Showing posts with label hong kong. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hong kong. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

30: Hong Kong

How to Grease a Chatbot: E-Commerce Companies Seek a Backdoor Into AI Responses When search was king, companies could turn to SEO—and paid ads—to land atop search results. ChatGPT has thrown a wrench into that arrangement. ......... When Andy Wilson’s company received its first successful client referral through ChatGPT, he was shaken to his core. ...... The founder and CEO of Logikcull, a San Francisco–based legal technology company, Wilson “had the exact same reaction to ChatGPT as I had to the internet browser in the early ’90s,” he said. “But this time I knew it would be even bigger than the internet, the cloud, the iPhone combined.” .

Why Hong Kong must ditch the US dollar peg and switch to the yuan now Hong Kong risks being increasingly led by US monetary policy, which could see property prices and the economy come crashing down ..... Switching to the yuan would mean stability and a unique chance to ride the currency’s rise before it becomes fully convertible ............. Hong Kong’s currency peg to the dollar is not sustainable. The city risks being increasingly led by US monetary policy as the utility of the fully convertible Hong Kong currency in meeting China’s demand for US dollars is fading. As global yuan demand grows, switching to that currency would boost Hong Kong’s financial fortunes. ........ With China’s interest rates expected to stay lower than US rates, due to lower Chinese inflation, embracing the yuan would stabilise Hong Kong’s asset markets. Sticking with a US-pegged currency, however, means exposure to volatility. Entrenched US inflation threatens to bring back dollar swings like in the 1970s and/or US interest rate surges like in the 1980s – the effect on Hong Kong could devastate its property market. ........... The yuan accounts for just over 2 per cent of the global payments system, and about the same in global forex reserves. China accounts for about 18 per cent of the world economy and around 30 per cent of global manufacturing output. The yuan’s share in global payments and currency reserves is bound to rise. Before it becomes fully convertible, Hong Kong has a unique opportunity to ride its rise and consolidate its status as a global financial centre. ........... if Hong Kong sticks to the dollar peg, its economy and asset markets could run into a severe storm. ......... Now US interest rates have gone past 5 per cent, their knees have begun knocking, fearing a financial collapse. They are likely to pause rate rises for a while, but this will allow inflation to become entrenched, seeding future storms. ............ The Anglo-Saxon economies have the most toxic brew for inflation: a structural labour shortage, strong corporate pricing power and a massive monetary overhang. .......... With falling real wages and rising welfare benefits, the worker shortage will remain as long as real wages fail to keep pace with inflation, giving workers more power to switch jobs and push up wages – they are unlikely to absorb the loss to put a lid on inflation. ....... The market consolidation and economic monopolisation of the past three decades have also boosted the power of businesses, letting them pass on rising labour and material costs through price increases. ........ As labour and businesses both have strong pricing power, real interest rates must be high to hold off a wage-price spiral. But real interest rates remain negative. Worryingly, the massive monetary overhang from past quantitative-easing exercises means plenty of fuel for inflation. ....... If US inflation becomes entrenched at 5 per cent, the Fed could panic and raise interest rates to 7 per cent, lifting bond yields to the same level. Such rates would crash Hong Kong’s property market, like in 1998. ......... Hong Kong does not have much time to inoculate itself from the coming financial storms. If it does not take cover ahead of the time, like before 1997, it will be a sitting duck.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

New York Times: February 16: Hong Kong, Omicron, Trump, Bhutan

U.S. caseloads fall below the Delta peak. Deaths remain high at around 2,328 per day. ....... the organizers of the outdoor music festivals Coachella and Stagecoach said on Tuesday that they would not require attendees to be masked, vaccinated or tested for the coronavirus.

Hong Kong Can’t Live With the Virus. It Can’t Stop It, Either. An Omicron surge has exposed the weaknesses of a system that was once a world leader in containing the coronavirus. ......... As Hong Kong sinks under its worst wave yet of the coronavirus, overwhelmed hospitals have left patients waiting on sidewalks. People have stood in testing lines that wind across parks and soccer fields. Cases are still growing exponentially, as officials opt for targeted lockdowns rather than a citywide one. Researchers have warned that by summer the latest wave could kill nearly 1,000 people — more than four times the number that have died of Covid in Hong Kong over the past two years. .......... Until this wave, Hong Kong kept the coronavirus largely in check. The city’s combination of tight social distancing rules and aggressive contact tracing meant that the previous four waves of infection were curbed relatively quickly. For much of 2021, the city recorded no local cases. But the highly transmissible Omicron variant assaulted the cracks in the city’s defenses. ......... Hong Kongers could also prove fiercely resistant to a citywide lockdown. When Mrs. Lam visited a locked-down housing estate last month, residents showered her with insults from their windows — a display of public dissent rarely seen since the imposition of the security law.

