Published: 10:04 pm, Sat. Nov. 16th, 2019Updated: 9:04 pm
Hong Kong police storm university held by protesters
HONG KONG (AP) — Police breached a Hong Kong university campus held by protesters early Monday after an all-night siege that included firing repeated barrages of tear gas and water cannons.
Anti-government protesters have barricaded themselves inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University for days. Police surrounded the area Sunday night and began moving in after issuing an ultimatum for people to leave the area. The crowd wore raincoats and carried umbrellas to shield themselves.
Riot officers broke in one entrance before dawn as fires raged inside and outside the school, but they didn’t appear to get very far. Fiery explosions could be seen as protesters responded with gasoline bombs. Police, who have warned that everyone in the area could be charged with rioting, reportedly made a handful of arrests.
At daybreak, protesters remained in control of most of the campus. In one outdoor area, some demonstrators made gasoline bombs while others dozed while wearing gas masks. Two walked about with bows and quivers of arrows, while many stared at their smartphones.
A lull settled on the area as the president of the university said in a video message that that police have agreed to suspend their use of force.
Democrats invite Trump to testify in impeachment inquiry
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited President Donald Trump to testify in front of investigators in the House impeachment inquiry ahead of a week that will see several key witnesses appear publicly.
Pushing back against accusations from the president that the process has been stacked against him, Pelosi said Trump is welcome to appear or answer questions in writing, if he chooses.
“If he has information that is exculpatory, that means ex, taking away, culpable, blame, then we look forward to seeing it,” she said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Trump “could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants,” she said.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer echoed that suggestion.
“If Donald Trump doesn’t agree with what he’s hearing, doesn’t like what he’s hearing, he shouldn’t tweet. He should come to the committee and testify under oath. And he should allow all those around him to come to the committee and testify under oath,” Schumer told reporters. He said the White House’s insistence on blocking witnesses from cooperating begs the question: “What is he hiding?”
2019 Takeaways: Suburb shift, high turnout and ‘Socialism!’
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Odd-year elections in Louisiana, Kentucky and Virginia have let Democrats expand their footprint in Southern states where Republicans dominated not long ago.
Those outcomes hardly predict national 2020 results: President Donald Trump isn’t suddenly at risk of losing Louisiana because Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards got re-elected Saturday. And the story wasn’t all good for Democrats: They came up short in Mississippi, where Republicans won the governorship and picked up the last remaining statewide office that had been held by a Democrat.
But there are lessons for Democrats and Republicans as the political focus shifts to presidential and congressional elections next November.
TRUMP ERA TURNOUT IS UNIFORMLY HIGH, BUT DEMS ARE BENEFITING MORE
Huge turnouts started with Virginia’s statewide elections in 2017 and continued through the 2018 midterms and the 2019 odd-year slate. More than 1.5 million Louisianans voted Saturday, an increase of about 385,000 votes over the 2015 governor’s race.
Ford Mustang SUV starts a blitz of new electric vehicles
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford is unveiling its first all-electric SUV, marking the start of an avalanche of battery-powered vehicles coming from mainstream and luxury automakers during the next two years that industry analysts say will boost electric vehicle sales.
The “Mustang Mach E,” which will go 230 miles to more 300 miles per charge depending on how it’s equipped, will be unveiled Sunday night ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show press days.
There are 18 now for sale in the U.S., and IHS Markit expects that to grow to 80 in 2022, including pickup trucks and SUVs that are in the heart of the American market. Yet last year, pure electric vehicles made up only 1.5% of new vehicle sales worldwide, and the consulting firm LMC Automotive predicts that will rise to 2.2% this year. In the U.S., electric vehicles were only 1.2% of sales in 2018, and it’s expected to be about the same this year.
But automakers see opportunity for growth, and with electric vehicles getting 250 miles or more on a single charge, worries about running out of juice on a daily commute are gone. Because of the added models and increased range, LMC predicts that they will make up 17% of global sales and 7% of U.S. sales in 2030.
First-generation electric vehicles, which mainly were retrofitted versions of existing models designed to meet government fuel economy standards, didn’t sell well largely because they couldn’t travel more than 100 miles between charges. But now, many can go beyond the distance people drive in one day with plenty of cushion.
HP rejects takeover offer from Xerox
HP Inc. says its board has rejected a roughly $33.5 billion takeover offer from Xerox.
The Palo Alto, California-based company said Sunday that the cash and stock deal undervalues its business and its board cited concerns about “outsized” debt levels should the companies combine.
HP, which makes computers and printers, said it recognizes the potential benefits of consolidation and remains open to exploring other options to combine with Xerox Holdings Corp.
Both companies have faced difficulties as the demand for printed documents and ink have waned.
Xerox offered earlier this month to give HP shareholders $17 in cash and a fractional share of Xerox stock for each share they held in HP. They put the total value of the deal at $33.5 billion. If the deal had been completed, HP shareholders would own approximately 48% of the combined company.
Iran’s top leader warns ‘thugs’ as protests reach 100 cities
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday cautiously backed the government’s decision to raise gasoline prices by 50% after days of widespread protests, calling those who attacked public property during demonstrations “thugs” and signaling that a potential crackdown loomed.
