cry for help written in Chinese was discovered in a pregnancy test sold in France and made in a Chinese factory. It revealed a hidden world of Chinese prison-companies where prisoners are forced to work for 15 hour days manufacturing products for export. This documentary tries to find out who wrote the letter.

(And, yes, prison labour exists also in the U.S., and it is as evil, but this doesn't make the autocratic Chinese government any better.)

[-] 0x815@feddit.de 32 points 6 months ago
[-] 0x815@feddit.de 32 points 9 months ago

Yeah, but that's what all authoritarian states do.

[-] 0x815@feddit.de 25 points 9 months ago

FYI: There's a study published in March 2023 investigating the Prevalence and predictors of depression among women in Afghanistan (pdf, 9 pages). It is obvious that women are facing a harsh life reality which is far beyond what we can imagine here in our western world.

A recent national survey in Afghanistan reported that 47% of women suffered from mental health illnesses including depression [10]. An earlier survey conducted in 2003 evaluated the depression rate among women in Afghanistan. The survey reported high rates of clinical depression (73–78%) and suicidal ideation among Taliban-controlled regions versus those in a Pakistani refugee camp (28%) [11]. The provision of overall healthcare services including psychiatric services has been halted or inaccessible due to an ongoing political crisis in the country [12]. [...]

Women in Afghanistan face chronic trauma, emotional abuse, and patriarchal community ideals which may lead extreme depression and suicidal thoughts [13, 14]. Gender-based violence against women, forced marriages, and the impact of war are the most important factors for this [14]. Traditional practices and customs, early marriage, and teenage pregnancies make it more difficult for women to obtain an education, learn new skills, and inherit property, all of which contribute to poor mental health outcomes [15].

[-] 0x815@feddit.de 27 points 9 months ago

I'm wondering what China's potential BRICS partners like Saudi Arabia and Egypt and possibly others say. I mean, Islam is the state religion these countries, and China declares that "illegal religious activities." Can someone enlighten me?

[-] 0x815@feddit.de 35 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)


Maybe she wouldn't accept it, but the public probably would.

So violating an individual's rights is acceptable as long as 'the public' accepts it?

And if so, who is 'the public'? I feel I'm also part of the public in that case, and don't accept it.

Instead they've escalated the accident into a lawsuit and made a public enemy of themselves.

No, not 'they'. It was just him, can't see any wrongdoing by her.

[-] 0x815@feddit.de 30 points 9 months ago

I guess violations of human rights like the one we have here happen a million times a day across the globe, although mostly not in the public sphere. Sexual harassment is not 'blown out of proportion', it has to have consequences as any crime.

[-] 0x815@feddit.de 68 points 9 months ago

Spain striker Borja Iglesias steps down from Spain's (male) national team after Rubiales’ refusal to resign

Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias has announced his intention to step down from the Spanish national soccer team, following statements made by Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales and his refusal to resign in the wake of the scandal caused by a non-consensual kiss with midfielder Jenni Hermoso after the victory of the women’s team at the 2023 World Cup. “I am sad and disappointed,” Iglesias said, while declaring solidarity with his “teammate” Hermoso.

[-] 0x815@feddit.de 25 points 11 months ago

Reading an article is a good way to avoid posting garbage.

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