AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1613716 times)

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Pew: 91% Democrats see violence next in war of words
« Reply #13455 on: July 20, 2019, 06:23:13 AM »
After a week that saw President Trump and his foes toss toxic words at each other, there is now a warning that the next phase could be “violence.”

Nearly 8 of 10 Americans told the Pew Research Center that supporters for both sides could “act” on the politically charged rhetoric with violence. It was higher for Democrats, 91%, than Republicans, 61%.

And they want politicians to cool it.

“Americans broadly agree that elected officials should avoid using heated language because it could encourage violence. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say this, while just a quarter believe that elected officials 'Should be able to use heated language to express themselves without worrying about whether some people may act on what they say,'” warned the center.

“While majorities in both parties say officials should avoid heated language, this view is more widely held among Democrats (83%) than Republicans (61%),” it added.

Trump is cited by a majority for stirring up the situation, but, like anything “Washington” today, there is partisan division.

Said Pew, “Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents overwhelmingly (84%) say Trump has changed political discourse for the worse. About half of Republicans and Republican leaners (49%) say he has changed it for the better, while 23% say he has changed it for the worse and 27% say he hasn’t changed it much either way.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/pew-91-democrats-see-violence-next-in-war-of-words
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We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984.
« Reply #13456 on: July 20, 2019, 06:30:05 AM »


The fury of the crowd chanting "Send her back!" — send Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), an American citizen, back to her birthplace in Somalia, that is — at President Trump's rally in North Carolina on Wednesday resembled nothing so much as the "Two Minutes Hate" of George Orwell's 1984.

Instead of a video of the enemies of the regime, Trump provided a live denunciation to get the hatred flowing. The substitution was no impediment to his audience's response in ritualized resentment.

"A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current," Orwell said of his fictional mob. That description is — I hope — as-yet hyperbolic to apply to Trump's crowd, though the president's behavior has observers left and right alike worried he will incite violence against Omar or the American Muslim community more broadly. But Orwell's next sentence is already apt: The "rage that one felt" during the Two Minutes Hate, he wrote, "was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp." The anger of Trump loyalists is similarly supple, constantly redirected from one target to another, each one cast as an enemy of "real America," which coincidentally looks just like them.

I was not the only one to see Orwell in the rally shouts. So what I find noteworthy is not my reaction, but that this is the dystopia that so widely came to mind. 1984 is classic, of course, but wasn't our descent into tyranny supposed to come from the pages of Brave New World? Weren't we on track to prove Aldous Huxley the more prescient prophet of our coming oppression?

That was the case famously made by media critic and educator Neil Postman in his masterwork, Amusing Ourselves to Death. "Contrary to common belief even among the educated," Postman explained, "Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity, and history."

Huxley's tale of domination invited by a passive populace, obsessed with entertainment and apathetic toward reality, certainly has its currency. Social media and the fake news it disseminates have given new urgency to his warning, in Postman's phrase, that "we would become a trivial culture" in which "the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance."

But "Send her back!" isn't Huxley. It's Orwell. It's not the lulling, consumerist tyranny of Brave New World. Though too fleeting to fully incarnate the institutional violence of 1984 — Trump will be on to a new target as soon as his mosquito attention span demands fresh blood — it's an unmistakable shift in that direction.

And "Send her back!" is hardly the only sign we should give Orwell's caution heed anew. The authoritarian populism which fueled Trump's rise to power; state surveillance capabilities that remained the stuff of science fiction when 1984 was published; "alternative facts" as the Trumpian take on doublethink; the president's "enemy of the people" designation for all but the most fawning members of the press; his memory hole denial of saying things he is recorded saying; newly coercive enforcement of immigration policy in the form of ICE raids, family separations, and border camps — all these are Orwell, not Huxley. They are not a dreamy drift into the pain-free totalitarianism of Huxley's World State. They have the more brutal edge of Orwell's Oceania.

"When the year came and the prophecy didn't," Postman wrote of 1984, "thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares." Not so long ago I would have agreed with Postman's proposal that we celebrated too soon because Huxley's horror was the more significant threat all along. But now I'd say we were twice in error.

I don't want to exaggerate here: Donald Trump is not Big Brother, and we are not living in 1984. Furthermore, the movement I see from Huxley's future toward Orwell's — or perhaps it would be more accurate to say the movement toward a chimera of the two, with Huxley for the relatively privileged and Orwell for those who run afoul of power, whatever that looks like — is larger than Trump alone. This "authoritarian moment" so many diverse voices have identified predated Trump and shows every sign of persisting past his presidency.

Orwell has much to say about that moment, about the political shift Trump both rides and runs. The Two Minutes Hate for Omar is but the most vivid reminder that the hard dystopia remains as much a risk as the soft.

https://theweek.com/articles/853549/no-longer-brave-new-world-back-1984
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Pampers Creating ‘Smart’ Diaper
« Reply #13457 on: July 20, 2019, 06:46:02 AM »
 It’s come to this: There’s about to be an app for your baby’s diaper.

Pampers this week announced a line of smart diapers that it says will track a child’s urine — but not bowel movements — as well as sleep. Last year, rival Huggies debuted a similar concept in Korea, allowing parents to receive text alerts when a child has pooped.

The Lumi by Pampers line, which Pampers says has a waitlist ahead of its US launch this fall, includes an activity sensor that secures to a “landing” on the front of a baby’s diaper. It comes with a baby monitor and a 10-day supply of diapers. The sensor works with a corresponding app to log the kid’s pee and identify patterns. Additional packs of Lumi by Pamper diapers will be sold separately. Pricing has not been finalized.

The concept is part of the so-called Internet-of-Things movement, which allows consumers to track everything from who’s ringing their doorbell to what’s in their refrigerator and how well they’re brushing your teeth. The baby industry has recently been flooded with connected products, including connected onesies that double as sleep trackers and a robotic crib that’s supposed to help rock a baby to sleep.

Many pediatricians tell parents to keep track of how often they’re going to the bathroom, especially in those first few months after birth.

But parents don’t, strictly speaking, need an app to tell them when their baby has peed thanks to obvious ways to check — the baby’s cries, of course, and one can simply feel to see how wet the diaper is. And some diapers also offer lower-tech solutions: Pampers’ existing “Swaddler” line of diapers, for instance, feature a blue line that appears on the diaper when it’s wet.

