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PHOTOS: Hong Kong police storm university held by protestersPolice breached a Hong Kong university campus held by protesters early Monday after an all-night siege that included firing repeated barrages of tear gas and water cannons. Anti-government protesters have barricaded themselves inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University for days.


11/18/2019 1:26:15 PM

PHOTOS: Deadly shooting at California football partyFour people were killed and six more wounded when “unknown suspects” sneaked into a backyard filled with people at a party in central California and fired into the crowd, police said.


11/18/2019 7:09:09 AM

Israel intercepts rocket fire from Syria, reportedly hits backIsrael's air defences intercepted four rockets fired from neighbouring Syria on Tuesday, the army said, prompting reported retaliatory missile strikes against the source of the fire. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rockets were fired from positions around the capital held by groups loyal to the Damascus government. It did not elaborate on which group had launched the rockets or whether there had been any casualties in the retaliatory strikes.


11/19/2019 3:18:36 AM

Volker to Testify He Was Unaware of Effort to Investigate Bidens, Withhold Military AidKurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine, will testify Tuesday that he was unaware of any direct link between military aid to Ukraine and investigations into Burisma and Hunter Biden, the New York Times reported Tuesday.Volker will add that he was unaware that U.S. ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland told the Ukrainians that aid was conditioned on the investigations, and that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was being pressed to appear on CNN and announce that he would open the investigations.During his closed-door deposition last month, Volker testified that he warned President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani that information regarding corruption allegations against Joe and Hunter Biden wasn’t credible, and that he advised Ukrainian officials to steer clear of U.S. politics to avoid the impression they were interfering in U.S. elections.Volker told House lawmakers in October that he was not aware of any Ukrainian investigations into Hunter Biden, and plans to counter other testimony that he was intimately involved in discussions around Biden’s time at Burisma. He is expected to tell lawmakers that he never made an explicit connection between Biden and an investigation into Burisma since he was familiar with the energy company through his work in Ukraine rather than within the context of domestic politics.The former Ukraine special envoy also will testify that he does not remember the July 10 White House meeting in the same manner of others, who have previously testified that former National Security Adviser John Bolton ended the meeting abruptly after objecting to what he referred to as the “drug deal” involving the withholding of military aid in exchange for politically beneficial Ukrainian investigations.The day after Volker’s October testimony, House Democrats released texts between Volker, Sondland, and Bill Taylor, which show discussions over investigations in the buildup to a potential Trump-Zelensky meeting at the White House.The morning of the July 25 call, Volker texted Andriy Yermak, a top Ukrainian aide, saying “Heard from the White House—assuming President Z convinces Trump he will investigate/‘get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.”


11/19/2019 7:18:40 AM

UPDATE 4-Yemen's Houthis say they will release seized ships if KoreanDUBAI/SEOUL, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement said on Tuesday it would release vessels it had captured if they prove to be South Korean, after it seized a rig being towed by a Saudi tugboat in the southern Red Sea. South Korea's foreign ministry said a Korean dredger had been seized on Sunday evening, along with a Korean tugboat and a Saudi tugboat. The Saudi-led coalition fighting against the Houthis said the seized vessels included a Korean drilling rig and the Saudi tug, the Rabigh 3, which was captured by armed Houthi fighters who attacked from two boats.


11/18/2019 11:34:55 AM

Spanish court says wanted Venezuelan spy still missingA Spanish National Court official confirmed Monday that a former Venezuelan spymaster accused of attempting to "flood" the United States with drugs remains missing since an order for his arrest pending extradition was issued this month. The official said the order for Maj. Gen. Hugo Carvajal’s arrest in Madrid was issued Nov. 8, after the court reversed an earlier ruling that rejected the U.S. extradition request for allegedly being politically motivated. Carvajal was for over a decade the eyes and ears in the military of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.


11/18/2019 9:15:09 AM

Buttigieg campaign criticized for using stock photo of Kenyan woman to promote plan to address US racismA Buttigieg campaign spokesman apologized for the use of the photo "and for the confusion it created," adding that the use of stock photos is "standard practice."


11/18/2019 4:21:42 PM

The New York Times report on China's mass detention of Muslims seems to have broken through Beijing's internet firewallThe Great Firewall may have been breached.Beijing doubled down Monday after The New York Times published a report on over 400 leaked documents that provided a look into China's mass detention of Muslims in the Xinjiang region, though the government didn't dispute the authenticity of the documents."It is precisely because of a series of preventative counterterrorism and de-extremism measures taken in a timely manner that Xinjiang, which had been deeply plagued by terrorism, has not had a violent terrorist incident for three years," said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Geng added that the Times took things out of context in an attempt to "smear and discredit China's antiterrorism and de-extremism capabilities."But aside from Geng's comments, the Times reports that Chinese state media said little else about the issue, which is not surprising given the sensitive nature of the issue. But there were signs that at least some aspects of the leak snuck past Beijing's internet firewall, which blocks access to the Times. One user on Chinese social media platform Weibo reportedly posted about Wang Yongzhi, an official cited in the report who initially helped implement China's harsh measure, but eventually ordered the release of more than 7,000 detention camp inmates before he was arrested. "History will not forget this person and this page of paper," the Weibo user wrote, indicating that the documents might have made their way through. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com The potential lie that could actually destroy Trump The coming death of just about every rock legend Everyone will eventually turn on Trump. Even Steve Doocy.


