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PHOTOS: Hong Kong police storm university held by protesters

PHOTOS: Hong Kong police storm university held by protestersPolice breached a Hong Kong university campus held by protesters early Monday after an all-night siege that included firing repeated barrages of tear gas and water cannons. Anti-government protesters have barricaded themselves inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University for days.


Date : Mon, 18 Nov 2019 14:26:15 -0500

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PHOTOS: Deadly shooting at California football party

PHOTOS: Deadly shooting at California football partyFour people were killed and six more wounded when “unknown suspects” sneaked into a backyard filled with people at a party in central California and fired into the crowd, police said.


Date : Mon, 18 Nov 2019 08:09:09 -0500

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Majority of Americans support ousting Trump from office, new poll shows

Majority of Americans support ousting Trump from office, new poll showsSeventy percent of Americans said President Donald Trump was wrong to pressure Ukraine’s leader to pursue probes into his political opponents, according to a new survey, and more than half of respondents indicated he should be removed from office. An ABC News/Ipsos poll published Monday found that 51 percent of those surveyed believed Trump should be impeached by House lawmakers, as well as convicted by the Senate. A quarter of respondents, 25 percent, said Trump did nothing wrong.


Date : Mon, 18 Nov 2019 09:26:13 -0500

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Dreaming of traveling to Australia? Qantas offers $100 flights — but you have to book fast

Dreaming of traveling to Australia? Qantas offers $100 flights — but you have to book fastQantas has $100 flights to Australia from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago, but seats and dates are limited.


Date : Mon, 18 Nov 2019 14:55:31 -0500

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Suit seeks to block prosecutor from excluding black jurors

Suit seeks to block prosecutor from excluding black jurorsFour black voters and a branch of the NAACP sued a Mississippi prosecutor on Monday, asking a federal judge to order him to stop excluding African Americans from juries. The lawsuit against District Attorney Doug Evans is an outgrowth of a case where the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a murder conviction of an African American man, citing racial bias in jury selection. Evans has tried Curtis Flowers six times for murder in a 1996 slaying, charging that he gunned down four people execution-style in a Winona furniture store.


Date : Mon, 18 Nov 2019 18:59:18 -0500

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Indiana teachers protest over wages, ask legislators not to 'shortchange' education

Indiana teachers protest over wages, ask legislators not to 'shortchange' educationTeachers in Indiana gathered outside the State Capitol building on Tuesday in protest of low salaries and evaluation policies, forcing half the state's school districts to cancel classes for the day. The Indiana State Teachers Association said it expected its day of action to draw some 15,000 teachers who will be using personal days to walk off the job as state law prohibits them from striking. The state's department of education could not confirm the number of teachers who were expected to attend.


Date : Tue, 19 Nov 2019 06:10:35 -0500

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U.S. Increased Sea Patrols to Send Message to China, Defense Secretary Says

U.S. Increased Sea Patrols to Send Message to China, Defense Secretary Says(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. is conducting more patrols in the South China Sea to send a signal to China that it intends to maintain freedom in the area that’s crucial for global trade, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday.Esper said at a media briefing in Manila the U.S. “rejects attempts by any nation to use coercion or intimidation to advance international interests at the expense of others.”He also urged nations with South China Sea claims to take a public position and assert sovereign rights to get China “on the right path.”“The clear signal we’re trying to send is not that we’re opposing China per se, but we all stand for international law, and that we think China should abide by them as well,” Esper said.Esper said the U.S. has conducted “more freedom of navigation operations in the past year or so than we did have in the past 20-plus years.”While Esper didn’t elaborate, the U.S. has confirmed at least five so-called freedom of navigation operations to challenge excessive maritime claims in the Spratly and Paracel island chains, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the same number that were publicly reported in 2018.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang hit back at a separate briefing in Beijing, saying the U.S. has long sought to “fan the flames” and create “chaos in the South China Sea.” Geng added that China was working with regional countries to ensure stability and urged the U.S. to stop acting as a “disruptor.”In Manila Esper also said the U.S. remains committed to the 68-year-old defense treaty that binds it to come to the Philippines’ aid in case of an armed attack on its territory. The treaty applies to the South China Sea, he added.The Philippines is discussing with the U.S. how the defense treaty can be made clearer, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said. He added that the two nations’ relationship had “suffered setbacks” but remained enduring.Esper also pledged to continue supporting Philippine military upgrades and counter-terrorism efforts and said it was good to clarify the defense treaty to respond to changing times.(Updates with comments from Esper, China’s Foreign Ministry in grafs 5-7)\--With assistance from Peter Martin.To contact the reporters on this story: Andreo Calonzo in Manila at acalonzo1@bloomberg.net;Glen Carey in Manila at gcarey8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecilia Yap at cyap19@bloomberg.net, Muneeza NaqviFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Date : Tue, 19 Nov 2019 05:52:40 -0500

