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Hong Kong Airport Beatings Shows Protesters’ Fears Running Wild

Hong Kong Airport Beatings Shows Protesters’ Fears Running Wild(Bloomberg) — The beatings of two men during a tense rally at Hong Kong’s airport highlights protesters’ growing fear of mainland intervention, as well as the risk that demonstrators’ violent tactics could undermine support for their movement.An otherwise peaceful sit-in at Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday turned ugly when protesters attacked and detained a man they suspected of being a security agent from the nearby mainland city of Shenzhen posing as a demonstrator. Such a deployment, if true, could represent a violation of the charter that guaranteed Hong Kong’s autonomous criminal justice system before its return to Chinese rule in 1997.For hours, the attackers ignored pleas from fellow demonstrators and reporters to let the man be taken for medical attention — ostensibly so they could prove his identity — and put a sign on his chest saying “I am China’s police.” The group subsequently restrained and struck a man later identified as a reporter for the Global Times, a newspaper published by China’s Communist Party, forcibly tying him to a luggage cart.The episodes — broadcast on live television from one of Asia’s busiest airports — illustrated protesters’ increasing use of violence after weeks of facing off against tear gas, rubber bullets and undercover officers sent into rallies. The police tactics have been repeatedly endorsed by the Chinese government and state-run media like the Global Times, whose editor-in-chief warned Monday that the chances of intervention were rising while commenting on a video of paramilitary forces assembling in Shenzhen.China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office issued a statement Wednesday saying protesters at the airport “acted like terrorists” and it would support any local government effort to punish those responsible. Hong Kong police subsequently said the crimes were serious, but didn’t amount to terrorism.The incidents also drew criticism among the opposition: Calls for a code of conduct for front-line protesters, including no beating medical personnel or journalists, circulated on popular social media forums.The Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong issued a statement expressing “grave concern” about the beating of the Global Times reporter and urged restraint from protesters. “Attacks on members of the media doing their job are unacceptable, regardless of the allegiance or views of the perpetrators,” the club said.‘Very Paranoid’Opposition lawmaker Fernando Cheung, who helped negotiate the journalist’s release, said the detentions were “totally not acceptable,” though he blamed police tactics for undermining public trust in the government.“It’s extremely unfortunate that protesters have resorted to such behavior, because the whole campaign, the whole movement was about protecting our safety and liberty in Hong Kong,” Cheung said Wednesday. “The situation has become so chaotic, with the deployment of decoys, that people are very paranoid. And it’s come to a point where the whole situation could be ignited, with more confrontations and possibly more casualties.”The South China Morning Post newspaper reported last month, citing an unnamed government adviser, that the central government’s strategy was to pressure protesters into revealing their intentions and “lure the snake from its hole.”While the airport was quiet Wednesday night, police fired tear gas at protesters in Sham Shui Po district, the site of previous scuffles. A group that gathered to burn incense and sacrificial gifts on the road for what is known as the Hungry Ghost festival attempted to hand the gifts to police, sparking a brief standoff. This week’s airport chaos followed an unverified report last week that Chinese authorities, rather than deploying the military, had secretly sent mainland security officers to supplement Hong Kong’s roughly 30,000-member police force. The Hong Kong police issued a statement Aug. 8 denying the claim as “just another wild rumor to confuse the public and generate conflicts in the society.”While Hong Kong is part of China, its Basic Law tightly restricts mainland government agencies from interfering in local affairs, one of several provisions credited with preserving the city’s status as global financial center. Anxiety over the erosion of such legal firewalls has been at the center of the protests, since more than a million people took to the streets in June to oppose a now-suspended bill allowing the transfer of criminal suspects to the mainland.“There are strict provisions that departments of the Chinese government cannot interfere in Hong Kong affairs,” said Danny Gittings, author of “Introduction to the Hong Kong Basic Law.” “So, if somebody is concurrently an officer in a mainland organization — in other words, is serving in a mainland police force — and is seconded to Hong Kong law enforcement agencies, there might be an argument that that constitutes such interference.”At the airport Wednesday, protesters displayed what they said were mainland identity cards and two wooden sticks found on the first beaten man. They cited a Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau website mentioning the same name to justify their suspicions. Hong Kong police on Wednesday confirmed the man was from the mainland but provided no other details on his identity.Afterward, they similarly posted photos of an “I Love HK Police” T-shirt they said was taken from the Global Times journalist’s bag after he attempted to film their scuffles with the first man. The paper’s chief editor, Hu Xijin, confirmed in a tweet that the man was one of his reporters and said “he has no other task except for reporting.”(Updates with late night scuffle in a Hong Kong district, tear gas used.)\–With assistance from Sebastian Chau, Fion Li, Natalie Lung and Jinshan Hong.To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Shawna Kwan in Hong Kong at wkwan35@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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Woman dies while trying to reach ‘Into the Wild’ bus in Alaska

