The real world cup.....
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In the runup to Tuesday’s US-Iran World Cup match, the Associated Press has this:
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The U.S. soccer federation is displaying Iran’s national flag on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic, saying it supports protesters in Iran ahead of the two nations’ World Cup match Tuesday.
The federation said in a statement Sunday that it decided to forego the official flag on social media accounts to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights.”
This could be a three-day (or so) story, or it could be one of the most important developments on the globe for 2022 (or, it could be even bigger than that).
Too soon to say.
Protests against China’s strict “zero-COVID” policies resurfaced in Shanghai and Beijing on Sunday afternoon, continuing a round of demonstrations that have spread across the country since a deadly apartment fire in the northwestern city of Urumqi led to questions over such rigid anti-virus measures.
Crowds stood and filmed as police started shoving at people who had gathered in on the same street in Shanghai where police had cleared hundreds away with force just hours before.
They shouted, “We don’t want PCR tests, we want freedom!” according to a witness who did not want to be named for fear of retribution.
Since Friday people have held protests across China, where street demonstrations are extremely rare. But anger and frustration have flared over the deaths from a fire in an apartment building in Urumqi that the public believes was caused by excessive lockdown measures that delayed rescue.
A crowdsourced list on social media showed that there were demonstrations in 50 universities. Videos posted on social media that said they were filmed in Nanjing in the east, Guangzhou in the south, Beijing in the north and at least five other cities showed protesters tussling with police in white protective suits or dismantling barricades used to seal off neighborhoods. The Associated Press could not independently verify all the protests.
Online, videos from the scenes quickly emerged. Some of the most shared videos came from Shanghai, which had borne a devastating lockdown in spring in which people struggled to secure groceries and medicines and were forcefully taken into centralized quarantine.
In the dark early hours of Sunday, standing on the road named after a city in Xinjiang where at least 10 people had just died in an apartment fire, protesters chanted “Xi Jinping! Step down! CCP! Step down.”
A protester who chanted with the crowd confirmed that people did shout for the removal of Xi Jinping, China’s leader — words that many would never have thought would have been said in one of China’s biggest cities.
Hundreds of protesters had gathered along a street in Shanghai starting around midnight on Saturday. They split into two different sections of Middle Urumqi Road. There was one group that was more calm and brought candles, flowers and signs honoring those who died in the apartment fire. The other, said a protester who declined to be named out of fear of arrest, was more active, shouting slogans and singing the national anthem.
Maureen Dowd’s brother Kevin continues the annual family tradition in which he takes over her column for one day.
The most important element here: Kevin reflects the views of tens of millions of Red Americans, unhappy with the midterm results and blaming Donald Trump.
And/but also waiting now for the one and only savior, Ron DeSantis. (“Republican hopes for 2024 must rest with their new superstar, Ron DeSantis….”)
The obvious risks of putting all the eggs in this particular basket: For this “plan” to work, the Sunshine State topper has to decide to run, run well, beat Trump (and other Republican hopefuls, who will not roll over for him!), and then win the general election.
Plus, with DeSantis not expected to announce a decision until the spring, that is going to be a long wait for the starting gun for those who see no other solution besides DeSantis stepping in and stepping up.
A lot is going to happen between now and then, much of which will cause folks like Kevin to say that the GOP actually requires immediate Republican leadership against a newly re-emboldened Blue team.
If I had more time now, I would draw a political cartoon, depicting Ron DeSantis as a chicken egg basket.
But you get the point.
The Kevins of the world love the concept of DeSantis, and/but they have latched onto him primarily because they see no other option.
They could turn out to have made a great bet.
But you would think they (“they” includes a lot of top donors, pols, activists, and voters) would have a backup plan.
As of now, they don’t seem to.
Far too many went to a basketball game, and a fight broke out: