Iranian State Television Reports Seizure of Oil Tanker

Iranian state television said Thursday forces from the country’s Revolutionary Guard seized a foreign tanker accused of smuggling oil.

The report said the vessel was intercepted Sunday in a section of the Strait of Hormuz south of Iran’s Larak Island with 12 crew members on board.

It said the tanker was involved in smuggling one million liters of fuel, but did not give details about its country of origin.

The seizure comes after the Panamanian-flagged tanker MT Riah, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, disappeared from ship tracking maps in Iranian territorial waters on July 14.

The Revolutionary Guard said it received a distress call from the vessel, which was “later seized with the order from the court as we found out that it was smuggling fuel,” a report said. It said Iranian smugglers intended to transport the fuel to foreign customers.

The seizure comes amid heightened U.S.-Iran tensions, which began to escalate when President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from a 2015 deal with Iran and world powers last year and imposed stiff sanctions on Iran, including on its oil exports.

Iran has recently exceeded uranium production and enrichment limits in violation of the agreement in an effort to pressure Europe to offer more favorable terms to allow it to sell its crude oil abroad.

The U.S. has also deployed thousands of additional troops, nuclear-capable bombers and fighter jets to the Middle East.

Veiled attacks on oil tankers and Iran’s downing of a U.S. military surveillance drone have further fueled concerns of a military conflict in the Persian Gulf region.

An unnamed U.S. defense official told Associated Press earlier this week the U.S. “has suspicions” Iran seized the tanker MT Riah when it turned off its tracker.


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India Reschedules Launch of Lunar Probe for Next Week

India’s space agency says it will make a second attempt to launch an unmanned probe to the Moon’s south pole next Monday, July 22.

The launch of the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft will take place exactly one week after its first attempt was aborted less than an hour before liftoff due to a “technical snag” on the giant Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark Three rocket.

FILE – Indian Space Research Organization scientists work on various modules of lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 at ISRO Satellite Integration and Test Establishment (ISITE) in Bengaluru, India, June 12, 2019.

Chandrayaan, the Sanskrit word for “moon craft,” is designed for a soft landing on the far side of the moon and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous Indian space mission.  

If the $140 million mission is successful, India will become just the fourth nation to pull off a soft landing of a spacecraft on the lunar surface, after the United States — which is observing the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission this week — Russia and China.


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Venezuelan Migrants Vulnerable to Exploitation, Abuse

A survey by the International Organization for Migration finds Venezuelan migrants and refugees are at high risk of exploitation and abuse.  More than 4,600 people were surveyed in five Caribbean and Central American countries between July and December 2018.

The survey provides a snapshot of the hardships encountered by a fraction of the four million people who have fled Venezuela’s political and economic crisis over the past few years.   

One in five Venezuelans interviewed said they were forced to work under dire conditions without pay or were held against their will until they paid off a debt they incurred while escaping from Venezuela.  

Rosilyn Borland is an IOM senior regional migrant protection and assistance specialist based in Costa Rica.  On a telephone line from the Costa Rican capital, San Jose, she tells VOA both men and women fall victim to traffickers who force them into abusive situations.

FILE – A Venezuelan migrant rests outside the Ecuadorean migrations office at the Rumichaca International Bridge, in the border between Tulcan, Ecuador, and Ipiales, Colombia on August 20, 2018.

“It is good to remember that these criminal networks, they focus on the vulnerabilities,” she said.  “So, those can be linked to your gender or they can be linked to other things.  So, often we see trafficking and exploitation of women linked to gender-based violence and inequalities that women face.  But also, men who are searching for a way to support their families… may also find themselves in situations of vulnerability.” 

Borland says many migrants and refugees face discrimination while in transit or in destination countries.  She says massive flows of people often bring out the worst tendencies in host communities.  

“Part of our reasons for asking these questions has to do with fighting against xenophobia and things that, unfortunately, sometimes happen when communities are hosting large numbers of people.  It is difficult.  It is a strain,” she said. 

Borland says it is important to regularize migrants in the host countries.   She says allowing migrants to work legally brings them out of the shadows so they can fight for their rights.  She says having legal status would make them less vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.  






