Hong Kong

There have been chaotic scenes at Hong Kong’s legislative assembly as lawmakers for and against controversial amendments to the territory’s extradition law clashed over access to the chamber.

At least one person was taken from the chamber on a gurney following Saturday morning’s melee, in which legislators grappled with each other on the floor and amid seats and tables.

The amendments have been widely criticized as eroding the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s legal independence by making it easier to send criminal suspects to mainland China, where they could face vague national security charges and unfair trials.

Under the “one country, two systems” framework, Hong Kong was guaranteed the right to retain its own social, legal and political systems for 50 years following its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

Source: Fox News World

Thousands of protesters have marched through downtown Hong Kong in opposition to changes to an extradition law that many see as eroding the territory’s independent legal system.

Many of those taking part Sunday carried yellow umbrellas, recalling Hong Kong’s massive 2014 pro-democracy protests, the leaders of whom have been sentenced to up to 16 months in prison.

Hong Kong police said around 22,800 people took part in the protest at its peak period.

Participants carried placards accusing Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam of “selling out” Hong Kong, and called on her to resign.

Revisions to the law would make it easier to send criminal suspects to mainland China, where they could face vague national security charges and unfair trials.

Hong Kong’s legal system offers greater protections than in mainland China.

Source: Fox News World

The Latest on the sentencing of Hong Kong protest organizers (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

A court in Hong Kong handed down prison sentences of up to 16 months to eight leaders of massive 2014 pro-democracy protests after they were convicted last month of public nuisance offenses.

One other defendant, Tanya Chan, had her sentencing Wednesday postponed because of the need to undergo surgery.

The sentences are seen as an effort by the government of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory to draw a line under the protests. The charges carry potential sentences of up to seven years.

Three were given 16 months, one of them suspended for two years, two were given eight month sentences and two given suspended eight month sentences while another was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

It was not immediately clear if they planned to appeal.

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10 a.m.

A court in Hong Kong is preparing to sentence nine leaders of massive 2014 pro-democracy protests convicted last month of public nuisance offenses.

The sentences to be handed down Wednesday are seen as an effort by the government of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory to draw a line under the protests.

The nine were leaders of the “Occupy Central” campaign, which was organized as a nonviolent sit-in that became known as the “Umbrella Movement” after a symbol of defiance against police adopted by the street protests.

They could face up to seven years in prison.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was handed over to Chinese rule in 1997 under an agreement in which China promised the city could retain its own laws, economic system and civil rights for 50 years.

Source: Fox News World

A court in Hong Kong is preparing to sentence nine leaders of massive 2014 pro-democracy protests convicted last month of public nuisance offenses.

The sentences to be handed down Wednesday are seen as an effort by the government of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory to draw a line under the protests.

The nine were leaders of the “Occupy Central” campaign, which was organized as a nonviolent sit-in that became known as the “Umbrella Movement” after a symbol of defiance against police adopted by the street protests.

They could face up to seven years in prison.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was handed over to Chinese rule in 1997 under an agreement in which China promised the city could retain its own laws, economic system and civil rights for 50 years.

Source: Fox News World

A Hong Kong court has extended bail for nine pro-democracy protest organizers convicted of public nuisance offences as they await sentencing.

The guilty verdicts handed down Tuesday against the nine were condemned by rights activists as a likely sign of more restrictions on free expression in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

The defendants left court on Wednesday and will be sentenced April 24.

The nine were leaders of 2014’s nonviolent “Occupy Central” campaign, also known as the “Umbrella Movement” after a key symbol of defiance against police adopted by the street protests that shut down parts of the financial hub for 79 days.

Protesters demanded the right to choose Hong Kong’s own leader rather than merely approve a candidate picked by Beijing but failed to win any concessions from the government.

Source: Fox News World

Hong Kong customs has seized a haul of cocaine with an estimated market value of $13 million.

The customs service in the semi-autonomy Chinese territory says one man has been arrested in the operation that netted 91 kilograms (200 pounds) of the drug.

As a major Asian port city, Hong Kong is considered a key transit point for contraband from illegal drugs to endangered wildlife parts. Much of that is bound for mainland China or Southeast Asia where drug laws tend to be much stricter.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s large population of finance workers, lawyers and others in well-paid white collar sectors also provides a lucrative market for drugs including cocaine and marijuana.

The city was founded as a British colony in 1942 as a result of the First Opium War.

Source: Fox News World

Hong Kong has introduced revised extradition laws before the legislature despite concerns they would allow suspects to be sent to face torture and unfair trials in mainland China.

The Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance were heard before the Legislative Council on Wednesday and now head toward passage at a later date.

Business, legal, human rights and journalists groups have expressed concern over the proposed changes, saying the will damage the territory’s reputation for legal independence.

The amendments expand the scope for the transfer of criminal suspects to China and remove the legislature’s right to scrutinize individual extradition decisions filed by Hong Kong’s chief executive.

Hong Kong’s Beijing appointed Chief Executive Carrie Lam has ruled out making further changes despite such objections.

Source: Fox News World

Business and human rights groups are expressing concern over proposed changes to Hong Kong’s extradition law that would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China where they say they could be subject to torture and unfair prosecution.

Hong Kong currently limits such extraditions to jurisdictions with which it has existing extradition agreements or to others on an individual basis under a law passed before the semi-autonomous territory’s handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

China was excluded because of concerns over its poor record on legal independence and human rights.

However, changes to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance would expand the scope for the transfer of criminal suspects to China and remove the legislature’s right to scrutinize individual extradition decisions.

Source: Fox News World

Cities around the world were marking Earth Hour on Saturday night by turning off the lights in a call for global action on climate change.

In Hong Kong, major buildings along Victoria Harbour turned off their non-essential lights at 8:30 p.m., and the city’s popular tourist attraction known as the Symphony of Lights was canceled.

Over 3,000 corporations in Hong Kong signed up for Earth Hour 2019, according to the WWF Hong Kong website. Iconic skyscrapers including the Bank of China Tower and the HSBC Building in Central, the city’s major business district, switched off their lights in response to the global movement.

In Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, the island’s tallest building, Taipei 101, joined surrounding buildings in shutting off the lights as part of the Earth Hour event.

Beginning in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has spread to more than 180 countries, with tens of millions of people joining in.

Source: Fox News World

Cathay Pacific Airways is acquiring Hong Kong-based budget airline HK Express.

Cathay said Wednesday it will pay 4.93 billion Hong Kong dollars ($628 million) for HK Express. It said the acquisition will retain its identity as a separate brand and be operated as a low-cost carrier.

Cathay, Hong Kong’s biggest airline, also owns regional carrier Dragonair and air cargo and catering subsidiaries.

HK Express, founded in 2013, serves destinations throughout East and Southeast Asia.

Source: Fox News World


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