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Two Canadians who were detained in China were formally accused of spying



Second Canadian possibly detained in China (2018)

The Beijing City People’s Procuratorate filed a lawsuit against Kovrig on Friday for “spying on state secrets and intelligence.” The Dandong People’s Procuratorate also filed a public prosecution of Spavor for “spying and illegally giving state secrets.”

The two men were arrested in the weeks after the arrest in Meng Wanzhou, Vancouver, chief financial officer of Chinese technology company Huawei at the end of 2018, on charges brought in the United States.

US prosecutors want Meng to be tried on various charges, including bank fraud and violating US sanctions against Iran.

Outside mainland China, the new indictment will trigger fears in Hong Kong over the upcoming national security law, which Beijing will impose on the city, bypassing the local legislature.

This week, the G7 countries say in joint statement that the proposed law can “limit and threaten the basic rights and freedoms of all residents (in Hong Kong) protected by the rule of law and the existence of an independent justice system.”

‘Arbitrary’ detention

Kovrig is a former diplomat in Beijing and works for the International Crisis Group (ICG). Spavor is the founder of Paektu Cultural Exchange, a company that helps facilitate travel to North Korea. He has helped former NBA player Dennis Rodman on his way to Pyongyang to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The Canadian government has repeatedly described their detention as “arbitrary.” Family members and contacts of the two men described them being detained in poor conditions, and refused outside contact.

Guy Saint-Jacques, who served as Canada’s ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016, told CNN last year that Spavor was being held at a detention facility in the northeastern province of Dandong, sharing cells with 18 other detainees, with lights kept burning 24 hours a day and only 15 minutes from outside time. Kovrig was detained in Beijing, said Saint-Jacques, and nobody has had access to lawyers or their family members since they were first detained.

“In both cases they receive consular visits once a month, exactly 30 minutes, with someone there watching all discussions,” he said. “This mainly serves to give them news about their families, and give them books and other reading material. It is very difficult for them, they are waiting and they don’t know when and how they will be released.”

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Someone familiar with the situation told CNN that Canadian diplomatic efforts have so far focused on efforts to resolve what remains a complex political engagement.

There is a greater geopolitical game between China and the United States, where Canada is somewhat caught in the middle, the person added, and two Canadians pay the price.

Saint-Jacques agreed, saying China’s problem was with the US, “but of course they did not dare to arrest former American diplomats or American diplomats who were on leave.”

He said that China had been shocked by the widespread international condemnation of his arrest of the two Canadians, but beyond garnering support from the allies, there was little that Ottawa could do. “It’s very difficult to find something because we don’t have much that the Chinese really want,” he said.

In a statement on the anniversary of his detention last year, the Spavor family said he had been “arrested as an unconscious human piece and unwilling to confront confrontation between the two superpowers and be swept away by geopolitical currents and forces outside his control.”

Shanshan Wang and Steve George from CNN contributed to the reporting.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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