Hong Kong tense as thousands of teachers rally in rain

Hong Kong maintains freedoms unknown on the authoritarian mainland under a 50-year deal that came into effect when the former colony was handed back to China by Britain in 1997

'Freedom for Hong Kong!': protesters defy Beijing's threat

Hong Kong democracy activists kicked off a weekend of fresh protests on Saturday in a major test for the movement following criticism over an airport protest earlier this week - and as concerns mount over Beijing's next move.

Ten weeks of demonstrations have plunged the worldwide finance hub into crisis, with communist-ruled mainland China taking an increasingly hardline tone, including labellng the more violent protester actions "terrorist-like".

Millions of people have hit the streets while clashes have broken out between police and small groups of hardcore protesters.

In a statement, she said: "Officials can be seen firing tear gas canisters into crowded, enclosed areas and directly at individual protesters on multiple occasions, creating a considerable risk of death or serious injury".

If Xi sat down with the protesters, Trump said, "I'll bet he'd work it out in 15 minutes".

The shocking images damaged a movement that until then had largely only targeted the police or government institutions, and prompted some soul-searching among protesters.

China's propaganda apparatus seized on the violence, with state media churning out a deluge of damning articles, pictures and videos.

Protests in support of a pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong have continued in Melbourne, Australia, while a pro-China march has been held in Sydney.

Both a march on the Kowloon side of Victoria Harbour and a counter-rally backing the government were planned for later Saturday.

Huge crowds gathered in the heart of the city's commercial district after police gave permission for a static protest in a park but banned a proposed march through the city.

Hong Kong was promised a "high degree of autonomy" - a system dubbed "one country, two systems" by Beijing - when the former British colony returned to China in 1997.

Teachers say they want the government to answer the protesters' demands and stop using what they called police violence to disperse demonstrators.

The current protests are the biggest threat to Beijing's authority since the handover and as violence has escalated, party leaders have only hardened their tone.

Noting that recent events have called into question Cathay Pacific's commitment to flight safety and security and put the airline's reputation and brand under pressure, Slosar said, "We therefore think it is time to put a new management team in place who can reset confidence and lead the airline to new heights".

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