Reader’s Links for April 8, 2021

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

83 Replies to “Reader’s Links for April 8, 2021”

  1. “Chinese-produced animated movie introduced American kids to the idea of a fearful virus, masks and life-saving vaccine — back in 2016” by Leo Hohmann – April 7, 2021

    Children’s movie from 2016 about a vaccine saving the world from a pandemic called ‘Hedgehogs’
    Tabhita Wolsma – September 3, 2020

    • Hi Richard, looooooong time no see. (give my love to Yuki if you see her).

      Having fallen out of love with Bibi since he made Israel into the ultimate/premier Test-Lab for the Corona Virus Syringes, and since President Trump seems to have left the room (for the moment), Pres. Putin (who was the only “world” leader to congratulate the “President Elect” Biden only after he was declared publicly as such while the others kissed his ring so eagerly looooooong before the Dominion Machines had even closed) is the only one left standing: 😉

    • Another comment on Brad’s video,yesterday. Didn’t show up here:

      So, again:

      My Russki and I think Brad is looking at only one side: RUSSIA stepping over the line FIRST, forcing Ukraine to defend itself, counting on the West.

      Brad’s also inflating the claims of the filthy Turk.
      He may indeed be a gadfly, but has zero support amongst the population, and Putin will squash him like a bug. It’s an intelligence officer’s perspective, not that of a tactical military professional.

      We see it from the other side.

      “Biden” got President Zelensky to make extravagant statements at the end of March: He expressed his intent to take back the Russian Donbass and the Crimea – recover ALL the territory it lost in 2014.

      THAT was aggression. THAT was provocation.

      Talk of putting NATO on Russia’s border?!
      Sorta like putting the PLA across the Ambassador Bridge from Ontario to Detroit.

      A Cabal-generated brainstorm to make NATO relevant again. Stoltenberg and Victoria Nuland: master tacticians. Another color revolution, Euromaiden Redux.

      Russia has the correlation of forces advantage, as their military describes it. Putin will end up owning the ENTIRE southeastern portion of Ukraine, secure a treasured supply of water for the Crimea.

      A gift from Team “Biden”.

  2. The Never ending talk of Caliphate

    Sh. Mustafa Sabri, the Last Sheikh al-Islam of the Ottoman caliphate
    “Separating religion from the state, is apostasy from Islam, firstly by the Government and then by the Muslim nation (by accepting to be obedient to the apostate government)”.

    Sheikh Tahir ibn ‘Ashur 1925
    “The Caliphate, in its true meaning, is a religious pillar, rather it is a protector for all the pillars of deem”.

    Mazin Abdul-Adhim, todays Canadian leader of the terrorist group, Hibz ut-Tahrir, a man from Iraq, living in London, Ontario, Canada, a Christian country, still promoting Caliphate.

    Christianity, successfully preached in several parts of Arabia, was professed by the Ghassanides in the year 330 and by various Arab tribes of Irak, Mesopotamia, Bahrein, the desert of Faran, and Damut-Jandal. The combined efforts of the negus of Abyssinia and the emperor of Constantinople had contributed to the spread of the Gospel in Yemen. The Christian colony of Nejran had been honoured by persecution under Dhu-Nowas towards 523; fifty years later, Abraha sought to make of Santa the goal of Arab pilgrimages. Lastly several Kings of Hira had been favourable to the religion of Christ.

    Abdullah married Amina, daughter of Wahb, chief of the family of the Zohri, and from this marriage was born Mohammed, about the month of August.

  3. Spain: Demonstrators and police clash at VOX far-right party”s campaign rally

    Clashes between police and protesters broke out in Madrid’s Plaza de Vallecas during a rally by the far-right VOX party to promote the candidacy of Rocio Monasterio for the upcoming Madrid regional elections, on Wednesday.

    Riot police appeared to be charging towards dozens of demonstrators throwing objects, many of whom came to the scene to block the VOX rally.

    Meanwhile, supporters of the far-right party waved Spanish flags and listened to the words of Santiago Abascal, leader of the group.

    Bring down miserable house from within – it will take time

    ISNA Conference, way back in 2008, in San Antonio, Texas, CAIR’s Nihad Awad said “ Give scholarships -5 years you will have an army of Lawyers, Politicians, journalists, teachers who go to school, Universities, who can educate people about the History of ISLAM – – The True Islam.

    https://www.understand the Muslim-to-federal-bench

    If confirmed, Quraishi will be the first Muslim federal judge in American history.

