While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 10

Lebanese police fire tear gas as protesters regroup and two ministers quit

 Lebanese police fired tear gas to try to disperse rock-throwing protesters blocking a road near parliament in Beirut on Sunday in a second day of anti-government demonstrations triggered by last week’s devastating explosion.

Fire broke out at an entrance to Parliament Square as demonstrators tried to break into a cordoned-off area, TV footage showed. Protesters also broke into the housing and transport ministry offices.

Two government ministers resigned amid the political fallout of the blast and months of economic crisis, saying the government had failed to reform.

Riot police wearing body armour and carrying batons clashed with demonstrators as thousands converged on Parliament Square and nearby Martyrs’ Square.


UK, US and allies call for prompt Hong Kong elections

Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand urged Hong Kong Sunday to hold elections as soon as possible, warning the authorities about moves to “undermine the democratic process”.

Their statement came as Chinese lawmakers convene to decide on the next steps after Hong Kong’s Legislative Council elections scheduled for September 6 were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The foreign ministers of the five countries said they were “gravely concerned by the Hong Kong government’s unjust disqualification of candidates and disproportionate postponement of Legislative Council elections.


China targeting US election infrastructure with cyber attacks: National security adviser O’Brien

Chinese government-linked hackers have been targeting US election infrastructure ahead of the 2020 presidential election, White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said on Sunday, indicating a more active level of alleged Chinese interference.

O’Brien’s comments appeared to go beyond a statement released on Friday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which said China “has been expanding its influence efforts,” and that Russia was already trying to undercut Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

But did not specifically accuse Beijing of hacking attempts against US election-related systems.


Protesters call for end to Spanish monarchy after exit of former king Juan Carlos

Protesters on Sunday called for an end to the Spanish monarchy after the sudden departure of the former king Juan Carlos from the country this week amid a corruption scandal.

Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014 in favour of his son Felipe, abruptly announced his decision to leave on Monday but there has been no official confirmation of where he went, setting off an international guessing game.

Protests against the royal family have spread across Spain since the ex-monarch’s dramatic exit, with about 100 republicans demonstrating in Valencia on Sunday and more protests planned in Mallorca this week during King Felipe VI’s visit to the island.


Atletico Madrid report two positive Covid-19 tests ahead of Champions League quarter-finals

Spanish side Atletico Madrid on Sunday reported two positive coronavirus tests, just four days before they face Leipzig in Portugal for a place in the Champions League semi-finals.

“On Saturday, all members of the first team and the club’s party to Lisbon underwent tests as required by Uefa protocols to participate in the quarter-finals of the Champions League,” said a club statement.

Among the results known today, two positives have appeared and they are self-isolating in their respective homes.” It was not revealed whether the two positive cases involved players or backroom staff.


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