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Old December 9th, 2019, 03:18 PM   #381
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Rally organisers claim turnout of 800,000
Dec 8, 2019
RTHK Excerpt

The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) said 800,000 people took part in their first approved march since August, in what the group said was a clear message to the Chief Executive Carrie Lam to immediately respond to the protest movement’s five core demands – and in particular set up an independent Commission of Inquiry into the policing of the unprecedented protests.

The police put the peak size of the crowd at 183,000 people.

While the procession was largely peaceful, black-clad demonstrators did vandalise a number of shops, banks and restaurants seen to be pro-Beijing, and fires were set at the entrances to the High Court, and the Court of Final Appeal.

The front said they decided to call an early end to the rally at around 9pm in light of escalating tensions around the end point of the march from Victoria Park to Chater Road in Central, as large groups of riot police faced off against masked, black-shirt protesters.

The group’s convenor, Jimmy Sham, told reporters that the massive police presence in Central was ‘intimidating’ and made people nervous.

He demanded an explanation from the new Police Commissioner Chris Tang as to why police decided to block off a number of roads in Central, saying this ‘unnecessary’ arrangement made people feel penned in.

Organisers said many people who wanted to leave after completing the march had found their routes blocked off by riot police, even though the force had given approval for the march to last until 10pm.

More : https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/compone...1-20191208.htm
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Old December 9th, 2019, 06:28 PM   #382
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Hong Kong unrest hits 6-month milestone, protesters’ demands see little response from government
CNBC Excerpt
Dec 8, 2019

Hong Kongers marched again on Sunday, chanting “five demands, not one less” as the city’s anti-government protests approached their six-month milestone.

Demonstrators have been locked in a stalemate with the local government since early June amid protests initially sparked by a bill that would have enabled extradition to mainland China. On June 9, a million people marched through the financial center to demonstrate their opposition. Approximately 2 million people marched in protest a week later.

While Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has since retracted the bill, fulfilling one of the five demands, critics regarded the move as too little, too late. Social unrest in the city has since taken on broader anti-government sentiment as protesters push for greater democracy in Hong Kong.

Government opposition was fueled by anger with police conduct as well as how Lam’s administration dealt with the protests, Ma Ngok, associate professor in the department of government and public administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told CNBC.

“The government hasn’t actually responded, so a lot of people think they just cannot give up on the protest” Ma said.

Compared with the 2014 protests, this year’s uprising is a largely leaderless movement marked by greater violence and more forceful police tactics.

Police have arrested 4,319 people between June 9 and Nov. 14., according to government figures. Between June 9 and Nov. 26, the government said 2,600 injured people sought medical treatment at public hospitals. Media reports suggest that many injuries are not reported amid eroding trust in institutions.

More : https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/08/hong...overnment.html
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Old December 10th, 2019, 02:43 PM   #383
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Hong Kong mask ban: court refuses government request to suspend earlier ruling that it was unconstitutional
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Dec 10, 2019

A Hong Kong court has lifted a ban on face masks by refusing the government’s request to suspend an earlier ruling that found it unconstitutional.

Acting chief judge of the High Court Jeremy Poon Shiu-chor and Court of Appeal vice-president Johnson Lam Man-hon on Tuesday revealed they were satisfied the government appeal was “reasonably arguable” but found that the authorities had failed to show there was a need to further suspend the lower court’s declaration of unconstitutionality and refused the application.

But the judges also warned their decision “is not and should not be regarded as an encouragement or condonation for any person to cover their face” in situations previously caught by the ban.

“We have in no way determined the appeals one way or the other,” Poon wrote. “If one is to continue to wear masks ... in the meantime, he has to face the inherent risk of having acted contrary to the law should the [government] later succeed on appeal.”

The Court of First Instance on November 18 ruled in favour of 25 pan-democrats who applied for a judicial review challenging the constitutionality of the ban on masks that was introduced by the government to quell the anti-government movement roiling the city.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...rnment-request
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Old December 11th, 2019, 01:22 PM   #384
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Old December 11th, 2019, 07:03 PM   #385
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Old December 11th, 2019, 07:18 PM   #386
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Foreign experts quit Hong Kong police probe questioning its independence
Dec 11, 2019
Excerpt

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Foreign experts said they had quit advising a Hong Kong police watchdog on Wednesday due to doubts over its independence and ability to conduct an investigation into police conduct during months of anti-government protests.

