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Hong Kong protesters block roads on China handover anniversary

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Hong Kong, China –Hong Kong’s political standoff continued on Monday as protesters blocked roads and clashed with police ahead of a planned mass protest on the anniversary of the city’s return to mainland China.Police used pepper spray in an attempt to disperse protesters gathering around Hong Kong’s Central Government Offices (CGO) complex early in the morning, after the demonstrators used re-purposed crowd control barriers to block several streets leading to the site. The dawn protests, which follow several weeks of demonstrations over a controversial extradition bill that would allow suspects to be sent to the mainland for trial, come as the former British territory prepares to celebrate its Special Administrative Region Establishment Day, marking its return to Chinese rule in 1997. Less than a kilometre from the unrest, the local government continued its preparations for a ceremony to mark the handover at Golden Bauhinia Square, behind water-filled barricades designed to minimise …

Israeli missile strike kills civilians: Syrian state media

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Gunmen open fire on Lebanese minister’s convoy, killing two

Gunmen have opened fire on the convoy of a Lebanese minister in a mountain village near Beirut, killing two of his guards and wounding another, in what he called an assassination attempt.Saleh al-Gharib, the minister of state handling refugee issues, told local TV he was heading to the mountain village of Qabr Shamoun when his convoy came under fire on Sunday.“What happened was an armed ambush and a clear assassination attempt,” al-Gharib said in an interview with Lebanon‘s al-Jadeed TV.Gharib is a member of a party allied with Hezbollah and supportive of the Syrian government, and has close ties with pro-Syrian Druze leader Talal Arslan.“Despite bloodshed, we are working to calm the situation,” al-Gharib told Lebanese newspaper Annahar.Lebanese state news agency NNA reported that the violence erupted in 30km southeast of Beirut, where followers of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), a vocal critic of the Syrian government, had blocked a road to prevent Foreign Minister Ju…