Hong Kong's embattled leader, Carrie Lam, leaves for a visit to Japan on Monday as the Chinese-ruled city struggles to recover from a night of violence in which tens of thousands took to the streets, with further protests planned later in the day. Lam is to attend Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony in Tokyo's imperial palace on Tuesday and return home that evening. Early on Monday, Hong Kong embarked on a massive clean-up after a largely peaceful protest degenerated into violence across districts on the Kowloon peninsula, where protesters torched stores and sprayed grafitti on roads, amid skirmishes with police.
South Korean exports plunged 19.5% over the first 20 days of October from a year earlier, pressured by weak sales to China and frail global demand for semiconductors, dealing a fresh blow to a tottering economy. "You have to look at the semiconductor industry to talk about a rebound in exports because chips account for the largest share of South Korea's exports," said Oh Suk-tae, economist at Societe Generale in Seoul. The customs agency of South Korea, one of the world's top 10 exporters, releases 20-day foreign trade figures every month and the data is watched closely by economists to take the pulse of the global economy.
The police are going to be given new powers and more resources to tackle illegal drone use. Drones have caused chaos at airports - and last December, more than 1,000 flights were cancelled and 140,000 passengers affected because of a series of sightings at Gatwick. As part of the plans, a mobile "counter-drone" unit capable of tracking down and interfering with the devices will be set up to respond to incidents across the UK.
Michael Cheika stepped down as Wallabies head coach on Sunday much as had been expected, with broadsides at his critics and clumsy attempts at self-justification and buck-passing. After five difficult years, Cheika might have made an attempt to go out gracefully. "I think it's no secret that I've pretty much got no relationship with the CEO and not much with the chairman," Cheika said when he announced he wouldn't seek to renew his contract as Australia's head coach after a Rugby World Cup quarterfinal loss to England.
China on Monday unexpectedly kept unchanged its new benchmark lending rate, for the first time since its debut in August, suggesting Beijing is keen to avoid overly loosening monetary policy for fear it may push up already-high debt levels across the economy. The five-year LPR was fixed at 4.85%, unchanged from September. It is the third fixing since the People's Bank of China (PBOC) unveiled the new lending benchmark, which is set by 18 banks.
Mark Esper sought a firsthand assessment Sunday of the U.S. military's future role in America's longest war as he made his initial visit to Afghanistan as Pentagon chief. Stalled peace talks with the Taliban and unrelenting attacks by the insurgent group and Islamic State militants have complicated the Trump administration's pledge to withdraw more than 5,000 American troops. Esper told reporters traveling with him that he believes the U.S. can reduce its force in Afghanistan to 8,600 without hurting the counterterrorism fight against al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.
President Evo Morales led in early returns from the first round of Sunday's presidential election, but he appeared to have failed to get enough votes to avoid a runoff in the tightest political race of his life. The Andean country's top electoral authority said Sunday night that a preliminary count of 84% of the votes showed Morales on top with 45.3%, followed by 38.2% for his closest rival, former President Carlos Mesa. If the results hold, the two men will face off in December and Morales could be vulnerable to a united opposition in the first runoff in his nearly 14 years in power.
When the clock strikes midnight tonight, same-sex marriage and abortion will become legal in Northern Ireland for the first time. The historic changes are the result of backbench MPs tabling amendments to a routine Commons Bill on the governance of Northern Ireland. Labour's Conor McGinn MP, who is originally from County Armagh, proposed that Westminster legislate for same-sex marriage.