Parents using the Lumi diapers will in theory not have to worry about checking any of that because they’ll get smartphone alerts. The app will display one of three diaper statuses: dry, wet, very wet.

“Parents didn’t ask for a poo or pee alarm; they wanted something more like the smart watches of today,” a Pampers spokesperson told CNN Business. “The activity sensor tracks baby’s sleep and since it’s there on the diaper, it can also track … if a diaper is wet.”

Like other connected products, smart diapers could have issues with security and privacy. Baby monitors can be susceptible to hackers, and any app that holds personal information could potentially expose that information either to hackers or to the app’s maker or its partners.

A Pampers spokesperson said the account information will include a baby’s name, gender, date of birth and a 24-hour archive of video from the monitor, plus a profile photo if the parents choose to use one.

“I do want to re-iterate that we take privacy and security very seriously,” the spokesperson said.” Only Lumi by Pampers account holders with their valid credentials will be able to access their baby’s data on the Lumi app.”

Experts say the concept could be helpful to some parents but that there are some tradeoffs.

“Undoubtedly, for those parents who are concerned about their newborn’s bathroom functions — to inform something like constipation or if a kid is hydrated enough when they’re sick — this data could be very useful over brief periods,” said David Anderson, senior director at the Child Mind Institute. “Not to mention that it may even be useful for potty-training parents.”

In addition, the sleep tracking feature could be especially helpful for parents who are sleep training their baby.

“But there’s that trade-off that happens with data and anxiety,” he said. “There may be behavior that is completely within an acceptable range, but an anxious parent is likely to find any deviations from reliable norms a cause for concern. So while data is generally good, we’re likely to see an increase in calls to pediatricians.”

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, president of the International Society for Infant Studies, agreed. “The more we have analytics on babies, the more we worry that it actually matters we’ve calculated this,” she said. “That creates a frenetic feeling when you’re a parent.”

For example, Hirsh-Pasek said a child might urinate more on a hot day because her water intake increased and a parent seeing only a change in pattern on an app might only see something that looked abnormal, and not the harmless reason for it.

Smart diapers could also make babies less self-reliant, she added. Children will sometimes tug at their diapers, for instance, an early form of communicating that it’s time for a change.

“We see this a lot with potty training — kids needs to learn how to control and recognize what’s happening to their body,” she said. “We don’t want our kids to grow up without knowing how to do this. Babies have a right to cry and let us know what’s going on.”

Hirsh-Pasek said she believes parents should focus on mastering how to understand their babies without the help of technology.

“I’m sure there will be even more digital products to analyze babies in the future, but the best thing you can do is cuddle, build a relationship and look in their eyes and see what they are trying to tell us — not what we are trying to tell them,” she said.

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2019/07/19/pampers-creating-smart-diaper/
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Subway Service Is Suspended on Several Lines, M.T.A. Says - New York city
« Reply #13458 on: July 20, 2019, 07:07:57 AM »
Subway passengers were left stranded and broiling on train platforms for more than an hour on Friday night on the first day of a heat wave as several lines in New York City were suspended in both directions.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority attributed the disruption to a “network communications” issue, and said on Twitter just before 6 p.m. the Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 lines and the Times Square shuttle were all affected.

About 90 minutes later, it was reporting that service was slowly being restored. But by that point, passengers and politicians alike had been fuming over the abrupt interruption in service during the evening rush.

The failure, critics said, underscored the problems affecting an aging, troubled mass transit system. The widespread disruption was the second major infrastructure failure in the city in a week. A blackout last Saturday had cut power to the subways, forcing passengers to be evacuated.

At a news conference on Friday night, Andy Byford, president of New York City Transit, an arm of the M.T.A. that runs the subway and buses, said the root cause of the failure was not immediately clear.

“Our rail control center could not see where trains were on the numbered lines,” he said. “It was the servers that had failed such that the signals could not be seen.”

New York City officials were calling for answers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter: “This kind of meltdown during a heat wave is UNACCEPTABLE. The MTA owes every single New Yorker an explanation for this. We’ve known about this dangerous weather for DAYS. There’s no excuse for why they aren’t prepared.”

“This is completely unacceptable @MTA. Service is suspended and platforms are boiling. New York cannot function like this,” the city comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, said on Twitter.

Mr. Byford did not respond directly to the criticism.

“I’m frustrated as well,” he said. “This could not have happened at a worse time. It was the height of the evening peak.”

Tim Minton, the M.T.A.’s communications director, said in a statement that “for safety reasons, trains were required to maintain their positions at the time of the interruption, and some of those trains were in between stations when that occurred.”

He said service was starting to be restored at 7:16 p.m., with substantial residual delays. Power for lighting and air-conditioning remained on during the disruption, Mr. Minton said. Officials said they did not believe the failure was heat- or power-related.

Danny Pearlstein, director of policy and communications for the Riders Alliance, said in a statement that breakdowns like the one on Friday would become more common until a modern signal system was installed.

“Tonight, the subway’s 1930s-era signals melted down as hundreds of thousands of transit riders waited in dangerous, sweltering heat,” the statement said. “The M.T.A. has made critical strides by speeding up trains to cut delays but only modern signals will deliver the reliable subway system New Yorkers need.”

On social media and in interviews, passengers described oppressively hot conditions while waiting for trains on platforms.

Maxine Wally, 29, a journalist for Women’s Wear Daily, said it took two and a half hours to go from Grand Central Station to her sister’s house in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn.

She said she waited 40 minutes for a No. 5 train at Borough Hall that was stuck inside the station before switching to a crowded bus.

“One guy got onto the bus and he was saying he was going to pass out from the heat,” Ms. Wally said. “He was cursing at people to move in. A fight almost broke out on the bus. It was madness — a real New York moment.”

Trevona Brown and her friend paused in a busy area at the 14th Street-Union Square station where the police had blocked off stairs to the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 trains with yellow tape.

A harried M.T.A. worker wearing an orange vest and a white towel around his neck raised his hands, trying to direct people to alternate options, but Ms. Brown was looking for suggestions from her phone instead.

“I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on,” she said, explaining that she was trying to get to SoHo. “I don’t really take the train much,” she said. “This is why.”

At Times Square, an M.T.A. employee in an orange vest guarded the 1-2-3 line and stopped passengers from taking the stairs. “No train, no train,” she shouted.

