President Donald Trump on Tuesday lashed out at Republican leaders for allowing Congress to vote to override his veto of a vital $740 billion defense spending bill, calling them “weak and tired”.
Monday, the House of Representatives voted to override Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a 322-87 margin, setting the stage for a vote in the Senate on Tuesday. If the Senate follows in the footsteps of the House, it would be the first time that Congress has ever overridden one of Trump’s vetoes during his four years in Washington.
“Weak and tired Republican ‘leadership’ will allow the bad Defense Bill to pass,” the president tweeted Tuesday morning. “Say goodbye to VITAL Section 230 termination, your National Monuments, Forts (names!) and Treasures (inserted by Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren), 5G, and our great soldiers […] being removed and brought home from foreign lands who do NOTHING for us.”
“A disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech,” he added. “Negotiate a better Bill, or get better leaders, NOW! Senate should not approve NDAA until fixed!!!”
Last week, Trump vetoed the NDAA, opposing provisions that would slow down his planned pullback of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and mandate that military bases named after Confederates be renamed. The latter legislation was introduced by a frequent target of the president’s ridicule, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whom he has repeatedly called “Pocahontas.”
On top of that, Trump also demanded that the annual spending bill should include a repeal of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which provides social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter liability protections.
The Hill reports that the Senate is likely to vote on the action sometime later this week.
For Congress to override Trump’s veto, two-thirds of members in both the House and Senate need to vote in favor of overriding. The House passed the NDAA by a 335-87 margin and then the Senate approved it 84-13, with both being veto-proof margins.
However, it is uncertain how many Republican senators who had initially supported the NDAA will vote this week to overturn the outgoing president’s veto or fall in line with the commander-in-chief.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world
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.
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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