Deadline for protesters set
Pro-democracy activists have until tomorrow morning to leave their main camp in Admiralty district that has blocked traffic for more than two months before authorities clear it out, a lawyer said yesterday. Authorities are set to move in after a court order authorized the removal of barricades, tents and other obstructions, setting the stage for one last showdown with activists demanding greater democracy. Workers will dismantle the protest camp starting at 9am, said a lawyer for the bus company that took out the injunction. “What I would like to do now is to perhaps make a public plea to the students to stay away from the scene when there is plenty of time,” he told reporters, adding the company wanted to give protesters enough time to pack their belongings and leave the site. The court order was published in newspapers yesterday. The South China Morning Post said a site in the Causeway Bay district is also expected to be dismantled tomorrow, although it is not covered by any court order.
PLA general detained
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is investigating a general who worked at a prominent military university on suspicion of graft, media reports said yesterday. Major General Dai Weimin (戴維民), 52, was “taken away” in the middle of last month by military prosecutors, according to a report by respected news magazine Caixin. Dai was a deputy dean at the PLA’s Nanjing Political College. The Caixin report said authorities suspect Dai of taking “huge bribes” related to land and construction projects.
A court in Urumqi has handed down sentences of up to eight years in prison to seven students of jailed Uighur academic Ilham Tohti, two rights lawyers said yesterday. Prosecutors had charged the students with separatism, said Li Fangping (李方平), the lawyer who defended Tohti. Li said he was told by the students’ lawyer on Monday that they had been sentenced by the intermediate court to between three and eight years. The seven students were separated into two trials last month, one conducted in Chinese and a second held in the Uighur language for a single student.
Los Angeles fire probed
A fierce blaze that destroyed a controversial Los Angeles apartment complex under construction and damaged three nearby buildings on Monday is being examined by arson investigators as a “criminal fire,” authorities said. The fire erupted overnight and took three hours to bring under control. About 250 firefighters, roughly one-fourth of the city’s on-duty force, battled the blaze at its height, said Katherine Main, a spokeswoman for the city’s fire department. Fire Captain Jamie Moore said size of the blaze, as well as the speed and intensity with which it spread, gave investigators cause for concern that it may have been intentionally set.
Mom sues over son’s trip
A mother whose teenaged son traveled unsupervised to Syria is suing the government, alleging it should have stopped the 16-year-old from leaving the country. The teen left Nice nearly a year ago, heading to Syria via Turkey for what he described to his mother as humanitarian work. He used just his national ID to travel, having left his passport at home. In 2012, an administrative change allowed minors with valid ID to leave the country without parental authorization.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
A squad of gun-toting police officers patrolled Myanmar’s sacred site of Bagan under the cover of night, taking on plunderers snatching relics from temples forsaken by tourists due to COVID-19 restrictions. Each evening as dusk falls, about 100 officers fan out across the plain of Bagan covering 50km2, sweeping flashlights over the crumbling monuments to scour for intruders. “Our security forces are patrolling day and night,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Sein Win told reporters. “We have it under control for the moment, but it’s a challenge.” The central Burmese city is strewn with more than 3,500 ancient monuments — stupas, temples, murals and sculptures