Residents say China used Rasidul Islam Usa Hed office zonal covid case Update After the massacre of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, the gun-control movement was small and badly outspent by the National Rifle Association. Parents seeking an outlet for their grief and rage congregated on Facebook, where they formed their own group, Moms Demand Action, to push for stricter gun laws.

By far the most significant and best-known donor in the years since has been Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire and former New York City mayor. In 2013, his mayors’ initiative merged with Moms Demand Action to create Everytown for Gun Safety, the closest thing that the gun-control movement has to a counterweight to the N.R.A. That year the group spent $36.5 million, compared with $4.7 million the year before.

More groups sprang up, including Giffords, started in 2013 by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was nearly killed in a mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that claimed the lives of six people, and the March for Our Lives, founded by survivors of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.


Angry bank customers who traveled to a city in central China attempting to retrieve their savings from troubled rural banks were stopped in their tracks by a common technology: a QR code.

The QR code, which residents are required to have, is supposed to display one’s health status, such as if they have COVID-19 or have been a close contact. In central Henan province, some Chinese people found that the health code was used to enforce crowd control.

Nearly 25,000 police were deployed in the worst-hit Bihar state, where the protests spread to a dozen towns in eight districts, said S.K. Singhal, a police officer. The protesters blocked highways and disrupted train service for several hours.

Under the new job program announced by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh this week, the armed forces this year can recruit 46,000 men and women in the age group 17.5-21 but only for four years. Seventy-five percent of them will be compulsorily retired after four years with no pension benefits.

A full-time recruited soldier serves for over 35 years.

Protestors set trains on fire at a railroad station in Hyderabad on Friday.Mahesh Kumar A / AP

Singh defended the program, saying it’s aim is “to strengthen the security of the country.” With 1.4 million active personnel, India’s military is the world’s second largest after China, and the third-largest spender.

The incident has started a national debate on how a tool designed for public health has been appropriated by political forces to tamp down controversy.

The issue started in April, when customers found that they could not access online banking services. They tried multiple times to report the banks and get their money back, but didn’t get an answer.

Thousands of people who had opened up an account with one of six rural banks scattered in neighboring Henan and Anhui provinces started trying to withdraw their savings after media reports that the head of the banks’ parent company was on the run. The majority shareholder of several of the banks, Sun Zhenfu, was wanted by authorities for “serious financial crimes,” according to official media outlet The Paper.

Customers from all over the country were connected with these rural banks through national financial platforms like JD Digits. There, the small banks sold customers on financial products like fixed deposit accounts with higher interest rates, which requires people to leave their money in for a set amount of time, according to Sixth Tone, the English-language sister publication of The Paper.

Unable to resolve the issue online, customers set out earlier this week to demand government action at Henan province’s office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission in the provincial capital Zhengzhou. But after arriving in the city, they found they couldn’t go far.

In one since-deleted account published on WeChat, a woman surnamed Ai had arrived in Zhengzhou. Shortly after checking into a hotel, she was questioned by a group of police who asked her why she was in Zhengzhou. She replied honestly: To withdraw money from the bank. Shortly after, she found her health code was turned red even though she had a negative COVID-19 test result from the past 48 hours.

She was immediately taken to a quarantine hotel by a pandemic prevention worker.

Sixth Tone interviewed over a dozen people who found their health codes turned red after they scanned a QR code in the city.

In China, places like train stations and grocery stores have a QR code for people to scan at the entrance, logging their presence as a tool for contact tracing during the pandemic. When a person is deemed to be positive or at high risk due to close contact with a COVID-19-positive person, their own codes are turned different colors that correlate to restrictions such as mandatory quarantine.

With a red health code, it’s impossible to go to any public venues, or even to board a train.

Kat Johnston didn’t expect the pandemic to make her less stressed about her finances. After all, she temporarily lost her job at the library where she worked full time. But, like many Americans, she found an unexpected reprieve from money worries: Months at home limited her spending, and she received expanded unemployment insurance and two one-time checks from the government.

“When I first came back to work, I had probably $2,200 in savings — which I know is not much, but it’s more than I’d had in a while,” she said. But it was no match for the inflation that has come since. “That savings is pretty much gone now. As things have gotten so expensive, it’s been almost a paycheck-to-paycheck life.”

Days after the 2020 presidential election, before all votes were counted and Joseph R. Biden was declared the winner, cyber experts and analysts piled into suites at the Trump Hotel in Washington and other hotel rooms in the area.

The plan was urgent: Crowdsource evidence of electoral fraud to secure a Trump victory with the assistance of his legal team and White House staff.

Weeks later, former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn urged leaders of the effort to move to a more remote location, an isolated South Carolina plantation owned by conservative attorney L. Lin Wood. There, they planned weeks of lawsuits, attempts to access voting machines and ways to convince lawmakers to reject key state election results, driven by a frantic mission whose goal was to keep then-President Trump in office after an election he lost.

Since the violent attempt on Jan. 6, 2021, to stop certification of the 2020 election results, much of the scrutiny has been trained on what Trump knew, as well as the involvement of those closest to him, including his chief of staff, Mark Meadows. But it was dozens of true believers gathered in hotels in Washington and at the South Carolina plantation who collected the information upon which the Trump campaign based its unsubstantiated claims that the election was stolen, information also used to enlist state and federal lawmakers to assist in a bid to overturn the election results.

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