Compliments of the BBC
Roland Martin and the #RolandMartinUnfiltered cameras attended the HBCU Africa Homecoming Media Launch on Monday. The event marked a starting point for the African Diaspora Nation to launch a one-stop clearing house to expand educational and economic opportunity exchange between Africa and Black America.
Courtesy of : U.S. News By Alexa Lardieri, Staff Writer
HONG KONG EXPERIENCED another weekend of violent protests as pro-democracy demonstrators marched through the city and attacked and vandalized subway stations, forcing Hong Kong’s subway to close for an unprecedented four days.
Thousands of people marched over the weekend in protest of a new law that bans wearing masks in public. Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam passed the law using colonial-era emergency powers, CNN reported, which prompted backlash over concerns of the infringement of civil liberties.
Lam said the law was “necessary,” according to CNN, and a High Court judge rejected attempts to repeal the law. A judicial review of the use of emergency measures is scheduled for Oct. 20.
On Sunday protesters vandalized Chinese-linked banks and stores and a taxi cab driver plowed into a crowd of demonstrators. The driver was dragged from his vehicle and beaten by a mob. Protesters also targeted the barracks of China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army.
People also vandalized multiple train stations, setting fires to entrances and smashing ticketing facilities.
Law enforcement used tear gas and pepper spray to break up gatherings and several people were arrested. Some people were seen throwing bricks and launching molotov cocktails, sparking fires in the streets.
Protests in the city, now entering their 18th week, were first caused by a now-dead extradition law, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China.
Courtesy of The Guardian 19 September 2019
Anti-government protests have rocked Hong Kong for months and the situation shows no sign of dying down.
To bring you up to date, here’s all the background you need to know in 100 or 500 words – you can read each individually or in turn.
Hong Kong’s protests started in June against proposals to allow extradition to mainland China.
Critics feared this could undermine the city’s judicial independence and endanger dissidents.
A former British colony, Hong Kong has some autonomy and more rights than the mainland under a “one country, two systems” deal.
City leader Carrie Lam agreed to suspend the bill, but demonstrations continued and developed to include demands for full democracy and an inquiry into police actions. The bill was finally withdrawn in September.
Clashes between police and activists have been becoming increasingly violent, with police using tear gas and activists storming parliament.
The extradition bill which triggered the first protest was introduced in April. It would have allowed for criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, under certain circumstances.
Opponents said this risked exposing Hong Kongers to unfair trials and violent treatment. They also argued the bill would give China greater influence over Hong Kong and could be used to target activists and journalists.
Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets. After weeks of protests, leader Carrie Lam eventually said the bill would be suspended indefinitely.
How did the protests escalate?
Protesters feared the bill could be revived, so demonstrations continued, calling for it to be withdrawn completely. The bill was finally withdrawn in September.
By then clashes between police and protesters had become more frequent and more violent, with injuries on both sides and scores of people arrested.
Police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets while some activists have thrown bricks, firebombs and other objects.
In July, protesters stormed parliament, defacing parts of it. Also in July, a masked mob armed with sticks – suspected to be triad gangsters – assaulted pro-democracy protesters and passers-by inside Yuen Long station, far from the city centre.
In August, one protester was injured in the eye, leading to demonstrators wearing red-coloured eye patches to show their solidarity.
Protest action at Hong Kong international airport in August also saw renewed clashes and led to hundreds of flights being cancelled.
What do the protesters want?
The protesters’ demands have changed over the weeks. They also include:
- Withdrawal of the “riot” description used about the protests
- Amnesty for all arrested protesters
- An independent inquiry into alleged police brutality
- Universal suffrage for the elections of the chief executive and Legislative Council, Hong Kong’s parliament.
Some also want the resignation of Carrie Lam, whom they view as Beijing’s puppet. It’s not clear if scrapping the bill will end the protests – some opponents see the move as too little, too late.
After initially staying quiet on the unrest, China has condemned the Hong Kong protests as “behaviour that is close to terrorism” – a sign its approach is hardening.