Chile´s government will extend a state of emergency to cities in its north and south after at least seven people died amid violent clashes and arson attacks over the weekend, the interior minister said on Sunday night.Andres Chadwick said in a press conference in the capital Santiago the decision to extend the emergency measure came amid an "escalation of violence and vandalism," two weeks after protests led by students began over fare hikes on public transport.He cited 70 incidents of "serious incidents of violence" on Sunday, including 40 lootings of supermarkets and other businesses, and said military and police numbers were at 10,500 in Santiago and would be reinforced where necessary.“We are facing a real escalation that is undoubtedly organised to cause serious damage to our country and the lives of each of its citizens," he said.Santiago and other Chilean cities have been engulfed by several days of riots as protests over an increase in public transport costs prompted President Sebastian Pinera to reverse the move and declare a state of emergency.Chadwick said seven people had been killed in incidents related to the protests, without giving further details.He said the state of emergency applied in Santiago early on Saturday would be rolled out to Antofagasta, Valparaiso, Valdivia, Chillan, Talca, Temuco and Punta Arenas.There was transport deadlock in Santiago and chaos at the international airport on Sunday, where flights into and out of Santiago were suspended or cancelled as crew members and airport staff were unable to get to work, the city's governor said.By mid-afternoon on Sunday, prosecutors said, 1,462 people had been charged in connection with that day's protests, 614 of them in Santiago. That followed 179 arrests in Santiago on Saturday.The military authorities mandated by Pinera with reestablishing order in Santiago, on Sunday declared another night-time curfew in the capital as the government struggled to contain violent protests, looting and arson.The general in charge of security in Santiago announced the curfew would begin at 7 p.m. (2200 GMT) on Sunday and end at 6 a.m. on Monday (0900 GMT).(REUTERS)
Australia's major newspapers published redacted front pages on Monday in a coordinated campaign to highlight government secrecy that is often justified on national security grounds. Rival media businesses first banded together to fight for press freedom in June after police raided the Canberra home of a News Corp. journalist and the Sydney headquarters of Australian Broadcasting Corp. in search of leaked government documents that had formed the basis of news reports embarrassing to the government.
Courtesy HBOYou won’t see the smiley-faced logo of The Comedian—a savage, cynical, cigar-chomping vigilante from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal Watchmen—in HBO’s new series of the same name. Yet his spirit hovers over the network’s superb latest, which views ideas about American nobility, altruism and gallantry—the very qualities that define classical superheroes, and their genre—as a sick joke. Like its illustrious predecessor, still the greatest and most influential comic book of all time, Damon Lindelof’s daring follow-up is a story about an alternate U.S.A. with a costumed-avenger past and a divided present, where men and women don masks to conceal their ugly, bigoted, sadistic identities from each other and the world at large—and, also, to hide from themselves, and the fear and rage that consumes them.Good and bad, cop and crook, innocent and guilty—everyone in Watchmen thinks they’re on the side of right no matter their constant wrongness, which repeats itself, over and over, like the ticking hands of a clock. As another rogue do-gooder once famously said, “Good joke. Everybody laugh. Roll on snare drum. Curtains.”That man, Watchmen devotees will know, was Rorschach, the ink blot-faced antihero of Moore and Gibbons’ deconstructionist masterwork, whose 1980s crime-fighting was driven by right-wing extremist beliefs about how liberalism was sending the country straight into the sewer. Lost and The Leftovers creator Lindelof’s series is set thirty years after Rorschach’s manifesto found its way into the media’s hands, and in this 2019, he’s become a symbol for a burgeoning white supremacist movement known as the Seventh Calvary, whose Caucasian members wear his trademark mask as their new de facto Klan hood. What’s old is always new again, and that’s hammered home by the opening of the first episode, in which a young African-American boy in 1921 Tulsa watches a silent movie about a black sheriff arresting a white bad guy, only to have the film interrupted by a legitimate massacre on the streets outside perpetrated by whites against blacks—a calamity that orphans him and provides the foundation for the ensuing action.Forget ‘Succession,’ Because ‘Watchmen’ Has Arrived—And It Is GOODDamon Lindelof’s Persecution Complex: ‘There Are People Who Are Gunning For Me’ Unlike in Moore and Gibbons’ antecedent, it’s race, rather than sex, that’s warped the country and its masked inhabitants. That’s the biggest thematic alteration Lindelof makes to his hallowed source (Moore, renowned for hating adaptations of his work, remains totally uninvolved), and it’s a bold move that doesn’t always hold together. Even so, it’s spiritually in keeping with Moore’s notion that individuals take up arms, and cover their faces, as a means of channeling internal frustrations, only to discover that said disguises, rather than fixing what ails them, amplifies it to brutal, self-destructive degrees. Certainly, the America envisioned by Watchmen is one in which racial strife has yet to die, even after (per Moore and Gibbons’ tome, which serves as backstory to this tale) genius