Connect with us

World

Bolsonaro’s security in press altercation as Brazil leader isolated at G20

Published

on

November 1, 2021

By Gabriel Stargardter

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s security detail allegedly used violence against Brazilian reporters covering his trip to Rome for the Group of 20 major economies meeting, local media reported on Sunday.

The alleged attacks against Brazilian reporters, who Bolsonaro has long accused of treating him unfairly and publishing fake news, capped a grim weekend for the far-right president. Videos from G20 events showed him as an isolated figure, who was not part of the photo taken at the Trevi fountain with world leaders. Out on the streets of Rome, he was loudly criticized for his handling of the country’s brutal pandemic, with critics calling him “genocidal.”

Advertisement

More than 600,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Brazil, the second highest tally in the world after the United States. Bolsonaro has questioned the severity of the virus, shunned lockdowns, sowed vaccine doubts and pushed unproven cures. A Senate panel has recommended he be indicted for nine crimes related to his handling of the pandemic, including crimes against humanity.

Newspaper O Globo reported that broadcast journalist Leonardo Monteiro of TV Globo was punched in the stomach and pushed by Bolsonaro’s security after asking the president why he didn’t attend any G20 events on Sunday. A video taken by UOL journalist Jamil Chade shows chaotic scenes with security staff jostling the press and Bolsonaro supporters chanting abuse at reporters.

It was not clear if the security officers were Brazilian or Italian. O Globo reported that Italians had been given the job of providing security to Bolsonaro.

The president’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the attacks or why he was missing from the leaders’ photo. The G20 press team also did not immediately respond to requests.

“Globo vehemently condemns the aggression against its correspondent Leonardo Monteiro and other colleagues in Rome and demands a complete assessment of responsibilities,” TV Globo said in a statement.

Advertisement

Videos from the G20 events show Bolsonaro looking isolated.

The former army captain has seen his international support diminish since former U.S. President Donald Trump lost his re-election bid, while Bolsonaro’s skepticism toward COVID-19, vaccines and environmental concerns has won him few friends on the global stage.

In one video taken by Jamil Chade, Bolsonaro is seen striking up a conversation with Italian waiters as global leaders chat among themselves in the other part of the room.

“This video of Bolsonaro walking around alone in the G20 conference hall, while other world leaders are chatting, is painful to watch, but it adequately reflects the collapse of Brazil’s standing in the world,” Oliver Stuenkel, an international relations professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a Brazilian university, tweeted.

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; editing by Diane Craft)

Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement

World

China top representative in Macau to advise govt on national security-state media

Published

on

December 3, 2021

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s top representative in the semiautonomous gambling hub of Macau will begin advising the former Portuguese colony’s government on national security matters, state news agency Xinhua reported on Friday.

The move highlights increased scrutiny from Beijing over Macau affairs after the central government declared outflows of Chinese gambling-related funds into Macau and other gaming hubs a national security risk.

Last week Macau authorities arrested Alvin Chau https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/gambling-group-suncitys-shares-set-rise-61-after-arrested-chairman-resigns-2021-12-02, the founder of Macau’s biggest junket operator, which brings in high rollers to play at casinos, along with 10 others, for allegedly using Macau as a base for an illegal “live web betting platform.”

Advertisement

A warrant for Chau’s arrest has also been issued by the mainland Chinese city of Wenzhou, accusing him of forming an extensive junket agent network that helps citizens engage in gambling activities and of setting up a company that helps gamblers make cross-border fund transfers.

The move was seen as a warning that Macau and mainland Chinese authorities were adopting a zero-tolerance approach to the promotion of gambling in mainland China where it is illegal.

Xinhua said Macau asked Beijing to appoint a national security affairs adviser in the city and that Beijing tasked the head of its Liaison Office Fu Ziying to “supervise, guide, coordinate, and support” the government on the matter.

Beijing will also appoint three national security technical advisers from within the Liaison Office, which is Beijing’s main representative institution in Macau.

(Writing by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Advertisement

Continue Reading

World

S.Korea makes vaccine pass mandatory for many more venues as Omicron fears rise

Published

on

December 3, 2021

By Sangmi Cha

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea announced on Friday that people visiting restaurants and cinemas and other public spaces will have to show vaccine passes, amid a surge in COVID-19 infections and five confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.

The government also re-imposed limits on private gatherings, which had been recently relaxed, as the country posted record numbers of new cases this week.

Advertisement

Desperate to fend off the Omicron variant, authorities halted quarantine exemptions on Thursday for fully vaccinated inbound travellers and made a 10-day quarantine mandatory.

From next Monday, people visiting 14 designated public spaces, including hospitality and entertainment venues, will have to show their vaccines passes, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum told a coronavirus response meeting, setting out the plan to reduce the risk of community spread. The public will have a grace period of a week to get used to the new rules.

While people have been required to show their vaccine pass at high-risk venues such as gyms, saunas and bars, it is the first time that the requirement has been extended to restaurants and cafes.

From February, anyone aged 12 years or older will have to show a vaccination pass. The government decided to lower the exemption age, currently set at 17 years, to encourage teenagers to get vaccinated as the under-18 age group accounts for 20% of all infections, Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol told a briefing.

The limit on private gatherings was cut to six people in the greater Seoul area, and eight outside, from the current limit of 10 in Seoul and 12 outside, Kwon said.

Advertisement

South Korea has so far confirmed a total of five Omicron cases after a fully vaccinated couple tested positive for the variant after arriving last week from Nigeria. The patients are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms such as headache, low-grade fever, dizziness and sore throat, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

KDCA reported 4,944 COVID-19 cases for Thursday, a slight decline from record high 5,266 cases on Wednesday. It has reported a total of 462,555, with 3,739 deaths overall.

South Korea has fully vaccinated 91.6% of its adult population aged 18 and over, yet the booster dose uptake remains at 8.1%.

(Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Advertisement
Continue Reading

World

U.S. House to consider bill to clamp down on products from China’s Xinjiang

Published

on

December 3, 2021

By Michael Martina and Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. House of Representatives is set to consider a bill as soon as next week that would ban imports from China’s Xinjiang region over concerns about forced labor, Representative Jim McGovern, the bill’s sponsor, told reporters on Thursday.

“Next week is an important week for human rights,” McGovern said. “… We think it’s important to move some China legislation, hopefully much of it focused on human rights. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act we want to see that get over the finish line in some form.”

Advertisement

President Joe Biden is hosting a summit of democracies next week, seen as an effort to push back against China’s growing influence.

Republicans and Democrats have been arguing over the Uyghur legislation for months. Most recently, Republican Senator Marco Rubio has been demanding that the measure be included as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, delaying the Senate’s consideration of the massive annual bill setting policy for the Pentagon.

Rubio’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether House passage of McGovern’s bill would change his stance on the defense bill.

If the Uyghur measure becomes law, it would create a “rebuttable presumption” that all goods from Xinjiang, where the Chinese government has set up a vast network of detention camps for Uyghurs and other Muslim groups, were made with forced labor.

China denies abuses in Xinjiang, which supplies much of the world’s materials for solar panels, but the U.S. government and many rights groups say Beijing is carrying out genocide there.

Advertisement

Republicans have accused Biden’s Democrats of slow-walking the legislation because it would complicate the president’s renewable energy agenda. Democrats deny that.

“I just want to see a strong, a much stronger, approach when it comes to forced labor in Xinjiang,” Democratic Representative Dan Kildee told Reuters in a telephone interview, arguing that domestic production of solar panels could be ramped up.

(Reporting by Michael Martina and Patricia Zengerle; Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Sam Holmes)

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending