Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Protester in London demonstrating against China's campaign of human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims. Photo: Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several of the 15 countries elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday have themselves been condemned for serious human rights abuses, including China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia and Uzbekistan.

The big picture: The intergovernmental body of 47 countries is responsible for "the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe." The Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of the Human Rights Council in 2018, citing alleged bias against Israel and a pattern of allowing corrupt and repressive regimes to serve in its ranks.

What they're saying: “Electing these dictatorships as UN judges on human rights is like making a gang of arsonists into the fire brigade," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the independent rights group UN Watch.

Between the lines: The 15 vacant seats were distributed between five regions, but only one region — Asia-Pacific — was contested. Most countries within regions typically reach private deals to ensure that candidates can stand unopposed, according to The Guardian.

  • "Uncompetitive UN votes like this one make a mockery of the word ‘election,'" Human Rights Watch's UN director Louis Charbonneau said in a statement.
  • "Regional slates should be competitive so states have a choice. When there’s no choice, countries should refuse to vote for unfit candidates."

Zoom in: Saudi Arabia fell short of the necessary vote threshold to be elected, almost exactly two years after the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

  • China, which is carrying out a campaign of demographic genocide against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, earned the least number of votes of any state elected — 139, down from 180 votes when it stood for a seat in 2016.
  • 60% of the next term of UN Human Rights Council members do not meet the minimum standards of a free democracy, according to UN Watch.

Full list of newly elected countries: Bolivia, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, France, Gabon, Malawi, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Senegal, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and the U.K.

Go deeper: More countries join condemnation of China over Xinjiang abuses

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden's China plan: Bring allies

Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden is planning to confront China across the globe, embracing some of President Trump's goals but rejecting his means.

The big picture: By starting a trade war with China, Trump has fundamentally altered the U.S.- China relationship — and forced both Republicans and Democrats to accept a more confrontational approach towards Beijing.

2 hours ago - Health

Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About half of Americans are worried that trick-or-treating will spread coronavirus in their communities, according to this week's installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may seem like more evidence that the pandemic is curbing our nation's cherished pastimes. But a closer look reveals something more nuanced about Americans' increased acceptance for risk around activities in which they want to participate.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.