Connect with us

News

China Tries to Bring Peace to Ukraine, While Biden Pushes War Crimes

Published

on

China's foreign policy appears to have entered a new phase following its long COVID lockdown and last year's Communist Party leadership changes.

China’s foreign policy appears to have entered a new phase following its long COVID lockdown and last year’s Communist Party leadership changes. While China has long sought to influence international affairs as an investor, trader, and development supporter, it has recently presented itself as a global leader capable of promoting global peace.

The recent agreement mediated between Iran and Saudi Arabia is a prime example. Of course, it is portraying itself as a broker of peace in Ukraine, even though its proposal contains overtly pro-Russian elements that some regard as deceptive.

China’s President Xi Jinping plans to visit Moscow next week, providing a major diplomatic boost to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the same day the International Criminal Court announced its intention to charge the Russian leader with war crimes.

Xi’s visit was the latest sign of Beijing’s emboldened diplomatic ambitions, and it came amid rising East-West tensions over Ukraine’s 13-month-long war.

On Friday, the United States said it would oppose any attempt by China at the meeting to propose a cease-fire in Ukraine as “ratification of Russian conquest.”

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby urged Xi to contact Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to obtain his country’s perspective on the conflict and avoid “one-sided” proposals.

China has attempted to portray itself as neutral in the conflict, despite refusing to condemn Moscow’s aggression and declaring a “no-limits” friendship with Russia last year. Beijing has condemned Western sanctions against Moscow, accusing NATO and the US of inciting Putin’s military action.

Throughout the conflict, China has stated that all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. However, whether it sympathizes with Moscow’s claims to seize Ukrainian territory is unclear.

Putin issued an arrest warrant by the international court

According to US President Joe Biden, Russian President Vladimir Putin has committed war crimes, and the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for him is justified.

According to International Criminal Court President Piotr Hofmaski, the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes concerning his alleged involvement in abducting Ukrainian children.

Russian troops are still engaged in an attritional battle, this time in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

Xi’s visit would be his first meeting with Putin since they met on the sidelines of a regional summit in Uzbekistan in September. Before that, Putin attended the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony and met with Xi just before sending troops into Ukraine.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, told the Associated Press on Friday that Putin and Xi would meet over an informal dinner on Monday. On Tuesday, officials from both countries will hold broader talks on various topics.

Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s foreign policy adviser, suggested that the talks could result in new approaches to the fighting in Ukraine. “I’m sure our leader and the Chinese leader will exchange assessments of the situation,” he said. “We’ll see what ideas come out of that.”

Kyiv does not simply want Russia to withdraw from its occupied areas since its full-scale invasion in February 2022. Zelenskyy has demanded that Russia withdraw from the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014 in an illegal move condemned by most of the world.

But Putin has made it clear that he has no intention of giving up the Kremlin’s gains. Instead, he emphasized the importance of retaining Crimea on Friday.

“Security issues are the top priority for Crimea and Sevastopol right now,” he said, referring to the Crimean capital. “We will do everything possible to repel any threats.”

china peace ukraine

China Urging Ukraine Talks with Moscow

On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang wrote to his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, expressing concern about the war spiraling out of control and urging talks with Moscow on a political solution.

China has “always maintained an objective and fair stance on the Ukraine issue, has committed to promoting peace and advancing negotiations, and calls on the international community to create conditions for peace talks,” according to Qin.

Kuleba later tweeted that he and Qin “discussed the significance of the territorial integrity principle.” According to Ukraine, the main condition for peace is Russia’s withdrawal from occupied areas.

“I emphasized the importance of (Zelenskyy’s) peace formula in ending the aggression and restoring just peace in Ukraine,” wrote Kuleba, who spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the same day.

China called for a cease-fire and peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow last month. Zelenskyy cautiously welcomed Beijing’s participation, but the overture appeared to end there.

According to Yurii Poita, head of the Asia section at the Kyiv-based New Geopolitics Research Network, the Ukrainian government is willing to accept China’s involvement because it hesitates to make another powerful adversary.

“Do not antagonize the dragon when fighting a bear,” Poita advised The Associated Press.

