SINGAPORE (Sept 9): After 13 long weeks of protests in Hong Kong, an end to the political crisis in the Special Administrative Region may be in sight. On Sept 4, the city’s embattled leader Carrie Lam formally announced the withdrawal of the extradition bill, meeting one of the five demands of the protesters.
The other demands are the retraction of the word “riot” to describe rallies, the release of all arrested demonstrators, an independent inquiry into perceived police brutality and the right for Hong Kongers to -democratically choose their leaders. Although Lam had earlier suspended the bill, protesters were not satisfied until it was formally withdrawn.
Meanwhile, in the UK, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a humiliating defeat over his Brexit strategy that left his ruling Conservative Party in tatters. The House of Commons voted 328 to 301 on Sept 4 to seize control of the Parliament agenda and put forward their own draft law that would force him to delay Brexit until Jan 31. After the vote, Downing Street said the 21 Tory Members of Parliament who rebelled had been expelled from the party.