MOSCOW (AP) — Kazakhstan's influential former leader released a short video on Tuesday in which he talked about the violent unrest that engulfed the ex-Soviet nation earlier this month and rejected reports alleging that he fled the country amid tensions with the current president. It was the first time that Nursultan Nazarbayev, who ran Kazakhstan for 29 years after it gained independence and kept an influential post after stepping down as president in 2019, spoke publicly about the protests and the bloodshed they descended into. Nazarbayev also denied that there were tensions between him and his hand-picked successor, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Some speculated that a rift between the two could have played a role in exacerbating the unrest. Protests in Kazakhstan, an oil and gas-rich nation of 19 million in Central Asia, began on Jan. 2 in a small western town over the near-doubling of fuel prices. But they quickly spread across the vast country, growing into a general … [Read more...] about Kazakhstan’s ex-leader rejects reports that he fled abroad
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying in front of Congress this week. To accompany the testimony, Select All is publishing transcripts of interviews with four ex-Facebook employees and one former investor, conducted as part of a wider project on the crisis within the tech industry that will be published later this week. These interviews include: • Former Facebook designer Soleio Cuervo on Facebook’s commitment to users, what the media gets wrong, and why regulation is unnecessary. • Early Facebook investor Roger McNamee on Facebook propaganda, early warning signs, and why outrage is so addictive. • Former Zuckerberg speechwriter Kate Losse on how the Facebook founder thinks and what is hardest for him to wrap his mind around. • Former Facebook product manager Antonio Garcia Martinez on the “sociopathic scene” of Silicon Valley and Mark Zuckerberg’s “disingenuous and strange” reaction to the election. This interview is with Sandy … [Read more...] about ‘Facebook Is a Fundamentally Addictive Product’
Ukrainian servicemen walk past a minefield warning sign on the frontline with Russia-backed separatists near Luganske in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. Photo: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images Over the past few months, Russia has amassed tens of thousands of soldiers, along with tanks, artillery and other materiel near its border with Ukraine in what U.S. intelligence (and much of the world) has interpreted as a buildup in preparation for an invasion. At the same time, online propaganda and disinformation activity has increased , as have cyberattacks on Ukrainian targets, including one that took down several government websites on Friday. It is no coincidence that these ominous activities look strikingly similar to the leadup to Russia’s 2014 invasion of its weaker neighbor, in which it annexed Crimea and launched the still-ongoing insurgency by Moscow-backed separatists in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Indeed, if Russia does send troops into Ukraine in the … [Read more...] about Is Another Russian Invasion of Ukraine Inevitable?
The U.S.’s watchdog for Afghanistan predicted the collapse of Afghanistan’s air force months before U.S. troops withdrew. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) revealed its findings in a report that it first issued to the Department of Defense in January 2021 but was not publicly released until last Wednesday. According to that report, the Afghan Air Force continued to struggle with a host of issues, including leadership challenges, aircraft misuse, and a dependence on contractors for support. ADVERTISEMENT “The U.S. and Afghans’ lack of focus on the non-combat support activities of the [Special Mission Wing] and [Afghan Air Force] risks the development of independent, self-sustained Afghan aviation capability,” reads the report. “Further, the potential absence of both military advisors and contractors before the AAF and SMW are able to staff, manage, fund, or maintain their forces puts at risk the entire U.S. investment in the Afghan air … [Read more...] about Watchdog predicted collapse of Afghan air force months before US withdrawal
Presented by Facebook Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. It is Tuesday! We get you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the co-creators. Readers can find us on Twitter @asimendinger and @alweaver22. Please recommend the Morning Report to friends and let us know what you think. CLICK HERE to subscribe! Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each day this week: Monday, 850,605; Tuesday, 851,730. U.S. fatalities from COVID-19 have risen more than 5 percent in one month, based on available data. As public health experts prepare for 1 million COVID-19 deaths, journalists and Boston University collaborated for a USA Today series that disclosed some counties in the South and the West that underreported the number of people dying from the coronavirus. The time to vote — or at least stage a real debate — is nigh for … [Read more...] about The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Voting rights week for Democrats (again)
Basketball legend Yao Ming made a media appearance on Monday to promote the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in which he invited anti-communist player Enes Kanter Freedom to visit China and defended the country’s treatment of tennis champion Peng Shuai. Yao is arguably the most popular and successful Chinese player in National Basketball Association (NBA) history, whose record with the Houston Rockets was largely responsible for popularizing the sport in China. He currently serves as the head of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), the country’s equivalent league, and often engages in operations to promote the Communist Party’s agenda. Yao attended an event on Monday held by the “China Public Diplomacy Association,” according to the government-run propaganda newspaper Global Times . At the event, Yao expressed excitement for the Winter Olympics and rejected calls for boycotting the event on the grounds that China is currently engaging in genocide . “Basketball star Yao … [Read more...] about China Trots Out Yao Ming to Counter Enes Kanter Freedom, Downplay Peng Shuai Scandal