Beijing’s apparent deeper involvement in Ukraine issues comes on the heels of its success last week in mediating talks between Iran and its main Middle Eastern rival, Saudi Arabia. After years of hostility, the two countries agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations.

The agreement places China in a position of leadership in Middle Eastern politics, a position previously held by long-standing global heavyweights such as the United States. As a result, Xi called for China to play a larger role in global affairs management.

VOR NewsBiden has launched military and diplomatic operations against Putin

“A ceasefire now is, effectively, the ratification of the Russian conquest,” Kirby told reporters on Friday. It would “effectively recognize Russia’s gains and its attempt to conquer its neighbor’s territory by force, allowing Russian troops to remain in sovereign Ukrainian territory.”

Russia could use the ceasefire to regroup “so that they can restart attacks on Ukraine at their leisure,” he warned.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Britain would welcome any genuine Chinese effort to “restore Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

“Any peace agreement that does not include Ukraine’s sovereignty and self-determination is not a peace agreement at all,” Sunak’s spokesman Jamie Davies said.

According to Nataliia Butyrska, a Ukrainian political analyst, Beijing’s potential role as a peacemaker may be hampered by its stance on territorial integrity.

In Ukraine, “China does not clearly distinguish between the aggressor and the victim,” she told The Associated Press.

China has territorial issues, including Taiwan, which it claims as its own and intends to take control of by force if necessary.

The destruction of a US drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday after an encounter with Russian fighter jets heightened tensions between the two countries, prompting the first talks between their defense and military chiefs since October.

During a video conference call in late December, Putin invited Xi to visit Russia. According to Putin, the visit will “demonstrate to the entire world the strength of Russian-Chinese ties” and “become the main political event of the year in bilateral relations.”

According to Wang Wenbin, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Xi and Putin will discuss “bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of common concern.”

“With the accelerated evolution of changes of the century, the world is entering a new period of turbulence and reform,” he added.

“As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and major powers, the significance and impact of China-Russia relations extend far beyond the bilateral sphere.”

The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant accusing Putin of involvement in child abductions from Ukraine to Russia. It also issued a warrant for his children’s rights commissioner, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.

The court lacks police force to enforce warrants, and the Kremlin has stated that it does not recognize the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction.

World

Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

Published

on

Trump Facing 37 Felony Charges, Indictment Unsealed

Washington — On Monday, the Supreme Court overwhelmingly reinstated Donald Trump on the 2024 presidential primary ballot, rejecting state attempts to bar the Republican former President over the Capitol brawl.

The judges concluded a day before the Super Tuesday primaries that states cannot use a post-Civil War constitutional provision to exclude presidential candidates from appearing on ballots. That authority rests with Congress, the court wrote in an unsigned ruling.

On his social media network, Trump said shortly after the ruling was announced, “BIG WIN FOR AMERICA!!!”

The case constituted the court’s first direct ruling on a presidential election issue in a generation, dating back to Bush v. Gore in 2000. However, it is unlikely to be the last, as Trump is facing four distinct criminal charges and has another Supreme Court appearance scheduled for April.

The verdict puts a stop to efforts in Colorado, Illinois, Maine, and other states to remove Trump, the front-runner for his party’s nomination, from the ballot due to his plans to recoup his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, culminating in the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold expressed dismay with the court’s judgment, noting that “Donald Trump is an eligible candidate in Colorado’s 2024 Presidential Primary.”

Trump’s case was the first before the Supreme Court to address a section of the 14th Amendment created after the Civil War to prohibit former officeholders who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office again.

Donald Trump is facing four criminal indictments and a civil suit. You can keep track of all the cases here.

Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled, in a first-of-its-kind decision, that the provision, Section 3, may be applied against Trump, whom the court said incited the Capitol attack. No court had before applied Section 3 to a presidential candidate.

In their judgments on Monday, the judges avoided the politically charged question of insurrection.

The court ruled that states can disqualify applicants for state office. “But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency,” the court stated in its ruling.

trump

Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

While all nine justices agreed that Trump should be on the ballot, the three liberal members of the court and conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett disagreed that their colleagues went too far in determining what Congress must do to disqualify someone from federal office.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson agreed that upholding the Colorado decision could result in a “chaotic state-by-state patchwork,” but disagreed with the majority’s conclusion that a disqualification for insurrection can only occur when Congress enacts legislation. “Today, the majority goes beyond the necessities of this case to limit how Section 3 can bar an oathbreaking insurrectionist from becoming President,” the three justices wrote in a unanimous judgment.