P.J. O’Rourke Wrote With High, Cranky Style in a Shrinking Tradition O’Rourke, who died on Tuesday at 74, was a sharp-toothed satirist whose conservatism wasn’t doctrinaire. ...... He was well-read; he was, it often seemed, the only funny Republican alive. ....... Some of his best writing was about the open road. ..... For many years O’Rourke was Rolling Stone’s foreign-affairs desk chief. He was a detector of dichotomies, when he wasn’t camped out like Graham Greene in a hotel bar. “Each American embassy comes with two permanent features,” he wrote: “a giant anti-American demonstration and a giant line for American visas.” ........... “By loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — liberals testify to their own terrific goodness,” he wrote. He added: “It’s a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don’t have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.” ......... Yet he voted for Hillary Clinton. “She’s wrong about absolutely everything,” he said, “but she’s wrong within normal parameters.” About Trump he said, “This man just can’t be president. They’ve got this button, you know, in the briefcase. He’s going to find it.” ............ “Aren’t we pro-life?” he asked. “Aren’t refugees life?” ........ “The weirder you’re going to behave, the more normal you should look. It works in reverse, too. When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that person.” ...... O’Rourke was a charmer, not a haranguer. Each of his essays, I’d guess, won more converts to conservatism than a lifetime of columns by Charles Krauthammer or Michelle Malkin. ...... When my wife is anxious about our tax debt but I badly want to go out to dinner, I remind her, as O’Rourke wrote, that it’s “better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money.”

Late Night Dunks on Trump for Getting Dumped During Tax Season “It’s like getting divorced on Christmas Eve,” Jimmy Kimmel joked. ...... Last week, Donald Trump’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA cut ties with the former president and his family, saying financial statements they prepared for him from 2011 to 2020 should “no longer be relied upon.” ....... “If there’s any karma in this world, they dropped him for a younger, hotter client.” — STEPHEN COLBERT ........ “She tested positive for three substances that can be used to treat heart problems. Imagine how devastating that must be: You train your whole life to be in the Olympics, follow all the rules, put in all the hours, eat the right things. Last minute, you accidentally take your grandfather’s heart medicine.” — JIMMY KIMMEL ........ “But again, I’m not saying Russia did it on purpose; I’m not saying that. I’m just saying don’t be shocked when later this week they use 15-year-olds to invade Ukraine.” — TREVOR NOAH ......... “Her lawyer said maybe her grandfather drank something from a glass, saliva got in and this glass was somehow later used by the athlete. Ah, the old ‘must be from Grandpa’s saliva’ defense, huh?’” — JIMMY KIMMEL

‘Improbable Journey’: How a Movie From Tiny Bhutan Got an Oscar Nod “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” was filmed on a shoestring budget in a remote Himalayan village. It’s now an Academy Award nominee, a first for Bhutan. ......... The valley had no electricity. It could only be reached by walking eight days from the nearest village. And the schoolchildren who were expected to star in the film knew nothing about acting or cinema. ....... tells the story of a young teacher from Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, who is assigned to work at a remote mountain school against his will. He dreams of quitting his government job, emigrating to Australia and pursuing a career as a singer. ....... But the teacher, Ugyen, is fascinated by the people he meets in Lunana — particularly 9-year-old Pem Zam, a radiant student with a difficult home life. ........ young Bhutanese increasingly believe that true happiness lies abroad, in places like Australia, Europe or New York City. ......... There was just enough solar power to shoot the movie on a single camera, but not enough for Mr. Dorji to review his footage each night after shooting, as most directors do. So he had to go by his instincts and hope for the best. .... “The camera in front of them could have been a yak, for all they cared,” Mr. Dorji said........ In a scene where Ugyen teaches his students how to use a toothbrush, they aren’t acting; they really didn’t know. ....... the film was made on a $300,000 budget — “peanuts when it comes to filmmaking” ....... “When I was in front of the camera, I wasn’t that excited,” said Mr. Dorji, the schoolteacher, who appeared in the film as an extra. “But after watching it and listening to the children’s dialogue, I realized how much hardship our community has had to overcome.”

