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Monday, August 12, 2019
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12 Aug 11:23am Hong Kong airport authority cancels flights over protests
The Guardian
Tourists remain in airport during demonstration, with flights to resume on Tuesday Hong Kong protesters have shut down one of the world’s busiest airports in a dramatic escalation of the mass demonstrations that have plunged the city into its worst political crisis in decades. The unprecedented cancellation of all flights followed the fourth consecutive day of protests at the airport and amid increasingly threatening statements from Beijing. A Chinese official said “terrorism” was emerging in the city, while in Hong Kong authorities demonstrated water cannon for use in crowd control.
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12 Aug 9:05am No 10 expects rebel move against no-deal Brexit on 9 September
The Guardian
Boris Johnson thinks EU will do nothing until it sees outcome of parliamentary battle Downing Street believes rebel MPs will try to make a move to stop a no-deal Brexit in the second week of September, with the EU unlikely to respond until after that battle has played out.
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12 Aug 8:29am Russia indicates rocket engine exploded in test of mini nuclear reactor
The Guardian
Test failure symptomatic of wider escalation of US-Russia nuclear tensions, expert says Russian scientists have indicated that they were working on miniaturised sources of nuclear energy when a rocket engine exploded last week, increasing scrutiny of the possibility that the accident occurred while testing an experimental cruise missile powered by a small reactor. The explosion last Thursday at a military testing ground in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region
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12 Aug 7:52am Venezuelan activist calls on UK to back ICC referral over human rights
The Guardian
UK foreign secretary urged to draw on experience at The Hague to hold Maduro government to account The UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has been urged to draw on his experience as a former Foreign Office human rights lawyer to press the legal case that the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro has systematically tortured its people. The call was led by prominent Venezuela human rights defender Tamara Sujú who visited London to persuade the UK to join six non-European countries in pressuring the international criminal court (ICC) to pursue a case against the Venezuelan leadership.
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12 Aug 6:48am Hong Kong airport authority cancels flights over protests
The Guardian
All flights not checked in by Monday afternoon have been grounded as rallies continue Hong Kong’s airport authority has cancelled departure flights after thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators flooded into one of the world’s busiest air travel hubs holding signs reading “Hong Kong is not safe” and “Shame on police”. The authority said: “Other than departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today.”
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12 Aug 6:10am Mascot Towers owner breaks down at NSW inquiry into building standards
The Guardian
Vijay Vital says his family’s evacuation in mid-June due to the cracking has ‘caused a lot of trauma’ A Mascot Towers owner has broken down at an inquiry into building standards as he detailed his family’s experience since being evacuated from the cracked Sydney apartment block. An inquiry began on Monday into the regulation of building standards, quality and disputes in New South Wales, after a series of incidents involving damaged unit buildings.
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12 Aug 5:28am British diplomats to pull out from EU decision-making meetings within days
The Guardian
Critics say No 10 move to quit bloc’s institutional structures leaves UK blindsided British diplomats will pull out from the EU’s institutional structures of power in Brussels within days, under plans being drawn up by Downing Street. In an attempt to reinforce the message that the UK is leaving the EU by 31 October, “do or die”, the UK would stop attending the day-to-day meetings that inform EU decision-making.
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12 Aug 5:01am Guatemala elects hardline president who opposes Trump immigration deal
The Guardian
Ex-prisons chief Alejandro Giammattei says he will seek to modify controversial pact with US A conservative law and order hardliner promising to reinstate the death penalty and deploy soldiers on to the streets has been elected the new president of Guatemala. Alejandro Giammattei, 63, an ex-prisons chief backed by the country’s economic and military powerbrokers, trounced his opponent Sandra Torres, a former first lady, to win Sunday’s presidential race on his fourth attempt by securing 58% of the vote.
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12 Aug 4:37am Hong Kong airport authority cancels flights over protests
The Guardian
All flights not yet checked in by Monday afternoon have been cancelled, authority says Hong Kong’s Airport Authority has cancelled all departure flights not yet checked in by Monday afternoon, after thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators flooded into the airport holding signs reading “Hong Kong is not safe” and “Shame on police”. “Other than departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today,” the authority said in a statement.
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12 Aug 4:22am Labour exploring rapid no-confidence vote in PM in early September
The Guardian
Shadow home secretary says MPs need to act quickly after recess to avert no-deal Brexit Diane Abbott has indicated Labour could be planning a rapid vote of no confidence against Boris Johnson once parliament returns in September, saying the party was in talks with other opposition groups on how best to proceed. While the shadow home secretary said it was “above my pay grade” to confirm any plans, she agreed Labour and other parties would need to move quickly when the recess ended to stop a
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12 Aug 4:18am Eid in Kashmir muted as India bans large congregations
The Guardian
Residents could visit mosques but not able to call relatives on eighth day of crackdown Large congregations have been banned for the major Islamic festival of Eid in Indian-administered Kashmir, where an unprecedented communications block on landlines, mobile and the internet remained in place for an eighth day. Residents have been allowed to visit their local mosque, according to Indian officials, but the communications block means they have been unable to call relatives.
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12 Aug 2:06am Hong Kong protests: brutal undercover police tactics spark outcry
The Guardian
Footage of helmeted protesters suddenly making arrests causes concern after weekend of intense clashes Rights groups and democracy activists have accused police in Hong Kong of using excessive force after teargas was fired into an enclosed subway station and officers posed as protesters before making arrests during an intense weekend of clashes.
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12 Aug 12:12am Everyone on Newstart should be able to get a job, says minister, despite increase in some areas
The Guardian
Figures show 42,000 fewer people claiming the benefit, but in some areas, it has grown by 10% The social services minister has declared that “everybody” on Newstart should be able to get a job with the right assistance, as new figures show some unemployment hotspots are getting worse across the country. Declaring she would not be “defeatist” about the job prospects of Australia’s hardcore unemployed, Anne Ruston said she was confident help could be provided to get people into work.
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12 Aug 12:00am Ostrich on the loose sprints down busy streets in China – video
The Guardian
A runaway ostrich has been captured on video sprinting down busy streets in Yilong in Yunnan province, south-west China. In CCTV footage from 2 August, the ostrich, which stands at more than two metres, was seen racing down the streets in the town. After half an hour, the ostrich's owner found it and took it back home
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12 Aug 12:00am UK and Ireland commemorate 1979 Fastnet race disaster
The Guardian
Series of events include exhibition of portraits by Welsh artist Dan Llywelyn Hall, poetry and vigils It was the summer storm that roared without warning into the Celtic Sea, unleashing monster waves that ambushed a fleet of 303 boats competing in the Fastnet race. Instead of skimming along the south coast of the UK to the Fastnet Rock off south-west Ireland, sailors found themselves battling for life against howling winds and walls of water. Dozens of yachts capsized, trapping crews in their cabins and tossing others into the foam.
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12 Aug 12:00am Texas, a Republican powerhouse, could shift to Democrats as demographics change
The Guardian
The Republicans have dominated the state for 30 years, but a host of retirements and a rise in Hispanic voters may mean that Texas becomes a battleground again as Democrats seek a path to power Sri Preston Kulkarni has just moved into his campaign headquarters, which for now could hardly be more bland: a faceless office with blinds on the windows in a tucked-away suburban Houston business park. Not far away, though, are a Muslim community centre, a Korean market, Hindu temples, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian and Mexican restaurants – reminders that this sprawling Texas metropolis is one of the most diverse urban areas in the nation.
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11 Aug 11:27pm Myanmar scrambles to rescue flood victims as landslide kills dozens
The Guardian
The annual monsoon has caused havoc in the south-east by flooding roads and destroying bridges Myanmar troops and rescue services have scrambled to provide aid in flood-hit parts of the country after rising waters caused by the annual monsoon rains forced residents to flee by boat and a landslide killed at least 52 people. The deluge has tested disaster response after the landslide on Friday in south-eastern Mon state was followed by heavy flooding that reached the roofs of houses and treetops in nearby towns.
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11 Aug 10:47pm Bloody arrest by undercover police in Hong Kong – video
The Guardian
Undercover police officers, disguised as protesters, arrested a man in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, on Sunday after another day of violent clashes between rights activists and police. The man, who is bleeding heavily from the face, screams out his name (Chow Ka-lok) and calls for a lawyer.
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11 Aug 10:23pm Homeless woman says Centrelink took entire $3,500 tax return for disputed robodebt
The Guardian
Couch surfing 50-year-old says welfare agency told her she wasn’t in financial hardship A Melbourne woman battling homelessness says her entire $3,500 tax return was swiped by Centrelink last month, despite the fact she disputes the alleged robodebt. But when Sue Prgic, 50, complained to the agency that the money had been taken without her knowledge, she said staff had asked to know what she would do with the cash if it were returned.
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11 Aug 9:12pm New Zealand gun buyback: 10,000 firearms returned after Christchurch attack
The Guardian
Police praise response after thousands of now-banned guns taken out of circulation in less than a month More than 10,000 firearms have been bought by New Zealand’s government in less than a month as part of its gun buyback scheme following the Christchurch mosque shootings in March. Following the killing of 51 people in two inner-city Christchurch mosques by an Australian white supremacist, prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s government rushed through legislation to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons and set aside NZ$150m to buy firearms that were now illegal.
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11 Aug 8:39pm Behrouz Boochani wins $25,000 National Biography award – and accepts via WhatsApp from Manus
The Guardian
Judges call Kurdish Iranian writer and refugee’s memoir an ‘astonishing act of witness’ The Kurdish Iranian writer Behrouz Boochani has continued his sweep of the Australian literary prize landscape, winning the $25,000 National Biography award on Monday – yet another award the refugee was unable to accept in person, as he enters his sixth year of detention on Manus Island. Boochani’s autobiography No Friend but the Mountains tells of his journey from Indonesia to Australia by boat, and his subsequent imprisonment on Manus Island by the Australian government, which continues to refuse him entry.
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11 Aug 8:28pm Pennsylvania fire: five children die in blaze at daycare centre
The Guardian
Four of the victims were at the centre overnight because their parents were working, local media reported An early morning fire in Pennsylvania at a residential building housing a daycare centre killed five children and sent the owner to the hospital, authorities said. The fire was reported in Erie, a northwest lake town, at about 1.15am on Sunday, Chief Guy Santone of the Erie Fire Department said.
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11 Aug 7:54pm Indonesia angered as West Papua independence raises its head at Pacific forum
The Guardian
Breakaway leader Benny Wenda will use meeting in Tuvalu to push for UN vote on Jakarta’s control of province Human rights violations and political independence in West Papua are set to command debate at this week’s Pacific Islands Forum, where Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda will urge government leaders to support the “Free Papua” campaign amid recent escalating political violence. Exiled from Papua, but now an official representative attached to the Vanuatu government’s delegation, Wenda is campaigning for a United Nations general assembly resolution next year that will re-examine the controversial 1969 Act of Free Choice vote that formalised Indonesian control of the province.
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