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US columnist: Qatar World Cup highlights Western double standards

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Criticisms surrounding Qatar’s capacity and worthiness to hold the FIFA World Cup since the tiny Persian Gulf country won the bid has revealed the depths of Western prejudice, performative moral outrage and, perhaps most significantly, gross double standards, says a column article published on MSNBC’ s website on November 20, 2022.

Negative and racist commentary about the host country has included reports suggesting fans were paid to appear, migrant workers’ human rights and ideas that an Arab Middle Eastern country are not able to host such a big soccer tournament.

Ayman Mohyeldin, a MSNBC opinion columnist who had lived and worked in Qatar for five years, said Qatar has made progress and development, though improvement is still needed. And the country has done its best to balance social conservatism and limitations in order to welcome fans from different backgrounds while persevering its own cultural and religious norms and traditions.

Mohyeldin said Europeans and Americans should set a better example of how migrants in their own countries are treated. A recent inquiry concluded that France and the UK let 27 people die while the countries argued about who should rescue a sinking vessel with the migrants on board. If the Danish federation wants to oppose migrant conditions in Qatar, it should also protest conditions in Europe. Americans decrying Qatar’s migrant labor policies should likewise use the opportunity to discuss solutions to their own brutal treatment of migrants.

When Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup, some questioned how a country with little soccer history was allowed to host it. Such arguments belittle the purpose of the tournament, and ignore history, Mohyeldin said. He cited when the US won the World Cup, the country did not even have a professional soccer league. Japan and South Korea were hardly soccer nations and yet with the arrival of the World Cup to these countries, the sport has taken off in meaningful and lasting ways.

Qatar is currently the reigning Asian champion team and a major purpose of the tournament is to advance and promote the sport as a form of positive development, Mohyeldin said.

The tournament’s schedule was shifted to the cooler months of November and December to avoid the stifling heat, leaving many European soccer leagues and teams crying foul for disrupting their annual seasons and schedules. But no one seemed to complain that holding the tournament in summer months was going to disadvantage South American countries, which had to adjust to playing during their own seasons but had claimed nine World Cup championships among them.

No one is saying Qatar is perfect, Mohyeldin said, urging that one should be more nuanced in critiques and resist simply parroting generic biased accusations, without some self-reflection.

Source(s): China Daily

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Brazilian deported after found carrying drugs worth MVR 6.5M

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ABrazilian traveler has been deported after Maldives Customs officials found 2.6 kilos of cocaine in her luggage.

According to Customs, the traveler, identified as a 23-year-old Brazilian woman, had arrived in Maldives via Doha on Monday, February 6.

Customs officials flagged the traveler for suspicious behavior, and conducted a search of her luggage, during which they found a suspicious substance – which tested positive for cocaine.

The cocaine seized in the operation weighed 2.6 kilos.

The street value of the drugs is estimated to be MVR 6.5 million.

According to Customs, the drugs seized in the operation has been handed over to the police, while the traveler was deported following discussions with law enforcement agencies.

Customs reserves the right to bar entry to people based on intel they use or may use Maldives as a transit point to traffic drugs.

Source(s): sun.mv

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U.S. long-arm jurisdiction harms int’l order, rule of law

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BEIJING, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) — The United States has a longstanding practice of exerting frequent long-arm jurisdiction over other countries, which severely harms the international political and economic order and the rule of law.

In essence, long-arm jurisdiction is an arbitrary judicial practice wielded by the U.S. government on the strength of the U.S. hegemony to enforce extraterritorial jurisdiction over entities and individuals of other countries on the ground of its domestic law.

In line with international law, the exercise of a country’s jurisdiction over an extraterritorial person or entity generally requires that the person or entity or its conduct has a real and sufficient connection to that country. Yet the United States exercises long-arm jurisdiction on the basis of the “minimum contacts” rule, constantly lowering the threshold for application.

Meanwhile, to exercise long-arm jurisdiction, the U.S. government has further developed the “effects doctrine,” meaning that jurisdiction may be exercised whenever an act occurring abroad produces “effects” in the United States, regardless of whether the actor has U.S. citizenship or residency, and regardless of whether the act complies with the law of the place where it occurred.

Long-arm jurisdiction has become a means by which the United States abuses unilateral sanctions, especially secondary sanctions. According to the Treasury 2021 Sanctions Review, by fiscal year 2021, the number of active U.S. sanctions designations had increased to more than 9,400.

U.S. sanctions have strained relations between countries and undermined the international order. So far, the “long arm” of U.S. jurisdiction has reached China, Russia, Iran, Syria, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba, France, Britain, Germany, Japan, among others.

Long-arm jurisdiction has become a tool for the U.S. authorities to interfere with normal international commercial exchanges and competition.

In 2013, in order to beat Alstom in their business competition, the United States applied the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to arrest and detain then Alstom’s senior manager Frederic Pierucci on charges of bribing foreign officials. He was further induced to sign a plea deal and provide more evidence and information against his company, leaving Alstom no choice but to accept General Electric’s acquisition, vanishing ever since from the Fortune 500 list.

In an article published in Foreign Affairs magazine, Professor Daniel Drezner of Tufts University criticized successive U.S. administrations for abusing economic coercion and economic violence, and using sanctions as the preferred solution to diplomatic problems, which have been causing humanitarian disasters.

When COVID-19 was raging across the world, the U.S. government did not relent in imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran, Syria and other countries, making it difficult for these countries to obtain the much-needed medical supplies to fight the virus. As a result of the sanctions, Iran has been cut off access to essential medicines and medical equipment, putting the health of millions of Iranians in jeopardy.

Long-arm jurisdiction not only undermines the principle of sovereign equality, violates international law, and erodes the multilateral order with the United Nations at its core, but also creates and intensifies tensions and conflicts among major countries, and poses a threat to the international security system established after World War II. It also interferes with and distorts normal international commercial exchanges and trade order, disrupts the supply chain of global trade, damages the interests of enterprises and raises their operating costs.

The United States should renounce its illegal unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction measures, and truly take up its international responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Source(s): Xinhua

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Death toll rises to 3,381 in Türkiye after massive quakes

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ANKARA, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) — The death toll from Monday’s earthquakes in Türkiye has risen to 3,381, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority said Tuesday.

At least 20,426 people were injured after the devastating earthquakes, which destroyed 5,775 buildings, the AFAD said.

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Türkiye’s southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4:17 a.m. local time (0117 GMT), followed by a magnitude 6.4 quake a few minutes later in the country’s southern province of Gaziantep and a magnitude 7.6 earthquake at 1:24 p.m. local time (1024 GMT) in the Kahramanmaras Province.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday declared seven days of national mourning for the victims.

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