U.S. broadcasts diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights abuses

The US announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Monday, a move that had received non-partisan support from critics of China’s human rights record.

While US athletes will continue to compete, President Joe Biden’s administration will not send an official representation to the Games in China amid “the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses”, White House press secretary Jen said Psaki, told reporters.

Psaki was referring to China’s reported treatment of Uighur Muslims in this northwest area, known as genocide from both Biden and former President Donald Trump’s administration.

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“The Team USA athletes have our full support. We will be 100 percent behind them if we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games,” said Psaki.

“The US diplomatic or official mission would be faced with these games [People’s Republic of China’s] egregious human rights violations and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we just can’t do that, “she said.

“We will continue to take action to advance human rights in China and beyond,” she said.

The expected move was preventively criticized on Monday by the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Zhao Lijian. “It is a travesty of the Olympic spirit, it is a political provocation and an insult to the 1.4 billion Chinese,” he said, according to a translation of his remarks.

“If the US insists on going the wrong way, China will take necessary and decisive countermeasures,” said Zhao.

The Chinese government under President Xi Jinping has been condemned by dozens of countries for its actions in Xinjiang and its crackdown on pro-democratic protesters in Hong Kong in 2019 and 2020.

More recently, Beijing has come under fire after having disappeared for weeks Tennis star Peng Shuaiwho disappeared after publicly accusing a former Chinese Communist Party senior official of sexual assault.

The women’s tennis association announced last week it will suspend tournaments in China immediately due to concerns about the treatment and safety of Peng and other players.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics holds the U.S. broadcast rights to all Summer and Winter Games through 2032.

Biden says U.S. is contemplating diplomatic boycott

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said Thursday the U.S. is considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest China’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority.

Under a diplomatic boycott, American athletes would continue to compete in the Games, which begin February 4, 2022. However, an official delegation of US government officials would not attend.

The idea of ​​a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games is not new. Back in April, a State Department spokesman said the US was in talks with key allies about ways to protest China’s human rights record at the Winter Olympics.

But on Thursday, Biden himself confirmed for the first time that a diplomatic boycott is “something we are considering”.

Biden gave the brief answer to a direct question before quickly turning to the next reporter. The exchange took place during a meeting in the Oval Office with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Earlier this week, The Washington Post reported that the announcement a US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games would likely take place before the end of the month.

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Human rights activists have long called for a worldwide boycott of the Beijing Olympics, what they call the “Genocide Games”. They also asked the International Olympic Committee to postpone or reschedule the events.

But Western governments have generally opposed the idea of ​​an outright boycott of the Games, a move they see as unfairly punishing athletes for the offenses committed by the host government.

Beijing has international condemnation for its “Extensive repression program” against members of the Uighur Muslim ethnic minority.

In March, the United States and its allies did sanctions imposed against several officials in Xinjiang Province, the traditional homeland of the Uighur people. These sanctions remain in place.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken has called the treatment of Uyghurs in China “genocide,” but Biden did not use the word. Beijing denies that it violates Uyghur human rights.

Biden’s remarks came just days after holding a highly anticipated virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday evening. However, the summit hardly produced any concrete results.

A White House spokesman later confirmed that the Olympics did not take place during the hour-long meeting.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics holds the U.S. broadcast rights to all Summer and Winter Games through 2032.

Texas will get concerned in Israel’s struggle with Ben & Jerry’s over West Financial institution boycott

A view of the entrance to the ice cream parlor in the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Be’er Tuvia in southern Israel on July 21, 2021.

Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty Images

The struggle between Israel and Palestinians spills over to 30 US states whose laws prevent pension funds from investing in companies that refuse to do business with the Jewish state.

The most recent example concerns the socially conscious ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, the West Bank and Texas.

Earlier this week, Ben & Jerry’s board of directors said it would no longer allow sales in areas it believes Israel should not control. The company issued a statement stating, “We believe it is inconsistent with our values ​​for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

The company, now owned by global consumer giant Unilever, has been selling its brand in Israel through a local Israeli distributor for decades. Unilever said it would seek a new deal to sell ice cream in Israel, but not in territories claimed by Palestinians for their own state.

