China Considers Toughening Rules for Foreign English Teachers

China recently issued new draft rules aimed at toughening oversight of foreign teachers in the country, requiring them to undergo ideological training sessions and creating a new social credit rating system to monitor their conduct.Arrests and deportations of foreign teachers in China have soared since 2018 amid a broad crackdown on teachers without proper work visas and Beijing’s push for a more patriotic education system.Analysts told VOA this is partly due to the deterioration of U.S.-China relations and China’s relations with other English-speaking countries. Yet parents say they are still interested in having their children learn English.Draft regulationThe FILE – A Chinese teacher writes English words on a blackboard at a class in Shanghai, April 26, 2002.What about learning English?English teaching has a huge market in China. The China Science News reported that more than 300 million people in China are learning English. English classes, mandated by the Ministry of Education, cost nearly 164 billion RMB (about $24 billion) annually.Yet as China’s relationship with the U.S. and other major English-speaking countries worsens, some worry the situation will mirror what happened in the 1960s, when passion to learn Russian sharply decreased after ties between Beijing and Moscow deteriorated.Commentator Qin Weiping said there’s a possibility that English might be less important if China keeps its aggressive foreign policy and is further isolated by the U.S. and other major economies down the road.Professor Zhan Jiang disagreed, saying that the current situation was temporary.“Some kids can’t go abroad, and some international students can’t come back. There are lot of reasons — COVID-19, Sino-U.S. relations. But I think most Chinese students will still learn English as their second language. That trend won’t change,” he told VOA.Li Ping, parent of a Beijing student, told VOA that he still wanted his child to learn English well, so he has the opportunity to go to the U.S. for further education. He added that he thought China’s current foreign policy and international environment would change one day. “We must invest in education,” he said.

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US Pulling Africa Command from Germany

The United States is preparing to pull more troops from Germany, days after President Donald Trump criticized the country for being “delinquent” on defense spending.U.S. Africa Command confirmed Friday it is in the early stages of moving its headquarters from the city of Stuttgart, where it has been located since the command was first stood up in 2008.“U.S. Africa Command has been told to plan to move,” its commander, Gen. Stephen Townsend, said in a statement. “While it will likely take several months to develop options, consider locations, and come to a decision, the command has started the process.”U.S. military officials have been looking for months at reducing the approximately 6,000 troops stationed in Africa.  FILE – U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend watches during a tour north of Baghdad, Iraq, Feb. 8, 2017.“It is important our African partners understand our commitment to them remains strong,” Townsend said in Friday’s statement, adding his command “will continue to work with our African and other partners to address mutual interests.”While a new site for the command headquarters has not yet been chosen, an AFRICOM official told VOA that planners will be looking first to other European countries, and then at moving the command to the U.S.“The team will look at available infrastructure, housing, access to transportation, adequate medical care, and a range of other consideration factors,” said AFRICOM spokesman Col. Chris Karns.“It will be a deliberate and orderly approach and process,” he added, noting, “It was important to let partners as well as personnel and families know that planning is under way.”Africa itself, where the U.S. has long tried to maintain a small military footprint, is not under consideration, officials said.Just how much moving AFRICOM’s headquarters from Stuttgart will cost, and how much money could be saved by using another location, has yet to be determined.Reaction to changesWhile U.S. military officials argue the changes are strategically necessary and will give them more flexibility, German officials have expressed disappointment at the U.S. decision to pull some 12,000 troops from the country.FILE – Norbert Roettgen, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag, speaks during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, Feb. 18, 2020.”Instead of strengthening NATO, the troop withdrawal will weaken the alliance,” Norbert Roettgen, a senior ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the chairman of the German parliament’s foreign affairs committee, told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.U.S. lawmakers, including some Republicans who often side with Trump, have also raised concerns about the changes, though Sen. Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has called the moves “sound.”Trump defended the decision to pull troops out of Germany earlier this week, suggesting the U.S. could move troops based with other NATO allies if those countries do not increase defense spending.”We don’t want to be the suckers anymore,” he told reporters Wednesday.But some analysts have raised concerns that moving troops and critical commands from Germany will hurt overall operations.“We get huge benefits from our U.S. military posture in Germany,” said Bradley Bowman, a former adviser to members of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees.“We are able to project U.S. military power into North Africa and the Middle East much more effectively because of our military posture in Germany,” said Bowman, now with the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. 
 

