Stop-and-Search Operations: Hong Kong and City

stop-and-search operations: Wednesday's protests were sparked by a debate over a new law that will criminalize insults to the national anthem with up to three years in jail, the latest measure activists say is eroding freedoms in the city, according to The Japan Times. Police surrounded the city's legislature with water-filled barriers and conducted widespread stop-and-search operations in a bid to deter mass gatherings. The latest unrest comes days after China announced separate plans to impose a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong following last year's huge and often violent pro-democracy rallies. ; That move has prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to warn that Hong Kong might lose its status as a global financial center if the city's freedoms and vaunted judicial independence are swept aside. RELATED STORIESHow China pounced on Hong Kong while the world focused on COVID-19High-stakes power play Xi moves to subdue Hong Kong Small flashmob rallies in the districts of Causeway Bay, Mongkok and Central, the latter broken up by officers firing crowd-control rounds filled with a pepper-based irritant. Live images showed many of those being led away were teenagers. Police said 240 people were arrested on suspicion of holding an unlawful assembly. ( As reported in the news.

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