Dec 8, 2019

Hong Kong protests show no signs of slowing as movement enters 6th month

Pro-democracy protesters march in Hong Kong. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong on Sunday for some of the largest anti-government demonstrations in weeks, timed to coincide with international Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The marches, which continue to be aimed at pressuring Chief Executive Carrie Lam into accepting democratic election reforms and an amnesty for arrested protesters, mark the sixth month of pro-democracy demonstrations. The notably peaceful protest was organized by Civil Human Rights Front, the first time the group has received police authorization to hold a march since August.

In photos
Protesters block a road in Hong Kong on Dec. 8. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images
A woman runs past riot police blocking a road on Dec. 8. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images
Demonstrators march and hold signs on Dec. 8. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
Hong Kong protestors wearing masks of "Pepe the Frog," a character used by pro-democracy activists as a symbol of their struggle. Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Over 500 schools in South Korea have either closed or postponed reopening, according to the Korea Times, which cites data from the Ministry of Education.

Why it matters: South Korea has been a model for how to handle the novel coronavirus, and the closures reportedly followed concerns from parents and teachers over child safety. The country's confirmed death toll has plateaued at 269 over the past few days, with few increases, per Johns Hopkins data.

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Trump to end Hong Kong’s special trade status

President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday that the U.S. would be fundamentally changing longstanding policies toward Hong Kong as a result of Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy.

Why it matters: Trump said he would be effectively ending the special trade status that has allowed Hong Kong to flourish as a gateway to the Chinese market. That leaves an uncertain future for businesses that operate in Hong Kong, not to mention the city's 7 million residents, and could be met with reprisals from Beijing.