Dhaka Courier

Protesters in Hong Kong trampled a Chinese flag

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Protesters in Hong Kong trampled a Chinese flag, vandalized two subway stations and set at least two street fires this weekend, as pro-democracy demonstrations took a violent turn once again. On September 22, the day’s action began peacefully, as protesters filled a shopping mall and, in a new twist, folded paper “origami” cranes that they tied onto a large rigging they assembled in the mall in the outlying Shatin district.

Some put a Chinese flag on the floor and took turns running over it, before defacing it and putting it in a dumpster outside, which they then pushed into a nearby river. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, now in their fourth month, have often descended into violence late in the day and at night. A hardcore group of protesters says the extreme actions are needed to get the government’s attention.

 

Skies over an Indonesian province turned red over the weekend, thanks to the widespread forest fires which have plagued huge parts of the country. One resident in Jambi province, who captured pictures of the sky, said the haze had "hurt her eyes and throat". Every year, fires in Indonesia create a smoky haze that can end up blanketing the entire South East Asian region.

A meteorology expert told the BBC the unusual sky was caused by a phenomenon known as Rayleigh scattering. Indonesia meteorological agency BMKG said satellite imagery revealed numerous hot spots and "thick smoke distribution" in the area around the Jambi region. Professor Koh Tieh Yong, of the Singapore University of Social Sciences, explained that this phenomenon, known as Rayleigh scattering, has to do with certain types of particles that are present during a period of haze.

 

US President Donald Trump confirmed he raised the subject of former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son in a July phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. But Mr Trump denied pressuring Ukraine to investigate his potential Democratic rival in next year's election. His admission about July's phone call stoked calls for Democrats to launch impeachment proceedings in Congress.

Adam Schiff, a senior Democrat, said such a move "may be the only remedy". Mr Schiff, the influential head of the House Intelligence Committee, had previously resisted calls among rank-and-file Democrats that they attempt to remove the president from office. Hunter Biden became a director at Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma in 2014 while his father was Barack Obama's vice-president with a key role in US policy towards Ukraine.

 

Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful, the Supreme Court has ruled. Mr Johnson suspended - or prorogued - Parliament for five weeks earlier this month, but the court said it was wrong to stop MPs carrying out duties in the run-up to Brexit on 31 October. Supreme Court president Lady Hale said "the effect on the fundamentals of democracy was extreme."

Downing Street said it was "currently processing the verdict". Mr Johnson argued he wanted to carry out the prorogation ahead of a Queen's Speech so he could outline his government's new policies. But critics said he was trying to stop MPs from scrutinising his Brexit plans. A raft of MPs have now called for the prime minister to resign and for Parliament to return as soon as possible. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "I invite Boris Johnson, in the historic words, to consider his position."

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