On August 6, New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced a lawsuit calling for the dissolution of the National Rifle Association (NRA). She said that the association is full of corruption and some executives are wantonly squandering public funds, causing irreversible damage to the association’s ability to operate as a non-profit organization. The lawsuit caused an uproar as soon as it was announced.
As we all know, in the United States, the “right to bear arms” is not only a social issue, but also an ideological and political one. Its direct legal basis is the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The NRA is not only the largest organization supporting this right in the United States, but also one of the most powerful lobby groups. Moreover, even if the NRA’s executive corruption case is established and some executives are brought to justice, it does not mean that the NRA can be dissolved. Even if the NRA is dissolved, it doesn’t mean that gun violence, a chronic disease of American society, can be solved overnight.
So why is the New York State Attorney General doing this? Given that New York State is governed by the Democratic Party, Letitia James is a Democrat, and that it is less than three months to the presidential election, the lawsuit is more like a tool of party struggle. With the U.S. economy falling by as much as 32.9 percent in the second quarter, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is approaching 5 million, and Trump still lags far behind Biden in the polls, the Democratic Party may intend to take this lawsuit to launch a new attack on Trump.
The NRA has been a firm supporter of Trump since the 2016 election. Last month, the NRA once again made it clear that it supports Trump’s re-election. The prosecution of the NRA at this time will not only divert the association’s resources from the Republican Party, but also make it unable to play its full role in supporting Trump’s election.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference to announce a suit to dissolve the National Rifle Association, In New York, the U.S., August 6, 2020. /Reuters
At the same time, the Democratic Party can also use this lawsuit to unite its own voters and further mobilize voters to actively participate in voting. Many experts regard the failure of Democratic voters to actively participate in voting as an important reason for Hillary Clinton to lose the presidential election in 2016. To prevent history from repeating itself, the Democratic Party will have to use various issues to mobilize its own voters.
However, the Democratic Party’s move may backfire and help the Trump’s campaign. The “right to bear arms” is a highly controversial topic in the United States. Raising this topic at this time can divert people’s attention from the dismal economy and the Trump’s failure in handling COVID-19. Also, it could cause a fierce response from Trump supporters, given their ardent support for the NRA, and help the Republican Party mobilize its base.
Obviously, the Republicans are also aware of this potential. As soon as the New York prosecutor announced the lawsuit, Trump scolded it as a conspiracy by the Democratic Party. He said: “Just like Radical Left New York is trying to destroy the NRA, if Biden becomes President your GREAT SECOND AMENDMENT doesn’t have a chance. Your guns will be taken away, immediately and without notice. No police, no guns!”
No matter what the real purpose of lawsuit is or whether the lawsuit is successful, the lawsuit will further tear apart the American society which has been extremely divided ideologically. Politicians, both Democratic and Republican, are well aware that the lawsuit will further exacerbate social fragmentation. The lawsuit and the response of the two parties to the lawsuit have shown that, for the sake of party interests, the two parties have given up their efforts to bridge social fragmentation and unite the people and no longer hope to win votes from the opposing camp. The campaign strategy of both parties is to take advantage of the extreme fragmentation of American society to mobilize their own voters to vote.
Therefore, our next focus should not be on the final outcome of the lawsuit and its impact on the Second Amendment to the Constitution, but on the impact of the lawsuit on the presidential election in November. Whether this lawsuit is the “last straw” that overwhelms Trump or Trump’s “August surprise,” let us wait and see.
Think Tank Releases an Analytical Report on the Global Situation of the COVID-19 Pandemic
As the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet subsided, the CGTN Think Tank has released the Analytical Report on the Global Situation of the COVID-19 Pandemic (the “Report”) by sourcing data from the Johns Hopkins University website, Our World in Data and Pharmaceutical Technology that have not been comprehensively processed, analyzing research literature from the academic community and referring to the known impact of the pandemic on global economic and social development as well as the recommendations on its prevention and control from renowned public health experts. The Report puts together the data on pandemic prevention and control measures in 51 sample countries to make rankings as a way of reflecting the current situation of pandemic control in these countries. It focuses on the importance that countries attach to personal safety, social and environmental stability, thereby providing ideas and directions for countries around the world to fight the pandemic.
The Report analyzes and evaluates the current status of pandemic prevention and control in the 51 countries based on five indicators, including the total number of confirmed cases, the number of newly confirmed cases, the total number of deaths, the number of vaccinations and the full cycle from pandemic outbreak to control as of 14 July.