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Bulgaria Detains Cybersecurity Employee in Tax Data Hacking

Bulgarian police have detained a suspect who is allegedly behind the hacking of the national revenue agency, an attack that leaked the personal and financial data of millions of Bulgarians and companies.

Police cybersecurity chief Yavor Kolev said Wednesday a 20-year-old Bulgarian employee of a cybersecurity company is suspected in the hacking.

The leak is the biggest in the Balkan nation so far. Local media say the details of some 5 million of the country’s 7 million people were stolen.

Kolev said the investigation is still ongoing and other people could have been involved.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said the well-educated suspect was trying to prove his computer skills. Borissov added the suspect was a credit to Bulgaria’s education system but he should have been working for the state instead of causing harm.

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Man Who Rammed People by UK Parliament Guilty of Murder Bid

A driver whose car collided with several people before crashing outside Britain’s Parliament has been convicted of attempted murder.

Three people were injured when Salih Khater hit a pedestrian and cyclists before colliding with a security barrier guarded by police. The August 2018 incident came a year after London was hit by several deadly vehicle attacks, including one outside Parliament.

Khater, a 30-year-old British citizen originally from Sudan, claimed he was looking for the Sudanese embassy to get a visa, got lost and panicked.
But prosecutor Alison Morgan said it was a “premeditated and deliberate” attack. She said Khater’s reason for the attack was unclear but the choice of target indicated a “terrorist motive.”

Jurors at London’s Central Criminal Court on Wednesday found Khater guilty. He will be sentenced in October.


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Dodging a Bullet This Time: Louisianans Worry Another Katrina Would Doom Them

The ever-so-brief Hurricane Barry spared the southern U.S. city of New Orleans and the Louisiana coast of devastating floods. But with the 2019 hurricane season underway, a sense of anxiety has once again overcome a community that fears it will only be a matter of time before a storm as lethal as Hurricane Katrina tests its limits again. On the bayou, one fishing community worries for the future of their profession, while residents of New Orleans’ most vulnerable neighborhoods say the city’s infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle another crisis. VOA’s Ramon Taylor reports.


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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Had Thousands Working Behind Scenes

It took 400,000 people to put Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon a half-century ago.

That massive workforce stretched across the U.S. and included engineers, scientists, mechanics, technicians, pilots, divers, seamstresses, secretaries and more who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to achieve those first lunar footsteps .

Some of them will be taking part in festivities this week to mark the 50th anniversary

A brief look at four:

Amid the sea of white shirts, black ties and pocket protectors inside NASA’s firing room for the liftoff of Apollo 11 sat JoAnn Morgan.

July 16, 1969 was her prime-time debut as the first female launch controller. It wasn’t easy getting there.

Morgan, 78, who began working for NASA in 1958 while in college, typically got the overnight shift before launches. She’d be replaced by a male colleague a few hours before showtime.
“The rub came on being there at liftoff,” she recalled.
And there was the taunting. She’d get obscene phone calls at her desk at Kennedy Space Center and lewd remarks in the elevator.

The situation was even more strained next door at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The old launch-pad blockhouses there had a single restroom _ for men. So Morgan found herself dashing to a nearby building for a women’s restroom, just as portrayed in “Hidden Figures,” the 2016 hit movie.

I was there. I wasn't going anywhere. I had a real passion for it,'' Morgan said.Finally, 99 percent of them accepted that `JoAnn’s here and we’re stuck with her.’ “
As Apollo 11 loomed, Morgan’s boss went to the top to get her on liftoff duty. By then, the harassment had pretty much stopped.

While NASA’s countdown clocks ticked toward a 9:32 a.m. launch, Morgan monitored ground instrumentation, everything from fire and lightning detectors to guidance computer data. When the official firing room photo was later taken _ showing Morgan with her left hand raised to her chin _ she was listening to Vice President Spiro Agnew address the team after the launch.

With Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins on their way, her job was done, at least for Apollo 11. Morgan and her husband Larry, a high school band director, slipped away on vacation and watched the July 20 moon landing on a hotel TV. As they toasted the first lunar footsteps, he told her, “Honey, you’re going to be in the history books.”

Morgan went on to become Kennedy’s first female senior executive. Retired since 2003, she splits her time between Florida and Montana, and encourages young women to study engineering.

Tedd Olkowski was on emergency standby for the launch countdown of Apollo 11.

His job was to help Collins _ should the unlikely need arise before liftoff _ escape from the Saturn V rocket, descend 32 stories in a high-speed elevator and then slide down a 200-foot (61-meter) tube into a bunker deep beneath the pad.

Armstrong and Aldrin had their own guardian angels, according to Olkowski, space center workers who, like himself, had volunteered for the potentially dangerous assignment.

NASA figured the astronauts, impeded by their cumbersome white spacesuits, could use extra help getting from a burning, leaking or even exploding rocket, all the way down to the so-called rubber room.

The rubber-padded, shock-absorbing room led to a domed, blast-proof chamber 40 feet (12 meters) under Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. The dungeon had strap-in chairs, two-way radio and enough food to ride out a cataclysmic event. There was a similar setup under Pad 39B. Neither bunker was ever needed and later abandoned.

Olkowski’s regular job was working with the pad’s closed-circuit TV system. He was a skinny 24-year-old from Cocoa Beach, but stood 6-foot-3 (1.9 meters) and jumped at the chance to be on an emergency team since he was already out there keeping tabs on the cameras.

With an hour remaining in the countdown, the pad was evacuated by everyone except the Apollo 11 crew. Olkowski joined other workers a safe three miles (5 kilometers) away and watched the world’s biggest rocket thunder away on humanity’s first moon landing.
“Even though we weren’t considered major players in it, we were just there to help the astronauts if they needed help, yeah, I mean it was exciting, especially now when I look back,” he said.

Soon afterward, Olkowski quit his job to go to college, then spent a career with General Telephone and Electronics Corp. Now 74 and retired, he lives in League City, Texas, next door to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Olkowski got a chance to meet up with Collins a decade or so ago.

I said, `Mike, I know you don't remember me. It was a long, long time ago ...'
You might say Spencer Gardner was NASA flight director Gene Kranz’s right-hand man for Apollo 11.

As Mission Control’s flight activities officer in Houston, Gardner occupied the console to the right of Kranz, just across the aisle. Barely 26, Gardner was one of the youngest flight controllers on duty when the Eagle lunar lander settled onto the Sea of Tranquility with Armstrong and Aldrin on July 20, 1969.

His job was to stay on top of the astronauts’ timeline. What if, for instance, the moon landing had to be aborted? Everything downstream would need to change. So Gardner constantly was thinking ahead, considering how best to rejuggle the flight plan if necessary.

Looking back, Gardner wishes he’d savored the moment of touchdown more. But he had a job to do and there was no time for reflection.

After the Eagle landed and his shift ended, Gardner went to a friend’s home, where everyone gathered around a black-and-white TV that night to watch Armstrong’s “small step” and mankind’s giant leap.

Gardner wasn’t on duty for the July 24 splashdown. But he went to Mission Control anyway, joining the flag-waving, cigar-smoking crowd as Apollo 11’s astounding voyage came to an end in the Pacific.

Gardner ended up working five more Apollo missions and also attended night law school. He left NASA in 1974 and became an assistant district attorney, then joined a law firm. He still practices law in Houston at age 76.

This is, to use the `Hamilton' expression, the room where it happened,'' he said inside the newly restored Apollo-era Mission Control last month.Other than the lunar module and the command module, you couldn’t get any closer to it than this. We were in the room when it happened, and the sense of completion, I guess, struck me later. We had done what President Kennedy had asked us to do.”

Navy frogman Clancy Hatleberg was the first to welcome Apollo 11’s moonmen back to Earth.

His mission on July 24, 1969, was to decontaminate Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins and their command module, Columbia, immediately after splashdown in the Pacific.

The astronauts needed to be quarantined. Otherwise, who knows what moon germs might escape.

It may seem silly now, but the possibility of lunar bugs was “a really serious concern” back then, according to Hatleberg, who was 25 at the time and fresh from an underwater demolition team rotation in Vietnam.

Hatleberg was one of four frogmen on the recovery team who jumped into the ocean from a helicopter. The others secured the capsule, then moved upwind in a raft. That’s when Hatleberg moved in, carrying disinfectant.

Covered in a protective garment, Hatleberg momentarily opened Columbia’s hatch to toss in a bag with three of the outfits. Once the astronauts had the gray garments on, they emerged from the capsule one by one onto a waiting raft.

The first spaceman out offered his hand to shake. Hatleberg paused _ shaking hands was not part of the NASA protocol that he’d practiced. He recalled thinking, “I was the last person who could screw the whole thing up.”

Hatleberg shook hands anyway.
Once the astronauts were wiped down by Hatleberg with a potent bleach solution, they were lifted into a helicopter and flown to the USS Hornet, where their quarantine mobile home awaited them along with President Richard Nixon.
Hatleberg scoured Columbia before it, too, was transported to the aircraft carrier. He cleaned the raft and the flotation collar that had been around the spacecraft, then punctured them and watched them sink with his own decontaminated garment, any moon bugs swallowed by the sea.

There were so many other people whose jobs were more important than mine,'' Hatleberg said. Looking back, he's still in awe at what the Apollo astronauts accomplished.They were the ones who risked their lives to take that giant leap for all mankind. They’re the heroes and they always will be _ in my heart.”  
Hatleberg _ who at 75 is working again as an engineer in Laurel, Maryland _ said he always thought Aldrin was the first one he helped from the capsule. That is until a year or so ago, he said, when a Hornet curator pulled out old footage and zoomed in on the name tag.

It read Armstrong.



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US-South Korea Drills Could Impact Nuclear Talks, Says North

North Korea has criticized U.S. plans to hold a joint military exercise next month with South Korea, suggesting the drills could negatively impact upcoming working-level nuclear talks with Washington.

In a statement from the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said the exercise violates an agreement reached last year by Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

FILE – U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un sign documents at the end of their summit in Singapore, June 12, 2018.

“We will look at the future moves of the United States, and we will make a decision regarding the holding of working-level talks,” said the statement attributed to an unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

The U.S. and North Korea agreed to hold working-level talks following a hastily arranged meeting last month between Trump and Kim at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas.

That meeting helped restart talks that had broken down over disagreements on how to pace sanctions relief with steps to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

At their first summit in Singapore last June, Trump and Kim agreed to work “toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” But neither side can agree on what that phrase means or how to begin working toward it.

In Singapore, Trump also agreed to scale back U.S. military exercises with South Korea. But North Korea still regularly complains about the smaller exercises.

The exercise scheduled for next month is called “Dong Maeng,” or “alliance” in English. The drill will replace the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise that was scaled back as part of the Trump-Kim talks.

FILE – South Korean army soldiers aim their weapons during an anti-terror drill as part of Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise, at Sadang Subway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 19, 2015.

A statement earlier in the day from the North’s foreign ministry suggested that if the U.S. goes ahead with the exercises, Pyongyang could resume intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear tests.

“Our decision to suspend nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests or the U.S. decision to suspend joint military drills was a pledge to improve bilateral relations, not some kind of legislated document carved on paper,” the statement said, according to a translation by South Korea’s official Yonhap news agency.

The statement said the drills would be a “clear violation of the basic spirit” of the declaration signed by Kim and Trump in Singapore.

North Korea views U.S.-South Korea military exercises as preparation to invade. U.S. officials have called the drills necessary to deter North Korean attacks. Trump often dismisses the exercises as “war games” and says they are a waste of money.

Trump last month became the first sitting U.S. president to visit North Korea, when he briefly stepped across the military demarcation line at the Panmunjom truce village in the DMZ.

FILE – U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019.

White House officials have portrayed that meeting as historic and an example of Trump’s successful outreach to Kim. Many observers say it risks becoming a stunt, unless accompanied by progress in working-level talks.

