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News Wrap: China condemns pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong

In our news wrap Monday, China condemned pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Sunday night. More than 100,000 people marched in the streets, some vandalizing the Chinese government’s office there. Beijing warned they are directly challenging the central government’s authority. Meanwhile, Iran said it had arrested 17 Iranian nationals accused of spying for the CIA and sentenced several to death.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    In the day's other news: President Trump announced later today that Congress and the White House have reached a budget deal.

    It would raise the debt ceiling, the government's borrowing limit, and set government spending limits for two years. The spending blueprints are expected to include big increases for defense and domestic programs.

    Details are still coming out at this hour, but the deal removes the possibility of government shutdowns for the foreseeable future.

    China today condemned pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and warned they are directly challenging the central government's authority. On Sunday, more than 100,000 people marched in the streets of Hong Kong, at night, some egging and spray-painting the Chinese government's office.

    That incident touched a nerve in Beijing.

  • Geng Shuang (through translator):

    The behavior of some radical demonstrators has touched the bottom line of the one country-two systems principle and must not be tolerated.

    We firmly support the Hong Kong government in taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the Chinese central government's agencies in Hong Kong, defend Hong Kong's rule of law and punish criminals.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    In a separate incident, at a subway station last night, a group of assailants wearing white attacked pro-democracy protesters dressed in black and gray. At least 45 people were hurt.

    Hong Kong Administrator Carrie Lam rejected allegations that police had colluded in the subway attack.

    Iran said today it arrested 17 Iranian nationals accused of spying for the CIA. It said they worked at — quote — "sensitive military and nuclear sites," and that some have now been sentenced to death. President Trump said the claim is a lie.

    Meanwhile, Iranian state TV aired footage of the crew of a British tanker seized last week at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. They appeared to be unharmed.

    On Afghanistan, President Trump claimed the U.S. could win a full-scale war there in a week. He met with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, hoping Pakistan will help broker an Afghan peace deal. And he played up peace talks over more fighting.

  • President Donald Trump:

    We have done what we were supposed to do. We have been there for 19 years, and we have acted as policemen, not soldiers. And, again, if we wanted to be soldiers, it would be over in 10 days, one week to 10 days, if we wanted to.

    But I have not chosen that. Why are we — why would we kill millions of people? It wouldn't be fair. In terms of humanity, it wouldn't be fair.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Prime minister Khan said he thinks the U.S. and Taliban are closer to a peace deal than ever before. The president also said he's willing to mediate between India and Pakistan in their 70-year dispute over Kashmir. He said India's prime minister had asked him about it, but India's Foreign Ministry denied that.

    In East Jerusalem, Israeli crews began demolishing dozens of Palestinian homes today in one of the largest operations of its kind in years. Bulldozers tore through apartment buildings near the West Bank-Jerusalem divide. Residents said the Palestinian Authority let them build there. The Israeli military said the high-rise apartments pose a security threat because they are too close to the separation barrier with the West Bank.

    The death toll from monsoon flooding across parts of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh rose to more than 300 today. Vast stretches of land are still underwater, even as the rain has eased. That, in turn, is letting crews gain access to some of the hardest-hit areas to tally the damage and deaths. South Asia's monsoon season typically runs from June until September.

    India's space agency successfully has launched an unmanned mission to the moon. A rocket carrying the spacecraft blasted off from southern India today. Flight controllers celebrated the sequel to an orbital flight to the moon in 2008. This flight aims to land a rover on the far side of the moon to explore water ice deposits at the lunar south pole.

    Back in this country, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was remembered with a special ceremony at the court. He died last week at the age of 99. Stevens' remains were brought to the court's Great Hall to lie in repose for the day. President Trump was among those who paid their respects.

    Former colleagues were also there, including Justice Elena Kagan, who succeeded Stevens on the court.

  • Elena Kagan:

    He was a brilliant man with extraordinary legal gifts and talents, which he combined with a deep devotion to the rule of law and a deep commitment to equal justice.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Justice Stevens will have a private burial tomorrow at Arlington National Cemetery.

    The credit rating agency Equifax will pay up to $700 million in a settlement involving a huge data breach. Today's announcement closes investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, plus nearly all 50 states. Equifax acknowledged in 2017 that hackers gained access to Social Security numbers and other personal data for nearly 150 million people.

    And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 17 points to close near 27192. The Nasdaq rose 57 points and the S&P 500 added eight.

    And the statues have come to life, sort of, in Belgium. It hosted Europe's largest living statue festival this weekend. Performers included a headless duo who danced with young attendees. A group known as the Mirror Family, clad in gold and silver, showed off their moves. And Mr. Red joined a long list of others entertaining the crowds.

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