Tag: Politics and Government

U.K. Judge Denies President Nicolás Maduro Access to Venezuelan Gold at Bank of England

LONDON — A British judge ruled on Thursday that President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela cannot access over $1 billion in gold in a Bank of England vault, on the basis that Britain does not recognize him as the leader of a country battered by economic sanctions and the coronavirus. Like many Western countries, including the […]

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U.K. Grants Asylum to Ex-Consulate Worker Who Told of Torture in China

HONG KONG — A former employee of the British Consulate in Hong Kong who said he was tortured by the authorities in mainland China last year has been given asylum in Britain. The disappearance last year of the consulate worker, Simon Cheng, during the height of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong highlighted the issues that […]

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President Trump Has Tools to Pressure China. Will He Use Them?

Much of the focus on China in recent months has been over the coronavirus that originated there late last year. But that has hardly slowed Beijing’s assault on fundamental freedoms and human rights, from the brutal repression of the Uighurs to choking off Hong Kong’s limited autonomy. Congress has acted with admirable alacrity and unanimity […]

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Germany Disbands Special Forces Group Tainted by Far-Right Extremists

BERLIN — Germany’s defense minister announced Wednesday that she would partially disband the most elite and highly trained special forces in the country, saying it had been infiltrated by far-right extremism. The defense minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, said one of four fighting companies inside the special forces had become so infested with far-right extremism that it […]

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As U.S.M.C.A. Takes Effect, Much Remains Undone

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s promised rewrite of trade terms between the United States, Canada and Mexico officially goes into effect on Wednesday. But while the president claims victory in reworking the North American Free Trade Agreement, putting its provisions into practice is far from done. Company executives, government officials and union leaders around the continent […]

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Who Will Recover Faster From the Virus? Europe or the U.S.?

BRUSSELS — After the devastating financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, the United States recovered much more quickly than Europe, which suffered a double-dip recession. This time, many economists say that Europe may have the edge. The main reason America did well was the rapid response of the government and the flexible nature of the […]

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Hong Kong’s Security Law Brings the Beijing Treatment

After the Chinese legislature unanimously passed the national security law that would curb free speech and protests in Hong Kong, my initial thought was, “Is Hong Kong just like Beijing now?” The first time I felt that Hong Kong was becoming like Beijing was in the spring of 2017. I had been invited to lunch […]

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Putin Orchestrates Russia Referendum to Keep Him in Power

MOSCOW — The outcome of Russia’s seven-day national plebiscite, intended to keep President Vladimir V. Putin in power until at least 2036, is all but certain: Mr. Putin will get the numbers he needs after a final day of voting on Wednesday. Less clear, however, is why he even needs voters to approve a raft […]

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How China’s Security Law Scammed Hong Kong

ImageA police officer in Hong Kong on Tuesday standing guard near protesters opposing Beijing’s new national security legislation for the city. The law criminalizes, among other things, threats to China’s national unity, including calls for Hong Kong to become independent from the mainland.Credit…Vincent Yu/Associated Press After many years of rejecting the people of Hong Kong’s […]

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As China Strengthens Grip on Hong Kong, Taiwan Sees a Threat

TAIPEI, Taiwan — China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has long tried to convince Taiwan that unification was a historical inevitability, alternately enticing the democratic island with economic incentives while bluntly warning that any move toward formal independence would be answered with military force. Now, the incentives are gone and the warnings seem more ominous following Mr. […]

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Why Do the Rich Have So Much Power?

America is, in principle, a democracy, in which every vote counts the same. It’s also a nation in which income inequality has soared, a development that hurts many more people than it helps. So if you didn’t know better, you might have expected to see a political backlash: demands for higher taxes on the rich, […]

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China’s National Security Law for Hong Kong, Explained

The sweeping new national security law that China imposed on Hong Kong, aimed at stamping out opposition to the ruling Communist Party in the former British colony, is as “devastating” as some critics feared, a human-rights activist said on Wednesday. Conceived in secrecy and passed on Tuesday without serious public input, the law sets up […]

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Pence Raised Nearly $500,000 From Donors to Pay Mueller Legal Defense

WASHINGTON — A handful of major donors footed the bill for nearly $500,000 worth of Vice President Mike Pence’s legal fees related to the special counsel’s investigation, according to a financial filing released Tuesday. Mr. Pence listed the donations as gifts on a mandatory annual financial disclosure statement covering last year. It showed that $495,000 […]

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F.C.C. Designates Huawei and ZTE as National Security Threats

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday designated the Chinese telecommunications firms Huawei and ZTE as national security threats, cutting them off from billions of dollars in federal broadband subsidies. The agency voted unanimously last year to bar telecommunications manufacturers it deemed to be threats from receiving money meant to expand internet access to underserved […]

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China Imposes Security Law on Hong Kong, Brushing Aside Opponents

A year after protesters in Hong Kong jubilantly defied Chinese rule, the national leader, Xi Jinping, has opened a long-term counteroffensive in the territory, signing a new security law on Tuesday that sets obedience to Beijing above the former British colony’s civil freedoms. Conceived in secrecy and passed with intimidating speed, the law has ignited […]

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India Bans TikTok of China, Tightening Digital Borders

The global internet is fracturing. And people like Anusmita Dutta are paying the price. Ms. Dutta, 24, joined TikTok three years ago and now has more than 350,000 followers on the video app. From her home in Kolkata, in eastern India, she records funny skits, monologues, slice-of-life sketches — all stuff, she says, that people […]

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Belgium’s King Sends Letter of Regret Over Colonial Past in Congo

BRUSSELS — King Philippe of Belgium on Tuesday expressed his “deepest regrets” for his country’s brutal past in a letter to the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the first public acknowledgment from a member of the Belgian royal family of the devastating human and financial toll during eight decades of colonization. The king’s […]

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E.U. Formalizes Reopening, Barring Travelers From U.S.

