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China's Crackdown on Democracy Continues with Raid of Pro-Freedom Hong Kong Newspaper

Western Journal

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Hundreds of police officers raided the offices of a pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper on Thursday as China continues its crackdown on freedoms in the territory.

The newspaper, Apple Daily, said five editors were arrested for violating a Chinese national security law that bans “collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security,” according to Fox News.

An advisor for Jimmy Lai, who founded Next Digital, Apple Daily’s parent company, and who has been tossed into prison himself, called the raid a “blatant attack.”

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“They are arresting editors,” the advisor, Mark Simon, said. “They’re arresting the top editorial folks.”

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Chinese authorities passed the sweeping national security law in June 2020, imposing new restrictions on pro-democracy activists and on what had once been a freewheeling media environment in Hong Kong.

“But today’s actions are still shocking,” said Yuen Chan, who previously worked for Hong Kong media outlets, according to The New York Times. “We have to remind ourselves that until very recently, a free press was regarded as normal in Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong also suspended trading of Next Digital’s shares and froze its accounts, The Times reported.

“We’re having an incredibly tough time. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Simon said. “I think they’re going to keep coming and coming.”

Hong Kong authorities said the journalists got what they deserved.

“We have very strong evidence that the articles in question play a crucial part in the entire conspiracy scheme, providing talking points to foreign countries or overseas institutions to impose sanctions,” said Li Kwai-wah, a senior superintendent in the police’s national security department.

Li issued a warning to the general public as well.

“As a law enforcer, I would advise you not to invite suspicion,” he said.

John Lee, Hong Kong’s security secretary, told journalists to distance themselves from Apple Daily.

“This action has nothing to do with normal journalism work,” he said. “It is aimed at suspected use of journalism as a tool to commit acts that endanger national security. Normal journalists are different from them. Don’t get involved with them, and keep a distance from them.”

The Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government, China’s official office in Hong Kong, said freedom is not unlimited.

“There are no rights and freedoms without boundaries. None can breach the bottom line of national security,” the office said in a statement.

The move added to concerns that media freedom in Hong Kong is on the way out.

“We just can’t see how articles or reports carried by news media would constitute a threat to national security,” said Chris Yeung, chair of the Hong Kong Journalists Association. “It gives rise to fear that speech can be seen as acts and are vulnerable to the national security law.”

Journalists vowed not to surrender while admitting they were in a fight they could not win.

“As difficult as the current circumstances may be, we will carry on with our jobs with the aim to publish our papers as normal tomorrow,” the Next Media Trade Union said in a statement.

“Today’s Hong Kong feels unfamiliar and leaves us speechless,” Apple Daily said in a letter to its readers. “It feels as though we are powerless to stop the regime from exercising its power as it pleases.”

“Though we are facing a sweeping clampdown on our publication, the staff of Apple Daily will hold fast to our duties faithfully and press on till the end to see the arrival of dawn.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Off-Duty Firefighter Jumped by Mob Who Tell Him It's 'Fight Night' Before Brutal Beating

Western Journal

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Asking for a little old-fashioned respect can be the prelude to a beatdown in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s New York City. The New York Post has released video of a Friday night incident in which a rabid mob of teenagers surrounded and then attacked an off-duty firefighter as he walked his dog near his home in the borough of Queens. Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, who founded the civic protection group the Guardian Angels in 1979, posted the video to Twitter. Warning: The following video contains graphic images and language that some readers will find disturbing. Last night in Middle Village a mob of kids attacked a man who asked them to stop blasting fireworks. #NYPD from the 104th precinct were there but did nothing. The community reached out to #NYC Mayoral candidate #CurtisSliwa & the #GuardianAngels to find these vicious teens pic.twitter.com/uVJkBUJ0L1 — Curtis Sliwa for NYC Mayor (@CurtisSliwa) July 24, 2021 The 44-year-old victim, whose name was not released by the Post, said he is among those who have objected to the deterioration of his community,  and taken the dangerous stand of telling teenagers to behave as if rules really mattered. Retribution for preaching civility arrived Friday night. “There were at least 100 kids … I was walking my dog. They just picked me out and approached me,” the firefighter told the Post in a Saturday interview. “One kid took his shirt off and said, ‘it’s fight night!’ He said he was 19 and said, ‘I could fight you.’ Everyone took their cell phones out. There were cell phones everywhere,” the victim said. “They all came at me…A kid came up behind me and hit me in the back of the head with a bottle and I let go of the dog,” he said. With the dog barking…

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Olympic Cyclist Celebrates Victory as She Crosses the Finish Line, Then Learns a Gold Medal Isn't Coming

Western Journal

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Neither the gold medal winner nor the woman who celebrated when she thought she had won could quite believe the results of the women’s Olympic bicycle road race on Sunday. Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten put on a massive gold medal-worthy display of victory as she crossed the finish line. But there was one catch. Anna Keisenhofer of Austria had been so far ahead of the rest of the pack that two minutes before van Vleuten had celebrated her finish, Keisenhofer had already had won the race,  according to Cycling News. Van Vleuten waved her arms in triumph and embraced members of her team, only to learn the truth after someone knowing the facts poured cold water on the celebration. Olympics: Van Vleuten celebrates but mistakes silver for goldhttps://t.co/2twUgBGbht #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/fV1qpmtfiw — Cyclingnews.com (@Cyclingnewsfeed) July 25, 2021 “I didn’t know. I was wrong. I didn’t know,” she said. “This is an example (of what happens) if you ride an important race like this without communication. All World Tour races have communication, and now it’s the three of us standing here and wondering who has actually won,” van Vleuten said, referring to teammates Marianne Vos and Anna van der Breggen, according to CNN. In most races, cyclists are in radio communication with their teams, but that is not allowed in the Olympics. “I’m gutted about that, of course,” she said. Although the realization that she had not won a gold medal hurt, van Vleuten said winning a silver medal remained an achievement. “I’m really proud of the medal, because I did not have an Olympic medal. It’s also a silver medal with a shine on it, because I felt super good today,” said van Vleuten. “My goal was to be at my best-ever level here, and I think I nailed that. It’s…

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