Woman dies while trying to reach ‘Into the Wild’ bus in AlaskaA Belarusian woman who was trying to hike to an abandoned bus at the edge of Denali National Park in Alaska made famous in the book and movie “Into the Wild” died after being swept away in a river, state troopers said on Friday. Veramika Maikamava, 24, was pulled underwater when she tried to cross the Teklanika River with her husband Piotr Markielau, also 24, in their journey to the site where hiker Christopher McCandless perished in 1992, the troopers said. There is a rope stretched across the river to help hikers, but waters were waist-high and swift-running when the newly married couple tried to cross on Thursday night, said Ken Marsh, an Alaska State Trooper spokesman.



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Trump news – live: President launches series of wild attacks on 'enemy of the people' US media as impeachment threat grows

Trump news - live: President launches series of wild attacks on 'enemy of the people' US media as impeachment threat growsDonald Trump has lashed out at The New York Times, Morning Joe, CNN, the Democrats and the EU on Twitter \- as well as the social media platform itself – during a busy morning in which a new state visit to Britain was also confirmed.As the president continues to gloat over the outcome of the Mueller report, the opposition are busy formulating their response, with 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren the most vocal among a growing choir calling for his impeachment: “If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they would be arrested and put in jail.”President Trump yesterday ignored plummeting approval ratings to take part in the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll in characteristic style, bragging to an audience of children about his rebuilding of the US military and stressing the need for his forthcoming border wall.Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load



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Trump news – live: President launches series of wild attacks on 'enemy of the people' US media as impeachment threat grows

Trump news - live: President launches series of wild attacks on 'enemy of the people' US media as impeachment threat growsDonald Trump has lashed out at The New York Times, Morning Joe, CNN, the Democrats and the EU on Twitter \- as well as the social media platform itself – during a busy morning in which a new state visit to Britain was also confirmed.As the president continues to gloat over the outcome of the Mueller report, the opposition are busy formulating their response, with 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren the most vocal among a growing choir calling for his impeachment: “If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they would be arrested and put in jail.”President Trump yesterday ignored plummeting approval ratings to take part in the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll in characteristic style, bragging to an audience of children about his rebuilding of the US military and stressing the need for his forthcoming border wall.Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load



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Tiger attacks zookeeper in front of visitors: 'He is a wild animal and was acting on instinct'

Tiger attacks zookeeper in front of visitors: 'He is a wild animal and was acting on instinct'A beautiful spring morning at the Topeka Zoo in Kansas turned tragic when a male Sumatran tiger attacked a keeper, inflicting wounds that sent her to a hospital.Although keepers are never supposed to be in the same space as the tigers, they found themselves together in the outdoor habitat that morning for reasons under investigation."There's some sort of error that occurred here," said Brendan Wiley, the zoo's director, told a news conference. He confirmed that several visitors to the zoo had witnessed the attack.The employee is the zoo's primary tiger keeper and had worked there for years, according to Mr Wiley, who noted that part of her job is to clean and maintain the enclosure. He said that the keeper was in stable condition and that the zoo was reviewing its safety protocols.The zookeeper, whom Mr Wiley declined to name, citing her family's need for privacy, suffered "lacerations and punctures" to the back of the head, neck, back and arm. She was awake and alert when she was transported to a hospital.The attack occurred about 9:15 am and the zoo's safety protocols immediately went into effect, Mr Wiley said. A radio call alerted the staff that there was an emergency, and the zoo called 911. Nearby staff members responded to the scene to secure the tigers, and an official made the decision to temporarily close the zoo. A firearms response team also was dispatched to the tiger exhibit, but zookeepers had successfully lured the tiger away by the time it arrived."Some of our staff witnessed some things that you hope you go through a career without witnessing," Mr Wiley said.The zoo has two adult Sumatran tigers: Jingga, a female, and Sanjiv, who was brought to the zoo in August 2017. Shanna Simpson, animal care supervisor, told the Topeka Capital-Journal then that Sanjiv "is the sweetest cat I have ever met."In October, Jingga gave birth to four cubs – three males and one female.The Topeka Zoo allowed Jingga and her cubs back into their enclosures Saturday afternoon, but Sanjiv would remain in holding overnight, Mr Wiley said.City spokeswoman Molly Hadfield said in an email that "nothing will happen to the tiger; he is a wild animal and was acting on instinct."Sanjiv is too valuable to conservation efforts to euthanise. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, and only about 400 remain in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They are native to Indonesia, where deforestation, human encroachment and poaching have whittled their numbers to the brink of extinction.Some zoos participate in Sumatran tiger conservation programs designed to save the species, but these efforts are not always successful. In February, a male tiger brought to the London Zoo to mate attacked and killed its prospective female partner.The Washington Post



