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Threatening Chinese Firms

The standoff between the US and Russia over Ukraine, now expanding into China. Washington warns Chinese firms over evading export controls and sanctions the US says will impose on Russia if it invades Ukraine.  Washington says it has an array of tools it can deploy, if foreign firms, including those in China, get around U-S sanctions. It says Russia won’t be able to make up for the consequences, even if it gets closer to China. The reaction came after China said Beijing and Moscow had coordinated their position on Ukraine during a meeting between their foreign ministers. Russian president Vladimir Putin has also met his Chinese counterpart XI Jinping in Beijing. Moscow denies US allegations that Russia prepares to invade Ukraine. Moscow says Washington wants to drag it into war.


Bahrain-Israel Ties

Bahrain’s main opposition group, al-Wefaq, says any security or military agreement between the kingdom and Israel is unlawful and has no legitimacy. Al-Wefaq says the Bahraini regime is in crisis and has no authority to take such actions on behalf of its people. The group also slammed the Thursday visit by the Israeli minister of military affairs to Bahrain, saying it crossed red lines. During the visit, Benny Gantz signed a security agreement, the first between the regime and a Persian Gulf Arab state. Bahrain and several other Arab states established diplomatic relations with Israel two years ago under US-brokered deals. Palestinians see normalization with Israel as a stab in their back and a betrayal of their cause.


Racial Tensions In US

Activists in the US city of Chicago call for justice, after a white former police officer convicted of murdering a black teenager in 2014 was released early from prison. Justice is on trial now. That’s what Chicago’s Catholic Priest Father said at a rally against the early release of ex-cop, Jason Van Dyke. He was freed after 39 months in prison instead of serving an 81-month sentence. Chicago authorities say the ex-cop showed good behavior while in detention. Van Dyke murdered Laquan McDonald, 17 years old, in October 2014. But, he was charged more than a year later, following public pressure. That happened after released dash cam video showed Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times within seconds, as the teenager was walking away. African Americans have long been subjected to brutality by white police officers, with the majority of cases going unpunished.


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