Hong Kong's political crackdown is forcing democracy activists to make a difficult choice. Max Mok is weighing up a life-altering decision.
As Hong Kong's sweeping crackdown on political dissent gathers pace, thousands like him are being forced to make a choice — to stay or flee. The 20-year-old pro-democracy activist was born and raised on Hong Kong island and still has family there. He cares deeply about his home city's future but fears he may soon be swept up in a purge targeting activists both prominent and low profile.
"The atmosphere in Hong Kong is different now," Max tells Foreign Correspondent. "It's a lot more grim. As one of an estimated 100,000 Hongkongers who hold an Australian passport, Max has a way out. "I remember seeing the scenes of the protest when I was in Australia and I just couldn't wait to go back to Hong Kong, because I felt this strong need to serve our homeland," he says.
It was an extradition bill making it easier for the Hong Kong Government to send people to the mainland to stand trial that initially sparked the protests. A tightening net. Myanmar protesters take to streets, vowing continued demonstrations against military takeover. Myanmar has had its largest anti-coup protests yet, with young demonstrators taking to the streets to denounce the country's new military regime, despite a nationwide internet blackout aimed at stifling a growing chorus of popular dissent.
Key points: The huge protests ended as the sun went down but demonstrators vow to take to the streets again on SundayRiot police with water cannon trucks parked near the protestsSome people have circumvented continuing social media blocks with VPNs Soon before nearly all lines of communication in and out of the country went dark, an Australian advisor to ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi told media he had been detained. The shutdown did not stop thousands of demonstrators gathering across Myanmar's largest city on Saturday, beginning on a road near Yangon University where many flashed the three-finger salute that has come to symbolise resistance to the army takeover.
"Down with the military dictatorship! " "Our revolution starts today. " The Government was geared up for a party room fight over climate this week. There wasn't a peep. Liberal moderates were ready for a fight in Tuesday's party room meeting.
The Prime Minister had just used a scene-setting speech for the year at the National Press Club to declare it was now his "preference" to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Not yet a target, but the clearest signal from Scott Morrison so far that he wants to drag the Coalition into line with every state and territory — as well as more than 110 other countries who have already signed up to the goal.
Moderates expected pushback in the party room from the usual suspects: those who brought down Malcolm Turnbull for going too far on climate and energy policy. Will deplatforming make QAnon and the far-right fade away or radicalise further? As President Joe Biden was sworn in this week, QAnon forums descended into despair, confusion and wounded anger.
"It's over and nothing makes sense," read one message thread title on the largest of these forums. "He sold us out," a believer wrote. "It's revolution time. " Earlier that day, as Donald Trump departed the White House, another wrote, "It simply doesn't make sense that we all got played. " Donald Trump was a 'demagogue president' and 'sociopath', says former FBI director James Comey. Former director of the FBI James Comey has labelled Donald Trump a "demagogue president" and "sociopath" whose lies contributed to the erosion of trust in America's institutions.
Key points: James Comey said it would be difficult to change the minds of people "who have been lied to for so long"Mr Comey said the "Republican Party has to be burned to the ground" and rebuiltHe believed trust in institutions could be restored if the new President picked the right leaders to run them In an interview with 7.30, Mr Comey — who was appointed FBI director by Barack Obama in 2013 and was fired by Mr Trump in 2017 — said he hoped the inauguration of President Joe Biden would start bringing Americans "out of the fog of lies".
"A large part of the drop in trust in our institutions, and in our civil society, has been the product of relentless lying by a demagogue president," Mr Comey told 7.30. The White Tiger: Netflix adaptation of Aravind Adiga's satirical novel is slick, punchy 21st-century rags-to-riches tale. "America is so yesterday," announces ambitious anti-hero Balram (Adarsh Gourav), moments into The White Tiger.
"In the belief that the future of the world lies with the yellow man and the brown man... I offer to tell you the truth about India, by telling you the story of my life. " So begins director Ramin Bahrani's scathing, often very funny 21st-century rags-to-riches saga, a compressed but compelling adaptation of Aravind Adiga's 2008 Booker Prize-winning bestseller that casts a satirical eye over class, colonialism, and — not insignificantly — the darker sides of globalisation and Silicon Valley aspiration. That it's streaming on global content factory Netflix only sweetens the sting in the tale. Like the novel, the film is framed in an extended flashback that gives the story its wry, slippery perspective. It's his first step into another world; one that he quickly sizes up for the taking.
Thais in Australia reflect on the 2020 pro-democracy protests that took on the king. Last year was tumultuous for Thailand, with the capital Bangkok rocked by unprecedented pro-democracy protests.
