Russian President Vladimir Putin has a succinct message for US President George W. Bush's administration: Stop the lectures on how he should deal with his Chechen problem. \nRussian policy toward Chechnya has been a sore point between Washington and Moscow for years, and now there is the added US worry of a possible decisive shift to authoritarianism in Russia. \nPutin clearly was irritated when, four days after the Beslan school massacre, the State Department recommended a political solution in Chechnya, the epicenter of radical Islam in Russia. \nAs Putin saw it, the administration proposal was tantamount to suggesting that Bush negotiate with the architects of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the US. \nMeeting with US and other foreign visitors, Putin asked: "Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?" \nAmong those who heard Putin that day was Clifford Kupchan, of the Washington-based Nixon Center, a private research group. \nAccording to Kupchan, Putin also expressed irritation at what he described as the tendency in Washington to call Chechen militants "separatists" instead of "terrorists." \nCountering Putin, the State Department officials say they have never recommended that Putin deal with Chechen terrorists, and they have not been shy about using the word "terrorists" to describe the authors of the Beslan massacre, the August airplane bombings and other acts of terror growing out of the Chechen crisis. \nBush minced no words on Tuesday in his UN speech about the dangers Russia faces: "This month in Beslan we saw, once again, how the terrorists measure their success -- in the death of the innocent, and in the pain of grieving families." \nStill, Secretary of State Colin Powell admits the administration may have offered political advice on Chechnya to the Russians too quickly in the aftermath of Beslan. \n"We, perhaps, might have, you know, been a little more sensitive in the heat of the moment," Powell now says. \nSince taking office, Powell has been extremely careful in his public comments on Russia. Offending Moscow could mean less Russian cooperation in the war on terror, nonproliferation and a host of other issues. \nPowell also believes that a democratic Russia is consistent with US values and security interests. \nHis thesis is that only through democracy can the two countries forge close security, political and economic ties. \nRecent developments have not been encouraging. \nJust days after Beslan, Putin seemed to jerk his country backward by stripping Russians of their right to elect governors and district representatives in the legislature. \n"We do have concerns," Powell said in a cautious initial response. In the pursuit of terrorists, he said, a proper balance is needed to ensure that democratic processes are respected. \nHe was planning to raise the issue with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN yesterday.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made