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‘Barbie’ Movie Banned in Vietnam as Hollywood Again Kowtows to China

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ANALYSIS – China’s outrageous claim to almost the entire South China Sea – everything within a “nine-dash line” drawn on Chinese maps – has taken its most recent victim – the movie-viewing public in Vietnam. The Vietnamese government has banned the movie due to a scene with that Chinese-made line on a map.

China takes its illegal claim very seriously and strives to impose its visual representation on maps everywhere, including those appearing in Hollywood movies.

While it’s unclear why the soon-to-be-released film ‘Barbie’ about the iconic doll and her boyfriend Ken would get embroiled in international politics, it has. 

This south China Sea has been a flashpoint between Vietnam and China for years. The artificial line is shown on Chinese maps to mark their claims over the area despite Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan claiming parts of the same vast expanse of sea.

Chinese warships and fishing vessels routinely operate in these waters to establish de-facto presence, often provoking clashes with neighboring countries.

The Daily Wire (DW) reported:

“We do not grant license for the American movie ‘Barbie’ to release in Vietnam because it contains the offending image of the nine-dash line,” Vi Kien Thanh, head of the Department of Cinema, a government body in charge of licensing and censoring foreign films, was quoted as saying in the state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper.

The movie’s trailer shows Barbie leaving her perfect doll world and to explore the “real world” after becoming disillusioned with her life.

So why did a big Hollywood studio decide to include this ridiculous claim in their otherwise non-political movies?

All I can think of is – in order to please the communists in Beijing. China is obviously a far bigger market than Vietnam. And who knows if Chinese investors were involved in the movie’s production.

DW notes:

“Barbie” isn’t the first film banned for including the nine-dash line. The Vietnamese government also blocked the DreamWorks animated film “Abominable” (2019) and the action-adventure film “Unchartered” (2022) for the same reason. Netflix removed the Australian spy drama “Pine Gap” in 2021 for their inclusion of the line.

Hollywood blockbusters including the Marvel films “Eternals” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” have also been in China after directors or actors involved in the films made comments critical of China.

Another big controversy exploded in 2019 over the Tom Cruise movie ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’ Initially the movie appeared to remove the flags of Taiwan and Japan from Maverick’s flight jacket. The flags were part of historical patches representing prior U.S. naval deployments to the region.

As NBC News reported:

In 2019, the trailer for “Top Gun: Maverick” showed Cruise’s character, U.S. Navy pilot Pete Mitchell, in the same bomber jacket he wore in the original film. But two of its flag patches — representing Japan and the Republic of China, the official name for Taiwan — appeared to have been replaced by other emblems.

The move was criticized at the time as an act of self-censorship to please China’s censors. Beijing sees Taiwan, a self-ruling democracy of 24 million people, as an inalienable part of its territory and lashes out at any reference to it as a sovereign nation.  

In this case Hollywood, or Cruise, had a change of heart and reversed their apparent kowtowing to China. CHinese investors also pulled out of the movie.

NBC News continued:

On the film’s release last month after a two-year pandemic delay, both flags had been restored. At an advance screening in Taipei, the audience broke out in cheers and applause at the sight of the Taiwanese flag on the big screen, local news outlet SETN reported.

Sometimes in Hollywood the good guys do win. Sadly, not in the case of Barbie.

Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.

Like BLM Riots in US, France’s Race Riots Do Major Damage

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A protester holds up a Black Lives Matter sign outside the Hennepin County Government Center.

ANALYSIS – While the establishment media has tried to spin France’s recent wave of rioting as a response to unfair or racist French policing, like the Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots of 2020 in the United States, they really aren’t. 

For both, that is only the pretext. But they are very similar in other ways.

As I wrote before, both were about much more. In the case of BLM, it was part of a bigger far-left agenda. 

In the case of France, it is an uprising of racial, cultural and religious resentment with Islamist overtones.

Both also caused substantial physical damage ($1-2 billion) and injured many hundreds of police.

The damages and injuries to police from the BLM riots across multiple cities in the U.S. were larger and spread over a few months. 

In France, the first protests occurred in Nanterre, but then spread to other towns and cities, including Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg and Lille.

And in France, they only lasted about a week. France is also smaller in terms of population and its economy. So, overall, the impact was greater, and impossible to downplay as it was in the United States.

The response to the rioting though has been very different in each country.

The damage following a week of violence in France is expected to cost more than $1.1 billion, excluding damage to public buildings.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has promised support as thousands of insurance claims pour in. Insurers have received 5,900-plus claims worth some $305 million, according to the chair of the insurance industry lobby group ‘France Assureurs.’

Rioters lit an estimated 23,000 fires and damaged 273 buildings belonging to the security forces, along with 168 schools and 105 mayor’s offices. In total, more than 1,100 buildings and 5,850 vehicles have been damaged or destroyed.

