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Beijing shuts down pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong

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By Jenny Goldsberry

Thursday saw The Apple Daily’s final newspaper in Hong Kong. This comes after Hong Kong officials froze the paper’s assets, raided the newsroom and arrested three editors at the request of Beijing. Its owner, Jimmy Lai, is already in jail and has been since last fall.

Secretary for Security John Lee defended the shutdown in a press conference last week. “The action targets the use of journalistic work as a tool to endanger national security,” Lee said. “Normal journalists are different from these people. Don’t have any relations with them and keep away from them.”

Apple Daily photojournalist and nine year veteran KT agrees: there are no other journalists brave enough to do what they did. Bloomberg News followed KT around for his final days working for the paper. “There will still be newspapers, there will still be press in Hong Kong,” KT told them in an interview. “But no one is daring enough to report political news.”

Read the full article here.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Chinese Spy Balloon: Tensions rise between the U.S. and China

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A strange object was spotted Wednesday over Billings Montana. The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the strange object was, in fact, a Chinese spy balloon. According to a report from KPAX, a western Montana news outlet, the balloon had been on the governments radar for days.

On Friday, the Chinese government released a statement saying that the balloon spotted in Billings is a “civilian airship” that’s sole purpose is used to collect research on weather and that it had just blown off course. The balloon was not shot down by orders of the Pentagon due to the risk of falling debris injuring people on the ground.

Sara Carter, who has spoken frequently on the Chinese government’s threat and expansion to the West, stated on Twitter that the United States has failed to stop China from purchasing land near military installations, vital agricultural land, as well as, allowing Chinese linked companies, such as Huawei, to install technology in cellular towers. Those cellular towers are located in Montana, along side more than 150 ICBM nuclear silos.

China said, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure.” Majeure meaning that it was out of there control. It blew off course due to limited “self-steering” capabilities according the Ministry. The ministry also stated that the balloon, “deviated far from its planned course.”

This incident is adding fuel to the fire of what is already a tense relationship between the worlds two largest economies. China already lays claim to approximately 80% of the South China Sea, and is seeking full control over Taiwan after assuming full control of Hong Kong. China’s belt and road initiative has invested copious amounts of money into building infrastructure in other countries and uses it as economic blackmail. China’s transportation of fentanyl into Mexico is yet again another example of how they are seeking to damage the US.

Is this just a weather ballon that blew off course? US officials at the White House seem to be unconvinced and will continue to monitor the balloon, as reported.

UPDATED: Statement from the Pentagon was jaw dropping when a reporter asked if the public has a right to know about Beijing’s balloon.

“The public certainly has the ability to look up in the sky and see where the balloon is,” a DOD official responded.

 

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