Global Headlines (Issue 4)

by Dilsher Dhaliwal, Reporter

President Biden and Fumio Kishida hold virtual meeting, discuss China and North Korean missiles

Prime Minister Kishida speaks with President Biden from inside the prime minister’s official Tokyo residence. (Provided by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)

U.S. President Joe Biden had a virtual meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Jan. 21 to discuss security issues in the Indo-Pacific. Prime Minister Kishida said the 80-minute long virtual meeting was focused around China, primarily over China’s increased aggression towards Taiwan, which it claims as its own territory. 

Biden and Kishida also discussed human rights violations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang and announced a new “2 plus 2” dialogue focused on economic issues such as supply chains and investment in key technologies, as well as deepening economic ties between Japan and the United States. 

North Korea’s recent ballistic missile tests were also a topic of discussion, and Biden agreed to work with South Korea and Japan to discourage North Korea from more provocative actions. Kishida also supported Biden’s efforts to deter Russia from invading Ukraine.

Pentagon places up to 8,500 troops on alert for possible Eastern Europe deployment

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. (Provided by

Around 8,500 American troops were put on heightened alert on Jan. 24 for possible deployment to Eastern Europe, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued the orders at the request of President Biden, who authorized the change in force posture because of Russia amassing over 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, which raised fears of a possible Russian invasion into Ukraine.

“The United States has taken steps to heighten the readiness of its forces at home and abroad, so they are prepared to respond to a range of contingencies, including support to the NATO response force if it is activated,” Kirby said during a press briefing. 

President Biden said on Friday that he will be “moving U.S. troops to Eastern Europe and the NATO countries in the near term.”

Communities prepare for Lunar New Year as holiday begins

Traditional red envelopes with drawings of koi lay on colorful Lunar New Year decorations. (Sally Zhu)

As Lunar New Year approaches, communities across the world are preparing to celebrate. The holiday lasts for 16 days and ends on the first day of the new year on Feb. 1. Specific celebrations vary from culture to culture, such as in Singapore, where Chinese Singaporeans eat foods like nasi biryani and chicken curry during the holiday; in Vietnam where the Ox and Rabbit in the zodiac calendar are replaced by the Buffalo and Cat; and in Korea where traditional foods like “jeon” and “teokguk” are eaten during New Year’s celebrations. In Chinese culture, it is usually celebrated by cooking traditional meals like dumplings and “tangyuan,” gifting red envelopes with money in them, or “hongbao,” and lighting fireworks.

Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Mongolia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Korea, and other parts of Asia, as well as in diaspora communities across the world. This upcoming zodiac year will be the year of the tiger.

UN approves resolution condemning Holocaust denial

Former Nazi concentration camp prisoners pose for a picture. (Provided by

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly approved a resolution on Jan. 20 that condemned Holocaust denial and urged all nations and social media companies to “take active measures to combat antisemitism and Holocaust denial or distortion.”

The resolution was sponsored by Israel and strongly supported by Germany. The assembly approved the resolution by consensus, with Assembly President Abdulla Shahid meeting with a group of Holocaust survivors before the assembly meeting. Iran “disassociated” itself from the resolution.

“We now live in an era in which fiction is becoming fact and the Holocaust is becoming a distant memory, and as this happens following the greatest crime in human history, now comes the greatest cover-up in human history,” Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, said during the assembly.