In our news wrap Tuesday, chaos gripped Hong Kong again, as demonstrations crippled the city’s busy airport for a second day in a row. Violent clashes broke out when riot police armed with pepper spray confronted pro-democracy protesters. Also, the U.S. announced it’s delaying tariffs on some Chinese goods until December 15 and removing other items from the tariff list altogether.
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Clashes rocked Hong Kong today, as anti-government demonstrations crippled the busy international airport for a second day. Scuffles broke out when riot police armed with pepper spray and batons confronted pro-democracy protesters inside the terminal.
Jonathan Miller of Independent Television News has our report.
Midnight Hong Kong time, and the protestors who'd forced the cancellation of all outbound flights for the second day running became suddenly agitated as a thin blue line tentatively entered the arrivals hall, terminal one. Laser pens blinded the officers, who were immediately forced to retreat.
The black shirts thought for a moment they'd seen the police off. Then, the riot police arrived. Initially they picked off individuals. Some were beaten, then cuffed.
One riot policeman became immediately trapped inside the doors to the terminal. You see him attempting an arrest, then he's set upon. He loses, then is beaten with his own baton.
The intensity of the mistrust and hatred that has built up exploding. The cop pulls a hand gun but shows restraint; he does not fire. He's finally rescued.
Beijing's rhetoric of "no leniency, no mercy" still reverberating around Hong Kong, a city in the throes of chaos and escalating violence and now gripped by fear of what China might do.
At 20 to 1:00 in the morning, the protestors surround another suspected police spy and cuff him with plastic cable ties. The editor of a Chinese communist party paper, the English language "Global Times," tweeted that Fu Guohao is one of his Hong Kong-based reporters.
There is an ugly symmetry to all this. It followed other violent incidents on Sunday in which Hong Kong police fired tear gas into underground stations, chased and beat fleeing protestors, and, across the harbor, shot a young female protestor in the eye with a baton round.
Carrie Lam, the pro-Beijing political leader of the semi-autonomous territory, held a news conference this morning.
Carrie Lam (through translator):
Hong Kong has become unsafe and unstable, violence, not matter who commits it or who lets it happen, is pushing Hong Kong onto a road of no return.
Just inside mainland China, battalions of people's armed police now stand at the ready.
This is China's counter-terrorism force and tellingly, the protests in Hong Kong were yesterday described by Beijing as "emerging terrorism."
Hong Kongers watch anxiously. As Carrie Lam sticks to her guns, they know it's Beijing who's calling the shots.
That report from Jonathan Miller of Independent Television News.
Also today, the U.S. announced it's delaying tariffs on some Chinese goods until December 15th while removing other items from its tariff list altogether. The tariffs have been set to go into effect next month on products including laptops, cell phones, and video game consoles.
President Trump was asked about the timing of the delay before departing for an event in Pennsylvania.
President Donald Trump:
We're doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers. But so far they've had virtually none.
Planned 10 percent tariffs on about $300 billion in other Chinese goods will still be imposed.
Word of the tariff delay actually sent stocks soaring on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 372 points to close at nearly 26,280. The Nasdaq rose 153 points and the S&P 500 added 42.
Scrutiny intensified today of the Manhattan jail where accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was found dead on Saturday. The Justice Department said the two guards assigned to watch Epstein have now been placed on administrative leave. The jail's warden was also temporarily reassigned, pending the outcome of both the FBI and Justice Department investigations into Epstein's death.
A coalition of 29 states and cities filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration today to stop a rule easing restrictions on coal-burning power plants. The Trump rule rolled back an Obama-era regulation that set limits on carbon dioxide pollution from power
plants. The outcome of the case could set a precedent for how future administrations can fight climate change by restricting pollutants.
Most of the southern U.S. and parts of the Midwest were under heat advisories and warnings today, from Texas to South Carolina. The triple-digit heat wave was most intense across Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. But some relief is on the way. The National Weather Service said an approaching cool front will help reduce the heat and humidity in some areas tomorrow.
CBS and Viacom have agreed to reunite. They'll merge their networks and the Paramount movie studio in the face of growing competition from streaming services like Netflix. The combined company is estimated to have $28 billion in revenue. The merger is expected to be completed by year's end.
And, a new report out today finds that child care costs in most states exceed federal subsidies for low-income parents. That's according to the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS. Each state decides how to allocate funds from an $8 billion national block grant, meant to offset child care costs for over a million children. But many states set their payment rates much lower than recommended. HHS has now put 33 states on watch to ensure they comply with equal access requirements.