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Court Overturns Boston Marathon Bomber’s Death Sentence

A federal appeals court Friday threw out Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, saying the judge who oversaw the case did not adequately screen jurors for potential biases.A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new penalty phase trial on whether Tsarnaev, 27, should be executed for the attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.”But make no mistake: Dzhokhar will spend his remaining days locked up in prison, with the only matter remaining being whether he will die by execution,” Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson wrote in the ruling, more than six months after arguments were heard in the case.An email seeking comment was sent to an attorney for Tsarnaev. A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston said the office was reviewing the opinion and had no immediate comment.Prosecutors could ask the full appeals court to hear the case or go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court.The mother of Krystle Campbell, the 29-year-old killed in the attack, expressed outrage at the court’s decision.’It’s just terrible'”I just don’t understand it,” Patricia Campbell told The Boston Globe. “It’s just terrible that he’s allowed to live his life. It’s unfair. He didn’t wake up one morning and decide to do what he did. He planned it out. He did a vicious, ugly thing.”Former Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer Dic Donohue, who was severely injured in a gunfight with the brothers, said the ruling was not surprising to him.”And in any case, he won’t be getting out and hasn’t been able to harm anyone since he was captured,” he tweeted.Tsarnaev’s lawyers acknowledged at the beginning of his trial that he and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, set off the two bombs at the marathon finish line. But they argued that Dzhokar Tsarnaev was less culpable than his brother, who they said was the mastermind behind the attack.Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a gunbattle with police a few days after the April 15, 2013, bombing. Dzhokar Tsarnaev is now behind bars at a high-security supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.Tsarnaev was convicted on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction.Punishment for USProsecutors told jurors that the men carried out the attack to punish the United States for its wars in Muslim countries. In the boat where Tsarnaev was found hiding, he had scrawled a confession that referred to the wars and wrote, among other things, “Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop.”Tsarnaev’s attorneys identified a slew of issues with his trial but said in a brief filed with the court that the “first fundamental error” was the judge’s refusal to move the case out of Boston. They also pointed to social media posts from two jurors suggesting they harbored strong opinions before the 2015 trial started.One juror had said in Twitter posts that that she was “locked down” with her family during the manhunt and retweeted another post calling Tsarnaev a “piece of garbage,” but later told the court she had not commented on the case or been asked to shelter in place, the defense said. On the day of Tsarnaev’s sentencing, the juror changed her Facebook profile picture to an image that said “BOSTON STRONG,” a rallying cry used in the wake of the bombing, the attorneys said.Tsarnaev’s lawyers pushed several times to move the trial out of the city where the bombs exploded, arguing the intense media scrutiny and number of people touched by the attack in Boston would taint the jury pool. But U.S. District Judge George O’Toole refused, saying he believed a fair and impartial jury could be found in the city.’Pervasive’ coverageThe 1st Circuit said the “pervasive” media coverage featuring “bone-chilling still shots and videos” of the bombing and dayslong manhunt required the judge to run a jury selection process “sufficient to identify prejudice.” But O’Toole fell short, the judges found.The judges said O’Toole deemed jurors who had already formed the opinion that Tsarnaev was guilty qualified “because they answered ‘yes’ to the question whether they could decide this high-profile case based on the evidence.” Yet he didn’t sufficiently dig into what jurors had read or heard about the case, it said.”By not having the jurors identify what it was they already thought they knew about the case, the judge made it too difficult for himself and the parties to determine both the nature of any taint (e.g., whether the juror knew something prejudicial not to be conceded at trial) and the possible remedies for the taint,” Thompson wrote.All three judges agreed that the death sentence should be tossed.In a concurring opinion, Judge Juan Torruella wrote that the case should never have been tried in Boston.”If this case did not present a sufficient basis for a change of venue, there are no set of circumstances that will meet this standard, at least not in the First Circuit,” he wrote.President Donald Trump weighed in on the ruling during an address to supporters on the tarmac of Tampa International Airport.”I see in Boston, where you have the animal that killed so many people during the Boston Marathon,” Trump said. “They just sent this conviction for the death penalty back to the lower courts so they’ll argue about that for a long time. It’s ridiculous.”

