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U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Ban All Imports From China’s Xinjiang Region for ‘Horrific Abuses’

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Senate

The United States Senate passed legislation Wednesday which bans the import of products from China’s Xinjiang region. U.S. officials say it is the latest action taken against China to punish Beijing for the ongoing genocide against Uyghurs and Muslim groups.

The bipartisan measure was passed unanimously and shifts the burden of proof to importers. “The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would create a ‘rebuttable presumption’ assuming goods manufactured in Xinjiang are made with forced labor and therefore banned under the 1930 Tariff Act unless otherwise certified by U.S. authorities” reports Reuters.

Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio introduced the legislation along with Democrat Jeff Merkley. “We will not turn a blind eye to the CCP’s ongoing crimes against humanity, and we will not allow corporations a free pass to profit from those horrific abuses” stated Senator Rubio.

“No American corporation should profit from these abuses. No American consumer should be inadvertently purchasing products from slave labor” said Senator Merkley. “Rights groups, researchers, former residents and some Western lawmakers and officials say Xinjiang authorities have facilitated forced labor by detaining around a million Uyghurs and other primarily Muslim minorities since 2016.”

The bill is expected to have overwhelming support in the House, and “the bill would go beyond steps already taken to secure U.S. supply chains in the face of allegations of rights abuses in China, including existing bans on Xinjian tomatoes, cotton and some solar products” reports Reuters.

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International

Defense Department to Pay ‘Condolence Payments’ of Botched Drone Strike Killing Afghan Family

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John Kirby

Late Friday the Defense Department announced it will be offering “condolence payments” to relatives of the victims killed in a U.S. drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan. The horrific error killed 10 people in August, a response which was intended for terrorists responsible for the suicide attack at the Kabul airport killing 13 U.S. Servicemen and women, 169 Afghans, and injured dozens more.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement the Defense Department was working with the State Department to help relocate surviving family members to the United States. Kirby did not say how much money would be offered, but that under secretary of defense for policy, Dr. Colin Kahl, “reiterated Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s commitment to the families, including offering ex gratia condolence payments.”

On August 29, the U.S. Hellfire missile struck a car driven by Zemerai Ahmadi who had just driven up to the family compound. 10 family members total, including seven children, were killed in the strike.

The aftermath of the terror attack in Kabul while the U.S. military was attempting to make final evacuations further details how ill-equipped the Biden administration has been to handle the troop withdrawal.

“The U.S. military initially defended the strike” on the Ahmadi compound, “saying it had targeted an Islamic State group’s ‘facilitator’ and disrupted the militants’ ability to carry out attacks during the chaotic final stage of the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan” reports the Associated Press.

Additionally, “discrepancies between the military’s portrayal of the strike and findings on the ground quickly emerged. The Associated Press and other news organizations reported that the driver of the targeted vehicle was a longtime employee at a U.S. humanitarian organization. There were no signs of a large secondary blast, despite the Pentagon’s assertion that the vehicle contained explosives” adds the AP.

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Deadly Norway Attack Appears to be ‘Act or Terror’ by Man Converted to Islam

The suspect, armed with a bow and arrow, killed five people

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Norway Attack

On Wednesday night, 37-year-old Danish citizen Espen Andersen Brathen went on a killing spree with a bow and arrow, murdering four women and one man in the southern town of Kongsberg. Brathen “had converted to Islam and there were fears he had been radicalized” reports the BBC.

Norwegian police sent out a press release on Thursday saying the suspect is due to appear in court on Friday at 09:00 local time. Residents have been deeply traumatized by the attack, and are flying at half-mast while flowers and other memorials are being placed in the town’s square.

Victims were all between the ages of 50 and 70, police told reporters of the attack which was first reported at 18:12 on Wednesday. “Police confronted the man six minutes later, but he shot several arrows at them and escaped. He was eventually caught about 30 minutes later” reports the BBC.

The police chief said the man killed his victims after escaping police and before his arrest roughly 30 minutes later. Police told Norwegian news agency NTB that the attacker also used other weapons, without giving more details.

Residents were ordered to stay indoors so authorities could process and examine what is being determined as a large area of ground that the attacker covered. Police searched surrounding gardens and garages with the help of sniffer dogs.

A police lawyer told the public broadcaster NRK that the suspect will be assessed by psychiatrists. Police officers “nationwide were ordered to carry firearms as an extra precaution, but there is ‘no indication so far that there is a change in the national threat level’ said the directorate’s statement.

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