This comes on the fifth anniversary of a decision by China to curtail democratic reforms
Burning issue: A protester throwing a bottle onto a burning barricade after clashing with police at an anti-government rally in Hong Kong on Saturday.Getty ImagesChris McGrath
Hong Kong police fired tear gas and water cannon on Saturday and pro-democracy protesters threw petrol bombs in the latest in a series of chaotic clashes that have plunged the Chinese-ruled city into its worst political crisis in decades.
Police fired round after round of tear gas and protesters took cover behind umbrellas between the local headquarters of China’s People’s Liberation Army and the government. Protesters also threw bricks dug up from pathways at police.
Protest numbers had dwindled by the early hours of Sunday, with just a few hundred demonstrators and some riot police visible.
Fire bombs thrown
The water cannon unleashed blue-dyed water, to make it easier for police to identify protesters. Riot police then marched on foot towards the neighbouring Admiralty district, followed by 20 police cars, where protesters had thrown fire bombs from flyovers, some landing close to police. Others shone blue and green lasers at police lines. There were unconfirmed reports of an off-duty policeman being wounded.
In the neighbouring Wanchai bar and restaurant district, police fought running battles with protesters, some beating them with truncheons, according to Reuters witnesses.
There were several arrests. “We have to keep protesting, we cannot let China take back Hong Kong now,” said Evelyn, a 25-year-old asset manager, chanting “gangster” at police outside a subway station across the harbour in Kowloon district. Asked what she would do if authorities did not respond to protesters’ demands, she said: “Maybe I will leave Hong Kong. I absolutely cannot live under Chinese rule.”
The protests, which at one point blocked three key roads, came on the fifth anniversary of a decision by China to curtail democratic reforms and rule out universal suffrage in Hong Kong.
“The behaviours of the radical protesters gravely breach the public peace and pose a serious threat to the safety of police officers on duty and members of the public at the scene,” the government said in a statement.
At least three civilians are killed and 41 wounded
Battle-ready: Afghan security forces arriving in Kunduz during a fight against Taliban on Saturday.APBashir Khan Safi
Taliban forces attacked the northern Afghan city of Kunduz on Saturday, setting off hours of gun battles, even as U.S. negotiators move closer to finalising a deal with the insurgents for the withdrawal of American troops from the country.
Heavy fighting began in Kunduz after Taliban fighters attacked from several directions early in the morning, forcing Afghan forces to rush in reinforcements to prevent the insurgents from gaining control of the city.
At least three civilians were killed and 41 wounded were taken to hospitals, said Ehsanullah Fazli, head of the public health department in Kunduz city.
36 insurgents killed
Government officials in Kunduz and Kabul said the Taliban was seeking shelter inside homes and some of the fighters had entered the main hospital in the city.
The Interior Ministry said at least 36 Taliban insurgents were killed in ground and air operations in three areas of Kunduz city and clearance operations were under way.
An air strike in Zakhil area killed 20 Taliban, including two commanders, Afghan security officials said. Taliban spokesmen were not immediately available to confirm the casualty figures.
“Security forces are repelling the Taliban attack on some parts of Kunduz city. Their top priority is to protect the civilians,” said Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet that Afghan forces were under heavy pressure in different parts of the city.
The fighting in Kunduz, which the Taliban came close to capturing twice in recent years, came as expectations have grown that U.S. and Taliban negotiators in Doha were close to securing an agreement that would see a timetable for the withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops.
President’s photo tweet raises concerns among experts that he may have revealed surveillance secrets
A screengrab of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweet that apparently shows an image of a failed rocket launch attempt at the Safir SLV Launch site in northern Iran.AFPHANDOUT
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday released a photograph of an apparently failed Iranian rocket launch and said that the U.S. had nothing to do with it.
Tehran has made no official comment on the indications from aerial photos that a rocket exploded on Thursday on the launch pad at the Semnan Space Center in northern Iran.
But Mr. Trump tweeted a high-resolution picture of the location, with annotations pointing to damaged vehicles and the launch gantry, saying it involved Iran’s Safir satellite rocket. “The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran,” Mr. Trump said in a tweet. Publicly available satellite photos also show what appears to have been the rocket’s explosion on its launch pad.
Tehran was believed to have been planning a third attempt to loft a satellite into space, after two launches in January and February failed to place satellites in orbit.
Iran’s Minister for Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi rejected reports that a satellite had been lost, but did not comment on the alleged launch-pad explosion. “Apparently there were reports that the third attempt to put the satellite in orbit were unsuccessful. In fact, Nahid 1 is alright, and is right now in the laboratory. Reporters can come visit the laboratory, too. #transparency,” he tweeted. Mr. Azari Jahromi later posted a selfie of himself in what appeared to be a laboratory alongside some equipment, tweeting: “Me & Nahid I right now, Good Morning Donald Trump!”
Level of resolution
Intelligence experts said Mr. Trump may have exposed a previously unknown level of resolution U.S. spy satellites have achieved, or that, somehow, U.S. intelligence was able to get a closer shot of the launch site from an overflying aircraft.
Shadows and glare on Mr. Trump’s picture suggested it was a snapshot of the original taken with a cellphone, presumably in a secure environment like the White House Situation Room.
CNBC reported that a defence official confirmed the photo of the launch pad was included in Friday’s White House intelligence briefing.
Speaking to reporters late Friday, Mr. Trump said he had the authority to release the picture. “They had a big problem,” he said of Iran’s launch. “We had a photo and I released it, which I had a right to do.”
Up to 1,00,000 people marched in London, say organisers
In resistance: Demonstrators holding up placards outside Downing Street on Saturday, in protest against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament.AFPNIKLAS HALLE'N
Protesters wielding pro-democracy placards and European Union (EU) flags rallied on Saturday in dozens of British cities against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s controversial move to suspend Parliament weeks before Brexit.
In the biggest demonstration, thousands of whistle-blowing, drum-banging people gathered raucously outside the gates of Downing Street in London chanting “Boris Johnson shame on you!” “I’m absolutely disgusted by what’s happening here,” said attendee Maya Dunn, 66, a Dutch citizen living in Britain, who accused Mr. Johnson of “riding roughshod over everybody”.
The demonstrations come ahead of an intense political week in which Mr. Johnson’s opponents will go to court to block his move to suspend Parliament from mid-September and legislate against leaving the EU without an agreement.
In London, participants heard speeches from Opposition politicians on a stage erected on Whitehall before marching through Westminster. Some held hand-written signs reading “defend democracy: resist the parliament shutdown” and “wake up UK! Or welcome to Germany 1933”. Organisers using the slogan #StopTheCoup claimed as many as 1,00,000 people had turned out in London. Finance Minister Sajid Javid on Saturday defended the move. “It doesn’t usually sit for some time in September and early October,” he told BBC radio.