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Protesters Gather in Central for Fifth Day: Hong Kong Update
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Justice Minister Hurt; Elderly Worker Dies: Hong Kong Update
(Bloomberg) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping called an end to violence Hong Kong’s “most urgent task,” as a scuffle involving the city’s justice minister and the second protest-related death in a week heightened tensions in the paralyzed financial center.The rare comments by Xi during a visit to Brazil on Thursday came as the U.S. Senate moved to expedite passage of legislation that would support Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. Earlier, a 70-year-old government contract worker who was struck during a brick-hurling fight between protesters and their opponents died of his injuries.The protests, which have raged for more than five months, flared anew last week after the death of student who fell near a police operation to clear a demonstration. A campaign to disrupt traffic has led to the shooting of a protester and citywide school cancellations, while Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s government has denied reports of a plan to institute an unprecedented curfew in a bid to quell unrest.Key developments:Hong Kong justice minister hurt in LondonXi urges immediate end to violenceGovernment worker dies, 15-year-old still in hospitalSome trains services remain suspended U.S. Senate vows quick vote on Hong Kong legislationHong Kong’s government dismisses curfew speculationHere’s the latest (all times local):Hurt 15-year-old still in hospital (8:56 a.m.)A 15-year-old boy who suffered a head injury from what local media said may have been a tear gas canister was still in Tuen Mun Hospital, the Hospital Authority said. The agency said the boy’s family asked that details of his condition -- which was originally listed as critical -- not be disclosed.Six people, ages 17 to 62, had been admitted to various hospitals for treatment for protest-related injuries overnight and this morning as of 7:30 a.m. All are in stable condition. The man shot by police in Sai Wan Ho on Monday is now in stable condition in Eastern Hospital. A man set on fire during an argument with protesters on the same day was still in critical condition at Prince of Wales Hospital. Group blames government for death (7:32 a.m.) A group of anonymous protesters that has occasionally spoken for the leaderless movement expressed “deepest condolences” for the death of a 70-year-old government worker Thursday, but blamed the incident on “police brutality” and government intransigence. “The HKSAR Government must concede to the Five Demands, and return to the table of politics to solve conflicts by political means,” the so-called Citizens’ Press Conference said in a statement Friday. Meanwhile, another protester group at the Chinese University of Hong Kong offered to remove barricades from the Tolo Highway in exchange for a government pledge to follow through with plans for District Council elections on Nov. 24, according to Radio Television Hong Kong. Students had already reopened one lane in each direction, the South China Morning Post said.Some trains still suspended (5:55 a.m.)Service between Fo Tan and Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau on the East Rail Line are suspended due to vandalism, railway operator the MTR Corp. said Friday. Trains between Hung Hom and Fo Tan on the same line are running every five minutes. Stations at Mong Kok, Tseung Kwan O, Sai Wan Ho, Tuen Mun and Tung Chung also remain shut.Justice secretary ‘attacked’ (3:47 a.m.)Hong Kong Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng condemned what her office said was an attack by a “violent mob” that caused her “serious bodily harm” Thursday while she was on an official visit to London. Cheng fell and hurt her arm after being surrounded by a group of about 30 protesters, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.“The secretary denounces all forms of violence and radicalism depriving others’ legitimate rights in the pretext of pursuing their political ideals, which would never be in the interest of Hong Kong and any civilized society,” Cheng’s office said in a statement.Agency ‘saddened’ by death (2:21 a.m.)Hong Kong’s Food and Environmental Hygiene Department confirmed that one of its contract workers had died Thursday from a head injury, expressing “profound sadness” over his death. The elderly worker “was suspected to be hit in his head by hard objects hurled by rioters during his lunch break,” the agency said in a statement, adding that it would provide assistance to the victim’s family.The government vowed to “make every effort to investigate the case to bring offenders to justice.”U.S. Senate advances bill (12:41 a.m.)The U.S. Senate is preparing for quick passage of legislation that would support pro-democracy protesters by placing Hong Kong’s special trading status with the U.S. under annual review. The Senate will run the “hotline” on the bill, which is an expedited process to check for last-minute opposition to bringing legislation immediately to a vote, according to Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican.The Senate legislation is different than a version passed earlier by the House of Representatives. That means the two bills would have to be reconciled and passed by both chambers before going to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.Man