There have also been reports of Chinese police and military massing across the border in Shenzhen, in a clear show of force.
Protests supporting the Hong Kong movement have spread across the globe, with rallies taking place in the UK, France, US, Canada and Australia.
In many cases, people supporting the Hong Kong demonstrators were confronted by pro-Beijing rallies.
What is Hong Kong’s status?
Hong Kong is a former British colony handed back to China in 1997.
It is run under a “one country, two systems” agreement that guarantees it a level of autonomy.
It has its own judiciary and a separate legal system from mainland China. Those rights including freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are protected.
But those freedoms – the Basic Law – expire in 2047 and it is not clear what Hong Kong’s status will then be.
Want to know more?
- What led to a single gunshot being fired?
- How business is navigating Hong Kong’s new reality
- The background you need on the Hong Kong protests
- The twists and turns in Hong Kong so far
- Profile: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam
- Seven ways China’s media took on HK protests
- How badly has tourism been affected
By : Mike Brown
Algae could play a surprising role in the fight against climate change.
On Tuesday, A.I.-focused technology firm Hypergiant Industries announced a machine that uses the aquatic organisms to sequester carbon dioxide. Algae, the company claims, is “one of nature’s most efficient machines.” By pairing it with a machine learning system, its developers hope to make these talents even more effective.
That’s not all. The team claims the device, which measures three feet on each side and seven feet tall, can sequester as much carbon as a whole acre of trees — estimated somewhere around two tons.
“We’ve been thinking about climate change solutions in only a very narrow scope,” Ben Lamm, CEO of the Austin-based firm, tells Inverse. “Trees are part of the solution but there are so many other biological solutions that are useful. Algae is much more effective than trees at reducing carbon in the atmosphere, and can be used to create carbon negative fuels, plastics, textiles, food, fertilizer and much more.”
By: Jon Queally of Common Dreams
Civil liberties groups are warning of a major threat to online freedoms and First Amendment rights if a leaked draft of a Trump administration edict—dubbed by critics as a “Censor the Internet” executive order that would give powerful federal agencies far-reaching powers to pick and choose which kind of Internet material is and is not acceptable—is allowed to go into effect.
“If these reports are a trial balloon from the White House, then it’s time to pop it.”
—Chris Lewis, Public KnowledgeAccording to CNN, which obtained a copy of the draft, the new rule “calls for the FCC to develop new regulations clarifying how and when the law protects social media websites when they decide to remove or suppress content on their platforms. Although still in its early stages and subject to change, the Trump administration’s draft order also calls for the Federal Trade Commission to take those new policies into account when it investigates or files lawsuits against misbehaving companies.”
While Politico was the first to report how the draft was being circulated by the White House, CNN notes that if put into effect, “the order would reflect a significant escalation by President Trump in his frequent attacks against social media companies over an alleged but unproven systemic bias against conservatives by technology platforms. And it could lead to a significant reinterpretation of a law that, its authors have insisted, was meant to give tech companies broad freedom to handle content as they see fit.”
Following reporting on the leaked draft, free speech and online advocacy groups raised alarm about the troubling and far-reaching implications of the Trump plan if it was put into effect by executive decree.
By: Betsy Woodruff & Sam Brodey of The Daily Beast
Special Counsel Robert Mueller told Congress on Wednesday that he did not exonerate President Trump and that he could, in fact, be indicted after he leaves office. And he hinted that he believes Trump’s written answers to questions may have contained falsehoods.
In a curt exchange with Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck, the former special counsel said the Justice Department’s legal rules don’t shield Trump from criminal charges after he’s out of the White House.
“Could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?” Buck asked.
“Yes,” Mueller replied.
“You believe that he committed––you could charge the president of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?” Buck asked.
“Yes,” Mueller replied.
House Judiciary Committee Democrats, including Rep. Jamie Raskin, nodded excitedly through the exchange—the closest Mueller came to explaining the significance of his refusal to exonerate the president in his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction by the White House. It followed a similar, shorter exchange earlier with the Democratic Judiciary chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler.