Category: Opinion

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Mexico confirms first cases…


MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s assistant health secretary announced Friday that the country now has two confirmed cases of the new coronavirus.

Hugo Lopez-Gatell said one of the patients is in Mexico City and the other in the northern state of Sinaloa, and neither is seriously ill.

At least five family contacts of the first patient have been placed in isolation. He said one of the men had contact with someone who had traveled to the northern Italian region where there has been an outbreak.

Brazil on Wednesday confirmed Latin America’s first confirmed case of the new coronavirus in a man who traveled to Italy this month.



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Roberts Faces Moment of Truth on Issue at Supreme Court…


(Bloomberg) — For U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, the moment of truth on abortion is coming.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear its first abortion case since Roberts became the pivotal vote on the issue. Four years after invalidating a Texas law requiring clinic doctors to have hospital admitting privileges, the court will consider whether to switch directions and uphold a similar law in Louisiana.

The argument will test Roberts’s appetite for rolling back abortion-rights precedents and could foreshadow a fight over the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. The justices will rule by the end of June, potentially making abortion and the court itself central issues in the November election. President Donald Trump’s administration is supporting the Louisiana law.

Opponents say the law would leave the state with only one clinic, in New Orleans, and just one abortion doctor to serve the 10,000 women who seek to end a pregnancy every year in the state.

“Roe becomes meaningless if there is no access to abortion,” said Kathaleen Pittman, director of the Hope Medical Group for Women, a Shreveport clinic that says it would have to close if the measure took effect. “These women that we work with now do not have the means to travel, to fly out of state, to go to other places for their care.”

Conservative states have been moving to sharply restrict abortion rights in recent years. States enacted 58 new abortion restrictions alone, including a total ban by Alabama, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that backs reproductive rights. Many of those laws are on hold.

Supporters of the Louisiana measure, which carries criminal penalties, say the state is trying to protect women from unscrupulous and incompetent abortion providers. Among other arguments, they are urging the court to say that Hope and two unidentified doctors lack the legal right to challenge the law on behalf of their patients.

“We need to be listening to women, not to abortion businesses,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life.

Pivotal Chief

Roberts — now back at the court full-time after presiding over Trump’s impeachment trial — dissented from the 2016 ruling that struck down the Texas rules and gave abortion-rights supporters reason to think the issue was resolved. The 5-3 decision said the state’s law “provides few, if any, health benefits for women” and “poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions.”

That was before the court’s composition changed with the addition of Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. The latter succeeded Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had been the court’s swing vote on abortion and voted with the majority to throw out the Texas law.

Those changes have left Roberts, a 2005 appointee of Republican President George W. Bush, squarely in the middle. Last year he joined the four Democratic-appointed justices to put the Louisiana law on hold while the court considered whether to intervene. Kavanaugh and Gorsuch both voted to let the law take effect, hinting they were at least open to upholding it.

Roberts’s vote might suggest he has questions about the federal appeals court ruling that upheld the Louisiana law. The 2-1 decision said the impact wasn’t as great as in Texas, and the majority blamed Louisiana doctors for not making good-faith efforts to get the required privileges.

But Roberts gave no explanation for his vote, and he may view the Louisiana law differently now that the court is directly considering it.

Possible Template

If he votes to throw out the Louisiana law, “it will be an indication that he wants to move slowly on abortion and does not want to expose the court to a lot of criticism, at least at this point,” said David Strauss, a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago Law School who signed a brief urging the court to strike down the law.If Roberts votes to uphold the Louisiana statute, “that will suggest that he’s willing to be more aggressive, although a lot will depend on how the opinion is written,” Strauss.

Roberts steered the court toward restricting abortion rights in a 2007 ruling he could use as a template. That decision, issued during Roberts’s second term as chief justice, upheld a federal ban on a rarely used late-term abortion procedure that opponents called “partial-birth abortion.”

The decision, written by Kennedy, didn’t overturn a 2000 ruling that struck down a similar Nebraska ban. Instead, Kennedy said the federal statute was clearer in describing what procedures were outlawed and how doctors could ensure they wouldn’t be prosecuted.