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Beijing's Hong Kong Move Will Ignite A Tussle With The US

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I don't know if I would say Cold War. There is not going to be a repeat of the US-USSR. That was Cold War. But the US and China are economic rivals. And that rivalry will likely intensify after this move by Beijing. 

I don't think this is Beijing responding to the Hong Kong protests. I see this as Beijing reacting to the pandemic and how it is hammering the Chinese economy as every other economy. 

That also explains the border tensions in Ladakh. 

Coronavirus News (121)

As it happened: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on pandemic, ‘new Cold War’ and Hong Kong National People’s Congress concluded with resolution to proceed with controversial law for Hong Kong Premier said that China supports independent inquiry into coronavirus origin ........  The main points from Li’s press conference: The central government will stick to the principle of “one country, two systems”, and “Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong” with a high degree of autonomy. The NPC’s resolution for a national security law for Hong Kong is designed to safeguard “one country, two systems” instead of abandoning it. .......... On China-US tensions, China rejects a “Cold War mentality” and the two nations should promote cooperation ........... “peaceful reunification” was still Beijing’s policy and the mainland was open to further exchanges with Taiwan. ...........  he did not address ongoing anti-government protests in Hong Kong, or respond to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement on Thursday that Washington no longer considered Hong Kong to be autonomous from Beijing. ........ He also did not refer to a tense stand-off between China and India in the Himalayas  ....... Li said the pandemic had hit the world severely, greatly reducing exchanges between countries. ........ “As the saying goes, the people are the foundation of a state and when the foundation is solid, the state enjoys tranquility.” ....... the country was still determined to reach its goal of eliminating poverty by 2020 .......  there were some 5 million people living below the poverty line before the outbreak ............ Li said the central government must work hard to help business flourish, aiming at having 10,000 new enterprises registered each day. ........ there had been a surge in new kinds of businesses, such as online platforms, during the pandemic, and some of these businesses had seen their revenue grow by two-thirds. ........   Decoupling was not good for either country or the world ......   trade and economic cooperation should be based on market forces. There were differences in each other’s systems, and conflicts were inevitable, but the key was how to handle the problems. ........ The US had in recent days issued a strategic policy that appeared to signal that Washington had abandoned its engagement policy towards Beijing. ....... About one-third of recent comments left on the State Council’s website were on employment. ....... University students are expected to graduate and enter the workforce in record numbers this year. ....... He said Beijing remained committed to the 1992 consensus – the political understanding that there is only “one China” but that each side has its own understanding of what this means. ....... Li said the government’s measures to counter the coronavirus would focus on employment and livelihoods, and not infrastructure construction. .......  Li said China had successfully controlled the coronavirus within its borders and Beijing had acted in a transparent and timely manner throughout the pandemic. ........  Li said there were two main challenges in the pandemic: controlling the virus outbreak and reopening the economy. International cooperation was important for both. .........  “We may have to live with Covid-19 for some time to come” ......   China also believed it was important to find the source of the pathogen. ........ a clear, scientific understanding of the source of the virus could contribute to global public health. .......  the World Health Assembly’s endorsement of an independent review into the World Health Organisation’s handling of the pandemic and its animal origins. .........  Li said the Chinese economy was deeply integrated into the global economy, so China would not be immune from the impact of the coronavirus. ........ The United States said on Thursday that Hong Kong was no longer autonomous from China, a decision that could end the city’s special trading status with the US.

