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Daily Archives: January 7, 2021

Trump condemns supporters’ riot at Capitol, acknowledges Biden won election – KARE11.com

  1. Trump condemns supporters’ riot at Capitol, acknowledges Biden won election  KARE11.com
  2. Trump statement says there will be transition of power, but fails to condemn violence  CBS News
  3. Trump Is Said to Have Discussed Pardoning Himself  The New York Times
  4. The Guardian view on the storming of the US Capitol: democracy in danger  The Guardian
  5. The insurrection wasn’t a coup — but Trump has still disqualified himself from future office  The Washington Post
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

Some at US Capitol Riot Fired After Internet Detectives Identify Them

Some of the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol were fired from their jobs Thursday after internet sleuths publicized their identities.

The District of Columbia Police Department released photos of people in Wednesday’s melee and potential charges against them. Sixty-eight people were arrested after angry protesters stormed the building, breaking windows, damaging fixtures and stealing furnishings.

The FBI also asked the public to help it identify rioters, a call that drew ribbing on social media in light of the prolific coverage of the event, including selfies posted by participants and videos of President Donald Trump’s supporters at area hotels before the attack.

Some individuals who had previously been photographed at Trump rallies and supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory movement were quickly identified. Online detectives focused their efforts on others.

“Let’s name and shame them!” read one Twitter thread devoted to outing participants.

One of the people shown in the D.C. police photos wore his work identification badge inside the Capitol and was identified and fired by his employer, Navistar Direct Marketing of Frederick, Maryland.

“While we support all employees’ right to peaceful, lawful exercise of free speech, any employee demonstrating dangerous conduct that endangers the health and safety of others will no longer have an employment opportunity with Navistar Direct Marketing,” the company said in a statement, without naming the man.

FILE – Pro-Trump protesters storm the U.S. Capitol to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.

Libby Andrews, a real estate agent from Chicago, was fired by @properties and removed from its website, even though she had done nothing wrong and had not entered the Capitol, she said in an interview.

“I’m a 56-year-old woman, petite. I was not there causing trouble. I was there to support my president,” Andrews said.

Andrews said she had climbed the steps of the Capitol without encountering security, posted selfies from the scene on Instagram, sang the national anthem and then moved on.

Rick Saccone, an adjunct professor at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, resigned after the college reviewed a video he posted on Facebook from the scene.

“As a result of that investigation, Dr. Saccone has submitted and we have accepted his letter of resignation, effective immediately,” the college said in a statement.

Saccone, reached by phone, confirmed his resignation and said he did not see acts of violence and never crossed the threshold of the Capitol. Saccone said he deleted the video, which could not be viewed Thursday.

Paul Davis, a lawyer at Westlake, Texas-based Goosehead Insurance, used a social media account to broadcast his participation at the Capitol, saying that he had been teargassed.

A Goosehead spokesperson confirmed David had been fired.

AOC Shreds Ted Cruz for Fundraising Off Calls to ‘Fight’ Biden’s Win During Attack on Capitol Building – The Daily Beast

  1. AOC Shreds Ted Cruz for Fundraising Off Calls to ‘Fight’ Biden’s Win During Attack on Capitol Building  The Daily Beast
  2. ‘This was no drill’: Congress tells chilling tale of rioters at Capitol Hill | USA TODAY  USA TODAY
  3. GOP Sen. Tom Cotton not-so-subtly knocks Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for inspiring Capitol siege for ‘political advantage’  Yahoo News
  4. What did other countries think of Capitol mob?  Hartford Courant
  5. How did Mississippi congressmen and senators act on accepting Electoral College votes?  Clarion Ledger
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

Speculation Grows Over Fate of Chinese Tech Billionaire Jack Ma

China’s Jack Ma — onetime schoolteacher, billionaire co-founder and former chairman of tech giant Alibaba and philanthropist — is missing from the spotlight, and speculation about his fate is mounting because when high-profile Chinese figures disappear, arrests and prosecutions often follow.

Unseen in public since October, analysts say Ma may be lying low as Chinese authorities investigate his sprawling business empire after he made an incendiary speech days before the highly anticipated stock market listing of Alibaba’s financial affiliate, Ant Group.

The speech, delivered at the Shanghai Financial Summit on October 24, blasted China’s financial regulators as unreasonable and urged them to be more innovative. He also likened the Basel accords, the global banking regulatory system, to an “old people’s club.” 

