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President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold press conference | USA TODAY



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Hong Kong Protester Sentenced To 9 Years In First Prosecution Under Security Law


HONG KONG (AP) — A pro-democracy protester was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison in the closely watched first prosecution under Hong Kong’s national security law as the ruling Communist Party tightens control over the territory.

Tong Ying-kit, 24, was convicted of inciting secession and terrorism for driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers at a July 1, 2020, rally. He carried a flag bearing the banned slogan, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times.”

President Xi Jinping’s government imposed the law on the former British colony last year following protests that erupted in mid-2019. Beijing has rolled back the territory’s Western-style civil liberties and tried to crush a pro-democracy movement by jailing activists. The public’s role in picking Hong Kong’s legislators has been reduced.

Critics accuse Beijing of violating the autonomy promised when Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 and wrecking its status as a global business center. Human rights activists say the security law is being abused to attack legitimate dissent.

Tong’s sentence was longer than the three years requested by the prosecution. He faced a possible maximum of life in prison.

Tong Ying-kit, 23, arrives at court on July 6, 2020.



Tong Ying-kit, 23, arrives at court on July 6, 2020.

Tong’s sentence is a “hammer blow to free speech” and shows the law is “a tool to instill terror” in government critics, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific regional director, Yamini Mishra, said in a statement.

The law “lacks any exemption for legitimate expression or protest,” Mishra said. “The judgment at no point considered Tong’s rights to freedom of expression and protest.”

The U.S. government, in a statement, criticized the “unjust outcome” of Tong’s trial and said the security law was used “as a political weapon to silence dissenting voices.” It said China is undermining rights guaranteed by Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, and by the 1984 Chinese-British Joint Declaration on the territory’s return.

It called on Beijing to “stop targeting individuals exercising their rights and freedoms.”

Chinese officials reject the criticism and say Beijing is restoring order and instituting security protections like those of other countries. More than 100 people have been arrested under the security law.

Defense lawyers said Tong’s penalty should be light because the court hadn’t found the attack was deliberate, no one was injured and the secession-related offense qualified as minor under the law.

Tong nodded but said nothing after Judge Esther Toh announced the sentence for a three-judge panel in the Hong Kong High Court. The former restaurant waiter wore a black shirt and tie with a blue blazer as he had throughout his trial.

As Tong was led out of the courtroom, spectators yelled, “We will wait for you!”

After the court adjourned, a spectator yelled to lead defense lawyer Clive Grossman, “Mr. Grossman, appeal!” Another lawyer, Lawrence Lau, said Tong expressed thanks to the Hong Kong public for their support.

The judges convicted Tong on Tuesday, ruling his actions were aimed at intimidating the government and public. It said carrying the flag was an act of incitement to secession, rejecting defense arguments that Tong couldn’t be proven to be inciting secession just by using the slogan.

Tong was sentenced to eight years for incitement to secession and 6 1/2 years for terrorism, with some time to be served concurrently for a total of nine years, said Toh, the judge.

Tong expressed remorse but that didn’t count toward reducing his sentence because he failed to plead guilty, the judges said in a written ruling. They said he had “good character” and no criminal record but due to the “serious offenses” those would not mitigate the penalty.

The sentence reflects “the abhorrence of society,” the ruling said.

In this July 1, 2020, file image made from video, motorcyclist Tong Ying-kit carries a flag reading "Liberate Hong Kong, Revo



In this July 1, 2020, file image made from video, motorcyclist Tong Ying-kit carries a flag reading “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times” during a protest in Hong Kong on the anniversary of its return to China.

Tong’s trial was conducted without a jury under rules that allow an exception to Hong Kong’s British-style common law system if state secrets need to be protected or foreign forces are involved. The judges were picked by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

The protests began over an extradition law proposed by Lam’s government and expanded to include other grievances and demands for more democracy. At their height, thousands of people held marches and rallies every weekend.

The last pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper, Apple Daily, shut down last month after journalists and executives were arrested. Its owner, Jimmy Lai, is serving a 20-month prison term and faces charges of colluding with foreigners to endanger national security.

Also last year, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council was rearranged to guarantee a majority to Beijing-allied figures. Rules for elected officials were tightened to require them to be deemed patriotic.

