The Human Rights and Democracy Act signed on Wednesday by Donald Trump is a boost to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protestors, seen here on 1 October. Photo: PaulWong / Shutterstock
Measles outbreak kills 39 in Samoa; Sondland accusations; three celebrity deaths; Hungary pulls out of Eurovision; and a weekend what’s on guide. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
Trump signs pro-democracy Hong Kong bill
Legislation requiring the US state department to verify that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to warrant continued trade was signed by president Donald Trump on Wednesday, the BBC and other media report. The Guardian says the legislation had been approved unanimously by the Senate and by all but one lawmaker in the House of Representatives. A second bill banning the export of crowd-control munitions to the Hong Kong police was also passed into law. CNBC has a focus on China’s reaction, which includes accusing the US of “sinister intentions”. Meanwhile, The Washington Post has a fascinating story about one protestor’s escape from the recent siege at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University.
YouGov puts Johnson on course for clear majority
The Conservative Party could win 359 seats in the 12 December UK election, giving it a majority of 68 in parliament, according to an MRP model projection from pollsters YouGov. Reuters cites YouGov’s Anthony Wells saying that “the swing to the Conservative party is bigger in areas that voted to Leave in 2016.” The Guardian says the poll is “grim” for Labour, which would fall back to 211 seats--"in line with the disaster of 1983.” Bloomberg has an explainer of how the MRP model works. The Independent, rather optimistically, says that the poll is not the end of the elections and that there is still plenty of uncertainty ahead.
US Navy drops reviews of 3 SEALs
Reuters reports that the US Navy has dropped reviews of three SEALs who were under scrutiny as superiors of Edward Gallagher. Gallagher was recently the subject of a presidential order that allowed him to retain his SEAL status despite being convicted of battlefield misconduct. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the decision should not be interpreted as a diminishment of the SEAL ethos.
39 die in Samoa measles epidemic
Samoa has declared a state of emergency and ruled vaccines compulsory after an outbreak of measles that has resulted in 39 deaths, New Zealand’s public broadcaster RNZ reports. But, as ABC reports, Australian-Samoan social media “influencer” Taylor Winterstein has likened the compulsory vaccination programme to “Nazi Germany”.
Sondland accused of sexual misconduct
Three women have accused US ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland of sexual misconduct, The Guardian reports. Two say they had to physically reject Sondland, and that he then retaliated by ceasing to assist their career or business.
Killer has “right to be forgotten”
A German man convicted of the 1982 killing of two people after a row on a sailing ship has won “the right to be forgotten”, Deutsche Welle reports. The constitutional court in Karlsruhe ruled in the plaintiff’s favour after a long legal battle that started in 2009. The BBC says the man had claimed that search results linking his name to articles in Der Spiegel about the case violated his rights and his “ability to develop his personality”.
Hungarian public broadcaster MTVA has decided the country will not compete at the 2020 Eurovision song contest, The Guardian reports. No official reason was given, but a source at MTVA said that the assumption among staff is that it was motivated by the contest’s association with LGBTQ+ culture. Recently a pro-government television commentator in Hungary labelled Eurovision “a homosexual flotilla”.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts