Hundreds of riot police took up posts around Hong Kong's legislature overnight, as protests were expected on Wednesday over a bill criminalising disrespect of China's national anthem and against plans by Beijing to impose national security laws. The proposed new national security laws have triggered the first big street unrest in Hong Kong since last year, when violent protests posed Hong Kong's biggest crisis since the return of Chinese rule in 1997 from Britain. Activists say the security laws could bring an end to the autonomy of China's freest city, now guaranteed under a policy known as "one country, two systems".
Donald Trump spent the weekend ahead of Memorial Day playing golf and pushing conspiracy theories on Twitter, insulting his political enemies like Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Stacey Abrams and insinuating that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is guilty of murder. Although Mr Trump put on a solemn show during his speech at Fort McHenry, his words to honour soldiers got lost amid the number of disparaging tweets he released in an effort to attack rivals and push for the Republican National Convention to continue as scheduled with a full crowd.
The Afghan government released hundreds of Taliban prisoners Tuesday, its single largest prisoner release since the U.S. and the Taliban signed a peace deal earlier this year that spells out an exchange of detainees between the warring sides. The government announced it would release 900 Taliban prisoners as a three-day cease-fire with the insurgents draws to an end. The Taliban had called for the truce during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Senior White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that America's "human capital stock" is ready to get back work as the country moves toward reopening its economy. Hassett's statements come as the number of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits continues to grow. Senior White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said on Sunday that America's "human capital stock" is ready to get back work as the country takes steps toward reopening.
The Justice Department is dropping its inquiry into Sen. Dianne Feinstein over stock trades made as the novel coronavirus struck the U.S. and roiled the economy, a person familiar with the matter said. Feinstein (D-Calif.) is among a handful of senators whose stock trades have been scrutinized by federal investigators to see if they violate a law preventing lawmakers from utilizing insider information gleaned from their work. A spokesman for Feinstein declined to comment.
The Michigan governor who implemented some of the toughest coronavirus lockdown rules in the United States came under heavy criticism Tuesday over allegations that her husband pressured a dock to prepare his boat for an outing. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who has defended her tough stay-at-home policies against armed protestors and attacks from President Donald Trump, announced last week the lifting of some restrictions ahead of the long Memorial Day weekend. According to a claim posted on Facebook by Northshore Docks owner Tad Dowker, Whitmer's husband Marc Mallory subsequently tried to use her position to get his boat moved ahead of others for launching before the holiday weekend.
Tony Giberson/Reuters Mark Lua, a former Florida teacher, pleaded guilty last year to charges related to the sexual abuse of students. Last week, during his sentencing hearing, Mark Lua asked for chemical castration instead of a prison sentence. The judge ignored his request and sentenced him to 12 years in prison, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
An intrepid Pakistani 'spy' pigeon is facing a life behind bars in India. The allegation was made after Geeta Devi, a resident of the Kathua district of Indian-administered Kashmir, reported a bird - painted pink and carrying a coded ring tagged to its foot - flew into her home on Sunday night. The Indian Border Security Force passed the pigeon on to the police, who launched an investigation and logged the animal as a 'Pak Suspected Spy.'
Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the coronavirus pandemic: - South Korean quarantine breaker jailed - A South Korean man was jailed for four months on Tuesday for breaking coronavirus quarantine rules, authorities said, in the country's first such prison sentence. The man, 27, left home while under 14-day self-isolation and was then moved to a quarantine facility where he also left without permission. South Korea endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the virus, but appears to have largely brought the spread under control thanks to an extensive "trace, test and treat" programme.
Brazil daily coronavirus deaths were higher than fatalities in the United States for the first time over the last 24 hours, according to the country's Health Ministry. Brazil registered 807 deaths over the last 24 hours, whereas 620 died in the United States. Brazil has the second worst outbreak in the world, with 374,898 cases, behind the U.S. with 1.637 million cases.
Democrat "squad" member Ilhan Omar says she believes sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden but would vote for him anyway to defeat Donald Trump. In a Tweet defending her support of accuser Tara Reade, the Minnesota congresswoman said that "believing survivors is consistent with my values". "This is the most important election cycle of our lifetimes and we aren't going to have a chance if we don't spend our energy in mobilising and building enthusiasm against Trump."
Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country will strengthen its armed forces and improve its preparedness for military combat, state media said Tuesday, amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over the coronavirus outbreak and China's decision to propose legislation that would tighten control over Hong Kong. Xi spoke on the sidelines of China's National People's Congress, an annual political event where legislation approved by China's ruling Community Party is rubber-stamped.
At a House Oversight Committee briefing on the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus, Rep. Gerry Connolly asked Department of Health and Human Services Principal Deputy Inspector General Christi Grimm if she will be looking into a report that a former White House aide, Zach Fuentes, won a contract to provide respirator masks to the Navajo Nation only 11 days after his company was formed.
