"'Congress shall make no law respecting an institution of religion.' -- The First Amendment to the Constitution

A Nativity scene (or a Menorah for that matter) is not a law, it is a decoration. And on that basis, even though I myself am an atheist, I do not have a problem with Nativity scenes on government property, other than they are a reminder that those are the people we are bombing to steal their oil.

I do draw the line at the Ten Commandments being on display on government buildings with its prohibitions against lying, theft, and killing, as that clearly is a case of false advertising!" -- Michael Rivero

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The bloc is reportedly unwilling to pursue the hawkish stance on trade with Beijing and Moscow being promoted by Washington

The European Union does not intend to condemn Russia and China for "economic coercion" in its joint trade strategy with the US, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday citing a draft document.

In Latin America, China Gets Down To Business As U.S. Dithers MikeRivero Wed, 05/31/2023 - 08:41

Before COVID-19 raged through Chile in all its lethal  power, Jorge Barrios sat in his living room using sanitation wipes to scrub a recently received package. “It’s from China,” he said. “You have to be careful with these things.”  

Chinese stocks slid into bear market territory after manufacturing activity contracted for a second month in May. The dismal data is more evidence that the post-Covid recovery in the second-largest economy in the world is faltering. Bad data might suggest additional policy easing is needed to prop up economic growth. 

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This week we saw a major tectonic shift in economic world power and Putin and China just scored another devastating blow to the West. More than 30 countries are asking to join the BRICS collation and move away from the U.S. dollar.

 When senior European and American officials descend on this small, industrial Scandinavian city Tuesday, there’s much they will agree on. They’ll agree on pushing back against foreign interference. They’ll agree on more sustainable trade commitments. They’ll agree on new guardrails around artificial intelligence.

But the one thorny issue they still don’t agree on is the most fundamental to the transatlantic relationship: What to do about China.

Taiwanese media has reported that Taiwan received delivery of Raytheon-made Stinger anti-aircraft missiles from the US as part of a $500 million package of free military aid that Washington has been preparing for Taipei.

According to Taipei Times, the Stingers arrived in a Boeing 747 on Thursday night. So far, the US and Taiwanese governments have not confirmed the delivery, but both sides said recently that the $500 million in weapons would be sent soon.

At the G7 summit in Hiroshima, much was talking about “de-risking” from China – which seems to be the new preferred terminology. The summit joint statement said:

“we are not decoupling or turning inwards. At the same time, we recognise that economic resilience requires de-risking and diversifying.”

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba published a live video on Facebook this weekend defending the Chinese Communist Party from allegations that a special delegation from Beijing that visited Kyiv this month pressured Ukraine to cede occupied territories to Russia.

The Biden administration’s attempt to thaw U.S.-Chinese relations has hit a significant snag.

The Chinese government said Monday that it has declined a U.S. request for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Li Shangfu, after Beijing had said several times that no meeting will be forthcoming as long as Li remains under U.S. sanctions. 

China has declined a request from the United States for a meeting between their defense chiefs in a new sign of strain between the powers.

The meeting was intended to take place at an annual security forum in Singapore this weekend before China refused the request, saying the U.S. was 'well aware' of the reasons behind the lack of military communication.