Jul 23, 2019

Puerto Rico police use tear gas in bid to break up huge street protests

Police clash with protesters in front of the governor's mansion in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo: Jose Jimenez/Getty Images

After a day of largely peaceful protests involving hundreds of thousands of people, Puerto Rico police used tear gas to try and disperse demonstrators from the streets of San Juan Monday night, Reuters reports.

Details: Protesters threw objects at police keeping the line between the governor’s mansion and those calling for Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to resign over leaked homophobic and sexist text messages, according to ABC News. Police said they deployed tear gas at 11 p.m. after several warnings to protesters to leave the area, per ABC.

The big picture: Police have used tear gas on protesters on previous nights over the past week, as pressure grows on Rosselló to step down. On Sunday, he said he'd resign as leader of his party and would not run for re-election next year, but he refused to step down as governor before the end of his term.

This article has been updated with more details on clashes between police and protesters.

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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announces resignation

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rossello. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Puerto Rico's Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation, effective Aug. 2, on Wednesday night — after days of massive protests calling for him to step down over a leaked messaging scandal, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Why it matters: Rosselló is the U.S. commonwealth's first governor to resign, per NBC News. Hours before he announced he was stepping down, an investigation, brought forth by Puerto Rico's House of Representatives into possible wrongdoing including corruption and conflicts of interest, revealed 5 impeachable offenses against him.

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Hong Kong police fire tear gas on protesters as thousands rally across city

Protesters throw back tear gas fired by the police in Sham Shui Po district in Hong Kong Sunday. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong police again fired tear gas at protesters, as thousands of people defied a ban to rally on the streets in several districts and at the international airport Sunday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Activists have been repeatedly met with tear gas by riot police, as Hong Kongers mark the 10th straight weekend of protests. The former British colony retained a high degree of autonomy when it was returned to China in 1997 — including the freedom to protest and an independent judiciary. Hong Kongers worry that’s all crumbling as the Chinese Communist Party tightens its grip on the territory, per Axios' Dave Lawler.

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Puerto Rico's legislature set to begin impeachment process against Gov. Rosselló

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

An investigation, brought forth by Puerto Rico's House of Representatives into possible wrongdoing including corruption and conflicts of interest, revealed 5 impeachable offenses against Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, NBC reports.

Catch up quick: Rosselló has refused calls to resign following a series of leaked messages detailing sexist and homophobic remarks, and mocking the deaths of Hurricane Maria victims. For 12 straight days, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans have gathered to protest the controversy, but, thus far, Rosselló has only announced he would not seek reelection.

Go deeperArrowJul 24, 2019