Tag Archives: Rock

Sex trafficking charges against Epstein could rock Trump's Cabinet

Sex trafficking charges against Epstein could rock Trump's CabinetAn investigation into former hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein for running a sex trafficking ring could affect the White House.



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Suicides rock Hong Kong protest movement as despair grows over city's independence

Suicides rock Hong Kong protest movement as despair grows over city's independenceA lone man in a yellow raincoat stood on top of the scaffolding at a mall in central Hong Kong.  Nearby was his banner: “Make love no shoot! No extradition to China!” For hours, police tried to talk Leung down but at around 9pm the 35-year-old jumped to his death, missing the inflatable mattress the officers had prepared to catch him. In the fortnight since two more protesters have also killed themselves. At the site of Mr Leung's death, white flowers and encouraging notes form an impromptu memorial to the deceased. One reads "Believe in our youth! Believe in our people!" But the deaths are a disturbing consequence of anti-government protests that continue to rock the former British colony – after the marches, the peaceful demonstrations and the ransacking of parliament, a handful of citizens are committing suicide in the ultimate statement of desperation. A woman cleans up a makeshift memorial near government headquarters in Hong Kong, Tuesday, July 2, 2019 Credit: AP “People are losing their hope, thinking there’s not much we can do to change,” said Alvin Yeung, a lawmaker who has engaged in suicide prevention efforts this week. “It’s the political environment over the past few years that drove them to this point.” As more people call suicide hotlines, message their MP or post online of their despair, the city is on high alert. Volunteers have been dispatched to hunt for people at risk. On Wednesday, at least two who had contemplated suicide were found before they could act.  On the surface the city's normal pace has resumed, with workers sent to fix the parliament building seized on Monday night, but a spate of arrests in connection to the protests has fuelled a widespread sense of anguish. Some citizens have begun hunger strikes. Others offer free hugs to boost spirits.   Meanwhile the protesters’ demands have grown, articulated in signs that continue to pop up despite the city’s efforts to clear them. A 91-word message scrawled in red on the wall by a woman surnamed Lo, 21, who fell to her death last Saturday, called for the complete withdrawal of the extradition proposal that ignited the protests; demonstrations not to be labelled as riots – a charge that carries a 10-year prison sentence; the release of arrested student demonstrators; the resignation of Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, and for the police to be punished for excessive force. Protesters hold up a yellow raincoat to pay tribute to a citizen who killed himself during the anti extradition bill demonstrations Credit: AFP “I hope to exchange my life for the fulfilment of two million people’s wishes,” she wrote, referring to the number of people protest organisers estimate have taken to the streets in recent weeks. “Please continue to persevere, you all.” Less than 24 hours later, a woman surnamed Wu, 29, jumped from an overpass after leaving a message on social media. “Hong Kong, add oil. I wish I could see you all achieve victory in the end. I am sorry I can’t attend the march tomorrow on 1 July because I have given up completely. I feel that there is no tomorrow, I am tired. I don’t want to fight for tomorrow anymore,” she wrote. “I think I would be marginalised by society.” “There is a frustration and anger among our young people,” said Paul Yip Siu-fai, director of the centre for suicide research and prevention at the University of Hong Kong. They feel “nothing has changed, so some of them, they do resort to these extreme measures.” Hong Kong protests: riot police baton charge and fire tear gas to clear demonstrations at parliament, in pictures “At the same time we have to understand them, their concerns, why they are doing this,” he said, in efforts to prevent more deaths. Hong Kong has long enjoyed greater freedoms than the mainland, as guaranteed in the 1997 agreement by which Britain handed over the territory to Beijing. But residents worry about the loss of their liberties as the ruling Communist Party exerts greater influence. Whether the largely organic protests – pulled together by many different groups – will remain cohesive through the summer months remains to be seen. But the calls for the government to respond have only become louder in the wake of the suicides.  Such deaths are “unprecedented,” said Mr Yeung. “She has every capacity to fix the problem, but Carrie Lam [Hong Kong’s chief executive] stays silent and is nowhere to be seen…. Nobody dares to step up and calm people down.” And unless Beijing undertakes serious reform the concern is that the unrest is here to stay. Indeed, Hong Kong has been continually disrupted by protests every few years, each movement bigger and more violent than the last. “Beijing has to understand that Hong Kong is a very unique place. It is a free society,” said Mr Yeung. “There are seeds of democracy planted in the minds of everyone – especially young ones.”  Additional reporting by Yiyin Zhong



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Hard Rock Hotel in Dominican Republic to remove liquor dispensers after tourist deaths

Hard Rock Hotel in Dominican Republic to remove liquor dispensers after tourist deathsIn the wake of several tourist deaths, Hard Rock will remove liquor dispensers in its Dominican Republic and Mexican rooms starting this week.



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The Latest: Trump says Florida re-election rally will rock

The Latest: Trump says Florida re-election rally will rockTrump says his re-election launch will be a political spectacle. Opponents are launching their protests at a gay bar in Orlando. President Donald Trump is set to kick off his re-election campaign with a rally Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida.



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Photos of the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition

Photos of the 2019 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition



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Bomb blasts rock Syria's Damascus and Afrin

Bomb blasts rock Syria's Damascus and AfrinA bomb blast hit Damascus on Sunday, in a rare attack in the Syrian capital that has been largely insulated from violence during nearly eight years of war. The explosion came as another bomb in the northern city of Afrin killed three people and wounded nine others, according to a war monitor, on the first anniversary of a Turkish offensive on the Kurdish-majority region. Also on Sunday Israel said it intercepted a rocket fired from Syria after Damascus accused the Jewish state of carrying out air raids on the south of the country.



