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Hong Kong police probe organisers of Tiananmen vigil

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Authorities continue to crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong, as Beijing seeks to crush the city’s democracy movement.

A prominent pro-democracy group in Hong Kong is being investigated by national security police for alleged collusion with foreign forces.

Authorities are reportedly demanding information about the group’s membership, finances and activities.

The letters, according to Reuters, were sent to standing committee members of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

The letters accuse the alliance of being “an agent of foreign forces”

If the group doesn’t comply with the request – and fails to provide the information by the September 7 deadline – it could result in a HK$100,000 fine and six months jail.

Alliance vice-chairwoman Chow Hang Tung has told Reuters “it’s ridiculous that the police accused the alliance of being an agent of foreign forces”.

“It has nothing to do with any foreign agents nor has it received any instructions from foreign countries.”

Chow Hang Tung

The group recently laid off staff members, to try to ensure their safety.

Local media has also reported that the group, which has existed for more than 30 years, is headed for closure, due to this intensifying crackdown by authorities.

The investigation raises doubts about the future of the annual June 4 rally in Hong Kong, which was banned this year, with authorities citing coronavirus restrictions.

Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong

It’s been just over a year since a sweeping national security law was adopted, giving Beijing and local police broad powers.

According to critics, the law is being used to silence dissenting voices, and induce fear in the media and within the pro-democracy movement.

Dozens of pro-democracy figures have been arrested under the law, while independent media is also being suppressed.

Pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily shut down in June, which the UK’s foreign secretary described as a “chilling blow to freedom of expression in Hong Kong”.

Hong Kong’s largest teachers’ union, which was accused by Chinese state media breaching of breaching the national security law, recently announce it is disbanding.

The Professional Teachers’ Union cited “drastic changes in the social and political environment.”

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Big tech caught in political drama

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Nine Google employees were escorted out of company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, following a sit-in protest against a cloud contract with Israel’s government.

The protest in Sunnyvale targeted Thomas Kurian’s office, CEO of Google’s cloud division, while in New York, it occupied a common area on the tenth floor.

Videos showed Google security staff and local police involved in the removal. Four workers in New York and five in Sunnyvale were reportedly detained, but details of any charges remain unverified.

 

The protest aimed to pressure Google to drop a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract known as Project Nimbus, citing concerns about its involvement with the Israel Defense Forces.

The protesters included software engineers and activists from groups opposing tech contracts with Israel. This incident reflects ongoing activism within tech companies regarding political issues, such as Israel’s actions in Gaza.

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Antitrust concerns arise for streaming sports venture

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U.S. lawmakers Jerry Nadler and Joaquin Castro expressed competition concerns regarding the planned sports streaming joint venture involving Walt Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros Discovery.

They addressed these concerns in a letter to the CEOs of the media companies, questioning the impact on access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market.

Voicing apprehension about potential consumer price hikes and unfair licensing terms for sports leagues and distributors, they requested responses by April 30, urging the companies to also send their replies to the Department of Justice.

Despite the companies’ announcement in February of launching a joint sports streaming service in the autumn to attract younger viewers, the deal faces DOJ scrutiny and an antitrust lawsuit from FuboTV. While Disney and Warner Bros remained silent on the matter, Fox declined to comment.

The joint venture encompasses a broad range of professional and collegiate sports rights, including NFL, NBA, MLB, FIFA World Cup, and college competitions, offering non-exclusive access to sports networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and TNT via a new streaming app.

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Trump trial: will the jury selection impact the trial’s outcome?

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The Trump hush money trial has progressed with the selection of the first seven jurors, marking a significant step in the legal proceedings.

  • Seven jurors were selected

  • Defense and prosecution lawyers questioned potential jurors for impartiality

  • The judge warned lawyers he would not tolerate disruptions after he said Former US President Donald Trump audibly muttered during a prospective juror’s questioning

The selection of jurors is a crucial step in ensuring a fair trial, as they will ultimately decide Formers US President Donald Trump’s fate in this legal battle, as reported by Reuters.

The process of jury selection involves careful vetting of potential jurors to ensure impartiality and fairness.

Each juror’s background, beliefs, and potential biases are scrutinised to ensure they can render an impartial verdict based solely on the evidence presented in court.

With seven jurors already chosen, the selection process is expected to continue as both the prosecution and defence seek individuals who can objectively weigh the evidence.

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