Ben Whedon

Articles by Ben Whedon

Taiwan Blocked from W.H.O. Assembly Despite World’s Best Coronavirus Response

Chinese state-run propaganda outlet the Global Times gloated on Tuesday over Taiwan not receiving an invitation to this year’s World Health Assembly (W.H.A.), asserting that Beijing had the “final say” in the matter and annexation by communist China is the only way forward for the island.

A woman holds a Taiwanese flag as she joins others at a rally to mark Taiwan's National Day, in the Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong on October 10, 2019. - Taiwan's National Day, also called called Double-Ten in a reference to the nationalist Republic of China set up …

Report: Russia Arrests 1,700 Alexei Navalny Supporters

Russian authorities detained over 1,700 protesters across the country on Wednesday as they demonstrated in support of imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, according to OVD-Info, an organization tracking police detentions.

Police officers detain an opposition supporter during a rally in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, on April 21, 2021 in Vladimir, where he was reportedly transferred to the IK-3 penal colony. - Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's team called for demonstrations in more than 100 cities, after the …

Doctor Says Russia Keeping Her from Examining Political Prisoner Alexei Navalny

Russian dissident Alexei Navalny’s personal doctor, Anastasia Vasilyeva, on Tuesday claimed the prison did not allow her and a group of physicians to examine him amid concerns of his rapidly deteriorating health. Meanwhile, the Russian government has asserted that the European Court of Human Right’s (ECHR) ban on releasing Navalny’s personal health documents is part of a large coverup campaign orchestrated to benefit western intelligence operatives.

Alliance of Doctors union's leader Anastasia Vasilyeva stands next to the gate of the IK-3 penal colony where jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was reportedly transferred in the city of Vladimir on April 20, 2021. - Russia's penitentiary service said on April 19, 2021, it was transferring ailing Kremlin critic …

Vladimir Putin Rejects Joe Biden Invite to Meet in Person

The Kremlin announced Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not move forward on an offer from U.S. President Joe Biden to meet in person, at least for the time being, Russian state media outlet RT reported.

Vice President of the United States Joe Biden, left, geatures as he meets Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 10, 2011.The talks in Moscow are expected to focus on missile defense cooperation and Russia's efforts to join the World Trade Organization. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Taliban Opens Ramadan with Assault on Afghan Army

A spokesman for the governor of Badakhshan said Taliban forces launched a lethal assault against the Afghan National Army (ANA) on Tuesday morning, the first day of Ramadan, killing three government soldiers in the province, the Khaama Press reported.

In this photograph dated 15 April 2005, an Afghan soldier with a rocket is pictured in a drive by officials to destroy poppies in a field in the Maiwand district, 45 kms west of the southern city of Kandahar. Taliban rebels determined to keep southern Afghanistan in chaos 13 March …

Putin Signs Law Allowing Him to Stay in Power Until 2036

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Monday adjusting his term limits which would allow him to potentially remain in the nation’s highest office until 2036, the Associated Press reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin participates via video link in a ceremony launching a gold processing facility in Kyrgyzstan, in Moscow on March 17, 2021. (Photo by Alexey DRUZHININ / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by ALEXEY DRUZHININ/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

UAE Agrees to Manufacture Chinese-Made Coronavirus Vaccine

China’s state-run propaganda outlet Global Times on Tuesday trumpeted a number of diplomatic breakthroughs between China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that sprung from Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s ongoing tour of the Middle East, including deal between Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm and Group 42, an Emirati firm, to produce Chinese coronavirus vaccines in the UAE.

A medical worker, wearing disposable gloves , measures the temperature of a man at a coronavirus drive-through screening center on April 01, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Suez Canal Blockage Enters Day Two, May Last Weeks

The closure of the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest maritime shipping lanes, continues into its second day after a cargo ship ran aground and completely blocked passage between the Red and Mediterranean Seas. The Suez Canal Authority announced Thursday it was “temporarily suspending navigation” through the canal as maritime traffic backed up on both ends, Agence France-Presse reported.

This photo released by the Suez Canal Authority on Thursday, March 25, 2021, shows a backhoe trying to dig out the keel of the Ever Given, a Panama-flagged cargo ship, that is wedged across the Suez Canal and blocking traffic in the vital waterway. An operation is underway to try …

Ukraine Rejects Iran’s ‘Cynical’ Report on Downed Commercial Flight

In a video address, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba blasted Iran’s final report on the downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 as “just a cynical attempt to hide the true causes for the downing of our aircraft,” according to Ukrainian state media outlet Ukrinform.

