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Pro-China supporter set on fire amid chaos in HK

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Hong Kong Airport Protests

Hong Kong, Nov 11 (IANS) Amid the ongoing chaos in Hong Kong, a pro-China supporter was doused with flammable liquid and set alight on Monday, hours after a protester was shot at by police.

According to the police, the incident on a footbridge in the city’s Ma On Shan area took place due to a dispute, the South China Morning Post reported.

A video making rounds on social media shows the man assaulted and sprayed with an unknown solution.

As he walks away he shouts, “you are not Chinese”. A crowd responds, “we are Hongkongers”. He returns after someone hurls abuses at him and a dispute ensues.

The man is then doused with flammable liquid and set alight.

A police source said that the man has been taken to Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin for treatment. He has second degree burns on 28 per cent of his body, mainly on his chest and arms.

On Monday morning, a policeman has shot a protester as demonstrators tried to block a junction at Sai Wan Ho on the north-east of the island. Police confirmed that one officer “discharged his service revolver” and that a man was shot.

The officer fired twice more, but there were no injuries.

After the shooting, footage showed the 21-year old protester lying with his eyes wide open and with blood around him.

He has undergone surgery and remains in a critical condition, a Hospital Authority spokesman told the BBC.

This was the third time a police officer shot someone with live rounds since the Hong Kong protests began in June.

The first incident was during protests on October 1 when China was celebrating 70 years of communist rule. The second case was a teenage boy shot in the leg on October 4.

Meanwhile, police also fired rubber bullets and tear gas in others parts of Hong Kong.

At one point, tear gas was fired in the central business district – a rare occurrence during working hours on a weekday.

While most protests have taken place on weekends, protesters called for a general strike – that is, all workers not to work – on Monday.

Several universities have cancelled their classes for the day.

At some metro stations, activists jammed trains and prevented doors from closing.

Many roads were blocked by makeshift barricades erected by black-clad men who came and went quickly. Various metro stations were closed while train services were delayed.

The latest violence comes after after the death of a 22-year-old university student Alex Chow Tsz-lok on Friday.

He fell from height in a car park on November 3 and suffered serious brain injuries under circumstances that are still unclear.

The Hong Kong protests, which have been drawing massive crowds since June following a contentious proposed extradition law, have mutated into a movement that seeks to improve the democratic mechanisms that govern the city and safeguard the region’s partial autonomy from Beijing.

However, some demonstrators have opted for more radical tactics than peaceful civil disobedience and violent clashes with the police have been frequent.

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Chinese mainland reports 49 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

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Coronavirus

BEIJING, Aug. 10 : Chinese health authority said Monday that it received reports of 49 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland Sunday, including 35 imported cases and 14 locally-transmitted ones.

All the 14 locally-transmitted cases were reported in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.

One new suspected COVID-19 case, which was imported from outside the mainland, was reported in Shanghai Municipality.

No deaths related to the disease were reported Sunday.

A total of 64 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovery on Sunday, the commission said.

By the end of Sunday, a total of 2,169 imported cases had been reported on the mainland. Of them, 2,037 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, and 132 remained hospitalized, with one in serious condition. No deaths from the imported cases had been reported.

As of Sunday, the overall confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland had reached 84,668, including 802 patients who were still being treated, with 41 in severe conditions.

Altogether 79,232 people had been discharged after recovery, and 4,634 had died of the disease on the mainland, the commission said.

There were still seven suspected COVID-19 cases, it added.

According to the commission, 2,305 close contacts were discharged from medical observation on Sunday, and there were 24,055 close contacts still under medical observation.

Also on Sunday, 31 new asymptomatic cases, including 24 from outside the mainland, were reported, and three asymptomatic cases were re-categorized as confirmed ones.

The commission said 283 asymptomatic cases, including 136 from outside the mainland, were still under medical observation.

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Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under new national security law

Leading pro-democracy figure detained over alleged foreign collusion as police search Apple Daily offices

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Jimmy Lai

Hong Kong, Aug 10 : Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai was arrested on Monday “for collusion with a foreign country” under the new national security law imposed in the city by Beijing, a media report said.

Sources told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) newspaper that Lai’s two sons, and senior executives from the tabloid-style Apple Daily were also arrested in the sweeping police operation.

“He was arrested for collusion with a foreign country, uttering seditious words and conspiracy to defraud,” one of the sources told the SCMP.

Lai’s top aide, Mark Simon, who is not in the city, was also being sought by Hong Kong police, according to the source, who would not say what offence the latter was accused of committing.

The source said the city’s opposition activists were not likely to be targeted in Monday’s operation.

Meanwhiel, another source told the SCMP that of Lai’s two sons was arrested on suspicion of collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security, and the other was detained for conspiracy to defraud, according to another source.

The four others included Apple Daily’s CEO Cheung Kim-hung, and Chow Tat-kuen, its chief financial officer.

Chow was also arrested for collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security, while Cheung was arrested for conspiracy to defraud.

Police said the operation was continuing and so far arrested they had arrested at least seven people aged 39-72.

“They are suspected to be involved in offences including collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security and conspiracy to defraud,” the force said.

“The operation is ongoing and we do not rule out more arrests.”

Lai’s arrest came two weeks after the new police unit took its first action against anti-government activists, not directly related to street protests, said the SCMP newspaper report.

On July 29, four students, aged from 16 to 21, were taken into custody on suspicion of secession under the new legislation which is aimed at punishing acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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Russian jet intercepts US reconnaissance plane over Black Sea

The crew of the Russian fighter identified the targets as a US Air Force strategic reconnaissance aircraft and a US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane

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Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet

MOSCOW, August 7 : A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet was scrambled to intercept a US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane and a US Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Black Sea, Russia’s National Defense Control Center reported on Friday.

On August 7, the Russian airspace control systems detected two air targets over the neutral waters of the Black Sea approaching Russia’s state border. A Su-27 fighter from the Southern Military District’s air defense quick reaction alert forces was scrambled to intercept the targets, the Center said.

“The crew of the Russian fighter consistently approached the air targets at a safe distance and identified them as a US Air Force strategic reconnaissance aircraft and a US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane,” it said.

No violations of the Russian state border by the US spy planes were allowed, the National Defense Control Center stressed.

“After the US reconnaissance planes moved away from Russia’s state border, the Russian fighter safely returned to its home airfield,” the Center said.

The entire flight of the Russian Su-27 fighter proceeded in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace, it stressed.

This is the eighth such incident over the past 16 days. The previous incidents took place on July 23, 24, 27, 30 and 31 and August 4 and 5. In particular, a Russian Su-27 fighter plane was scrambled on August 5 to intercept a US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane and a US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane over the Black Sea.

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