Updated Aug 29, 2019

Hong Kong #MeToo rally against police held as Chinese troops cause unease

Hong Kongers wave their phones during a #MeToo rally against police sexual harassment Thusday. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Thousands of people rallied in Hong Kong's streets Thursday against alleged sexual assaults by police on pro-democracy protesters, as images of the Chinese military moving into the city raised fears of a Beijing crackdown, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: What began 12 weeks ago as a rally against a bill proposing to extradite Hong Kongers to mainland China has become a massive anti-government protest to defend the high degree of autonomy residents have had since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997. Clashes between police and protesters have become increasingly violent.

The big picture: Hong Kong Police said they had not received any formal complaints and that they respected the rights of those detained, per the BBC.

  • As the #MeToo protest took place, Chinese state media showed footage Thursday of troops moving into Hong Kong for what China says is a routine rotation.
  • Hong Kong lawmaker Dennis Kwok told public broadcaster RTHK he believes it's a "deliberate posture" by pro-Beijing authorities to "warn the Hong Kong people" that troops may be deployed, per the Guardian.

What they're saying: China's People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said in a statement translated by CNBC that it will resolutely implement the "one country, 2 systems" principle," referring to the legal and economic freedoms that Hong Kongers have that mainland Chinese do not have.

"The Hong Kong Garrison will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security, and develop interests, effectively perform duties to defend Hong Kong, and make important new contributions to safeguarding Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability."
— PLA statement translated by CNBC

Go deeper: Hong Kong protests assert the freedoms China seeks to constrain

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

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The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.