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Vietnam families of UK truck victims take on loans to repatriate remains

Vietnam families of UK truck victims take on loans to repatriate remainsSome families of the 39 Vietnamese people found dead in a truck in Britain last month will take on steep loans from the government to repatriate their relatives' remains, they told AFP Tuesday. Vietnam's foreign ministry said they would help to bring either the ashes or the bodies of the victims back -- but that families would have to cover the cost of repatriation. Families in central Vietnam, where many of the 39 victims come from, said they were desperate to bring their loved ones back nearly four weeks after the tragedy, despite the debt they will have to take on.


Date : Tue, 19 Nov 2019 04:55:17 -0500

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Christine Blasey Ford makes rare public remarks, a year after Kavanaugh ordeal

Christine Blasey Ford makes rare public remarks, a year after Kavanaugh ordealProfessor who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault says ‘I did not feel courageous. I was simply doing my duty as a citizen’Dr Christine Blasey Ford accepting an award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California in Beverly Hills on Sunday night. Photograph: Alberto E Rodríguez/Getty ImagesChristine Blasey Ford, who accused supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, made a rare public appearance on Sunday night.“When I came forward last September,” she said, accepting an award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California in Beverly Hills, “I did not feel courageous. I was simply doing my duty as a citizen.”embed“I understood that not everyone would welcome my information, and I was prepared for a variety of outcomes, including being dismissed.”Blasey Ford, a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University in California, came forward in September 2018, as Kavanaugh’s nomination was before the Senate.In testimony before the Senate judiciary committee, she alleged that he assaulted her at a party in suburban Maryland in 1982, pinning her down, groping her, trying to remove her clothing and putting his hand over her mouth when she screamed.Kavanaugh angrily denied the allegation – and similar claims against him – and was confirmed as Donald Trump’s second supreme court pick.His ascent, after that of Neil Gorsuch, tipped the ideological balance of the highest court in favour of conservative justices.Kavanaugh also appeared in public last week, addressing an event on Friday in Washington and staged by the Federalist Society, the rightwing group which has played an influential role in Trump’s supreme court picks.“I signed up for what I knew would be an ugly process,” he said. But he said he had expected his confirmation to be “maybe not that ugly”.Kavanaugh was confirmed by just two votes, the narrowest margin for a supreme court justice since 1881.His appearance at Union Station in Washington was greeted by protests, including women dressed up as characters from The Handmaid’s Tale television series.Last year, lawyers for Ford said her life had been “turned upside down” and she had effectively gone into hiding, such was the vitriol directed her way after her testimony in the Senate.Ford “received a stunning amount of support from her community and from fellow citizens across our country”, the lawyers said in a letter to Senate judiciary committee chairman, Chuck Grassley.“At the same time, however, her worst fears have materialized. She has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats. As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of their home. Her email has been hacked, and she has been impersonated online.”At the Beverly Hills event on Sunday, Blasey Ford accepted the Roger Baldwin Courage Award, named for the founder of the ACLU. When coming forward, she said, she had “simply thought that it was my duty as a citizen and that anyone in my position would do the same thing”.


