State officials set an Oct. 7 date for the election on whether to recall Democratic Governor Gray Davis, giving him less than three months to fight for his political life. \nLieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante announced the date on Thursday, one day after state officials certified that the Republican-led drive to recall Davis had collected more than enough signatures to make it onto the ballot. \nIt will be the US' first gubernatorial recall election in 82 years. \nCandidates seeking to replace Davis must now scramble to start their campaigns and declare their candidacies by Aug. 9 -- 59 days before the election. Bustamante, himself a Democrat, selected the latest possible date allowed by California law for the unprecedented recall election. \nBy Thursday, just one Republican candidate -- US Representative Darrell Issa, who bankrolled the recall signature-gathering effort with US$1.7 million of his own money -- was definitely in the running. Several others were said to be weighing a decision, including actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp. \nKemp didn't immediately return a message left after hours Thursday. \nSchwarzenegger, in Mexico to promote Terminator 3, said: "I have no announcement to make, if that's your question." \nDavis has branded the Republican-led drive to oust him "a hostile takeover by the right," and allies have said they expect to spend US$15 million to US$20 million to campaign against the recall. \nThe recall effort has set the stage for a bruising political battle. \n"Up until today it was a referendum on Gray Davis," state Democratic Party spokesman Bob Mulholland said. "Now it's a comparison between Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat progressive, against a Republican bum." \nRecall supporters say they are planning a "very aggressive campaign" with a US$15 million budget.
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread
RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday
“Leaving a place that I love was very difficult. We’re all Hong Kong people who come out to protest because we love Hong Kong. But now we are forced to leave.” *Jay* is a former Hong Kong resident who attended many of last year’s protests, including on the front lines. He was arrested and charged with riot offenses, but fled the territory when he was being released on bail several months ago. He is now among dozens of Hong Kong residents seeking political asylum in Australia, and he has no expectation of returning home. “When I was taking the bus to the