dies from head injury (11:45 p.m. Thursday)A 70-year-old man who suffered a head injury Wednesday has died, Ming Pao reported, citing the hospital. The case will be investigated by the coroner. He was hit by what appeared to be a brick thrown by protesters, according to the government and police.Separately, a 15-year-old boy underwent brain surgery after sustaining a head injury from what may have been a tear gas canister, local news organization RTHK reported.Xi seeks end to violence (10:25 p.m. Thursday)Xi, currently on a visit to Brazil, said “continuing radical violent crimes in Hong Kong have seriously trampled on the rule of law and social order, seriously undermined Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, and seriously challenged the bottom line of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” state broadcaster China Central Television reported in a social media post.“Stopping the violence and restoring order is Hong Kong’s most urgent task at present,” Xi said, reiterating support for Lam. “We will continue to firmly support the chief executive to lead the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with the law, firmly support the Hong Kong Police in law enforcement, and firmly support the Hong Kong judiciary in punishing violent criminals.”Government dismisses curfew talk (7:55 p.m. Thursday)“Rumors” that authorities were planning to implement a curfew over the weekend are “totally unfounded,” Hong Kong’s government said in a statement, following rising speculation after Lam’s late-night meeting with top officials on Wednesday.\--With assistance from Erin Roman, Daniel Flatley, Iain Marlow and Colin Keatinge.To contact the reporters on this story: Fion Li in Hong Kong at fli59@bloomberg.net;Dandan Li in Beijing at dli395@bloomberg.net;Daniel Flatley in Washington at dflatley1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Jon HerskovitzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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Protesters Gather in Central for Fifth Day: Hong Kong Update
(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong protesters began gathering and blocking roads in the Central financial district and other parts of the city on Friday, the fifth straight day of rallies that have paralyzed Asia’s premier financial hub this week.Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that bringing the violence to an end is Hong Kong’s “most urgent task,” while a scuffle involving the city’s justice secretary and the second protest-related death in a week heightened tensions. The rare comments by Xi during a visit to Brazil on Thursday came as the U.S. Senate moved to expedite passage of legislation that would support Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.Earlier, a 70-year-old government contract worker who was struck during a brick-hurling fight between protesters and their opponents died of his injuries. Police classified the death as a murder. The protests, which have raged for more than five months, flared anew last week after the death of student who fell near a police operation to clear a demonstration. A campaign to disrupt traffic has led to the shooting of a protester and citywide school cancellations, while Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s government has denied reports of a plan to institute an unprecedented curfew in a bid to quell unrest.Key developments:Protesters hold lunchtime protests on FridayHong Kong justice minister hurt in LondonXi urges immediate end to violenceGovernment worker dies; 15-year-old still in hospitalSome trains services remain suspendedHere’s the latest (all times local):Police classify death as murder (1:31 p.m.)Police upgraded their probe into the injury of a 70-year-old government worker to a murder investigation after the man died overnight. The man was struck in the head by an object during a scuffle Wednesday between protesters who had set up road blocks and others who were attempting to clear them. The man appeared to be filming in the direction of a group of black-clad protesters when one of them “deliberately threw” an object at him, Chan Tin-chu, senior superintendent for criminal investigations in New Territories North, told reporters at a briefing Friday. The victim didn’t participate in the argument or the attempt to clear the road blocks, Chan said.Protesters start lunchtime rallies (12:40 p.m.)Groups of protesters begin gathering in the financial district for a lunchtime rally, one of several planned across the city. Many wore masks and carried umbrellas.Protesters also began assembling in the bustling Causeway Bay shopping district and in Tai Koo, on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island.Chinese officials condemn attack (12:15 p.m.)The Chinese government raised strong objections to the U.K. consulate in Hong Kong regarding the attack on the city’s justice secretary in London on Thursday. The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong also urged the U.K. government and police to punish those responsible for the attack on Teresa Cheng, according to a statement.Hurt 15-year-old still in hospital (8:56 a.m.)A 15-year-old boy who suffered a head injury from what local media said may have been a tear gas canister was still in Tuen Mun Hospital, the Hospital Authority said. The agency said the boy’s family asked that details of his condition -- which was originally listed as critical -- not be disclosed.Six people, ages 