The Hong Kong 1 July protests, credit Ross Pollack, via Flickr

These Hong Kong Protests are a Very Big Deal

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Hong Kong has never seen this before. China watchers expect Beijing to crackdown very hard. “The heavy-handed police measures, including the city’s first use of tear gas in years and the presence of officers armed with long-barreled guns, appeared to galvanize the public, drawing more people onto the streets. On Monday morning, protesters controlled major thoroughfares in at least three different parts of the city. A few unions and the Hong Kong Federation of Students called for strikes, and the federation also urged a boycott of classes.The confrontation threatened to tarnish Hong Kong’s reputation as a safe enclave for commerce, and immediately raised the political cost of Beijing’s unyielding position on electoral change here; footage and photos of unarmed students standing in clouds of tear gas facing off with riot police officers flashed around the world on Sunday. It also set the stage for a prolonged struggle that poses a test for President Xi Jinping of China, who has championed a harsh line against political threats to Communist Party rule. (NYT

An inside look into the US Military’s Ebola Response So Far…An excellent story from the Wall Street Journal about the US military’s struggle to rapidly build a field hospital in Liberia.


Thousands of people protested in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday, calling on President Joseph Kabila to respect his country’s constitution and step down when his second elected term ends in 2016. (Reuters

The United Nations’ peacekeeping chief on Saturday warned of a resurgence of Islamist fighters in northern Mali, where several UN peacekeepers have been killed in a wave of recent attacks. (AFP

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir raised concerns on Saturday about U.N. peacekeepers focusing on protecting civilians amid renewed violence – as instructed by the U.N. Security Council – instead of state-building in the world’s newest nation. (Reuters

In an effort to save lives, health authorities are determined to roll out potentia ebolal vaccines within months, dispensing with some of the usual testing, and raising unprecedented ethical and practical questions.(Reuters

Social and economic development has long been touted as the way to revive the fortunes of Nigeria’s impoverished north and prevent legions of disaffected young men turning to radical Islam. (AFP

The WHO today said it is intensifying its cooperation with a wide range of partners trying to accelerate work on experimental therapies and vaccines as it announced that Ebola has now sickened more than 6,500 and killed more than 3,000. (UN News Centre

More than 700 residents crowd onto a small piece of land in Rwamutonga, a small village outside Hoima, Uganda. The people say they have been unfairly forced from their homes and abused after a land dispute with their neighbor, Joshua Tibagwa. (VOA

Through the Action for Transparency Smartphone app, being piloted in three Ugandan districts, communities are being armed with information allowing them to report anonymously when budget allocations for health centres and schools fail to match public expenditure. (AFP


The United States and Russia see Islamic State as a common enemy but are failing to overcome deep mutual distrust and agree on how to tackle the threat together, making any role for Moscow in the U.S.-led campaign unlikely. (Reuters

Hundreds of Yemenis demonstrated in Sanaa on Sunday demanding that Houthi rebels who had seized control of the capital last week leave, a day after the Shi’ite Muslim fighters attacked the home of the intelligence chief. (Reuters


Five big challenges facing Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani. (BBC

Indian prime minister Narenra Modi is getting a rock star recpetion in the United States–including playing at Madison Square Garden (Time

The Americas

Racism and corruption are still rife in Brazil yet a mixed-race woman, born into almost absolute poverty in the jungle interior, could soon be elected to lead this country of 200 million people. Marina Silva is certainly an enigma. (BBC

Narendra Modi, Jim Kim and Ban Ki Moon were just a few of the guests at this year’s Global Citizen Festival. (NYT


Kissinger Is Right: ‘Asia’ Is a Western Construct (The Diplomat

The Experts Missing From The Ebola Response: Anthropologists (NPR

Good news from South Sudan (Roving Bandit

Get your Africa facts right: websites seek to stem flow of misinformation (Guardian

Finding New Ways to Bridge the Aid Gap in Syria (UN Dispatch

25 years of the Convention on the Rights of a Child: Is the world a better place for children? (ODI

Inequality and injustice the legacy of Sudan’s September protests (Guardian

Celebrity development bullshit bingo-Victoria Beckham UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador appointment speech edition (Aidnography

After New York, how should climate change campaigners approach Paris? (From Poverty to Power


British far-right groups demonstrated against immigrants entering the country from France on Saturday, in a protest at the southern English port of Dover. (AFP