China’s Warning: We Will Take U.S. Hostages If DOJ Charges Not Dropped against Researchers

Beijing is threatening to take Americans in China hostage if the Department of Justice doesn’t drop its prosecution of several Chinese research scientists arrested on U.S. soil this year, according to a report on Saturday.

Chinese government officials have repeatedly warned their U.S. counterparts that Americans in China face being detained if its demands are not met, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The drastic action — dubbed “hostage diplomacy” — would be in retaliation for the arrests of at least five Chinese military-affiliated scholars visiting American universities to conduct research.

The scientists were charged with visa fraud for allegedly lying to U.S. immigration authorities about their active duty statuses with China’s People’s Liberation Army.

The nation first began issuing the warnings over the summer, after Chinese research scientist Juan Tang, who worked at the University of California, Davis, was questioned by the FBI and took up residence for a month in China’s San Francisco consulate. (Read more from “China’s Warning: We Will Take U.S. Hostages If DOJ Charges Not Dropped against Researchers” HERE)

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12-Year-Old Boy Makes ‘Significant’ Dinosaur Discovery

A 12-year-old boy in Canada has found fossils that paleontologists have hailed as a “significant” dinosaur discovery.

The discovery was made at Horseshoe Canyon in the Alberta Prairies, according to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

“In July, 12-year-old aspiring paleontologist Nathan Hrushkin and his father, Dion, discovered the partially exposed bones while hiking on the conservation site,” said the Nature Conservancy, in a statement last week. “They sent photos of their find to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, who identified that the bones belonged to a young hadrosaur, commonly known as a duck-billed dinosaur.”

The Royal Tyrrell Museum sent a team of experts to the conservation site, who uncovered between 30 and 50 bones from the canyon’s wall.

“All of the bones collected belong to a single specimen, a juvenile hadrosaur approximately three or four years old,” the Nature Conservancy said, in the statement. “While hadrosaurs are the most common fossils found in Alberta’s Badlands, this particular specimen is noteworthy because few juvenile skeletons have been recovered and also because of its location in the strata, or the rock formation.” (Read more from “12-Year-Old Boy Makes ‘Significant’ Dinosaur Discovery” HERE)

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U.S. Says ‘Within International Law’ to Sail Near Taiwan Amid China Warning

The Pentagon is defending its recent operation near Taiwan as compliant with international law in the face of Chinese protests that the U.S. deliberately was aggravating the geopolitically sensitive situation in the disputed waterway.

Senior Colonel Zhang Chunhui, spokesperson for China’s People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command, said Thursday that warships and warplanes were dispatched Thursday to monitor U.S. Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Barry as it sailed near the Taiwan Strait, where Zhang accused the Navy of “seriously undermining the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.”

Zhang said his forces were “always on high alert” and accused the U.S. of “sending the wrong messages” to those in Taiwan who would seek to officially separate the self-ruling island from the mainland that claims it. . .

Challenging Chinese claims to the Taiwan Strait, the spokesperson said all U.S. operations “were within international waters, within international law.” (Read more from “U.S. Says ‘Within International Law’ to Sail Near Taiwan Amid China Warning” HERE)

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U.S. Sanctions Damaging Iran, Spokesman Says

Referring to Washington’s new, additional sanctions on Tehran, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said on Monday that “these decisions and sanctions have caused serious monetary and financial damages to Iran.”

At his weekly press conference on Monday, Khatibzadeh announced, “We have been working for months to stop such shocks.”

However, he warned that “the United States must make up for all the damage it has done to Iran. Iranian people should not doubt that we will cash compensation for all damages cent by cent.”

“The damage incurred on Iran is filed in the bill submitted to the International Court of Justice,” he added

Following its “maximum pressure” policy on Iran, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted 18 Iranian banks that were previously exempt from some Washington restrictions. (Read more from “U.S. Sanctions Damaging Iran, Spokesman Says” HERE)

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Countries That Kill Journalists, Keep Concentration Camps Elected to U.N. Human Rights Council

China, Russia, and Cuba were each awarded seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council Tuesday despite their gross abuses of the very rights the council pledges to uphold.

The council, which the United States withdrew from in protest of its condemnation of Israel while bolstering Venezuela and Saudi Arabia two years ago, features a mission statement that its inclusion of rights-violating nations directly contradicts. It reads:

The mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is to work for the protection of all human rights for all people; to help empower people to realize their rights; and to assist those responsible for upholding such rights in ensuring that they are implemented.

China is carrying out a genocidal campaign against the nation’s Uighur Muslims. The campaign is the largest mass internment of any ethnic-minority religious group in nearly a century since the Holocaust.

Human Rights Watch, a New York City-based international non-governmental organization, has similarly faulted Cuba and Russia for their human rights abuses. In Cuba, the group wrote, “the government continues to use other repressive tactics against critics, including beatings, public shaming, travel restrictions, and termination of employment.”

(Read more from “Countries That Kill Journalists, Keep Concentration Camps Elected to U.N. Human Rights Council” HERE)

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China Has Deployed 60,000 Soldiers on India’s Northern Border

China has amassed more than 60,000 troops on India’s northern border, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said as he hit out at Beijing for its “bad behavior” and the threats it poses to the Quad countries.

The Foreign Ministers from the Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad group — the US, Japan, India and Australia — met in Tokyo on Tuesday in what was their first in-person talks since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The meeting took place in the backdrop of China’s aggressive military behaviour in the Indo-Pacific, South China Sea and along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

“The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on their northern border, Mr. Pompeo told The Guy Benson Show in an interview on Friday after his return from Tokyo wherein he attended the second Quad ministerial with his counterparts from India, Japan and Australia.