Roberts is far more reluctant to overturn precedents than his conservative colleagues. He said in his 2005 Senate confirmation hearing that overruling a precedent is a “jolt to the legal system.”

In that testimony, he called the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey abortion-rights ruling a “precedent of the court entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis,” the policy that the court generally won’t disturb its settled rulings.

Similar Laws

In the hospital-privileges case, abortion-rights advocates say the Texas and Louisiana rules are identical. Louisiana says there are enough differences that the court need not rule the same on both, but the state says the court should overturn the Texas ruling if necessary.

Louisiana’s law, enacted in 2014, requires doctors to have privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (48 kilometers) of the abortion facility. The measure was in effect for a brief period in 2016.

A ruling that upholds the Louisiana law without overturning the 2016 ruling would still be a boost for the anti-abortion cause, said James Bopp, an Indiana lawyer who filed a brief on behalf of the National Right to Life Committee and the Louisiana Right to Life Committee.

“It wouldn’t be as consequential,” Bopp said. “But any time you have a ruling on an abortion case, if the law’s upheld, there is value in that.”

The cases are June Medical Services v. Russo, 18-1323, and Russo v. June Medical Services, 18-1460.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



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California abnormally dry after low-precipitation winter…


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A dry beginning of the year has left most of California abnormally parched, as officials brace for the possibility of an early and more intense wildfire season amid record-breaking temperatures.

Drought has expanded from just under 10% of the state last week to nearly a quarter, mainly in central California, the heart of the state’s agricultural sector, according to a U.S. Drought Monitor map made public Thursday. The map released weekly shows another 43% of the state is now abnormally dry.

This month is shaping up to be the driest February on record for much of the state. Chances of light showers are on the horizon Saturday night but not again until March 10.

Sierra Littlefield, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Sacramento, said there is a strong chance the state’s capital will see a completely dry February — something that has not happened in recorded history.

Downtown San Francisco is on its way to its first rain-free February since 1864, according to the weather service.

The lack of rain this year comes after a wet 2019 that capped mountains with snow, delivering water to reservoirs and helping to boost lush vegetation that can quickly turn into fuel for wildfires during dry, windy conditions.

About 75% of California’s annual precipitation typically occurs from December through February, mostly from what’s known as atmospheric rivers — long plumes of moisture originating far out in the Pacific Ocean.

But a high-pressure system parked in the Pacific has blocked storms from reaching California and instead steered them to the Pacific Northwest.

“California and parts of the Southwest dried out while the Northwest observed surplus precipitation,” wrote NOAA meteorologist David Miskus, who issued this week’s Drought Monitor report.

A similar high-pressure system led to a statewide drought from 2011 to 2017 that prompted then-Gov. Jerry Brown to order California’s nearly 40 million people to cut water use by 25% — the first mandate of its kind in the state.

Californians heeded the call, taking shorter showers and ripping out their lawns during the five-year drought.

State water officials said Thursday that it’s too early to consider conservation measures and pointed out reservoirs statewide are either at or above their historical averages for this time of year.

“A few dry months really doesn’t make a drought,” said Chris Orrock, a spokesman for the Department of Water Resources. “If we have to go through two dry years, then we start looking at what additional conservation measures we need.”

In another sign of California’s dry conditions, state officials on Thursday conducted a survey of the Sierra Nevada snowpack and found it was 47% of the March average at the Sierra’s Phillips Station.

The first reading on Jan. 2 found the snowpack was 97% of the January average. But dry conditions since then have hurt snowfall, which supplies about 30% of California’s water.

“February rain and snow were quite disappointing,” said Sean de Guzman, chief of the department’s snow surveys and water supply forecasting section. “We’ll most likely end this water year below average. We just don’t know how far below.“

Also Thursday, U.S. Forest Service crews were battling a fire in brush and timber at Mendocino National Forest in Northern California. In Southern California, firefighters quickly knocked down several brush fires on Wednesday.

State firefighters have responded to 280 small wildfires since the beginning of the year. In the same period last year, there were just 85 reported fires, said Scott McLean, a spokesman with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Earlier this month, the Forest Service battled a blaze at the 4,000-foot (1,219.2-meter) level, where there should be snow at this time of year, McLean said.