  5. Germany Fights Exclusion of UK and Israel from EU Research Projects

    Germany and other EU members are opposing a move by the European Commission to block Britain, Israel and Switzerland from quantum and space projects on security grounds, diplomats said Tuesday.

    The decision to block non-EU countries is backed by France.

    “In the field of quantum technology in particular, these countries have traditionally been important partners and should continue in this role in the future,” German Research Minister Thomas Rachel said.

    The commission stressed in a meeting last week that it was especially concerned about valuable intellectual property ending up in the hands of the U.S. or China.

    But academics point out that Britain and Israel are longtime partners in these research areas. Cutting them off now would cause Europe to lose even more ground to the U.S. and China, they argue.

  6. MEMRI
    Iran-Backed Militias in Iraq Threaten to Target Washington

    On April 6, 2021, the Zulfiqar Forces, part of the Iranian-backed “Islamic Resistance in Iraq,” released on its Telegram channel a poster depicting a masked fighter wearing the group’s uniform and holding a machine gun, against the backdrop of the U.S. Capitol Building, edited to appear in ruins.

    The group earlier claimed responsibility for the Aug. 27, 2020, rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

  7. Matthew Levitt
    Iran and Israel’s Undeclared War at Sea: IRGC-Hizbullah Financing Schemes

    Israel and Iran appear to be in the midst of a gray-zone maritime conflict. Oil smuggling by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards allows it to fund and arm Hizbullah while also benefiting the Assad regime in Syria. After mid-2018, these deliveries became Tehran’s primary means of financing Hizbullah, and in some cases included arms as well. Israel’s maritime actions have caused delays that deprive the Syrian regime of gasoline imports and prevent hard cash, weapons, and missile production equipment from reaching Hizbullah.

  8. Emanuele Ottolenghi:
    Iran’s Mischief in Morocco

    Moroccan intelligence arrested a Hizbullah member upon his entry to the country on Jan. 6, who was caught carrying multiple European passports and identity cards. Morocco broke off relations with Iran in 2009 over an Iranian clerical official’s statement that Bahrain really belonged to Iran. In 2018, a year after Tehran had reopened its embassy, Morocco’s foreign minister, Nasser Bourita, accused Iran of dispatching Hizbullah operatives and supplying weapons and training to the Polisario Front in the Western Sahara which is fighting Morocco.

    Morocco has also accused Iran of efforts to spread its revolutionary brand of Shi’ism among Morocco’s predominantly Sunni population.’s-mischief-morocco-problem-181702

  9. BBC – Covid 19: Pakistan among new countries added to England’s travel ban list

    Travel from the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh is to be banned from next week, the government says.

    They are being added to England’s “red list” amid concerns about the spread of new Covid-19 variants.

    From 04:00 on 9 April, international visitors who have travelled from or through those countries in the previous 10 days will be refused entry.

    An exception is made for British or Irish passport holders, or people with UK residence rights.

    But they must first pay to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

    During their stay, passengers will have to take two coronavirus tests – but a negative test result does not mean they can shorten their time in quarantine.

    Neither will they be able to end it early through the Test to Release scheme, where travellers from non-red list countries can leave home isolation after a negative test on day five.


    Scenes at Islamabad airport as UK citizens rush to leave ahead of Red list travel ban by UK

  10. Why are my posts posting?
    When I don’t get “posting too fast” alerts – even if it’s my first of the day – nothing shows up for a long time, if ever. I try again, get “duplicate” notice.

    • If I want to be sure that the post took or see if I have already posted the video I close the tab and reopen the Daily links from today;s links. That lets me discover what has happened.

    • or remove the last part of the URL in the address bar of the browser

      vladtepesblog. com/2021/04/08/readers-links-for-april-8-2021 /comment-page-1/#comment-624422

      it must look like this :

      vladtepesblog. com/2021/04/08/readers-links-for-april-8-2021

      and then click on the reload button

      … usually all comments that were invisible reappear

  11. Germany: Protesters block Berlin airport terminal in anti-deportation demo

    Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Berlin’s BER airport terminal 5 on Wednesday, to demonstrate against the deportation of asylum seekers back to Afghanistan.

    Protesters can be seen carrying various banners and placards. Several protesters attempted to blockade traffic entering and exiting the airport terminal.

    Later, protesters marched closer to the terminal where they were held back by police. In the background, people could be seen being brought aboard an aircraft before it took off. According to reports, the deportations have yet not been officially confirmed.