“I was with my foreign minister counterparts from India, Australia, and Japan — a format that we call the Quad, four big democracies, four powerful economies, four nations, each of whom has real risk associated with the threats imposed — attempting to be imposed by the Chinese Communist Party. And they see it in their home countries too,” he said. (Read more from “China Has Deployed 60,000 Soldiers on India’s Northern Border” HERE)

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China Censors Mike Pence During VP Debate Broadcast

China’s censors cut off Vice President Mike Pence mid-sentence during the debate with Sen. Kamala Harris when he called out the Chinese Communist Party for its mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.

As Pence Wednesday night began to criticize Beijing’s response, saying “China is to blame,” CNN’s feed in China suddenly cut out and the words “no signal – please stand by” appeared over a test pattern. . .

Nathan VanderKlippe, the Globe and Mail’s Beijing reporter, noted the communist-run government’s heavy-handed response to the criticism.

“What it looks like when China censors a vice-presidential debate after a question about China is asked – and then lifts the blackout when conversation appears set to move on,” he posted on Twitter. (Read more from “China Censors Mike Pence During VP Debate Broadcast” HERE)

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China Intensifies Propaganda to Include Simulated Strike on American Soil; U.S. Preps for ‘Irregular Warfare’ With China, Russia

By Washington Free Beacon. China has intensified its propaganda to feature militarist displays, including footage of a simulated airstrike on American territory, the New York Times reported Monday.

Propaganda from Chinese Communist Party-affiliated outlets has increasingly showcased Chinese military strength, featuring footage manipulated from Hollywood movies like The Rock and The Hurt Locker.

“If war breaks out,” one video of Chinese soldiers charging through a forest said, “this is my answer.”

Another video featured a Chinese aircraft attacking Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. That video was soon removed from Chinese social media without explanation after quickly going viral. China’s latest propaganda videos have been viewed millions of times.

In recent months, the growing relationship between the United States and Taiwan, which China views as its sovereign territory, has led to unprecedented Chinese propaganda efforts and military showmanship aimed at both countries. In September, China flew more than a dozen fighter jets near Taiwanese airspace during Taiwan’s reception of Undersecretary of State Keith Krach. (Read more from “China Intensifies Propaganda to Include Simulated Strike on American Soil” HERE)

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U.S. Preps for ‘Irregular Warfare’ With China, Russia

By Asia Times. The US Defense Department says the entire military must get better at “Irregular Warfare” to fend off the rise of not just nonstate terror groups and cyber attackers, but to stymie Russia and China as well.

The National Defense Strategy pivots the Pentagon to focus on potential conflict with those countries and other advanced militaries instead of lower-tech militants in the Middle East and Africa, according to a report by Rachel S. Cohen at Air Force Magazine.

To put it succinctly, “irregular warfare” isn’t just for special operations forces.

A newly published summary of an annex to the 2018 National Defense Strategy argues despite decades of asymmetric conflict — wars where enemies have exploited weaknesses in U.S. technology and tactics — the Pentagon is still underprepared for that kind of combat, the report said. . .

Those types of fights don’t fit neatly into the physical “great power competition” the US expects to wage with fighter jets, hypersonic weapons and other advanced assets, the report said. (Read more from “U.S. Preps for ‘Irregular Warfare’ With China, Russia” HERE)

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‘Jerusalem Is Our City,’ Turkey’s Erdogan Declares

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday implied that Jerusalem belongs to Turkey, referring to the Ottoman Empire’s control over the city for much of the modern era.

“In this city that we had to leave in tears during the First World War, it is still possible to come across traces of the Ottoman resistance. So Jerusalem is our city, a city from us,” he told Turkish lawmakers during a major policy speech in Ankara. “Our first qibla [direction of prayer in Islam] al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem are the symbolic mosques of our faith. In addition, this city is home to the holy places of Christianity and Judaism.”

The Ottoman Empire ruled over Jerusalem from 1516 to 1917. Modern Turkey, its successor state, has long stressed its enduring connection to the holy city, regularly condemning Israel’s alleged efforts to “judaize” it and the US administration’s December 2017 recognition of it as Israel’s capital.

Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since the country’s founding, and the Jewish people have thousands of years of history in the city, backed up by extensive archaeological finds.

During a lengthy speech at the opening of the Turkish parliament’s new legislative session, Erdoğan spent several minutes lamenting the fate of Jerusalem and the Palestinians’ plight. (Read more from “‘Jerusalem Is Our City,’ Turkey’s Erdogan Declares” HERE)

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Report: Protests Erupt in Iran Backing Azerbaijan in Armenia Conflict (VIDEO)

Protests erupted across several Iranian cities on Thursday in support of Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The demonstrations took place in cities including Tehran, the capital, and Tabriz, a city in Iran’s northwest near the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.

Videos posted online on October 1 appear to show dozens of people demonstrating in city streets while chanting slogans in Azeri, a Turkic language. Some of the chants included, “Karabakh is ours. It will remain ours,” Radio Free Europe (RFE) reported on Friday, adding that it could not verify the authenticity of the protest footage. . .

Azeris constitute Iran’s largest ethnic minority, with an estimated population of up to 20 million. Like Iran, Azerbaijan is nearly 99 percent Muslim, and both countries have a majority Shia population. Azeris are ethnically Turkic and have been incorporated into Iran’s population since at least the 19th century when a treaty divided Azerbaijan into a northern Russian portion and a southern Iranian portion.

According to RFE on Friday, over “100 people, including many civilians, have been killed since heavy clashes erupted on September 27” between Azerbaijan and Armenia in their disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. While the region legally belongs to Azerbaijan, its population is made up of majority Christian Armenians. (Read more from “Report: Protests Erupt in Iran Backing Azerbaijan in Armenia Conflict (VIDEO)” HERE)

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