More than 800 French law enforcement officers have been injured.

According to Fortune, “The videos of the riots that circulated around the world hurt the image of France,” Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, the outgoing head of the French employers’ lobby Medef, told Le Parisien newspaper.

“It’s always difficult to say if the impact will be long lasting, but there will certainly be a drop in reservations this summer.”

France’s Interior updated senators on the destruction carried out by primarily teenage mobs in ‘multi-ethnic’ areas of French cities. He said about 90 per cent of the 3,502 people arrested during the riots were French nationals.

That doesn’t change the racial or demographic facts that most of the rioters were young Muslims of Arab and North African descent. They were born in France as part of the most recent immigration wave.

The average age of the French rioters was 17.

“What’s happening there is the consequence of a failure to integrate the country’s Muslim immigrant population,” Alan Mendoza, co-founder and executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, told Fox News Digital.

President Macron sparked controversy on Wednesday by suggesting social media could be “cut off” if “things get out of control,” according to media reports.

Macron singled out platforms like Snapchat, TikTok and encrypted messenger Telegram for their role in helping organize and spread images of the violence.

Fox News reported:

Macron has provided a mixed response to the crisis, initially describing the shooting as “inexplicable” and “unforgivable” but then decrying the protests and blaming everything from social media to video games for the increasing violence.

Macron argued that social media platforms, including TikTok, Snapchat and others, helped fuel the riots, especially after the personal information of the officer who shot Nahel ended up circulating on the platforms. He said his government would work with social media sites to take down “the most sensitive content” and identify users who “call for disorder or exacerbate the violence.” Macron also denied there was systemic racism within the country’s law enforcement services.

Meanwhile, as I wrote last August, in a few months in the United States, the BLM riots caused $2 billion in damages and injured 2,000 police officers nationwide. 19 people were killed during just 14 days of BLM rioting – none by police.

The killing of police officers nationwide, though, surged 28% in 2020 during the BLM riots and protests.

Unlike the muted judicial response to BLM rioters, France’s Justice Minister issued an order on Friday that demanded a “ strong, firm and systematic” judicial response.

And unlike the United States, where President Donald Trump was attacked and vilified for trying to send federal officers to quell the violence – in France, Macron eventually deployed 45,000 officers and armored vehicles to control the riots.

Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.

Activists Seek to Disqualify Trump From 2024 Ballot

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Photo via Gage Skidmore Flickr

Two activist groups want to keep former President Donald Trump from the White House by any means necessary.

The groups say secretaries of state are empowered by the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from running for office because of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. The groups are calling their campaign “Trump is Disqualified,” and are timing it to coincide with the 155th anniversary of the 14th Amendment.

The Hill has more:

Starting Sunday, Mi Familia Vota and Free Speech for People will stage a week of rallies and banner drops outside the offices of the secretaries of state of California, Oregon, Colorado and Georgia.

The groups also penned a letter to Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar last month, calling on him to block Trump under what’s known as the Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause.

“We’re really focusing on Nevada and California and [Oregon, Colorado and Georgia] to make sure that they are taking a stand by disqualifying Trump in those spaces, which is something that the secretary of state can do,” said Héctor Sánchez, executive director of Mi Familia Vota.

“Trump is responsible for the January 6th insurrection, plain and simple,” said Alexandra Flores-Quilty, campaign director for Free Speech For People. 

“Failing to hold him responsible not only violates the Constitution, but it also sets a dangerous precedent for permitting violent attacks on our democracy. That’s not a risk we can afford to take.”

Secretaries of state are charged with certifying eligibility of candidates and counting the votes in their state. Though Trump has been indicted twice and is under investigation in other cases, the groups say those are not disqualifying facts under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

DeSantis Commits to First GOP Presidential Primary Debate

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Florida Governor and presidential contender Ron DeSantis is refusing to stand in the shadow of Donald Trump.

DeSantis plans to participate in the first Republican presidential nomination debate “regardless” of whether former President Donald Trump takes the stage at the August showdown. 

“I’ll be there regardless. I hope everybody who’s eligible comes. I think it’s an important part of the process and I look forward to being able to be on the stage and introducing our candidacy and our vision and our leadership to a wide audience,” DeSantis said Thursday on “Fox News Tonight.”

Trump, who’s the commanding front-runner in the latest GOP presidential primary polls, has indicated that he may skip the debate. However, Trump campaign officials say the former president has yet to make a final decision on his participation. Trump’s aides have also been looking into options for an alternative event should the former president skip the debate, according to Fox News.

The debate is scheduled for August 23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and will be hosted by Fox News.

The Republican National Committee (RNC), which is organizing all the GOP presidential nominating debates, is requiring a high donor threshold as well as polling thresholds for candidates to make the stage. 