McLean said California is prepared with aircraft and firefighters ready to be deployed if needed, and officials have been implementing fire mitigation programs.

___

Associated Press writers Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles contributed to this story.

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This story has been corrected to say 43% not 70% of the state is abnormally dry. It also corrects the name of Mendocino National Forest.



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Pets face quarantine…


Hong Kong (AFP) – All pets of people in Hong Kong infected with the coronavirus will be quarantined, with one dog already in isolation, the city’s authorities said Friday.

The move is the first reported case anywhere in the world of a government quarantining pets over the outbreak and was prompted by a positive test in the pet of an infected patient.

The canine has been placed in quarantine for 14 days as a precaution but has no “relevant symptoms”, Hong Kong officials said Friday.

“Nasal and oral cavity samples tested weak positive for COVID-19,” a government spokesman said without explaining why they tested the animal in the first place.

He said it was unclear whether the dog had actually contracted the virus or tested positive for low levels due to environmental contamination of the dog’s mouth and nose.

The animal was collected from the owner’s home on Wednesday after the 60-year-old woman was diagnosed with the contagion and placed in a hospital isolation ward.

It would be closely monitored, undergo further tests and held in quarantine until it returned a negative result, authorities said.

There is no evidence domestic animals such as dogs and cats can catch the virus or transmit it to humans but the department said all pets of infected people should be quarantined and tested for the virus for 14 days.

The financial hub has confirmed 94 cases of the new coronavirus in humans, with two deaths earlier this month.

The epidemic, which emerged in central China in December, has infected more than 83,000 people globally.



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Israeli scientists: Will have vaccine in weeks…


Israeli scientists are on the cusp of developing the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus, according to Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis. If all goes as planned, the vaccine could be ready within a few weeks and available in 90 days, according to a release.“Congratulations to MIGAL [The Galilee Research Institute] on this exciting breakthrough,” Akunis said. “I am confident there will be further rapid progress, enabling us to provide a needed response to the grave global COVID-19 threat,” Akunis said, referring to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.For the past four years, a team of MIGAL scientists has been developing a vaccine against infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), which causes a bronchial disease affecting poultry. The effectiveness of the vaccine has been proven in preclinical trials carried out at the Veterinary Institute.MIGAL is located in the Galilee.“Our basic concept was to develop the technology and not specifically a vaccine for this kind or that kind of virus,” said Dr. Chen Katz, MIGAL’s biotechnology group leader. “The scientific framework for the vaccine is based on a new protein expression vector, which forms and secretes a chimeric soluble protein that delivers the viral antigen into mucosal tissues by self-activated endocytosis, causing the body to form antibodies against the virus.”MIGAL laboratory (Photo Credit: Lior Journo)MIGAL laboratory (Photo Credit: Lior Journo)Endocytosis is a cellular process in which substances are brought into a cell by surrounding the material with cell membrane, forming a vesicle containing the ingested material.In preclinical trials, the team demonstrated that the oral vaccination induces high levels of specific anti-IBV antibodies, Katz said.“Let’s call it pure luck,” he said. “We decided to choose coronavirus as a model for our system just as a proof of concept for our technology.”But after scientists sequenced the DNA of the novel coronavirus causing the current worldwide outbreak, the MIGAL researchers examined it and found that the poultry coronavirus has high genetic similarity to the human one, and that it uses the same infection mechanism, which increases the likelihood of achieving an effective human vaccine in a very short period of time, Katz said.“All we need to do is adjust the system to the new sequence,” he said. “We are in the middle of this process, and hopefully in a few weeks we will have the vaccine in our hands. Yes, in a few weeks, if it all works, we would have a vaccine to prevent coronavirus.”MIGAL would be responsible for developing the new vaccine, but it would then have to go through a regulatory process, including clinical trials and large-scale production, Katz said.Akunis said he has instructed his ministry’s director-general to fast-track all approval processes with the goal of bringing the human vaccine to market as quickly as possible.“Given the urgent global need for a human coronavirus vaccine, we are doing everything we can to accelerate development,” MIGAL CEO David Zigdon said. The vaccine could “achieve safety approval in 90 days,” he said.It will be an oral vaccine, making it particularly accessible to the general public, Zigdon said.“We are currently in intensive discussions with potential partners that can help accelerate the in-human trials phase and expedite completion of final-product development and regulatory activities,” he said.