Kirk Polius, 28, was trying to get to his home in the Bronx from the Upper East Side neighborhood. He ended up at Times Square.

“I moved here almost two years ago from Houston and this is the most frustrating part of living here,” he said of the disruptions. “The transportation is never reliable. You either get stuck somewhere and have to transfer or you’re just sitting and waiting and waiting and waiting without any idea of what’s going on.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/19/nyregion/subway-service-suspended-mta.html
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Gov. Evers declares state of emergency, fires at electric substations
« Reply #13459 on: July 20, 2019, 07:29:21 AM »
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has declared a state of emergency for the City of Madison and Dane County following fires at two electric substations.

An executive order issued by Evers says the declaration was issued to "provide support during the large power outage that is exacerbated by the extreme heat wave affecting the area."

Earlier Friday, Evers ordered all non-essential state employees to go home after many state office buildings lost power.

"We are grateful that no one has been injured as a result of the explosion and fires this morning," Evers said in a statement.

Evers says he has directed all state agencies to provide assistance and has authorized the National Guard to assist local authorities if needed.
 
https://www.channel3000.com/news/gov-evers-declares-state-of-emergency-authorizes-national-guard-help-following-downtown-fires/1097278675
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 08:50:23 AM by knarf »
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t's dangerously hot across much of the country this weekend -- so hot, in fact, that police in Braintree, Massachusetts, are imploring would-be criminals to hold off on illegal activity until Monday.

The Braintree Police Department asked the community to put a pin in crime until the heat wave passes in a Facebook post Friday.
"It is straight up hot as soccer balls out there," the department wrote in the post, which has racked up more than 106,000 shares since Friday.

Yes, a police department really used the phrase "hot as soccer balls."
The department confirmed to CNN Saturday that the post is, indeed, legit.
The heat is criminal enough. The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning for parts of the eastern United States, including Braintree in eastern Massachusetts.
While temperatures in the area could reach 102 degrees, it'll likely feel even worse: The heat index, or the more accurate temperature your body feels when air temperature and humidity are both factored in, could be as high as 115 degrees, the weather service said.
That's simply too hot for lawbreaking, Braintree police said.
Committing a crime in this sort of weather is "next level henchmen status," the department said, not to mention dangerous to the offender's health.
In the post, the department suggested everyone wait out the heat wave indoors and suspend the illegal stuff until things cool down.
"Stay home, blast the AC, binge Stranger Things season 3, play with the face app, practice karate in your basement," police said. "We will all meet again on Monday when it's cooler."
The message is signed, "The PoPo."
In a postscript, the police pleaded with people not to spoil the plot of the Netflix series' new episodes. According to the post, Braintree police are just finishing up the second season of "Stranger Things."

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/20/us/police-department-heat-wave-stop-crime-trnd/index.html
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Border Patrol has stored enough fentanyl to kill 794M, own agents at risk
« Reply #13461 on: July 21, 2019, 05:24:54 AM »


U.S. Customs and Border Protection has stored enough fentanyl in the past year to kill an estimated 794 million people, and now a government watchdog office is warning that the agency is "unnecessarily jeopardizing the lives" of its own agents by not sufficiently protecting them from accidental exposure to the lethal synthetic opioid.

In a report released Friday, the Homeland Security Department's Inspector General said the amount of fentanyl seized by agents and stored in vaults has skyrocketed -- from 70 pounds in 2015 to 3,500 pounds so far in this budget year. A single 2 milligram dose of fentanyl (there are 453,592 milligrams in a pound) is lethal for most people, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

In some cases, the powerful drug can sit in a vault for years while the government prosecutes its case.

But when officials inspected several of the 62 vaults around the country operated by CBP, they found cases in which agents handling the powerful narcotic didn't have access to naloxone, the drug that reverses the effects of an overdose. In other cases, inspectors found that the naloxone was locked away in boxes and agents couldn't remember the code.

Naloxone is also known by its brand name Narcan.

"With the recent rise in fentanyl seizures, CBP staff now routinely handle fentanyl more than ever," according to the IG report. "However, without easy access to naloxone in case of exposure, CBP is unnecessarily jeopardizing the lives, health, and safety of its staff."

It was unclear if any CBP personnel were harmed by the fentanyl in the agency's custody.

In a response letter, CBP said it concurred with the findings and promised that by the end of September all its vaults storing fentanyl will have Narcan kits and that its agents will be trained in how to use them.

CBP said it has trained more than 4,500 officers in how to recognize the signs of an overdose, deployed 3,300 dual-use Narcan kits in the field and outfitted its storage vaults with safety equipment such as gloves, masks and Tyvek suits.

Fentanyl may be mixed with other drugs and present in powder, tablet or liquid form, according to the IG. It is 80-100 times stronger than morphine and 30-50 times more potent than heroin. The drug can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

"Just touching fentanyl or accidentally inhaling the substance during enforcement activity or field testing the substance can result in absorption through the skin and that is one of the biggest dangers with fentanyl. The onset of adverse health effects, such as disorientation, coughing, sedation, respiratory distress or cardiac arrest is very rapid and profound, usually occurring within minutes of exposure," the DEA said in a 2016 release.

"Canine units are particularly at risk of immediate death from inhaling fentanyl. In August 2015, law enforcement officers in New Jersey doing a narcotics field test on a substance that later turned out to be a mix of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, were exposed to the mixture and experienced dizziness, shortness of breath and respiratory problems."

The DEA says that handling samples should be done in a well-ventilated area and that gloves should be worn at minimum.

Deaths from fentanyl in the United States climbed more than 1,000 percent from 2011 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of fatalities was relatively stable in 2011 and 2012, with roughly 1,600 deaths each of those years, but it began to increase in 2013, reaching just over 1,900 deaths.

Then the death rate doubled each year, skyrocketing to 18,335 overdoses in 2016, the CDC stated.

https://abc7chicago.com/border-patrol-has-stored-enough-fentanyl-to-kill-794m-own-agents-at-risk-watchdog/5407603/
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Panama becomes first Central American nation to ban plastic bags
« Reply #13462 on: July 21, 2019, 05:56:02 AM »
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - Panama on Saturday became the first Central American nation to ban single-use plastic bags to try to curb pollution on its beaches and help tackle what the United Nations has identified as one of the world’s biggest environmental challenges.

