Dozens of masked men rushed barricades at Hong Kong's main pro-democracy site on Monday, sparking renewed accusations that authorities are using hired thugs to disperse demonstrators. Groups of men, many wearing surgical masks, descended on the front lines of the rally at Admiralty near the city's central business district, triggering clashes with protesters after police had moved in to take down some barriers. Demonstrators, who have come under attack from organised crime gangs known as triads at another flashpoint demonstration site in Mongkok, shouted: "Weapons! Weapons!" and "Arrest the triads" as police struggled to impose order. Despite repeated orders to disperse, rallies now into their third week have taken on an air of permanence, with tents, portable showers and lecture venues springing up in recent days. Pro-democracy lawmakers who back demonstrators' calls for Beijing to grant the right to direct elections in the former British colony were quick to round on the authorities. "This is one of the tactics used by the communists in mainland China from time to time. They use triads or pro-government mobs to try to attack you so the government will not have to assume responsibility," Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho told AFP. "It seems that the police have duly removed some of the barricades to make way for the suspected triads to get through to the peaceful protesters," Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo told AFP. Taxi drivers had also converged on the site with their cars, demanding the barricades be removed and other anti-Occupy groups chanted "Occupy is illegal". Anti-Occupy protesters mainly dissipated as the day wore on, while pro-democracy demonstrators set about reinforcing their positions in case the police return for a second dawn raid on Tuesday. In Admiralty activists laid down cement foundations and built up bamboo pole barricades blocking both lanes of a highway, using everything from steel chains to plastic ties and sticky tape to strengthen the structures, even enlisting sympathetic construction workers for help with their building work. Protesters also filled plastic barricades with water, making them difficult to move, after police warned Monday they would move to clear more "obstacles" from the protest sites. "We will not eliminate the possibility of using minimal force or arrest actions," police senior superintendent Hui Chun-tak told reporters. He said that three men had been arrested during the earlier scuffles, one for assault and two for carrying offensive weapons. - Triad allegations - Parts of Hong Kong have been at a standstill over the last fortnight, prompting clashes with elements who oppose the blockades and widespread disruption to businesses and travel. It was the second time since the mass protests began that authorities had been accused of cooperating with criminal gangs. In previous clashes at the secondary site of Mongkok 10 days ago, police said eight of the 19 arrested had triad backgrounds. Furious pro-democracy protesters also accused the authorities of using thugs Monday. "The government wants Hong Kong people to fight each other, that's how they want to win," protester Angela Li said. "All the people using violence and causing trouble are paid thugs." Police said that the clashes were due to "people unlawfully blocking the roads with obstacles". Earlier Hong Kong's embattled leader Leung Chun-ying had told reporters in the Chinese city of Guangzhou that he wanted the protests to end. "Under the appropriate situation we hope to allow society to return to normal as quickly as possible," he said on the sidelines of a trade meeting. - 'Zero chance' of success - On Sunday, Chief Executive Leung had said the protesters had "almost zero chance" of changing Beijing's stance and securing free elections. China announced in August that while Hong Kongers will be able to vote for Leung's successor in 2017, only two or three vetted candidates will be allowed to stand -- an arrangement the protesters dismiss as "fake democracy". Students and pro-democracy campaigners have taken to the streets -- sometimes in their tens of thousands -- since last month to call for Beijing to change its position and to demand Leung's resignation. Talks between student leaders and city officials collapsed last week, deepening the crisis in the semi-autonomous city. China has in recent weeks held around 40 people on the mainland who had expressed support for the protests in Hong Kong, according to rights groups.
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- The Daily Beast
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty ImagesTwo foreign female tourists were caught in a crossfire between rival crime groups and shot to death last Thursday in the high-end resort town of Tulum, Mexico. Three other people were also wounded when the firefight broke out in the popular restaurant, La Malquerida, not far from the beach. Of the two women who were killed, one was from Germany and the other India.“They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and got caught in an exchange of gunfire betwee
- Lexington Herald-Leader
Linda Blackford: Schools are so confusing these days. Books about the civil rights movement, no. Lap dances with administrators, yes!
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
Although Raiders coach Jon Gruden technically resigned, the resignation undoubtedly came under threat of termination, if he didn’t choose to leave voluntarily. Unresolved when he abruptly walked away was the balance of his reported 10-year, $100 million contract. Via Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com, owner Mark Davis said Wednesday that a settlement has been reached. Gruden [more]
- Yahoo Life
Tara Reid responds to body shamers who accuse her of being 'so thin': 'Please don't be one of those people'
Tara Reid and her friend Taryn Manning shut down body shamers who accused Reid of being too thin.
As her first granddaughter, Princess Charlotte is set to inherit one of Princess Diana's most famous, iconic and coveted heirlooms.
Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino dropped a real whopper this week.
- Miami Herald
The man had one-off roles on the shows.
Donald Trump's "letter to the editor" was crammed full of nonsense, but the newspaper published it anyway,
- Yahoo Sports Canada
Joel Quenneville shouldn't have been anywhere near the Panthers' bench on Wednesday.
Jada Pinkett Smith is getting real about her sex life with husband Will Smith. It’s a topic a lot of couples might relate to about keeping things spicy in the bedroom after many years together — and the expectations we place on a partner when it comes to our wants and desires. Jada had Gwyneth […]
The newly-announced SKIMS x Fendi ready-to-wear collection launches on Nov. 9
- Washington Examiner
A Kentucky high school is under investigation after photos of male students in lingerie giving faculty lap dances were posted to the school's official Facebook page.
- Madame Noire
Especially as they voyage back home, we wish the Arby family the best.
The tabloid slammed Donald Trump’s eldest son for topping “sick GOP” taunts of Alec Baldwin following the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York tried to goad the former president in an MSNBC interview.
- The Wrap
Inexperienced ‘Rust’ Armorer Enraged Nicolas Cage on Previous Film: ‘You Just Blew My F–ing Eardrums Out!’ (Exclusive)
A crew member demanded that armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed be fired, but she went on to handle guns on "Rust"
- Women's Health
Nicole Scherzinger looked fierce as she did a poolside bridge pose while on vacation in the Caribbean. The former Pussycat Doll says yoga keeps her fit.
NASCAR fined crew chief Adam Stevens $20,000 and suspended him from Sunday’s Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway (2 p.m. ET, NBC) when the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was found with two lug nuts not safe and secure after the playoff race at Kansas Speedway. Stevens was one of two crew chiefs suspended […]
Harry Is in ‘Panic Mode’ Over the Queen’s Health—He Still ‘Feels Guilty’ He Never Said Bye to Philip
Harry would "never forgive himself" if the same thing happened with his grandmother.
- The Daily Beast
Fox NewsDuring a fiery Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at one point defended parents throwing up Nazi salutes at school board meetings.Cruz, along with other Republicans, lambasted Attorney General Merrick Garland for directing the Justice Department this month to investigate the rise in violent threats against educators. That rise has coincided with right-wing media fueling fury over mask mandates and so-called critical race theory.Referencing a letter writ