The panel of five experts from Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand was recruited in September by the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) to help ensure its probe into allegations of police brutality was credible and free of bias.

“We ultimately concluded that a crucial shortfall was evident in the powers, capacity and independent investigative capability of IPCC,” the foreign experts panel said in a statement.

“We remain committed to supporting and engaging with the IPCC, if and when it develops the necessary capabilities and provides its draft interim report on the protests, confrontations and policing of events between June and September 2019.”

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN1YF0AW
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Old December 12th, 2019, 01:32 PM   #387
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First Hong Kong protest riot trial to be held in March as prosecutors criticised for ‘not disclosing evidence’
Dec 11, 2019
Hong Kong Free Press Excerpt

A Hong Kong court will hear the case of a newlywed couple and a 16-year-old charged with rioting in March, making them the first group of pro-democracy protesters to face trial.

Police said on Monday that 956 people have been formally prosecuted in relation to the protests, while the total arrest figure surpassed 6,000. Protesters convicted of rioting could face up to 10 years behind bars under the colonial-era Public Order Ordinance.

While hundreds of arrested protesters have appeared in court since June, the case involving Elaine To, Henry Tong and Natalie Lee will be the first to enter the trial phase, as all three have pleaded not guilty.

The trial is scheduled for March 6 to 20, with prosecutors saying they will summon 11 witnesses and adduce three to four hours of video evidence.

To, Tong and Lee were arrested near Des Voeux Road West in Sheung Wan on July 28. Defence lawyers previously told the court that To and Tong were trying to help Lee to her feet when the trio was arrested by riot police.

More : https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/12/1...sing-evidence/
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Old December 12th, 2019, 02:10 PM   #388
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Taiwan says will give Hong Kong people help if needed
Dec 12, 2019
Excerpt

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan will provide “necessary help” for people from Hong Kong who come to the island, the government said on Thursday after a meeting with a Hong Kong student delegation, amid concerns they may not get proper legal protection in case they flee there.

Anti-government protests in the Chinese-controlled city have attracted broad concern in democratic Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory. Taiwan’s government has said it strongly supports people’s aspirations for freedom and democracy.

Taiwan currently has no law on refugees which could be applied to Hong Kong protesters who may seek asylum on the island. Its laws do promise though to help Hong Kong citizens whose safety and liberty are threatened for political reasons.

Chiu Chui-cheng, deputy head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, said he had met on Thursday a Hong Kong student delegation, and explained to them Taiwan’s policies.

“We know that these students are anxious about many people who may be staying in Taiwan and looking for help and hope that they can get proper or positive assistance,” Chiu told reporters.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN1YG15K
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Old December 12th, 2019, 02:13 PM   #389
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Hong Kong's role in global finance remains intact despite months of protests: Fitch
Dec 12, 2019
Excerpt

(Reuters) - Hong Kong’s role in global finance is intact, with little evidence to suggest recent protests and social unrest in the city have adversely impacted that role, global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings said on Thursday.

However, the rating agency added that the prolonged protests are undermining perceptions that Hong Kong is a stable international business hub and that a weaker view of its governance could impact its credit rating directly.

The Chinese-ruled city has seen more than six months of anti-government demonstrations sparked by a controversial and now-withdrawn extradition bill. The often violent protests have morphed into calls for greater democratic freedoms and an end to alleged mainland Chinese meddling in the semi-autonomous former British colony.

In September, Fitch had downgraded Hong Kong’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating to “AA” from “AA+” following months of protests.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN1YG0CD
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Old December 13th, 2019, 02:50 AM   #390
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Old December 14th, 2019, 03:45 AM   #391
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Counting the cost of protest - Hong Kong police rack up $120 million overtime bill
Dec 13, 2019
Excerpt

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong police have earned an average of US$11,000 for each officer in overtime pay during the last six months of anti-government protests, with the total overtime bill coming to more than US$120 million, government figures showed on Friday.

Police have covered more than 900 protests since June and worked overtime only in “inevitable circumstances”, the government’s security bureau said in a written response to questions from pro-democracy lawmakers.

The Chinese-ruled city as been convulsed by almost daily and often violent protests since public opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill developed into demands for greater freedoms.