The isthmus nation of roughly 4 million people joined more than 60 other countries that have totally or partially banned single-use plastic bags, or introduced taxes to dissuade their use, including Chile and Colombia in the region.

Supermarkets, pharmacies and retailers in Panama must stop using traditional polyethylene plastic bags immediately, while wholesale stores will have until 2020 to conform to the policy approved in 2018. Fines can be applied for non-compliance but there are exceptions for the use of plastic bags for sanitary reasons, such as with raw food.

On the streets of Panama City, signs with the phrase “less bags, more life” reminded passersby that the measure had gone into effect.

“This seems like a good measure because you avoid continuing to pollute the streets and the community,” said Victoria Gomez, a 42-year-old secretary in downtown Panama City.

Birds, turtles, seals, whales and fish often become entangled or ingest the remnants of plastic bags in Latin America, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Along Panama’s coast, it is common to see plastic waste littering beaches, especially near populated areas.

Given projected growth in consumption, without new anti-pollution policies oceans are expected by 2050 to contain more plastics than fish by weight, according to the New Plastics Economy report published by Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2016. The report also found that the entire plastics industry will consume 20% of total oil production by then.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-panama-plastic/panama-becomes-first-central-american-nation-to-ban-plastic-bags-idUSKCN1UF0M5?utm_source=reddit.com
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 ‘Everyone is welcome. Everyone is needed’: Greta Thunberg photographed in her home city, Stockholm, March 2019.

The climate activist answers questions from famous supporters and Observer readers, with an introduction by Ali Smith

Greta Thunberg. This time last year she was unimaginable. Then, pretty much from nowhere, there she was: small and slight, a girl just turned 16, the way-too-young odd person out on a panel of adults sitting in front of the world’s economic powers at Davos last January. Unshowy and serious, careful, firm, she said it. Our house is on fire.

The ancient Greeks had a word for this: parrhesiastes. It means a person who speaks truth to power: you should not be behaving in this way. Don’t. More specifically it suggests someone in whom directness of expression and access to truth coincide; and it means someone of very little power who’s risking everything – because they can’t not, there’s no option – to speak ethical truth to powers so entrenched that they’re close to tyrannical, because telling this truth is about moral law. “Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular know exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue to make unimaginable amounts of money, and I think many of you here today,” she said to the World Economic Forum conference, “belong to that group of people.”

Thunberg is Swedish; she was born in 2003 and lives in Stockholm with her younger sister Beata, her mother, a singer, and her father, an actor. There’s a picture of the family somewhere online taken when she was much younger; her mother and father are smiling broad old-fashioned smiles at the camera – doing what you do when you have your photo taken. Both the children, only waist- and knee-high, regard the lens with utter seriousness and inquiry. At eight years old, Greta Thunberg heard about climate change. She wondered why no one was doing anything to stop it. At 11 she stopped speaking, in protest; now she sees that “selective mutism” as the first step to understanding the power and necessity of speaking at all.

She was 15 when she began taking days off her education to sit in front of the Riksdag in Stockholm, declaring she’d do this till Sweden reduced carbon emissions in line with the Paris agreement. She gave out leaflets: “I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.” She made a couple of speeches internationally that tapped into a profound unspoken understanding in young people; in just six months, nearly one and a half million children across the world were schoolstriking for action on climate change. Her Instagram post on these strikes reads: “Time is much shorter than we think. Failure means disaster. The grown-ups have failed us. And since most of them, including the press and the politicians, keep ignoring the situation, we must take action into our own hands. Starting today. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is needed. Please join in.”

Earlier this month Opec declared Thunberg, and with her the other young climate activists, the “greatest threat” to the fossil fuel industry. Thunberg tweeted them her thanks. “Our biggest compliment yet.” Hers is a voice totally unlike the world’s usual power-cacophony: clean, simple, inclusive, the voice of someone refusing to beguile. She talks ethics to politics without flinching. She cuts through the media white noise and political rabble-rousing to get to the essentials. This is a communal voice and Thunberg is its lightning conductor, and no wonder: when you hear her speak or you read her speeches you know you’re in the presence of the opposite of cynicism – of a spirit, in fact, that rebuffs cynicism and knows that the way we act, every single one of us, has transformatory impact and consequence. “The real power belongs to the people.”

This voice lets us know we’re in disavowal, and that we’d better wake up. Then it tells us, clear as anything, how to do this.

Questions from famous fans

Maisie Williams

Actor

What can people reading this do today to make an impact?
A great start is to inform yourself. To read and try to understand the problem. It is very depressing but absolutely necessary. Once you fully realise the situation then you will know what to do. And then spread that information to others. Then there are lots of things you can do in your everyday life. Going vegan, stop flying and have shop-stop for instance. Of course we need a system change. But I believe that you cannot have system change without individual change. In today’s debate climate, a lot of people will not listen to you unless you practise as you preach and live by example. And we need everyone to listen. So making some personal changes is very much worth it.

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Leader of the Labour party

How will young people today have to live and work differently in the future because of climate change?
In the global north the immediate differences may not be very striking. But we need to rapidly remove all fossil fuels from our everyday life and leave them in the ground. This is what most politicians do not seem to understand. Lowering emissions is not enough. In the global south, however, people already are very much affected. There is an ongoing catastrophe in many parts of the world. And this is already affecting hundreds of millions. There will of course be lots of benefits to changing to a green economy. But we must remember that this is above all an emergency – not primarily an opportunity to create new green economic growth. We need a whole new way of thinking.

