China may pass bill to crack down
on Hong Kong opposition
BEIJING (AP) — China’s ceremonial parliament will consider a bill that could limit opposition activity in Hong Kong, a spokesperson said Thursday, appearing to confirm speculation that China will sidestep the semi-autonomous territory’s own lawmaking body in enacting legislation to crack down on activity Beijing considers subversive.
Zhang Yesui said the National People’s Congress will deliberate a bill on “establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.”
Such a move has long been under consideration but was hastened by months of anti-government protests last year in the former British colony that was handed over to Chinese rule in 1997. Such legislation was last proposed in 2003 under Article 23 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, bringing hundreds of thousands of the territory’s citizens out in protest.
Deadly cyclone cuts destructive
path in India and Bangladesh
NEW DELHI (AP) — Wide swaths of coastal India and Bangladesh were flooded and millions were without power Thursday as Cyclone Amphan, the most powerful storm to hit the region in more than a decade, killed over 80 people and cut a path of destruction that is still being assessed.
Many parts of the Indian metropolis of Kolkata, home to more than 14 million people, were under water, and its airport was closed briefly by flooding. Roads were littered with uprooted trees and lamp posts, electricity and communication lines were down and centuries-old buildings were damaged.
Officials in both countries said the full extent of the damage caused by the cyclone was not known because communications to many places were cut. Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated ahead of the storm, a process complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.