Hong Kong national security law: city awaits Trump’s response, casting shadow over long-term economic status China’s move to further absorb Hong Kong will have small direct economic effect, but will damage city’s status as an international hub in long term, analysts say Chill viewed as a continuation of a tough period for foreign business, setting up a ‘gradual diminution of Hong Kong as an economic centre for south China’ .........  Economists, diplomats and business figures were scrambling on Thursday to quantify the effect of Washington’s decision to deem Hong Kong “no longer autonomous” from China, with many gaming out the “nuclear option”, in which the United States revokes the city’s special trading status.
.......... “Hong Kong cannot be replicated, the unique density of professionals, the transparency of the system, the rule of law, the kind of debate possibilities, the openness. They’re definitely important for developing business in China, for many of us it’s being challenged right now” .........  you’re going to see the gradual diminution of Hong Kong as an economic centre for south China ........  Many are shocked by the speed with which the situation has deteriorated, but are also resigned to it worsening further still, as the wider US-China relationship continues to sink to unforeseen lows. .........  “Trump is not interested in anything but himself and [compared] to slaughtering the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to dismantling the WTO or pulling out of the [World Health Organisation], actually changing the state of Hong Kong is a small piece for him. It’s another tool in the box and he will use it if deemed necessary” ..........  “Hong Kong’s WTO membership is decided by the WTO members collectively, not one member such as the US. ........... “So, Hong Kong's exports to the US were as impacted by US tariffs on China as China’s exports were. Raising the tariff rate on the last 1 per cent of exports will have virtually no impact on Hong Kong's economy.” 

Two Sessions 2020: national security law for Hong Kong a step closer after NPC endorses resolution National People’s Congress paves way for Standing Committee to tailor-make a law for city Vote came hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asserted that Hong Kong was no longer suitably autonomous from China ........ China’s top legislature has endorsed a resolution authorising its Standing Committee to tailor-make a national security law for Hong Kong. .........    with 2,878 deputies from around the country voting in favour and one voting against, while six abstained. ....... The Standing Committee, which last met in late April, convenes every two months and is expected to hold its next meeting as early as June. That would be the earliest date at which the legislation could be advanced. .........  The city’s Bar Association has also questioned the legality of Beijing’s move, saying it was “entirely unclear” how the suggestions of having mainland agencies set up to safeguard national security in Hong Kong would comply with Article 22 of the Basic Law, which states that no department under the central government can interfere in Hong Kong matters.

Will Hong Kong’s rule of law survive the challenge of Beijing’s national security legislation? From its process of enactment – apparently bypassing the local legislature and ignoring public opinion – to its future implementation and enforcement, the law is incompatible with the city’s common law tradition Hong Kong’s courts will be severely tested in trying to uphold the rule of law ........  The claim that public officials are reliable people who will only go after the bad guys underlies the People’s Republic of China’s tradition of rule by law. It presumes that a society of laws is one where officials issue the right directives and everyone else is bound to follow them. Such use of law as only an instrument of control is not the rule of law as known in Hong Kong. .......... For common law Hong Kong, under the Basic Law, such laws should be the product of a proper legislative process with enforcement and oversight in the ordinary courts. ...........   Claims by mainland officials that the law will be narrowly drawn are hardly reassuring, given the extreme application of national security laws to silence opposition on the mainland. ........ The scope of intrusion on Hong Kong’s autonomy, rule of law and human rights is breathtaking.   

Hong Kong must choose ‘lesser of two evils’ – US retaliation or foreign investment exodus due to unrest, former justice secretary says Elsie Leung also says barring of foreign judges from security cases would violate city’s Basic Law, though seeking Beijing’s interpretations is ‘normal’ Another legal heavyweight questions if local courts will have authority to declare provisions of Beijing’s new national security law unconstitutional ........ Hong Kong must choose “the lesser of two evils”, American retaliation or a foreign investment exodus from an “unstable society” that lacks a security law, a former justice secretary has argued in the wake of the United States declaring the city is no longer autonomous. ......... The city’s highest court, the Court of Final Appeal, has 23 judges, 15 of whom are foreign, mostly from other common law jurisdictions such as Britain, Canada and Australia. ........  “The most extreme thing the US can do is to abolish Hong Kong’s peg to the US dollar … but I don’t think they will go that far,” he said. Hong Kong’s dollar has been pegged to its US counterpart since 1983, and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority keeps the currency trading between 7.75 and 7.85 to the US dollar. The arrangement is thought to have brought financial stability to the city. ............. The IEEPA allows the US president to impose a wide range of economic penalties on individuals or countries they deem related to “any unusual and extraordinary threat” to their country. Since it was enacted in 1977, the IEEPA has targeted countries including Iran, Colombia, Syria and, most recently, Nicaragua. 

