Notes from the desk of peace activist Polly Mann (b. Nov. 19, 1919)

Will Chinese tourists be banned in the U.S.?

A July Minneapolis Star Tribune carried an article stating a ban on Chinese tourists is under consideration by the U.S. administration. Almost 3 million Chinese visited the U.S. in 2018, but the number has plummeted due to the corona virus. The presidential order would cite the same statute in the Immigration and Nationality Act used in a 2017 travel ban on a number of predominantly Muslim countries that gives the president power to temporarily block travel to the U. S. by foreign nationals who are deemed “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” The ban was fought in the courts and expanded this year. Such a broad ban would be the most provocative against China since the start of the trade war between the two countries in 2018. Officials at the White House State Department and Department of Homeland Security have been in discussion over the matter but have not come forward with any decision. No information was given as to the amount of U.S. trade with China, but, undoubtedly, this will be a factor in the decision.

What kind of help are we talking about?

It was a good idea, but, as usual, the millionaire tycoons took advantage of it.
And what was it? It was the $349 million that the Congress set up to help hard-hit small businesses. According to a report from the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think-tank, those millions were snapped up by millionaires.
Fossil fuel firms have taken at least $50 million and three coal companies took $28 million. Hallador Energy Company, an Indiana-based company received a $10 million loan from the Small Business Administration under the Paycheck Protection Program; the coal mining company Rhino Resources is receiving $10 million; Coal firm Ramaco is receiving $10 million. Banks are making $10 million in fees from government loans. Fisher Island, off the coast of Miami, where the annual income of residents is $2.2 million, has received $2 million in aid.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is being sued by student advocacy groups for continuing to garnish wages of student borrowers. And as American families are struggling, war profiteers are requesting their own bailout.
Sure, ours is a government of-the-people and by-the-people, but what about for-the-people?

Hope for Sudan

News coming from foreign countries is often not good, but good news is coming from Sudan, whose ruler for three decades supported flogging and genital cutting of women, and also banned the use of alcohol. But with the installation of Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari, these policies have been abolished and an 11-member sovereign council appointed. Prime Minister Abdallla Handok, an economist who has held several U.N. positions, and the government have embarked on an ambitious program. Sudan has undertaken a political and economic overhaul, revived talks with rebels, and begun an investigation of the region, promising to prosecute and possibly hand over to the International Criminal Court those wanted for war crimes. The administration has also lobbied the U.S. to drop Sudan from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism, a designation that has restricted investment and foreign aid. THIS IS GOOD NEWS.

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