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Hong Kong airport resumes flights after clashes, mass protests

Hong Kong airport resumes flights after clashes, mass protestsHong Kong’s airport resumed operations on Wednesday, rescheduling hundreds of flights that had been disrupted over the past two days as protesters clashed with riot police in a deepening crisis in the Chinese-controlled city. Ten weeks of increasingly violent clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters, angered by a perceived erosion of freedoms, have plunged the Asian financial hub into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997. About 30 protesters remained at the airport early on Wednesday while workers scrubbed it clean of blood and debris from overnight.



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Hong Kong's airport canceled all flights on Monday as protests raged. Here's why.

Hong Kong's airport canceled all flights on Monday as protests raged. Here's why.Hong Kong International Airport shut down all flights after thousands of protesters flooded the airport's main terminal Monday afternoon.



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The Latest: Hong Kong airport to restart flights Tuesday

The Latest: Hong Kong airport to restart flights TuesdayThe Hong Kong airport says it will restart flights starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday after it completely shut down operations when thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators occupied its main terminal. Airport staff advised passengers to leave the airport for their own safety, but traffic outside was at a near standstill, and public transportation was clogged. Some passengers and departing protesters opted to walk.



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Hong Kong flights cancelled as thousands protest at airport after night of violence

Hong Kong flights cancelled as thousands protest at airport after night of violenceAll flights out of Hong Kong airport were cancelled on Monday after thousands of demonstrators occupied one of the world’s busiest travel hubs, as Beijing denounced the protests as "terrorism". The sudden airport shutdown came as mass demonstrations spilled into a third month, despite rising threats from the authorities. On Monday, Beijing officials gave their third press conference in as many weeks, a rarity for authorities in normal times. “Radical protesters have been frequently using extremely dangerous tools to attack the police in recent days, constituting serious criminal acts with sprouts of terrorism emerging,” said Yang Guang, a spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing, which reports to China’s cabinet.   Violence escalated significantly between protesters and police over the weekend, as officers shot tear gas into underground subway stations for the first time after mass demonstrations began early June. Police have made more than 600 arrests in recent days. Hong Kong police said 5,000 people were at the airport protest Credit: Vincent Thian /AP Protesters had already occupied the airport for days when more flooded in Monday. Some wore black eye patches, waving signs that read “Hong Kong is not safe,” “Shame on the police,” and “An eye for an eye,” turning out to express their anger after one person thought to have been shot by a beanbag round in her right eye was hospitalised. Stations on the city’s airport express line were filled with confused passengers unable to get to the airport, many of whom were on the phone with family, friends and colleagues to sort backup travel plans, while other visitors disembarked from the train after being turned away at the airport. Hong Kong airport is the world's 8th busiest, with frequent departures to more than 180 cities, and a hub for travel to much of Asia.  Police have ramped up the use of force against protesters in recent weeks Credit: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP Roads leading to the airport were gridlocked yesterday afternoon, and a nearby hotel was flooded with people looking for a last-minute stay. Shocking footage of HongKong riot police charging into a subway station pursuing pro-democracy activists and firing into them at point blank range. I’ve seen police being provoked here but I’m speechless. Carrie Lam says no police inquiry needed they’re investigating themselves. pic.twitter.com/R61BytE6ft— Stephen McDonell (@StephenMcDonell) August 11, 2019 Many of those whose travel was interrupted expressed support for the protestes. “I think China is facing a difficult time. I am glad they haven’t put out tanks yet," said James Campbell, a 26-year-old civil engineer from Sydney en route to Taipei. "I can see where these protesters are coming from.” The protests have brought millions into the streets, plunging the former British colony into its most serious political crisis since being returned to Chinese rule and representing the biggest challenge ever to Xi Jinping’s power as the leader of the Chinese Communist Party. A pro-democracy protester is held by police outside Tsim Sha Tsui Police station during a demonstration  Credit: AFP Demonstrations first began in opposition to a now-suspended extradition bill that would have sent people to face trial in mainland China, where Communist Party control of the courts contributes to a 99.9 per cent conviction rate. Protesters – increasingly angry as police continue to use escalating violence to disperse crowds – have now expanded their demands, calling for wider political reforms including direct leadership elections. Let us admin HK is a police state. Riot police push down peaceful protestor on the escalator of railway station. pic.twitter.com/gycHF8E8Zo— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 (@joshuawongcf) August 11, 2019 Despite many mass rallies now ending in violence as night falls with police shooting tear gas, rubber bullets, and foam rounds, broad support has continued to swell and show no signs of splintering.  After all flights were cancelled, protesters and pro-democracy lawmakers began encouraging the crowds to leave out of concern that police might fire tear gas into the airport as dozens of police vans had been spotted en route. Protesters use steels barricades to form a defensive line inside the Quarry bay MTR station Credit: AP But many continued to stay on, peacefully chanting in the arrivals hall, “Liberate Hong Kong!” and approaching arriving visitors with flyers that listed their demands and explaining the political situation.



