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Hong Kong Erupts: Tear Gas Deployed As Thousands Fill Streets To Oppose China’s National Security Law

Hong Kong Erupts: Tear Gas Deployed As Thousands Fill Streets To Oppose China’s National Security Law

After months of relative quiet amid the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Hong Kong, defying the city’s ban on gatherings to voice their opposition to a new “national security” law proposed by Beijing which would threaten the city’s autonomy and the civil liberties of its residents.


Ray Chan✔@ray_slowbeat

May glory be to thee, #HongKong! Call us terrorists, whatever you want, after the #WuhanVirus outbreak, #China has no more credibility in the world. #HongKongProtests #NationalSecurityLaw #StandWithHongKong

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James Pomfret@jamespomfret

Hundreds of riot police charge at protest lines outside Sogo. Some protesters arrested #HongKongProtests #HongKong

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Oh boy what a shot@ohboywhatashot

Mainstream media, what is happening in #HongKong?

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The protesters, most of whom could be seen donning masks, were hit with tear gas less than an hour after the start of the demonstrations which resulted in at least 120 arrests – including 40 of which were people accused of blocking Gloucester Road. A water cannon truck was also deployed according to SCMP.LucyO@Lucy0HKer

Tear gas in causeway bay 24May #HongKong

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The first rounds of tear gas were fired around 1:30 p.m. local time outside a Causeway Bay shopping mall. 20 minutes later, the first arrest was made, according to the Epoch Times.


SCMP Hong Kong✔@SCMPHongKong

Rounds of tear gas are fired in Causeway Bay on Sunday

Video: SCMP/Phila Siu

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Via @CP24

Cha@chawong852

Tank man in #HongKong today. #YouCantStopUs #StandWithHongKong

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…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Cuomo Orders “100%” Of New Yorkers To Stay Home, Italy Confirms Another 600 Deaths As ‘Martial Law’ Declared: Live Updates

Cuomo Orders “100%” Of New Yorkers To Stay Home, Italy Confirms Another 600 Deaths As ‘Martial Law’ Declared: Live Updates

Summary:

  • Hong Kong reports largest daily jump in cases on record as travelers revive outbreak
  • NY rolls out restrictive new measures
  • NY case total tops 7k
  • Italy says Army will help enforce lockdown, effectively declaring martial law; might extend lockdown through early May
  • Spain death toll cracks 1,000
  • Italy reports another 627 deaths
  • Confirmed cases in US pass 14k
  • Drive thru testing site in NJ’s Bergen County has a line that’s over 1,000+ cars long
  • Switzerland bars all gatherings of more than 5 people
  • Trump says no plans for national lockdown
  • Germany to pass ‘shadow’ budget on Monday
  • EU suspends budget rules
  • Bavaria becomes first German state to impose ‘lockdown’
  • Johnson says UK can defeat virus in 12 weeks if ‘we work together’
  • Treasury now moving back both filing & payment deadlines for 2019
  • Novartis will donate up to 130 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to support global response
  • NBC News employee succumbs to virus
  • Dr. Fauci says social distancing should continue for several weeks
  • MTA confirms it has 23 sick workers
  • US, Mexico agree to shut southern border
  • China makes first purchase under ‘Phase 1’ trade deal
  • Altria chairman & CEO tests positive
  • Military confirms 35 American troops infected in Europe

*  *  *

Update (1320ET): As Italy’s worst outbreak spirals further and further out of control, Italy is reporting 5,986 new cases of coronavirus and 627 new deaths on Friday, raising the countrywide total to 47,021 cases and 4,032 dead, as the total number of cases in Europe surpasses the total ‘officially’ confirmed in China.