17 to 62, had been admitted to various hospitals for treatment for protest-related injuries overnight and this morning as of 7:30 a.m. All are in stable condition. The man shot by police in Sai Wan Ho on Monday is now in stable condition in Eastern Hospital. A man set on fire during an argument with protesters on the same day was still in critical condition at Prince of Wales Hospital.Group blames government for death (7:32 a.m.)A group of anonymous protesters that has occasionally spoken for the leaderless movement expressed “deepest condolences” for the death of a 70-year-old government worker Thursday, but blamed the incident on “police brutality” and government intransigence. “The HKSAR Government must concede to the Five Demands, and return to the table of politics to solve conflicts by political means,” the so-called Citizens’ Press Conference said in a statement Friday.Meanwhile, another protester group at the Chinese University of Hong Kong offered to remove barricades from the Tolo Highway in exchange for a government pledge to follow through with plans for District Council elections on Nov. 24, according to Radio Television Hong Kong. Students had already reopened one lane in each direction, the South China Morning Post said.Some trains still suspended (5:55 a.m.)Service between Fo Tan and Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau on the East Rail Line are suspended due to vandalism, railway operator the MTR Corp. said Friday. Trains between Hung Hom and Fo Tan on the same line are running every five minutes. Stations at Mong Kok, Tseung Kwan O, Sai Wan Ho, Tuen Mun and Tung Chung also remain shut.Justice secretary ‘attacked’ (3:47 a.m.)Hong Kong Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng condemned what her office said was an attack by a “violent mob” that caused her “serious bodily harm” Thursday while she was on an official visit to London. Cheng fell and hurt her arm after being surrounded by a group of about 30 protesters, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.“The secretary denounces all forms of violence and radicalism depriving others’ legitimate rights in the pretext of pursuing their political ideals, which would never be in the interest of Hong Kong and any civilized society,” Cheng’s office said in a statement.Agency ‘saddened’ by death (2:21 a.m.)Hong Kong’s Food and Environmental Hygiene Department confirmed that one of its contract workers had died Thursday from a head injury, expressing “profound sadness” over his death. The elderly worker “was suspected to be hit in his head by hard objects hurled by rioters during his lunch break,” the agency said in a statement, adding that it would provide assistance to the victim’s family.The government vowed to “make every effort to investigate the case to bring offenders to justice.”U.S. Senate advances bill (12:41 a.m.)The U.S. Senate is preparing for quick passage of legislation that would support pro-democracy protesters by placing Hong Kong’s special trading status with the U.S. under annual review. The Senate will run the “hotline” on the bill, which is an expedited process to check for last-minute opposition to bringing legislation immediately to a vote, according to Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican.The Senate legislation is different than a version passed earlier by the House of Representatives. That means the two bills would have to be reconciled and passed by both chambers before going to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.Man dies from head injury (11:45 p.m. Thursday)A 70-year-old man who suffered a head injury Wednesday has died, Ming Pao reported, citing the hospital. The case will be investigated by the coroner. He was hit by what appeared to be a brick thrown by protesters, according to the government and police.Separately, a 15-year-old boy underwent brain surgery after sustaining a head injury from what may have been a tear gas canister, local news organization RTHK reported.Xi seeks end to violence (10:25 p.m. Thursday)Xi, currently on a visit to Brazil, said “continuing radical violent crimes in Hong Kong have seriously trampled on the rule of law and social order, seriously undermined Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, and seriously challenged the bottom line of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” state broadcaster China Central Television reported in a social media post.“Stopping the violence and restoring order is Hong Kong’s most urgent task at present,” Xi said, reiterating support for Lam. “We will continue to firmly support the chief executive to lead the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with the law, firmly support the Hong Kong Police in law enforcement, and firmly support the Hong Kong judiciary in punishing violent criminals.”Government dismisses curfew talk (7:55 p.m. Thursday)“Rumors” that authorities were planning to implement a curfew over the weekend are “totally unfounded,” Hong Kong’s government said in a statement, following rising speculation after Lam’s late-night meeting with top officials on Wednesday.\--With assistance from Erin Roman, Daniel Flatley and Colin Keatinge.To contact the reporters on this story: Fion Li in Hong Kong at fli59@bloomberg.net;Dandan Li in Beijing at dli395@bloomberg.net;Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Daniel Ten KateFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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