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US Imposes Sanctions on Chinese Company Over Abuse of Uighurs

The United States intensified its economic pressure on China’s Xinjiang province on Friday, imposing sanctions on a powerful Chinese company and two officials for what it said were human rights abuses against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities.The move, the latest blow to U.S.-China relations, came a week after U.S. President Donald Trump closed the Chinese consulate in Houston, prompting Beijing to shutter the U.S. consulate in Chengdu.The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement it blacklisted the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, also known as XPCC, along with Sun Jinlong, former party secretary of XPCC, and Peng Jiarui, XPCC’s deputy party secretary and commander, over accusations they are connected to serious human rights abuse against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.”The Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, China against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities rank as the stain of the century,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.China denies mistreatment of the minority group and says the camps holding many Uighurs provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.Washington’s action freezes any U.S. assets of the company and officials; generally prohibits Americans from dealing with them; and bars Sun Jinlong and Peng Jiarui from traveling to the United States.A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the company as a “a secretive, paramilitary organization that performs a variety of functions under the direct control” of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”They are directly involved in the implementation of the CCP’s comprehensive surveillance, detention and indoctrination … which we all know targets the Uighurs and members of other ethnic minority members in Xinjiang,” the official said.The Treasury also issued a license, authorizing certain wind-down and divestment transactions and activities related to blocked XPCC subsidiaries until Sept. 30.Washington recently imposed sanctions on the autonomous region of Xinjiang’s Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, the highest-ranking Chinese official to be targeted, blacklisting the member of China’s powerful Politburo and current first party secretary of the XPCC, as well as other officials and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.Peter Harrell, a former official and sanctions expert at the Center for a New American Security, said that from an economic perspective, Friday’s action was a “substantial escalation” of U.S. pressure and sends a warning to companies engaged in activity in China.”The Trump administration finally took a meaningful sanctions … action on Xinjiang, as opposed to ones that were primarily symbolic,” Harrell said.XPCC is a quasi-military group created in 1954. It was initially made up of demobilized soldiers who spent time in military training while developing farms on the region’s arid Land.Civilian members from eastern China later joined the corps, which now numbers 3.11 million people, or more than 12% of the region’s population. It is almost entirely made up of Han Chinese in a region that is home to the Muslim Uighur people. 

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Requirements for Huawei Official’s Extradition to US Have Been Met, Canada Says

Canada’s attorney general says the requirements for extraditing Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to the United States on charges of bank fraud have been met, documents submitted in a British Columbia court show.Meng, 48, was arrested in December 2018 on a warrant from the United States, which alleges that she misled the bank HSBC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran.Meng has been under house arrest in Vancouver since then, fighting extradition, and has said she is innocent. Her case has caused a diplomatic row between Canada and China, which has demanded that Meng be released. China detained two Canadians after Meng’s arrest.The documents, which were filed last week and released to media Friday, are a precursor to the formal hearing on committal, or whether Meng should be extradited to the United States. Those hearings will take place in April 2021.The documents outline the evidence in support of Meng’s custody and conclude that the test for committal has been met.Assessment of charges’ potentialThe extradition hearings are not a full trial on the charges laid by the United States, the documents state, only whether there is the potential for those charges to be found valid.”The evidence demonstrates that Ms. Meng deliberately made dishonest representations to HSBC in an attempt to preserve Huawei’s relationship with the bank,” lawyers for the Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti wrote.”Since Ms. Meng concedes that she is the person sought for prosecution for the conduct set out in the extradition request, all of the formal requirements for committal are established.”Huawei declined to comment and pointed instead to its past legal submissions on its arguments.In May, a judge in British Columbia’s Superior Court found that the legal standard of double criminality — meaning that Meng’s actions could be considered a crime in both Canada and the United States — had been met, dealing a blow to hopes for a quick end to the trial.The next hearings, scheduled for August 17-21 in Vancouver, will discuss whether the attorney general’s assertion of privilege in declining to release some documents requested by Huawei relating to Meng’s initial arrest is valid.Hearings for the trial are scheduled to wrap up in April 2021, although the potential for appeals of the decision from either side means the case could drag out over several years.

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Тиждень слави! 22-29 липня 2014 року. Антизрада. ЗСУ заслужили на згадку!

Тиждень слави! 22-29 липня 2014 року. Антизрада. ЗСУ заслужили на згадку!
 

 
 
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Интернет локаут путляндии произойдет в 2022 году

Интернет локаут путляндии произойдет в 2022 году.

Власти подлампичили закон о “суверенном интернете”, который вступит в силу в 2022 году, согласно которому из страны будет минимизирована передача данных, а внутренний трафик будет жестко подконтролен
 

 
 
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Лукашенко пошел ва-банк: пленные “вагнеровцы”, “лечение трактором” и “пощечина” пукину…

Лукашенко пошел ва-банк: пленные “вагнеровцы”, “лечение трактором” и “пощечина” пукину…

На “выборах” в Беларуси вырисовывается богатая сюжетная линия, не вполне понятной пока кривизны…
 

 
 
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