If you’re curious about how things are looking on the ground in Italy, this Channel 4 report is chilling.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hong Kong Reports Largest Surge In Infections Yet As Experts Warn ” We’re On The Edge Of All-Out War” With COVID-19: Live Updates

Hong Kong Reports Largest Surge In Infections Yet As Experts Warn ” We’re On The Edge Of All-Out War” With COVID-19: Live Updates

When historians look back at this time, we suspect that California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s landmark decision to order more than 40 million Californians to remain at home on Thursday night will be remembered as an important demarcation point – the beginning of a more heavy handed response as it becomes increasingly clear that too many Americans are simply ignoring the government.

So far, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Trump have insisted that they have no plans to issue lockdown orders. But with the number of confirmed cases expected to soar in the coming days and over the weekend, the situation is certainly evolving rapidly, and rumors about other states considering preemptive lockdowns (remember, the whole point is to stay “ahead of the curve”) continue to circulate.

Over the past week, central bankers around the world have slashed rates, stepped up bond buying programs, promised to expand their back-stopping of credit markets and – most importantly – urged the politicians in charge to do their part and pass massive fiscal stimulus. Late last night, the Senate unveiled a $1 trillion package that will feature direct transfers to many Americans.

In the US, futures are pointing higher amid mounting hopes for a second straight close in the green. The improved sentiment is ostensibly due to the latest wave of central bank interventions. But that didn’t stop a team of economists at Bank of America from releasing a new note calling for a global recession, with GDP growth dropping to 0% for the year in 2020. Explaining the shift in their thinking, the team wrote: “Our first piece on the virus shock was titled ‘Bad or worse’; now we amend that to ‘Really bad or much worse.'”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Armed Thieves Steal Truckload Of Toilet Paper In Hong Kong Amid Worsening Shortage Of Basic Goods

Armed Thieves Steal Truckload Of Toilet Paper In Hong Kong Amid Worsening Shortage Of Basic Goods

Looks like the sh*t is really about to hit the fan in Hong Kong…and we mean that literally.

In a shocking indication of just how bad shortages of basic goods have gotten as mainland China expands its lockdown to more than 700 million people and Hong Kong closes some of its borders, a gang of armed thieves in Hong Kong stole a truckload of toilet paper in a daring robbery last night.

Police say the truck driver was taken by surprise and held up by a man with a knife, while two others loaded the toilet paper into their getaway vehicle.


Wow, I thought I needed tp bad…#stolentp #hongkongtp #coronavirus #toiletpaper
“Masked men stole hundreds of rolls of toilet paper in HK amid coronavirus fears” https://twitter.com/i/events/1229313970781077505 …Masked men stole hundreds of rolls of toilet paper in HK amid coronavirus fears


Don’t worry: We suspect they may have left a “paper” trail. Police are said to be hunting the gang, according to the AFP, after the heist, which was carried out early Monday by three men. The target was a supermarket in Mong Kok, a neighborhood that, AFP claims, has a close association with Triad organized-crime gangs.

Here’s the most ridiculous element of this whole story: Police said the men held up a truck driver all to steal HK1,000 ($130) in toilet paper.

We look forward to the day when the virus subsides and Hong Kong’s Triad gangs can go back to their old rackets, like prostitution and smuggling heroin.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hong Kong Coronavirus Expert Warns Outbreak Could Infect “Between 60%-80%” Of Humanity, Causing 51 Million Deaths

Hong Kong Coronavirus Expert Warns Outbreak Could Infect “Between 60%-80%” Of Humanity, Causing 51 Million Deaths

The city of Hong Kong and its 7 million+ residents have reason to be extremely anxious about the nCoV outbreak that has already caused more than 1,000 deaths on the mainland. Back in 2003, SARS ripped through the densely populated largely autonomous city and killed some 300 people, nearly half the total death toll from the outbreak.

Professor Gabriel Leung, the chair of public health medicine at Hong Kong University, was one of the first officials anywhere in China to suggest that the government was hiding, or simply hadn’t yet confirmed, the true extend of the outbreak.

Though Beijing has been touting a ‘slowdown’ in the number of newly diagnosed cases, few believe that the outbreak has actually crested, even as a huge percentage of the population in the world’s largest country has spent the last week huddled inside.