The security bureau said police overtime since the start of the turmoil has cost the government HK$950 million ($121 million). Some 11,000 police officers were paid overtime, which would mean an average of HK$86,363 per officer.

“It’s a whopping sum,” opposition lawmaker Claudia Mo told Reuters. “Taxpayers would need to pay extra to the police for harming them extra, with all the teargas and bullets.”

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN1YH1JA
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Old December 15th, 2019, 10:13 AM   #392
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Old December 16th, 2019, 07:37 PM   #393
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Old December 16th, 2019, 07:41 PM   #394
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Revolution 101: For hardened teens of Hong Kong protests, violence is one way forward
Excerpt
Dec 13, 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Fiona’s rebellion against the People’s Republic of China began slowly in the summer months, spreading across her 16-year-old life like a fever dream. The marches and protests, the standoffs with police, the lies to her parents. They’d all built on top of her old existence until she found herself, now, dressed in black, her face wrapped with a homemade balaclava that left only her eyes and a pale strip of skin visible. Her small hands were stained red.

It was just paint, she said, as she funneled liquid into balloons. The air around her stank of lighter fluid. Teenagers hurled Molotov cocktails toward police. Lines of archers roamed the grounds of the university they’d seized; now and then, they stopped to release metal-tipped arrows into the darkness, let fly with the hopes of finding the flesh of a cop.

Down below Fiona, rows of police flanked an intersection. Within a stone’s throw, Chinese soldiers stood in riot gear behind the gates of an outpost of the People’s Liberation Army, one of the most powerful militaries on the planet.

Fiona joined her first march on June 9, a schoolgirl making her way to the city’s financial district on a sunny day as people called out for freedom. It was now November 16, and she was one of more than 1,000 protesters swarming around and barricaded inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Because of their young age and the danger of arrest, Reuters is withholding the full names of Fiona and her comrades.

Night was falling. They were wild and free with their violence, but on the verge of being surrounded and pinned down.

The kids, which is what most of them were, buzzed back and forth like hornets, cleaning glass bottles at one station, filling them with lighter fluid and oil in another. An empty swimming pool was commandeered to practice flinging the Molotov cocktails, leaving burn marks skidded everywhere.

When front-line decisions needed to be made, clumps of protesters came together to form a jittering black nest – almost everyone was dressed from hood to mask to pants in black – yelling about whether to charge or pull back.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN1YH1AP
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Old December 17th, 2019, 02:01 PM   #395
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'We can celebrate later': Hong Kongers pen Christmas cards to protesters
Excerpt
Dec 17, 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong residents have been gathering across the city on weekends and in lunch breaks to write Christmas cards to injured protesters and those in detention as anti-government demonstrations grind on through the holiday season.

“I don’t even want to celebrate because so many people are seriously injured,” said office worker Felix Wong, 35, choking up in tears as she spoke.

“We didn’t forget about them. We’re not partying ... ‘We can celebrate later, not now’,” she said when asked what she had written in her cards.

Wong was one of a dozen office workers and residents who dropped by a central shopping area on Monday to drop off their Christmas cards.

Volunteers in black masks and baseball caps collected them in boxes as tourists walked by, passing shop windows decorated with gingerbread houses, Christmas presents and tinsel.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN1YL0L1
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Old December 17th, 2019, 02:04 PM   #396
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$5 billion flee Hong Kong funds amid unrest: Bank of England
Excerpt
Dec 17, 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters) - The unrest in Hong Kong has led to as much as $5 billion of capital outflow from investment funds in the Asian financial hub since April, the Bank of England said.

The flight of capital, which accounted for nearly 1.25% of the region’s GDP, began after the city’s government pushed for a bill that would allow extradition to Mainland China, according to the central bank’s Financial Stability Report released on Monday.

As protests against the bill intensified and led to violent clashes, retail sales plunged, pushing the city into its first recession in a decade.

“These political tensions pose risks, given Hong Kong’s position as a major financial center,” the report said.

The BoE monitors Hong Kong closely because UK banks such as HSBC (HSBA.L) (0005.HK) and Standard Chartered (STAN.L) (2888.HK) are also the leading banks in Hong Kong.