  12. CBC – Why pandemic drinking could be dangerous for women

    Alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic and it could be putting many women at an increased risk of breast cancer.

    A growing group of women are pushing back against the wine-to-unwind culture.

    • CBC – Why getting Canadians a first vaccine dose is a priority

      Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, says jurisdictions should maximize the number of people benefiting from the first vaccine dose, before moving to the second.

    • ctv news – A third of COVID-19 survivors develop neurological, psychiatric disorders: Oxford University study

      Study co-lead Maxime Taquet discusses research from Oxford University showing many COVID-19 survivors develop psychiatric disorders.

    • China colour-codes buildings and businesses to push Covid-19 vaccination

      Peking city authorities are giving businesses and apartment blocks colour-coded grades in order to persuade residents to receive their Covid-19 jabs, amid a nationwide push to overcome vaccine reluctance.

    • Deutsche Pravda – ECHR rules obligatory vaccination may be necessary

      The ruling is the first time the European Court of Human Rights has weighed in on the issue of compulsory vaccinations. The ruling could play a role in efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

      The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg ruled Thursday that compulsory vaccinations would not contravene human rights law and may be necessary in democratic societies.

      The ruling came following conclusion of a complaint brought to the court by Czech families regarding compulsory jabs for children.

      “The measures could be regarded as being ‘necessary in a democratic society,'” the court judgment read.

      Although the ruling did not deal directly with COVID-19 vaccines, experts believe it could have implications for the vaccination drive against the virus, especially for those who have so far stated a refusal to accept the jab.

      This judgment “reinforces the possibility of a compulsory vaccination under conditions of the current COVID-19 epidemic,” Nicolas Hervieu, a legal expert specializing in the ECHR, told AFP news agency.

      What was the court ruling about?
      The decision said that the compulsory vaccines administered by Czech health authorities were in line with the “best interests” of children.

      “The objective has to be that every child is protected against serious diseases, through vaccination or by virtue of herd immunity,” it added.

      The court ruled that the Czech health policy was not in violation of Article 8 on the right to respect for private life in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights.

      By Czech law, children must be vaccinated against nine diseases including diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and measles.

      The case was brought to the court by families who had been fined, or whose children had been refused access to a nursery for failing to comply with their legal vaccination duty.

      A precedent for COVID-19 vaccination drives
      Countries across Europe have seen a swell of disinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

      This has led people to not only be skeptical about the coronavirus itself, but also about the COVID-19 vaccines.

      Anti-vaxxers — people who refuse to receive vaccines, or to vaccinate their children — have spread various conspiracy theories about why governments want to vaccinate their populations.

      As a result, governments may be contending with large segments of society who refuse to be vaccinated, making the goal of herd immunity that much more difficult.

      Although the ruling by the ECHR may have set the precedent that obligatory vaccinations do not contravene the European Convention on Human Rights, this does not mean European countries will force people to be vaccinated.

    • Sky News UK – Sister of blood clot victim urges people to take vaccine

      The sister of a man who died from a blood clot after taking the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has urged people to continue taking the jab.

      Alison Astles, who works as a pharmacist, said it was for the greater good of society that people keep getting vaccinated, despite the death of her brother Neil.

      + comments on the YT page

      • channel 4 – Sister of blood clot victim ‘strongly believes’ people should get the jab

        ( 4 min 13 )

        A pharmacist, whose brother died of a rare blood clot after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, says she “strongly believes” people should continue to have the jab.

        Dr Alison Astles said her brother Neil had been “extraordinarily unlucky” – and has urged people to “keep saving lives” by getting the vaccine.

        + comments on the YT page

    • COVID-19 vaccines bring optimism amid concerns about a fourth wave of infections

      “We are all worried that there’s going to be a fourth wave,” says Dr. Abinash Virk, an infectious diseases expert and co-chair of Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation and Distribution workgroup.

      “We’ve had three waves already. And each time the waves went down, everyone became very excited and took their masks off and stopped taking all the precautions that we recommended. At this time, it is the same situation.”

      Dr. Virk says: “We all want to get back to our normal lives. But the recent data has shown that there’s a slight uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases. The most worrisome concern we now have is that during the last few days and weeks is that the variants have increased substantially, particularly in the East Coast, the Midwest and the Sunbelt areas.

      The concern is that the fourth wave may be largely made of the COVID-19 variants especially since many people are still not vaccinated. And that’s the reason why we have to continue wearing masks in public, social distance and practice good hand hygiene until substantially more of the US population is vaccinated.”

