Wednesday Morning Briefing: Hong Kong police fire rubber bullets as protests turn to violent chaos

Hong Kong

Hong Kong police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators who threw plastic bottles in running battles outside the city’s legislature, angry at an extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial. Tens of thousands of demonstrators, many of them young and clad in black, surrounded Hong Kong’s legislature, forcing it to postpone a second round of debate on the bill. Retailer Alan Li closed his shop to join about 100 businesses and numerous workers in a rare strike to protest.

Why proposed changes to Hong Kong's extradition law are fueling protests? Hong Kong residents, as well as foreign and Chinese nationals living or traveling through the global financial hub, would all be at risk if they are wanted on the mainland. Pro-establishment political forces are dominant in the Legislative Council and the bill is expected to be passed by the end of the month. Follow our live coverage of the protests.


Expectations low for Trump-Xi talks. With under three weeks to go before proposed talks between the Chinese and U.S. leaders, expectations for progress toward ending the trade war are low and sources say there has been little preparation for a meeting even as the health of the world economy is at stake. Though neither side has confirmed that a meeting will take place, investors worldwide who have seen over a trillion dollars wiped from global markets in the past month by the trade fight will be closely watching any interaction between the two men.

Trump and Kim one year on: The U.S. president and North Korean leader agreed at their first summit in Singapore to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, easing fears of war between their countries. But there has been little progress since then and tension has again been rising recently with North Korea resuming some limited testing of weapons and warning of “truly undesired consequences” if the United States was not more flexible.

House approves authority to sue Trump advisers who ignore subpoenas. House of Representatives voted to give lawmakers clear authority to sue Trump administration figures who defy congressional subpoenas, beginning with former White House Counsel Don McGahn, who is expected to face swift action. Lawmakers voted 229-191 along party lines to approve the measure. It authorizes House committees to file lawsuits in federal court seeking orders from judges to compel officials to cooperate with official congressional demands for testimony or evidence.

Trump brandished a document confirming details of a regional asylum project agreed with Mexico to stave off threatened tariffs, saying the plan was “secret” even though Mexican officials had revealed much of it. Trump did not show the text or give any details. However, a Reuters photograph of the sheet of paper allowed reporters to read parts of it.


Iran has been racing to step up exports of petrochemicals and tap new markets to compensate for sliding oil sales, Iranian and international industry sources said, but now risks losing that crucial revenue as Washington tightens the screw on sanctions.
Ten U.S. states sue to stop Sprint-T-Mobile deal. Ten states led by New York and California filed a lawsuit to stop T-Mobile US' $26 billion purchase of Sprint, warning that consumer prices will jump due to reduced competition. The complaint comes as the Justice Department is close to making a final decision on the merger, which would reduce the number of nationwide wireless carriers to three from four.
France’s Dassault Systemes moved to build up its life sciences presence with a $5.8 billion cash deal to buy Medidata Solutions, a U.S. firm focused on clinical trials. Dassault Systemes has been doing deals to diversify its technology and software businesses further and its agreed acquisition of Medidata, its largest, follows its purchases of companies including Trace Software and Argosim.
Tesla is serious about a possible record quarter. Tesla has “a decent shot at a record quarter on every level”, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday, soothing concerns about weak demand for the electric car maker’s sedans.
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Baseball's David Ortiz walks after surgery; second man arrested in shooting

David Ortiz, a retired Red Sox star, took a few steps in his Boston hospital room after surgery for a gunshot wound he suffered in the Dominican Republic, media reported.
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U.S. World Cup goal celebrations polarize opinion

The United States’ record 13-0 drubbing of Thailand at the Women’s World Cup did not sit well with everybody, with opinion divided on whether the team should have so mercilessly punished a hapless opponent. Striker Alex Morgan scored five times as holders the United States began their World Cup campaign with a record 13-0 win over Thailand.
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Nadal considered ending season after Indian Wells injury

French Open champion Rafa Nadal has said he nearly ended his season after being forced to withdraw from the Indian Wells semi-finals with a knee injury in March but played through the pain at Roland Garros to clinch a record-extending 12th title.
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