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Scope of undetected U.S. spread unknown…


The discovery that a California woman was likely infected with the novel coronavirus by a previously unrecognized case in her community is proof of an enormous problem the country is facing at the moment, according to public health experts. It’s clear that the virus is spreading undetected in the United States — but how broadly it’s spreading is an utter mystery.

Before Thursday, a perfect storm of problems in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s development of test kits — and the agency’s reluctance to expand its recommendation of who should be tested given the limited availability of kits — meant very little testing has been done in the country. As of Wednesday, the CDC said that 445 people had been tested — a fraction of the number of tests that other countries have run.

The new case in California makes it clear the virus is spreading undetected in at least one area of one state. The woman is not believed to have traveled outside the country and had no contact with a known case. As her condition worsened — she is on a ventilator — health officials in California asked the CDC to test her for the virus. Because she had not been to China and had not been a contact of a known case, the agency said no.

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Eventually, more than 10 days after she went into hospital, the CDC agreed she could be tested. Dozens of health workers who may have come into contact with her at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital, in Vacaville, Calif., are now being monitored.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom was critical of the testing debacle in a press conference on Thursday. His state has only 200 kits to test for the new coronavirus, he said.

“Testing protocols have been a point of frustration for many of us,” Newsom said. He added that, based on conversations with the CDC, states have been informed new protocols are coming and they have been promised an “exponentially” increased capacity to test.

Indeed, on Thursday the CDC announced a new testing protocol Thursday that will greatly expand the number of people who should be tested.

Requests for comment from the CDC on Thursday went unanswered. The New York Times reported that the Trump administration has ordered that all statements on the coronavirus be funneled through the office of Vice President Mike Pence, who was named to head the administration’s coronavirus response on Wednesday by President Trump.

Experts said it has been long past time to broaden the testing protocol beyond people who traveled to China. Outbreaks are gathering speed in Italy, Iran, and South Korea, and dozens of other countries are reporting cases.

On Thursday afternoon the agency did just that in new guidelines for the medical community on who to test for Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. People with symptoms compatible with Covid-19 and who have recently traveled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea should be tested for the virus, the new guidance says.

The CDC’s own advice to travelers warns Americans not to travel to South Korea because of the coronavirus risk and urges people with medical conditions to avoid traveling to Italy, Iran, and Japan at this time.

“It is accurate to say that we have recognized 60 cases in the U.S. from returning travelers and one now unexplained by travel in California. But it’s not accurate to say that we have 60 cases,” said Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. “We don’t know how many cases we have. We can’t estimate that until we’ve done clinical testing and surveillance testing.”

The new guidance also frees up hospitals to test patients with ARDS — acute respiratory distress syndrome — for which there isn’t a diagnosed cause to see if they are infected with the new virus, a move Inglesby had also called for.

The CDC developed and sent test kits to state and local labs in early February. Even then, those labs were clamoring for the ability to test and questioning why it was taking so long to develop assays for the new coronavirus.

Because the federal government declared the coronavirus outbreak an emergency, state and local laboratories are prohibited from using tests developed in-house. They could only use tests that had received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. In this context, that means the CDC test.

When laboratories start to use a new CDC-designed test, they have to first assess their own ability to run the tests accurately, and report back to the CDC if they are having problem getting the tests to work in their hands. It quickly became apparent that a lot of the state and local laboratories were having trouble with one part of the test, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, adding that the CDC “probably, in retrospect, maybe over-engineered [the test] a bit.”

The CDC told the few states that weren’t having a problem to continue testing and pulled back the kits from the others, which meant that any time those states had a patient who needed to be tested, they had to send the sample to the CDC.

The organization that represents state and local labs — the Association of Public Health Laboratories — was so concerned that on Monday it asked the FDA in a letter if local labs could begin to use in-house tests, executive director Scott Becker said.

“That’s really what led us to reach out to the FDA in really a very public way saying: ‘What else can we do? Because we’re hamstrung here. We’re between a rock and a hard place,’” he told STAT.

