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U.S. senators match House bill to assist Uighur refugees

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U.S. senators match House bill to assist Uighur refugees

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan pair of US senators on Tuesday introduced a bill to expedite refugee applications from Uyghurs, matching an effort in the House of Representatives to assist members of the largely Muslim ethnic group who advocates say face persecution in China.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) put forward the “Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act,” which would grant Priority 2 refugee status to Uyghurs and other groups, including Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, who have faced repression in or fled from China’s Xinjiang region.

Priority 2 status would allow hundreds, or possibly thousands, of Uyghurs to forgo a United Nations referral and apply directly as refugees to the US government, reducing concerns that Beijing could be notified by a third country and seek their deportation to China.

China denies abuses, but the United States has declared that Beijing is perpetrating a genocide.

“The United States must continue to speak out against the PRC’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and we must also provide assurance and protection for the Uyghurs and all those facing persecution as a result of their religious or ethnic identity,” Coons said in a statement, referring to the People’s Republic of China, the country’s formal name.

The Senate bill, complementing a House version put forward in March, has Republicans and Democrats increasingly optimistic that the refugee upgrade could become law, even as Congress forges ahead with a sweeping package of other legislation to counter China’s influence.

“From a substantive perspective, the endgame here is extremely similar,” one Senate aide, comparing the Senate and House bills, told Reuters. “We see this as an area of easy bipartisan support.”

UN experts and human rights groups estimate that more than 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have been detained in harsh conditions in Xinjiang as part of what Beijing calls a vocational training campaign to battle terrorism.

The bill also encourages US partners and allies to make refugee accommodations for Uyghurs.

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Harry Winston’s 2021 floral jewelry collection wows

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Harry Winston's 2021 floral jewelry collection wows

Give the gift of forever love with blossoms of baubles.

Harry Winston’s perennial Forget-Me-Not collection now radiates with its first-ever marriage of diamonds and rubies.

While the jeweler has previously offered its signature florals in a dazzling array
of gemstones, ranging from diamonds to blue sapphires, this new pairing leaves us
blushing.

Adorned with round brilliant, pear-shaped and marquise diamonds, it’s offered in five silhouettes: earrings, a pendant, a bracelet, a ring and a lariat necklace.

The feeling you’ll have upon plucking one of these beauties?

Unforgettable.


Photographer: Chris Coppola; Stylist: Anahita Moussavian; Prop Stylist: Trina Ong.

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Boy’s botched Amazon order leaves him with $2,620 worth of Spongebob Squarepants popsicles

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Boy's botched Amazon order leaves him with $2,620 worth of Spongebob Squarepants popsicles

That’s one way to freeze a bank account.

A 4-year-old cartoon fanatic from Brooklyn went a little overboard by buying nearly $3,000 worth of nonrefundable SpongeBob SquarePants Popsicles on Amazon.

However, an understanding Samaritan has set up a GoFundMe page Monday to help cover the chilling cost.

According to the crowdfunding page, the “truly adorable” SpongeBob diehard named Noah “managed to purchase $2,618.85 worth” of the pop-pelgangers from Amazon and “had them sent to his Auntie’s house.”

“In case you are wondering, that’s 51 cases, containing 918 popsicles,” Katie Schloss, a New York University student and social-work intern, wrote of the tot’s frozen-treat fiasco.

The predicament may seem adorable on its face. However, as Amazon will not refund the Popsicles, Noah’s mom Jennifer Bryant was feeling the (freezer) burn and thought she’d have to foot the bill herself.

This presented a major SpongeBob-stacle for the mother of three, who studies social work at NYU, and didn’t know how she was “going to be able to pay this off, in addition to student loans and all of her family’s other expenses,” Schloss wrote.

The Post reached out to Bryant and will update this post if we hear back.

However, it seems that Noah’s Popsicle debt has already been more than paid off. As of Wednesday morning, kind-hearted donors have already contributed a whopping $3,675, eclipsing the fundraising goal of $2,619.

“Thank you so much for your mind-blowing generosity,” wrote Noah’s grateful mother on the page. She added that the surplus donations will go towards education and additional supports for her son, who reportedly suffers from autism.

This isn’t the first time an opportunistic tyke has gone on a surreptitious spending spree. A Connecticut woman was apoplectic after her 6-year-old amassed over $16,000 in credit card charges for the video game, “Sonic Forces.”

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Giant moth so chunky it struggles to fly discovered

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Giant moth so chunky it struggles to fly discovered

Mothra surfaces in Australia.

An Australian worker realized every entomophobe’s worst nightmare after encountering a moth so huge that it struggled to fly.

The Mount Cotton State School in Queensland, where Mothra was discovered, shared a Facebook photo Sunday of the behemoth bug on the end of a saw blade.

It was reportedly the “size of two fists put together” according to the school’s principal, Meagan Steward, who said the mondo moth was released into the woods unharmed.

Queensland Museum entomologist Dr. Christine Lambkin has since identified the animatronic-evoking creature as a “wood moth,” a species that reportedly resides all along the Eastern coast of Australia. While not exceedingly rare, this chonky critter is not commonly sighted in the country, Lambkin told the Independent.

And it’s certainly not because it’s too small to spot. With a maximum weight of just over an ounce, the female wood moth frequently struggles to achieve liftoff — despite boasting a whopping 9-inch wingspan.

“They fly very, very poorly,” said Lambkin. “In most cases, when the females emerge, they just crawl up a tree or stump of a fence post and wait for the males to find them.”

Needless to say, fans on the Mount Cotton State School Facebook page were awestruck by the colossal creepy-crawly.

“Love it! Never leaving the windows open ever again though,” wrote one aghast gawker.

“We’ll just add it to the list of wildlife….wallabies, owls, snakes, echidnas, giant moth,” wrote another of Australia’s infamous plethora of unusual creatures. “Life is never dull at MCSS!”

One jokester quipped, “How cool. Gotta say if it flew near me while I was gardening I would probably do a karate freakout!”

Thankfully, wood moths don’t pose a threat to humans. Perhaps it could even help relieve this extra-shaggy Australian sheep of its 77 pounds of matted wool.

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