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Glass shattered. Confederate flags and flags bearing US President Donald Trump’s name waved. Two pipe bombs were planted. At least one person was shot and killed and three others died around the Capitol grounds, suffering separate medical emergencies.
The world watched in shock as marauders rampaged Capitol Hill live on TV and social media. In the hours after pro-Trump extremists stormed the US Capitol building on Wednesday, world leaders condemned the chaos and violence that erupted as Trump loyalists attempted to overturn Nov. 3 US presidential election results won by Joe Biden.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of the first world leaders to react, calling the events a “disgrace” and urging a “peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”
Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress. The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 6, 2021
In a tweet, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that “insurgent words turn into violent acts” and urged Trump and his supporters to “stop trampling on democracy.”
Die Feinde der Demokratie werden sich über diese unfassbaren Bilder aus #WashingtonDC freuen. Aus aufrührerischen Worten werden gewaltsame Taten - auf den Stufen des Reichstages, und jetzt im #Capitol. Die Verachtung demokratischer Institutionen hat verheerende Auswirkungen. (1)— Heiko Maas 🇪🇺 (@HeikoMaas) January 6, 2021
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the rampage in Washington “shocking” and insisted on respect for election outcomes.
Shocking scenes in Washington, D.C. The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) January 6, 2021
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “deeply disturbed,” but underscored his belief in the strength of American democracy.
Canadians are deeply disturbed and saddened by the attack on democracy in the United States, our closest ally and neighbour. Violence will never succeed in overruling the will of the people. Democracy in the US must be upheld - and it will be.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 6, 2021
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she and others in her country were “devastated” by the events:
Democracy - the right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully should never be undone by a mob. Our thoughts are with everyone who is as devastated as we are by the events of today. I have no doubt democracy will prevail.— Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) January 7, 2021
Turkey issued a statment urging the United States to use "moderation" and "common sense" to restore order:
#BREAKING Turkey invites all parties in US to use moderation, common sense to overcome this domestic political crisis— ANADOLU AGENCY (ENG) (@anadoluagency) January 6, 2021
And in Latin America, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza denounced America’s political polarization and Argentine President Alberto Fernández tweeted his nation’s “strongest support for President-elect Joe Biden.” Colombian Presiden Iván Duque also rejected the violence and expressed his solidarity in a tweet:
We reject the acts of violence seen today during the Electoral College vote counting in the United States Congress and I express my solidarity and support to the honorable members of Congress and to all US institutions.— Iván Duque 🇨🇴 (@IvanDuque) January 6, 2021
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa questioned the US' moral authority to issue sanctions under the "guise of upholding democracy" after yesterday's siege:
Last year, President Trump extended painful economic sanctions placed on Zimbabwe, citing concerns about Zimbabwe’s democracy.— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) January 7, 2021
Yesterday’s events showed that the U.S. has no moral right to punish another nation under the guise of upholding democracy. These sanctions must end.
What the world is following
Zimbabwe wasn't the only nation to call out the United States on its hypocrisy. The attack on the US Capitol comes just one day after Hong Kong’s largest crackdown on more than 50 pro-democracy lawmakers, calling into question the US’ ability to uphold democratic values around the world and hold authoritarian leaders to account.
In China, state media as well as online commentators called “hypocrisy” on the US for its response to the US siege, drawing comparisons with the 2019 anti-government protests in Hong Kong in opposition to a controversial extradition bill. The peaceful movement ended with protesters storming and defacing Hong Kong’s legislature in July 2020, which US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had called “a beautiful sight.” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged the US to question its double standard.
Yet, Chunying still tweeted:
Hours after police secured the Capitol building complex, lawmakers returned from hiding on Wednesday night and proceeded to count the Electoral College votes that confirmed Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. After inciting violence earlier in the day, President Donald Trump later promised a peaceful and “orderly transition of power” while continuing to disagree with the results.
From The World
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In case you missed it
The peaceful transition of power is a democratic principle that for the most part hasn't been challenged here in the US. But this year, after this election, many Americans are nervous as angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday. And, in contrast to other vaccination programs, in Israel, health officials have been vaccinating about 1.5% of the population every day. Also, a valuable painting by Wassily Kandinsky is in a major museum in Amsterdam. It once belonged to a Jewish family before World War II. Now the heirs are suing to get it back.