TUESDAY, October 1
President Xi Jinping has renewed a commitment to Hong Kong’s autonomy on the eve of 70th anniversary celebrations for the People’s Republic of China.
Mr Xi made his remarks at a reception on the eve of a massive celebration of the People’s Republic’s 70th anniversary that threatens to be marred by clashes between police and anti-government demonstrators in Hong Kong, international news agencies reported..
Demonstrators and police clashed for a second straight day on Sunday in Hong Kong, sparking further chaos in the city’s business and shopping belt and drawing fears of more ugly scenes during the week-long National Day holiday.
“We will continue to fully and faithfully implement the principles of ‘One country, two systems’ (and) ‘Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong’,” said Mr Xi.
He said China’s approach is to ensure that Hong Kong and its fellow semi-autonomous region of Macao “prosper and progress alongside the mainland and embrace an even brighter future.”
Earlier on Monday, Xi led other top officials in paying respects to the founder of the Communist state, Mao Zedong, ahead of the massive celebrations emphasising China’s rise to global prominence.
The unusual move saw Xi bow three times to Mao’s statue at his mausoleum in the centre of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and pay his respects to Mao’s embalmed corpse, which has lain in state in the hulking chamber since soon after his death in 1976.
It was believed to be the first visit to the mausoleum by Xi and other officials since 2013, the 120th anniversary of Mao’s birth.
Xi also ascended the nearby Monument to the People’s Heroes to pay further tribute on what has been designated Martyr’s Day, just ahead of Tuesday’s National Day festivities, which will be marked by a massive military parade through the centre of the city of 20 million people.
US President Donald Trump has vented his anger about the impeachment proceedings against him, retweeting a warning from an American pastor that his removal would spark a “civil war-like fracture” in the country.
Conservative pastor Robert Jeffress gave the “civil war” warning during an appearance on Fox News, saying the “country will never heal” if Mr Trump is removed from office.
Trump’s tweet was condemned by Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger, who described his comments as “beyond repugnant”.
“I have visited nations ravaged by civil war … I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a president. This is beyond repugnant,” he said.
The comments were part of a stream of complaints on Twitter from Mr Trump, who also suggested Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, who is leading the impeachment inquiry against him, should be arrested for treason.
“[Mr Schiff] illegally made up a fake and terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people,” Mr Trump wrote.
“It bore no relationship to what I said on the call.
“Arrest for treason?”
The tweets are likely to inflame criticism of Mr Trump’s handling of the scandal engulfing his presidency stemming from a telephone call in which he asked Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son.
The Principal of an Australian private school has accused climate activist Greta Thunberg of being “a little girl with … mental problems” in a newsletter.
In his last update before the holidays, the principal of Coffs Harbour Christian Community School Rodney Lynn told students and parents “your world’s future is in the hands of God, not in the predictions of a little girl”.
Although he did not name Ms Thunberg, 16, he made reference to “a little girl from Scandinavia” who was promoting “doomsday waffle talk”.
“No one knows when the final wind up of the world will be,” he wrote.
“Jesus said no one, only the Father God, knows about that day or hour.”
Ms Thunberg’s climate activism started as a one-person school strike, and has since swelled into a global movement of millions.
She addressed the United Nations last week, accusing politicians of failing her generation.
But Mr Lynn urged people not to listen to her, saying she was a “little girl with self declared various emotional and mental problems that she thinks give her a special insight into a pending doom”.
“My life experience has taught me that the doomsday predictors are just attention getters,” he said in his September 26 newsletter.
“Do not be afraid. Your world’s future is in the hands of God, not in the predictions of a little girl and false prophets.”
In another attack on Ms Thunberg on the other side of the world, Jeremy Clarkson, controversial star of TV motoring show The Grand Tour, wrote in a London newspaper column: “How dare you sail to America on a carbon fibre yacht that you didn’t build which cost £15 million ($A27.2 million), that you didn’t earn, and which has a back-up diesel engine that you didn’t mention”.
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