Oct 20, 2019

Hong Kong protestors march in support of pro-democracy leader

Pro-democracy protestors in the Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong, Oct. 20. Photo: Dale De La Rey/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters marched in Hong Kong on Sunday in defiance of a police ban against assembly, rallying in support of a pro-democracy group leader who was attacked by five men wielding hammers three days earlier, according to the BBC.

The state of play: Though the march was largely peaceful, some protestors threw firebombs at police and vandalized Chinese banks and shops. Police responded by shooting tear gas canisters and deploying water cannons loaded with a blue irritant used to mark protestors for later arrest.

The big picture: This is Hong Kong's 20th consecutive weekend of protests. What started as a backlash to an extradition bill — which has since been withdrawn — has evolved into a wider movement against China's authoritarian government. Protestors have four key demands, per the BBC:

  • For the government to cease characterizing the protests as "riots."
  • Amnesty for arrested protesters.
  • An independent probe into alleged police brutality.
  • Universal suffrage.

In the U.S., the House unanimously passed a bill on Tuesday condemning Chinese interference in Hong Kong's affairs and supporting the rights of pro-democracy protestors to demonstrate.

  • The Chinese government later issued a statement threatening the U.S. with retaliatory action if the Senate passes the same legislation.
In photos
A protester prepares to throw a petrol bomb, Oct. 20. Photo: Dale De La Rey/AFP via Getty Images
Police deploy a water cannon loaded with a blue irritant, Oct. 20. Photo: Dale De La Rey/AFP via Getty Images
People march down a main road, Oct. 20. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images
Police fire tear gas canisters, Oct. 20. Photo: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images
Protesters looking at burning barricade, Oct. 20. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

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Hong Kong pro-democracy protests rage on for 24th consecutive weekend

A protester is detained by riot police, Nov. 10. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Pro-democracy activists blocked roads, trashed shopping malls and vandalized public transportation across Hong Kong on Sunday, while riot police fired tear gas to break up demonstrations, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Sunday's protests mark the 24th consecutive weekend of anti-government protests, coming just two weeks before the Chinese-controlled city holds district council elections.

Go deeperArrowNov 10, 2019

In photos: Dramatic scenes from California's wildfires

A firefighter controls a hotspot of the Maria Fire, in Santa Paula, Ventura County, California, on Saturday. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

California firefighters have spent days battling wildfires in challenging, dry conditions that have forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

The big picture: Firefighters have even faced hurricane-strength winds in some places. California's governor has declared a state of emergency, and some 3 million people have been affected by power shut-offs, per the New York Times. This is what firefighters have been up against, in photos.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 4, 2019

In photos: Catastrophic wildfires rage across Australia

Smoke shrouds the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia's most populous city on Thursday. Photo: Cassie Trotter/Getty Images

Smoke from Australia's deadly wildfires blanketed the state capitals of Sydney and Adelaide as air quality exceeded "hazardous" levels on Thursday, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: Thousands of people have fled the fires. Per News.com.au, much of the country is on high fire alert, as blazes rage across all six of Australia's states. Six people have died in the bushfires in the eastern states of Queensland and New South Wales.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 21, 2019