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Gov. Cuomo announces new restrictions as cases in NY surge

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on Wednesday that there will be new restrictions as COVID-19 cases surge in the state, especially in the area around New York City, and across the nation.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on Wednesday that there will be new restrictions as COVID-19 cases surge in the state, especially in the area around New York City, and across the nation as a whole.

Cuomo made the announcement in a Wednesday phone call with reporters. He also announced the news in a tweet. The state will limit the size of indoor gatherings in private residences to 10 people and will take effect on Friday at 10 p.m.

“New York follows the science,” he wrote in a tweet. “We know indoor gatherings and parties are a major source of COVID spread. To slow the spread, NYS will limit indoor gatherings at private residences to 10 people. This limit takes effect Friday at 10pm.”

On top of the 10 person limitation in homes, restaurants, bars, and gyms will have to close shop at 10 pm. One caveat, though, is that restaurants can still sell takeout food after 10 pm but not alcoholic beverages. This will also come into effect at the same time on Friday.

Cuomo also said on Wednesday that, if these measures aren’t enough, he might further tighten the restrictions.

“If these measures aren’t sufficient to reduce the spread — we’ll turn the value more and part of that would be reducing the number of people indoor dining,” he said.

He then added, “If that doesn’t work, if these numbers keep going crazy … you will go back to a closedown,” of gyms and indoor dining.

This all comes as Thanksgiving nears and worries rise that the family-centric holiday may cause the number of cases to continue spiraling upward. Cuomo, according to Anna Gronewald at Politico, justified the move because similar restrictions have already been implemented in neighboring states.

The United States this week just surpassed 10 million COVID-19 cases, which has caused some states to bring back certain restrictions in order to curb the spread. So far, the virus has taken the lives of 240,000 Americans and of over 1.2 million people around the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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China

REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world

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China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.

Key findings of the report are below.

“Persuaded to return”

According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.

Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.

The Nine Forbidden Countries

China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.

Conclusion

According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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