    • COVID vaccination site closes early after adverse reactions to Johnson & Johnson shot

      Thirteen people at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Colorado had adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Wednesday — shutting down operations for the day, a report said.

      Officials did not disclose the types of reactions suffered by less than 1 percent of the more than 1,700 people given shots at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, the Denver Gazette reported.

      The vaccination effort was being sponsored by the state and Centura Health. More than 600 people with appointments Wednesday were unable to receive their vaccinations after the early closure.

      “We followed our protocols and in an abundance of caution, made the decision — in partnership with the state — to pause operations for the remainder of the day,” Centura Health officials said in the statement obtained by the newspaper.

      People with appointments who were turned away will be rescheduled to receive their shots at a different site on Sunday.

  13. Hi Richard, looooooong time no see. (give my love to Yuki if you see her).

    Having fallen out of love with Bibi since he made Israel into the ultimate/premier Test-Lab for the Corona Virus Syringes, and since President Trump seems to have left the room (for the moment), Pres. Putin (who was the only “world” leader to congratulate the “President Elect” Biden only after he was declared publicly as such while the others kissed his ring so eagerly looooooong before the Dominion Machines had even closed) is the only one left standing: 😉

    • I have missed you and will pass your love on to Yucki.

      Things in the states are up in a mess and we don’t know what is going to happen yet, the states are choosing up sides for what looks like a coming Civil War.

      Over seas it looks like Biden has pushed Ukraine into a war with Russia (possibly on Chinese orders), Iran is talking like they are going to h it Israel. (Possibly on Chinese Orders)

      China is preparing to hit Taiwan (and others) and wants the worlds attention and warships drawn to the other side of Asia by two wars starting real soon. I hope you in Oz can hold out until we get a new President who can do a crash rebuild of the US military.

      Stay safe.

    • I’m here, dear Rita!

      Bibi had reasons to do what he did. To explain, as best I could, we’d have to be sitting in a cafe, sharing a bottle of wine.

      You might not understand or agree with his decision, but my family and friends there OVERWHELMINGLY support it. They’re the ones – the ONLY ones – who have a right to judge.

      My Russki and I got our 2nd Moderna shots yesterday. He’s got a son and family in Kiev; war in Ukraine may be imminent. It’s vaxxed or no go. He may also see his other kid in Israel. Again, vaxxed or no go.

      I got the shots too, though I won’t be traveling.
      If – G-d forbid – something happens to him, I’ll be prepared to meet airport/govt scrutiny. If I had to dress up as a Bund Deutscher Madel and Sieg Heil!, that’s what I’d do.

  14. Ukraine’s Zelensky on frontline as Merkel urges Putin to pull back troops

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky travels to the country’s eastern frontline and meets with soldiers soldiers as German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls on Moscow to reduce its troop buildup near Ukraine.

  15. My teenager is in such a good mood after interacting with peers on his first day back to school that he offered to do some chores around the house.

  16. How did Hezbollah lay its hands on vaccine vials from Israel?

    Vials of the Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik-V made their way from Israel to Hezbollah, the Saudi new outlet Elaph reported on Wednesday.

    According to the report, Israel bought some 1 million doses from Russia and had them handed over to the Syrian regime as part of the deal to secure the release of an Israeli woman who had crossed into Syria.

    But instead of being used to vaccinate Syrians, many ended up in Lebanon and reached terrorist group Hezbollah, which is now offering them at a rate ranging from $38 to $40.

    The report said that Syrian officials made sure hundreds of thousands of vials would be handed over to Hezbollah for free, and it, in turn, has begun administering them only to supporters of the terrorist group.

    An intelligence official in Israel who reportedly spoke to the Saudi site said that millions of dollars went into the Shi’ite group’s coffers due to this scheme, but it is now facing a backlash by Lebanese who feel that they are being denied access to the vaccine.

  17. Seth Frantzman:
    Will Red Sea incident mobilize pro-Iran-deal Israel critics in the US?

    An article in The Wall Street Journal appeared to indicate that some US officials are concerned about the timing of an alleged attack on an Iranian ship in the Red Sea.

    The ship is known as an IRGC forward base, according to previous reports by expert analyst H.I Sutton.

    “It is clear what the timing intends to achieve,” a US official was quoted saying by the WSJ.

    The incident could harm those who support “rapprochement,” the article noted.

    This would cast the attack in the Red Sea as somehow harming the exploration of talks between Iran and the US that could lead to a reduction in US sanctions. This could serve those who are critical of Israel and see the Jewish state as somehow harming US-Iran relations or even causing US-Iran tensions.