In an interview Monday with Fox News, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the DMZ meeting “has given us another chance to sit down” with North Korean officials and “have another conversation.”

FILE – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unveils the creation of Commission on Unalienable Rights, headed by Mary Ann Glendon, left, a Harvard Law School professor, in Washington, July 8, 2019.

“I hope the North Koreans will come to the table with ideas that they didn’t have the first time. We hope we can be a little more creative too,” said Pompeo, who on June 30th said he hoped the working-level talks could resume in two to three weeks.

Trump and other U.S. officials have at times said they will not relax sanctions until North Korea gives up all its nuclear weapons. At other times, White House officials signal they are open to a more gradual approach.

A State Department spokesperson last week said the U.S. wants a freeze in North Korea’s nuclear program at the start of the process, but dismissed a report in The New York Times suggesting the U.S. was moving towards tacitly accepting North Korea as a nuclear state.

In his Monday interview, Pompeo said Trump’s “mission hasn’t changed: to fully and finally denuclearize North Korea in a way that we can verify.”

Kim wants substantial U.S. sanctions relief in exchange for partial steps to give up his nuclear program. In Hanoi, he offered to dismantle what is thought to be his main nuclear complex in Yongbyon in exchange for the removal of nearly all sanctions.

FILE – U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take a walk after their first meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel, in Hanoi, Vietnam, Feb. 28, 2019.

The North Korean leader has said he will give the U.S. until the end of the year to become more accommodating. U.S. officials have shrugged off the deadline.

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Trump Abortion Restrictions Effective Immediately

Taxpayer-funded family planning clinics must stop referring women for abortions immediately, the Trump administration said Monday, declaring it will begin enforcing a new regulation hailed by religious conservatives and denounced by medical organizations and women’s rights groups.

The head of a national umbrella group representing the clinics said the administration is following “an ideological agenda” that could disrupt basic health care for many low-income women.

Ahead of a planned conference Tuesday with the clinics, the Health and Human Services Department formally notified them that it will begin enforcing the ban on abortion referrals, along with a requirement that clinics maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortions. Another requirement that both kinds of facilities cannot be under the same roof would take effect next year.

The rule is widely seen as a blow against Planned Parenthood, which provides taxpayer-funded family planning and basic health care to low-income women, as well as abortions that must be paid for separately. The organization is a mainstay of the federally funded family planning program and it has threatened to quit over the issue.

Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen said in a statement that “our doors are still open” as her organization and other groups seek to overturn the regulations in federal court. “We will not stop fighting for all those across the country in need of essential care,” Wen said.

HHS said no judicial orders currently prevent it from enforcing the rule while the litigation proceeds.

Clare Coleman, president of the umbrella group National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said “the administration’s actions show its intent is to further an ideological agenda.”

Abortion opponents welcomed the administration’s move. “Ending the connection between abortion and family planning is a victory for common-sense health care,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, said in a statement.

Known as Title X, the family-planning program serves about 4 million women annually through independent clinics, many operated by Planned Parenthood affiliates, which serve about 40 percent of all clients. The program provides about $260 million a year in grants to clinics.

The family planning rule is part of a series of Trump administration efforts to remake government policy on reproductive health.

Other regulations tangled up in court would allow employers to opt out of offering free birth control to women workers on the basis of religious or moral objections, and grant health care professionals wider leeway to opt out of procedures that offend their religious or moral scruples.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman.

Under the administration’s rule, clinic staff would still be permitted to discuss abortion with clients, along with other options. However, that would no longer be required.

The American Medical Association is among the professional groups opposed to the administration’s policy, saying it could affect low-income women’s access to basic medical care, including birth control, cancer screenings and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. By law, the family planning program does not pay for abortions.

Religious conservatives see the regulation as a means to end what they call an indirect taxpayer subsidy of abortion providers.

Although abortion remains politically divisive, the U.S. abortion rate has dropped significantly, from about 29 per 1,000 women of reproductive age in 1980 to about 15 in 2014. Better contraception, fewer unintended pregnancies and state restrictions may have played a role, according to a recent scientific report. Polls show most Americans do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion.