Becker said state and local labs have now been told that those that can run all three parts of the test should do so; those that can’t get the third part to work properly can now drop that part. Meanwhile, a next-generation test is being readied.

“I expect it to go very quickly in the next few days,” Becker said. “I really feel like yesterday” — Wednesday — “was a pivotal point and there’s some positive movement.”

Having more laboratories able to test will only solve part of the problem, however. Giving doctors and hospitals more leeway to test more patients who look like they might have Covid-19, regardless of whether they’ve traveled or not, will help further define the level of transmission in this country, experts said.

Inglesby called for a surveillance effort — designating certain hospitals or cities to test more broadly for the virus to try to assess whether there is undetected spread.

The CDC said several weeks ago such a program would be launched in six cities. But the testing problems have delayed the rollout.

Megan Thielking contributed reporting.



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White House to control message…


WASHINGTON—The White House is taking steps to better coordinate messaging on the coronavirus outbreak, instructing senior officials to seek approval from Vice President Mike Pence’s office before speaking publicly about the epidemic, according to people familiar with the directive.

An administrative official said the move is aimed at getting the administration’s political leaders on the same page following days of mixed messages from senior aides, but isn’t intended to muzzle government scientists and health experts.



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Floated VP slot to Yang…


Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has made overtures to Democrat Andrew Yang, courting the former candidate’s endorsement and floating the possibility of Mr. Yang becoming his running mate, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Aides to the former New York City mayor reached out to discuss ways the two entrepreneurs-turned-politicians could work together as Mr. Bloomberg seeks the Democratic nomination, these people said.



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CALIFORNIA MONITORING 8,400


A San Francisco Public Works Community Clean volunteer wearing a face mask removes trash on a street in the Chinatown district of San Francisco, California, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday the state is currently monitoring at least 8,400 people for COVID-19, a day after health officials confirmed the first possible community transmission of the coronavirus in a Solano County resident. 

“This is a fluid situation right now and I want to emphaize the risk to the American public remains low,” said Dr. Sonia Y. Angell, California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer during a press conference. “There have been a limited number of confirmed cases to date.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t know exactly how the new California patient, who’s receiving medical care in Sacramento County, contracted the virus. The patient didn’t have a relevant travel history or exposure to another patient with the virus, the CDC said Wednesday.

California health officials said the patient wasn’t under quarantine before her diagnosis and was out and about in her community. 

“We are currently in deep partnership with CDC on one overriding protocol that drives our principle focus right now and that’s testing, and the importance to increase our testing protocols and to have point of contact diagnostic testing as our top priority not just in the state of California but I imagine all across the United States,” Newsom said at a press conference.

California health officials have 200 testing kits on hand and will be receiving more over the next few days, Newsom said. 

“We have just a few hundred testing kits and that’s surveillance testing as well as diagnostic testing. That’s simply inadequate to do justice to the kind of testing that is required to address this issue head on,” he said.

Newsom said that the CDC has made “firm commitments” to improve the state’s testing capacity, but did not provide details, such as how many testing kits the agency has agreed to send to the state.

California received the first flight in late January of people evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the epidemic. All 195 passengers were quarantined on the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County and released earlier this month. The state also took evacuees in at the Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, roughly 40 miles southwest of Sacramento, and the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego.

“We coordinated those first flights, that first flight in particular, in January, late January down into Riverside at March,” Newsom said. “Over 800 people have come in on those flights, but that’s a small part of the overall picture. Thousands and thousands of other people have come in on more traditional flights through the state of California.”

CNBC’s Noah Higgins-Dunn contributed to this article.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.



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DISNEY cuts kissing scene from MULAN to appease Beijing…


Disney cut a kissing scene from its $200million Mulan remake after its Beijing office said it ‘doesn’t feel right to the Chinese people’, director reveals

  • An early cut of the film featured Mulan smooching her love interest, Chen 
  • The director said Chinese office thought it was inappropriate for their audiences
  • The film has sparked a series of controversies before its release next month
  • Mulan is a Chinese folktale about a young woman disguising herself as a man 
  • Disney first released an animated version of the traditional story in 1998 

Disney has decided to remove a kissing scene from its $200million live-action adaptation of Mulan after their Chinese executives thought it was inappropriate for their audiences, it has been revealed. 