That was Ma’s last public appearance.

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen at its office in Beijing, China, Jan. 5, 2021.

On November 2, financial regulators of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) interviewed Ant Group executives and Ma, who no longer holds executive or board level positions at either of the companies he co-founded but is the largest individual shareholder of Alibaba with approximately 5%, worth some $25 billion.

On November 3, authorities suspended the Ant Group IPO. Scheduled simultaneously in Shanghai and Hong Kong for November 5, it was expected to generate $37 billion, which would have made it the world’s biggest IPO. At the time, The Wall Street Journal reported that Xi Jinping, president of the People’s Republic of China and the CCP chief, had personally ordered the Ant Group IPO blocked after hearing Ma’s speech.  

Later in November, Ma failed to appear to judge the finale of a game show he created, according to the Financial Times. He was replaced as a judge of the second season of Africa’s Business Heroes, a contest for entrepreneurs developed by Ma’s foundation, even though he had tweeted he “couldn’t wait to meet the contestants.”

 On December 14, Beijing fined Alibaba Investment Limited, which is owned by Alibaba, 500,000 RMB, or $77,200, for violating antitrust laws, according to Reuters. 

On December 24, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (NIM) opened an investigation into Alibaba for possible monopolistic practices, and Alibaba stock lost more than $110 billion in market value that day.  

A screen shows sales information during the 2020 Tmall Global Shopping Festival in Hangzhou, in eastern China’s Zhejiang province on Nov. 11, 2020.

A week later, the agency fined Alibaba’s Tmall, an online business-to-consumer website, for antitrust violations.

On January 4, Bloomberg News quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that in early December Ma had been advised by Chinese authorities not to leave China. Also this week, an Alibaba spokesperson told CBS News that “no further information can be shared for now” about Ma’s whereabouts. 

While some believe that Ma has left China, Ge Bidong, an economist based in Los Angeles and a current affairs commentator, told VOA that this is impossible. ”No matter how powerful and rich he is, he wouldn’t be able to escape from China,” said Ge, who told VOA he was a political prisoner in China for seven years before arriving in the U.S. in 2018. “If he could leave, there is only one possibility — that is, the Chinese Communist Party wanted him to leave.” 

The German government-funded news outlet Deutsche Welle quoted analysts as saying that this episode represents just the beginning of Beijing’s efforts to strengthen its control over China’s increasingly powerful tech giants.

Gene Chang, retired professor of economics at the University of Toledo in Ohio, told VOA what is happening to Jack Ma is not just about Alibaba’s monopoly power. 

“Alibaba does seem to have a monopoly … but it can be solved through government regulation,” said Chang. “But if the government politicizes this regulation, fearing that private companies pose a challenge to communist rule, the economy will become a victim.” 

Ge, who also writes for the Epoch Times, told VOA that Alibaba’s online shopping model is not only good for consumers, but also “stimulated a significant increase in physical production and led to an expansion of logistics.” 

Chang believes that market imbalances such as monopolies are natural consequences of economic development, and that it is the responsibility of government to use regulation to achieve the appropriate social balance. 

“The government should come forward to digest or reduce the negative impact the transformation generates and balance social welfare,” he said. 

Ge said there is only one future for Alibaba: It will be transformed into whatever ownership the CCP wants, and “Jack Ma and people like him will be eliminated.” 

Chairman of Anbang Insurance Group Wu Xiaohui attends the China Development Forum in Beijing, China March 18, 2017.

And Ge’s certainty is part of what fuels the speculation. In June 2017, Wu Xiaohui, the onetime chairman of the vast and well-connected Anbang Insurance Group, disappeared from view only to resurface at trial in March 2018. He was found guilty of financial fraud and abuse of power and sentenced to 18 years.

This photo taken on Nov. 18, 2013, shows Ren Zhiqiang, the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group, speaking at the China Public Welfare Forum in Beijing.

In early 2020, Ren Zhiqiang, former chairman of the state-owned property developer Huayuan Real Estate Group, went missing after criticizing the government’s mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak. 

In September, Ren, who once referred to Xi Jinping as a “clown,” was found guilty of corruption, having reportedly received an illicit gain of nearly $7.4 million, taken $184,500 in bribes and embezzled $8.9 million in public funds between 2003 and 2017. 

Adrianna Zhang   contributed to this report.