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            december 10, 2019

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'General strike' strong at HK airport, hits passenger transport hard


Hong Kong protesters hampered transport, blocking roads subway lines and cancelling more than 100 flights at the airport where support for what is now called a "general strike" was strong, according to Shipping Gazette.
Cathay Pacific said it cancelled more than 140 flights coming to and from the city, while Hong Kong Airlines scrapped 30 flights.
Kowloon side, police fired tear gas into crowds in the Wong Tai Sin. Barricades were set up across Nathan Road, a major artery, at the intersection of Argyle Street.
Thousands of black-shirted protesters began rallying in locations across the city. In the central business district, black-shirted people packed Admiralty metro station and Tamar Park, near Hong Kong's legislative complex.
They chanted "strike!" and passed out bright yellow fliers that read: "No extraditions to China; strike work, strike school and strike market." Others blocked off Harcourt Road, a main thoroughfare that cuts through the city's financial hub.
The MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) Hong Kong Index slumped as much as 3.5 per cent in a ninth day of declines, matching the longest streak since the city's 1997 handover from British rule. Landlords, retail stocks and casinos bore the brunt of the selling.
The index is a capital weighted stock index that measures large and mid cap stocks in the Hong Kong market. It has 48 constituents, and covers 85 per cent of the free float market.
The protests began in June against a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China, but have since morphed into a broader challenge to China.
Authorities in Beijing have continued to back Beijing's chosen Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who has resisted demands to withdraw the bill and resign. The mainland People's Liberation Army troops, who occupy an old British barracks have issued a menacing riot control video, but have yet to emerge on the streets.
In a bizarre incident, Amnesty International has condemned an alleged sexual assault of a female protester who was arrested on charges of assaulting a police officer.
"The female protester's clothing was pulled up, exposing her private parts," said the Amnesty statement.
Police said "the woman was wearing a dress and she struggled strongly, which explained what happened in front of the camera".
But Amnesty said her arrest should have been be conducted by female officers to "safeguard the rights and dignity of the woman under arrest".
Police said three female officers attempted to arrest the struggling woman, but could not cope until male officers took over.

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