Regional News • Asia • China
Beijing flights cancelled after China's worst sandstorm in a decade
Beijing during the sandstorm
Beijing during the sandstorm Credit: Twitter Reproduction

More than 400 flights out of Beijing's two main airports were cancelled amid high winds and low visibility. The National Meteorological Center said Monday's storm had developed in the Gobi Desert in the Inner Mongolia Region.

With its mix of desert and grassy steppe, Inner Mongolia is particularly prone to extreme weather resulting from resource exploitation.

The National Meteorological Center forecasted the sand and dust would affect 12 provinces and regions from Xinjiang in the far northwest to Heilongjiang in the northeast and Tianjin's eastern coastal port city.

Technology • Internet & Web
Clubhouse is now blocked in China
Clubhouse is now blocked in China
Credit: William Krause

Thousands of Chinese users suddenly found themselves unable to access Clubhouse on early Monday evening as the country prepared to start the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

Over the weekend, several large Chinese-language chat rooms were set up on the invite-only audio app, where guests talked about politically-charged topics such as the ongoing crackdown against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, democracy in Hong Kong and the sovereignty of Taiwan.

Clubhouse has faced criticism at home in the U.S. for its lack of effective moderation and abuse-prevention practices, so it's hardly a surprise that it has fallen afoul of China's rather more strict enforcement of measures designed to stifle the spread of information the government deems inappropriate for discussion.

Regional News • Asia • China
Report: Hundreds of Thousands of Uyghurs Forcibly Used in Cotton Harvesting
Report: Hundreds of Thousands of Uyghurs Forcibly Used in Cotton Harvesting
Credit: / Trisha Downing

Hundreds of thousands of members of ethnic minorities are being forced to work in cotton fields in China's Xinjiang province, according to a report. In 2018, at least 570,000 people were reportedly forced to harvest cotton in three Uyghur-majority regions in Xinjiang as part of a government forced labor program, the Center For Global Policy report said Monday, citing government documents.

Regional News • Asia • China
Report: New detention camps for Uighur in China detected - number 40% higher than estimated

According to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute China has 380 facilities in the Xinjiang region that are suspected to serve as detention centers for the Uighur minority in China.

The number is around 40% higher than previously estimated and contradicts claims by China that the system that they claim is for "re-education" is being scaled back.

China reports 57 local Covid-19 cases on Sunday, highest number since March 6
People wearing masks in Guangzhou City
People wearing masks in Guangzhou City Credit: zhizhou deng / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

China has reported 57 confirmed locally transmitted Covid-19 cases on Sunday, marking the highest case count since March 6. Of those cases, 41 were recorded in the western region Xinjiang which had its first Covid-19 cases on July 15 after almost five months of no new infections.

An additional 44 asymptomatic and four imported cases were recorded, though China is not counting asymptomatic cases to the country's total numbers.