Large protests in Hong Kong
Tens of thousands of people had taken to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday to protest against the jailing of three young democracy activists, with many questioning the independence of the Chinese-ruled city’s judiciary. Joshua Wong, 20, Nathan Law, 24 and Alex Chow, 27, were jailed for six to eight months on Thursday for unlawful assembly, dealing a blow to the youth-led push for universal suffrage and prompting accusations of political interference. Thousands of people marched in temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) to the Court of Final Appeal, carrying placards and banners denouncing the jailing of the activists.
Former student leader Lester Shum, who helped to organise Sunday’s rally, said the number of protesters was the highest since the “Umbrella Movement” pro-democracy protests in 2014 that paralysed major roads in the financial centre for 79 days. Hong Kong police estimated 22,000 people had shown up at the height of the protest. Protesters brandished a large banner saying: “It’s not a crime to fight against totalitarianism.” They shouted: “Release all political prisoners. Civil disobedience. We have no fear. We have no regrets.”
Peter Dunne quits New Zealand’s election race.
Peter Dunne the leader of United Future a small New Zealand political party has said he won’t contest next month’s election, making him the third leader to quit this month in a campaign that’s been transformed by the rise of Opposition Leader Jacinda Ardern. He said there’s a mood for change in the district where he has served as a lawmaker for 33 years. The move came as a blow to Prime Minister Bill English and his conservative National Party, who relied on Dunne’s support. Dunne was his party’s sole representative in Parliament. Three weeks ago, Opposition Leader Andrew Little quit following dismal polling. A week later, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei resigned.
Protecting nuclear deal main priority says Rouhani
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani had said on Sunday the top foreign policy priority for his new government was to protect the nuclear deal from being torn up by the United States. He told Parliament “The most important job of our foreign minister is first to stand behind the JCPOA, and not to allow the US and other enemies to succeed,”. “Standing up for the JCPOA means standing up to Iran's enemies,” he said on the last day of debates over his cabinet selections. Rouhani had indicated a week ago that Iran was ready to walk out on the nuclear deal if the United States continued to apply fresh sanctions. It was under mounting pressure after Tehran carried out missile tests and Washington imposed new sanctions ─ with each accusing the other of violating the spirit of the agreement. Rouhani had insisted the deal remained the preferred way forward, not least to help rebuild Iran's struggling economy and create jobs.
More from Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had told German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to “know your limits” after he vehemently criticised the Turkish leader for interfering in Germany’s upcoming elections. “He knows no limits! Who are you to talk to the president of Turkey? Know your limits. He is trying to teach us a lesson… How long have you been in politics? How old are you?” Erdogan said in a bitter personal attack on Gabriel. Erdogan had a day earlier caused consternation in Berlin by urging ethnic Turks in Germany to vote against both parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition in the September 24 legislative elections. Gabriel condemned Erdogan’s comments as an “unprecedented act of interference” in Germany’s sovereignty. “Of course they got uncomfortable. They all started jumping up and down,” remarked Erdogan in a speech to supporters in the southwestern province of Denizli. Erdogan repeated his controversial call to ethnic Turks eligible to vote in the German elections not to cast their ballots for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), their coalition partner the Social Democratic Party (SPD) or the Greens. “Teach them (the three parties) a lesson in the German elections. They are waging a campaign against Turkey. Vote for those who don’t have enmity towards Turkey.” He added: “It’s not important for us whether Germany opens its doors to us or not. We have enough doors.