    In the past, anti-Israel voices in the US, some of them former officials, have alleged that pro-Israel voices have been behind Iran tensions and have tried to implicate Israel in “driving” US wars in the Middle East. This conspiracy tends to pop up in whisper campaigns that allege that pro-Israel policies of the US are against American interests, as though they align with Iran in some way.

  18. Teachers’ Union Head Rips Jews in Interview on School Reopening

    Union leader Randi Weingarten criticized Jews as “part of the ownership class” dedicated to denying opportunities to others in an interview released on Friday.

    Weingarten—who is herself Jewish and draws a six-figure salary as head of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)—took aim at American Jews in an interview with the Jerusalem Post. When asked about parents critical of the AFT’s resistance to school reopening, Weingarten took aim squarely at Jewish critics.

    “American Jews are now part of the ownership class,” Weingarten said. “Jews were immigrants from somewhere else. And they needed the right to have public education. And they needed power to have enough income and wealth for their families that they could put their kids through college and their kids could do better than they have done.”

    “What I hear when I hear that question is that those who are in the ownership class now want to take that ladder of opportunity away from those who do not have it,” she said.
    Another communist emerged from a Jewish womb.
    Judaic lupus – autoimmune affliction that’s congenital. Baked into the DNA. Damages healthy tissue; mitigation is costly and partial at best.
    Notable cases: Torquemada, Marx, Soros.

  19. Pandemic fueled anti-Semitism, with vaccine firm heads likened to Nazis – study

    Coronavirus lockdowns last year shifted some anti-Semitic hatred online, where conspiracy theories blaming Jews for the pandemic’s medical and economic devastation abounded, including likening Israeli and Jewish executives in vaccine companies to the Nazis, Israeli researchers reported Wednesday. That has raised concerns about a rise in anti-Semitism in the post-pandemic world.

    The findings, which came in an annual report by Tel Aviv University’s researchers on anti-Semitism, show that the social isolation of the pandemic meant that Jews weren’t generally in close physical proximity to people who wished to harm them.

    The number of violent incidents toward Jews across some 40 countries dropped last year, from 456 to 371 — roughly the same levels the researchers reported from 2016 to 2018.

    Online, the scene was very different, researchers reported — a potential warning sign that as pandemic restrictions ease, hateful conduct toward Jews could intensify as it has during some of humanity’s other historic struggles.

    “Anti-Jewish hatred online never stays online,” said Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress. “We have to be prepared that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories could lead to physical attacks on Jews when lockdowns end.”

  20. DAILY MAIL What WASN’T in Hunter Biden’s book:
    How he got unauthorized Secret Service protection, begged Joe to run for WH to salvage his own reputation and made porn films with prostitutes. Forensic experts prove laptop IS President’s son’s

    Hunter Biden released his ‘tell-all’ memoir Beautiful Things on Tuesday, but left out shocking details

    DailyMail . com can reveal those secrets after contents of his abandoned laptop – including a cache of 103,000 text messages, 154,000 emails, more than 2,000 photos – were verified by top forensics experts

    Hunter left his MacBook Pro laptop at a Wilmington, Delaware computer repair shop in April 2019 and never returned for it

    In texts from 2019, Hunter begged his father to run for president to salvage Hunter’s own reputation

    Hunter repeatedly dodged police action against him, despite constantly dealing with drug dealers and prostitutes and having multiple run-ins with the law

    The president’s son was guarded by a Secret Service agent while on a 2018 drug and prostitute binge in Hollywood, despite not being entitled to protection at the time

    Hunter appeared to be obsessed with making porn films with prostitutes, videos and photos on his laptop show

    Texts also show Joe Biden was afraid his conversations with Hunter were being hacked even as they discussed his White House bid

  21. Pennsylvania Agrees to Remove Names of Dead Citizens From Voter Rolls: Settlement
    By Jack Phillips
    April 8, 2021 Updated: April 8, 2021
    biggersmaller Print

    The state of Pennsylvania agreed to remove the names of deceased people from voter rolls, an election-integrity watchdog group announced after reaching a settlement with state officials.

    The lawsuit, (pdf) which was filed by the Public Interest Legal Foundation in November 2020, alleged that some 21,000 registrants who had died were still on the state’s voter rolls at the time of the 2020 presidential election. Pennsylvania agreed to compare its voter-registration database with the Social Security Death Index, and then direct all county election commissions to remove the names of dead registrants.

