The US withdrawal from the UNHRC is a gift to Xi Jinping and China | The Guardian


Quitting the UNHRC won’t make it disappear. It opens a leadership vacancy that China is happy to fill. The Trump administration has stepped back to allow China the space to dominate the council unchallenged and advance its agenda to redefine human rights after the “China model.”

As Xi pushes his authoritarian agenda on the international stage while undertaking the worst crackdown on human rights since the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989 back home, now is the time to stand up, not stand down.

Source: The US withdrawal from the UNHRC is a gift to Xi Jinping and China | Frances Eve | Opinion | The Guardian

Greece ‘turning a page’ as eurozone agrees deal to end financial crisis | The Guardian


“I have to say the Greek government is happy with this deal,” the finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, said on Friday. “But at the same time, this government will not forget what the Greek people went through in the past eight years.”

The country now has “all the building blocks … to turn the agenda away from one of fiscal adjustment … to one of growth”, he said, but added that the government “has to make sure the Greek people quickly see concrete results … They need to feel the change in their own pockets.”

Source: Greece ‘turning a page’ as eurozone agrees deal to end financial crisis | World news | The Guardian

Meet the five urban Chinas


While China’s cities are at the frontier of global growth, many of them are still little known to the world. And in a country this large, there is no one “city type.” Urban China is as complex and varied as the United States.

To examine these variations, we classified the 103 Chinese cities in our report into five unique categories based on their size, industrial composition, and growth patterns.

We differentiate China’s remaining 81 metro areas—most of them mid-sized (average employment of 1.6 million and average GDP of $106.9 billion)—based on their industrial structure.

Source: Meet the five urban Chinas

Cox: Italy’s new Caesars have outdone Donald Trump | Reuters


In less than a month the odd-couple coalition backing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has outdone even Trump.

Leaders of the right-wing League and quixotic 5-Star Movement have insulted neighbors and cast away migrants.

The derisory English term “fake news” rolls off their tongues more fluently than “buongiorno”.

Like Trump, the Italian government has even managed to pick a fight with Canada.

But making Rome great again, as it were, is proving difficult.

Source: Breakingviews – Cox: Italy’s new Caesars have outdone Donald Trump | Reuters

The danger of Trump’s decision on Korea ‘war games’ | Reuters


That is not necessarily in itself a bad deal – and if it reduces the risk of escalation and a potentially devastating conflict, President Moon Jae-in’s South Korean government may well be happy. Suggestions Trump was actively considering withdrawing all U.S. forces from the Korean peninsula, however, will likely be more disturbing for Seoul.

And for other U.S. allies who have long come to rely on the presence of U.S. forces and joint exercises to deter their enemies, this development would feel very worrying indeed.

Nowhere is this more true than in Europe, where officials are now increasingly nervous about Trump’s upcoming visit to the annual NATO summit in July.

Trump has made no secret of his belief that European states contribute far too little to their own defense, not to mention the 65,000 U.S. forces currently based on the continent.

Last year, he openly hectored them on the topic – and after the bad blood of this month’s G7 summit in Canada, there are widespread worries that things will be even more acrimonious this time.

Source: Commentary: The danger of Trump’s decision on Korea ‘war games’ | Reuters

Chinese media says U.S. has ‘delusions’ as impact of trade war spreads | Reuters


U.S. protectionism is self-defeating and a “symptom of paranoid delusions” that must not distract China from its path to modernization, Chinese media said on Friday as Beijing kept up with its war of words with Washington while markets wilted.

President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to hit $200 billion of Chinese imports with 10 percent tariffs if China retaliates against his previous targeting of $50 billion in imports.

Source: Chinese media says U.S. has ‘delusions’ as impact of trade war spreads | Reuters

In China, universities seek to plant ‘Xi Thought’ in minds of students | Reuters


Since October, many universities across China have placed “Xi Thought” at the core of their curricula – the first time since the era of Mao Zedong that a Chinese leader has been accorded similar academic stature.

Mandatory ideology classes have been updated by the universities in response to instruction from the leadership that Xi’s ideas must enter the textbooks, classrooms and minds of students.

Xi Thought, which is literally the collection of his public statements, is an all-encompassing guide for China’s professed aims of becoming an economic and military power by 2050, under the strict control of the ruling Communist Party.

Source: In China, universities seek to plant ‘Xi Thought’ in minds of students | Reuters

U.N. calls on U.S. to find alternatives to detaining child migrants | Reuters


The United States has faced fierce criticism for separating more than 2,300 children from their families in order to prosecute their parents for crossing the border illegally.

“While we acknowledge the U.S. government’s decision not to continue separating children from their parents, we understand that the practice now will be to detain the children with their parents,” U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva briefing.

Source: U.N. calls on U.S. to find alternatives to detaining child migrants | Reuters

Data gap in immigration systems could keep families separated | FCW


ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement) records can be shared with advocates for minors in the system, contractors working on their care, DHS agencies and relatives. As a practical matter, parents who are in custody may find it difficult to keep track of their children. ORR has a toll-free 800-number to get information from a call center, but parents are required to get permission from ICE to make calls and must keep track of an eight- or nine-digit alien number.

“The disconnect between DHS and HHS systems is likely due to the fact that the Trump administration policy imposed a new requirement,” said Frank Baitman, the former CIO of HHS.. “It clearly wasn’t well thought out.”

Source: Data gap in immigration systems could keep families separated — FCW

A Cult Expert Finds Familiar Patterns of Behavior in Trump’s GOP | Pacific Standard


Polling suggests the party has been shrinking, and its remaining members are solidly behind Trump, giving him a remarkable 87 percent support in a recent poll.

Even the policy of separating immigrant parents and children, which directly contradicts the traditional conservative belief in the sanctity of the family, was supported by more than half of Republicans before Trump rescinded it under pressure on Wednesday.

Source: A Cult Expert Finds Familiar Patterns of Behavior in Trump’s GOP – Pacific Standard