It is still being determined whether the verdict allows Congress to refuse to certify Trump’s or any other presidential candidate’s election if it believes they violated Section 3.

Derek Muller, a legal professor at the University of Notre Dame, said, “It appears no,” noting that the liberals objected to the majority opinion eliminating any other options for Congress to implement the rule. Rick Hasen, a legal professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, said that Congress’s boundaries could be clearer.

Hasen was among those who urged the court to resolve the issue so that Congress would not reject Trump under Section 3 when electoral votes are counted on January 6, 2025.

“We may well have a nasty, nasty post-election period in which Congress tries to disqualify Trump but the Supreme Court says Congress exceeded its powers,” he warned in an email.

Both sides had asked for quick action from the court, which heard arguments less than a month ago, on February 8. The justices were preparing to decide in Trump’s favour.

Trump had been removed from the ballots in Colorado, Maine, and Illinois, but all three verdicts were on hold until a Supreme Court decision.

trump

Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

The lawsuit is the court’s most direct participation in a presidential election since Bush v. Gore, which effectively gave the 2000 election to Republican George W. Bush. And it’s just one of several cases involving Trump that could affect his chances of reelection, including a late April hearing on whether he can be criminally prosecuted on election interference charges, including his role in the January 6 Capitol attack. Trump has claimed ultimate protection from prosecution. The timing of the high court’s intervention has sparked speculation that Trump will be tried before the November election.

The hearings in February marked the first time the high court heard a case utilizing Section 3. The two-sentence rule, intended to prevent some Confederates from gaining office again, states that those who breach oaths to support the Constitution are forbidden from holding different posts, including congressional seats or acting as presidential electors. However, it makes no specific reference to the presidency.

Both conservative and liberal judges questioned the case against Trump. Their primary worry was whether Congress should intervene before states could invoke the 14th Amendment. There were also disputes over whether the provision covers the President.

The lawyers for Republican and independent voters who sued to remove Trump’s name from the Colorado ballot argued that there is ample evidence that the events of January 6 constituted an insurrection, which was incited by Trump, who had urged a crowd of his supporters at a rally outside the White House to “fight like hell.” They claimed it would be ludicrous to apply Section 3 to everything except the presidency or that Trump is somehow exempt. They contended that the provision does not require any enabling legislation.

Following the verdict, the President of the liberal-leaning organization that represented the voters cited the court’s silence on whether Trump incited the revolt. “They had the opportunity to exonerate Donald Trump, but they did not do so,” said Noah Bookbinder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

trump

Supreme Court Restores Trump To Ballot, Rejecting State Attempts To Ban Him Over Capitol Attack

Trump’s lawyers made various points on why the Amendment cannot be used to take him off the ballot. They claimed the January 6 disturbance was not an insurrection and that, even if it was, Trump did not go to the Capitol or join the rioters. They further stated that the Amendment’s text excludes the presidency and presidential contenders. They asserted that even if all of those reasons failed, Congress must approve legislation to resurrect Section 3.

The case was resolved by a court that included three Justices Trump chose as President. They have considered other Trump-related issues in recent years, rejecting his spurious accusations of fraud in the 2020 election and refusing to protect tax information from Congress and New York prosecutors.

The 5-4 judgment in Bush v. Gore, issued more than 23 years ago, was the last time the court became so involved in presidential politics. Only Justice Clarence Thomas remains on the bench from that time. Thomas has rebuffed requests from several Democratic senators to withdraw from the Trump lawsuit since his wife, Ginni, supported Trump’s effort to reverse the 2020 election results and attended the rally preceding Trump supporters’ assault of the Capitol.

SOURCE – (AP)

Continue Reading

World

Haiti Declares State Of Emergency After Mass Prison Escape

Published

on

haiti

Haiti’s government announced a state of emergency on Sunday after thousands of inmates reportedly escaped from the country’s largest jail during a spike of gang violence that has rocked the Caribbean nation for months.

