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Taiwan Leader Calls for Artistic Freedom in China

Taiwan's president urged China on Friday to respect the artistic freedom of outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who was detained for nearly three months earlier this year and is currently confined to Beijing.

(AP) - TAIPEI - "He's an artist and should have the freedom to express his artistic views," President Ma Ying-jeou said after viewing Ai Weiwei's exhibition at a Taipei museum. "This is also the core value of Taiwan."

Ma said he deplored that Chinese police detained Ai at the Beijing airport on April 3 as the conceptual artist was about to depart for Taiwan to prepare for the exhibit. The detention came during a sweeping Chinese crackdown on activists and sparked an international outcry over China's deteriorating human rights situation. Ai was released in June but is prohibited from leaving Beijing.

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Three Clear Signs That Belarus Is About To Enter The Ukraine War

Troops are amassing at the Belarus-Ukraine border for a second straight day, while pontoon crossings are being constructed. Most importantly, strongman Alexander Lukashenko is increasingly seen as no longer having the option to say No.

Three Clear Signs That Belarus Is About To Enter The Ukraine War

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at 2022 Allied Resolve Military Exercise

Anna Akage

Another clear indication that Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko will join Russia’s war against Ukraine came early Tuesday morning: Belarus began rapidly deploying its troops to the Ukrainian border, and the country’s defense ministry announced a "sudden inspection of combat readiness."

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Though such sudden exercises have occurred at other times since the beginning of the war, this time it comes amid an accumulation of signs that point to Lukashenko preparing to give final orders.

For the second day in a row, the Belaruski Gayun media recorded increasing numbers of troops amassing Wednesday on the border with Ukraine.

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