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World News
Jews Top Target of Hate Crimes in 2019

Americans Jews were the religious group most targeted by hate crimes in 2019, the FBI reported Monday, facing more than 60 percent of anti-religious bias incidents. The number of anti-Semitic hate-crime incidents rose 14 percent in 2019, data from the bureau’s annual hate-crime statistical report show, with police departments reporting 953 events and 1,032 victims. That is 82 more incidents than in 2018, continuing a rising trend over the past half decade. Recent Stories in Latest News Jews Top Target of Hate Crimes in 2019 Black Activists in Portland Speak Out Against Leftist Violence This Week in Leftist Violence and Intimidation Vol. 12 Jews were in fact a leading target of hate crimes overall, regardless of motivation. In absolute terms, only more black Americans were victimized; on a per capita basis, only gay men and trans people were more likely to be targeted, a Washington Free Beacon analysis found. The shocking increase in reported bias incidents sums up a year in which a high-profile synagogue shooting and a spate of anti-Semitic violence in New York City took place. The latest figures suggest that anti-Jewish bias is not an isolated phenomenon but a widespread and growing threat to Americans’

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Black Activists in Portland Speak Out Against Leftist Violence

Black activists in Portland called out violent anti-fascist and anarchist rioters who they believe have hindered the social justice movement.  The presumed election of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this month sparked yet another wave of riots in Portland. Unsatisfied with Biden’s likely victory, far-leftist radicals vandalized the local Democratic Party headquarters and smashed windows of local businesses and a church downtown.  Recent Stories in Latest News Jews Top Target of Hate Crimes in 2019 Black Activists in Portland Speak Out Against Leftist Violence This Week in Leftist Violence and Intimidation Vol. 12 Now, numerous black community activists are speaking out against the violence, telling the Los Angeles Times they believe groups of mostly white anarchists have tried to infiltrate the racial justice movement.  “[The rioters] melded with Black Lives Matter, but they’re 90 percent white and don’t reach out to black organizations,” Rachelle Dixon, vice chair of the Multnomah County Democrats, told the Times. “I didn’t destroy my own building.”  Newly elected city councilman Mingus Mapps (D.) and Ron Herndon, who has advocated for racial justice in Portland for decades, both condemned leftist protesters who set fire to government buildings and other establishments this summer.  “When people set fire to

World News
Russia focuses on freeze-dried vaccine doses as transport fix

MOSCOW: Russia expects to produce primarily freeze-dried Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine doses by the spring, a top official said, eliminating the need for transport at ultra-low temperatures as part of an ambitious plan to inoculate its population.Vaccine developers globally are scrambling to work out how to ship and store their vials, some of which must be kept in specialised freezers at extremely low temperatures.The logistical challenge was brought into sharp focus after promising interim trial data for the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, a major breakthrough in the race to curb the pandemic.This vaccine needs to be shipped and stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius, equivalent to an Antarctic winter, posing a challenge for even the most sophisticated hospitals in the United States.It also puts it out of reach for the moment for many poor countries.Transportation is a pressing issue for Russia, which has many extremely remote settlements and has already begun rolling out a programme of mass inoculation of frontline medical workers across the country, though human trials of Sputnik V are not yet complete.Whether being trucked across Siberia or flown to the far reaches of the Arctic, its vials must be stored at minus 18 degrees Celsius

World News
After military defeat, what's next for Nagorno-Karabakh?

YEREVAN: Fighting has come to an end in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region a week after Armenia agreed to sign a Russian-brokered peace accord sealing its defeat to longtime rival Azerbaijan.But despite Armenia ceding swathes of territory and the deployment of a Russian peacekeeping mission, a lasting solution to the decades-long conflict remains elusive.As part of the deal, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh must return the Aghdam, Kalbajar and Lachin districts to Azerbaijan starting on November 20, with a completion deadline of December 1.These districts and four others that Baku captured during the six-week conflict between September 27 and November 9 had been occupied by Armenia since a post-Soviet war in the 1990s. The districts were not in Nagorno-Karabakh proper but formed a security belt around the region.Now tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians who were encouraged to move into the region after the 1990s war are fleeing as Azerbaijanis did some 30 years ago.AFP journalists have witnessed a mass exodus from the Kalbajar district, whose handover was delayed until November 25 to allow the Armenians time to leave the region.Many set their homes alight to make them uninhabitable for the incoming Azerbaijanis.An influx of refugees is expected to result in an economic,

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No Covid on meat exports; checking Chinese claims: Jacinda Ardern

WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday she was confident no meat products were exported from the country with Covid-19, after Chinese authorities said they had detected coronavirus on its frozen beef products.The Chinese city of Jinan said over the weekend it had found Covid-19 in beef and tripe, and on their packaging, from Brazil, Bolivia and New Zealand, while two other provincial capitals detected it on packaging on pork from Argentina.Ardern said at a news conference that New Zealand was told there had been positive tests on packaging of beef products from Argentina, and some New Zealand products were in the same cold store where the positive tests had been returned.”We were not advised that New Zealand products had themselves tested positive for Covid-19,” Ardern said.”This is incredibly important to New Zealand. We are confident that our products do not, and are not, exported with signs of Covid on them given our status as essentially being Covid-free,” she added.New Zealand successfully eliminated Covid-19 from the community twice, and currently has just 58 active cases of the virus, all in managed isolation facilities. No new community cases were reported on Monday.Ardern said authorities were seeking further information