According to a statement from Finance Minister Patrick Boisvert, who is acting prime minister, the government cited “deterioration of security,” particularly in the capital Port-au-Prince, and “increasingly violent criminal acts perpetrated by armed gangs,” including kidnappings and killings of citizens, violence against women and children, and looting.

haiti

Haiti Declares State Of Emergency After Mass Prison Escape

It also referenced Saturday’s attacks by armed groups on the country’s two major prisons, one in Port-au-Prince and one in Croix des Bouquets, which resulted in the escape of “dangerous prisoners” and the deaths and injuries of police and prison workers.

According to a United Nations source, some 3,500 detainees fled Haiti’s National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince over the weekend.

The source stated that there were 3,687 convicts in prison. The UN mission in Haiti monitors the country’s jailed population and the humanitarian conditions in its prisons.

According to Haitian lawyer Arnel Remy, who heads the Collective of Lawyers for the Defense of Human Rights in Haiti (CADDHO), 3,597 convicts escaped from the National Penitentiary. CNN cannot independently verify CADDHO’s data.

Remy claimed his team visited the prison on Sunday and told CNN that the remaining convicts are being sent to other facilities, and the prison is now vacant and encircled by police cars.

The Haitian Ministry of Communication claimed in a statement Sunday that police confronted “heavily armed criminals seeking at any cost to free people from custody” and were “unable to prevent the criminals from freeing a large number of prisoners.” The violence damaged multiple inmates and prison officials, according to the report.

On Friday, Haitian gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, popularly known as Barbecue, stated that he will continue to try to remove Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

“We urge the Haitian National Police and military to accept accountability and arrest Ariel Henry. Once again, the population is not our adversary, and armed groups are not your enemy. You capture Ariel Henry for the sake of the country’s liberation,” Cherizier stated, adding, “With these weapons, we will liberate the country and alter the country.”

Cherizier is a former police officer who now controls a gang alliance. The United Nations and the US Department of Treasury have sanctioned him.

Public dissatisfaction with Henry’s inability to quell the unrest reached a boiling point when he refused to resign last month, citing the rising violence.

According to an earlier agreement, he agreed to hold elections and relinquish authority by February 7.

haiti

Haiti Declares State Of Emergency After Mass Prison Escape

Caribbean leaders announced Wednesday that Henry has decided to hold general elections by August 31, 2025.

Earlier, in a post on X, one of Haiti’s police unions appealed for all officers in the capital to have access to automobiles and guns to support authorities in their efforts to keep control of the prison. It warned that if the attacks succeeded, “we’re done.” According to the statement, no one will be spared in the capital since there will be an additional 3,000 bandits.

Multiple security sources in Port-au-Prince told CNN that the most recent rise in violence, which began on Thursday and has targeted police stations, the international airport, and the prison, is unprecedented in recent memory.

The recent fighting occurred while Henry was visiting Kenya to discuss plans with Kenyan President William Ruto for the expected deployment of a multinational security support force to Haiti.

A Haitian law enforcement source told CNN that gangs have targeted various police stations throughout the city since Thursday, murdering at least four people and burning some of them down.

Meanwhile, a shooting near the airport on Thursday caused airlines to cancel flights.

The US Embassy in Haiti issued a security notice Friday, warning of gunfire and traffic interruptions between the domestic and international terminals, as well as other sites such as a hotel and the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police.

haiti

Haiti Declares State Of Emergency After Mass Prison Escape

In a statement sent Sunday, the embassy asked US people to leave the country due to violence and stated that it would operate on a restricted basis on Monday. The French Embassy in Haiti suspended visa and administration services on Monday.

In recent years, Haiti has experienced widespread turmoil and gang violence.

Warring gangs dominate much of Port-au-Prince, cutting off essential supplies to the rest of the country. Gang members have also tormented the urban area, forcing over 300,000 residents to evacuate their homes amid waves of indiscriminate slaughter, kidnapping, arson, and rape.

In January alone, about 1,100 people were killed, injured, or kidnapped, making it the most violent month in two years, according to the UN.