Key points: The 2020 protests were unprecedented in directly addressing the kingThailand's strict laws have silenced criticism in the past, even in AustraliaThe protesters' use of rude words has amused some but alienated others And the ripple effects are being felt among Thais in Australia. While some in the community support the movement for its creativity and boldness, others disagree with protesters — especially when they have the king in their sights. The protesters have three key demands — they want Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who came to power in a 2014 military coup, ousted; they want the constitution re-written; and most controversially, they want the monarchy reformed. "We feel that we've been oppressed all our lives," said Kanyanatt Kalfagiannis, leader of the Australian Alliance for Thai Democracy.
Hong Kong civil servants given four weeks to pledge loyalty to the Chinese Government. Hong Kong's 180,000 civil servants have been told they have four weeks to sign a document pledging their loyalty and dedication to the city's mini-constitution and the Chinese Government.
Key points: Civil servants taking the oath will have to promise to uphold Hong Kong's Basic LawThose who refuse to sign the pledge could lose their jobsAn announcement said advocating or supporting "Hong Kong independence" was not allowed More than 4,000 civil servants in the global financial hub have already made the declaration since Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law in June, which punishes anything China considers to be subversion, secessionism, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison. Western governments and rights groups are concerned that the security law is being used to crush dissent in the Chinese-ruled city. Cambodian opposition figure Mu Sochua plans return for mass trial despite hurdles. After living in exile for more than three years, Mu Sochua is making a daring bid to return to her homeland, Cambodia.
But what awaits her is almost certain arrest. Ms Sochua, currently residing in the United States where she is a dual citizen, is one of an estimated 130 people facing a mass trial in the capital Phnom Penh, which resumes today after a chaotic beginning in late November. Australian Van Kham Chau subject to 'hard labour' in Vietnamese prison, former inmate says. Australian citizen Van Kham Chau has been subjected to "long hours of hard labour" in a Vietnamese prison, according to a former fellow prison inmate.
Key points: Van Kham Chau is serving a 12-year jail sentence on terrorism-related charges He was detained in January 2019 and has not been able to speak to his direct family since A former inmate has urged Canberra to escalate Chau's plight with Hanoi The revelation comes on the two-year anniversary of Chau's imprisonment. Ugandan opposition candidate Bobi Wine says soldiers raided his home ahead of election day race with Yoweri Museveni. Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine says soldiers have raided his home and arrested his guards two days before national elections. Key points: At least 54 people were killed in Kampala and other parts of the country in November as security forces put down riots provoked by the arrest of Bobi WineMr Wine urges his supporters not to be intimidated by the forcesMany people have reported being unable to access Facebook and WhatsApp, similar to elections in 2016 The atmosphere in the capital of Kampala is increasingly charged as the vote pits the singer-turned-politician against one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, President Yoweri Museveni.
At least 54 people were killed in Kampala and other parts of the country in November as security forces put down riots provoked by the arrest of Wine for allegedly violating campaign regulations aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Record numbers of women are having babies in the Federal Parliament and now coronavirus might help them. There's an unusual sense of calm inside Lisa Chesters' office. A green square inside her clock is flashing as bells ring throughout the building.
Australia joins US, UK and Canada in criticising Hong Kong arrest of pro-democracy activists. The foreign ministers of Australia, the United States, Great Britain and Canada have issued a joint statement expressing "serious concern" about the arrest of 55 democracy activists and supporters in Hong Kong last week. Foreign Minister Marise Payne joined counterparts in calling for "guaranteed rights and freedoms" in Hong KongThe ministers said Hong Kong's national security law was being used to eliminate opposing political viewsIn a move likely to anger Beijing, the US will send its ambassador to the UN to Taiwan this week The arrests were by far the largest such action taken under a national security law that China imposed on the semi-autonomous territory a little more than six months ago.
"It is clear that the national security law is being used to eliminate dissent and opposing political views," the four foreign ministers said. Most of those arrested last week had taken part in an unofficial primary for a legislative election that was later postponed. The NT pioneered voluntary euthanasia before the law was overruled. Now there is a campaign to restore it. Sharon Cramp-Oliver has boxes full of her mum's old diaries. In them, 77-year-old Liz Holmes wrote about the adventures of her three children, what made the nightly news and — in the years leading up to her death — the unbearable pain she experienced and detailed plans to end her own life. WARNING: This story contains content that some readers may find distressing. Liz spent 12 years battling breast cancer, had a broken back and suffered through two painful hip replacements, one of which dislocated itself in early 2017.