Which is why we feel Leung’s latest warning is worth our attention, and yours.

Riffing off of comments from WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said yesterday that the we might be seeing only ‘the tip of the iceberg’ in terms of number of cases, Leung said the scientific community’s ‘overriding concern’ is figuring out the ‘size and shape’ of the iceberg.

Leung added that most experts now believe the virus has a transmission rate of – or r-sub-zero – of 2.5, meaning the average infected individual will transmit the virus to 2.5 others. This also translates to an “attack rate” of 60%-80%, the Guardian reports.

“Sixty per cent of the world’s population is an awfully big number,” Leung told the Guardian in London, en route to an expert meeting at the WHO in Geneva on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, Chinese health officials confirmed nearly 100 new deaths, bringing the toll to 1,013 as of late Monday.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hong Kong Police Warn City On Brink Of ‘Total Breakdown’

Hong Kong Police Warn City On Brink Of ‘Total Breakdown’

After nearly six months of protests in Hong Kong, the weekend demonstrations – which more closely resemble street skirmishes between black-clad protesters and the cops – have grown increasingly violent, people are being seriously wounded and even killed on both sides. And this week, protesters have apparently committed to another escalation: they’ve taken to the streets to disrupt HK’s public transportation during Monday and Tuesday, forcing businesses to close and schools to cancel.

Hong Kong policed warned on Tuesday that the city is now “on the brink of total collapse” after a second straight day of violence and chaos. The MTR, Hong Kong’s subway network, closed several stations and reduced the frequency of trains to cope with the demonstrations.

Some commuters were forced to walk along rail tracks to the next stop to catch a train to work. A senior police superintendent insisted that the ‘rioters’ – a term used pejoratively to describe the protesters – were pushing “our society” toward a breakdown.

“Over the past two days, our society has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown as rioters went on a rampage,” Kong Wing-cheung, a senior police superintendent, said in a press conference.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam accused protesters on Tuesday of trying to “paralyze” the city. She accused demonstrators of being “extremely selfish” and said she hoped all universities in Hong Kong would encourage students not to participate in the violence.

Of course, the violence has gone both ways. Lam was speaking one day after police shot a protester and a man was set on fire in some of the most dramatic violence to arise from the protests. Lam added that the city planned to hold local elections on Nov. 24, the first test of public sentiment since the pro-democracy protests began five months ago.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As Hong Kong ATMs Run Out Of Cash, Central Bank Steps In To Prevent “Panic Among The Public”

As Hong Kong ATMs Run Out Of Cash, Central Bank Steps In To Prevent “Panic Among The Public”

As the violence in Hong Kong escalates with every passing week, culminating on Friday with what was effectively the passage of martial law when the local government banned the wearing of masks at public assemblies, a colonial-era law that is meant to give the authorities a green light to finally crack down on protesters at will, one aspect of Hong Kong life seemed to be surprisingly stable: no, not the local economy, as HK retail sales just suffered their biggest drop on record as the continuing violent protests halt most if not all commerce:

We are talking about the local banks, which have been remarkably resilient in the face of the continued mass protests and the ever rising threat of violent Chinese retaliation which could destroy Hong Kong’s status as the financial capital of the Pacific Rim in a heart beat, and crush the local banking system. In short: despite the perfect conditions for a bank run, the locals continued to behave as if they had not a care in the world.

Only that is now changing, because one day after a junior JPMorgan banker was beaten in broad daylight by the protest mob, a SCMP report confirms that the social upheaval has finally spilled over into the financial world: according to the HK publication, the local central bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, was forced to issue a statement warning against a “malicious attempt to cause panic among the public” after rumors were spread online about the possibility of the government using emergency powers to impose foreign-exchange controls.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hong King Kong

Hong King Kong

Of course the notion of addressing Hong Kong has been in my mind for a while, but it’s a bit of a moving target: things change all the time, and seemingly on the fly. However, with today’s fresh developments, it seems silly to wait any longer. Hong Kong Civic party lawmaker Dennis Kwok yesterday expressed the reason way better than I could:

As I said time and again, the use of troops in Hong Kong will be the end of Hong Kong, and I would warn against any such move on the part of the central people’s government.”

