From The Guardian

Hong Kong minister falls to the ground after being mobbed in London – video

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Hong Kong’s justice minister Teresa Cheng fell after being surrounded by furious protesters outside an event in London on Thursday night. The Chinese embassy in the UK said Cheng was pushed to the ground, but this is not clear in the footage. China has lodged a formal complaint with Britain and urged UK authorities to investigate

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'Mini Stonehenges': Hong Kong protesters take on police, one brick at a time

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Demonstrators devise tactic that slows the progress of charging police but also hampers other road users

Hong Kong protesters have alighted on a new way to counter the police, as the five-month old anti-government resistance grinds on and their tactics evolve further.

The latest strategy being deployed across the city involves protesters stacking bricks that resemble mini-temples across thoroughfares to function as roadblocks.

These mini stone henge road blocks being set up. A protester setting them up says they are to slow down water cannons and police vehicles. When hit by a wheel, the block on top falls and helps buttress the other two.

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Hong Kong: protesters lift highway blockade on proviso elections proceed

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Demonstrators say local elections must continue, amid fears of postponement to avoid losses for pro-China candidates

Protesters in Hong Kong have cleared part of a highway blocked by demonstrators since Monday as a gesture of goodwill, as political unrest paralysed the city for a fifth day in a row.

At a 3am press conference demonstrators at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, one of the main battlegrounds of the last week, said they would reopen the Tolo highway, a major traffic artery, outside of the school.

Related: Second death in Hong Kong protests as Xi Jinping demands end to violence

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Boris Johnson accused of running scared from public in Somerset

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PM cancels stop-off in Glastonbury after being heckled on visit to school

Boris Johnson has been accused of refusing to meet members of the public and running scared of protests during a visit to Somerset.

Johnson was in the south-west of England to try to bolster the campaigns of Tory colleagues against strong Liberal Democrat challenges. But in Taunton he was heckled by protesters as he visited a school and a planned stop-off at a bakery on the edge of Glastonbury was ditched.

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Burberry and Cathay Pacific profits dented by Hong Kong protests

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Retailer and airline report disappointing figures as anti-government rallies take toll

Two companies with substantial interests in Hong Kong have announced figures that underline the damage being inflicted on the economy by the continuing anti-government protests.

Burberry said its sales were down more than 10% and it had slashed £14m off the value of its 12 stores in the territory.

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UK ministers threaten sanctions on Hong Kong officials

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Minister says planned new legislation could be used in response to rights violations

Foreign Office ministers have for the first time threatened to use new sanctions laws against individuals in Hong Kong found guilty of human rights abuses during the government’s efforts to suppress street protests.

The threat, picked up on social media by Hong Kong protesters, was made in a letter from the minister for Asia and the Pacific, Heather Wheeler, setting out the government’s response to the crisis.

Related: Peace more distant than ever in Hong Kong as battle grips universities

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Añez assumes Bolivia's interim presidency as Morales flees – video

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The Bolivian senator Jeanine Añez declared herself the country’s interim president on Tuesday, swearing in to loud cheers and applause after the resignation of Evo Morales, who flew to Mexico under pressure from police and the army.

The move is expected to pave the way for fresh elections after a fiercely disputed election which the Organization of American States found was rigged in Morales's favour.

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Unrest at French universities after student sets himself alight over debts

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Union calls for nationwide demonstrations follow Anas K gesture on poverty

Demonstrations have taken place across French cities in solidarity with a 22-year-old who set himself alight to highlight student poverty.

Unrest erupted at universities after the undergraduate, named only as Anas K, set himself on fire in the city of Lyon on Friday to highlight his financial difficulties and protest at the education policies of Emmanuel Macron.

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Local party official shot dead by soldier in Lebanon protests

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First reported death after weeks of unrest could inflame an already tense stalemate

A local political party official has been shot dead by a soldier in southern Beirut, becoming the first casualty of Lebanon’s nearly month-long protest movement.