and corporate titan Adrian Veidt, also known as Ozymandias, prevented ‘80s nuclear annihilation between the U.S. and Russia by orchestrating a hoax on humanity: dropping a gigantic alien squid on Manhattan and having it emit a psychic blast that killed 3 million, thereby turning mankind away from destroying itself and toward combatting a new, singular threat.Having knowledge of the original Watchmen certainly enriches one’s experience with HBO’s sequel, given that it serves as the context for its action, and is repeatedly shouted-out in direct and subtle ways, including via snippets of a sensationalistic TV show about the historic “Minutemen” superhero squad. Still, it’s far from necessary. Lindelof doles out bits and pieces of lore for newbies while focusing his primary action on Det. Angela Abar (Regina King). Thanks to a recent Seventh Cavalry massacre of cops known as “The White Night,” all officers now hide their identities behind yellow masks. Abar, however, does her head-busting business in a long-hooded trenchcoat, black mask and spray-painted face as her alter ego, Sister Knight. She’s a fundamentally good person, married to a decent husband Cal 0 and the mother of three kids whom she took in after her partner was slain. Alongside her chief Judd Crawford (Don Johnson) and the silver-headed Looking Glass (Tim Blake Nelson), she’s soon on the trail of the Seventh Cavalry, thanks to the organization’s re-emergence via the attempted murder of a traffic cop.That’s merely the jumping-off point for an expansive tale that comes to involve Laurie Blake (Jean Smart), aka Silk Spectre, a former (and familiar) costumed heroine who’s now an FBI hotshot, and Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons), whom the public thinks is dead and who’s doing who-knows-what in a remote mansion with a battalion of clone servants. Things really get going with a surprising early assassination and then splinter off in a variety of directions, with Lindelof pivoting each episode, The Leftovers-style, around one specific character, revealing their hang-ups and secrets and part to play in this conspiracy-rich melodrama. At the same time, Watchmen fleshes out its bizarre reality: lifelong president Richard Nixon has been replaced by commander-in-chief Robert Redford (who’s compensated victims of racial violence with “Redfordations”); masked vigilantes have been outlawed; and trauma is omnipresent, except for on Mars, where true-blue nude superbeing Dr. Manhattan continues to reside, disinterested in the mortals he left behind on Earth three decades ago.At least in its first six episodes, Watchmen paints a chilling portrait of politically and racially divided 21st-century life, and those on both sides of the aisle will find much to like and loathe. It’s a big mixed bag of fury and misery, and one that’s full of on-point 0 musical cues and striking direction marked by superbly synchronized visual transitions and playful flourishes (including each episode’s title being transposed as yellow text on environmental backgrounds). Moreover, it’s overflowing with phenomenal performances: King is conflicted and intense; Johnson is ruggedly charming; Nelson is menacingly opaque; and Smart is wounded and steely. Lindelof makes sure his stars are front-and-center throughout, and consistently complicates their characters in ways that give them real dramatic material with which to work. It’s a superhero saga that’s at once sprawling and human-scaled.If there’s a failing here, it’s that the show betrays Moore’s underlying critique by often depicting villain-decimating combat as thrilling rather than excessive and appalling—a mistake also committed by Zack Snyder’s uneven, if unfairly maligned, 2009 adaptation of the original Watchmen. Nonetheless, the further it proceeds down its spiraling path, the more it undercuts sympathy for everyone it portrays, including Sister Night, thereby proving its overtly articulated point that uniforms change people—usually for the worse. For these heroes and villains, a mask is a sign of derangement and deviance. And thus wearing one makes them, in the end, no different than everyone else. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Separatist activities are doomed to failure, Defence Minister Wei Fenghe said at the opening in Beijing of the Xiangshan Forum, which China styles as its answer to the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore. Tensions between China and Taiwan have ratcheted up ahead of the self-ruled island's presidential election in January. Taiwan is China's most sensitive territorial issue.
A night-time curfew has been introduced across Chile’s biggest cities as protests and widespread civil unrest caused chaos on October 20.
Outside the capital of Santiago, five people were reported to have died after a factory was burned by looters. A state of emergency was declared on Friday.
In this video, taken on Sunday, a group of protesters bang pots and other objects in the city centre streets. The ‘cacerolazo’, or casserole, is a traditional form of protest in Chile and other South American through which people show solidarity with a cause by making noise with household items.
The protests began in response to a proposed hike in metro fares but have since expanded to encompass general anger about the cost of living and inequality in the country. Credit: Pepe Díaz via Storyful
Prince Harry has said he and his brother are "on different paths" and have "good days" and "bad days". This year has seen Harry and Meghan split from their joint charity with William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. The Duke of Sussex said "inevitably stuff happens" - particularly with such a high-profile role and a family that lives under pressure.