Hong Kong protests take violent turn

Hong Kong, August 24 

The Hong Kong riot police fired tear gas and baton-charged protesters who retaliated with a barrage of stones, bottles and bamboo poles, as a standoff in a working-class district on Saturday descended into violence, breaking an uneasy peace that had lasted several days. Thousands of demonstrators marched through the industrial Kwun Tong area, where they were blocked by dozens of officers with shields and batons. 

Frontline protesters pulled together a barricade of traffic barriers and bamboo construction poles, spray-painting walls with insults directed at the police. Some fired stones from slingshots, forcing cops to react.

The protests are against a proposed law that would have allowed extradition to China, but have bled into wider calls for democracy and police accountability in the semi-autonomous city. The protesters have also been demanding political reforms. — AFP

China releases UK consulate worker

Hong Kong: A worker at the UK consulate in Hong Kong has been released by China. Simon Cheng, a Hong Kong national who works as a  trade and investment officer for the British consulate, had been placed under detention for 15 days. IANS