BRUSSELS — The European Union will open its borders to visitors from 15 countries as of Wednesday, but not to travelers from the United States, Brazil or Russia, putting into effect a complex policy that has sought to balance health concerns with politics, diplomacy and the desperate need for tourism revenue. The list of nations […]

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Australia Spending Nearly $1 Billion on Cyberdefense as China Tensions Rise

SYDNEY, Australia — Confronting a surge of cyberattacks attributed to the Chinese government, Australia moved to bolster its defenses on Tuesday, promising to recruit at least 500 cyberspies and build on its ability to take the battle overseas. The investment of 1.35 billion Australian dollars ($930 million) over the next decade is the largest the […]

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China Passes Hong Kong Security Law Granting Beijing Sweeping Powers

China passed a contentious new law for Hong Kong on Tuesday that would empower the authorities to crack down on opposition to Beijing, risking deeper rifts with Western governments that have warned about the erosion of freedoms in the territory. Lawmakers in Beijing voted unanimously to approve the national security law for Hong Kong, according […]

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Putin Pushes Through Referendum Even as Virus Surges in Russia

Despairing of finding enough beds for patients stricken with the coronavirus, a nurse in the Siberian city of Irkutsk has been forced to begin taking people to a village hospital more than 100 miles away. And the worst is yet to come, said the nurse, Valentina M. Monkhoroeva, adding, “the number of confirmed cases in […]

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François Fillon, Ex-Presidential Hopeful in France, Is Convicted of Embezzlement

PARIS — François Fillon, a former French former prime minister, was found guilty on Monday of embezzling public funds in a scandal involving a no-show job for his wife that crippled his front-runner status in the 2017 presidential race and led to a broader resentment of France’s political elite. Mr. Fillon, 66, who was prime […]

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Yes, Even George Washington

On the issue of American slavery, I am an absolutist: enslavers were amoral monsters. The very idea that one group of people believed that they had the right to own another human being is abhorrent and depraved. The fact that their control was enforced by violence was barbaric. People often try to explain this away […]

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In ‘And She Could Be Next,’ Women of Color Take on Politics

When the directors Grace Lee and Marjan Safinia talk about their new two-part documentary series, “And She Could Be Next,” they compare the process of getting it greenlit to mounting a political campaign. They would know: In the series, which was executive produced by Ava DuVernay (premiering Monday on PBS and POV.org), Lee and Safinia […]

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China’s New National Security Law Looms Over Hong Kong

Chinese lawmakers meeting from Sunday could approve a national security law as early as this week, drastically curbing political protest and dissent in Hong Kong and adding to China’s tensions with Western powers. The National People’s Congress Standing Committee — an arm of China’s Communist Party-run legislature — discussed the draft law this month, and […]

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Removing the Statues (T.R. and Others)

To the Editor: Re “New York Museum to Remove Roosevelt Statue” (front page, June 22): I applaud the decision of the American Museum of Natural History, agreed to by the City of New York, to take down the equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt, riding high over a Native American and an African — a colossal […]

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Hickenlooper’s Stumbles Complicate Democrats’ 2020 Strategy

KREMMLING, Colo. — For months, Democrats have figured that Colorado’s U.S. Senate race, a linchpin of their strategy to take back the majority in November, was essentially in the bag, with the Republican incumbent Cory Gardner trailing by double digits behind their candidate John Hickenlooper, the well-liked and well-known former two-term governor and Denver mayor. […]

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Micheal Martin Becomes Ireland’s Prime Minister as Rival Parties Ally

DUBLIN, Ireland — Ireland’s Parliament appointed Micheal Martin, a center-right politician, as the country’s prime minister on Saturday as the country deals with the headwinds of the coronavirus outbreak and fallout from a housing crisis. Mr. Martin replaces Leo Varadkar, a doctor who drew acclaim for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak but who has […]

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Hong Kong Protests: In Seizing Control, China Sidelines its Allies

BEIJING — China’s Communist Party has long pursued its agenda in Hong Kong by working through loyalists among the city’s top officials, lawmakers and tycoons. That behind-the-scenes approach was a key feature in preserving considerable autonomy for the territory. Now, as the party prepares to grab more power in Hong Kong after months of sometimes […]

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House Approves D.C. Statehood in Historic Vote

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted nearly along party lines on Friday to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., the first time a chamber of Congress has approved establishing the nation’s capital as a state. The legislation, which is unlikely to advance in the Republican-led Senate, would establish a 51st state — Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, […]

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