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    Monday, August 12, 2019

    Hong Kong Airport Ahut, Flights Cancelled

    All flights in and out of Hong Kong were cancelled on Monday after thousands of pro-democracy protesters flooded the city’s airport to denounce police violence.
    The abrupt shutdown at one of the world’s busiest hubs came as the Chinese government signalled its rising anger at the protesters, denouncing some of the violent demonstrations as “terrorism”.

    The developments marked yet another dramatic escalation in a 10-week crisis that had already become the biggest challenge to Chinese rule of Hong Kong since the 1997 British handover.
    A crowd of protesters that authorities said numbered more than 5,000 descended on Hong Kong airport on Monday carrying placards and chanting slogans denouncing police violence.
    Although other rallies had been held at the transport hub over the previous three days, the airport authority said Monday’s one had caused significant chaos.
    Many of the demonstrators at the airport on Monday wore eye patches or bandages in solidarity with the injured woman.

    “It is becoming more and more dangerous, but if we don’t still come out at this point, our future will become more frightening, and we will lose our freedoms,” said one 22-year-old protester who gave her family name as Chan.
    It was the 10th consecutive weekend that protesters had taken to the streets in a movement that began over opposition to a bill allowing extradition to mainland China.
    The protests have morphed into a broader bid to reverse a slide of democratic freedoms in the southern Chinese city.

    In Beijing, authorities slammed violent protesters who threw petrol bombs at police officers, linking them to “terrorism”.
    “Hong Kong’s radical demonstrators have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers, which already constitutes a serious violent crime, and also shows the first signs of terrorism emerging,” said Yang Guang, spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
    “This wantonly tramples on Hong Kong’s rule of law and social order.”

    The protests have infuriated Beijing, which has lashed out at the city’s carrier Cathay Pacific, imposing new regulations on the airline that ban staff sympathetic with the demonstrations from flying to or over the mainland.
    Cathay has found itself caught in the crossfire in the increasingly bitter standoff in the city, and warned staff on Monday that they could be fired if they participated or supported “illegal protests”.
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