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Tarantino's Hong Kong Love

“There, amidst all the ginseng root and spices, there’d be a little video section. I’d be the only white guy in the place. And I became voracious about it. I don’t think I realised how many rules American cinema had until I saw Hong Kong cinema break them.”

Saturday, January 11, 2020

China And Xi

For Xi Jinping, the biggest danger to the Communist Party is itself under the official hyperbole that China is fast becoming a world power lies one factor which keeps Chinese leaders awake at night – their capacity to manage the complex challenges at home and abroad in order to stay in power. ........ past plenums have often heralded the country’s most important political or economic changes. ........ For instance, back in 1978 at the third plenum of the 11th Central Committee, Deng Xiaoping orchestrated China’s epoch-making shift towards reform and opening up, making “economic construction” the mantra to replace Mao Zedong’s “class struggle” and putting the Chinese economy on the path of rapid development. ........ their well-vaunted governance model, which they have been trumpeting as a viable alternative for other developing countries. This basically means that in return for allowing market forces to play an important role in the economy and in improving people’s living standards, the Chinese leadership maintains tight autocratic control and cracks down on political dissent, as opposed to the liberty and values espoused by Western democracies. ........ “party, government, military, civilian, academic; east, west, south, north, and the centre, the party leads everything”. ............ from Xi’s own perspective, the biggest danger to the rule of the party is the party itself....... “I believe the one who can defeat us is ourselves, no one else,” he said of the ruling party, which has 89 million members and 4.5 million grass-roots branches. .........

He ruminated that when the Soviet Communist Party had 200,000 members, it seized power. When it had two million members, it defeated an invasion by Nazi Germany in World War II. But it lost power when it had 20 million members.

........... On the Chinese mainland, Xi’s anti-corruption campaign has decisively tamed widespread official corruption, but its side-effects have also become obvious. One of them is that officials have retreated into a lethargic mode and are averse to making any decisions, obfuscating government directives in order to deflect responsibilities. ......... the party’s forceful efforts to assert control have unnerved an increasing number of private entrepreneurs, reducing their appetite for investment. This has led to a downward trend for overall private investment, dragging down economic growth........ Even well-known political figures and businesspeople often disappear for months, if not years, before reports emerge that they are being held on corruption allegations. ........Hong Kong people’s distrust of the Chinese mainland’s law enforcement and judicial system was one of the key reasons behind massive protests against the now-withdrawn extradition bill, which would have allowed the city to send suspects to the mainland. The protests have since morphed into a wider anti-government and pro-democracy movement....... More than 40 years have passed since Deng made the monumental shift from Mao’s class struggle to a national emphasis on economic construction. Time is due for the Chinese leadership to make another strategic shift to the rule of law if China wants to become a responsible and respected world leader.

How the Hong Kong protests affected overseas Chinese in Asia and beyond The anti-government demonstrations have not only impacted those in the city, they have been felt by Chinese communities everywhere from New Zealand to Canada ...... But protesters in India and Indonesia also described learning lessons from Hong Kong demonstrators ........ The estimated 1.5 million Chinese students studying at campuses around the world faced increased scrutiny as the protests in Hong Kong garnered international attention, especially when they defended Beijing’s policies. ........ South Korean students have complained about being targets of cyberbullying and doxxing in response to their support for Hong Kong protesters. ........ Several Chinese students who spoke to This Week in Asia, especially those who are apolitical, said they had tried to avoid engaging others on the issue, but increasingly felt like they were being forced to pick sides. “You are either pro-democracy, pro-human rights, or you are pro-China. They are putting us in this awkward position. We cannot say we are anti-China because we are from China,” one student said. ....... 208 Canadian Chinese groups in July jointly signing ads in Chinese-language newspapers in Canada denouncing the “radical” Hong Kong protesters.......... In September, thousands of Indonesians took to the streets to protest against the government’s proposed legislative changes, which critics said would restrict free speech and discriminate against women and minorities. ....... More recently, protests have flared up in India over the government’s controversial new citizenship law, which would grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan..... A social media campaign soon started in solidarity with the mostly students who were assaulted while protesting against the law, taking lessons from other such movements such as the Hong Kong protests.

