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Belgian University Closes the Door to Chinese Communist Party Propaganda Institute

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Taiwan News reported that Belgian research university Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) announced on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 it will cease its partnership with the Chinese Communist Party-backed Confucius Institute next year after its contract expires in June 2020.

VUB has joined other European universities in breaking ties with the Confucius Institute. The Belgian university is following the actions of Leiden University, Stockholm University, University of Lyon, Stuttgart Media University, and University of Hohenheim, according to CNA.

CNA reports that the decision was made during a board meeting and it was done under the belief that collaboration was no longer in the school’s best interests. However, VUB emphasized that it would embrace future partnerships with universities and academics from China “as long as academic freedom and independence” are guaranteed, it declared in a statement.

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VUB President Caroline Pauwels stated there must be respect for research freedom but the Confucius Institute appeared to not have met this requirement. Although the university supports international cooperation, she noted that it would instead focus on investing in young talent rather than “political regimes.”

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The former dean of the VUB Confucius Institute had previously been denied the ability to enter Belgium because of espionage allegations. According to CNA, Beijing refuted these claims, describing them as ungrounded and with ulterior motives.

Confucius Institutes serve as global propaganda machines that serve Chinese interests. The Washington Post reported back in January at least 10 of these institutes have been closed at American universities after China has recently come under fire for its human rights records.

Despite the closure of this Confucius Institute in Belgium, there are still many of these institutes open on U.S. universities such as Stanford University, UCLA, and Columbia University. China’s authoritarianism of the past still lives on through its expansionist foreign policy that is very dependent on soft power.

For national security purposes and the sake of containing CCP influence in America, more American universities should shut their doors to the Confucius Institute.

Culture

Starbucks Barista FIRED After Refusing to Wear “Pride” T-Shirt for Religious Reasons, According to Lawsuit

She is a Christian and was apparently told by her manager that she didn’t have to wear it.

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A former Starbucks barista is filing an unlawful discrimination lawsuit against the coffee giant, claiming they fired her for refusing to wear a “Pride” t-shirt that violated her Christian religious convictions.

Betsy Fresse started working as a barista in December 2015. After transferring to a Glen Ridge, New Jersey, store in early 2019, managers apparently “assured” her that her Christian faith wouldn’t be an issue.

Then in June 2019, she noticed a box of Pride shirts on a desk and asked if they’d make her wear one. Her store manager said she wouldn’t have to, but two months later she found herself out of a job after being terminated by a district manager.

A notice of separation claims that Fresse was fired for violating Starbucks’ “core values.” It specifically mentions an incident where she said her colleagues “need Jesus” when given the “Pride” shirt.

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Starbucks maintains that “no part of our dress code requires partners to wear any approved items that they have not personally selected” and that Fresse’s claims are “without merit,” in a comment to the New York Post.

So Starbucks denies that she was fired for not wearing the shirt, yet their notice of separation appears to claim that they fired her for something she said about Jesus. Not a good look either way.

Fresse is seeking backpay, punitive damages, money to cover the cost of an attorney, and a permanent injunction that prevents Starbucks from “failing to accommodate […] sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Starbucks has long been a major player in the world of Woke Capital. Back in February Big League Politics reported on how the British branch of Starbucks was raising money for a pro-transgender lobbying group:

The U.K. branch of Starbucks is raising money to push for the chemical castration and surgical mutilation of children.

Nathanael Blake at The Federalist reported that the multinational titan is selling special mermaid-shaped cookies to help the pro-transgender lobbying group Mermaids. Curiously, the group’s founder took her underage son to Thailand to undergo a castration procedure.

Blake correctly observed “That Starbucks is supporting this group illustrates how thoroughly radicals have conquered both the LGBT movement and corporate culture.”

He also called attention to how “In a few years the fight has shifted from government recognition of same-sex relationships as legal marriages to mastectomies, sterilization, and castration for children.”

Here’s hoping that Betsy Fresse is successful in her lawsuit.

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