Defense in China Scholar’s death trial: He did it

Federal prosecutors detailed the brutal death of a Chinese scholar in opening statements of a federal death-penalty trial for a former University of Illinois graduate student. The defense admits he did it. (June 12)

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Protests against China extradition bill paralyse Hong Kong | AFP

Violent clashes break out in Hong Kong as police try to stop protesters storming the city’s parliament, while tens of thousands of people block key arteries in a show of strength against government plans to allow extraditions to China.

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Why Hong Kong Is Rising Up (HBO)

For the second time in four days, Hong Kong was brought to a standstill by mass protests over a controversial extradition bill that threatens to chip away at the city’s diminishing semi-independence from China.

The demonstrations earned protesters a brief victory: the delay of a second reading of the bill. But tensions soon boiled over, when police fired rubber bullets and teargas to clear protesters from the streets, injuring dozens and further stoking outrage between the city’s pro-Beijing government and its residents.

Wednesday night’s events follow one of the biggest public protests in Hong Kong’s history, when more than one million people, about one-seventh of the population, swarmed the city’s streets on Sunday.

Read: Hong Kong protesters tell us why this might be their “last chance” to defy Beijing

At the center of the public’s fury is a proposed law that would allow China to extradite people from Hong Kong to the mainland. The bill has come to symbolize growing fear that the region, long-viewed as a separate entity from mainland China, is losing its autonomy under Beijing’s encroaching authoritarianism. They have reason to be concerned.

When the UK handed the island back to China in 1997, Hong Kong was promised freedoms of speech, press and assembly under its Basic Law — which effectively serves as the islands constitution and differentiates it from the mainland. But in recent years, Beijing has begun to impose its will on Hong Kong, slowly eroding those freedoms in a bid to bring the region more firmly under its control.

“I reminisce about the period of British rule. I was born and brought up in Hong Kong” Wong Fung Yiu, a 63 year old retiree at Sunday’s march told VICE News. “Human rights were better back in that time, compared to what we have nowadays. I have no trust in Mainland China.”

Despite the delays, Carrie Lam, the island’s pro-Beijing Chief Executive, has vowed to push the bill through the government saying further delays would only cause more “anxiety and divisiveness in society.”

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Protesters gather at barricades in Hong Kong’s Central district | AFP

Protesters gather at a barricade in Hong Kong’s Central district, next to the People’s Liberation Army garrison. Hong Kong is in the throes of the worst political unrest since its handover to China. The violent protests are the latest expression of widespread public anger over the government’s controversial Beijing-backed plan to allow extraditions to China. IMAGES

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Police charge and fire tear gas at protesters in Hong Kong | AFP

Clashes in Hong Kong escalate as police use tear gas on demonstrators blocking major roads in the financial hub and protesting against a China extradition law. IMAGES of police firing tear gas++COMPLETES VID1356055_EN, VID1356037_EN & VID1356075++

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Protests against China extradition bill paralyse Hong Kong | AFP

Violent clashes break out in Hong Kong as police try to stop protesters storming the city’s parliament, while tens of thousands of people block key arteries in a show of strength against government plans to allow extraditions to China.

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Clashes escalate between police and protesters in Hong Kong | AFP

Clashes in Hong Kong escalate as police use tear gas on demonstrators blocking major roads in the financial hub and protesting against a China extradition law. IMAGES of protesters, tear gas ++COMPLETES VID1356055_EN & VID1356037_EN++

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Hong Kong police use tear gas on protesters

Hong Kong police used tear gas against protesters who oppose a contentious extradition bill. Wednesday’s protests delayed a debate over the legislative proposal that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China. (June 12)

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