11/18/2019 2:07:00 PM

China signs defense agreement with South Korea as U.S. angers Seoul with demand for $5 billion troop paymentThe defense ministers of South Korea and China have agreed to develop their security ties to ensure stability in northeast Asia, the latest indication that Washington’s longstanding alliances in the region are fraying.


11/18/2019 6:54:03 PM

Hong Kong protesters attempt daring escape down ropes as police seal off universityDozens of Hong Kong protesters escaped a two-day police siege at a campus late Monday by shimmying down ropes from a bridge to awaiting motorbikes in a dramatic and perilous breakout that followed a renewed warning by Beijing of a possible intervention to end the crisis engulfing the city. Clashes rumbled throughout the day between protesters and police who had threatened to use deadly force to dislodge activists holed-up in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The university siege has become a battle of wills between Hong Kong's stretched police force and the constantly-innovating protest movement. Late Monday dozens of black-clad protesters used a rope to slither down several metres on to a motorway below where they were picked up by waiting motorbike riders. In an apparently co-ordinated effort, thousands of Hong Kongers streamed towards the Polytechnic University campus to break the siege, as clashes simultaneously raged with police nearby in Kowloon. It was not immediately clear how many protesters remained inside Polytechnic University. This was probably the most surreal thing I have ever witnessed in the Hong Kong protests. Protesters just attempted a daring escape through a bridge at Polytechnic University. Volunteers on motorbikes came in drives to drive them out asap. Police fired teargas. HongKongProtestspic.twitter.com/huhSo3Mxo9— Michael Zhang 張雨軒 (@YuxuanMichael) November 18, 2019 Demonstrators barricaded inside the university lit a fire at an entrance in efforts to deter police surrounding the campus, after officers stormed in early morning and made arrests. Protesters have continued to arm themselves with bows and arrows, petrol bombs and bricks.  Police have said that anyone leaving campus will be taken into custody, and urged all protesters still on campus to surrender peacefully.  “A university is supposed to be a breeding ground for young talents, but it has unfortunately become a battlefield for criminals and rioters,” said Kwok Ka-chuen, a police chief superintendent. “Hong Kong’s rule of law has been pushed to the brink of total collapse.” Police have described the Polytechnic campus as a “weapons factory,” saying they had received a report that several toxic and dangerous chemicals, including highly volatile explosives, had been stolen from a laboratory.  Police have been accused of using excessive force against protesters Credit: AFP “We must warn that the university campus has become a powder keg where danger is far beyond what we can estimate,” said Mr Kwok. As the university deadlock continues, former British foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind urged Hong Kong authorities to exercise restraint.  “A bloodbath on a Hong Kong campus would be devastating,” he said in a statement issued by Hong Kong Watch, a UK-based advocacy group. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam “has the responsibility to do everything possible to prevent a massacre.”  Protesters also appear to be facing down a timeline as supplies run out.  “Hong Kong police are creating a humanitarian crisis inside PolyU,” Ken Woo Kwok-wang, acting president of the student union, told a Hong Kong newspaper. “We are trapped. There is insufficient food and the number of injured is on the rise, and the hygiene situation is getting worse.” Protests have disrupted Hong Kong continuously for nearly six months. They first kicked off against a now-withdrawn extradition proposal, though sentiments have pivoted to target the police, who protesters accuse of brutality, and more broadly, China, over concerns that Communist Party rule is eroding freedoms in the former British colony. Demonstrators have called for a range of political and governance reforms, though Beijing has reiterated that it won’t give in to demands. There is “absolutely no room for compromise,” read a harshly-worded editorial in the People’s Daily newspaper, a Communist Party mouthpiece. Demonstrators set the entrance to PolyU ablaze Credit: Emilio Navas/SOPA/REX As clashes escalated significantly over the last week, forcing schools to shut, fears have grown that China may again call on military reinforcements to restore order, a move that would recall the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 when soldiers fired on peaceful student demonstrators.  Speculation mounted further after Chinese troops stationed in Hong Kong were spotted in the streets over the weekend cleaning up protest sites, an act authorities have said was voluntary. Hong Kong authorities said Monday it would stop enforcing an anti-mask ban after the city’s highest court ruled it unconstitutional. The order was first enacted in October, using an emergency regulations ordinance that gives Ms Lam sweeping authority, a move that could make it easier for police to identify protesters and make arrests.  On Wednesday, judges will hear arguments to decide whether further actions will be taken over the ban.  Some hospital services were unavailable on Monday as staff weren’t able to travel given transport and traffic disruptions due to the protests. Subway stations in some areas also remain closed after serious vandalism, including setting train cars ablaze. Skirmishes broke out in other neighbourhoods, leaving clouds of tear gas hanging in the air. In the neighbourhood of Mongkok, protesters formed a human chain by early evening, with some reportedly making petrol bombs on the street.  Since mass protests kicked off in early June, police have arrested nearly 4,500 people, aged 11 to 83, for unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons, arson, and taking part in a riots – a serious charge that carries a maximum of ten years in prison. About 150 of those arrests, of individuals aged 13 to 54, were made over the weekend. Additional reporting by Yiyin Zhong


11/18/2019 6:11:05 AM