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Americans who work for Chinese media must share personal information

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All employees at CGTN in the US, no matter their nationality, have to fill out a detailed State Department form.
This is the result of five Chinese state media outlets labeled Foreign Mission by the US earlier this year, marking them as an extension of the Beijing government and requiring them to comply with the same rules governing foreign embassies and consulates.

This action is part of a wider tit-for-tat between China and the United States, with media outlets in both countries functioning as proxies.

A five-page form, titled “OFM Department of Foreign Affairs (Missions Office) Questionnaire,” requests employee personal information as well as information about their spouses, children, and anyone who lives with them, along with where the employee worked for five years lastly. Copies of the forms were distributed to CNN by two CGTN employees who did not want to be named for fear of retaliation.

All CGTN employees, including those who are American citizens, have until Monday to complete the questionnaire.

In an email to the staff, shared by one of the CGTN employees, the CGTN legal department writes information that is usually needed only from diplomatic staff.

“We sincerely regret that OFM requires you to provide this information, but our request to OFM for reasonable accommodation for employees who are US citizens or permanent residents is denied,” the email said.

A State Department spokesman told CNN that the forms sent to CGTN employees were not made by the government, but the information was the same as what was asked by foreign mission employees, such as embassies or consulates. Foreign missions are needed to supply information through secure online web portals.

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“It is important for the State Department to have a record of individuals employed by all foreign missions in the United States,” the spokesman said. “The information is managed in accordance with any protection that is under the Department’s policies and the Privacy Act 1974.”

CGTN, the international branch of Chinese state television, has staff in more than 70 countries. Its bureaus employ local and Chinese employees, although Chinese executives have the final say on editorial matters.

Staff notify CNN that while they are often allowed to report because they feel they are compatible with a number of topics, basic issues such as Tibet are often considered forbidden. Stories about Hong Kong demonstrators or Muslim minority “re-education” camps in Xinjiang, presented in a way that is favorable to the Chinese government, despite protests from Western staff. Current network under investigation by British media regulators for violating the rules of bias and impartiality.
CGTN has played an important part of the overall strategy of the Chinese government to muddy the water coronavirus narrative through state and social media. The segment has strongly defended China’s response to the virus in the face of Western criticism, questioning the motives behind the criticism while exhibiting Chinese contributions to medical supplies and expertise around the world.

Five Chinese state media outlets labeled as foreign agents – CGTN, Xinhua, China Radio International, China Daily and People’s Daily – now require US government approval to buy or rent office space, limited in the number of Chinese employees they have. can have staff, and must register personnel changes including new employees and staff departures with the State Department, as well as foreign diplomatic missions.

In mid-March, China announced it would do so evict reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, in increasing tensions with Washington. This move is widely condemned by international news organizations.
“The United States is taking this action to clearly communicate the severity of our concern about the abusive, unfair, and irreversible international press treatment in China,” a State Department official told a press briefing on March 8.

The second CGTN employee told CNN that they saw the questionnaire from the State Department as a way to pressure Americans to leave the network.

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“Some people told me they were considering quitting, but the pandemic made it harder to do that,” the employee said. “There is a feeling the State Department wants to label us spies and create the impression that if we continue to work here we will be unemployed in the future. Including family members adds to the intimidation factor.”

The employee argued that despite “legitimate concerns” about the lack of press freedom in China, the US “should be better than that” and provide press freedom, even if it was “an unpopular speech.”

CGTN does not respond to requests for comment. However deep statement posted on its website in March, the channel referred to foreign mission labels as “hypocritical.”

“The US State Department has increased its control over the Chinese media, while violating the US commitment to freedom of speech and the press,” the statement said. “The oppression of the US government will not prevent us from providing high quality news to the world.

We hope the US government will stop the politicization of legitimate news operations. CGTN provides a window on Chinese culture and a platform for Chinese perspectives on international affairs. “

Michael Callahan contributed to this report.

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Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal – Observer

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Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal - Observer

Portuguese driver Thiago Monteiro (Honda) finished 14th and 15th this Sunday in the two World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) races held in Aragon, Spain, which precede the Vila Real race.

The Portuguese rider always rode in the tail, he was hindered by the fact that Honda had more excess weight than his rivals.

“If they told me that I would be in this position, I would not believe it. But the reality is that we have not been able to withstand a number of adversities. From the moment when the pace is much lower than other rivals, we are prepared in advance. It’s heartbreaking,” the Portuguese rider began his explanation after the fourth round of the championship.

The Portuguese rider struggled to find the best balance in his Civic, as did his teammate, Hungarian Attila Tassi.

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“We still had problems, and we could not reach the full potential of the car. It was very difficult, unpleasant and discouraging, especially since we are going to Vila Real and this scenario does not suit me. But we will have to continue to look for our own path and believe that everything will work out, ”Thiago Monteiro concluded.

Belgian Giles Magnus (Audi) and Spaniard Mikel Ascona (Hyundai) won both races on Sunday.

Ascona leads the league with 129 points, while Thiago Monteiro is 16th with 12 points.