Jameela Jamil

Actor and campaigner

How can we most effectively and efficiently support you and your amazing work? (PS: Thank you for your efforts, you’re the most inspiring person.)
Activism seems to be working. So I would encourage people to become activists. And if you have a big platform, then highlight the crisis and communicate the information. There will be general, global climate strikes on 20 and 27 September. We need everyone to participate in these. Even adults and unions and so on. And of course we do this every Friday. Everyone is welcome to join.
Simon Armitage
Simon Armitage

Poet laureate

Environmentally speaking, what has been humankind’s most catastrophic invention?
I don’t think there is one singular worst invention. It is all of them combined with our current systems. But the idea that we can dig up astronomical amounts of fossilised, compressed biomass and burn it in the atmosphere without consequences is pretty catastrophic. And also the thought of eternal economic growth on a planet with limited resources.
Lily Cole
Lily Cole

Model and campaigner

Do you have any sense of what job you would like to do in future – would you be interested in going into politics, for example?
I think I would like work where I feel most needed. I would love to study science but the scientific facts are already there. We now need to communicate those facts and then [take] political action. The politics of today don’t interest me much, however. It’s all about competing, and it’s more important how you say something – the way you say it – than the content of what you actually are saying. That has to change.
Sigrid
Sigrid

Singer and songwriter

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the huge following you now have? (PS: You are such a remarkable person, and even though things are looking pretty dark, I do hope that you take some time to be proud of how many people you have engaged with your words. Well done!)
Yes, of course. What has happened during the past few months is very hard to grasp. I would never have expected anything close to this.
David Lammy
David Lammy

Labour MP for Tottenham

Can you be politically conservative, ie on the political right, pro-growth, pro-capitalism and pro the for-profit motive, and still support the climate change movement and green issues?
That is not for me to say. I am only communicating the scientific facts. This question is probably not possible to answer without personal opinion and I leave that to others. But I think we can safely say that all ideologies have failed. If some have failed more than others then that is for others to say.
Stewart Lee
Stewart Lee

Comedian

You are my new hero and you have really helped me to explain what is going on to my children. How do you keep so calm when people use personal attacks to try and undermine your work?
I had expected that. If you don’t fully understand the ongoing climate breakdown, then what I and the other school strikers do must seem very strange… and since most people are not aware, this is unfortunately what I expected. And I don’t think I can do much about it. Even if I would constantly prove them wrong with facts and arguments, they would make up new things to attack the climate movement or me. But I think that as long as they go after me personally with insults and conspiracy theories then that is good. It proves that they don’t have any arguments. And that they see us as a threat because we are having an impact.
Rutger Bregman
Rutger Bregman

Historian and author

Do you think human beings are generally selfish and focused on their own needs, or do you believe human beings are naturally cooperative, empathetic and creative? Or something in between? And does your view of humanity determine your activism?
I don’t believe humans are naturally evil. But under the wrong circumstances we can be very selfish and greedy, like now. People can be taught to be good, or bad. I think we all need help to focus on the right things to do. With more than 7 billion people on the planet, we need to cooperate. I don’t believe we are continuing to ruin the biosphere because we are evil. I am convinced we are doing it because we are not fully informed of the consequences of our actions. And this is very hopeful to me, because I believe that once we know we will change. This has a huge impact on my activism, because people are adaptable and the changes necessary are not impossible.
Dr Jane Goodall. London. Photograph by David Levene 27/10/17
Jane Goodall

Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN messenger of peace

The Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots programme involves thousands of young people of all ages in roughly 60 countries. Hundreds of groups are working on projects in connection with the climate crisis. Do you think it is important that young people roll up their sleeves and take action in addition to marching? If so, what would you suggest?
Yes, everything is needed. There are thousands of ways to take action. For example, plant trees, pick up litter, join an organisation or movement that makes a difference and especially try to influence adults and put pressure on people in power. I started my activism at home, changing my parents’ and relatives’ habits and ways of thinking.
Questions from readers


 ‘Greta Thunberg finally acts against climate catastrophe’: an effigy of Greta in Dusseldorf in March 2019. The figures the model is holding are labelled ‘parents’ generation’.

Do you have days when you feel “there’s no hope, we’re doomed”? If so, where do you get the motivation to keep fighting?
Ali B Kord, Sydney, Australia
Yeah, you have no idea… But that’s not a reason to quit. We must never give up. I have made up my mind and decided to never, ever give up.

I’ve worked in the environmental sector for the past five years. I have gone vegetarian, barely fly (and offset when I do), and cycle to work every day. The problem is I often find it impossible to make others understand the severity of the situation. Any tips on how to effectively persuade people?
Craig Blyth-Moore, Edinburgh
I think a combination of activism works. If more and more people start behaving like we are in a crisis, more people will understand.

People in poverty have little or no concept of climate change because they are busy just surviving. How do we reach the parts of society like this?
Mike Jarrey, Ghent, Belgium
Good question. I think we must make them realise that climate-related issues are the key to other issues as well. Such as equality and social injustice and human rights. The climate issue offers a solid, science-supported black or white issue. The sooner other movements realise this, the better.

You’ve called for a global general climate strike on 20 September. What do you think about the possibility of a continuous general strike and the impacts it could have on global business-as-usual?
Thomas Kane, Stockport
We children are calling for the adults to join us on 20 and 27 September. To have real impact we must get to the stage where we have continuous general strikes. That will have an enormous impact on business-as-usual. We must get there soon. It would open people’s eyes and put things in perspective.

I’m 21 and I am facing a lot of ageism. I am discriminated against and invalidated because of my age. I’m told I don’t understand “how the world works”, and that my experiences don’t count. How do you push back against ageism and keep raising your voice?
Gayane Aghabalyan, Yerevan, Armenia
I don’t care about age. Nor do I care about those who do not accept the science. I don’t have as much experience, and therefore I listen more. But I also have the right to express my opinion, no matter my age. Also, being young is a great advantage since we see the world from a new perspective and we are not afraid to make radical changes.

As a biology teacher I support your actions because I view the planet from the perspective of ecology. I would like to draw your attention to two important graphs that can be seen online based on the present scientific evidence available. The first is human population growth v global warming and the second is human population growth v extinctions. Both have near perfect positive correlations. So do you think we have a responsibility to manage population growth to save the planet?
Colin Pascoe, Bath
The problem is not the people. It is what we do. But of course it is more difficult to live sustainably with more people on the planet. But these solutions can never be discussed on a personal level – it must be handled on a global level. If we are to control the number of people on Earth then I guess we must start with the high emitters. This debate would take decades and leave no space to solve other problems. It’s simply too big for us individuals. In my experience, the “we are too many people” argument is used as an excuse for not taking action ourselves. Whether we start controlling births or not, we need to get to zero emissions.

How do we get the message across in countries like China and Russia, which do not have the open media that we have?
John Telling, Tunbridge Wells
We do what we can do. I, for instance, can’t vote in China or Russia. Nor do I control media in China or Russia. I can only do what I can. And if enough people stand up for the climate and the environment, that will eventually spread to other countries. Perhaps even to China and Russia. We must focus on what we can do. Not what we can’t do.

