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“Very draconian” – human rights concerns over Shanghai lockdown



As Shanghai deals with a “draconian lockdown” with Beijing looking like its next in line, Human Rights Watch representative says people are suffering more from the lockdown than they are from Covid

China’s biggest city and financial hub, Shanghai enters its fifth week of strict lockdown as authorities try to cut Covid transmission and get the cases to zero across the country.

Citizens are restricted to their homes, only allowed to leave homes to get tested. This has put the city in food shortages with people relying on the city to be fed.

The country has also been evacuating cities and relocating residents to quarantine facilities.

This comes as the country has begun mass testing of Beijing with many residents already stocking up on supplies, preparing for a Shanghai style lockdown.

Human Rights Watch representative, Yaqiu Wang agrees that China’s Covid policy has gone too far and is now instilling fear in the population.

“If you look at Shanghai, given this tariff – very draconian lockdown – a lot of people have died, not from Covid but from not being able to access medical care for their non Covid related illnesses,” Wang says.

“People couldn’t go to hospital to have their kidney dialysis because they can’t leave their compound.”

She says people are suffering “tremendously” because of the lockdown.

In recent updates, authorities have begun putting up fences outside residential buildings.

This has sparked outrage with many questioning the well being of Shanghai residents but Wang says that we’re still not seeing the full picture.

“Let’s talk about the people who don’t have a huge following on social media, who don’t use social media, who don’t even have a cell phone- we have no idea about their stories,” she says.

Shanghai has recorded 190 deaths from Covid in the current outbreak. However, most of them were elderly un-vaccinated residents.

In a country that’s made PCR and quarantining mandatory, why is vaccination for the elderly not mandatory?

Wang says that China’s Covid zero policy was so successful that President Xi Jinping made it a political move to show that his governance model was better than the democratic chaotic US where Covid was “raging”.

“When it becomes a political issue it’s very hard to walk back,” she says

While US’s suffering triggered an urgency to get vaccinated, Wang says people in China were living a normal life with zero cases.

“In China, when the vaccination campaign started there was no Covid so older people didn’t have the incentive to get vaccinated.”

Rijul Baath contributed to this report

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How close to a full scale nuclear war are we really?



Since President Vladimir Putin’s latest warning that he is ready to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, the question of whether or not the former KGB spy is bluffing has become much more urgent.

There are several reasons why Putin’s nuclear warnings have the West worried. First, Russia has been increasingly aggressive in its actions in recent years, from annexing Crimea to intervening in Syria. This has led to a feeling that Putin is becoming more and more reckless and unpredictable.

Second, Russia has been beefing up its nuclear arsenal, with reports indicating that it now has more nuclear warheads than any other country in the world. This increase in firepower makes Putin’s threats all the more credible.

Last but not least, there is the fact that Putin is a former KGB agent. This means that he is no stranger to playing games of brinkmanship and bluffing. In the past, he has used nuclear threats as a way to get what he wants. For example, in 2008, he threatened to aim nuclear missiles at European cities unless the United States agreed to drop plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

The West is worried

Given all of this, it’s no wonder that Putin’s latest nuclear threats have the West worried. Only Putin knows if he is actually bluffing, but given his track record, it’s certainly a possibility.

If a nuclear weapon were used in Ukraine, it would cause a massive humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of people would be killed or wounded, and millions more would be displaced. The economic and social damage would be enormous, and Europe would be plunged into chaos.

In addition, the use of nuclear weapons would also have devastating consequences for the rest of the world. The nuclear non-proliferation regime would be dealt a serious blow, and there would be a renewed risk of nuclear war.

The world would become a much more dangerous place.

Nuclear impact

A nuclear explosion in Ukraine would have a regional impact, but it could also have global consequences. The use of nuclear weapons would violate the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and this could lead to other countries acquiring nuclear weapons. In addition, the risk of nuclear war would increase, and this would have a negative impact on the entire world.

The UN has condemned Russia’s threats of nuclear war, and it has called on all parties to refrain from any actions that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. The UN Secretary-General has said that there can be no military solution to the crisis in Ukraine, and he has urged all sides to return to the negotiating table.

Russia has several allies in its war against Ukraine. These include Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Russia also has the support of China and Iran.

The war in Ukraine has had a significant impact on energy prices.

Due to the conflict, there has been a disruption in the supply of natural gas and oil from Ukraine. This has led to an increase in prices for these commodities.

The West can only threaten Putin further, as they’ve done all year, since President Biden warned that Russia was about to invade Ukraine.

Every step of the way, Putin has done exactly what the West has feared.

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Suicide bombing rocks an education facility in Afghanistan



At least 19 people are dead following a suicide bombing in Kabul

A blast at the Kaaj education centre in the Dashte Barchi area has claimed the lives of at least 19 Afghans.

Local reports suggest students were taking a university exam at the time of the attack.

The area is a busy place for the Hazara minority, who have been targeted in recent attacks.

Police are at the scene as investigations continue. At this time, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A string of violence has plagued Kabul in recent weeks, which has claimed the lives of dozens.

The U.S. withdrawal saw the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan last August.

The Taliban has previously said it is seeking to restore stability. But rival Islamists have continued to plague the country.

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Judge sides with Trump in Mar-a-Lago investigation



A United States Federal Judge has sided with former President Donald Trump amid the ongoing Mar-a-Lago investigation

In a move that will likely come as a relief to Donald Trump, a federal judge has ruled that the former president does not have to provide a sworn declaration regarding claims the FBI “planted” evidence in his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Previously, Trump had been required to provide the declaration as part of the review process for the investigation.

But Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the Mar-a-Lago investigation, has now pushed back several key deadlines, extending the final date of completion from November to December.

“There shall be no separate requirement on Plaintiff at this stage, prior to the review of any of the Seized Materials, to lodge ex ante final objections to the accuracy of Defendant’s Inventory, its descriptions, or its contents.”

Judge Aileen cannon
Judge Aileen Cannon & Donald Trump

This means that Trump will not have to confirm, under oath, his recent claims the FBI manufactured evidence against him

These are assertions which could be used against him if he is charged with any crimes.

Trump’s lawyers had argued that the president should not be required to provide a declaration, and it seems Judge Cannon has sided with them.

For now, Trump will not have to put his claims on the record.

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