The RNC is also mandating that candidates that meet the thresholds sign a loyalty pledge to back the eventual 2024 GOP nominee, in order to participate in the debate.

The state of Florida is adding a similar loyalty requirement for candidates to be included on the state’s ballot, according to POLITICO.

The new oath, which includes a promise to “endorse” the GOP nominee and requires a candidate to pledge not to run as an independent or third-party candidate, mirrors language adopted by the Republican National Committee for its first debate.

“We were trying to be consistent with what the debate was requiring,” said Evan Power, vice chair of the Republican Party of Florida, who said that campaigns were notified about the changes. “I don’t think this will come as a surprise.”

France’s Riots are Like our BLM Riots – Not Really About the Police

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ANALYSIS – Another summer of rage erupts in Paris, this time sparked by the police shooting several days ago of a 17-year-old Muslim man of North African origin. Many liken the fiery French riots to our own Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots of 2020. 

And in many ways, they are similar.

They both used the police killing of a man of color to justify violence, arson, looting, and spreading chaos. Their initial stated agenda was to highlight police brutality and police racism, then just racism. 

Then a bunch of other stuff.

In the United States, a lot of the BLM rioting was targeted at President Donald Trump. In France, some of the rage is directed at Jews. 

Meanwhile, both violent rampages were quickly co-opted, if not initially instigated, by extremist ideologies and agendas. In the U.S., BLM was run by the far left and often became dominated by issues totally unrelated to the police or even racism. 

In Paris, the riots are as much about a growing unassimilated Arab/North African Muslim minority bringing radical Islam to France, as it is about the police or race.

It’s also about being anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic, and anti-French.

Just as BLM often disparaged all of white America as being racist while targeting cops, many French Muslims see the entire French system as evil.

And part of that ruling system includes French Jews.

The Times of Israel reported that “perpetrators did vandalize a monument for Holocaust victims in Nanterre, the Paris suburb where the 17-year-old, identified in the French media only as Nahel M., was killed. The perpetrators spray-painted the words ‘Police scum’ on the monument.”

Antisemitic chants have also  been heard during the riots, “part of a well-documented sentiment among some Muslims who see Jews as part of an oppressive power structure.”

While Jews haven’t been attacked directly yet, these riots remind many French Jews of 2014, when Muslim rioters singled out Jewish-owned shops in a Paris suburb nicknamed “little Jerusalem” due to its large Jewish population.

That anti-Jewish violence, which also targeted several synagogues, was partly spurred by Muslim anger toward Jews amid the 2014 Gaza war between Israel and Hamas and other terrorist groups.

Today we have Israel engaged in a major military operation in the West Bank against Palestinian terrorists using the Jenin refugee camp as a base for attacks against Israelis. This operation began Monday, and we have yet to see its impact on the riots in France.

If the conflict extends in the West Bank, expect things to heat up more in Paris.

But as The Times of Israel also noted, this violent uprising in Paris is far more widespread than ever before. And might be a turning point for how the French view their suicidally insane immigration policies.

“In 2014, I was afraid as a Jew. This time, I’m afraid as a Frenchman,” said Jonathan C., noting that he does not have a Middle Eastern appearance.

The Times added:

Police and firefighters are common targets of violence by rioters whom many believe are acting out of resentment of French society, where the anti-immigration far right is the second-largest political force.

Other incidents are seen by some as reflecting a religious dimension of the riots, which are occurring in heavily Muslim areas.

On Thursday, two unidentified individuals beat up and robbed a priest in Saint-Etienne near Lyon. Disagreements exist on whether the assault, the second attack of a priest in the region in three weeks, was part of the riots.

Hate attacks against Christians are multiplying in France, where in 2021 the interior ministry recorded 1,052 anti-Christian hate crimes, nearly double the assaults on Jews. It meant that Christians were, in absolute numbers at least, the religious group that was most targeted that year.

This worries many in France. They see the huge number of antisemitic and anti-Christian attacks, as well as attacks against police, as part of a resurgence of radical Islam in unassimilated migrant communities.

Even if these riots subside, the bigger danger remains. And that should be a concern for not just Paris, but other major European cities as well.

Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.

Amanda Head: Ben & Jerry Have Always Been Commies

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Their latest stunt isn’t new to the woke ice cream brand…

On the Fourth of July Ben and Jerry’s ice cream released a statement bashing America’s heritage.

Watch Amanda explain the latest controversy below:

Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.

Amanda Head: Supreme Court Smacks Down All The Dems’ Favorite Issues!

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Duncan Lock, Dflock, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court just dealt a crippling blow to Democrats’ radical agenda for America. It’s about time.

Watch Amanda explain the situation below:

Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.

Amanda Head: Liberals and Their Lies on the 4th of July!