He said that before today’s arrests -and subsequent release on bail- of a handful of alleged protest leaders Joshua Wong, Andy Chan, and Agnes Chow. Who, if you read between the lines, didn’t lead much of anything; they may be figure-heads, but that’s not the same thing. The protests are either lacking leaders or everyone’s a leader, depending on who you ask. So why arrest them to begin with? You tell me.

What I did find enlightening was Reuters’ report yesterday on Beijing having rejected Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s (how is CEO a political function?) proposal to communicate with the protesters and perhaps allow some concessions to their demands. I know it’s only one source, but it appears quite feasible.

Carrie Lam is between a rock and a hard place, and she admits it -at least according to the Reuters piece-, though not to the protesters. Beijing is in exactly such a spot, but won’t admit it, ever. And that right there is Hong Kong’s main issue.

China Rejected Hong Kong Plan To Appease Protesters 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Martial Law Considered in Hong Kong to Crush Pro-Democracy Protests

Martial Law Considered in Hong Kong to Crush Pro-Democracy Protests

Could lead to “total destruction” of Hong Kong’s capitalist system.

Authorities in Hong Kong are considering whether to impose draconian martial law powers in a bid to crush pro-democracy protests.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is not ruling out invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance for the first time in half a century.

The ordinance would grant the government sweeping powers, including authorizing the entry and search of properties, censoring the media and imposing maximum terms of life imprisonment.

Lawmaker Au Nok-hin warned that imposing emergency powers would lead to the “total destruction” of Hong Kong’s capitalist system, while law professor Simon Young of the University of Hong Kong said the ordinance meant “basically a state of martial law.”

With the government refusing to meet the five demands of the protesters, which includes withdrawing a bill that would allow suspects in Hong Kong to be extradited to China, escalation seems inevitable.

Beijing still has troops massing nearby, but experts agree that they are unlikely to be deployed inside Hong Kong.

As we previously highlighted, riot police deployed water cannons for the first time during violent demonstrations on Sunday, protesters also being hit with tear gas and rubber bullets.

How To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings

How To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, our government-funded media outlet, has published an article titled “Australian expat living in Hong Kong throws off business suit to join protest movement“. The entire story is in the headline: some random guy, who ABC keeps anonymous but for the name “Daniel”, has joined the protests in Hong Kong. That’s it. That’s the whole entire bombshell newsworthy news story.

“In Australia we have proper democracy but in Hong Kong, democracy is being slowly eroded away and I’ll try to do whatever I can to try and help the cause,” the anonymous guy told ABC.

This sort of enthusiastic empty non-story cheerleading is typical for western media coverage of the Hong Kong protests so far, while these same media outlets consistently ignore or downplay protests against the government of France, Israel, Honduras, India, Indonesia and any other region that happens to fall within the US-centralized power alliance. It’s an amazingly reliable pattern: the entire western political/media class finds protests and uprisings endlessly fascinating when they are in opposition to governments which haven’t yet been absorbed into the imperial blob like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, pre-collapse Libya, or then-Moscow-aligned Ukraine, but any protests or uprisings within that empire are ignored at best or demonized at worst.

If dissidents in the United States began donning yellow vests and holding aggressive demonstrations in the current media environment, you could safely bet your bottom dollar that they would be ignored for as long as possible and then smeared as fascists, antisemites and/or Russian pawns thereafter. This would happen with absolute certainty.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

British colonialism laid the ground for the crises in Hong Kong and Kashmir

British colonialism laid the ground for the crises in Hong Kong and Kashmir

British colonialism laid the ground for the crises in Hong Kong and Kashmir
© REUTERS/Thomas Peter; © REUTERS/Mohsin Raza 

Though distance-wise Hong Kong and Kashmir may be about 4,000km (2,485 miles) apart, they have in common a history of being scarred by the crimes of British colonialism.