SOURCE – (CNN)

Continue Reading

News

LeBron James Reaches 40,000 Points To Extend His NBA Career Scoring Record

Published

on

james

Los Angeles (AP) — LeBron James scored 40,000 points on Saturday night, continuing to dominate in his 21st NBA season as he strives to break the career scoring record.

With 10:39 remaining in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 124-114 loss to the Denver Nuggets, James drove past Michael Porter Jr. and hit the historic layup.

“Being the first player to do something, it’s pretty cool in this league, just knowing the history, the greats that’s come through the league, and then you see some of the greats on the floor tonight, it was great to compete,” he added. “But for me, the main thing, as always, is to win, and I hated that it had to happen in a defeat.”

james

LeBron James Reaches 40,000 Points To Extend His NBA Career Scoring Record

James did it in 1,475 regular-season games, scoring double digits in the last 1,205. He has largely avoided major injuries while also playing another 3 1/2 seasons’ worth of playoff games on his way to four titles in ten NBA Finals appearances, all while under unfathomable pressure to be the next transcendent player before ever stepping on the court as a professional.

“For the first time in a long time, I’ve seen the commercial played before my first game,” he stated. “I believe they mentioned all of the greatest basketball players of all time, including Big O, Michael, Kareem, and Kobe, and then forgot who else was in the commercial. And then it was like, “Next one, LeBron James.”

“I didn’t see that commercial when it aired, but when I saw it today, I was like, what the hell? That expectation for an 18-year-old kid was absurd to consider.”

Despite these expectations, James worked hard and accomplished something almost unattainable.

James’ unrelenting march saw him break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 7, 2023.

All of that scoring occurred without James intending it to be his hallmark. He is fourth in career assists with 10,847, including nine against Denver, and his average of 7.35 per game is among the top 25.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who worked with James as an assistant for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2005 to 2010, noted James’ early focus in all areas. It was already a priority for James to be in prime physical shape, even if the run to the scoring title was unexpected for them.

“I remember being in Cleveland, him being in the weight room with our weight and strength coaches, and there’s no way he’s doing what he’s doing at this stage of his career if he is not putting a ton of time into his body, his diet, his sleep, all those things that really matter,” Malone told reporters before the game.

James’ endurance and continued excellence make it quite possible that he will be the only player to attain 40,000 points.

To put the accomplishment into context, Nuggets centre Nikola Jokic will need to average 25 points over his next 1,057 appearances to join James at 40,000 points. That would be nearly 13 full seasons without an injury or other unforeseen scenario, and the two-time MVP would have continued to produce far until the age of 41.

james

LeBron James Reaches 40,000 Points To Extend His NBA Career Scoring Record

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic is the most likely contender to make a major run since his career average of 28.51 points per game ranks third in league history behind Michael Jordan (30.12) and Wilt Chamberlain (30.07). However, Doncic will need to keep it up for 1,022 more games to match James, which, assuming no interruptions, will push the timeframe into the 2036-37 season.

“There’s just certain things that you just don’t think will happen,” he remarked. For years, many said Kareem’s record couldn’t be broken. I was able to outperform it. But, as I previously stated, you must have extremely good luck, play the game at a high level for an extended period, and then we will see.

As for whether James will ever join the 50,000-point club, a conservative estimate of 25 points per game from now on — essentially matching what he has been producing in his 21st professional season at 39 years old — while playing 55 games each season would put him there in 2031-32.

Malone would not rule anything out.

james

LeBron James Reaches 40,000 Points To Extend His NBA Career Scoring Record

“When you step back, you can’t help but wonder at the longevity. However, he is not having fun with this. “He is playing well,” Malone remarked. “I’m confident he’ll make that decision in five or six years. ‘Do I still play effectively?’ “And he is.”

If anyone would dare to take on the impossible, it could only be King James.

“I come to work and prepare and prep, mentally, physically, spiritually every night when it’s time to play, and I just try to go out and contribute,” he said. “I’ve been able to do that for over 20 years, including this year. When I get on the floor and feel good, I can make plays.

“I can still accomplish the same things I did ten years ago. And other things I was doing 20 years ago, which is strange to admit.”

SOURCE – (AP)

Continue Reading

Trending