Morning brief: Fresh US sanctions, Putin’s idea of pre-emptive nuclear strikes, George Floyd’s cop & more

The United States recognised China’s alleged human rights violations on Tibetan people and imposed fresh sanctions on Chinese Communist Party officials linked with reported persecution of people in Tibet and Xinjiang. The US also imposed sanctions on Russia’s election commission and Iranian entities for allegedly supplying drones to help Russian assault in Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday (December 9) that Russia could include possibility of a pre-emptive strike in its military doctrine, in an apparent reference to nuclear attack. He was speaking with reporters in Kyrghyzstan. Meanwhile, the number of marine species threatened with extinction may even overwhelm Qatar’s stadium 974 beyond its full capacity where FIFA Football World Cup is being held at present. More than 42,000 marine species may go extinct in the near future, according to the global conservation body, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

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The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on dozens of Russia, Iran and China-based people and entities over alleged rights abuses, including Russia’s Central Election Commission, Iranian officials and Chinese nationals.

The U.S. Treasury Department said it imposed sanctions on Li Zhenyu and Zhuo Xinrong, both Chinese nationals, and 10 entities linked to the two, including Nasdaq-listed Pingtan Marine Enterprise (PME) (PME.O), over what Washington says are human rights abuses tied to China-based illegal fishing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday (December 9) that Russia could include possibility of a pre-emptive strike in its military doctrine, in an apparent reference to nuclear attack. He was speaking with reporters in Kyrghyzstan. 

The number of marine species threatened with extinction may even overwhelm Qatar’s stadium 974 beyond its full capacity where FIFA Football World Cup is being held at present. More than 42,000 marine species may go extinct in the near future, according to the global conservation body, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

The IUCN statement released on Friday said that human activity, including illegal and unsustainable fishing, pollution, climate change and diseases have been threatening the survival of marine species and shut the prospect of their thrivings.

A former US police officer has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for his role in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man whose killing in 2020 sparked the “Black Lives Matter” movement across the country.

In October, J Alexander Kueng, a former Minneapolis police officer, had pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, and in exchange, a charge of aiding and abetting murder was dropped.

A US-based sports journalist, who was briefly detained in Qatar for wearing a rainbow shirt as a way of expressing support for LGBTQ, has died. Grant Wahl (49) collapsed on Friday while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands.

According to media reports, Wahl suddenly lost consciousness while being seated in the press box at Lusail Iconic Stadium during extra time.

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro finally broke his post-election silence on Friday (December 9) as he spoke to his supporters who called for a military coup against Brazil’s president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Bolsonaro said he had kept silent for almost 40 days, adding, “it hurts my soul.”

“Who decides where I go are you. Who decides which way the armed forces go are you,” Bolsonaro told his supporters at the gates of the presidential residence.

Argentina will face Croatia in the World Cup semi-finals after beating the Netherlands 4-3 on penalties following a thrilling 2-2 extra-time draw on a night of high World Cup drama. Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was the hero in the shootout after the South Americans let a two-goal lead slip in the final minutes of normal time after Lionel Messi had put them on the brink of the last four.

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