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Trump praises China response to Hong Kong protests

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US President Donald Trump on Monday praised Beijing’s handling of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, a day after suspected triad gangsters attacked demonstrators in a bloody escalation.

Hong Kong has been plunged into its worst crisis in recent history by weeks of marches, which drew millions, and sporadic violent confrontations between police and pockets of hardcore protesters.

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The demonstrations have evolved into a call for democratic reforms, universal suffrage and a halt to sliding freedoms which China had promised to respect in the semi-autonomous territory after its handover from Britain in 1997.

“I know that’s a very important situation for President Xi” Jinping of China, Trump said during a White House meeting with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan.

When a reporter suggested that the Hong Kong and Chinese governments were ignoring violence against the protesters, Trump replied that “I think it’s been relatively nonviolent.”

Hospital authorities said 45 people were wounded in the attack late Sunday which led to the arrest of six men, some of whom police alleged had triad gangster backgrounds.

“China could stop them if they wanted”, Trump said of the protests.

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“I’m not involved in it very much but I think President Xi of China has acted responsibly, very responsibly,” said Trump, who last year began a trade war with China that has led to tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in mutual trade, a dispute still unsettled.

After Sunday’s violence critics accused Hong Kong police of responding too slowly.

“They’ve been out there protesting for a long time. I’ve never seen protests like it where you have that many people. It looks like two million people,” Trump said.

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“Those are big protests… I hope that President Xi will do the right thing, but it has been going on a long time, there’s no question.”

Hardcore protesters have stormed Hong Kong’s legislature, and on Sunday some demonstrators targeted with eggs and graffiti China’s representative office in the financial hub, which China’s foreign ministry called “absolutely intolerable.”

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Trump official who doesn’t want poor people to have publicly-funded healthcare wants public to pay for stolen Ivanka jewelry

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President Donald Trump's official in charge of Medicare and Medicaid, Seema Verma, came under fire after Politico reported Saturday that she submitted a $47,000 claim for reimbursement on the taxpayers' dime for stolen, uninsured items items.

https://twitter.com/RepJayapal/status/1203673974867210240

The bulk of the claim—for which the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ultimately reimbursed her $2,852.40—was for roughly $43,000 worth of jewelry. Among the roughly two dozen pieces was an Ivanka Trump brand pendant whose estimated value was $5,900, according to documents obtained by Politico. A $325 claim for moisturizer was also among the items included.

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Injuries feared as popular New Zealand volcano erupts

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New Zealand's White Island volcano erupted suddenly on Monday, prompting fears for a group of visitors seen walking on the crater floor moments before.

The country's National Emergency Management Agency said a "moderate volcanic eruption is occurring at White Island and is hazardous in the immediate vicinity of the volcano."

Cameras providing a live feed from the volcano showed more than half a dozen people walking inside the rim at 2:10 pm local time (0110 GMT), before images went dark when the eruption occurred minutes later.

The local mayor said she feared there had been "injuries" in the eruption.

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Why Colbert got serious — and why Donald Trump isn’t funny

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In her new book, “Irony and Outrage: The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States,” Dannagal Goldthwaite Young advances the argument that the ironic satire of "The Daily Show" and the outrage programming of Fox News — which debuted within months of each other — play remarkably similar roles for their respective audiences, speaking to their distinctively liberal and conservative psychological orientations to motivate not just voter loyalty, but political engagement.

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