More Protests Erupt In Hong Kong Following Outbreak, 300 People Arrested

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Over 300 people were arrested in #HongKong on Wednesday during demonstrations over national security legislation which would put the semi-autonomous city further under #Beijing’s boot. Protesters planned to gather at the city’s Legislative Council during a debate on a related law which would criminalize insulting China’s national anthem – though security forces stopped them before they could get that far.

Riot police fired pepper pellets to disperse crowds in the heart of the financial district and elsewhere, while groups of suspected protesters were gathered up and made to sit on sidewalks as their belongings were searched, according to Reuters. “Hong Kong independence, the only way out!” chanted protesters, along with “#LiberateHongKong! Revolution of our times” – which is exactly what CCP officials warned about while justifying the new laws which include provisions against secession, subversion and foreign interference.

One protester had a sign reading “one country, two systems is a lie.” A heavy police presence around the Legislative Council deterred protesters planning to disrupt the debate of a bill that would criminalise disrespect of the Chinese national anthem. The bill is expected to become law next month.

Angry over perceived threats to the semi-autonomous city’s freedoms, people of all ages took to the streets, some dressed in black, some wearing office clothes or school uniforms and some hiding their faces beneath open umbrellas in scenes reminiscent of the unrest that shook Hong Kong last year. -Reuters “Although you’re afraid inside your heart, you need to speak out,” said 29-year-old clerk ‘Chang’ who was dressed in black and packing a helmet respirator and goggles in her backpack.

Unveiled in Beijing last week, latest national security proposal includes legislation to combat secession, subversion and terrorism in Hong Kong, as well as Chinese intelligence agencies setting up shop on Hong Kong soil, according to the report.

“The Hong Kong police’s latest strategy is to engage earlier to stop people from gathering in the first place now to avoid repeating the situation from last June and July,” said 24-year-old social worker ‘Lee’ to Bloomberg, who was protesting in the city’s central Causeway Bay shopping district. “I think we are a bit lost over what the next action can be. But I am here to fight for the independence of Hong Kong, even though I know the chance is low. I will try my very best until the end.” On Thursday, China is set to pass a draft decision on the security legislation at the end of the National People’s Congress – the country’s annual meeting of their ‘rubber-stamp parliament, as Bloomberg puts it, which adds that details of the new laws could then be unveiled in the coming months. “Security laws only make sense in a democratic country,” said protester ‘Wong,’ who fears that Hong Kong will be “certified dead” if passed. “In Hong Kong and China, it will just be an excuse to crack down on dissidents.”

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COVID Reference

Six weeks after the third edition, the world has changed again.
The pandemic is raging in South America, particularly in Brazil,
Ecuador and Peru. SARS-CoV-2 is under control in China, but in
Iran it is not. And in Europe, where most countries have weathered
the first wave and open borders to save a compromised tourist season, is now wondering if and for how long this biological
drôle de guerre could last.

Science has moved ahead, too. We have seen a more complex
picture of COVID-19 and new clinical syndromes; the first data
from vaccine trials; first results from randomized controlled
drug studies; encouraging publications on monoclonal neutralizing antibodies and serological evidence about the number of people who have come into contact with SARS-CoV-2. Unfortunately, we have also seen the first science scandal with fake data published in highly ranked journals. And we face new challenges like long-term effects of COVID-19 and a Kawasaki-like inflammatory multisystem syndrome in children.

For quite some time, prevention will continue to be the primary
pillar of pandemic control. In future waves of the SARS-CoV-2
pandemic, we will focus on the conditions under which SARSCoV-
2 is best transmitted: crowded, closed (and noisy) places and
spaces. Although hospitals are not noisy, they are crowded and
closed, and the battle against the new coronavirus will be decided
at the very center of our healthcare system. Over the next
months and maybe years, one of all of our top priorities will be
to give all healthcare workers and patients perfect personal protective equipment.

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