I am an old man without children. Why should I care about what happens to the planet after my death?
Confundido, online, name not supplied
Maybe you believe in something? Like karma, faith? Or morality? Or just because it’s the right thing to do.

How do you explain that, despite the findings of scientists and the alarming UN report, some people keep on denying or ignoring the climate crisis?
mdivet, online
I don’t believe so much in denial. I think either you don’t fully understand or you don’t accept the facts. This is because the facts just don’t fit your idea of how things are or should be. Your ideology or religion, for example. To accept the climate emergency is to admit that we have all failed, in a major way. And this is not an easy thing to do.

Is it too late?
ID0658798, online
No, most studies show that it is still possible within the laws of physics to avoid the worst scenarios. But it is not possible if we go on like today. And there is a possibility that there are positive feedbacks too, once we start to act. We don’t know.

Is there one achievable issue we should prioritise?
Kim Williams, Birmingham
To treat the crisis as a crisis. Because we can’t solve an emergency without treating it like one. We need to look at the full picture and do all that we can.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2019/jul/21/great-thunberg-you-ask-the-questions-see-us-as-a-threat
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Artist Reclaims Instagram Cliché For Viral Political Message
« Reply #13464 on: July 21, 2019, 08:41:18 AM »

Michael James Schneider stands in front of his balloon art.

Michael James Schneider didn't intend for his political message about President Donald Trump to go viral, but he's happy he was able to connect people despite the current controversial national rhetoric.

On Sunday, President Trump sent out a series of tweets calling out four congresswomen of color saying they "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world" and they should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." All four of the women are U.S. citizens and three of the four were born in America.

Throughout the week the president's words were challenged, criticized and clarified. The Portland-based artist was among those to share his opinions after being inspired by cartoonist Adam Ellis.

On Monday, Schneider, who works as an operations manager for Louis Vuitton, shared a photo of himself with the message "Donald Trump is a ra_ist" written in balloon letters. He is seen holding a letter C and P in each of his hands to fill in the blank.

By Friday, his post attracted more thank 48,700 likes. On average, Schneider's posts get about 2,000 likes.

"The balloons may come off as whimsical, but the message is very serious," he told me. On Instagram, the traditional use of the balloons are typically used in celebratory situations like engagements or gender reveals. He's also used the balloons, which he recycles to be environmentally-conscious, to address female reproductive, transgender rights and Instagram art.

For each of his posts, Schneider tries to point his followers back to a nonprofit or organization to donate to their cause, because "anyone with privilege and a platform should be very vocal but also challenge people to not just share a photo, but to actually do something actionable." For the viral Trump photo, Schneider pointed his followers to the ACLU in Oregon.

"The reaction has been good and any artist would want that and I just want to make people feel a little less lost. Obviously, there are people upset," he told me. "I didn’t know it was going to be this big, but I don’t want to be deterred from sharing that message."

For his future art, Schneider doesn't know what will inspire him in the future, but he is "eager to see what comes next."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/heatherleighton/2019/07/20/instagram-racism-rapist-political-donald-trump/#1d9d9c332b52
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A heatwave caused the northernmost settlement on Earth to reach 70 degrees
« Reply #13465 on: July 21, 2019, 08:50:53 AM »

A small town in Canada is the northernmost settlement on Earth.

 Alert, Canada — the northernmost settlement on Earth — experienced a record heatwave on Tuesday, with temperatures reaching "unprecedented" 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the Daily Mail, this was the first time the settlement had reached 70 degrees. The average July temperature for Alert, which is only 500 miles away from the North Pole, is usually about 41 degrees.

"It's really quite spectacular," said David Phillips, Environment Canada's chief climatologist, said to Canadian channel CBC of the so-called Arctic heatwave.

"This is unprecedented," he added.

CBC reports that summer temperature records have been rising at an alarming rate.

"That's what we're seeing more often," Phillips told CBC.

"It's not just half a degree or a 10th of a millimeter. It's like hitting a ball out of the ballpark. It is so different than what the previous record was."

The Daily Mail says that Phillips compared the Arctic heatwave in Canada earlier this week to New York City reaching 111 degrees.

New York City, along with much of the United States, has been in the midst of an intense heat wave the past few days.

The expected temperatures in New York were so high for Saturday and Sunday that many outdoor activities, including a triathlon and cultural festival, were canceled.

https://www.businessinsider.com/heatwave-alert-canada-northernmost-settlement-arctic-warm-weather-2019-7
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New bill allows Oregon students to take 'mental health days'
« Reply #13466 on: July 21, 2019, 05:15:53 PM »
The students behind the measure say it's meant to change the stigma around mental health in a state that has some of the United States' highest suicide rates.

SALEM, Oregon — Oregon will allow students to take "mental health days" just as they would sick days, expanding the reasons for excused school absences to include mental or behavioral health under a new law that experts say is one of the first of its kind in the U.S.

But don't call it coddling. The students behind the measure say it's meant to change the stigma around mental health in a state that has some of the United States' highest suicide rates. Mental health experts say it is one of the first state laws to explicitly instruct schools to treat mental health and physical health equally, and it comes at a time educators are increasingly considering the emotional health of students. Utah passed a similar law last year.

Oregon's bill, signed by Gov. Kate Brown last month, also represents one of the few wins for youth activists from around the state who were unusually active at the Capitol this year. Along with expanded mental health services, they lobbied for legislation to strengthen gun control and lower the voting age, both of which failed.

Haily Hardcastle, an 18-year-old from the Portland suburb of Sherwood who helped champion the mental health bill, said she and other student leaders were partly motivated by the national youth-led movement that followed last year's Parkland, Florida, school shooting.

"We were inspired by Parkland in the sense that it showed us that young people can totally change the political conversation," she said. "Just like those movements, this bill is something completely coming from the youth."

Hardcastle, who plans to attend the University of Oregon in the fall, said she and fellow youth leaders drafted the measure to respond to a mental health crisis in schools and to "encourage kids to admit when they're struggling."

Debbie Plotnik, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Mental Health America, said implementing the idea in schools was important step in challenging the way society approaches mental health issues.

"The first step to confront this crisis is to reduce the stigma around it," Plotnik said. "We need to say it's just as OK to take care for mental health reasons as it is to care for a broken bone or a physical illness."

