Walmart’s Twitter account on Wednesday posted, then deleted, a critical comment under a tweet of Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-Mo.) in which he says he will object to the January 6 certifying of Electoral College votes by Congress and Vice President Mike Pence. After intense backlash from across the social media site, Walmart issued an apology, blaming the tweet calling the senator a “#soreloser” on an employee’s mistake.
“The tweet published earlier was mistakenly posted by a member of our social media team,” the corporation tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “We deleted the post and have no intention of commenting on the subject of certifying the electoral college. We apologize to Senator Hawley for this error and any confusion about our position.”
In a statement to Newsweek, Casey Staheli, Walmart’s senior manager of national media relations, said that the social media team member “intended to publish this comment to their personal account.”
Wednesday morning, the Missouri Republican tweeted that “Millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve to be heard. I will object on January 6 on their behalf.”
Under that tweet, Walmart’s account commented “Go ahead. Get your 2 hour debate. #soreloser”
A couple of hours later, Hawley fired back at the incendiary comment, asking if the corporation would apologize “for using slave labor”.
“Thanks @Walmart for your insulting condescension,” the senator tweeted, with a screenshot of the comment. “Now that you’ve insulted 75 million Americans, will you at least apologize for using slave labor?”
“Or maybe you’d like to apologize for the pathetic wages you pay your workers as you drive mom and pop stores out of business,” he added.
Hawley’s objection, alongside the backing of Republican Congressman Mo Brooks (Ala.) and others, would usher in a two-hour debate in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Following which, they would vote on whether to approve or reject the objection. In order to successfully toss out the electoral votes, which experts overwhelmingly see as a longshot, both chambers of Congress would need to agree on the objection.
Over the past century, both chambers being forced to vote on whether they agree with a state’s Electoral College votes has only happened twice.
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders have been urging the members of their caucus to not object to the certification of the states’ electoral votes on January 6 in a joint-session of Congress, a vocal handful of members backed by President Donald Trump have stated they’ll object to it.
Despite the Electoral College votes already having been officially cast on December 14, solidifying President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, President Trump refuses to concede, alleging widespread election fraud and that the election was “rigged” and “stolen” from him. The slew of legal cases filed by the president’s associates and supporters in multiple states failed to properly demonstrate that widespread fraud occurred and changed the election results, with the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month striking down a multi-state suit trying to throw out the results in a few swing states.
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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