World News
Vaccine will not be enough to stop pandemic: WHO chief

GENEVA: The head of the World Health Organization said Monday that a vaccine would not by itself stop the coronavirus pandemic.The pandemic is raging months after it broke out, with infections soaring past 54 million and claiming more than 1.3 million lives.”A vaccine will complement the other tools we have, not replace them,” director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “A vaccine on its own will not end the pandemic.”The WHO’s figures for Saturday showed that 660,905 coronavirus cases were reported to the UN health agency, setting a new high water mark.That number, and the 645,410 registered on Friday, surpassed the previous daily record high of 614,013 recorded on November 7.Tedros said that supplies of the vaccine would initially be restricted, with “health workers, older people and other at-risk populations (to) be prioritised. That will hopefully reduce the number of deaths and enable the health systems to cope.”But he warned: “That will still leave the virus with a lot of room to move. Surveillance will need to continue, people will still need to be tested, isolated and cared for, contacts will still need to be traced… and individuals will still need to be cared for.”

World News
Britain 'has choices to make' on new trade deal: EU diplomats

BRUSSELS: Britain “has choices to make” if it wants a new trade deal with the European Union, three EU diplomatic sources said on Monday, adding that Brexit negotiators had yet to come up with mutually acceptable solutions for the three most contentious issues.Ireland, the EU member state most exposed to Brexit, said Britain and the bloc had up to 10 days to unlock talks to avoid tariffs and quotas kicking in from Jan. 1, 2021, slashing an estimated trillion dollars worth of annual commerce.”They haven’t quite reached where they had hoped to be,” one of the EU diplomats following Brexit said as talks between the bloc’s negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart, David Frost, resumed in Brussels.A senior EU diplomat, also speaking under condition of anonymity, added: “Britain has choices to make.”Barnier said on Monday talks with Frost were continuing. “We remain determined, patient, respectful. We want our future cooperation to be open but fair in all areas,” he said on Twitter.A third EU diplomatic source said: “One cannot say things haven’t moved, since the negotiators are writing a legal text together. So there is some movement. But also way to go still.””The (issues of) level playing field, governance

World News
China's ballistic missiles and uncertainty at sea

HONG KONG: On August 26, China fired two of its most capable conventional missiles – a DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) and DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) – into the South China Sea from bases in mainland China. Now, nearly three months later, a Chinese source is claiming that these missiles hit a moving ship target near the Paracel Islands.Allegedly, the target was in disputed waters south of Hainan Island and north of the Paracel Islands. The exercise was presumably overseen by the PLA’s Southern Theater Command.It is unclear why China took so long to make such a claim about hitting a mobile at-sea target, but it is surely related to bolstering a Chinese propaganda effect. The source of the claim was Wang Xiangsui, a former senior colonel of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), who now holds a professorial tenure at Beihang University in Beijing.At the time of August’s missile firings, it was obvious to most that Beijing was sending “warning shots” via the PLA Rocket Force (PLARF) against an ongoing American presence in international waters, amidst strategic friction between the two nations.Indeed, a day earlier the US military had flown a U-2S Dragon Lady spy plane near a Chinese

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Biden Taps Reparations Advocate for Treasury Transition

A major reparations advocate has a seat on Joe Biden’s transition team. Mehrsa Baradaran, a professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, is helping Biden prepare to “hit the ground running on Day One” as a member of his Department of the Treasury agency review team. Baradaran is an outspoken advocate of reparations for black Americans, both as a means of correcting “white supremacy” and closing the racial wealth gap. Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) dodged questions about reparations throughout the 2020 cycle. Baradaran took note of their refusal to stake out a firm stance on the issue. “Dear Kamala, Reparations or go home,” she wrote in June 2019. “Biden just dodged that reparations question like a much nimbler and younger man,” she said in December 2019, referencing a Democratic primary debate. Recent Stories in 2020 Election Biden Taps Reparations Advocate for Treasury Transition Warnock: Americans Must ‘Repent’ for Backing Trump and ‘Worship of Whiteness’ Twitter Puts Warning Label on Nikki Haley’s Tweet But Lets Ayatollah Slide In her 2017 book The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, Baradaran argues that closing the racial wealth gap requires acknowledging past wrongs and providing compensation

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Pakistan's capital blocked off over anti-France protest

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan authorities sealed off a major road into the capital Islamabad for a second day Monday as a far-right religious party held fresh anti-France protests.A rally in the neighbouring city of Rawalpindi which attracted up to 5,000 people on Sunday spilled over into Monday, with around a thousand protesters gathered at the roadblock preventing them from entering the capital.Commuters faced lengthy delays on alternative routes into the city.Mobile phone services were restored around lunchtime on Monday, after being suspended for more than 24 hours to prevent rally organisers from coordinating with each other.Pakistan has seen small and scattered protests over the past few weeks in response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent remarks on Islam.The French president spoke out after an extremist beheaded a teacher near Paris after he showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a class on free speech. All depictions of the Prophet are forbidden by Islam.The president said the teacher “was killed because Islamists want our future”.Macron’s comments triggered anger across the Muslim world, with tens of thousands in Pakistan, neighbouring Iran and other Muslim countries in South Asia flooding the streets and organising anti-French boycotts.Pakistan has lodged a complaint with France over what it

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