Man detained for 9 days in China for sending meme deemed ‘insulting’ to police


The man, identified only by his surname Li, allegedly sent the meme on the Chinese social media platform WeChat, in a group exchange complaining about the local Covid-19 prevention and control measures late last month, according to authorities and state media.

Police in Qingtongxia city, in Ningxia region, posted a screenshot of Li’s text exchange on Chinese social media, but later removed the post.

State-run outlet The Paper published further details of the incident that has provoked consternation in China, with a related hashtag garnering 170 million views. Many protested Li’s punishment, arguing that use of an internet joke was hardly grounds for being detained by police.

According to The Paper, Li sent a meme showing a dog in a police hat, holding a police badge and pointing at the camera. It’s a common image that has been used widely online before, with different variations sometimes including a cat or cartoon character in the police hat.

On Saturday evening, local police received a tip from a member of the public, alleging that Li had sent an image “insulting the image of police,” according to The Paper.

China insists its zero-Covid strategy is correct. Challenging it can be dangerous

The police launched an investigation into the chat group, which had more than 330 members, according to The Paper. After finding that Li was “dissatisfied with the community prevention measures,” police summoned Li to the station, where he was questioned and eventually “confessed to the illegal fact of insulting the police.”

Police said his actions had constituted the offense of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” and gave him nine days’ detention as punishment.

The Paper praised local authorities’ efforts in containing the virus. The police are “on the front line of epidemic prevention and control to build a safety barrier for people’s lives and health,” said the article.

China grows more isolated as Asia Pacific neighbors start living with Covid-19

“However, there are some people dissatisfied with the epidemic prevention measures, and even openly insulting the police,” the article added. “For such illegal acts, Qingtongxia Police Department always insists on ‘zero tolerance’ policy and resolutely punishes them according to the law to defend the authority of law enforcement and legal dignity of the police.”

China has some of the world’s strictest Covid-19 measures, including travel restrictions, snap lockdowns and mass testing. This is in contrast to other countries in Asia, which are learning to live with the virus after rolling out mass vaccinations.

These measures, though broadly popular inside of China, have also prompted rare signs of public resistance in recent weeks as virus case numbers increase.

Two residents were detained in October for trying to climb over the fences of their locked-down gated community. And on social media, some residents have begun complaining about the toll of being locked down for extended periods of time, and the damage it has caused to local economies.



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Three eastern European countries deemed ‘very high’ risk for travel, but Spain now less risky


By Marnie Hunter, CNN

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Belarus were deemed “very high” risk travel destinations on Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean also moved into the “Level 4: Very high level of Covid-19” category on the agency’s regularly updated list of travel advisories.

People should avoid traveling to locations designated with a “Level 4” notice, the CDC recommends. Anyone who must travel should be fully vaccinated first, the agency advises. Nearly 90 destinations are now listed as Level 4.

All the destinations that moved to Level 4 this week were previously listed as “Level 3: Covid-19 High.” The Level 3 category applies to destinations that have had between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

These are the destinations added to Level 4 on October 12:

• Belarus
• Bosnia and Herzegovina
• Romania
• Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

New Level 3 locations

Six destinations moved to Level 3 on October 12:

• Gabon
• South Korea
• Spain
• Czech Republic
• Faroe Islands
• Uganda

Spain’s situation improved, according to CDC criteria, moving down from Level 4. The other five locations — Gabon, South Korea, Czech Republic, the Faroe Islands and Uganda — moved up from Level 2.

Destinations carrying the “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” designation have seen 50 to 99 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

In “Level 1: Covid-19 Low” destinations, fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents have been logged over the past 28 days.

You can view the CDC’s risk levels for global destinations on its travel recommendations page.

In its broader travel guidance, the CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully vaccinated.

“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread Covid-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some Covid-19 variants,” the agency said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Top image: The deserted “Old Bridge” of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina is seen from an empty restaurant terrace on May 8, 2020. (Photo by Elvis Barukcic/AFP via Getty Images)



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Three eastern European countries deemed ‘very high’ risk for travel, but Spain now less risky


By Marnie Hunter, CNN

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Belarus were deemed “very high” risk travel destinations on Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean also moved into the “Level 4: Very high level of Covid-19” category on the agency’s regularly updated list of travel advisories.

People should avoid traveling to locations designated with a “Level 4” notice, the CDC recommends. Anyone who must travel should be fully vaccinated first, the agency advises. Nearly 90 destinations are now listed as Level 4.

All the destinations that moved to Level 4 this week were previously listed as “Level 3: Covid-19 High.” The Level 3 category applies to destinations that have had between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

These are the destinations added to Level 4 on October 12:

• Belarus
• Bosnia and Herzegovina
• Romania
• Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

New Level 3 locations

Six destinations moved to Level 3 on October 12:

• Gabon
• South Korea
• Spain
• Czech Republic
• Faroe Islands
• Uganda

Spain’s situation improved, according to CDC criteria, moving down from Level 4. The other five locations — Gabon, South Korea, Czech Republic, the Faroe Islands and Uganda — moved up from Level 2.

Destinations carrying the “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” designation have seen 50 to 99 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

In “Level 1: Covid-19 Low” destinations, fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents have been logged over the past 28 days.

You can view the CDC’s risk levels for global destinations on its travel recommendations page.

In its broader travel guidance, the CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully vaccinated.

“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread Covid-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some Covid-19 variants,” the agency said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Top image: The abandoned Imperial Baths at Baile Herculane, southwestern Romania, in 2018. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP via Getty Images)



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