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Liberals just can’t help themselves…

Watch Amanda explain the controversy below:

Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.

‘Top Gun’ Blowback – Pentagon Won’t Help Hollywood if They Submit to China

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Austin Green, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

ANALYSIS – In an unexpected, but long overdue move, the Pentagon has stated it will no longer work with directors if their movies will be censored by Beijing. This follows directly on the heels of Vietnam banning the movie ‘Barbie’ over its inclusion of a China-friendly map of the South China Sea.

That movie’s producers apparently caved to Chinese pressure and included the map showing China essentially owning the South China Sea, which it does not, despite its claims. And Vietnam wasn’t happy.

But, as I previously wrote, this Chinese censorship problem really exploded with last year’s release of Tom Cruise’s blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick.” 

And now the Pentagon, thanks to GOP Senator Ted Cruz, has made it clear it now bans any military assistance to directors who plan to comply (or will likely comply) with censorship demands from the Chinese regime in order to distribute their movie in China.

In trailers for the ‘Maverick’ film shown in 2019, the flags of Taiwan and Japan had been removed from Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell’s flight jacket worn by Cruise in the 1986 original “Top Gun” movie.

The flags were part of a Far East Cruise patch commemorating the 1963-64 deployment by the USS Galveston off Japan and Taiwan. In the preview clip for the movie in 2019, those two historically accurate flags were replaced by generic nonsensical symbols.

This shameless kowtowing was an apparent attempt to appease Chinese investor Tencent. But after serious blowback in the U.S. — and after Tencent reportedly dropped its investment in the film – the flags were restored in the final version of the film.

In another example, Chinese government censors actually pushed the producers of “Spider-man: No Way Home” to remove the Statue of Liberty, according to Puck. This, likely due to its association with the Tiananmen Square protests.

Thankfully, the studio did not comply, and that movie wasn’t shown in China.

The Defense Department updated its rules for working with movie studios after Cruz (R-Texas) inserted language, known as the SCRIPT Act. into the fiscal 2023 defense policy bill.

Cruz has strongly condemned Beijing’s censorship of Hollywood films.

“What does it say to the world when Maverick is scared of the Chinese communists?” he said at the time.

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The latest Top Gun movie also reportedly showed us a peek at what might be the SR-72 – the super-secret experimental hypersonic spy plane under development by Lockheed Martin. It was called the ‘Darkstar’ in the film.

Providing more context, Politico reported:

According to a new Defense Department document obtained by POLITICO, filmmakers who want the U.S. military to help with their projects must now pledge that they won’t let Beijing alter those films.

The DOD “will not provide production assistance when there is demonstrable evidence that the production has complied or is likely to comply with a demand from the Government of the People’s Republic of China … to censor the content of the project in a material manner to advance the national interest of the People’s Republic of China,” the document reads.

Hollywood and the Defense Department have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship for decades. The Pentagon has allowed filmmakers to shoot their projects on military bases, Navy ships, or other locations, and weighs in on filmmaking processes. The military benefits from positive portrayals of service members, and moviemakers benefit from authentic settings and technical expertise.

But as China’s ruling Communist Party has developed increasingly advanced censorship and surveillance tools, countless American companies — including Hollywood studios — have sought to comply with Beijing’s demands while attempting to dodge stateside pushback.

However, from now on, producers of films greenlighted by the Defense Department must notify the Pentagon “in writing of such a censorship demand, including the terms of such demand, and whether the project has complied or is likely to comply with a demand for such censorship.”

But not just that. DoD will also weigh any “verifiable information” from people not involved in the production who indicate that producers could comply with a censorship demand.

So, hopefully Hollywood will stop caving to China’s blackmail, or risk losing access to their much-loved Pentagon collaboration.

Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Great America News Desk.

Trump Valet Pleads Not Guilty in Mar-A-Lago Case

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Gavel via Wikimedia Commons Image

On Thursday, former President Donald Trump’s valet Walt Nauta pleaded not guilty in a Miami, FL courtroom over his role in the ongoing Mar-A-Lago classified documents case.

Nauta, a former White House military valet, is facing charges on six counts in the case after he was spotted on security cameras moving boxes in and out of the storage room at Trump’s Florida residence according to The Hill.

Court filings describe Nauta as moving boxes in advance of a visit by former Trump attorney Evan Corcoran, who was set to retrieve documents in order to comply with a subpoena from the Justice Department seeking the return of all records with classified markings.

Nauta is accused of coordinating with Trump to conceal the documents from Corcoran and investigators.  

Nauta appeared in court alongside Trump on June 13, but was not arraigned as he had yet to secure counsel in Florida.

Nauta, who remains a valet to Trump, has been ordered not to discuss the case with the former president except through their attorneys.

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