1. U.S RAISES TRAVEL WARNING FOR HONG KONG OVER GROWING CIVIL UNREST
The United States raised its travel warning for Hong Kong, urging travelers to exercise increased caution in the Chinese territory due to what it termed civil unrest after months of sometimes violent street protests.
The protests in the Asian financial hub began with opposition to a now-suspended extradition law and have evolved into a direct challenge to the government and calls for full democracy.
According to the head of China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Hong Kong is facing its worst crisis because of the protests.
The protests pose the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012. Xi is also grappling with a debilitating trade war with the United States and a slowing economy.
2. TRUMP FACES PROTESTS AS HE VISITS DAYTON, EL PASO
Aiming to play the traditional role of healer during the national tragedy, President Donald Trump paid visits Wednesday to cities reeling from mass shootings that left 31 dead and dozens more wounded. But his divisive words preceded him, large protests greeted him and biting political attacks soon followed.
During the president and first lady Melania Trump’s visit at Dayton’s Miami Valley Hospital, at least 200 protesters gathered, blaming Trump’s incendiary rhetoric for inflaming political and racial tensions in the country and demanding action on gun control.
In El Paso, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a potential Democratic 2020 presidential rival, has blistered Trump as a racist instigator.
Emotions are still raw in both cities in the aftermath of the weekend shootings. Critics contend Trump’s own words have contributed to a combustible climate that has spawned death and other violence.
3. TURKEY, U.S AGREE TO FORM JOINT OPERATION CENTER FOR SYRIA SAFE ZONE
Turkey and the United States agreed on Wednesday to establish a joint operation center in Turkey to coordinate and manage a planned safe zone in northeast Syria, a move that appeared to reduce the chance of imminent Turkish military action.
The two countries gave few details of the deal, which followed three days of talks between military delegations and months of stalemate over how far the safe zone should extend into Syria and who should command forces patrolling it.
The proposed zone aims to secure a strip of land stretching more than 400 km along Syria’s northeastern border with Turkey, much of it controlled by the Kurdish YPG militia that fought with U.S. support against Daesh militants.
Turkey has twice sent forces into northern Syria in the last three years to drive back YPG and Daesh fighters from the border. President Tayyip Erdogan said a third incursion was imminent, targeting YPG-controlled territory east of the Euphrates river.