One of the first things they did was download the Bridgefy app, which allowed them to communicate with each other via Bluetooth, amid rumours that mobile and internet connections would be shut down.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Hong Kong "Contagion:" Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Chile And Counting

The Common Element Uniting Worldwide Protests For many of the protests taking place around the world, the lack of an appointed leader is deliberate........... “A leader is best when people barely know he exists,” Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism, is thought to have said. “When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: ‘We did it ourselves.’’’ ...... From Hong Kong and Chile to Iraq and Lebanon, people have utilized social media to whip up spontaneous, mostly nonviolent grassroots demonstrations against their respective governments—efforts they have vowed to sustain until all their demands are met. ....... Without a clear organizer at the helm, do these protests risk morphing into something even its participants can’t control? Is the lack of centralized leadership a source of weakness—or strength? ......... In Chile, the protests have focused on inequality and corruption. In Lebanon and Iraq, the protests against the countries’ political systems have transcended sectarian lines. While some demonstrations erupted over specific grievances, such as proposed legislation in Indonesia to weaken the country’s anti-corruption agency and reduce the personal freedom of citizens, protests in Haiti, Egypt, and Bolivia have expanded beyond their original aims into calls for their governments to resign. ......... In France, the similarly amorphous “yellow vest” movement has also proved its staying power. The national protests, which spiraled from grievances over rising fuel prices into a broader anti-government demonstration, celebrated its first anniversary on Sunday. Still, some things have changed. Though the spirit of revolt is still strong, the turnout has dwindled......... “These movements don’t appeal to specific categories,” he said. “They appeal to the entirety of the citizenry … who feel defrauded by the political class.” ........ Whereas some have relied on encrypted messaging services such as Telegram, others use AirDrop, Apple’s fire-sharing function that lets users easily share content between devices. ........... “Technology means you don’t need a leader to disseminate strategy. The strategy disseminates horizontally.” ...... For many, the leaderless nature is the point. After all, appointing leaders makes it easier for governments “to focus on them, to pick them off, to arrest them, kill them, denigrate them” ....... In Catalonia, where thousands of people have railed against the Spanish Supreme Court’s October decision to jail nine Catalan separatist leaders, protesters paid tribute to Hong Kong by adopting some of their tactics, including staging a blockade of Barcelona’s airport.......... In Chile, at least 20 people have been killed. In Iraq, the death toll has surpassed 300. ........ he said protest movements “are by their very nature not sustainable in the long term,” in large part due to the amount of energy and commitment it takes to maintain them. Unlike official parties and organizations, “they don’t have the bureaucratic structures that would keep them going.” ......... For many protesters, though, the mind-set is simple: Don’t stop until all their demands are met. For those in Hong Kong, it’s expressed through the popular chant “Five demands, not one less.” In Lebanon, protesters have adopted the slogan “All of them means all of them,” in reference to their rejection of the entire political class. ........ “we shouldn’t expect from social movements that which social movements cannot deliver,” noting that it’s not their job to solve the problems that spurred them. Rather, it’s “to raise questions that were not previously on the political agenda [and] to show that there is a large section of the population that doesn’t feel represented.”

The Rising Costs of Protest in Hong Kong When the protests first began, talk of dying for the movement seemed outlandish. Now it is all too real. ........ Just five years before, during the Umbrella Revolution, the use of tear gas by police had stunned Hong Kong, and this time around, the use of the noxious gas was still shocking enough to lead news reports and dominate polite conversations on the weekdays between demonstrations........... as the weeks rolled on and the authorities in Hong Kong (and, in reality, in Beijing) refused to meet most of the protesters’ demands, police were left by the government with the seemingly impossible task of solving a fundamentally political problem ......... It is almost a cliché now to note that the unofficial motto of this leaderless movement is “Be like water.” ........ The rage expressed by protesters as the day wore on was imbued with a sense of desperation stoked by the feeling that they are largely powerless within Hong Kong’s political system. ......... In the afternoon, demonstrators attempted to take control of an elevated pedestrian bridge from riot officers. Rubber bullets and sponge grenades thwacked against protesters’ umbrellas as they mounted a charge up a steep escalator. It did not take a sharp military mind to see that the odds were not in their favor. Police were better equipped and had the higher ground, yet the protesters pushed on before finally being repelled under a cloud of tear gas so thick, it was difficult to see more than a few feet ............ Above, on the mall’s pedestrian bridge, shoppers pressed their phones to the glass, hoping to capture a few moments of the mayhem.