Defying China, Hong Kongers rush to buy pro-democracy newspaper

first_imgTopics : Hong Kongers rushed to buy copies of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily on Tuesday in a show of support for its owner, who was arrested a day earlier as police rounded up critics of China.A crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong has gathered pace since China imposed a sweeping security law in June, with opposition politicians disqualified and activists arrested for social media posts.The moves have provoked outrage in the West and fear for millions in the city who last year took to the streets to protest Beijing’s tightening grip on the semi-autonomous city.  The newspaper’s front page showed a picture of Lai being led away in handcuffs with a headline — in typical lurid red characters — that said “Apple will fight on”.Dozens of people lined up in Mong Kok and around the city to buy the paper, including a woman who bought 16 copies and gave her name as Chan.”Hong Kong is a place with press freedom, but the police now suppress press freedom in a high-profile way. I feel very angry,” she said.Hong Kongers had on Monday immediately shown their support by buying shares in Lai’s media company, sending its stock value soaring. The buying spree continued on Tuesday morning, with the company’s value increasing more than 600 percent since Lai’s arrest. ‘Eviscerated’ Hong Kong’s new national security law criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces.The most serious crimes under the law, which was introduced on June 30 and is not supposed to be retroactive, carry up to life in jail.Its broadly worded provisions criminalized certain political speech overnight, such as advocating sanctions, and greater autonomy or independence for Hong Kong.Similar laws are used on the authoritarian mainland to snuff out opposition.Lai, 71, was held on charges including colluding with foreign forces, as well as fraud, in an operation targeting his Next Digital publishing group.Among the others arrested were two of Lai’s sons, young pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow and Wilson Li, a former activist who describes himself as a freelance journalist working for Britain’s ITV News.Even as police were conducting interrogations, Beijing hailed Lai’s arrest, declaring him an “anti-China rabble-rouser” who conspired with foreigners to “stir up chaos”.Critics believe the law has ended the key liberties and autonomy that Beijing promised Hong Kong could keep after its 1997 handover by Britain.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who met with Lai last year, said he was “deeply troubled” by reports of Lai’s arrest.Pompeo described it as “further proof” that Chinese authorities have “eviscerated Hong Kong’s freedoms and eroded the rights of its people”.The United States had last week already imposed sanctions on a group of Chinese and Hong Kong officials — including city leader Carrie Lam — in response to the crackdown.China condemned the sanctions as “barbarous” and imposed retaliatory sanctions on some senior American politicians and leading human rights campaigners.In a late-night briefing, police said those arrested were part of a group that had previously lobbied for foreign sanctions.”After the national security law came into force, this group was still active,” senior superintendent Li Kwai-wah told reporters. In one of the most dramatic days of the crackdown, media tycoon Jimmy Lai was among 10 people detained under the new law on Monday as around 200 police officers searched the newsroom of his tabloid, which is unapologetically critical of Beijing.In a show of solidarity for Lai, people in the city rushed to buy Tuesday’s Apple Daily, with the newspaper saying it had upped its print run to 550,000 from its normal circulation of 70,000.One restaurant owner bought 50 copies at a news stand in the commercial district of Mong Kok, saying he planned to give them away for free.”Since the government doesn’t allow Apple Daily to survive, then we as Hong Kongers have to save it ourselves,” the man, who gave his surname as Ng, told AFP.last_img read more

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Cesc Fabregas snubs Pep Guardiola as he names Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho as best coaches he’s worked with

first_imgCesc Fabregas has played under some of the best managers in history (Picture: Getty)Cesc Fabregas has delivered a snub to former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola after naming Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho as the two best managers that he’s worked with in his career.The Spaniard left Barcelona for Arsenal as a 16-year-old but he returned to the Camp Nou in 2011 for a fee of around £35m. Guardiola handed Fabregas his old no.4 shirt and often played the midfielder in a false-nine position as Barcelona romped to the title in the 2011/12 campaign. It was arguably Lionel Messi’s finest season in his career and much of that was down to the chemistry the Argentine had with Fabregas.ADVERTISEMENT Cesc Fabregas snubs Pep Guardiola as he names Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho as best coaches he’s worked with Advertisement Comment Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 1 Apr 2020 4:35 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link745Shares Fabregas spent three years back at Barcelona (Picture: Getty)However, Fabregas left after a mixed three years in Barcelona to join Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in 2014.AdvertisementAdvertisementHe guided Chelsea to the Premier League title during his first season back in England and Fabregas admits he preferred playing under Mourinho and Wenger than Guardiola. Quizzed about his former bosses on Instagram, Fabregas initially tried to duck the question by insisting: ‘I had the best in the world, so I cannot complain.’However, fans weren’t happy with his answer and Fabregas was forced to go further, where he named his two favourite managers.‘Wenger and Mourinho,’ said Fabregas.MORE: Paul Merson defends Cesc Fabregas over Arsenal transfer decisionFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisementlast_img read more

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