The banks have passed the BoE’s stress test, which modeled a fall of almost 8% in Hong Kong’s GDP and a slump in property prices by more than half.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN1YL0DX
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Old December 17th, 2019, 02:08 PM   #397
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Old December 18th, 2019, 03:33 AM   #398
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Money talks: Hong Kong protesters weaponizing spending power
Excerpt
Dec 17, 2019

HONG KONG (AP) — The Hong Kong protesters formed a line, patiently waiting their turn to buy sweet milk and tea drinks from a store that advertised ardent support for their cause with a banner declaring, “If you set off a nuclear blast, we'll stick by you."

For quicker service, they could have quenched their thirsts at an adjacent store that also sells bubble tea. It had no customers.

Which is exactly as the protesters intended.

Digging in for the long haul against Hong Kong's government, protesters are expanding their struggle from the streets to their wallets, weaponizing their spending power to punish businesses they deem hostile to their cause. The aim: to drive some firms under in the deepening recession gripping the crisis-hit city.

Guiding the consumer choices of tech-savvy protesters are apps that increasingly are color-coding businesses — everything from dentistry clinics and toy stores to dumpling restaurants and sex shops — into two categories: yellow for protest-friendly, blue for suspected opponents.

“Blue! blue!” protesters yelled outside the bubble tea shop they shunned during a rally this month that marked the half-year milestone for their movement.

The protests started in June to voice opposition to now-withdrawn extradition legislation and have morphed into what demonstrators say is a full-blown fight to safeguard Hong Kong's freedoms, unique among China's cities. Months of clashes with riot police who have fired 26,000 tear-gas and rubber-baton rounds and arrested more than 6,100 people are radicalizing legions of youths, upending the city's economy, and splitting families, work colleagues, friends and citizens into two entrenched camps.

Even employees of the supposedly “blue” bubble tea store, wearing face masks like many of the demonstrators, advised them not to shop there, saying the company wasn't sympathetic to the protest movement.

“It stands for the police," protester Natasha Chan said, clutching a grapefruit and lemon tea purchased instead from the “yellow” Happy Holidays drinks store next door. "We chose not to shop from the blue side."

Protesters believe that by boycotting supposedly pro-establishment businesses, they can help shift the balance of power and wealth in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

More : https://apnews.com/9ed2c362202ebcf520014fe2b49f6aa8
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Old December 18th, 2019, 06:41 PM   #399
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Dissatisfaction rises over HK's rule of law: survey
Dec 18, 2019
RTHK Excerpt

An annual study by a prominent think tank has found dissatisfaction about the rule of law in Hong Kong has doubled this year.

The study – commissioned by the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre – surveyed a thousand people in October and November, and more than half of the people who responded to the survey conducted by the Chinese University said they were dissatisfied with how the rule of law is being implemented.

The 52 percent who gave a thumbs down this year was almost double the 27 percent who felt the same way last year.

The survey found that respondents who were aged 55 or above and attained primary education or below generally gave higher ratings regarding the implementation of the rule of law.

Most interviewees ranked judicial independence and preventing the government from abusing its powers as the most crucial aspects of the rule of law.

In the previous two years, when respondents were asked if they agreed with the statement 'breaking the law for reasons of social justice is acceptable', nearly 50 percent had said no. But this changed this year with more respondents agreeing (39.8 percent) than those disagreeing (31 percent).

More : https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/compone...3-20191218.htm
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Old December 20th, 2019, 03:24 AM   #400
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Hong Kong protesters march to consulates to call for support on rights

HONG KONG, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Hong Kong protesters rallied outside diplomatic missions on Thursday to urge foreign governments to follow the United States in passing human rights bills to raise pressure on Beijing and support their pro-democracy campaign.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation last month requiring the State Department to certify, at least once a year, that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy from Beijing to justify favorable U.S. trading terms.

About 1,000 people, most of them dressed in black and wearing face masks, marched on a route that took them by the consulates of Australia, Britain, the European Union, the United States, Japan and Canada, to drop off a petition.

British, EU and U.S. diplomats came out to receive it and took photographs with the protesters.

“What happens in Hong Kong is not just a local issue, it is about human rights and democracy. Foreign governments should understand how this city is being suppressed,” said Suki Chan, who participated in the protest.

More : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...KBN1YN0S5?il=0
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