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Hong Kong police make first arrests at Tiananmen Square vigils

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Hong Kong police have arrested a prominent barrister for allegedly promoting an unauthorised protest on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, as thousands of officers were deployed to enforce a ban on protests and gatherings across the city.

Hong Kong deployed 7,000 police to prevent protests, but human rights groups have continued to urge authorities to let residents express their views peacefully.

The operation includes dispatching some 3,000 officers near Victoria Park, the site of an annual vigil commemorating the 1989 incident.

While the police wouldn’t confirm the number of officers attending, a spokesperson says there will be enough police at the vigil.

“They will be enforcing the law quickly and decisively”.

Authorities arrested Hong Kong barrister and activist Chow Hang Tung, vice-chairwoman of the group which organises annual vigils for the victims of China’s 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Chow was arrested for promoting an unauthorised assembly

Discussion of Beijing’s brutal military crackdown on the evening of 3 June and morning of 4 June in 1989 is all but forbidden on the mainland.

Hong Kong’s traditional status as the only place in China where large-scale commemorations were tolerated appeared to be coming to an end.

Authorities banned this year’s gathering citing the coronavirus pandemic – although Hong Kong has not recorded an untraceable local transmission in more than a month, and has continued to hold large public events.

Police have also cited the national security law in warning people not to gather for unnamed events and reminded the public of the recent convictions of some activists.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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Gunfire, smoke and haze as thousands protests in Melbourne

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Thousands of anti-lockdown protesters have taken to the streets of Melbourne defying stay at home orders and a shutdown of the construction sector

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Melbourne to protest against a shutdown of the construction sector in the Australian state of Victoria.

Protesters defied public health directions imposed by the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Aerial vision has captured a steady stream of construction workers in high-vis sprawling across the busy freeway on the outskirts of the CBD in Docklands.

The workers were seen weaving in and out of large trucks and traffic, ignoring the honking of horns, while chanting “f— the jab”, lighting flares and flying Donald Trump 2020 and CFMEU flags.

By mid-afternoon protesters took to a busy Melbourne freeway to disrupt traffic, seeing thousands of vehicles suddenly at a standstill

Police moved in by the busload as protesters moved back down towards the CBD approximately two hours after the demonstrators took to the West Gate Bridge.

Some protesters were also seen climbing on top of a halted truck. VicRoads, the state’s governing road management authority, earlier urged drivers to “exit the freeway as soon as possible”.

The protests in Melbourne’s CBD earlier turned violent with some angry demonstrators throwing bottles and objects at police.

Earlier Live Twitter Feed:

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World leaders arrive in New York as the UNGA meeting gets underway

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World leaders have arrived in the Big Apple for high-stakes diplomacy talks at the United Nations General Assembly

US President Joe Biden along with Australian PM Scott Morrison have arrived in New York ahead of the United Nations General Assembly.

Morrison has made headlines in recent days after revealing Australia’s agreement with the AUKUS pact resulted in a $90 billion submarine deal with France to be ditched.

Speaking on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Mr Morrison was adamant that dropping the French submarine deal was the right thing to do for Australia, despite the diplomatic fallout with France and potentially Europe.

“It was always going to be a difficult decision,”

The PM said.

Mr Morrison again underlined that conventional submarines from the French were not in Australia’s strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific, because of rising Chinese military technologies and capabilities.

The PM remained hopeful that the decision to ditch French diesel-powered subs in favour of US nuclear submarines would not affect any trade agreements with the EU.

China’s ambitions in the South China Sea will be a hot topic at the UNGA meeting

Other issues on the Quad leaders’ agenda include coronavirus vaccines, climate change and critical technologies.”It sounds like a big agenda and it is.”

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Debate between US parties grow as Democrats suspend debt limit

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To prevent government shutdown, Democrats are attempting to raise the debt ceiling, but it doesn’t come without protest from Republicans.

Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi

In the United States, the Democrats are seeking to combine a short-term spending bill with the suspension of the debt limit.

This follows weeks of debate over how leaders should respond and ultimately prevent a government shutdown.

In a joint statement, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Chuck Schumer said they will suspend the debt limit until the end of 2022, as Pelosi dares Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to ditch the package.

“The American people expect our Republican colleagues to live up to their responsibilities and make good on the debts they proudly helped incur in the December 2020 ‘908’ COVID package that helped American families and small businesses reeling from the COVID crisis.”

Republicans adamant they will not contribute

In protest, McConnel remains certain that the Republicans will not side with the Democrats on the decision to increase the debt limit.

“The country must never default, the debt ceiling will need to be raised. But who does that depends on who the American people elect.”

Senate Minority leader mitch McConnel says.

Schumer says it is shameful that Republicans are even considering blocking the debt ceiling raise.

The reasoning behind the move

Democrats are reassuring that their decision to raise the debt limit does not authorise or allocate new federal spending.

Rather, their decision comes in a bid to borrow extra funding which will be used to cover pre-existing expenditures already approved by Congress.

This includes the bipartisan emergency COVID-relief legislation from December and payments to Social Security recipients and veterans.

Despite this, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is warning that under the current circumstances, the department will reach its borrowing capacity during October, with the results potentially devastating for the US economy.

“We would emerge from this crisis a permanently weaker nation,” Yellen wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published over the weekend.

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