Hong Kong

Business • Economy
Disney to lay off 28,000 employees as Covid-19 affects its theme park business
Disney to lay off 28,000 employees as Covid-19 affects its theme park business
Credit: Joe Penniston (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday, Disney announced it would lay off 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and consumer products segment. Around 67% of the laid-off workers were part-time employees.

The company blamed prolonged closures and capacity limits at open parks for the layoffs. While Disney's theme parks in Florida, Paris, Shanghai, Japan and Hong Kong have been able to reopen with limited capacity, both California theme parks have remained shuttered.

Regional News • Asia
Pro-democracy activist and politician Joshua Wong has been arrested in Hong Kong
Pro-democracy activist and politician Joshua Wong has been arrested in Hong Kong
Credit: Joshua Wong courtesy of Facebook

After reporting to a police station in Hong Kong, pro-democracy activist and politician Joshua Wong (Huang Zhifeng) has been arrested for participating in an illegal assembly on October 5 in 2019. In addition he has been charged with violating the anti-mask law in 2019.

Technology • Internet & Web
Customs and Border Protection seize 2,000 OnePlus Buds claiming they are "counterfeit Apple AirPods"
Customs and Border Protection seize 2,000 OnePlus Buds claiming they are "counterfeit Apple AirPods"
Credit: CBP

US Customs and Border Protection tweeted that officers at John F Kennedy International Airport had "recently seized 2,000 counterfeit Apple AirPods from Hong Kong, valued at $398K had they been genuine."

The box from the tweet picture states that the product is from OnePlus and not Apple, but according to a CBP spokesperson: "Upon examining the shipment in question, a CBP Import Specialist determined that the subject earbuds appeared to violate Apple's configuration trademark."

Regional News • Asia • China
Hong Kong: ~100 arrested in protests against postponed elections

Around 100 people were arrested in Hong Kong on Sunday while protesting against delayed legislative elections. Elections were supposed to happen on September 6th but were allegedly postponed due to the Coronavirus.

Health
Netherlands, Belgium confirm Covid-19 reinfections
Netherlands, Belgium confirm Covid-19 reinfections
Credit: unsplash.com / National Cancer Institute

Individuals in Belgium and the Netherlands have been reinfected with the coronavirus, Dutch media have reported. Some experts believe it is a good sign.

A patient in the Netherlands and another in Belgium have been reinfected with the coronavirus, Dutch media reported Tuesday, following reports that scientists in Hong Kong had confirmed the first known reinfection.

Jesse Goodman, a former US Food and Drug Administration chief scientist has stated as a responses to the Hong Kong case that: "if there is a reinfection, it suggests the possibility there was residual immunity that helped protect the patient'' from getting sick again. 

Health
Hong Kong scientists reported a case of Covid-19 reinfection
Hong Kong scientists reported a case of Covid-19 reinfection
Credit: Fusion Medical Animation

Scientists from the University of Hong Kong reported Monday the case of a 33-year-old man who became reinfected with Covid-19 four and a half months after his first bout.

Dr. Kelvin Kai-Wang To, the microbiologist who led the work, said genome sequencing shows the two strains of the virus are "clearly different", making it the world's first proven case of reinfection.

The paper has been accepted by the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases but not yet published, and some independent experts urged caution until full results are available.

Regional News • Asia
Multiple journalists have been arrested by Hong Kong police including journalist for UK's tv channel ITV
Multiple journalists have been arrested by Hong Kong police including journalist for UK's tv channel ITV
Credit: Wilson Li via LinkedIn

The Hong Kong Police Force has announced via their Twitter account that nine people have been arrested for alleged breaches of the national security law.

One of the arrested people is the freelance journalist Wilson Li who works for the UK-based television channel ITV. A spokesperson from ITV News has stated that: "We can confirm that Wilson Li works for ITV News in a freelance capacity. We are concerned to hear of his arrest and are urgently seeking clarification of the circumstances."

In addition to the arrests, the Hong Kong Police Force has raided and searched the office the media outlet Apple Daily.

Regional News • Asia
Pro-democracy owner of Apple Daily media outlet Jimmy Lai arrested by Hong Kong police

The Hong Kong police have arrested Jimmy Lai on grounds of the new national security law in Hong Kong. According to a close aid of his, he has been arrested at 7am and lawyers have been sent to the police station.

The news agency AFP has stated that a police source has stated that Lai had been arrested for the alleged collusion with foreign forces and fraud. His house has been searched by the police, as well as the house of his son. Multiple other members of his group have reportedly been arrested.

Regional News • Asia
Hong Kong issues arrest warrant for Samuel Chu - a United States citizen - under new security law
Hong Kong issues arrest warrant for Samuel Chu - a United States citizen - under new security law
Credit: Samuel Chu via Twitter

Under the new national security law Hong Kong has issued multiple warrants for pro-democracy activists. Included in these warrants is one for managing director of the Hong Kong Democracy Council based in D.C., Samuel Chu.

Chu stated on his Twitter account that he heard about the arrest warrant from the media and that Hong Kong is searching for him for the alleged crimes of "inciting secession" and "colluding with foreign powers". He added that he is and has been for 25 years an American citizen.

Six other pro-democracy activists have gotten outstanding arrest warrants according to Chinese state media including the activist Nathan Law.

Regional News • Asia
Germany suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong
Germany suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong
Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States (Public Domain)

The German foreign minister Heiko Maas has announced that Germany will suspend the extradition treaty between Hong Kong and Germany as a consequence of the postponed Legislative Council General Election in Hong Kong.

Maas has stated that "the Hong Kong government’s decision to disqualify a dozen opposition candidates for the election and postpone the elections to the legislature is another infringement on the rights of the citizens of Hong Kong" adding that China needs to ensure international law and to provide free and fair elections.

