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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LIVE: St. Lucie County holding news conference on coronavirus

first_imgOfficials in St. Lucie County are holding a news conference related to the coronavirus.last_img

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England lead Spain in mixed international

first_img9 May 2015 England lead Spain in mixed international England made a strong start to this weekend’s mixed international at Burnham & Berrow in Somerset and take a four point lead into tomorrow’s matches.It’s the first time in the 30-year-history of the match that the teams have been mixed – and the women quickly made an impression.In the morning foursomes Bethan Popel had a hole-in-one on the 14th. Then, in the singles, Gemma Clews sealed a successful day for the team when, playing in the last match on the course, she fought back from three down to win on the 18th.She contributed to a 9½-5½ scoreline which included a host of other highlights on a testing day, when a stiff breeze blew relentlessly across the superbly prepared course.England had got off to a flying start in the match, winning four of the five morning foursomes. There were some big wins as the England players proved themselves better at coping with the tough conditions, notably from English amateur champion Nick Marsh and Michael Saunders who closed out their game on the 12th.In the afternoon the Spanish came out in determined mood and had the upper hand over the opening holes. But, as Graham Walker, the England men’s coach commented: “We managed to stem the tide and the first few matches were ours.”Ashley Chesters, the double European champion led the way in the singles with a 5/4 win which was especially notable for a run of three consecutive threes. He birdied the 12th, eagled the 13th and parred the 14th after his tee shot hit the pin and ricocheted off the green into a deep hollow, from which he played a magical pitch.Ashton Turner and Jimmy Mullen followed Chesters to get those important early points on the board. Turner had to wait until the 13th before he finally got ahead in his match, eventually winning 2/1. Mullen, by contrast, was never behind and dismissed his opponent on the 14th. Meanwhile, Nick Marsh battled away and secured a half point, despite having been two down after 10.Alice Hewson was a couple under par on the outward half and was another very comfortable winner, finishing 4/3. Then, attention focussed on Clews (image © Leaderboard Photography) who was clawing her way back, having been three down after 11.She won the 12th with a birdie, fired a super-accurate shot into the 13th to win that hole, and got back to all square with a solid par on 15. By now, a sizeable gallery which included fellow team players and officials, had gathered to watch her win 16 with another immaculate par.Both players missed makeable birdie chances on the short 17th and on the 18th they both ran through the green with their approaches. But, Clews chipped dead to secure the point for England.Women’s team captain Steve Robinson commented: “We set ourselves the target of not losing a session against Spain, who are a very strong team, and we’ve seen some great quality golf and some really good, battling performances from all the players in tough conditions.”Men’s team captain Graham Walker echoed him: “The standard of golf from the England players matched the warm welcome from Burnham & Berrow members and staff.“We got off to a great start this morning with all the players keeping the ball in play in blustery conditions and with some trick pin placings.“Overall it’s been a pretty good day for the England team.”last_img read more

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