OnPolitics: White House to boycott Beijing Winter Olympics




  • In Politics
  • 2021-12-06 21:43:26Z
  • By USA TODAY
FILE - A man walks past the Olympic rings on the exterior of the National Stadium, also known as the Bird
FILE - A man walks past the Olympic rings on the exterior of the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, which will be a venue for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics, in Beijing, Tuesday, Feb.  

Happy Monday, OnPolitics readers!

A heated debate over how foreign countries regulate abortion is playing into a challenge to Roe v. Wade - even though the Supreme Court's conservative justices have often looked askance at taking cues from overseas.

A majority of the court signaled during arguments last week that it may uphold the Mississippi law, which bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

But how other countries approach the divisive question of abortion has repeatedly come up: Mississippi lawmakers included a global comparison in the first section of the legislation they sent to the governor in 2018; state attorneys raised it in their written arguments to the high court in July; and Chief Justice John Roberts asked about it during the oral arguments.

Global views on abortion: USA TODAY took a look into abortion laws around the world, including laws in Canada, China and North Korea.

It's Amy with today's top stories out of Washington.

Biden's boycott of Beijing

The Biden administration said Monday it will not send an official U.S. delegation to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, launching a "diplomatic boycott" aimed at rebuking China over its human rights abuses.

The decision represents a major geopolitical snub and comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Comments from the White House: "The athletes on Team USA have our full support," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. "We will be behind them 100% as we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the games."

Psaki added that the administration "will not send any diplomatic or official representation" to the Games, citing China's "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses."

The U.S. traditionally sends a roster of high-profile dignitaries, often led by the sitting vice president or the first lady, to attend Olympic events - including the opening and closing ceremonies. First lady Jill Biden led the U.S. delegation to the most recent Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

More than just a game: Proponents of a boycott have said that China will use the Games as a propaganda tool, and the dazzling spectacle will give Beijing a stamp of international legitimacy to continue its campaign of repression.

Real Quick: stories you'll want to read

  • Dole to lay in state Thursday: Sen. Bob Dole, who died on Sunday, will on Thursday lie in state in the U.S. Capitol - a building he worked in for over 30 years representing Kansas in both chambers of Congress.

  • DOJ sues Texas over voting rights: The Justice Department took aim at Texas Monday, alleging that the state's new redistricting plans discriminate against Black and Latino voters.

  • A blow to democracy: Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to four years' imprisonment on charges of inciting dissent and breaking COVID-19 pandemic rules.

  • Another GOP senator vs. Fauci: Dr. Anthony Fauci dismissed as "preposterous" recent accusations from Sen. Ron Johnson that the country's top infectious disease expert has "overhyped" AIDS and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump backs Perdue over Kemp in Georgia governor's race

Former Sen. David Perdue said Monday he is challenging incumbent Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, at the instigation of former President Donald Trump, setting up one of 2022's most divisive Republican intraparty battles.

Trump encouraged Perdue to run against Kemp, who earned the former president's wrath by refusing to help him overturn President Joe Biden's victory in Georgia in the last presidential election.

Who is David Perdue? Perdue, who in January lost a U.S. Senate run-off election to Democrat Jon Ossoff, blamed Kemp for his defeat, saying the GOP governor has "failed all of us and cannot win in November." Perdue said he is the only Republican in Georgia who can defeat the likely Democratic nominee, voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.

Perdue's entry once again thrusts Georgia into the spotlight of national politics, and reignites a civil war among Georgia Republicans over Trump's continued gripes and false assertions about losing the 2020 election.

From red to purple to blue? Georgia has seen a swing of about 300,000 votes away from Republicans in the past four years when compared to Trump's win of about 211,000 votes over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Abrams lost to Kemp in the 2018 gubernatorial contest by about 55,000 votes. Two years later, Biden beat Trump in the Peach State by roughly 11,779 votes.

Did you know? The Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. was completed on this day in 1884 after almost 40 years under construction. - Amy

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: White House announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

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