US Navy The US Navy has accused two Russian Su-35 fighter jets of conducting an "unsafe and unprofessional" intercept of a P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Mediterranean Tuesday, releasing photos and video from the incident. The two Russian fighters closed in on both wings of the US aircraft simultaneously, "restricting the P-8A's ability to safely maneuver," the Navy said in a statement. Tuesday's intercept marks the third unsafe intercept over the Mediterranean in two months, following two similar incidents in April.
The first of five Iranian tankers carrying much-needed gasoline and oil derivatives has docked in Venezuela and a second one entered its waters, the government said on Monday amid concern in Washington over the burgeoning relationship. The United States has closely monitored the shipments, concerned that Iran and Venezuela -- both under US sanctions -- were taking their longstanding ties to another strategic level. Venezuela boasts the largest proven oil reserves in the world, but production has plummeted under the current regime and its oil exports have been hampered by US sanctions.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday attempted to quell growing criticism after her husband dropped her name while trying to get his boat in the water for the Memorial Day Weekend. "My husband made a failed attempt at humor last week when checking in with the small business that helps with our boat and dock up north," Whitmer said. The controversy started when Tad Dowker, the owner of a northern Michigan dock company, was reported to have posted to Facebook that Whitmer's husband, Marc Mallory, tried to use his status as first husband to get his boat launched ahead of Memorial Day weekend — even as Whitmer was cautioning residents to resist flocking to popular vacation areas.
Two boys, aged 15 and 17, were charged on Thursday with first-degree and attempted murder, and Toronto police told the Guardian they do not believe Kinani's murder was related to an ongoing turf war. But he was the fourth Toronto tow-truck driver to be murdered in less than two years. Several others have been shot – or shot at – including one who was targeted just hours after Kinani's death.
Working through dismal weather, SpaceX engineers pressed ahead Monday with preparations to launch two astronauts aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft Wednesday, the first piloted flight to orbit from U.S. soil in nearly nine years. SpaceX and NASA held a launch readiness review to verify the Falcon 9 booster and spacecraft are ready for flight while NASA and its international partners went over preparations to welcome two new crew members to the lab complex. Both meetings concluded with an official "go" for launch.
Both North and South Korea violated the armistice agreement that governs their shared border when their troops exchanged gunfire on May 3, the U.S.-led United Nations Command (UNC) said on Tuesday. A multinational UNC special investigation team concluded that troops from both sides had violated the agreement, which has been in place since the 1950-1953 Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty. The UNC, which is commanded by an American general, oversees affairs in the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas, which remain technically at war.
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday fired back at President Trump for sharing a tweet that mocked Biden for wearing a mask during a Memorial Day event, calling him an "absolute fool." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that people wear masks to slow the spread of coronavirus, but Trump has opted out of publicly wearing a face covering during visits to factories, despite the companies requiring masks for the safety of their employees. This is irresponsible, Biden told CNN's Dana Bash, and Trump's refusal to listen to health experts is "costing people's lives."
The US military has accused Russia of sending fighter jets to Libya to support Russian mercenaries there. There was no immediate response from the Russian Defence Ministry to the US Africa command (Africom) allegation. Earlier this month a leaked UN report spoke of hundreds of mercenaries from the shadowy Wagner Group operating in Libya.
Cases of coronavirus are on the rise in Alabama, where Gov. Kay Ivey has allowed summer camps, movie theaters, casinos and more to reopen as part of recently expanded “Safer at Home” orders. Speaking on CNN, Reed said the spike in cases was due in part to people deciding on their own that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, and called the easing of restrictions a “mistake.” “They are ready to get back to their normal way of doing things, and that's a mistake that we've been making over the last few weeks, is we have kind of eased restrictions in this community and across the state,” he said.
Facebook conducted internal efforts in 2016 and 2018 to examine whether the platform's algorithm was encouraging the polarization and the proliferation of extremist content, according to The Wall Street Journal. According to The Journal, CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated he was "losing interest" in these changes and asked employees not to bring up those topics to him again. Facebook has long known its platform encourages extremist and polarizing content, and the company's disinterest in making changes to solve these problems goes all the way up to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, The Wall Street Journal reported.
When the U.S. recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the nation's rightful leader last year it did more than just trigger a bitter feud with socialist leader Nicolás Maduro. The latest came Tuesday, when the Guaidó-appointed board of Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of Venezuela's state oil company, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Houston against a former contractor seeking to recover millions of dollars in damages. The lawsuit accuses José Manuel González and his Miami-based Petroleum Logistics Service Corp. of providing gifts including cash, jewelry, private artwork, chartered flights and even a handpicked Houston apartment to senior executives at Citgo.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday that her husband made a failed attempt at humor when he asked a boat contractor whether his status as Michigan's "First Gentleman" would help him get his boat in the water ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. "He thought it might get a laugh," Whitmer said of her husband, Marc Mallory, a dentist. Whitmer said her husband regrets what he said and called on Michiganders to show kindness and empathy as the state deals with the COVID-19 pandemic that will be around for some time.