Biden hosts Macron amid some friction over US climate law
WASHINGTON (AP) – Presidents Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron are celebrating the longstanding American-French relationship, but they are friends with differences. The French leader has not concealed his displeasure with aspects of Biden’s signing of the climate law that Macron said will have a huge negative impact on European companies. Biden will welcome Macron to the White House on Thursday for a visit that will conclude with the Biden administration’s first state dinner. Macron has made it clear that he and other European leaders are deeply concerned about US incentives that favor American-made climate technology, including electric vehicles.
Chinese users are playing cat and mouse with censors amid protests
HONG KONG (AP) – News of anti-lockdown protests in China briefly circulated on domestic social media last weekend thanks to a rare lull in the cat-and-mouse game played out between millions of Chinese netizens and the the gigantic censorship machine in the country. Chinese authorities keep a tight grip on the country’s internet through a complex, multi-layered censorship operation that blocks access to almost all foreign news and social media, blocking topics and keywords deemed politically sensitive or harmful to Chinese Communist Party rule . Videos or calls to protest are usually deleted immediately. But in moments of overwhelming public anger, experts say, the system can struggle to keep up.
Obama makes his way to Ga. while Warnock seeks a major advantage in the early vote
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia voters cast more than 1 million ballots ahead of the Dec. 6 U.S. Senate runoff between Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Warnock is attempting to give Democrats an apparent lead in the early voting with a visit from Barack Obama Thursday. The former president will run with Warnock on the eve of the final day of early voting. The rally promises to be the biggest event of Warnock’s four-week runoff blitz. Democrats are pushing to garner as many votes as possible, while Republicans, including Walker, have taken a less aggressive approach that could leave Walker heavily dependent on runoff day turnout.
“Do something:” Ukraine is working to heal the mental wounds of the soldiers
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – When peace returns to Ukraine, many thousands of its fighters are likely to return from the battlefields with psychological scars. Psychologists, Veterans Affairs officers and ex-servicemen are working to avert a potential mental health crisis as troops transition to civilian life. A mental health rehabilitation center for soldiers on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital Kiev treats post-traumatic disorders with acupuncture, soothing sounds and other therapies. A former paratrooper who ran a half-marathon to raise awareness and raise funds for treatments says healthy-looking soldiers suffer on the inside. He worries about the risks of traumatized soldiers taking their own lives or pointing weapons at others.
Suspicious envelope found at US Embassy in Spain during investigation
MADRID (AP) – Spanish officials say a suspicious envelope was discovered at the US embassy in Madrid and detonated by police. Thursday’s finding came as police reported a spate of packages of explosives being sent in Spain, including one that ignited at the Ukrainian embassy on Wednesday, injuring one person. Police say other explosive devices hidden in postal packages have been sent to the Spanish Defense Ministry, a European Union satellite center in Spain and a weapons factory that makes grenades in Ukraine over the past two days. There were no other reports of injuries.
Analysis: Under Jiang, China projected a more open picture
With his death, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin leaves behind a very different China than the one he tried to shape. Now it is the nation of Xi Jinping. It’s also a country where “zero-COVID” lockdown protests are taking place, with protesters taking to the streets of Beijing and Shanghai demanding an end to Communist Party rule. Jiang’s departure came right in the middle of the most visible demonstrations since the 1989 bloodshed in Tiananmen Square. A look at his leadership highlights the difference between the China of the late 1990s and early 2000s and today’s more closed and in some cases more authoritarian society.
Racial backlash erupts when William and Kate visit Boston
LONDON (AP) – Prince William’s office at Kensington Palace says “racism has no place in our society” as he tries to prevent the backlash over his godmother’s treatment of a black lawyer for domestic violence survivors from spreading his Trip to the United States overshadowed. Lady Susan Hussey resigned as an honorary member of the royal household on Wednesday after the manager of a women’s shelter in east London said the 83-year-old had repeatedly asked her where she was “really from” after telling the older woman she was British . The exchange took place at a reception at Buckingham Palace for those working to end domestic violence. A palace spokesman said the comments were unacceptable “and it is correct that the individual has resigned with immediate effect”.
Messi fans from Asia cheer on Argentina at the World Cup
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Argentina is finding a legion of passionate superfans from India, Bangladesh and other Asian countries at the World Cup in Qatar. Thousands have traveled to Qatar specifically to see Messi and his team with their own eyes. Many others are among the migrant workers who make up about 90% of the country’s 3 million people. Smitha Issac of Qatar from India attended Argentina’s final group game against Poland with her family on Wednesday. Isaac said Lionel Messi was “something like the Messiah”.
prayers? bombs? Hawaii’s history shows that stopping lava is not easy
HONOLULU (AP) — People in Hawaii are asking if anything can be done to stop or redirect lava flow as molten rock from Mauna Loa volcano heads toward a highway on the Big Island. It’s an issue that pops up every time lava gets close to infrastructure or cities. And over the decades, people have attempted to divert lava flows with rock faces and other barriers. The Army once even dropped bombs on Mauna Loa. Whether it succeeds depends on the power of the lava flow and the terrain. But many in Hawaii also question the wisdom of interfering with nature and Pele, the Hawaiian deity of volcanoes and fire.