Last November, the remaining 15 pro-democracy legislators resigned after four were expelled for urging foreign governments to impose sanctions on China and Hong Kong over Beijing’s crackdown.

The United States stopped treating Hong Kong as a separate territory for trade, citing its reduced autonomy. Washington imposed travel and financial sanctions on leaders of China’s ceremonial legislature. Canada, Australia and other governments suspended extradition treaties with the territory due to the security law.

In December, 10 pro-democracy activists and protesters who tried to flee to Taiwan by speedboat were sentenced by a mainland court in the southern city of Shenzhen to prison terms ranging from seven months to three years.





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CM – Video Games – V15

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12 Stretches You Can Do at Home to Burn Fat



You don’t have to go through intense cardio workouts to get the body of your dreams. Try out 12 simple stretches you can do at home to burn fat quickly.

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Yoga for Weight Loss & Belly Fat, Complete Beginners Fat Burning Workout at Home, Exercise Routine



Yoga for Weight Loss & Belly Fat, Complete Beginners Fat Burning Workout at Home, Exercise Routine ♥ Our FREE Yoga App for Apple: …

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Floods Hit Rohingya Refugee Camps In Southern Bangladesh, Forcing Thousands To Flee


DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Days of heavy rainfall have pelted Rohingya refugee camps in southern Bangladesh, destroying dwellings and sending thousands of people to live with extended family or in communal shelters.

Just in the 24 hours to Wednesday alone, more than 30 centimeters (11.8 inches) of rain fell on the camps in Cox’s Bazar district hosting more than 800,000 Rohingya, the U.N. refugee agency said. That’s nearly half the average July rainfall in one day while more heavy downpours are expected in the next few days and the monsoon season stretches over the next three months.

“The situation is further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is currently a strict national lockdown in response to rising cases across the country,” the agency said.

Rohingya refugee children play in floodwaters at the Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh on Wednesday.



Rohingya refugee children play in floodwaters at the Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh on Wednesday.

The agency said it was saddened by the deaths of six people at the camps earlier this week, five in a landslide caused by the rains and a child swept away by floodwaters.

Citing initial reports, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said more than 12,000 refugees were affected by the heavy rainfall while an estimated 2,500 shelters have been damaged or destroyed. More than 5,000 refugees have temporarily been relocated to other family member’s shelters or communal facilities, the agency said in a statement.

Refugees said they were struggling to eat or drink properly.

“Due to the continuous rainfall for the last four days, today my house is full of water,” says Khatija Begum, who has five children. “We are not even able to eat.” Begum says she fears her children will drown and die in their sleep.

Cyclones, heavy monsoon rains, floods, landslides and other natural hazards are an annual difficulty in the camps. More than 700,000 Rohingya have lived in refugee camps in Bangladesh since August 2017, when the military in Buddhist-majority Myanmar began a harsh crackdown on the Muslim ethnic group following an attack by insurgents.

The crackdown included rapes, killings and the torching of thousands of homes, and was termed ethnic cleansing by global rights groups and the United Nations. While Bangladesh and Myanmar have sought to arrange repatriations, the Rohingya are too fearful to return home.

Refugees said they were struggling to eat or drink properly.  



Refugees said they were struggling to eat or drink properly.  

The International Organization for Migration says Cox’s Bazar district, where more than 1 million Rohingya refugees live, is one of the most disaster-prone parts of Bangladesh.

It is a delta nation crisscrossed by many rivers that gets intense rainfall regularly due to its monsoon climate and location on the Bay of Bengal, where the warm waters can generate destructive tropical cyclones.





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Joe Biden || Narendra Modi || USA News || Odisha || Odia Samachar || Today Breaking News in Odia ||



Joe Biden || Narendra Modi || USA News || Odisha || Odia Samachar || Today Breaking News in Odia || odia vidyalaya odia bidyalaya.

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Video Games – Music – V2

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Casimero Brings Training Camp to LA | TFC News California, USA



A week before Manny Pacquiao takes on Errol Spence, another Filipino world boxing champion looks to follow in his footsteps. #TFCNews Just like and follow …

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