Oct 5, 2019

"Very dark day": Hong Kong suspends business, transit following protests

Photo: Laurel Chor/Getty Images

Activity in Hong Kong was on pause Saturday after a ban on face masks, used by protestors to conceal their identities from the government, prompted violent protests Friday, reports Bloomberg.

What's happening: Businesses, banks and rail services closed for the first time in nearly 20 years, per Bloomberg. Protesters came out on Saturday, but in smaller numbers due to the shutdown trains, reports AP. This is the 18th weekend of protests in Hong Kong.

  • A plain-clothes officer claims to have fired shots at protesters in self-defense Friday around 9 pm.
  • A 14-year-old boy was admitted to a hospital Friday evening, and the police senior superintendent believes the incidents are related.
  • Other protesters vandalized businesses linked to mainland-China and burned at least one train, notes Bloomberg.

What they're saying:

  • Lam said Friday's chaos left Hong Kong "semi-paralyzed," according to AP.
  • Some peaceful protesters say the violence has become a "means to an end, the only way for young masked protesters to force the government to bend to clamors for full democracy and other demands," writes AP.

Go deeper... China's split-screen: Hong Kong protests vs. Communist celebration

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Hong Kong frees murder suspect who triggered massive protests

Chan Tong-kai walks out of the Pik Uk Prison in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images

Murder suspect Chan Tong-kai, whose case prompted Hong Kong's government to introduce a bill that would've exposed Hong Kongers to extradition to mainland China, was released from prison Wednesday, the BBC reports. He was released as officials were preparing to formally withdraw the controversial bill, per AP.

Why it matters: The bill triggered months of massive demonstrations in the Chinese territory that morphed into a wider pro-democracy protest movement that's become embroiled in U.S. politics. Congress has raised China's ire by pressing ahead with a bill supporting the Hong Kong protesters, and the NBA has become involved in a standoff with Chinese officials over the movement.

Go deeperArrowOct 23, 2019

Hong Kong revokes extradition bill that triggered protests

A pro-democracy protester being detained by riot police on Oct. 21. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

The Hong Kong government on Wednesday withdrew an extradition bill that set off months of protests and sparked a greater pro-democracy movement in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, the AP reports.

Why it matters: Though Hong Kong Secretary for Security John Lee said the government was suspending the bill because of civil unrest, it is unclear if the withdrawal will appease demonstrators, who have been protesting for five months.

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Keep ReadingArrowOct 23, 2019

Hong Kong officers fire tear gas at police brutality protest crowds

Police fire tear gas during a rally in the Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong on Sunday. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong riot police used tear gas and water cannons on thousands of demonstrators to break up a rally against police brutality Sunday, Reuters reports. Many demonstrators donned banned face masks, it noted.

Why it matters: Hong Kong authorities hoped the withdrawal of an extradition bill that set off months of protests in the Chinese territory would calm unrest in the Asian finance hub. But protesters are concerned that the high degree of autonomy they've experienced since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997 is under threat from Chinese authorities.

Go deeper: China's Hong Kong checkmate

Keep ReadingArrowOct 27, 2019