Lebanon said the killing occurred in the Khalde area on Tuesday evening when a soldier tried to disperse a crowd of protesters by firing warning shots, and hit the man. The soldier has been detained and an investigation is under way, the army said.

Related: Lebanese women demand new rights amid political turmoil

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Neighbours meet to plot path out of Chile crisis amid exasperation at elite

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Hundreds of town hall-style meetings – cabildos – are taking place to debate causes and solutions of the current unrest

In the dappled shade of Santiago’s Parque Almagro, hundreds of Chileans sat immersed in conversation, reflecting on the past, present and future of their country.

As strikes and protests continue across the country, tens of thousands of people have attended spontaneous town hall meetings to seek a way out of more than a month of sometimes violent political unrest.

Related: Chile protesters: 'We are subjugated by the rich. It's time for that to end'

Related: How Pinochet's economic model led to the current crisis engulfing Chile

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Portraits of Hong Kong's masked protesters – in pictures

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For many protesters in Hong Kong, identity is entwined with surveillance and their masks shield them from the dangers of government identification. Curious about the young demonstrators behind these masks, Associated Press photographer Felipe Dana set out to take portraits of them

Protesters in Hong Kong use masks, umbrellas and top-to-bottom black outfits not only protect themselves from physical threats such as the riot police’s teargas and rubber bullets, but also from the invisible dangers of government identification and tracking. By obscuring their faces, individuals melt into a sea of plastic canopies, anonymous and united in a shared distrust of the authorities.

A protester who identified herself as Morty poses for a portrait next to pieces of broken glass as a projector displays a photograph, previously taken during the unrest in Hong Kong

A protester who identified herself as Sonia

A protester who identified herself as Cindy

A protester who identified himself as Tom

A 14-year-old protester who identified herself as KC

A 24-year-old protester who identified herself as Kathy

A 24-year-old protester who identified herself as Josephine

A protester who identified himself as Jason

Wong Ho poses for a portrait next to a barricade

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The Guardian view on Hong Kong: policing the crisis | Editorial

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Brutal treatment of protesters and a government that will not listen have inflamed a dangerous situation

Hong Kong is unrecognisable. In less than six months a global financial centre known for its efficiency and pragmatism has become consumed by rage and violence. On Tuesday, as police stormed a university campus to arrest students, and their teargas and rubber bullets were met by petrol bombs, parts of the campus looked more like a conflict zone than a seat of learning.

The initial trigger for all this was the now-withdrawn extradition bill. But the government’s response, and in particular police brutality, has fired the protests. The latest escalation was sparked by the death of a student who fell from a building following police clashes with protesters last week. Most responded passionately but peacefully – with an estimated 100,000 gathering this weekend for a vigil. Others have ramped up their stance.

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Scott Morrison's crackdown on environmental protests – Full Story podcast

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Katharine Murphy and Ben Butler examine the prime minister’s threats to outlaw climate activists from influencing businesses

Read Katharine Murphy’s column, As he rails against activism, Scott Morrison is turning a bit sinister, a bit threatening.

Ben Butler has written about the reaction of large shareholders and business leaders to the government’s threats to outlaw secondary boycotts and shareholder activism.

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Alabama man says his slashing of Baby Trump balloon was 'good versus evil'

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  • Blimp was part of protest against president at NCAA game
  • Hoyt Deau Hutchinson defends his actions on talk radio

An Alabama man charged with criminal mischief in the slashing of a towering “Baby Trump” balloon at a college football game attended by the president last weekend has defended himself, saying it was a matter of “good versus evil”.

Related: Donald Trump Jr’s disastrous book launch may seem funny – but there’s a very dark side to the booing | Arwa Mahdawi

Related: Donald Trump plans to make foreign aid conditional on religious freedom

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French police clear Catalan independence protesters from border

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Pepper spray used against protesters blocking motorway between France and Spain

French police have used batons and pepper spray to clear Catalan independence activists who have been blocking the motorway between France and Spain in the hope of bringing the Spanish government to the negotiating table.