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Wild videos show cruise ship chaos as rough seas prompt an evacuation

Wild videos show cruise ship chaos as rough seas prompt an evacuationIncredible videos shared on Twitter are showing the wild rough seas that have led to the evacuation of 1,300 people from a cruise ship off the coast of Norway. The ship, Viking Cruise's "Viking Sky," sent a distress signal Saturday afternoon local time, reporting "engine problems in bad weather," according to CNN. And videos from both inside the cruise ship and from the shore show how bad the seas are. The BBC reports that at least one of the ship's engines was successfully restarted, enabling the Viking Sky to move a bit further from the rocky shore. Not surprisingly, the BBC also notes, "The area is known as the Hustadvika and is reportedly one of the most dangerous stretches of Norway's coast."SEE ALSO: El Niño has arrived. What does that mean for weather in 2019?Multiple ships and helicopters are taking part in the evacuation; the Joint Rescue Centre for Southern Norway shared video of the rescue to YouTube.To complicate matters, a cargo ship with nine people on board hit the same rough waters as the Viking Sky and some of the rescue helicopters had to be diverted for assistance.> Cargo ship w / 9 persons onbord went down close to VikingSky . Rescue helicopter sent to save crew. pic.twitter.com/Ebu0TIhlIE> > — Tore (@potifar66) March 23, 2019A member of the rescue crew told Reuters that eight people had suffered minor injuries and that the rescue attempt will take a while, continuing into the night and maybe even into Sunday. Photos of passengers waiting for their turn at evacuation also hit social media. > Passenger on board VikingSky Crew is doing a good job. Evacuation is slow. Seas rough. One muster station had a door blow in, injure pax and flood. Moved to midship pic.twitter.com/ndvEaJew8L> > — David Hernandez (@oxman78) March 23, 2019Mashable reached out to Viking Cruises for a statement and updates on the ongoing rescue and received the following message in response:The statement also added that anyone with questions or concerns about specific guests aboard the Viking Sky can find more information right here. WATCH: Pedal across the ocean surface with this breezy board



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Blizzard, wind, floods: Wild storm with winds like a Category 1 hurricane to batter central USA

Blizzard, wind, floods: Wild storm with winds like a Category 1 hurricane to batter central USAA powerful storm will unleash a ferocious mix of snow, rain and wind across the central USA through Thursday.



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Wild weather weekend to bring blizzard for Midwest, possible tornadoes in Southeast

Wild weather weekend to bring blizzard for Midwest, possible tornadoes in SoutheastA massive storm will bring wild weather to the U.S. this weekend: blizzard conditions in the Midwest and the chance for tornadoes in the South.



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2 arrests, officer on desk duty after wild NYC highway chase

2 arrests, officer on desk duty after wild NYC highway chaseNEW YORK (AP) — A police officer has been placed on desk duty after shooting at a car during a wild four-mile chase onto a Manhattan highway.



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Wild weather weekend: Blizzard, tornadoes, floods, ferocious winds all expected

Wild weather weekend: Blizzard, tornadoes, floods, ferocious winds all expectedThe final weekend of February will deliver a wild potpourri of weather as winter and spring do battle across the United States.



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