In our news wrap Friday, pro-democracy demonstrations resumed in Hong Kong, amid suspicion China could send in paramilitary forces to counter them. Hong Kong police insisted they would maintain control as thousands of students rallied against Beijing’s rule. Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, police clashed with people protesting in the streets of Harare over inflation, water shortages and power outages.
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Representative Rashida Tlaib now says she won't visit the West Bank to see her grandmother, hours after the Israeli government granted her entry on humanitarian grounds. Israel initially barred both Tlaib and fellow Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from entry over their support of boycotts protesting Israel's policies and treatment of Palestinians.
But Israel reversed its ban on Tlaib, on the condition she promise not to promote the boycotts during her trip. Tlaib tweeted that she wouldn't visit under such — quote — "oppressive conditions."
North Korea, meanwhile, fired two projectiles into the sea Friday, marking its sixth launch in three weeks. Those launches came after a government spokesman for the North criticized South Korea for continuing planned joint military exercises with the U.S. Pyongyang also rejected the South's offer of peace talks. President Trump has shrugged off the tests as — quote — "smaller."
In Hong Kong, pro-democracy protesters began a weekend of demonstrations amid suspicion China may send in paramilitary forces. At night, thousands of demonstrators gathered for a student-led rally against the ruling Communist Party in China. Earlier, in the Chinese border town of Shenzhen, Chinese paramilitaries held exercises at a sports stadium.
But police in Hong Kong insisted they're in control.
We are confident that we have the capability to maintain law and order in Hong Kong. In general, from my personal contact with my front-line troops, they are motivated, stable and maintain high morale, and we love our place, and we want to contribute.
Major pro-democracy rallies are planned for Saturday and Sunday in Hong Kong.
Police in Zimbabwe today cracked down on opposition demonstrators in the capital, as they enforced a ban on anti-government protests. Demonstrators were demanding President Emmerson Mnangagwa address rampant inflation, water shortages and widespread power outages. Hundreds rallied in the streets of Central Harare. Police then fired tear gas and beat some of the protesters as crowds fled down side streets.
We don't have any food, no money, not even anything. That's why we came here. We want to solve our problem. But how can we solve our problem when they hit us? They come and beat us. So what can I do for that?
Opposition leaders said seven people were injured and 80 others were arrested.
More than 500 migrants have died in the Americas this year. That's according to a new report out today from the United Nations' Migration Agency. The U.N. said those numbers mark a 33 percent increase over last year; 259 deaths were due to drowning in shipwrecks or attempted river crossings. The report does not include the 11 fatalities inside U.S. migrant detention centers.
Four states and the District of Columbia today filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's new rules that disqualify immigrants from earning green cards if they use public assistance. That includes Medicaid, food stamps, and some public housing programs.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the rules have led to — quote — "a chilling effect" on immigrant families.
The Trump rule wants to put the power to bar your path to become a citizen if your child participates in something as basic as your neighborhood school lunch or nutrition program. This Trump rule weaponizes nutrition, health care and housing. It acts like a ticking time bomb.
The new rules are set to go into effect in October. Acting Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli announced the rule change on Monday. He said the administration welcomes immigrants who are — quote — "self-sufficient."
The New York City medical examiner — examiner, rather, has ruled Jeffrey Epstein's death was a suicide. The results of the autopsy released today said Epstein hanged himself in his Manhattan jail cell last Saturday. Epstein was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. The FBI and Justice Department are both investigating Epstein's death after — quote — "serious irregularities" were found at the jail.
There are new revelations today about the Air Force's probe into sexual assault allegations made against President Trump's pick for the Pentagon's second highest military post. Air Force investigators determined there was insufficient evidence to prove Air Force General John Hyten had a — quote — "unprofessional relationship" with his close aide Army Colonel Kathryn Spletstoser.
Hyten's polygraph test was also deemed to be inconclusive. A separate report from the Defense Department's inspector general could be made public as early as next week. Hyten has denied the assault claim. He faces a full Senate confirmation vote next month.
Meanwhile, a new report from the State Department's inspector general has found politically motivated harassment at one of the department's top bureaus. Career staffers in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs said they were mistreated and retaliated against by top Trump administration appointees who thought they were — quote — "disloyal" to the president.
The State Department vowed to provide a corrective action plan within 60 days.
In economic news, Wall Street ended this turbulent week of trading on a positive note. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 306 points to close at 25886. The Nasdaq rose 129 points, and the S&P 500 added 41.
Greenland said today it is not for sale, amid reports that President Trump has expressed interest in the U.S. buying the semiautonomous Danish territory. The Wall Street Journal was first to report that a Trump ally said the president discussed the purchase, but wasn't serious about it.
One of Greenland's two members of the Danish Parliament insisted today her nation was off the market.
Aaja Chemnitz Larsen:
Greenland is not for sale. And if Greenland were for sale, it was up to the peoples of Greenland. Greenland is an indigenous population.
And in many ways, I think if Greenland was for sale, I don't think we would sell it to the U.S. I think what most people in Greenland are concerned about is the fact that we're being seen as something that you can just trade. And it's quite disrespectful.
President Trump is not the first American president to pitch the idea. In 1946, President Harry Truman's administration offered to purchase Greenland from Denmark in exchange for $100 million in gold.
And two lucky kayakers in Alaska survived a close call while investigating cracks in a glacier. One of the kayakers posted this dramatic video online showing an ice bridge collapsing and falling into the water below. A huge splash then washes over the two men as they paddle away from the oncoming wake.
Alaska has seen its lowest levels of sea ice ever this summer, as record temperatures and wildfires have grown amid the climate crisis.