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NASA probe nears distant space rock for landmark flyby  

NASA probe nears distant space rock for landmark flyby  At 12:33 a.m. Eastern time (0533 GMT), the New Horizons probe will arrive at the “third zone” in the uncharted heart of the Kuiper Belt, scientists said. In this peripheral layer of icy bodies and leftover fragments from the solar system’s creation, the interplanetary probe will position its seven on-board instruments for the first close-up glance of Ultima Thule, a cool mass roughly 20 miles (32 km) long and shaped like a giant peanut. Scientists had not discovered Ultima Thule when the probe was launched, according to NASA, making the mission unique in that respect.



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NASA probe believed to have passed distant space rock on landmark mission  

NASA probe believed to have passed distant space rock on landmark mission  The body is farther from Earth than any other that has had such a close encounter with a NASA probe, scientists believe. The New Horizons probe was slated to reach the “third zone” in the uncharted heart of the Kuiper Belt at 12:33 a.m. Eastern. Scientists will not have confirmation of its successful arrival until the probe communicates its whereabouts through NASA’s Deep Space Network at 10:28 a.m. Eastern, about 10 hours later.  Once it enters the peripheral layer of the belt, containing icy bodies and leftover fragments from the solar system’s creation, the probe will get its first close-up glance of Ultima Thule, a cool mass shaped like a giant peanut, using seven on-board instruments.



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Beyond Pluto: Spacecraft to fly by distant space rock 'Ultima Thule' on New Year's Day

Beyond Pluto: Spacecraft to fly by distant space rock 'Ultima Thule' on New Year's DayNASA's unmanned New Horizon spacecraft, now zooming into outer space beyond Pluto, will fly by a small space rock known as Ultima Thule on New Year's.



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Challenge to Hungary's strongman Viktor Orban as 'slave law' protests rock Budapest

Challenge to Hungary's strongman Viktor Orban as 'slave law' protests rock BudapestViktor Orban, the populist prime minister of Hungary, is facing a rare challenge to his grip on power as protesters demand an end to controversial labour reforms and and what they call his assault on democracy.    The Hungarian capital has been rocked by nearly daily protests and opposition MPs have called for Mr Orban's overthrow since the country's parliament adopted a bill liberalising overtime rules on Wednesday.   As part of the reform, which critics have dubbed "the slave law", employers would be allowed to delay payment for overtime worked for up to three years.  Several thousand people gathered outside the offices of Hungary’s state television broadcaster on the fifth night of protests on Monday evening, after two opposition MPs were physically thrown out of the building.  Arkos Hadhazy and Bernadetter Szer were filmed being manhandled out of the MTVA headquarters by security guards earlier in the day, after demanding that the station broadcast a list of protesters' demands.  The pair, among a group of opposition MPs who spent the night inside the building demanding studio access, called a protest for Monday evening in response under the slogan: "They threw us out the door, but we'll go back in through the windows."  “We knew this was no longer a democracy, but we did not know it was already a dictatorship,” Ms Szer said after filing a complaint with police outside the building on Monday morning. She said the security guards had violated the MPs' constitutional right to airtime and free access to the building.  Protesters are demanding the repeal of the labour law and a controversial judicial reform that opponents say grants Mr Orban near total control of the legal system Credit: Marko Djurica/Reuters The demonstrations peaked on Sunday night, when up to 15,000 people chanting "we want democracy" and "we want free media" gathered outside parliament.  Half a dozen opposition MPs including Mr  Hadhazy and Ms Szer then led several thousand demonstrators on a march from parliament to the offices of MTVA, the state broadcaster, to demand they broadcast the list of demands.  Some members of the crowd threw smoke bombs and paint when the station refused to broadcast the list. Riot police responded with tear gas.  The demands including the repeal of both the labour law and a controversial judicial reform that was passed on the same day, which paves the way for new "administrative courts" to oversee cases concerning matters such as public procurement or electoral disputes. Opposition leaders say it would grant Mr Orban near total control of the judicial system because Laszlo Trocsanyi, the justice minister and a close ally of the prime minister, would oversee the courts. They are also demanding a cut in the overtime police officers are required to work, that Hungary sign up to the European Prosecutor's office, a move Mr Orban has rejected,  and guarantees of editorial impartiality at the country's state media outlets.  Mr Orban has been accused of destroying editorial independence at MTVA and other influential media outlets, effectively giving his Fidesz party a monopoly on positive media coverage.  Opponents say the Right-wing populist has mounted an assault on democracy in his eight years in power Credit: Peter Kohalmi/AFP The government says the labour reform, which increases the annual overtime that employers can demand from 250 to 400 hours and allows payment to be delayed by up to three years, is needed by employers short of manpower and will benefit those wanting to work extra hours.  Opposition MPs and labour unions have accused Mr Orban of bowing to pressure from German businesses which operate major factories in the country.      The wave of dissent has brought rare unity to Hungary's fractious opposition groups, with liberal and left wing groups siding with right wing parties, including the nationalist Jobbik, to oppose the bill.  Protests have also taken place in other major cities.  "[Government] Power has failed in Budapest. It is still alive because the truth doesn't get to the people in the provinces. I ask you to bring the truth to these people" Peter Marki-Zay, the mayor of Hodmezovasarhely, a town in southeastern Hungary, said in a message to the protesters in Budapest. 



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