Tag Archives: leader

Hong Kong protesters march with mock coffin of city leader

Hong Kong protesters march with mock coffin of city leaderA small group of protesters paraded Friday around Hong Kong government headquarters with a mock coffin of city leader Carrie Lam, as activists announced more protests. The march marked the one-month anniversary of the start of major protests that have rocked the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, sparked by Lam’s proposal to change extradition laws to allow suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial. On Tuesday, she declared the legislation “dead,” but protesters want her government to withdraw the bill formally and quit, among other demands.



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Hezbollah leader says U.S. seeking to talk

Hezbollah leader says U.S. seeking to talkThe leader of Hezbollah said on Friday that Washington was seeking to open channels of communication despite ramping up sanctions against the Iran-backed movement’s officials. U.S. President Donald “Trump’s administration is seeking to open channels of communication to Hezbollah in Lebanon through mediators. … These are the American pragmatists,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview with Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV without elaborating.



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Senate leader McConnell says no chance of U.S. default on debt

Senate leader McConnell says no chance of U.S. default on debtSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined on Tuesday to predict when the U.S. Congress would act to approve a new U.S. debt ceiling, but said he saw no chance of default on debt payments. “There will not be any question that we will raise the debt ceiling,” McConnell told reporters. Meanwhile, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday discussed ways to reach agreement on extending U.S. borrowing authority and spending limits for the 2020 fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.



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German leader Merkel seen shaking for 3rd time in a month

German leader Merkel seen shaking for 3rd time in a monthGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel’s body shook visibly at a public event for the third time in less than a month on Wednesday, but the longtime leader insisted that there’s nothing to worry about. Merkel shook as she stood at a military honors ceremony alongside Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne outside the chancellery in Berlin, listening to the two countries’ national anthems. The first incident happened in near-identical circumstances as she stood alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at a military honors ceremony.



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Hong Kong leader declares extradition bill 'dead,' but protesters persist

Hong Kong leader declares extradition bill 'dead,' but protesters persistHong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam declared an extradition bill 'dead' after pressure. Yet protesters remain resolute in their demands.



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Sister of Saudi leader MBS faces verdict over 'beaten workman'

Sister of Saudi leader MBS faces verdict over 'beaten workman'The sister of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia faces a verdict Tuesday in a French trial over the alleged beating of a workman who was refurbishing her ultra-luxury apartment in Paris. Hassa bint Salman, sister of powerful Mohammed bin Salman who is known by his initial “MBS”, stands accused of ordering her bodyguard to beat up the workman after he was seen taking a photo inside her home in September 2016. The princess, who denies the allegations, allegedly suspected the man of planning to sell the photo of her apartment on the Avenue Foch, long a favourite destination for foreign millionaires in western Paris.



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Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam Says Extradition Bill Is ‘Dead’ as Unrest Continues

Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam Says Extradition Bill Is ‘Dead’ as Unrest Continues(Bloomberg) — Hong Kong protest leaders vowed to return to the streets after the city’s leader declared her controversial extradition bill “dead,” suggesting her latest effort to resolve a weeks-long political crisis had backfired.Demonstrators issued new calls for people to join their rallies despite Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s acknowledgment Tuesday that the legislation, which would for the first time allow extraditions to China, wouldn’t get passed. Although it’s the closest she’s come to admitting defeat after an unprecedented wave of unrest — including the ransacking of the city legislature last week — she stopped short of agreeing to protesters’ demand to withdraw the bill.“The bill is dead,” Lam told reporters Tuesday in Hong Kong. “Our work on the extradition bill amendment is a complete failure.”Lam’s refusal to formally retract the proposal left open the possibility that the government could revive it with 12 days’ notice and provided a new rallying point for a protest movement that has persisted through repeat marches, extreme heat and tear gas volleys from police. Opponents of the bill planned another rally Sunday in East New Territories district of Sha Tin, in an attempt to show support far from the city center.“She’s only putting oil on the fire,” Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki told reporters Tuesday. “We will anticipate more outcry, more people coming out to the streets to demand for democracy in Hong Kong.”Earlier: Beijing’s Message to Hong Kong: Get in Line or Face IrrelevanceThe legislation has helped unify the former British colony’s once-fractured opposition, drawing hundreds of thousands into the streets and illustrating a source of domestic weakness for Chinese President Xi Jinping in the middle of a growing strategic struggle with the U.S. Lam’s attempts to quiet the unrest — first “pausing” efforts to pass the legislation, then apologizing — have only fueled more protests.Besides demanding the complete withdrawal of the bill, opponents want Lam to resign and drop charges against demonstrators arrested during police clashes. Protesters mustered one of the largest marches ever in city’s Kowloon district Sunday, even after the decision by some protesters to break into and vandalize the Legislative Council chamber drew widespread condemnation.The turmoil has raised new questions about Hong Kong’s long-term viability, almost halfway through China’s 50-year promise to preserve capitalist markets and personal freedoms established by the British. Lam and her backers in Beijing so far appeared determined to hang on, or risk emboldening an opposition bent on slowing their agenda and securing a direct election for chief executive.“Stepping down is not an easy thing,” Lam said, in response to a question about whether she planned to resign. “I still have the enthusiasm and responsibility to serve the public. I hope the public can give my team and myself a chance and space to implement a new administration style.”Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing had “nothing new to add” since backing Lam’s June 15 decision to suspend efforts to pass the legislation. “The Chinese central government already expressed our support, understanding and respect,” Geng said.Extradition ConcernsThe legislation would let Hong Kong enter one-time deals to transfer criminal suspects to various jurisdictions, including mainland China. The measure fanned worries among the business community and the city’s democracy advocates about the erosion of the “one country, two systems” framework set up before Hong Kong’s return to China.Hong Kong’s dollar fell back into the weak half of its trading band as traders predicted the city’s recent liquidity squeeze is nearing its end, though there was no indication Lam’s remarks had impacted the move. The currency was down 0.15% at 7.8113 per dollar as of 4:14 p.m. local time.Leaders of student groups that have participated in recent protests also rejected an offer from Lam for public talks to reconcile their differences, saying any such meeting must focus on their core demands. Some activists pointed out that four of the five student leaders who Lam met with during a previous bout of mass protests in 2014, when she was the city’s No. 2 official, were later prosecuted for their roles.“Carrie Lam’s invitation for dialogue is a trap,” said Jimmy Sham, a leader of the Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized the biggest recent protests. “Carrie Lam said she has repeatedly reflected on her work and apologized, but a key thing she hasn’t reflected on is that there’s no one in Hong Kong who trusts her, and she hasn’t contemplated why nobody has faith in her.”Lam has failed to heal divisions in the former British colony two years after taking over from her unpopular former boss, Leung Chun-ying, who was forced to forego seeking a second term due to widespread discontent. While Lam may have underestimated the opposition to her extradition bill, her task was complicated by the requirement to serve two masters — Hong Kong and Beijing — without a public vote to provide a mandate.Billy Gung, a 27-year-old accountant who has attended the largest recent protests, said the extradition bill was a piece of the bigger political problem. “Even if the extradition law is dead, there will be other bills in the future that favor Beijing and are not in the interest of Hong Kong,” Gung said.\–With assistance from Bruce Grant, Fion Li, Will Davies and Sharon Chen.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.net;Carol Zhong in Hong Kong at yzhong71@bloomberg.net;Kari Lindberg in Hong Kong at klindberg13@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Hong Kong leader says extradition bill is dead, but critics unconvinced

Hong Kong leader says extradition bill is dead, but critics unconvincedHong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday the extradition bill that sparked the Chinese-ruled city’s biggest crisis in decades is dead and that government work on the legislation had been a “total failure”, but critics accused her of playing with words. The bill, which would allow people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, sparked huge and at times violent street protests and plunged the former British colony into turmoil. In mid-June, Lam responded to protests that drew hundreds of thousands of people on to the streets by suspending the bill, but that did not stop demonstrations that shut government offices and brought parts of the financial center to a standstill.



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Hong Kong University Students Reject Invitation to Meet City's Leader for Closed-Door Talks

Hong Kong University Students Reject Invitation to Meet City's Leader for Closed-Door TalksThe students say her call for a closed-door meeting is a "public relations act"



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Ultimate Weapon? Sanctions on Iran's Supreme Leader Really a Game Changer?

Ultimate Weapon? Sanctions on Iran's Supreme Leader Really a Game Changer?Despite the limited reach of the United States to directly affect some areas of the Iranian economy with sanctions, it does have room to add effective secondary sanctions.The United States, reacting to the shooting down of a U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle last week, launched two sanctions-related salvos against Iran on June 24. It layered sanctions on top of those already targeting commanders in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which are unlikely to have more than a limited effect on the Iranian economy. The second set of sanctions, targeting Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his appointees, could bite much deeper than typical sanctions issued by the United States by hampering Iran's engagement with the world and damaging its economy.An Executive Order Lays the GroundworkAn executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump freezes all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction that is held by Iran's supreme leader or the supreme leader's office. In addition, the order allows the U.S. Treasury Department to similarly sanction any person or entity the supreme leader, or his office, appoints, such as a state official or the head of an entity such as a company leader. The order also extends that connection a step further, allowing sanctions to be placed on any appointment made by an appointee of the supreme leader, as well. It also threatens sanctions against anyone who provides support for people or entities sanctioned under those designations.



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