Rescue teams are seen on January 8, 2020 at the scene of a Ukrainian airliner that crashed shortly after take-off near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran. - Search-and-rescue teams were combing through the smoking wreckage of the Boeing 737 flight from Tehran to Kiev but officials said …

Russia Insists Mysterious Web Access Issues Not Censorship

The Russian government on Wednesday deflected blame for a myriad of web access issues — including difficult using Google and YouTube, as well as crashes on government websites — asserting the problems were not the result of the Kremlin’s deliberate slowdown of Twitter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin participates via video link in a ceremony to launch the construction of a third reactor of the Turkish nuclear power plant built by Russia's energy giant Rosatom, in Moscow on March 10, 2021. (Photo by Alexey DRUZHININ / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by ALEXEY DRUZHININ/SPUTNIK/AFP via …

India Announces Development of Intranasal Coronavirus Vaccine

Indian Health Minister Ashwini Choubey told the Rajya Sabha, the national legislature’s upper chamber, on Tuesday that an intranasal coronavirus vaccine candidate Bharat Biotech is developing had reached clinical development stages, the Times of India reported.

A medical worker inoculates a colleague with a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at the Rajawadi Hospital in Mumbai on January 16, 2021. (Indranil Mukherjee/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia Jails Man for 8 Years for Sharing State Secrets with China

The Trans-Baikal Regional Court in Siberia has sentenced a Russian national, convicted of high treason for sending state secrets to a foreign power, to 8 years imprisonment in a “strict regime penal colony,” a Wednesday statement from the court announced.

Police officers wearing face masks patrol on the deserted Red square, with the St. Basil's Cathedral (L) and Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower (R) in the background, in Moscow on March 30, 2020, during a lockdown of the city to stop the spread of the epidemic COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus. …

Ukraine Sues Russia in European Court over ‘Targeted Assassinations’

Ukraine has filed a case with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) accusing Russia of the “targeted assassinations” of its political opponents “in Russia and on the territory of other state” and of hiding its lethal activities, a Tuesday press release from the ECHR revealed.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, his wife Yulia, opposition politician Lyubov Sobol and other demonstrators march in memory of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov in downtown Moscow on February 29, 2020. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian Journalist Says Prison Sentence Is Punishment for Joke Retweet

The Tverskoi district court in Moscow has sentenced Sergei Smirnov, editor of the news site Mediazona, to 25 days in jail for “repeated violations” of mass gathering restrictions, though he contends it was a joke tweet in which he suggested a resemblance between himself and Russian rock star Dmitry Spirin, who has openly backed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, that landed him in hot water, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty (RFERL) reported Wednesday.

NORWICH, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 25: (EDITORS NOTE: IMAGES EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 0001GMT AUGUST 26, 2005) 19 year old inmate James looks out of the window of the Young Offenders Institution attached to Norwich Prison on August 25, 2005 in Norwich, England. A Chief Inspector of Prisons report on …

Chinese Police Arrest 80 for Selling Fake Coronavirus Vaccines

Chinese police have made around 80 arrests linked to a fake vaccination scheme in which participants reportedly marketed syringes filled with saline — essentially salt water — as coronavirus vaccines and sold them for extortionate profits, state news outlet Xinhua reported Monday.

A nurse prepares to administer the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination centre in Hyde on December 17, 2020 in Manchester, England. The coronavirus drive-through vaccine centre is believed to be the first in the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Vladimir Putin Warns of the ‘End of Our Civilization’ at Davos

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an ominous speech to the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, warning the Chinese coronavirus pandemic and rising income inequality threatened to thrust the world into “all against all” conflict, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the virtual World Economic Forum via a video link from Moscow on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Mikhail KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP) (Photo by MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Report: Russia Ties up and Deports Lawyer Working with Dissident Navalny

A Belarusian lawyer working for dissident Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) claims Russian police forcibly removed him from the country, binding him with handcuffs and tossing a sack over his head before driving him across the border and handing him over to Belarusian authorities, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty (RFERL) reported Tuesday.

A Russian soldier of the special forces stands guard a street next to the FSB security service's office in Moscow on December 19, 2019. - Gunfire broke out in central Moscow near an office of the FSB security service on DEcember 19, with armed officers seen running through a busy …

Arrest of Poisoned Dissident Alexei Navalny Prompts Protests in Russia

Dozens of protesters demonstrated on Monday outside of a Moscow police station demanding the release of prominent Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, whom authorities arrested at a Moscow airport upon his return to the country and placed on trial for violating the terms of a suspended prison sentence.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is escorted out of a police station on January 18, 2021, in Khimki, outside Moscow, following the court ruling that ordered him jailed for 30 days. - Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Monday urged Russians to stage mass anti-government protests during a court hearing after his …