Regional News • Asia
Hong Kong legislative election postponed due to Covid-19
Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam Credit: Asia Society (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has announced that she'll invoke the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to postpone the legislative elections.

She stated that "it is a really tough decision to delay the election, but we want to ensure public safety and health, and to make sure the elections are held in an open and impartial manner. The decision is therefore essential".

The elections were originally scheduled to take place in September, and democratic politicians have stated that they oppose the decision to postpone the elections.

Regional News • Asia
Hong Kong: Twelve pro-democracy politicians have been banned from the September election
Joshua Wong
Joshua Wong Credit: Seader (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

According to a spokesperson of the Hong Kong government, twelve people have been disqualified from participating as candidates in the upcoming legislative election in September, including Joshua Wong.

The person stated that these people did not uphold basic law and that they aren't allowed to promote the independence of Hong Kong, seek intervention from foreign governments and show misdemeanour against the national security law.

In addition, the spokesperson said that "returning Officers are still reviewing the validity of other nominations according to the laws. We do not rule out the possibility that more nominations would be invalidated".

Regional News • Asia
Joshua Wong announces he has been disqualified from LegCo election in Hong Kong
Joshua Wong announces he has been disqualified from LegCo election in Hong Kong
Credit: Wong Twitter

The pro-democracy activist and politician Joshua Wong has announced via his Twitter account that he has been disqualified from running in the upcoming 2020 Legislative Council General Election in Hong Kong. The elections are set to happen on the 6 September.

In a second tweet, Wong states that his criticism of the national security law is the reason why he has been disqualified despite getting over 30,000 votes in the democratic primary.

Regional News • Europe • Ireland
Hong Kong real-estate tycoon proposes city for 50,000 Hong Kong emigrants in Ireland
Hong Kong real-estate tycoon proposes city for 50,000 Hong Kong emigrants in Ireland
Credit: unsplash.com / Jesse Gardner

The real-estate tycoon Ivan Ko has proposed plans to build a city from scratch on Ireland between Dublin and Belfast for 50,000 emigrants from Hong Kong.

Originally he had planned to find a 500 sq km site to build his vision for 500,000 Hongkongers but drastically scaled that down after he talked to the Irish government. He stated that "we found out that replicating the Hong Kong model was not suitable, as if we were imposing something, and that Hong Kong people would be seen as segregated from the rest of the population. So we changed to another model".

The new city will be called Nextpolis and follow the political system of the host country and should integrate with local business as he wants to build a "new city to let Hong Kong people live together" and "maximise the benefits to both sides".

Regional News • Asia
Hong Kong tightens social distancing rules as Covid-19 cases spike
Hong Kong tightens social distancing rules as Covid-19 cases spike
Credit: LN9267 / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

As Hong Kong reports 1,164 new Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks, with only 113 of these imported cases, the government tightens the social distancing rules in order to prevent a further spread. From Wednesday dining-in won't be permitted, bars will remain closed and apart from people living in the same residence group gatherings need to be limited to two people.

The government had already ordered the public to wear masks outdoors with the exemption of people eating, drinking or for those with health conditions.

Regional News • Asia
Extraditions and arms exports from United Kingdom to Hong Kong suspended over security law
Dominic Raab
Dominic Raab Credit: Richard Townshend (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The United Kingdoms foreign secretary Dominic Raab has stated in an address to the parliament that the newly passed and enacted national security law is "a clear and serious violation of the UK-China joint declaration" and adding that the United Kingdom "will hold China to its international obligations".

The suspension of the extradition deal with Hong Kong is indefinitely and the arms embargo against China has been extended to include Hong Kong.

Regional News • Asia
Carrie Lam says organized efforts by Democrats' to win legislative majority might be illegal under security law
Carrie Lam says organized efforts by Democrats' to win legislative majority might be illegal under security law
Credit: Online Media Stand News

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has stated that "If this so-called primary election’s purpose is to achieve the ultimate goal of rejecting to, resisting every policy initiative of the Hong Kong SAR government, then it may fall into the category of subverting the state power" in regards to the pro-democracy camp’s primary election that happened over the past weekend. She added that coordinated efforts to subvert the state power is "is now one of the four types offences under the new national security law".

Despite a rising number of Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong over 600,000 citizens hat turned up to vote in the primaries. The result will be used as a reference for the selection of candidates of the democratic camp in five geographical constituencies of Hong Kong.

Regional News • Asia
Local Covid-19 infections spike in Hong Kong with 52 new cases
Local Covid-19 infections spike in Hong Kong with 52 new cases
Credit: Chapman Chow

According to the Hong Kong health authorities, the number of new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases has increased to 41, totalling at 52 new reported cases. Out of these cases, 20 had unknown sources.

Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, the Head of the communicable disease branch of the Centre for Health Protection, has stated that the patients are being isolated and efforts are underway to trace contacts and quarantine them. She added that "this type of strategy alone might not be able to slow down the epidemic at this stage because we are seeing more and more local cases without an identifiable source".

Regional News • Asia • China
Hong Kong closes schools again amid spike in Covid-19 infections
Kids walking to school in Hong Kong
Kids walking to school in Hong Kong Credit: unsplash.com/Free To Use Sounds

After over 100 new Covid-19 cases over the past week, Hong Kong officials have reimposed social distancing measures. All schools will be closed again starting Monday, after having just reopened in May. Bars and restaurants will have to reintroduce seating limits while kids' playgrounds are being closed completely.

Regional News • Oceania
Australia suspends Hong Kong extradition treaty
Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Prime Minister Scott Morrison Credit: G20 Argentina (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In response to the new security law imposed by China Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia will halt its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and visas will be extended by five years for Hong Kongers already in Australia.

This announcement comes right after Canada's suspension of their treaty with Hong Kong and Britain considering a similar move.