Turkey urges China to end detention of Muslims — Turkey has called China’s mass repression of its Uighur Muslim ethnic minority a “great shame for humanity” and has urged the Chinese government to close detention camps estimated to hold 1 million people. In its statement Saturday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned China’s “reintroduction of concentration camps in the 21st century and the policy of systematic assimilation” in its Xinjiang region as a violation of the “fundamental human rights” of Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims. The statement came in response to reports that Abdurehim Heyit, a prominent Uighur folk poet and musician, had died in a Chinese internment camp.
Protesters: Don’t ease up on Catalonia — Tens of thousands of protesters Sunday called for the ouster of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain and denounced his proposal for talks to try to ease the tensions around the secessionist conflict in Catalonia. The demonstration — held on one of the main squares of Madrid and convened by right-leaning parties under the slogan “For a united Spain, elections now!” — was the largest against Sánchez since his minority Socialist Party government took office in June. The government’s proposal last Tuesday to appoint a rapporteur in talks among political parties to address the Catalan independence crisis has galvanized the opposition.
Yellow Vests keep on — In the 13th straight weekend of “Yellow Vest” demonstrations in France, protesters showed no sign of letting up pressure on the government and did not appear appeased by concessions by President Emmanuel Macron. There were scattered acts of violence as protesters and police clashed in marches in Paris and southern French cities Saturday. But the number of protesters who took to the streets was lower than in previous weeks. Some 51,000 people marched across France on Saturday, police said, about one-fifth as many as turned out for the first Yellow Vest demonstration, in mid-November, and down from 84,000 in mid-January.
Indian prime minister chases votes — Every six years, tens of millions of Hindus pour into the northern Indian city of Prayagraj to take a holy dip in the Ganges River. The festival is called the Kumbh Mela, and in its different forms it is consistently the biggest gathering of humanity on the planet. This year, it also coincides with national elections, an opportunity that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his allies have eagerly seized. They have turned this Kumbh, into the biggest, most lavish and most expensive in Indian history, using it to please their political base and deflect from their growing troubles.
El Paso bristles at Trump’s wall claim — People walking over the Paso del Norte Bridge linking this West Texas border city to Mexico can watch President Donald Trump’s border wall getting bigger in real time. Workers in fluorescent smocks can be seen digging trenches, pouring concrete and erecting rust-colored slabs of 18-foot-high metal to replace layers of barbed wire-topped fencing along the mud-colored Rio Grande. Most of the more than 70,000 people who legally cross four city bridges daily pay the construction in the heart of downtown no mind. In his State of the Union address, the president said a “powerful barrier” had cut crime rates in El Paso. He’s holding a rally there Monday to show why he’s demanding more than 100 miles of new walls, costing $5.7 billion, along the 1,900-mile border, despite opposition from Democrats and some Republicans in Congress. But many in this city bristle at the prospect of their home becoming a border wall poster child.
Female acts, rap songs win big at the Grammy Awards — Women returned at the Grammys on Sunday as female acts won album of the year and best new artist, while rap also triumphed, with Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” becoming the first rap-based song to win record and song of the year. Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour” picked up album of the year, and Dua Lipa won best new artist. ”I don’t even know what to say,” Musgraves said. “I am very thankful. Winning doesn’t make my album any better than anybody else in that category.” Gambino was the night’s big winner, picking up four honors, including best music video and best rap/sung performance. Drake surprised the music world when he emerged on stage to accept the best rap song trophy but told the room of musicians that winning awards isn’t necessary if you have real fans attending your concerts and singing your songs.
Minnesota senator Klobuchar to run for president — Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Sunday joined the growing group of Democrats jostling to be president and positioned herself as the most prominent Midwestern candidate in the field, as her party tries to win back voters in a region that helped put Donald Trump in the White House. Klobuchar, who has prided herself for achieving results through bipartisan cooperation, did not utter Trump’s name during her kickoff speech. But she did bemoan the conduct of “foreign policy by tweet” and said Americans must “stop the fear-mongering and stop the hate. … We all live in the same country of shared dreams.” And she said that on her first day as president, she would have the U.S. rejoin an international climate agreement that Trump has withdrawn from. Trump responded to Klobuchar’s announcement with a tweet mocking her stance on global warming, a phenomenon he has disputed in the past.
Possible impeachment in Virginia — Virginia lawmakers on Monday will reluctantly face the unprecedented prospect of impeaching the state’s second most powerful leader. At least one lawmaker said he will try to pursue impeachment of Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax after two women accused Fairfax of sexual assault in the 2000s, a move that experts believe would be a first in Virginia. Fairfax has vehemently denied the claims and called for authorities, including the FBI, to investigate. There’s little sign of broad appetite for impeachment, with lawmakers set to finish this year’s session by the month’s end. But the Legislature is swirling with questions about lines of succession and the political fallout for Democrats should the governor, lieutenant governor or attorney general leave office, willingly or not. Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats, are embroiled in their own scandal after acknowledging they wore blackface in the 1980s. Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said Sunday that he considered resigning but that he’s “not going anywhere” because the state “needs someone that can heal” it.
72 die from tainted liquor in India — The number of people who died after drinking illegally brewed alcohol in northern India rose to 72 Saturday as authorities began a crackdown and suspended police and officials. The villagers drank the tainted liquor Thursday. The liquor was suspected of being laced with methanol. The Saharanpur police, who are working on the assumption that the alcohol may have come from the same source, arrested 30 people, many of them bootleggers. They seized more than 2,000 pints of tainted liquor in raids. Authorities in the region also suspended over 30 officials, including 10 policemen, on charges of negligence or collusion in the illicit trade. An average of 1,000 people die in India each year after consuming illegally brewed alcohol, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.