Outraging China, Pompeo pushes US hard line over virus

first_imgTopics : The former Army infantryman has for months been describing China as a major adversary on everything from technology to defense — a contrast with President Donald Trump, who has abruptly swung from assailing to praising Beijing.Yet Pompeo has also managed a rare feat in Trump’s Washington — staying in the good graces of the mercurial president, who is not known to have uttered a critical word against his top aide.Washington watchers see loyalty to Trump as the ultimate principle of Pompeo, whose own political future is tied to sticking by Trump and helping him win re-election in November.A former congressman, Pompeo has been unabashedly partisan as compared with past US top diplomats, recently criticizing Trump’s presumptive Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden by name at a State Department news conference. Branded “insane” by Chinese state media but hailed by US conservatives, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is taking the lead in pressing a hard line against Beijing over the coronavirus pandemic.Pompeo has been at the forefront of bringing into the mainstream a theory that the illness that has killed nearly 250,000 worldwide slipped out of a virology laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged last year.The hawkish role is familiar for Pompeo, who has also advocated sweeping pressure on Iran including a January drone strike that killed one of its top generals. ‘Spewing poison’ Pompeo, in an interview Sunday on ABC, said there was “enormous evidence” that the new coronavirus came out of a Wuhan lab — not a wet market, as most scientists suggest.”Remember, China has a history of infecting the world and they have a history of running substandard laboratories,” he said.Pressed in the interview, Pompeo, formerly the CIA chief, walked back his statement that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was “man-made,” an idea explicitly rejected by US intelligence.Chinese state media on Monday responded with harsh commentary reminiscent of North Korea’s colorful harangues, denouncing his remarks as “insane” and entitling a commentary, “Evil Pompeo is wantonly spewing poison and spreading lies.”Pompeo has also joined Trump in attacking the World Health Organization, which said Monday it had no evidence that the virus came out of a laboratory.center_img Douglas Paal, a senior Asia adviser under previous Republican presidents, said that Pompeo’s focus on China’s role in the pandemic was in line with Trump’s re-election strategy.”The economy has cratered, the stock market has cratered, so what else do you run on in the election? Well, run against China,” said Paal, a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.He said that Pompeo, who has only made two brief visits to Beijing since taking office two years ago, takes a more ideological approach to China than previous secretaries of state.”Every time, it’s never the ‘Chinese government.’ It’s always the ‘Chinese Communist Party.’ That terminology seems to explain to them everything about what China is doing,” he said. Rallying conservatives Even while making enemies in Beijing, Pompeo has found friends in one welcome area for him — Trump’s conservative base.He steadfastly defended Trump during his impeachment, even after the president lampooned US diplomats who were alarmed over his strong-arming of Ukraine.More recently, Pompeo has feuded on Twitter with Senator Elizabeth Warren, a leading liberal Democrat, after she doubted his Iran strategy.Pompeo surprised many political watchers earlier this year by declining to run for Senate in his strongly Republican home state of Kansas, a seat that would have given him a perch in Washington even if Trump loses.But the 56-year-old is widely seen as entertaining presidential ambitions of his own in 2024 and, even while leading US foreign policy in a crisis, he has waded into domestic social issues.He recently won praise from Christian conservatives for a Twitter attack on “radical leftist scholars” who spoke of risks to homeschooling children.An evangelical Christian who often speaks of his faith, Pompeo has also taken to tweeting verses from the Bible.On Sunday, just as he was renewing his charges about the Wuhan laboratory, he quoted from the Book of Proverbs: “Be sure of this: the wicked will not go unpunished, but the descendants of the righteous will go free.”last_img read more

Fernandes responds to Ronaldo’s Instagram workout challenge

first_img Loading… Fernandes took to his Instagram account to respond to the summons set by Juventus forward Ronaldo, whereby players see how many ab crunches they can complete in 45 seconds. Promoted Content14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right Now10 Inventions That Prove Humanity Is Failing Badly10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?Which Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty PennyBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemPink Pineapples Exist – In Case You Didn’t Know10 Phones That Can Work For Weeks Without Recharging7 Biggest Celebrity Endorsement Deals6 Most Unforgettable Bridges In The World5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks Manchester Untied midfielder Bruno Fernandes accepted an Instagram challenge set by compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo.Advertisement Ronaldo started off the challenge with an Instagram video posted with the caption: “Hey guys, I have a new challenge for you to stay active: the Living Room Cup. Can you step up and beat my core crusher record? Show me what you got and use #livingroomcup #playinside @nike @cristiano so I can see you!”After introducing the challenge to his 210 million Instagram followers, Ronaldo takes to the mat to start.“Hi guys, this is the first edition of the Nike Living Room Cup, I’m joining you to see how many ab crunches I can do in 45 seconds,” he said, before blasting through the exercises.Ronaldo set a tasty score of 142 to beat – an incredible yet perhaps unsurprising effort for a player famed for his dedication to his fitness.Fernandes wasted no time in stepping up to the plate, but could not replicate Ronaldo’s feat, completing 117 in the allotted time frame – a commendable effort in itself.Fernandes’ post was accompanied by the caption: “#NikeLivingRoomCup – Week One. 117 Abs in 45 seconds. Not bad for a Sunday.Thanks for the challenge @Cristiano @nike @nikefootball Challenge: @jorgejesus @francisobikwelu @martial_9 @carloschainho @cesartmourao @madjer_official”Fernandes takes on RonaldoRead Also: Lionel Messi is above Ronaldo, CR7, Ronaldinho – XaviFernandes tagged Manchester United team mate Anthony Martial in the challenge, as well as former Portugal manager Jorge Jesus.Footballers have been doing their best to promote the ‘stay at home’ message during the coronavirus crisis.The Premier League is currently suspended indefinitely, though chiefs still remain hopeful of completing the season.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more