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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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World

Pink-coloured pigeon rescued in New York

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Pigeons come in a whole range of colours, but it seems pink isn’t one of them

That’s exactly what happened in New York though, where a bright-coloured bird was rescued.

Wildlife groups believe the pigeon was dyed as part of a gender reveal ceremony.

The feathery friend was suffering from malnutrition when it was found in Madison Square Park.

In a statement, the Wild Bird Fund says they should never be dyed because of risks like starvation and even death.

It went on to say the “poor bird has it bad enough unable to find food in the wild, fly well or escape predators.”

“But being a bright, unusual colour makes him even more of a target.”

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Iranian couple jailed for online dancing video

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An Iranian couple have been given jail sentences totalling 10 years after posting a video online.

 
The two individuals, both in their 20s, were charged for supposedly promoting corruption, prostitution and propaganda.

Authorities have been cracking down on public disobedience.

It follows the death of a woman who was detained by the country’s infamous morality police.

Mahsa Amini died in police custody in September last year, arrested for violating the rule requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab, or headscarf.

Anti-government protests swept across the country after the incident.

The two individuals in the dancing video were reportedly detained after posting the clip to their social media accounts – which have a combined following of more than two million people.

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World

Donald Trump claims deposition as “biggest witch hunt”

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Donald Trump has described the investigation into his company as the “biggest witch hunt” in the history of the United States during a formal deposition.

In September 2022, the New York Attorney General Letitia James, announced she would be looking into the Trump organisation’s business practices.

James alleges the former president “falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system”.

The lawsuit also takes aim at some of Trump’s children, and executives of his business.

During the deposition tape, Trump can be seen reading a lengthy statement.

During this, the former president asserts his constitutional right to not answer questions, while accusing James of investigating him out of political spite.

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