The Trump administration’s policy echoes a Reagan-era regulation that barred clinics from even discussing abortion with women. It never went into effect as written, although the Supreme Court ruled it was appropriate.

The policy was rescinded under President Bill Clinton, and a new rule took effect requiring “nondirective” counseling to include a full range of options for women. The Trump administration is now rolling back the Clinton requirement.  


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Codebreaker Alan Turing To Be Face of New British Banknote

Codebreaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing has been chosen as the face of Britain’s new 50 pound note, the Bank of England announced Monday.

Governor Mark Carney said Turing, who did ground-breaking work on computers and artificial intelligence, was “a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

During World War II Turing worked at the secret Bletchley Park code-breaking center, where he helped crack Nazi Germany’s secret codes by creating the Turing bombe,'' a forerunner of modern computers. He also developed theTuring Test” to measure artificial intelligence.

After the war he was prosecuted for homosexuality, which was then illegal, and forcibly treated with female hormones. He died at age 41 in 1954 after eating an apple laced with cyanide.

Turing received a posthumous apology from the British government in 2009, and a royal pardon in 2013.

The U.K’s highest-denomination note is the last to be redesigned and switched from paper to more secure and durable polymer. The redesigned 10 pound and 20 pound notes feature author Jane Austen and artist J.M.W. Turner.

The Turing banknote will enter circulation in 2021. It includes a photo of the scientist, mathematical formulae and technical drawings, and a quote from Turing: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

Former lawmaker John Leech, who led the campaign for a pardon, said he was “absolutely delighted” by the choice.

“I hope it will go some way to acknowledging his unprecedented contribution to society and science,” he said.

 “But more importantly I hope it will serve as a stark and rightfully painful reminder of what we lost in Turing, and what we risk when we allow that kind of hateful ideology to win.”


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Zuma Testifies at Corruption Probe

Former South African president Joseph Zuma is testifying at a judicial inquiry into corruption allegations against him during his time in office.

He told the panel Monday there is a conspiracy against him and that there is “a drive to remove me from the scene, a wish that I should disappear . . .”

The ex-South African leader said he has “been vilified” and has been a victim of “character assassination over 20 years.”

Raymond Zondo, the lead judge in the probe, said, “The commission is not mandated to prove any case against anybody, but is mandated to investigate and inquire into certain allegations.”  

Zuma was forced to resign from office last year by his African National Congress after being implicated in numerous corruption scandals, including using some $20 million in public funds for improvements at his private estate.







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Police Used Batons, Pepper Spray Against Protesters in Hong Kong

Anti-government protesters who fought running battles with police inside a Hong Kong shopping center were “rioters,” city’s pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam said Monday.

Lam supported the actions of police force, saying that police and prosecutors will press charges following investigations.
Police used batons and pepper spray to disperse thousands of protesters who again took to the streets of a Hong Kong suburb Sunday to demand the complete withdrawal of a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China, as well as Lam’s resignation.

The protest in Sha Tin was peaceful through most of the day, but scuffles broke out between police and the demonstrators as the day came to an end. Some protesters ran into a luxurious shopping complex where the scuffles continued.

Riot police try to disperse protesters inside a mall in Sha Tin District in Hong Kong, July 14, 2019.

Riot police continued to use pepper spray and batons to clear protesters from the mall while demonstrators were seen using umbrellas and other make-shift weapons to fight police.

Protesters have begun taking their marches to farther-flung areas of Hong Kong in an effort to reach the wider population. Sha Tin is located in the New Territories close to the border with mainland China, and is popular with mainland visitors.

Organizers said 110,000 protesters took part, while police put the

Hong Kong has been the site of demonstrations for weeks.

The protests began because of the controversial extradition bill that would have allowed the extradition of Hong Kong criminal suspects to mainland China and other countries.

After several weeks of controversy and large, angry street protests, Lam said in June that the extradition bill is “dead.”

But the protests have continued. Some are demanding Lam’s resignation, others an investigation into complaints of police violence and some called for genuine elections.

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