Hong Kong to kill 2,000 animals after hamsters get COVID-19
A pet store is closed after some pet hamsters were, authorities said, tested positive for the coronavirus, in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Hong Kong Authorities announced on Tuesday that they will kill over 2,000 small-animals, including hamsters, after an employee was infected with COVID-19. The city also intends to stop selling hamsters and importing small animals. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, animals do not have a significant role in spreading the disease with Minks being the only known animal to have spread it to people. Despite this, Hong Kong refuses to reject the possibility that the shopkeeper was infected by hamsters. Those who ordered hamsters from the store are being required to enter quarantine and hand the hamsters over to authorities to be put down.
Putin and Raisi back closer ties in Kremlin meeting
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, right, talk to each other during their meeting in Moscow [Pavel Bednyakov/AP Photo]
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time. Putin hosted Raisi at the Kremlin on Wednesday to discuss regional and international issues regarding both nations. This comes as both countries are at the center of international controversy; Russia over its potential invasion of Ukraine and Iran for developing nuclear weapons. Raisi points to combatting terrorism as a common interest of the two countries as they both backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the war in Syria. This meeting could mark a turning point in relations between the two and see them become closer in political, economic, trade, security, and other matters.
Security scanners across Europe tied to China govt, military
Passengers walk next to Nuctech security scanners at the Brussels Eurostar train terminal on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Erika Kinetz)
A Chinese company, called Nuctech, with ties to both the Chinese military and Communist Party has installed security screening devices in sensitive locations worldwide. While Nuctech has been frozen out of the US for years due to national security concerns, it has been highly successful in installing its devices in locations across Europe. These locations include but are not limited to the World Economic Forum in Davos, the largest ports in Europe, Airports across the continent, and NATO’s borders with Russia. Now, a growing number of Western security officials are expressing their concerns that China could use these devices to sabotage key transit points or gain illicit access to sensitive data. Nuctech has dismissed these concerns, saying, “Our customer decides what happens with the data.” The European Union put measures in place to vet foreign direct investment by China, but there is no EU-wide system to evaluate Chinese procurement despite major concerns. According to Tai Ming Cheung, a professor at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, “Military-civil fusion is one of the key battlegrounds between the U.S. and China. The Europeans will have to figure out where they stand.”