The WTCR competition in Portugal will take place next weekend in Vila Real.

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

This Sunday, Portuguese cyclist João Almeida (UAE-Emirates) became the Portuguese champion in cross-country cycling for the first time, winning the elite national championships held in Mogaduro.

In his first online race since Joao Almeida was forced to pull out of the Vuelta Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus, he won his first national title since becoming time trial champion in 2021.

Almeida crossed the finish line in Mogadora, covering the 167.5 km distance in 4:08.42 hours, 52 seconds behind Thiago Antunes (Efapel) second, Fabio Costa (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) third, and Rui Oliveira (UAE). – Emirates), fourth.

In the end, João Almeida stated that he was “very pleased” with the victory, admitting that the race “went very well” and thanking his teammates.

Former national champion José Neves (W52-FC Porto) did not finish the race, as did Rafael Reis (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) who won the time trial title on Friday.

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Portuguese military admits ‘it will take time’ until territory is taken under control

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Portuguese military admits 'it will take time' until territory is taken under control

The “path” chosen for about a year in the fight against rebel groups in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique is “the right one,” Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires said in an interview with Lusa.

“Now, while the situation is not fully under control, we all understand that, as in any other counter-terrorism situation in the world, it will take a lot of time,” added the head of the European military training mission, although he acknowledged that this “ does not mean that sometimes there are no fears and failures.

However, “this is part of what constitutes an action taken against terrorists who operate in a very wide area, who in themselves have the initiative and the ability to hide in a very wide area,” he said.

In fact, he stressed, many of the recent attacks that have taken place in the south of Cabo Delgado in recent weeks are due to the fact that Islamist extremist rebels had to “flight from the north” of the province.

“Because this was a consolidated military operation carried out in close cooperation between the Mozambique Defense and Security Forces (FSS), [e com as forças d]Rwanda and SAMIM (Southern African Development Community Mission (SADC) in Mozambique), who were clearing out the intervention areas that existed in the area, the reaction of many terrorists was to flee the area, go further south, where they were not pursued. , and make new attacks,” he explained.

“In such cases, the initiative almost always belongs to the terrorists. There are few of them, they hide among the population, they move over very large territories, with a lot of dense vegetation, it becomes very difficult to find them, but you can easily move,” he continued.

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On the other hand, the Portuguese general emphasized, “it is now difficult for these groups” “to concentrate power and forces for large-scale operations, as was the case three years ago during the conquests, such as Mocimboa da Praia or Palma.” ,” he said.

“They don’t have that ability. Many of these attacks even demonstrate [estratégias] survival [clássicas das guerrilhas]. They’re looking for food, they’re looking for supplies, they’re searching deep down for a place where they can survive, because the area is already under quite a lot of control. [por parte] Mozambique FSS, Rwandan forces and SAMIM,” he explained.

In this context, Nuno Lemos Pires highlighted the “quick response” of the Mozambican authorities to each of these developments, starting with head of state Filipe Nyusi.

“I think it is exemplary that the moment there is a movement or a series of significant attacks in other areas, we immediately see the President of Mozambique heading north, linking up with his Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (CEMGFA). , with the Minister of Defense, with the Minister of the Interior, and outline plans on the ground for a quick change of equipment and the ability to respond to such movements,” he said.

During one such trip to northern Mozambique in mid-June, Mozambican Interior Minister Arsenia Massingue said that Mozambican police were informing the “enemy” – the rebel forces in Cabo Delgado – about the positions of the FDS and allied forces on the ground.

However, Lemos Pires downplayed the situation. “We must be aware that there are infiltrations in any political system. It’s happening everywhere. Ignoring this dimension is tantamount to ignoring what is happening everywhere,” he said.

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“I don’t know of a single case of insurgency, counterinsurgency, terrorist or counter-terrorist combat where these leaks didn’t happen frequently. You need to be careful. .

In addition to the vastness of the territory that has been the scene of conflict and the topography favorable to insurgent guerrilla strategies, the porous borders with Tanzania to the north of Cabo Delgado and Malawi to the northwest also pose a danger. challenges the SDF and allied forces of SAMIM and Rwanda.

Lemos Pires also relativized this question. “We are talking about transnational terrorism, and it is good to understand that the situation in the north of Mozambique, in Cabo Delgado, is not limited and is not limited – and has never been limited – exclusively and exclusively to this region. A phenomenon that exists throughout Africa. , namely in Central Africa,” he said.

The UETM commander even took advantage of this circumstance to formulate an “extended response” to “a broad problem, a regional one, and the solution must also be a broad regional one.”

Therefore, “it’s very good what we see here on the ground, in fact, this is the unification of the efforts of regional African forces to try to deal with a problem that really worries everyone,” he concluded.

“What happens in one region can affect another. That is why it is in everyone’s interest that these groups be fought, detained and that the narrative that they are currently spreading can be counteracted – we hope that there are fewer and fewer successes,” the Portuguese general stressed.

NPS // PYAA

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