Suicide is Oregon's second leading cause of death among those ages 10 to 34, according to data from the state Health Authority. Nearly 17% of eighth-graders reported seriously contemplating taking their lives within the past 12 months.

And it's not just an Oregon problem, although the state does have a suicide rate 40% higher than the national average. The national suicide rate has also been on the rise and recently hit a 50-year high, climbing more than 30% since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Previously, schools were obliged to excuse only absences related to physical illnesses. At many schools, absences must be excused to make up missed tests or avoid detention.

Under state law, students can have up to five absences excused in a three month period. Anything more requires a written excuse to the principal.

Despite little public opposition from lawmakers, Hardcastle said she's received pushback from some parents who say the legislation wasn't necessary, as students can already take mental health days by lying or pretending to be sick. Other opponents have said the law will encourage students to find more excuses to miss school in a state that also suffers from one of the worst absenteeism rates in the nation. More than 1 in 6 children missed at least 10% of school days in the 2015-2016 school year, according to state data.

But those criticisms miss the point of the bill, said Hardcastle. Students are going to take the same amount of days off from school with or without the new law, but they might be less likely to lie about why they're taking take a day off if schools formally recognize mental health in their attendance policies.

"Why should we encourage lying to our parents and teachers?" she said. "Being open to adults about our mental health promotes positive dialogue that could help kids get the help they need."

Parents Roxanne and Jason Wilson agree, and say the law might have helped save their 14-year-old daughter, Chloe, who took her life in February 2018.

The Eugene-based couple said the funny and bubbly teen had dreams of becoming a surgeon but faced bullying after coming out as bisexual in middle school.

When things at school were particularly rough, Chloe would pretend to be sick to stay home.

"Because she lied to get her absences excused, we didn't get to have those mental health conversations that could have saved her life," said Roxanne, who now manages a local suicide prevention program.

Chloe was one of five teens to die by suicide in the Eugene area that month. Roxanne and Jason, who moved to the rural city of Dayton following their daughter's death, worry that those against the bill underestimate the hardships today's teens face.

"Calling kids coddled or sensitive will just further discourage them from being honest with adults about what they're going through," Jason Wilson said. "We need to do everything we can to open up that dialogue between parents and children when it comes to mental health."

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/new-bill-allows-oregon-students-take-mental-health-days-n1032141
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Police launch tear gas as Hong Kong protest turns violent
« Reply #13467 on: July 21, 2019, 05:22:11 PM »
125 picture slideshow

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s protest movement took a violent turn Sunday as police launched tear gas at protesters after a massive march continued late into the evening, and subway riders were attacked by masked assailants who apparently were targeting pro-democracy demonstrators.

The firing of the tear gas was the latest confrontation between police and protesters who have taken to the streets for over a month to fight a proposed extradition bill and call for electoral reforms in the Chinese territory.

The march had been peaceful when it reached its police-designated end point in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district in the late afternoon, but thousands continued onward, at various points occupying key government and business districts. They then headed for the Liaison Office, which represents China’s Communist Party-led central government within the city.

Protesters threw eggs at the building and spray-painted its surrounding surveillance cameras. China’s national emblem, which adorns the front of the Liaison Office, was splattered with black ink. The Liaison Office said in comments published on Chinese state media that the acts “openly challenged the authority of the central government and touched the bottom line of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle.”

Later, police threw tear gas canisters at protesters to try to disperse them. Protesters scattered, some heading back in the direction of a key business and retail district. Police remained in place, protecting themselves with shields. Police said on their official social media accounts that protesters threw bricks and petrol bombs at them and attacked the Central police station.

Hong Kong media released video showing masked assailants attacking commuters in a subway station. Among those attacked were protesters clad in their trademark black clothing and yellow hard hats.

The attackers, meanwhile, were dressed in white with black masks pulled over their heads. On Saturday, demonstrators wore white at a counter-rally in support of police.

Footage from Apple Daily showed the attackers using umbrellas to beat people in the station and inside a subway car. Subway passengers filmed by Stand News and iCABLE angrily accused police officers of not intervening in the attack. Stand News reporter Gwyneth Ho said on Facebook that she suffered minor injuries to her hands and shoulder, and was dizzy from a head injury. The South China Morning Post reported several people were bleeding following the attacks, and that seven people were sent to the hospital.

The Hong Kong government said in a statement shortly after midnight that commuters were attacked at a subway station in the city’s Yuen Long neighborhood, leading to “confrontations and injuries.”

The statement also said some “radical protesters initiated a series of violent acts ... despite repeated warnings” by police. They said the acts included hurling petrol bombs, setting fires and throwing bricks.

“This is absolutely unacceptable to Hong Kong as a society that observes the rule of law,” the statement said, referring to the acts of the subway attackers as well as the protesters.

Organizers said 430,000 people participated in Sunday’s march, while police said there were 138,000 during the procession’s “peak period.”

Large protests began early last month in opposition to a contentious extradition bill that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to stand trial in mainland China, where critics say their rights would be compromised.

Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, has declared the extradition bill dead, but protesters are dissatisfied with her refusal to formally withdraw the legislation. Some are also calling for her to resign amid growing concerns about the steady erosion of civil rights in the city.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was handed back to China in 1997 and was promised certain democratic freedoms under the framework of “one country, two systems.” Fueled by anger at Lam and an enduring distrust of the Communist Party-ruled central government in Beijing, the current demonstrations have ballooned into calls for electoral reform and an investigation into alleged police brutality at the protests.

Walking in sweltering heat, protesters dressed in black kicked off Sunday’s march at a public park, carrying a large banner that read “Independent Inquiry for Rule of Law.”

“Free Hong Kong! Democracy now!” the protesters chanted, forming a dense procession through Wan Chai as they were joined by others who had been waiting in side streets.

“The government has never responded to our demands,” said Karen Yu, a 52-year-old Hong Kong resident who has attended four protests since they started. “No matter how much the government can do, at least it should come out and respond to us directly.”

Protesters repeated the five points of their “manifesto,” which was first introduced when a small group of them stormed the legislature earlier this month. Their main demands include universal suffrage — direct voting rights for all Hong Kong residents — as well as dropping charges against anti-extradition protesters, withdrawing the characterization of a clash between police and protesters as a “riot” and dissolving the Legislative Council.