Date : Mon, 18 Nov 2019 09:25:29 -0500

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Hong Kong protesters attempt daring escape down ropes as police seal off university

Hong Kong protesters attempt daring escape down ropes as police seal off universityProtesters in Hong Kong staged a daring breakout from a university besieged by police last night as parents pleaded with authorities to spare the young activists, some of them high-school students, who remain inside.  The escape came as police said Hong Kong's Polytechnic University had turned into a "powder keg" and student leaders accused authorities of creating a "humanitarian crisis" inside the campus.  Earlier on Monday the besieged protesters, who are running low on supplies and fear the consequences of an all-out police assault, mounted an attempt to break out in force, but were beaten back by tear gas.  Thousands of protesters streamed towards the campus in an attempt to break the siege from the outside, and clashes broke out with police in nearby Kowloon.   In the evening, several dozen black-clad protesters used a rope to slither down several metres on to a motorway below where they were picked up by waiting motorcyclists. It was unclear how many remained inside.  This was probably the most surreal thing I have ever witnessed in the Hong Kong protests. Protesters just attempted a daring escape through a bridge at Polytechnic University. Volunteers on motorbikes came in drives to drive them out asap. Police fired teargas. HongKongProtestspic.twitter.com/huhSo3Mxo9— Michael Zhang 張雨軒 (@YuxuanMichael) November 18, 2019 Meanwhile, a group of parents unfurled a banner near the police cordon outside the campus saying "Save Our Kids." Hundreds of protesters including high school students have been trapped inside Polytechnic University since activists seized and fortified it late last week, saying it was their last refuge from police brutality against the pro-democracy activist movement. The campus became a battlefield over the weekend when protesters used petrol bombs, bricks and arrows to repel police armored cars and water cannon trying to enter the campus. Student leaders now say they are suffering from siege conditions and fear for their safety.  Hong Kong campus siege “Hong Kong police are creating a humanitarian crisis inside PolyU,” Ken Woo Kwok-wang, acting president of the student union, told a Hong Kong newspaper. “We are trapped. There is insufficient food and the number of injured is on the rise, and the hygiene situation is getting worse." Police have described the campus as a “weapons factory,” saying they had received a report that several toxic and dangerous chemicals, including highly volatile explosives, had been stolen from a laboratory.  “We must warn that the university campus has become a powder keg where danger is far beyond what we can estimate,” said Kwok Ka-chuen, a police chief superintendent. A protester lowers herself down a rope from the bridge to the highway Credit: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images “Hong Kong’s rule of law has been pushed to the brink of total collapse.” Cheuk Hau-yip, the commander of Kowloon West district, where Polytechnic University is located, said the police had the resources to end the siege and said those inside would be arrested. "Other than coming out to surrender, I don't see that there's any viable option for them," he said.  Authorities, meanwhile, were dealt a setback Monday when Hong Kong's high court struck down a contentious ban on wearing face masks in public imposed last month, ruling it unconstitutional.  Protests have disrupted Hong Kong continuously for nearly six months.  They first kicked off against a now-withdrawn extradition proposal, though sentiments have pivoted to target the police, who protesters accuse of brutality, and more broadly, China, over concerns that Communist Party rule is eroding freedoms in the former British colony. As clashes escalated significantly over the last week, forcing schools to shut, fears have grown that China may again call on military reinforcements to restore order, a move that would recall the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 when soldiers fired on peaceful student demonstrators.  Speculation mounted further after Chinese troops stationed in Hong Kong were spotted in the streets over the weekend cleaning up protest sites, an act authorities have said was voluntary. Police have arrested nearly 4,500 people, aged 11 to 83, since protests kicked off in early June. They have been detained for unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons, arson, and taking part in a riots – a serious charge that carries a maximum of ten years in prison. About 150 of those arrests were made over the weekend. As the university deadlock continues, former British foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind urged Hong Kong authorities to exercise restraint.  “A bloodbath on a Hong Kong campus would be devastating,” he said in a statement issued by Hong Kong Watch, a UK-based advocacy group. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam “has the responsibility to do everything possible to prevent a massacre.”   Additional reporting by Yiyin Zhong


Date : Mon, 18 Nov 2019 15:41:06 -0500

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