This history and those scars cannot be abstracted when it comes to grasping the nettle of the crises that have engulfed both places now because, without factoring this in, no serious analysis can be undertaken and no salutary lessons will be learned.

Starting with Hong Kong, when senior Conservative Party MP and former British Army officer Tom Tugendhatrecently suggested that the people of Hong Kong should be granted UK citizenship (regardless of whether they want it or not) as a form of protection from Beijing, he provided the world with an insight into the colonial mind of the British establishment.ALSO ON RT.COMHong Kong phooey! Would you like any hypocrisy with that?

In making this ludicrous suggestion, amounting to an outrageous imposition of British sovereignty over the city, Mr Tugendhat revealed that to him China should know its rightful place as a lesser power. In this he has been joined by the UK’s former governor of Hong Kong, Lord Patten of Barnes (I promise you, I’m not making this up), who with astonishing arrogance has called for a British commission of inquiry to be established to look into the unrest, with particular emphasis on the actions of the Hong Kong police.

Both Tom Tugendhat and Lore Patten could, to all intents, have been standing on the shoulders of Lord George Macartney, the man who led Britain’s first ever trade delegation to China in 1792 on the orders of King George III.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Tiananmen Square 2.0? Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters Will Be ‘Punished’ — Military Intervention Possible

Tiananmen Square 2.0? Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters Will Be ‘Punished’ — Military Intervention Possible 

As the situation in Hong Kong continues to deteriorate, Beijing has issued a warning that protesters would soon be punished for “criminal acts,” and has refused to rule out military force to quell ongoing anti-government demonstrations, according to The Telegraph

According to a spokesman for the Beijing-controlled Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, demonstrators are causing “Hong Kong to slide into a dangerous abyss,” adding “As for their punishment, it’s only a matter of time.

The Chinese government will never allow any acts that challenge national unity, sovereignty or security, he said, sternly reminding residents that the People’s Liberation Army was a “strong and reliable force that defends every inch of its territory.” 

In a jab at protesters, Mr Yang referred to their main slogan, “Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” by reminding them Hong Kong was a part of China, saying, “I want to ask those people shouting this, ‘what of Hong Kong do you want to reclaim? Where exactly do you want to reclaim Hong Kong to?” –Telegraph

Meanwhile, over 12,000 Shenzhen police officers conducted a publicly broadcasted crowd-control drill – offering protesters a taste of what’s to come. 

“A drill will be held to increase troop morale, practise and prepare for the security of celebrations, [and] maintain national political security and social stability,” according to police. 

In live videos of the police drills shown on the Yizhibo network, officers in body armour, helmets and shields confronted groups of people in black shirts and red or yellow construction safety helmets – similar to those worn by Hong Kong protesters – who were holding flags, banners, batons and wooden boards. –SCMP

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hong Kong Riots Reveal A Looming Crisis At The World’s 6th Largest Bank

Hong Kong Riots Reveal A Looming Crisis At The World’s 6th Largest Bank

Earlier today, in addition to the chaos surrounding the escalation of the US-China trade and currency war, we also got news which slipped under the radar that the CEO of HSBC, one which with $2.6 trillion in assets is the largest UK bank and the 6th largest bank in the world by assets, was unexpectedly quitting and his departure would also lead to mass layoffs, with the bank set to fire 4,000 workers, or about 2% of its workforce.

And while today’s market massacre succeeded in sweeping the HSBC news under the rug, one can’t help but wonder: is HSBC, which has had almost as many run-ins with the law as one particular infamous German bank, going to be the next Deutsche Bank?