Protesters read the demands aloud in both English and Cantonese in videos released Saturday.

“We did not want to embark on this path of resisting tyranny with our bare bodies,” they said, “but for too long, our government has lied and deceived, and refused to respond to the demands of the people.”

While the demonstrations have been largely peaceful, some confrontations between police and protesters have turned violent. In Sha Tin district the previous Sunday, they beat each other with umbrellas and bats inside a luxury shopping center. Demonstrators broke into the Legislative Council building on July 1 by moving past barricades and shattering windows.

On Friday, Hong Kong police discovered a stash of a powerful homemade explosive and arrested a man in a raid on a commercial building. Materials voicing opposition to the extradition bill were found at the site, local media said, but a police spokesman said no concrete link had been established and the investigation was continuing.

The People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, condemned “radical extremists” who attacked the legislature and “trampled” on Hong Kong’s rule of law in a front-page column Sunday. The paper said the counter-rally Saturday intended to show support for the police reflected “mainstream public opinion” in Hong Kong.

https://apnews.com/0a0597b0f8b34d6d91b84c4e754ee934

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Portugal wildfires: Huge operation tackles central Portugal blazes
« Reply #13468 on: July 21, 2019, 05:27:52 PM »


Hundreds of firefighters have spent the day battling wildfires in a forested, mountainous area of central Portugal.

Eight firefighters and 12 civilians have been injured in the Castelo Branco region, according to the interior ministry.

One badly burned civilian was evacuated by helicopter to the capital Lisbon.

Helicopters and tanker planes have been used to douse three major blazes in the region, with two now said to have been brought under control.

The biggest operation - involving 800 firefighters, 245 vehicles including bulldozers, and 13 planes and helicopters - is tackling a fire in the municipality of Vila de Rei.

That fire remained "active", Interior Minister Eduardo Cabrita told journalists.

He added that an investigation had been launched to discover whether the fires might have been started deliberately.

"There's something strange. How is it that five such large fires broke out in areas that are so close to each other?" said Mr Cabrita.

The Portuguese army said it had sent soldiers and machinery into the area to open routes for firefighters.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa expressed his "solidarity with the hundreds fighting the scourge of the fires".

The fires started on Saturday afternoon and were fanned by strong winds.

Villages were evacuated as a precaution, and several major roads were closed.

Wildfires are an annual problem in Portugal. The country is warm, heavily forested, and affected by strong winds from the Atlantic.

Dozens of people were killed in huge fires there in 2017.

Six regions in central and southern Portugal are currently on high alert for fires.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49061785?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world&link_location=live-reporting-story

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Triad gangsters attack Hong Kong protesters, police fails to intervene
« Reply #13469 on: July 22, 2019, 07:54:02 AM »
Men in white t-shirts, some armed with poles, stormed a subway station and attacked passengers. Witnesses said the masked men were attacking people that had been at the anti-government march.

Hong Kong police on Monday defended their actions and the lack of arrests after opposition lawmakers said police had failed to protect a train full of anti-government protesters from a triad gangster attack on Sunday.

The attack came in a night of violence that opened new fronts in Hong Kong's widening political crisis over an extradition bill to send people to China for trial.

Some politicians and activists have long linked the allegedly Chinese network of triad criminal gangs to political intimidation and violence in recent years.

On Sunday night, men in white t-shirts, some armed with poles, flooded into the rural Yuen Long station and stormed a train, attacking passengers, according to footage taken by commuters and Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting.

Protesters target of attack?

Eye-witnesses said they appeared to target black-shirted passengers who had been at an anti-government march and the attack came after several thousand activists surrounded China's representative office in the city, later clashing with police.

Hong Kong media have released video footage showing masked assailants attacking commuters in a subway station. Among those attacked were protesters clad in their trademark black clothing and yellow hard hats.

Lam, who was injured in the attack, said he was angry about a slow police response after he alerted them to the trouble, government-funded broadcaster RTHK reported.

Lam said it took police more than an hour to arrive after he alerted them and they had failed to protect the public, allowing the triads to run rampant.

The party is now investigating.

"Is Hong Kong now allowing triads to do what they want, beating up people on the street with weapons?," he asked reporters.

One government worker, aged 22, described chaotic scenes as people ran in disarray off the train, despite word that gangsters were attacking people on the street as well.

"People started to run in all directions, just avoiding the gangsters," he said.

Police said early on Monday they had not made any arrests at the station or during a follow-up search of a nearby village but were still investigating.

Yau Nai-keung, Yuen Long assistant district police commander, told reporters that an initial police patrol had to wait for more reinforcements given a situation involving more than 100 people.

Groups of men in white were seen by eye-witnesses with poles and bamboo staves at a nearby village but Yau said police saw no weapons when they arrived.

"We can't say you have a problem because you are dressed in white and we have to arrest you. We will treat them fairly no matter which camp they are in," Yau said.

Hong Kong's anti-triad police units in 2014 investigated the role of triad gangs attacking protesters on the streets of Mong Kok during the 'Occupy' pro-democracy demonstrations that shut down parts of the city for 79 days.

Violent protests

Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of sometimes violent protests for more than two months in its most serious crisis since Britain handed the Asian financial hub back to Chinese rule in 1997.

Protesters are demanding the full withdrawal of a bill to allow people to be extradited to mainland China for trial, where the courts are controlled by the Communist Party, fearing it would undermine Hong Kong's judicial independence.

They are also demanding direct elections and independent enquiries into the use of police force against protesters.

On Sunday, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse activists on the edge of Hong Kong's glittering financial district after they had fled China's Liaison Office, its main representative branch in the city.

The Chinese government, including office director Wang Zhimin, condemned the acts, which saw signs and a state symbol daubed with graffiti and eggs thrown against walls and windows.

Wang said that a damaged symbol had been replaced overnight.

The unrest in Hong Kong marks the greatest popular challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

The Hospital Authority said 45 people were injured in the Yuen Long attack, with one in a critical condition. Some 13 people were injured after the clashes on Hong Kong island, one seriously, the authority said.

Some police had been injured in the clashes after protesters hurled bricks, smoke grenades and petrol bombs, said a police statement.

https://www.trtworld.com/asia/triad-gangsters-attack-hong-kong-protesters-police-fails-to-intervene-28417
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