    “This marks an important victory for the integrity of elections in Pennsylvania,” Public Interest Legal Foundation President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said in a statement in announcing the court’s decision. “The Commonwealth’s failure to remove deceased registrants created a vast opportunity for voter fraud and abuse. It is important to not have dead voters active on the rolls for 5, 10, or even 20 years. This settlement fixes that.”

  22. Israel’s Claim Under International Law to the ‘Occupied Territories’ – Frontpagemag
    Hugh Fitzgerald
    10-13 minutes

    A short course for the Biden administration.

    The Biden Administration seems to think that the way to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians is to push Israel back within what it describes as the “1967 lines,” which is a more acceptable way of saying “the 1949 armistice lines.” Those lines were not recognized borders; they merely reflected where the respective armies, of Israel and its Arab enemies, when the shooting stopped n 1949.

    Let’s give the misinformed Biden Administration the necessary Short Course it clearly needs about Israel’s claim under international law to the West Bank, about the misnomer “occupied territories, ” and about the Palestinian Arabs and a “two-state solution.”

  23. China Boycotts Western Companies Over Uyghurs
    Soeren Kern
    21-27 minutes

    The Chinese government is boycotting Western clothing retailers for expressing concerns about forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region. The dispute revolves around allegations that China’s government is forcing more than 500,000 Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic and religious minorities to pick cotton in Xinjiang, which produces 85% of China’s cotton and one-fifth of the world’s supply. Roughly 70% of the region’s cotton fields are picked by hand. Pictured: Women harvest cotton by hand in Hami, Xinjiang on September 20, 2015. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

    The Chinese government is boycotting Western clothing retailers for expressing concerns about forced labor in Xinjiang, China’s biggest region. The companies are being pressured to scrub from their websites language about corporate policies on human rights, reverse decisions to stop buying cotton produced in Xinjian, and remove maps that depict Taiwan as an independent country.

    • For you, Richard:
      Elliott Abrams
      Is Iran Being Turned into a Chinese Gas Station?

      On March 27, in a ceremony in Tehran, the foreign ministers of Iran and China signed an agreement for China to invest $400 billion in Iran over 25 years. The New York Times reported on the deal under the headline “China, With $400 Billion Iran Deal, Could Deepen Influence in Mideast”…

      I’m dubious. First, this deal was proposed five years ago, in 2016, when Xi Jinping visited Iran. That’s a long time to get to signing – and the terms of the deal have still not been made public.

      Why not? One theory is that Iran will be selling oil to China at a large discount – large enough to spur resistance and protests in Iran were it to become known. How much will materialize, turning paper into actual commerce, remains to be seen.

      Consider the numbers, too. According to the World Bank, total foreign direct investment (FDI) in Iran, from all sources, maxed out in 2017 at $5 billion, but by 2019 had fallen to $1.5 billion. It seems to have fallen further in 2020, to about $1 billion. This agreement with China – $400 billion in 25 years – calls for $16 billion per year from China alone.

      Does that seem realistic for Iran, a country that has never absorbed more than $5 billion in a single year in FDI from the entire world? There is also good reason to question the notion that China will significantly increase its reliance on Iran for oil: Would China want to rely on a sole, Middle Eastern source rather than diversify its supplies?

      There are other ways of evaluating how real the $400 billion figure may be. According to the China Global Investment Tracker … in the 15 years between 2004 and 2019, China invested a total of $182 billion in the United States, or an average of $12 billion a year; $98 billion in Australia, or $6.5 billion per year; and $83 billion in the U.K., or $5.5 billion per year.

      The numbers are lower for countries such as Brazil, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland. How realistic is it, then, that China will invest more annually in Iran than it does – or has ever done – in any other country in the world?

  24. Ashli Babbitt’s Manner of Death During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach Ruled a Homicide by DC Medical Examiner’s Office
    By Jack Phillips
    April 7, 2021 Updated: April 7, 2021
    biggersmaller Print

    The District of Columbia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Wednesday released the official cause of death for four people who died during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, ruling that protester Ashli Babbitt’s manner of death was a homicide.

    Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Francisco J. Diaz said the cause of death for Babbitt, 35, was a gunshot wound to the left anterior shoulder. Her manner of death was ruled homicide, his office said.

    Authorities previously said Babbitt was shot by a police officer as she allegedly attempted to climb through a door window inside the Capitol building. The name of the officer has not been disclosed by local or federal authorities.

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