For the answer we went to one of our blogging friends who runs the Strategic Macro blog, and who conveniently took a look at some of the cockroaches in HSBC’s basement. What he found was troubling, especially in light of the ongoing turmoil in Hong Kong which at any given moment is just a few minutes away and a false flag provocation away from a Chinese invasion.

Courtesy of the Strategic Macro blog, we present:

HSBC’s exposure to Hong Kong real estate

So conventional wisdom is that post-Basel III the banks hold a lot of capital against loans and are run conservatively. And in a normalised market this is very true I think.

However when you are calculating LTVs and RWAs and PDs against bubble valuation levels, are they still appropriate? If you calculated it against replacement costs, the LTVs would go through the roof, and so would RWAs and the banks would be left with an CET tier 1 equity deficit to be covered by a rights issue. Any losses and higher RWAs on impaired loans would further cost equity.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China Is Extremely Angry, And They Now Consider The United States To Be Enemy #1

China Is Extremely Angry, And They Now Consider The United States To Be Enemy #1

Have relations between the United States and China finally reached the point of no return?  At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate how angry the Chinese are with the United States.  Chinese officials are firmly blaming the United States for the enormous political protests that we have witnessed in Hong Kong in recent weeks, and on Thursday President Trump slapped another round of tariffs on Chinese imports.  Sadly, most Americans aren’t even paying much attention to these developments, but over in China everyone is talking about these things.  And of course the truth is that they aren’t just talking – the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger toward the U.S., and they aren’t afraid to express it.

Let me give you a perfect example of what I am talking about.  One of the most highly respected news anchors in China, Kang Hui, actually used an expletive when referring to the United States during a news broadcast earlier this week.  Normally I would never have such language in one of my articles, but this comment made headlines all over the globe, and I think that it is very important for all of us to understand what the Chinese are saying about us.  So since this is a news item of critical importance, I have decided not to censor this quote at all.  The following comes from the New York Times

“They stir up more troubles and crave the whole world to be in chaos, acting like a shit-stirring stick,” Mr. Kang said on the usually stolid 7 p.m. national news program on CCTV, China’s state broadcaster. The expletive quickly became one of the most-searched-for phrases on Chinese social media.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“This Cannot Be Tolerated”: Beijing Hints It Could Send Troops Into Hong Kong If Protests Don’t Stop

“This Cannot Be Tolerated”: Beijing Hints It Could Send Troops Into Hong Kong If Protests Don’t Stop

A few days after another round of violent protests rocked Hong Kong, Beijing on Wednesday issued its harshest warning yet to the citizens of Hong Kong: It sought to remind them that Beijing has the authority to mobilize the People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong if it felt that the central government’s authority was threatened. 

The New York Times reports that the warning was part of the unveiling of the Communist Party’s new “defense strategy” which relied heavily on demonizing the western powers – an oblique reference to the US and the UK – for encouraging the protests.

Col. Wu Qian

Citing the Sunday protests, Senior Col. Wu Qian, a spokesman for China’s defense ministry, implied that the destructive behavior – protesters painted the central government’s liaison office with graffiti, the latest example of the extradition bill protests leading to the vandalism of government buildings – was swiftly straining the patience of Beijing.

“The behavior of some radical protesters challenges the central government’s authority, touching on the bottom line principle of ‘one country, two systems,'” Colonel Wu said during a news conference in Beijing where he laid out the government’s new strategy. “That absolutely cannot be tolerated.”

When pressed, Wu said that “Article 14 of the Garrison Law has clear stipulations,” and refused to elaborate, the SCMP reports.

Hong Kong’s government would need to request the garrison’s assistance, like it does during a natural disaster.

In response, a spokesman for the Hong Kong government said on Wednesday that the city was “fully capable” of dealing with its own affairs.

“There is no need to ask for assistance from the garrison,” he said.

Eric Chan Kwok-ki, director of the Chief Executive’s Office, dismissed Wu’s reference to the Garrison law, suggesting that it wasn’t a threat.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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