The government shut down internet access across the nation of 80 million people to staunch demonstrations that took place in a reported 100 cities and towns. That made it increasingly difficult to gauge whether unrest continued. Images published by state and semiofficial media showed the scale of the damage in images of burned gas stations and banks, torched vehicles and roadways littered with debris.
Since the price hike, demonstrators have abandoned cars along major highways and joined mass protests in the capital, Tehran, and elsewhere. Some protests turned violent, with demonstrators setting fires as gunfire rang out.
It remains to be seen how many people were arrested, injured or killed. Videos from the protests have shown people gravely wounded.
Iranian authorities on Sunday raised the official death toll in the violence to at least three. Attackers targeting a police station in the western city of Kermanshah on Saturday killed an officer, the state-run IRNA news agency reported Sunday. A lawmaker said another person was killed in a suburb of Tehran. Earlier, one man was reported killed Friday in Sirjan, a city some 800 kilometers (500 miles) southeast of Tehran.
3rd record tide enters Venice as Italy hit with snow, rain
VENICE, Italy (AP) — Venice was hit Sunday by a record third exceptional tide in the same week while other parts of Italy struggled with a series of weather woes, from rain-swollen rivers to high winds to an out-of-season avalanche.
Stores and museums in Venice were mostly closed in the hardest-hit area around St. Mark’s Square, but tourists donned high rubber boots or even hip waders to witness and photograph the spectacle.
Most were disappointed when officials closed the historic square as winds rippled across the rising waters. The doors of the famed St. Mark’s Basilica were securely shut to the public, an authorities took precautions — stacking sandbags in canal-side windows — to prevent salt-laden water from entering the crypt again.
Venice’s Tide Office said the peak tide of 1.5 meters (nearly 5 feet) hit just after 1 p.m. but a weather front off the coast blocked southerly winds from the Adriatic Sea from pushing the tide to the predicted level of 1.6 meters (5 feet, 2 inches). By early evening, the level was less than a meter (three feet).
Still it marked the third time since Tuesday night’s 1.87-meter flood — the worst in 53 years — that water levels in Venice had topped 1.5 meters. Since records began in 1872, that level had never been reached even twice in one year, let alone three times in one week.
Terry O’Neill, whose images captured ‘60s London, dies at 81
LONDON (AP) — British photographer Terry O’Neill, whose images captured London’s Swinging ‘60s and who created iconic portraits of Elton John, Brigitte Bardot and Winston Churchill, has died at age 81.
O’Neill died Saturday at his home in London following a long battle with cancer, according to Iconic Images, the agency that represented O’Neill.
“Terry was a class act, quick witted and filled with charm,” the agency said in a statement posted to its website. “Anyone who was lucky enough to know or work with him can attest to his generosity and modesty. As one of the most iconic photographers of the last 60 years, his legendary pictures will forever remain imprinted in our memories as well as in our hearts and minds.”
Born in London in 1938, O’Neill was working as a photographer for an airline at Heathrow Airport when he snapped a picture of a well-dressed man sleeping on a bench. The man turned out to be the British home secretary, and O’Neill was hired by a London newspaper.
In the early 1960s he photographed the Beatles during the recording of their first hit single, and he captured the image of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill clutching a cigar as he was carried to an ambulance after a 1962 hospital stay.
UK media: Prince Andrew’s sex claims rebuttal a PR disaster
LONDON (AP) — British media on Sunday slammed Prince Andrew’s effort to rebut claims that he had sex with a teenager who says she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, branding his televised interview a complete public relations disaster.
In a rare interview with BBC Newsnight that was broadcast late Saturday, Andrew categorically denied having sex with the woman, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. But Britain’s newspapers and social media commentators criticized him for defending his friendship with Epstein and for failing to show empathy for the convicted sex-offender’s victims.
“I expected a train wreck,’’ said Charlie Proctor, editor of the Royal Central website, which covers the British monarchy. “That was a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion-level bad.”
Giuffre has said Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew in 2001, when she was 17. She says Epstein flew her around the world on private planes to have sex with powerful men, and that she had sexual encounters with Andrew in London, New York and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The BBC’s Emily Maitlis grilled Andrew on the details of an alleged encounter in March of that year, when Giuffre says she dined with the prince in London, danced with him at the Tramp nightclub, then had sex with him at a house in the tony London neighborhood of Belgravia.
AP Top 25: Georgia edges past Alabama to No. 4; OU up to 8
Georgia edged past Alabama to No. 4 in The Associated Press college football poll after the Bulldogs had a quality road victory and the Crimson Tide lost star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for the season.
LSU remained No. 1 in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, receiving 54 first-places votes. No. 2 Ohio State (five first-place votes) and No. 3 Clemson (three first-place votes) maintained their spots. Georgia moved up one place after winning 21-14 at Auburn.
The Crimson Tide beat Mississippi State 38-7 on Saturday, but Tagovailoa dislocated his right hip while being tackled late in the second quarter and is done for the year. Alabama fell a spot to fifth.
Minnesota and Baylor both lost for the first time and dropped in the rankings. The 11th-ranked Gophers slipped four spots after losing at Iowa. No. 13 Baylor dropped one after blowing a 28-3 lead at home to Oklahoma.
Iowa jumped four to No. 19 and Oklahoma moved up two spots to No. 8.