On Wednesday, the U.S. House passed a pro-Hong Kong human rights bill in the midst of President Donald Trump’s heated trade discussions with China.
This bill was approved by a vote count of 417-1 and aims to protect human rights in Hong Kong as Beijing has been exerting itself on the island during the last few months.
The Senate approve both legislative items unanimously and are now headed to Trump’s desk after their passage in the House. The White House has yet to indicate the president’s stance on the bills, but there could be problems along the way.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang declared that the Chinese government Beijing “condemns and firmly opposes” the first bill, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, according to a Reuters report.
At the moment, Trump is walking a tight rope as he is busy negotiating the first piece of a U.S.-China trade agreement. Trump would like to have a China trade victory to use during the 2020 campaign trail.
According to a source familiar with the matter, Trump is expected to sign the bills. With near unanimous support in both chambers of Congress, both bodies could override a potential Trump veto.
China’s response to ongoing anti-government protests in Hong Kong has gradually escalated. The first set of demonstrations started when the Hong Kong government proposed a bill that would have allowed for extraditions to mainland China. Due to protester pressure, this bill was scrapped. However, protests continue to rage on.
Members of the Trump administration such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been firm critics of China’s response to the protests. Trump said China could keep the situation under control, but he has cautioned the Chinese to not crack down too hard lest they want trade talks to fizzle out.
One of the bills passed would make Pompeo certify once a year that Hong Kong remains sufficiently autonomous to maintain its special trade status with the U.S. Additionally, it would sanction the people for human rights abuses in Hong Kong.
The second measure would prohibit the sales of equipment such as tear gas and rubber bullets to Hong Kong police.
After the House vote, Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Jim Risch stated that the bill is “an important step forward in holding the Communist Party accountable.”
Trump believes that Beijing wants to come to an agreement more than he does. He asserted that he has not made a deal because “I don’t think they’re stepping up to the level that I want.”
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.
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.
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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