In our news wrap Monday, more violence erupted in Hong Kong after a strike by pro-democracy forces disrupted commuter traffic. Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds, while Chief Executive Carrie Lam urged restraint by the protesters. Meanwhile, stocks in the U.S. plunged amid trepidation over the ongoing trade war with China. The Dow Jones lost 767 points and the NASDAQ dropped 278.
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Wall Street had its worst losses of the year, after China's currency hit an 11-year low against the U.S. dollar. The move sparked new fears about the escalating trade war. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 767 points to close at 25717. The Nasdaq fell 278 points, and the S&P 500 gave up 87. The Dow and the S&P were down about 3 percent. The Nasdaq lost 3.5 percent.
Late today, the U.S. accused China of being a currency manipulator, in violation of international agreements.
New violence has broken out in Hong Kong after a general strike by pro-democracy forces disrupted commuter traffic. The protests lasted all day, with some throwing rocks and police firing tear gas to disperse the crowds.
After nightfall, demonstrators set fires at police stations. The city's chief executive, Carrie Lam, urged restraint.
Carrie Lam (through translator):
Today, some citizens made their voices heard by participating in the strike action. No matter what kinds of requests you have, I hope all of you can express your voices in a peaceful manner. People may choose to strike, but should respect others' freedom of returning to work.
Lam warned that Hong Kong is on the verge of what she called a very dangerous situation. Still, a top police official said there is no need to call in the Chinese military.
The Hindu nationalist government of India touched off new turmoil in Kashmir today. Officials asked Parliament to end the Muslim-majority territory's right to make its own laws. The Indian-controlled part of Kashmir was put on security lockdown, and thousands of troops were deployed.
In Pakistan, Muslim protesters turned out to denounce the decision, while Pakistani leaders warned that it will have serious effects on regional security.
The political crisis in Puerto Rico has deepened after the island's Senate filed suit to oust newly installed Pedro Pierluisi as governor. The suit says that he cannot legally hold the office because he wasn't properly confirmed. He also faces public opposition over legal work that he did for a financial control board that imposed austerity measures.
Alex Martinez (through translator):
Well, for us, it really symbolizes a coup. The people are asking for transparency. That hasn't happened at any moment. The people are not the same as before. What's happened is that the people of Puerto Rico have woken up. They have discovered the power they have, and have said, enough is enough.
Pierluisi was named Puerto Rico's secretary of state last week. He argues that that put him in line to succeed Ricardo Rossello as governor when Rossello resigned on Friday. The Puerto Rican Supreme Court will now consider the issue.
A federal judge in New York sentenced a Florida man to 20 years in prison today for mailing pipe bombs to top Democrats and Trump critics. Cesar Sayoc had pled guilty in March to using weapons of mass destruction. The packages were sent before the midterm elections last fall. None of the bombs went off.
And another Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives is retiring. Texas Congressman Kenny Marchant announced today that he won't run for reelection next year in his suburban Dallas district. He gave no reason for calling it quits after eight terms. Marchant joins nine other House Republicans who've decided not to run again.
And two of America's largest newspaper chains have agreed to merge. GateHouse Media is buying Gannett Company, which owns USA Today, among other dailies. The combined company will include more than 260 newspapers.