Police launch tear gas as Hong Kong protest turns violent

By Alice Fung and Yanan Wang | Associated Press

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s protest movement took a violent turn on Sunday, as police launched tear gas at protesters after a massive march continued late into the evening, and subway riders were attacked by masked assailants who apparently were targeting pro-democracy demonstrators.

The firing of the tear gas was the latest confrontation between police and protesters who have taken to the streets for over a month to fight a proposed extradition bill and call for electoral reforms in the Chinese territory.

The march had been peaceful when it reached its police-designated end point in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district in the late afternoon, but thousands continued onward, at various points occupying key government and business districts. They then headed for the Liaison Office, which represents China’s Communist Party-led central government within the city.

Protesters threw eggs at the building and spray-painted its surrounding surveillance cameras. China’s national emblem, which adorns the front of the Liaison Office, was splattered with black ink.

Later, police threw tear gas canisters at protesters to try to disperse them. Protesters scattered, some heading back in the direction of a key business and retail district. Police remained in place, protecting themselves with shields.

Hong Kong media released video footage showing masked assailants attacking commuters in a subway station. Among those attacked were protesters clad in their trademark black clothing and yellow hard hats.

The attackers, meanwhile, were dressed in white with black masks pulled over their heads. On Saturday, demonstrators wore white at a counter-rally in support of police.

Footage from Apple Daily showed the attackers using umbrellas to beat people in the station and inside a subway car. Subway passengers filmed by Stand News and iCABLE angrily accused police officers of not intervening in the attack.

The Hong Kong government said in a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


ICE used Oakland Airport to deport and transfer tens of thousands of immigration detainees

Despite being located in one of the nation’s most prominent sanctuary cities, Oakland International Airport served as the staging ground for nearly 1,000 flights chartered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement between 2010 and 2018, carrying detainees on their way to deportation or transfer between detention centers.

In total, the ICE Air operation flew nearly 43,000 people in and out of Oakland during that period. Almost 27,000 were being deported. The other 16,000 were being transferred, part of a detention and relocation system that advocates and immigration lawyers allege is designed to cut people off from legal and community support that could help them stay in the country.

Oakland city and airport officials wouldn’t say last week whether they knew about the flights. ICE transported 1,111 people through the Oakland airport in the seven months after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was castigated by President Donald Trump and then-acting ICE Director Thomas Homan for warning the public about immigration raids.

Between fiscal years 2016 and 2018, 4,127 Mexican nationals were flown from Oakland to San Diego, likely to be bused or walked across the border. That data comes from ICE’s Alien Repatriation Tracking System, which was obtained through a public records request by the University of Washington Center for Human Rights.

In the same time period, 2,541 people with ongoing cases were flown out of Oakland to one of three cities – Denver, Phoenix and San Diego – close to major ICE detention centers, but far from the Bay Area’s well-established network of free legal counsel.

ICE spokesperson Paul Prince told the Bay Area News Group the agency stopped chartering flights out of Oakland in October last year, though he declined to give further details.

While the Port of Oakland, which oversees the airport, didn’t collect fees from ICE, it is difficult to say whether it made …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


They said it: No ‘manholes’ in Berkeley

“Having a male-centric municipal code is inaccurate and not reflective of our reality.”

— Berkeley City Council Member Rigel Robinson, after the council last week unanimously approved his proposed ordinance stripping gender references from the municipal code, so manholes become “maintenance holes,” firemen “firefighters,” ombudsman “ombuds.”

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


Hanson: Silicon Valley billionaires, others think U.S. is forever flawed

The summer season has ripped off the thin scab that covered an American wound, revealing a festering disagreement about the nature and origins of the United States.

The San Francisco Board of Education recently voted to paint over, and thus destroy, a 1,600-square-foot mural of George Washington’s life in San Francisco’s George Washington High School.

Victor Arnautoff, a communist Russian-American artist and Stanford University art professor, had painted “Life of Washington” in 1936, commissioned by the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration. A community task force appointed by the school district had recommended that the board address student and parent objections to the 83-year-old mural, which some viewed as racist for its depiction of black slaves and Native Americans.

Nike pitchman and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick recently objected to the company’s release of a special Fourth of July sneaker emblazoned with a 13-star Betsy Ross flag. The terrified Nike immediately pulled the shoe off the market.

The New York Times opinion team issued a Fourth of July video about “the myth of America as the greatest nation on earth.” The Times’ journalists conceded that the United States is “just OK.”

During a recent speech to students at a Minnesota high school, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) offered a scathing appraisal of her adopted country, which she depicted as a disappointment whose racism and inequality did not meet her expectations as an idealistic refugee. Omar’s family had fled worn-torn Somalia and spent four-years in a Kenyan refugee camp before reaching Minnesota, where Omar received a subsidized education and ended up a congresswoman.

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won the World Cup earlier this month. Team stalwart Megan Rapinoe refused to put her hand over heart during the playing of the national anthem, boasted that she would never visit the “f—ing White House” and, with others, nonchalantly let …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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