Gendarmes moved in on hundreds of protesters gathered around La Jonquera crossing early on Tuesday as officers from the Catalan regional force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, ordered the demonstrators to remove their vehicles and leave the area.

Despite the long sentences handed down by the supreme court on 14 October, some of the nine leaders convicted of sedition and misuse of public funds could soon be eligible to apply for “semi-liberty”, allowing them out of prison on a regular basis.

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The government is in authoritarian mode and now is not the time for complacency | Peter Lewis

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We can laugh away McCormack’s rants and Morrison’s raves, but the government that purports to stand for freedom is using the state to quell dissent

Deputy prime minister Michael McCormack’s attack on “raving inner-city lunatics” who believe in climate science may just seem a bit unhinged but it is part of a broader government strategy to quell political dissent that is hiding in full sight.

As fires burn across eastern Australia, the government is in textbook authoritarian mode, deliberately inflaming division and manufacturing outrage towards its critics in an attempt to divert from its own manifest failure to protect the regions.

Related: Essential poll: voters divided on PM's plan to crack down on environmental protests

Related: Coalition warned outlawing climate boycotts could breach constitution

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Essential poll: voters divided on PM's plan to crack down on environmental protests

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Approval ratings dip for both Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese in latest survey

Australians are divided about a controversial plan, telegraphed by Scott Morrison, to curb environmental activism against the resources sector – with the Guardian Essential sample split between support, opposition and indifference.

In the wake of the prime minister using a combative speech to the Queensland Resources Council to unload on “apocalyptic” progressivism and float potential curbs on activism, voters were asked whether they would support a change that could make consumer or environmental boycotts illegal in Australia.

Related: Coalition warned outlawing climate boycotts could breach constitution

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Related: Inside Market Forces, the small climate group Scott Morrison wants to put out of business

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Power vacuum looms as Evo Morales resignation splits Bolivia

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Morales claims he is victim of coup amid reports of looting, vandalism and arson

Bolivia has been plunged into chaos and uncertainty as a power vacuum looms amid reports of looting, vandalism and arson carried out by both supporters and opponents of Evo Morales, following his announcement on Sunday that he would resign as president.

Morales’ decision followed several quick-fire developments on Sunday, beginning with the release of a report by the Organisation of American States (OAS) that said it had found “clear manipulations” of the voting system in last month’s presidential election and could not verify the first-round victory for Morales. The president responded by saying he would call fresh elections but stepped down after the head of the army publicly called for him to leave his post.

Related: Raab criticises Corbyn over support for Bolivian leader

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Hong Kong protests: student shot and man set on fire during clashes – video

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A student was shot by Hong Kong police on Monday, the third time a demonstrator has been hit with live ammunition. Police used teargas, pepper spray and firearms at multiple locations as demonstrators blocked roads, lit fires and hurled missiles. 

Later in the day, a man was doused in a flammable liquid and set on fire after arguing with protesters. Both the student and the man were said to be in a critical condition.

Another clip appeared to show a police officer on a motorbike driving at protesters.

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Hong Kong protester shot by police amid citywide clashes

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Man in critical condition after officers fire teargas and pepper spray at demonstrators

Hong Kong police have shot at least one protester as anti-government demonstrators vandalised property and clashed with police in outbreaks of violence throughout the city.

In video captured by local media on Monday, a police officer struggling to subdue a protester fired three live rounds at demonstrators in Sai Wan Ho in north-eastern Hong Kong. One demonstrator, who did not appear to be armed, was shot at close range in the torso and crumpled to the ground. He appeared to be conscious and later attempted to run from police but was quickly caught.

Related: Hong Kong protests: student who fell from parking lot during demonstrations dies

(February 1, 2019) 

The unarmed young man shot in the abdomen is an alumnus of Salesian School on #HongKong Island, the high school I went to. Is this the proper way to handle a casualty who is likely to suffer from internal organ lacerations and crushed veins? #SaiWanHo #HongKongProtests #FreedomHK

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