"This is hell on earth," she wrote, just months before she took her own life in September, 2017. Liz also wrote that if she could have accessed voluntary euthanasia, she would have. But Liz lived in New South Wales, one of the six Australian states and territories that do not allow assisted dying. The storming of America's Capitol building by rioters elicited plenty of responses. Here's what world leaders had to say. The unprecedented scenes in the US capitol of Washington DC have drawn responses ranging from condemnation to almost satisfaction from America's allies and enemies across the globe. Key points: France's President Emmanuel Macron said his country believes in the "strength of American democracy"Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the riots were evidence of the failure of Western democracyChina compared the reaction form US media to the reaction they had to protests in Hong Kong Four people died in the violence, including a woman who was shot by police, as supporters of President Donald Trump violently occupied the US Capitol as Congress held a joint session to count the electoral college votes and certify Joe Biden's election victory.
ASIO red-flags Liberal Party donor Huifeng 'Haha' Liu over foreign interference risks. Twenty years ago 9/11 changed everything for the West and now China's rise and COVID-19 are part of the story. Delegated Legislation and Democracy: The Problem of Exemptions – AUSPUBLAW. Introduction Delegated legislation has become the principal form of lawmaking in Australia’s legal system.
Can we learn animal democracy from bonobos, ants and slime mould to better our society? Australian former MP set to be tried in absentia for 'incitement' in Cambodia. A former Victorian MP has been charged with incitement in Cambodia and could face jail time if he returns to his country of birth, as part of mass trials in what the former politician says is a "kangaroo court".
Key points: Mr Lim has not been contacted by Cambodian authoritiesHe was banned from entering Cambodia in 2016Most of the 15 to go on trial are youth activists already in custody Hong Lim is one of 15 people named in part of a group trial on charges of incitement or instigating incitement, according to human rights groups. China's Communist Party accused of influencing Australia's Chinese-language media - ABC News.
Australia's media has faced "persistent efforts" by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to influence and censor content, according to a new report from an Australian think tank. Key points: Chinese social media platform WeChat has accelerated CCP influence and censorship in Australia, the report foundIt found a number of Chinese-language media organisations in Australia had direct links to Chinese state mediaThe report urges the Federal Government to better protect news media from foreign influence. China's rise exposes the 'myth' of the liberal global order - ABC News. Why do we hear so much about the liberal global order, when the truth is, it never existed?
It was never a global order and it was not liberal. The phrase itself is a modern invention coming into vogue really only in recent decades, yet it is presented as holy writ. ICAC Ann Vanstone calls on South Australian MPs to adopt behavioural code of conduct - ABC News. South Australia's new anti-corruption commissioner has urged state MPs to adopt a code of conduct for their behaviour, saying it is a matter of "great regret" that SA is the only state yet to develop one. Who would have thought John Setka could be such a unifying force - ABC News. You didn't need Nostradamus to predict the Labor and union blasts when the Government released its industrial relations reforms this week.
But who — except the few in the know — would have foreseen the Government-union-Labor unity ticket to land a massive "hit" on very bad boy John Setka? The legislative rush to pass the bill allowing parts of unions — by which we mean divisions of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union — to leave the mother ship was remarkable. The Federal Government's new foreign relations laws have passed Parliament. Here's what that means - ABC News. The Foreign Minister of Australia has just become more powerful. On Tuesday, the Federal Parliament passed the Government's new foreign relations laws in full. The bill gives the Commonwealth the power to veto agreements with foreign countries struck by state and local governments, as well as universities. It all happened with breakneck speed — the Federal Government only announced it would push ahead with the bill in August.
Less than four months later, it's on the brink of becoming law. Victorian MPs Fiona Patten and Ali Cupper form unique coalition - ABC News. Bill to safeguard two NT federal members sent to House of Representatives after passing Senate - ABC News. Hong Kong's Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow have been jailed. It's part of the protest playbook - ABC News. What's behind China's bullying of Australia? It sees a soft target — and an essential one - ABC News. After China's tariffs on Australian wine, global campaign calls for people to drink a 'bottle or two' - ABC News. Doctored image of Australian soldier described as China's attempt to win over conspiracy theorists, other Beijing bureaucrats - ABC News. Scott Morrison's new vision for Australia accepts the old global order is changing - ABC News. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian's admissions to pork-barrelling and not self-isolating bring her 'school captain' image undone - ABC News.
Driver taxes will put Australia even further behind in electric vehicle market, research finds - ABC News. Victorian Labor expels hundreds of members after review into branch-stacking allegations - ABC News. Narrabri Gas Project receives federal approval, despite opposition from farmers and Indigenous leaders - ABC News. Rockhampton's Mayor-elect Chris Hooper accuses State Government of stalling on his appointment - ABC News. Former Labor MP Emma Husar calls out Barnaby Joyce, Alan Tudge, Christian Porter and Coalition leadership on Q+A - ABC News. How China's crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong led to the mass resignation of pro-democracy Legislative Council members - ABC News. Hong Kong pro-democracy MPs say they will resign en masse over dismissal of colleagues - ABC News. Can the Greens become the third major party of Australian politics? - ABC News. Donald Trump's US election endgame has been in plain sight for months.