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Russians hit out at Kremlin ban on flights to Georgia

Russians hit out at Kremlin ban on flights to GeorgiaRussia’s travel industryhit out Saturday at a decision by the Kremlin to suspend flights to Georgia as a politically motivated move that has little to do with safety concerns. President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning Russian airlines from flying to Georgia from July 8 late Friday in response to anti-government rallies in the ex-Soviet neighbour. The outbreak of protests was sparked by a parliamentary address in Tbilisi by a Moscow lawmaker earlier this week.



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KLM halts flights over Strait of Hormuz after drone downing

KLM halts flights over Strait of Hormuz after drone downingDutch airline KLM said Friday it has suspended its flights over the Strait of Hormuz after Iran shot down a US drone in the strategic region. “Safety is the top priority for KLM,” it said in a statement. “The incident with the drone is reason not to fly over the Strait of Hormuz for the time being.



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NASA says there’s ‘no doubt’ SpaceX Crew Dragon explosion has pushed back crewed flights

NASA says there’s ‘no doubt’ SpaceX Crew Dragon explosion has pushed back crewed flightsNASA desperately needs a way to get its astronauts into space without paying for pricey seats aboard Russian rockets, but the agency's two best hopes — SpaceX and Boeing — are stumbling a bit at the finish line. Boeing's Starliner has been plagued by delays nearly from the start, and SpaceX is now dealing with its own list of problems.In remarks to reporters at the Paris Airshow, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine admitted that the recent destruction of a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule during static testing is a major setback for NASA's crewed flight schedule. The race to be the first to deliver a suitable solution for NASA's needs now appears to be anyone's game."There is no doubt the schedule will change," Bridenstine reportedly said during his brief talk. "It won't be what was originally planned."Back in late April, something went seriously wrong during a static test of Crew Dragon's thrusters. The thrusters being tested were those that would spring into action if a launch had to be aborted after it had already lifted off. They're designed to push the crew capsule away from the rest of the launch vehicle, keeping the crew safe.Unfortunately, a glitch that so far has been described only as "an anomaly" occurred and the entire Crew Dragon capsule was destroyed in a fiery explosion. Details regarding exactly what went wrong have been scant, but both NASA and SpaceX are still conducting their investigations into the matter.Up until that point, SpaceX was clearly beating competitor Boeing in the race to finish a crew-capable NASA spacecraft. However, an explosion can be a pretty big setback, and now it's unclear when SpaceX will be able to resume its testing and get back on track. In the meantime, NASA will just have to wait.



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Air France-KLM offering free flights to those helping rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral

Air France-KLM offering free flights to those helping rebuild Notre Dame CathedralAir France-KLM is donating travel to assist with the reconstruction of Notre Dame.



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Aloha! Hawaiian Airlines' debuts Boston to Honolulu flights as longest route between states

Aloha! Hawaiian Airlines' debuts Boston to Honolulu flights as longest route between statesThe airline announced that its Honolulu-Boston flight made history as the country's longest interstate route.



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UPDATE 1-Saudi ban on Boeing MAX flights to continue for near future – minister

UPDATE 1-Saudi ban on Boeing MAX flights to continue for near future - ministerSaudi Arabia has no immediate plans to allow Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to operate in the kingdom, its transport minister said on Monday, as state airline flyadeal potentially reconsiders an order for the jets. Boeing’s top-selling MAX has been grounded globally since last month after two fatal crashes involving the same model in five months, the first in Indonesia in October and another on March 10 in Ethiopia. “There were no 737 MAX flying in the kingdom at the time and there aren’t plans for them to be back in the near future,” minister Nabeel al-Amudi told reporters at an aviation conference in Riyadh.



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