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Hong Kong legislature President urged legislators to resolve the standoff after a serious fracas.

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Source :Reuters

Hong Kong legislators clashed on Tuesday over a proposed extradition law that would allow people to be sent to China for trial, after ugly brawls in the legislature over the weekend.

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The bill is the latest lightning rod for many worried about Beijing overreach in the former British colony that was promised a high degree of autonomy under a “one country, two systems” formula when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

More than 130,000 people marched against the proposed legislation several weeks ago in one of the biggest protests since the Umbrella pro-democracy movement in 2014.

Following the skirmishes on Saturday that saw one lawmaker taken to hospital, pro-democracy lawmakers again tried to hold a committee meeting to discuss the extradition bill. But a scrum ensued as democrats scrambled to block their rivals from holding a meeting of their own.

“Scrap the evil law,” some democrats shouted through loud-hailers as security guards fought to keep the two sides apart.

The pro-Beijing lawmakers left the chamber, saying rational debate was impossible. They returned a little later but were forced to beat a retreat a second time.

The democrats say their rivals breached procedural rules in forming their own committee and in trying to elect their own chairman to usher through the bill. Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, has said she wants the bill passed before the summer.

It needs to be voted upon by the full legislature, that is now controlled by pro-Beijing and pro-establishment lawmakers.

The proposed changes have sparked an unusually broad chorus of concern from international business to lawyers and rights groups and even some pro-establishment figures.

Under the changes, Hong Kong’s leader would have the right to order case-by-case extraditions of wanted offenders to mainland China, Macau and Taiwan, as well as other countries not covered by Hong Kong’s existing extradition treaties.

Authorities say such orders need to be approved by the city’s independent judiciary as a safeguard, but critics say judges will have difficulty validating evidence presented by mainland authorities against potential fugitives.

The president of the legislature, Andrew Leung, urged both sides to resolve the standoff through talks.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Barcelona appoints ‘Valdes’ to coach their youth team

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The Spanish giant ‘Barcelona’ has appointed their legendary star victor Valdes to coach U19A team.

The Spaniard picked up UEFA A and B coaching licences after retiring from football last year and has now reunited with the Blaugrana

The 37-year-old racked up 539 appearances for Barca across all competitions over the course of 12 seasons between 2002 and 2014, winning 21 major titles in total.

Valdes picked up three Champions Leagues, six La Liga titles and won the Copa del Rey twice, earning legendary status at the club while also establishing himself as one of the finest shot-stoppers in Europe.

Barcelona released the following statement on their official website: “Victor Valdes is back at FC Barcelona after signing a contract on Friday morning to become the new head coach of the U19A team. The agreement binds him to the club until June 2020, with the option for an extension by one additional season.

The Spanish born has been enjoying with ED Moratalaz role in the fifth tier of Spanish football before Barcelona reach an agreement with him.

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24 Hours Across Africa

BMW and Tencent to team-up in developing self-driving cars

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(Reuters) – German automaker BMW (BMWG.DE) and Chinese online gaming giant Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) are teaming up to launch a computing center in China that will help develop self-driving cars in the world’s biggest auto market, the companies said on Friday.

The computing center, which will start operations by the end of the year, will provide cars with data-crunching capabilities to help them drive semi-autonomously and, eventually, autonomously.

The two companies did not disclose the investment in the center. Sources familiar with the deal said the center will be built in the eastern city of Tianjin.

The establishment of the center “will support BMW’s autonomous driving development and innovation in China,” Jochen Goller, head of BMW’s China operations, said in a statement.

“BMW can, therefore, develop autonomous driving solutions that fit better with the specific driving conditions in China.”

BMW said the new computing center will leverage Tencent’s cloud computing and big data, and provide the automaker with infrastructure needed to develop the autonomous cars.

The Munich-headquartered automaker says it will likely introduce semi-autonomous, or L3 classification, cars in China in 2021 which would need massive computing power to analyze real-time flow of digital information on road and traffic conditions.

Driverless cars need sophisticated data-crunching capabilities as they rely on so-called artificial-intelligence, or neuro-network technology, to help them “learn” from experience and could eventually drive themselves without human intervention.

BMW’s planned Chinese computing center follows the opening earlier this year of a similar computing center in Munich.

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