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Report: $15 minimum wage bill would benefit 20.7 million workers

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24 Hours Across Africa

Hong kong unrest worsens

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Hundreds of mask-wearing pro-democracy protesters marched through Hong Kong’s central business district on Friday, occupying a main thoroughfare and disrupting traffic as the Chinese-ruled city braced for another weekend of unrest.

Chanting their core demands, the crowd occupied the district at lunchtime before peacefully dispersing.

Hong Kong’s metro operator opened all stations for the first time in a week ahead of more planned anti-government protests, while the city’s legislature began its first session since protesters stormed the building in July.

Pro-establishment and democratic lawmakers shouted at each other before the session, underscoring the tension and divisions in Hong Kong after four months of often violent anti-China protests.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam invoked British colonial-era emergency laws last Friday and banned the wearing of face masks which protesters have used to shield their identities.

The protests have plunged the city, an Asian financial hub, into its worst crisis since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997, posing the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

What began as opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill has evolved into a pro-democracy movement fanned by fears that China is stifling Hong Kong’s freedoms, guaranteed under a “one country, two systems” formula introduced in 1997.

China denies the accusations and says fore1ign countries, including Britain and the United States, are fomenting unrest.

The Chinese embassy in Bangkok on Friaday condemned Thai politicians for showing support for Hong Kong activists.

“This is wrong and irresponsible. China hopes that relevant people will understand the truth about problems in Hong Kong, act carefully and do useful things for the friendship between China and Thailand,” the embassy said in a statement.

Ninety people have been arrested for anti-mask law violations in the past week, pushing the total number of arrests since June to more than 2,300, police said on Friday. Many of those arrested are under 16, authorities said.

Police said they were investigating four reports of blackmail involving emails from a group claiming to be pro-democracy and threatening to target shops unless they fund protests via bitcoin.

“The intimidating messages even include videos of rioters inflicting extensive damage to shops over the past few weeks,” said acting police chief superintendent Kong Wing-cheung.

Protesters have targeted China banks and shops with links, or perceived links, to mainland China.

Many residents fear the emergency laws may be expanded, further eroding civil liberties, but the government said on Thursday it would not bring in any other measures.

Source: Reuters

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24 Hours Across Africa

Sudan appoints first female chief justice

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For the first time a woman has been chosen as the chief justice in Sudan.

The Sovereign Council, which is made up of civilian and military officials, confirmed that Supreme Court judge Neemat Abdulllah would head the country’s judiciary.

Although only two of the 11-member Sovereign Council in charge of Sudan are women, this latest appointment is seen as a significant step towards addressing gender inequality.

Activists have been pushing for more female appointments, especially as so many women played a key role in the protests that led to the downfall of former President Omar al-Bashir.

Social embed from twitter

Mohanad Humam@moehash1

A first for Sudan, and most likely North Africa, a woman chief justice has been appointed to head the country’s judicial system and oversee the overhaul of the justice system. https://twitter.com/wasilalitaha/status/1182258234683469828 

Wasil Ali – واصل علي@wasilalitaha

BREAKING: A member of #Sudan sovereignty council officially confirms that they picked Neemat Abdulllah as the country’s Chief Justice. A first in Sudan & the Arab world for a female.

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