What we’re watching: Texas in mourning, Boris caught in the act, deadly weapons sent to Ukraine, China’s human rights abuses exposed
Will the Texas school shooting advance the gun debate in the United States?
Another mass shooting rocked America, killing 21 (including 19 children) at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday – the second-worst school massacre in US history after Sandy Hook nearly a decade ago . “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” said President Joe Biden in a nationwide address. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? On the one hand, most Republicans vehemently oppose tougher gun laws: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has controversially responded to the tragedy by calling for more gun enforcement. armed law in schools. On the other hand, 2nd Amendment die-hards like the National Rifle Association have deep pockets to fight the legislation and fund campaigns (Cruz, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and former President Donald Trump are all set to speak on Friday at the NRA’s annual conference in Houston). If a bipartisan gun bill didn’t pass in 2013 as a result of Sandy Hook, the odds are even greater now because American politics is even more polarized and we’re less than six November midterm election month.
Alcohol could bring down Boris
Will a toast burn Boris Johnson’s premiership? Britain’s Prime Minister has long denied breaking any of his country’s strict pandemic lockdown rules, but now photos have emerged of a party at his residence on November 13, 2020, in which Johnson holds a glass of this that looks like alcohol near a table laden with wine and food. The timing could prove dire for Johnson: The photos came just a day before the scheduled release of the Gray Report, an official investigation into the so-called ‘partygate’ scandal. Prime ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament should resign, although there is no guarantee Johnson will concede any such wrongdoing. His supporters say he did not knowingly lie. Once Sue Gray publishes her report, Johnson will address Parliament on the matter again, Downing Street said.
The deadly weapons of the West are coming to Ukraine
The United States and Europe are playing an increasingly active role in Ukraine’s defense against Russia. They have imposed historically harsh sanctions on the Russian economy, announced increased defense spending and taken steps to reduce trade dependence on Russia. They are also sending increasingly powerful weapons to Ukrainian fighters for use against Russian forces. This was the subject of a meeting Monday at the Pentagon of the “Ukrainian Contact Group”, a bloc of countries determined to help Ukraine. After a briefing by the Ukrainian Defense Minister, more than 20 countries pledged to provide new “security assistance packages”. The Czech Republic has promised attack helicopters, tanks and rocket systems. Denmark is offering Harpoon anti-ship missiles that could help repel the Russian navy from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, potentially easing the flow of grain exports. Greece, Italy, Norway, Poland and others are also contributing. According to reports, the United States has provided powerful artillery for use in Donbass, the scene of Ukraine’s fiercest fighting and a place where long-range firepower is invaluable. Ukrainian forces have suffered heavy casualties and it will take weeks to train Ukrainian soldiers to make the most of these weapons. But as Russia’s Donbass offensive slowly progresses, its forces could find more costly additional gains this summer, and this seized territory could become more difficult to defend. The contact group is then due to meet in Brussels on 15 June.
The Many Faces of Human Rights Violations in China
The world has known for years that the Chinese government’s “re-education” and “counter-terrorism” programs in the Xinjiang region involve widespread human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other Turkish Muslim ethnic groups who live there. Now we can see the faces of Beijing’s victims – thousands of them. The BBC has released an archive of local police photos taken in 2018. The release of the archive, which was obviously hacked, coincides with a week-long visit to China by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. man Michelle Bachelet, the first trip to the country of the UN’s top human rights official since 2005. As her visit is an opportunity to put fresh pressure on Beijing, critics fear that China does not take the opportunity to whitewash its abuses (history buffs will perhaps remember the trick played by Nazi Germany at the Red Cross in 1944). The release of the photo archives could also spill over into US-China relations, making it more difficult for US President Joe Biden to move forward with any plans to lift Trump-era tariffs on certain Chinese goods in order to reduce inflation.