In Israel, companies are prevented from treating customers and subsidiaries differently in what Israel calls “disputed territory” from what much of the world recognizes as Israeli territory. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett promised this week that “act aggressively” against the ice cream parlor, founded in 1978 by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield who are Jewish and progressive.

The American flag and the Texas State Flag flutter over the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Now Texas is getting involved.

A spokesman for Republican Governor Greg Abbott told CNBC on Tuesday evening: “Ben and Jerry’s decision to boycott parts of Israel is a shame and an insult to America’s closest allies in the Middle East.” The statement went on to say, “Unilever, the parent company of Ben and Jerry, must reverse this ill-conceived decision.”

Abbott signed a bill four years ago that would force Texas pension funds to part ways with companies boycotting Israel.

State auditor Glenn Hegar, who controls billions of dollars in assets for Texas public pension funds, has already urged his office to take action. In a statement to CNBC, he said, “I have directed my employees to determine if certain actions by Ben & Jerry’s or Unilever would trigger listing under Chapter 808 of the Texas Government Code,” the law passed in 2017.

It is also possible that sales in states with anti-boycott laws could be affected. If Ben & Jerry’s or Unilever bid for a contract with a public agency, they could be disqualified if the boycott becomes a reality.

Florida State CFO Jimmy Patronis, who controls the public pension funds, told CNBC that his office began discussing the issue Tuesday morning. “I find what is happening very worrying,” he said in a text. But he wasn’t ready to say what action could be taken.

Airbnb was the last company involved in a similar problem. In 2018, the rental site said it bans the listing of Israeli property in the West Bank, territory that the Palestinians claim they should be part of their state.

An Airbnb listing in Israel

Airbnb

But the company turned around a few months later and was now looking at listings on a “case-by-case” basis, according to a statement on its website.

Ben & Jerry’s board of directors, who have a unique agreement with parent company Unilever that allows for an oversized role in decision-making on social issues, initiated the withdrawal from Israel this week.

Following the Ben & Jerry statement, Unilever released its own on Monday saying, “We remain fully committed to our presence in Israel, where we have invested in our people, brands and business for several decades.” In addition, the company’s CEO spoke to Bennett this week. Following the interview, Israel’s new Prime Minister said: “This is an action with grave consequences, including legal consequences, and it (Israel) will take vigorous action against any boycott directed against its citizens.”

Ben & Jerry chairman Anuradha Mittal has not responded to CNBC about the implications of the decision and the possibility of divesting Unilever’s state pension funds. In a telephone interview on Thursday, Ben & Jerry’s spokesman Sean Greenwood said, “The company has nothing to add beyond the original statement,” which was released Monday.

In conversation with NBC News Mittal took action against Unilever earlier this week for making its own statement on the subject, calling it “deception”. She added, “I can’t stop thinking this is what happens when you have a board with all the women and people of color pushing to do the right thing.”

Unilever did not respond to CNBC calls or emails asking for a response to the possibility of a sale by state pension funds.

Prince Williams joins social media boycott to finish racism in soccer | Leisure

Prince William joins the social media boycott led by British footballers this weekend to respond to racism within the sport.

The Duke of Cambridge is the President of the British Football Association (FA) and has announced that he will use his platform to remain silent on social media with “the entire football community” over the weekend and raise awareness of “the ongoing abuse” to get hone online from players and many others in the football community ”.

William posted on Friday (04/30/21) on the KensingtonRoyal Twitter account, where he wrote: “As President of the FA, I am joining the entire football community in the social media boycott this weekend.”

He then published a picture of his tweet on Instagram, as well as a caption that explained the power failure in more detail.

The headline read: “This weekend we are joining the UK football community to join forces in a social media boycott from Friday April 30th 3pm through Monday May 3rd 11:59 pm the football community. “

William was active on social media this week as he celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary with his wife, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.

The couple marked their special day with the unveiling of two new romantic photographs.

One picture – taken in the courtyard – was shared on social media, revealing that filming was “before” its 10th anniversary, while the other garden photo was labeled with bride and groom emojis.

William and Catherine later posted a video of themselves with their children – Prince George, seven and Louis (three) and Princess Charlotte (five) – as they thanked those who sent their good wishes.

They titled the video: “Thank you everyone for the kind news on our wedding day. We are very grateful for the 10 years of support we have received in our family life. W & C (sic) ”