- News Reuters
The phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart at the center of Congress' impeachment investigation was "inappropriate," an aide to Vice President Mike Pence told lawmakers, according to a transcript released on Saturday. Trump's call is at the heart of the Democratic-led inquiry into whether the Republican president misused U.S. foreign policy to undermine former Vice President Joe Biden, one of his potential opponents in the 2020 election.
- Sports The Canadian Press
TORONTO - Ron MacLean addressed Don Cherry's dismissal with a lengthy monologue during the first period intermission of Saturday's "Hockey Night in Canada" broadcast, saying "Coach's Corner is no more."MacLean opened the intermission segment - the first since Sportsnet fired Cherry on Monday - by speaking alone on camera for nearly five minutes."We are all hurting. I have collapsed a 100 times this week, if not more," MacLean said. "We are all disappointed. ... I've sat all week long reflecting, listening to you (the viewer) - and I have heard you. I've reflected by listening to my own heart. … and I've struggled mightily to find the words."Sportsnet fired Cherry on Monday, two days after his on-air comments from last Saturday's Coach's Corner, which many felt were critical of immigrants for not wearing Remembrance Day poppies.Cherry had singled out new immigrants in Toronto and Mississauga, Ont., where he lives, for not honouring Canada's veterans and fallen soldiers.Outrage over Cherry's words mounted until his dismissal was announced. Cherry later denied he was singling out visible minorities.MacLean, the longtime co-host of Coach's Corner with Cherry, had apologized last Sunday for the comments and his lack of response. He reiterated that on Saturday night."I felt so bad and I apologized immediately. And Don, you know Don, defiant," MacLean said. "There were steps that needed to be taken because of what had been said by Don. And he didn't want to do those steps. So he made his choice and I made mine."MacLean also talked at length about his close relationship with Cherry but said he had to choose "principle over friendship.""I thought a lot about falling on my sword too," said MacLean. "But then I thought if I do that I infer what happened was right somehow, or that I am going along to get along, or that I am going to just sit silently by or be a bystander again in a situation." Saturday night's first intermission also featured a segment with MacLean interviewing Hayley Wickenheiser and Guy Carbonneau, two inductees of this year's Hockey Hall of Fame class. The induction ceremony is Monday.Wickenheiser also mentioned Cherry in that short, three-minute segment, saying she appreciated that "he was always talking about women's hockey."Sportsnet called Cherry's remarks from last Saturday "divisive," and said they "do not represent our values or what we stand for" when announcing his firing on Monday.Sportsnet also said earlier this week that they could eventually take the long-running Coach's Corner segment in a different direction."We're taking the time to explore new formats for the first intermission," Sportsnet communications director Andrew Garas said in an email to The Canadian Press late Friday afternoon.HNIC was a longtime CBC Saturday night staple, but the show and its games moved to Sportsnet when Rogers landed a lucrative long-term broadcast rights deal with the NHL that began in 2014. "Coach's Corner" and HNIC are still broadcast on CBC in a sub-licensing deal with Rogers Media, which owns Sportsnet.Cherry, a native of Kingston, Ont., joined HNIC in 1980 as a playoff analyst and was so popular that he was kept on as a colour commentator. CBC later created "Coach's Corner" as a vehicle to showcase Cherry with MacLean eventually replacing Dave Hodge as his sidekick.Known for his outlandish suits and thumbs-up gesture, Cherry occasionally weighed in on off-ice topics during his popular first-intermission program, and sometimes those views landed him in hot water.The Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council said earlier this week it was so overloaded with complaints after last Saturday's segment that it exceeded the organization's technical processing capacity. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2019.The Canadian Press
- News The Daily Beast
HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via GettyHundreds of internal Chinese government documents obtained by The New York Times reveals striking new details about the execution of the country’s mass detention of ethnic minorities over the past three years in the Xinjiang region.The rare leak of documents, described in the newspaper’s bombshell report as “one of the most significant leaks of government papers from inside China’s ruling Communist Party in decades,” details how Chinese authorities have contained as many as one million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominately Muslim minorities into internment camps and prisons.The camps, which began in 2016, were described as China’s answer to fighting Islamic extremism.While the party has pushed back on international criticism of the camps by describing them as “job-training centers,” the documents show the coercive nature of the camps that top government officials knew tore families apart, fueled ethnic tensions and hurt economic growth. Cannibalism, Torture and Death: Inside China’s Genocidal Re-Education Camps“Children saw their parents taken away, students wondered who would pay their tuition and crops could not be planted or harvested for lack of manpower,” the report states. “Yet officials were directed to tell people who complained to be grateful for the Communist Party’s help and stay quiet.”According to the documents, President Xi Jinping first laid the groundwork for the camps in a series of April 2014 speeches to party officials and during a trip to Xinjiang. The trip came just weeks after Uighur militants reportedly killed 31 people, and stabbed more than 150, at a train station in Kunming. “The methods that our comrades have at hand are too primitive,” Xi said during one talk in Urumqi, according to the report. “None of these weapons is any answer for their big machete blades, ax heads and cold steel weapons.”He added: “We must be as harsh as them and show absolutely no mercy.”While Xi called for an all-out “struggle against terrorism, infiltration and separatism” using the “organs of dictatorship” after the train attack, the documents do not indicate he directly ordered the detention centers. But his harsh rhetoric combined with terrorist attacks abroad fueled the toxic beliefs that minority communities could be eradicated, The New York Times notes. In one example, the 2017 London Bridge attacks spurred party officials to condemn Britain's policy of by putting “human rights above security,” and prompted Xi to urge leaders in Xinjiang to respond to extremism like America’s “war on terror” campaign. “In recent years, Xinjiang has grown very quickly and the standard of living has consistently risen, but even so ethnic separatism and terrorist violence have still been on the rise,” Xi said in a speech to party officials, according to The New York Times. “This goes to show that economic development does not automatically bring lasting order and security.”Trump Blames China’s Xi Jinping for Sabotaging the Kim Jong Un SummitThe rise of the camps, the newspaper reported, didn’t until until August 2016, when Chen Quanguo was promoted from the party secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region to governor of Xinjiang. The new leader was eager to “remobilize” Xi’s goals for increasing security and rapidly expanded the region’s internment camps. Chen also distributed Xi’s speeches to justify his aggressive approach, and even told officials to “round up everyone who should be rounded up.”“The struggle against terror and to safeguard stability is a protracted war, and also a war of offense,” Chen said in an October 2017 speech to the regional leadership, according to the leaked papers.Soon after, authorities started to arrest anyone who displayed “symptoms” of radicalism or anti-party views, without any judicial rationale or explanation, the Times reported.Party leaders even displayed dozens of signs to highlight such behaviors to other Chinese citizens, some including common Uighurs practices like wearing long beards, giving up smoking or drinking, studying Arabic or praying outside mosques. Woman Sent to Labor Camp in China’s Latest Abuse OutrageTo justify the discriminatory practices, authorities cited ongoing terrorism attacks abroad and the possibility of such attacks in China. Whenever local officials expressed doubts about the camps they believed would hurt economic growth, the documents reveal Chen would have them fired or jailed.In one instance, one county leader ordered the release of 7,000 camp inmates, writing in a 15-page confession he believe the crackdown harmed ethnic relations. After the release, Chen had the leader detained, stripped of power, and prosecuted. According to the Times, the documents indicated that about 900,000 people have been put into these camps, a number previously unknown due to the campaign’s secrecy. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.