An early cut of the film featured a romantic scene in which Mulan shared a kiss with her love interest, Chen Honghui. 

But the production team eventually deleted the scene after reviewing the movie with Chinese audiences and local executives, the film’s director Niki Caro told the press.

Disney has decided to remove a kissing scene from its $200million live-action adaptation of Mulan after their Chinese executives thought it was inappropriate for their audiences

Disney has decided to remove a kissing scene from its $200million live-action adaptation of Mulan after their Chinese executives thought it was inappropriate for their audiences

Mulan is a Chinese folktale about a fearless young woman disguising herself as a man to save her ailing father from joining the marching army against the northern invaders in China

Mulan is a Chinese folktale about a fearless young woman disguising herself as a man to save her ailing father from joining the marching army against the northern invaders in China

Liu Yifei was seen as titular character, Hua Mulan, in the Mulan trailer released by Disney

Liu Yifei was seen as titular character, Hua Mulan, in the Mulan trailer released by Disney

‘It was very beautiful, but the China office went, “No, you can’t, that doesn’t feel right to the Chinese people.” So we took it out.’ Caro said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. 

Mulan is based on a traditional Chinese folktale about a fearless young woman disguising herself as a man to save her ailing father from joining the marching army against the northern invaders in China.

Disney first released its classic animated version of the story in 1998 before remaking Mulan as a live-action film. 

The picture shows a scene from Disney's Mulan remake which is due to release in March, 2020

The picture shows a scene from Disney’s Mulan remake which is due to release in March, 2020

Outrage was sparked after the leading actress, Liu Yifei, voiced support for Hong Kong police

Outrage was sparked after the leading actress, Liu Yifei, voiced support for Hong Kong police

Liu Yifei is pictured attending a Tissot event in Shanghai. She is also the leading star in Mulan

Liu Yifei is pictured attending a Tissot event in Shanghai. She is also the leading star in Mulan

The upcoming remake has sparked a series of controversies before its scheduled release in March this year.

Many called for a boycott after the leading actress, Liu Yifei, voiced support for authorities’ crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

The Chinese-American star, 32, shared a political post on the Chinese Twitter-like Weibo.

Liu Yifei, a Chinese-American actress, plays the young woman Mulan in its live-action remake

Liu Yifei, a Chinese-American actress, plays the young woman Mulan in its live-action remake

The actress is pictured attending Jackie Chan International Action Film Week in Shanxi, China

The actress is pictured attending Jackie Chan International Action Film Week in Shanxi, China

The picture shows Mulan having a meal with her family in the multi-million live-action remake

The picture shows Mulan having a meal with her family in the multi-million live-action remake 

The leading actress, Liu Yifei posted a message on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo supporting Hong Kong police. The message led to a hashtag #BoycottMulan to trend on social media

The leading actress, Liu Yifei posted a message on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo supporting Hong Kong police. The message led to a hashtag #BoycottMulan to trend on social media 

Her message which fans deemed to support police brutality in Hong Kong led to a hashtag #BoycottMulan, and it became trending online.

Another flood of outrage was sparked after one of the characters from the animated film of Mulan, Li Shang, was removed from the new film.

It is believed that this happened after Li, who is Mulan’s commander and the eventual love interest, was interpreted by fans as bisexual in its original animated version.

Another flood of outrage was sparked after one of the characters from the animated film of Mulan, Li Shang, was removed from its upcoming remake. He was replaced by a new character

Another flood of outrage was sparked after one of the characters from the animated film of Mulan, Li Shang, was removed from its upcoming remake. He was replaced by a new character

Disney first released an animated version in 1998 before remaking Mulan as a live-action film

Disney first released an animated version in 1998 before remaking Mulan as a live-action film 

Li was replaced by a new character, Chen Honghui, who became Mulan’s new lover.

Mulan is scheduled to release in the UK and US on March 27.

Highly-anticipated: Mulan is scheduled to be released in the US and UK on March 27, 2020

Highly-anticipated: Mulan is scheduled to be released in the US and UK on March 27, 2020

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