The data shows that the United States has the worst performance on three of the five statistical indicators. The U.S. has over 34 million confirmed cases in total, the highest in the world, and over 600,000 deaths in total, also the highest in the world; and the number of days with less than 5,000 daily new cases in the full cycle from pandemic outbreak to control is only 62, still the worst among the sample countries.
According to the data, the situation in main European countries is not encouraging. When it comes to the total number of confirmed cases and deaths, France, the UK and Italy all rank high.
The data shows that some Asian countries have performed well in pandemic prevention and control, thanks to effective measures such as entry bans, quarantine and stringent testing at the border. China has the lowest number of confirmed new cases among the sample countries and the highest number of vaccinations in the world; Singapore and Vietnam rank low among all sample countries for the total number of COVID-19 deaths; and South Korea has adjusted the level of pandemic response in a timely manner, resulting in 537 days with less than 5,000 daily new cases.
In terms of the number of vaccinations, China is one of a few developing countries with the highest number of COVID-19 vaccinations due to its ability to develop and manufacture its own vaccines. At present, over 1.4 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in China. China has also supplied more than 500 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and stock solutions to more than 100 countries and international organizations worldwide, equivalent to one-sixth of the total global vaccine production. However, the statistics also lay bare that the vaccination progress in developing countries is significantly worse than that in developed countries, due to the severe inequality in the global distribution of vaccines. Countries with a poor vaccination record, such as Vietnam and Iraq, are still far from reaching herd immunity due to various limitations, such as poor health service and vaccine hoarding by certain developed countries.
The polarization in the number of confirmed cases, the number of deaths and the number of people vaccinated in different countries and regions of the world, as shown by the objective statistics, is very much related to national pandemic prevention and control policies and measures, and highlights the crucial role played by a country’s government in pandemic prevention and control.
COVID-19 tracker: the latest figures by country
Xi Jinping Inspects Southwest China’s Tibet
President Xi Jinping visited the city of Nyingchi in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. He arrived at Nyingchi Mainling Airport on Wednesday and was welcomed by local residents and officials of various ethnic groups.
He then visited the Nyang River Bridge to inspect ecological preservation in the basin of the Yarlung Zangbo River and its tributary Nyang River.
In the afternoon, President Xi visited an urban planning center, a village and a park to learn about urban development planning, rural revitalization, urban park construction and other work. 00:37
On Thursday, he went to Nyingchi Railway Station and inspected the overall planning of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway and the construction and operation of the Lhasa-Nyingchi section. He then took a train to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.
In Lhasa, Xi visited the Drepung Monastery, Barkhor Street and Potala Palace square to learn about the work on ethnic and religious affairs, the conservation of the ancient city, and the inheritance and protection of Tibetan culture. He also chatted with residents.
Xi’s visit came as Tibet celebrates its 70th anniversary of peaceful liberation.
Peng Liyuan Addresses SCO Forum on Fomen’s Education, Poverty Alleviation
Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, on Tuesday addressed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) forum on women’s education and poverty alleviation via video.
Peng, who is also a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) special envoy for the advancement of girls and women’s education, said eliminating poverty and embracing happiness are the common aspirations of all women. By receiving education, knowledge and skills, women can have the power to lift themselves out of poverty.
Thanks to China’s unremitting efforts, the country has achieved a victory in the fight against extreme poverty, and hundreds of millions of Chinese women have been lifted out of poverty, she said, adding that China has adopted a series of measures to ensure women’s equal access to education and make them beneficiaries, participants and contributors in poverty alleviation.
Peng said reducing poverty through women’s education will have a strong impetus if a country attaches great importance to it, social organizations actively support it and people from all walks of life make selfless contributions.
She mentioned how Guizhou’s provincial government motivated more than 500,000 women to work at home by developing a women-tailored handcraft industry, how more than 3 million poor girls were able to complete their education under the nationally funded Spring Bud Project, and how a teacher named Zhang Guimei founded a free high school in an impoverished area that helped nearly 2,000 girls enter college.
With 435 million women still living in poverty in the world, the gender gap in education remains clear, Peng said, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic poses new challenges to reducing poverty for women.
Over the past 20 years, since the establishment of the SCO, women from member states have followed the “Shanghai Spirit,” exchanged experiences on women’s development, promoted cooperation in various fields and contributed their share to advancing SCO cooperation, Peng said.
We need to unite our love and make long-lasting efforts, continue to deepen cooperation in women’s education and poverty reduction, let education shine a light of hope on women and make more women enjoy opportunities to live a beautiful life, she said.
The forum is jointly organized by the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF), the Committee of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the SCO and the Secretariat of SCO.
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