US announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics – Community News
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US announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

Here’s today’s Foreign policy short: Washington announces a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin discuss Ukraine, and Rohingya refugees sue Facebook.

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Other countries consider following the example of the US

Here’s today’s Foreign policy short: Washington announces a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin discuss Ukraine, and Rohingya refugees sue Facebook.

If you want to receive Morning Brief in your inbox every weekday, sign up here.


Other countries consider following the example of the US

The Biden administration has decided not to send US officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing because of China’s poor human rights record, a move that sparked Beijing’s ire — and could prompt other countries to do so. example to follow.

Activists have long urged Washington to… boycott the Winter Games to protest against human rights violations in Beijing, including the brutal detention of more than a million Uyghurs and crackdown in Hong Kong. These demands were heightened in recent weeks when Peng Shuai, a Chinese tennis star, almost completely disappeared from public life after he accused a senior Communist Party official of sexual assault.

Chinese officials were, unsurprisingly, fierce about the news. “This is a serious attack on the spirit of the Olympic Charter,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said before warning of countermeasures from Beijing. The US must stop politicization of sports.”

Switch calculation. In practice, the 2022 Winter Olympics won’t look all that different, despite a diplomatic boycott. American athletes can still participate in the games and will be largely unaffected by the decision. “The athletes of Team USA have our full support”, said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. “We will be 100 percent behind them if we encourage them from home.”

But the decision is a symbolic affront to China, which has become accustomed to others overlooking the abuses in order to preserve economic and political relations. In sports, in particular, organizations generally steer clear of criticism of Beijing to avoid jeopardizing important business deals or offending a large market. Individuals who speak out, such as football players mesut zil or the former general manager of the Houston Rockets Daryl Morey, can put their reputation and career on the line.

Chain reaction? As the Winter Games approach, the US boycott may prompt other countries to reconsider their stances. New Zealand and Lithuania have already announced them own boycotts, while the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada have said they are now weighting their options.

“U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these Games as business as usual in light of the PRC’s blatant human rights violations and atrocities in Xinjiang,” said psaki. “And we just can’t.”


What we follow today

High stakes meeting. US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet virtually today as tensions over Ukraine escalate. Much is at stake: US officials warn that Moscow is planning a military offensive that could involve as many as 175,000 troops by early 2022.

At the meeting, Putin is expected to demand guarantees Ukraine will not join NATO, even though Biden has resisted make such promises. In the event of an invasion, Washington has also threatened to send troops to: Eastern Europe and impose severe sanctions. “We have made it clear to the Kremlin that we will respond decisively, including with a series of sweeping economic measures that we have not used in the past,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. said.

But Biden is running out of time to amplify The defense of Ukraine, write FP’s Amy Mackinnon, Jack Detsch and Robbie Gramer. As Washington grapples with the prospect of a full-scale war, some US officials fear it is making dangerous miscalculations — much like when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014.

Austria’s new chancellor. Austrian Former Minister of the Interior Karl Nehammer has been officially sworn in as the country’s new chancellor, making it the fifth person to hold the title in four years. He comes to power during a tumultuous period in Austrian politics, with double resignations shaking the country last week. Hours after former chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced on Thursday that he would be leaving politics, then-chancellor Alexander Schallenberg also resigned.

“I will approach my office as chancellor with great seriousness and respect,” Nehammer said after being sworn in. “There is an incredible amount to do.”


Facebook comes under fire. Dozens of Rohingya refugees are suing Facebook for $150 billion, accusing the company of amplifying hate speech and promoting violence against Myanmar’s minority group. In 2017, a violent military crackdown was estimated to have claimed the lives 10,000 Rohingya and displaced thousands more. The following year, Facebook acknowledged that it could not stop users from incite violence.

Facebook was “willing to trade the lives of the Rohingyas for better market penetration in a small country in Southeast Asia,” the lawsuit said. The company has not yet publicly commented on the news.

British cocaine controversy. After a British newspaper reported: traces of cocaine were discovered in 11 locations in parliament – including a bathroom near Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office – House of Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle appealed to British authorities.

“The bills of drug abuse in Parliament given to the Sunday Times are very disturbing – and I will be raising them as a priority with the Metropolitan Police this week,” Hoyle said. Johnson’s official spokesperson, Max Blain, echoed Hoyle’s comments, in which he said the reports were “concerning”.

Haiti hostages. Three of the 17 American and Canadian missionaries who were kidnapped were released in Haiti months ago, following the release of two other missionaries in November. The group, which consisted of five children, was kidnapped on October 16. Haitian officials say their captors – a gang called 400 Mawozo – demanded a $1 million ransom for each hostage, though it not clear if this money has ever been paid.


After six streets in a Belgian village, renamed in honor of historic women, one renaming in particular has upset locals: the street named after Marie Cornillie.

According to Lut Vanoverberghe, a local historian who wrote a 170-page book about Cornillie, she was an arrogant landowner who chose her dog over the other villagers. She also had a habit of urinating in public areas – which she then cleaned her coachman. “If she had to pee somewhere along the way, she just did it next to the carriage,” said Vanoverberghe.. “And no, I’m not talking about her dog, I’m talking about Cornillie herself.”

The local history club has proposed to rename the street Sara Nieulantstraat after another historical figure, but in vain. The municipality thinks that the street name is too difficult to pronounce.