Odds and Ends 

Congress Finally Agrees to Cover Sonic Attack Victims Medical Bills

Over 40 U.S. government officials and family members who suffered mysterious brain injuries during their service overseas will finally receive guaranteed, long-term medical care thanks to a deal included in Congress year-end spending bill. In 2018, U.S. officials serving at embassies in Cuba and China began to report strange sensations of sound and pressure, causing symptoms consistent with traumatic brain injury. Who or what caused the sickness remains unconfirmed, despite efforts from the CIA, FBI, and other branches of the Trump administration to figure it out. The governments of those…

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TikTok lawsuit claims app sends ‘vast quantities’ of data to China

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the highly-popular app TikTok over allegations that it secretly sent the data of U.S. users to China. Filed in California last week, the lawsuit accuses the app, owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance, of collecting and transferring to servers in China vast quantities of private and personally-identifiable user data. That data, the suit adds, can be employed to identify, profile and track the location and activities of users in the United States now and in the future. The suit challenges TikToks repeated claims that…

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Headlines 

‘Amazing deal’ or ‘capitulation’? Why the US-China trade truce may not last

Donald Trump hailed the agreement, but others think it masks a process of deglobalisation as the two superpowers struggle for hegemony The trade war between the US and China may never be settled, experts fear, even after the two sides agreed on an outline phase one deal. Economists and investors have been poring over agreement would also require China to make structural reforms and other changes to its economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. In exchange,…

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Thousands in Hong Kong praise Trump with ‘Thanksgiving’ rally as more protests loom

We really appreciate the effort made by Americans, says one protester, as city braces for another weekend of protest Thousands of protesters in Hong Kong, some draped in American flags, have staged a Thanksgiving rally in the heart of the city after the approval by Donald Trump of human rights legislation aimed at protecting them. The rationale for us having this rally is to show our gratitude and thank the US Congress and also president Trump for passing the bill, said 23-year-old Sunny Cheung, a member of the student group…

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Headlines 

US official says China trade deal possible but Trump won’t ignore Hong Kong

Robert OBriens comments add to growing worries Chinese crackdown on protests could complicate efforts to end trade war US national security adviser Robert OBrien said on Saturday an initial trade agreement with a Chinese crackdown on anti-government protests could further complicate the efforts by Washington and Beijing to end a prolonged trade war that has roiled global markets and undercut global economic growth forecasts. We were hoping to have [a phase one] deal done by the end of the year. I still think thats possible, OBrien told reporters at a…

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Will Ballots or Bullets Decide Hong Kongs Upcoming Elections?

HONG KONGYou have bullets. I have the right to vote. Those were words found on banners and posters hoisted during peaceful demonstrations when one million, then two million people marched toward the government headquarters here in June. The message was simple: If youre fighting for democracy, dont forget to register to vote, and be sure to show up when its time. But before the ballots, the bullets have started flying. A trigger-happy and ill-trained police force is constantly itching for a skirmish, this week placing a shot point-blank into a…

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China Roundup: Xis power on bitcoin, the rise of Alibabas new rival

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s China roundup, a digest of the latest events that happened at major Chinese tech companies and what they mean to tech founders and executives around the world. Alibaba’s nemesis Alibaba’s new rival is shaking up China’s internet landscape. This week, four-year-old e-commerce upstart Pinduoduo displaced JD.com to be the fourth-most valuable internet company in the country. Its market capitalization of $47.6 billion on Friday put it just behind e-commerce leader Alibaba, social networking behemoth Tencent and food delivery titan Meituan in China. Baidu, the search equivalent…

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Why Would Russia, Chinaand IranPlan Joint Naval Exercises?

KARACHI, PakistanThe waters around the Arabian Peninsula have calmed for the moment, but preparations for combat continue, with joint exercises and security conferences showing just how profoundly the regions strategic balances are shifting. As confidence declines in U.S. President Donald J. Trumps ability to navigate the difficult moral and military choices in the region, new players are entering the picture in and around the Persian Gulf. An Israeli delegation attended a U.S.-backed maritime-security conference that began Sunday in Manama with delegations from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as a vast international…

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Immigrants from China and India can accelerate the green card process

Sophie Alcorn Limits written into existing immigration laws on both the number of green cards issued each year, as well as the number of green cards available based on country of origin, leave some waiting half a century or more for a green card, with people from India and China facing the longest wait times for employment-based green cards. Although these U.S. laws pose an extra challenge for people born in countries with the highest demand for green cards, if you were born in India or China, there are some…

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TikTok explains its ban on political advertising

Already under fire for advancing Chinese foreign policy by censoring topics like Hong Kong’s protests and pro-LGBT content, the Beijing-based video app TikTok is now further distancing itself from U.S. social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with a ban on political ads on its app. The company today says it will not allow political ads on TikTok, noting they don’t fit in with the experience the short-form video app aims to offer. “Any paid ads that come into the community need to fit the standards for our platform,…

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Mao inspired me in 1949, but my dreams were soon shattered

He Yanling, who was a journalist at the Peoples Daily, recalls how his hopes for the future were wrecked He Yanling was full of hope for a new China in 1949. On the eve of the ceremony marking establishment of the Peoples Republic on 1 October that year, the then 27-year-old page editor at the Peoples Daily worked through the night to ensure the paper would come out without a glitch. The next day he joined the celebrations with his colleagues, while his wife stayed at home with their baby.…

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Hong Kong: violence follows calls for Trump to ‘liberate’ territory

Protesters clash with police in shopping districts after rally to petition US to resist Beijing Hong Kong police have fired teargas to disperse protesters in the upmarket Causeway Bay shopping district, after demonstrators rallied at the US consulate calling on Donald Trump to liberate the territory. Police had clashed with protesters in the Centraldistrict as the demonstrations in Hong Kong entered their 14th week. Protesters dispersed to nearby Admiralty, the bar district of Wan Chai and on to Causeway Bay. Riot police fire teargas to disperse protesters around the Causeway…

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Inside Beijings Toolbox to Crush Hong Kong

SHENZHEN/HONG KONGFor more than two weeks, rows of armored vehicles have been parked outside and within the walls of a stadium in Shenzhen. A contingent of the Peoples Armed Police, a paramilitary force that specializes in riot control and security matters, has been stationed within the sporting ground. The Global Times, one of the Chinese governments state-run media outlets, says that remind Hong Kongers of the 1989 military crackdown at Tiananmen Square, its natural to wonder: is Beijing about to send in its own forces, maybe even the PLAthe Peoples…

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Headlines 

Chinas first cyber-dissident jailed for 12 years

Huang Qi, who ran a website reporting on sensitive topics, is accused of leaking state secrets Chinas first cyber-dissident, whose website reported on sensitive topics including human rights, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for leaking state secrets. Huang Qi ran a website called 64 Tianwang named after the bloody 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protesters. His sentence is one of the harshest meted out to a dissident since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, according to court records. Huang was guilty of leaking national…

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