The United States is deeply divided, but what we have seen this week is democracy in action - ABC News. Myanmar elections see Facebook fight hate speech, misinformation - ABC News. Uruguay's unified response to COVID-19 has helped it avoid the same fate as its neighbours - ABC News. ACT Labor-Greens governing agreement prioritises public housing, action on climate change, transport - ABC News. It's not just public servants feeling the ire of the Morrison Government - ABC News. People in Poland join nationwide job strike over top court's abortion ruling after days of protests - ABC News. Pussy Riot activist stars in dissident theatre group's Australian show - ABC News.
Liberals and Greens win last two ACT election seats as Electoral Commissioner announces final results - ABC News. Scott Morrison's promised integrity commission can't hide behind coronavirus much longer – can it? - ABC News. Two High Court judges will be named today – unlike Amy Coney Barrett, we know nothing about them - ABC News. As many as 100 million voters may be missing in the US election. Here's why many Americans don't vote - ABC News. New Zealand has elected its most diverse Parliament ever. How does Australia compare? - ABC News. US elections were changed for better (and worse) by the secret 'Australian ballot' - ABC News.
Belarusian protesters are being tortured by police, human rights experts say - ABC News. Trade may be booming, but our relationship with China is on a deteriorating course - ABC News. Ahead of the NT Election, where do the parties stand on fracking? - ABC News. Coronavirus has spread through Latin American cities' successes and failures in containing coronavirus - ABC News. The Future Crunch Newsletter. Closing the Gap promises big change for Indigenous youth. Trei and Karlie hope it improves the issues they faced - ABC News.
Palace Letters reveal Queen briefed on tensions post-Cyclone Tracy - ABC News. 'Palace letters' to be released today are expected to shine light on what the Queen knew about the Whitlam dismissal. The little book, Portnoy's Complaint, that changed censorship and the pioneer activist who says we should still be concerned - ABC News. AAP sale finalised, saving 'vital' 85-year-old newswire from closure - ABC News. An Australian family's journey to bring their son home after the Tiananmen Square massacre - ABC News. Siva Singh, immigrant who fought White Australia policy to regain right to vote, leaves lasting legacy. Bob Brown Foundation forest protesters no longer face big fines after regulator withdraws ban. What it was like to have front-row seats to the dismissal of Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister.
As Donald Trump prepares to visit India, protests erupt in New Delhi over controversial citizenship law. Neo-Nazis among Australia's most challenging security threats, ASIO boss Mike Burgess warns - Politics. Everywhere you look in Bougainville's Sivuna village, there are women and children. But hardly any men. Bob Brown Foundation banned from Tasmanian forest protest due to 'safety concerns' over actions at Tarkine.
Religious freedom bill would threaten human rights and create 'religious privilege', ACT Government claims. The sports rorts saga is now a big test for the Senate — and Morrison has some wheeling and dealing to do. Adam Bandt the frontrunner to replace Richard Di Natale as Greens leader - Politics. Andrijana wants her 'monsters to be visible'. So she's confronting the trauma of the Bosnian War. High Court to determine whether 'Palace letters' written during the Whitlam dismissal should be released. Richard Di Natale resigns as Greens leader and plans to quit federal politics - Politics. 8 ways Magna Carta still affects life in 2015. Man found guilty of attempting to steal 1215 Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral.
Climate change splits the public into six groups. Understanding them is key to future action. Sex worker, single mum, businesswoman and feminist: Fanny Finch remembered as woman ahead of her time. It's not just Australia Day — national holidays are 'almost always political' Jann Stuckey resigns amid bullying claims, Queensland Premier calls out culture of bullying. The Australian behind Clearview AI, a facial recognition software, says it is being used here.
Swastika graffitied at Queensland's popular Mount Morgan lookout. Greta Thunberg tells Davos leaders that planting trees isn't enough as Donald Trump talks up economy - Donald Trump's America. Almost half of millennials are convinced WWIII will happen in their lifetime, study finds. When corporations back woke capitalism it means climate change action has gone mainstream. The Olympics is a politically potent event, and it is an absurd pretence that 'politics and sport don't mix' NSW Police refers Angus Taylor investigation to Australian Federal Police - Politics. Despite tensions with Donald Trump, Western-influenced subcultures continue to thrive in Iran. Locked up in foreign jails, why do some Australian political prisoners get more attention than others? Kim Jong-un celebrates official opening of North Korea's 'socialist utopia', built with 'slave labour' Jacqui Lambie declares 'we're sitting ducks', calling on Australia to pull back economic ties with China.
The China Cables: Leak reveals the scale of Beijing's repressive control over Xinjiang. Spies in our suburbs. A young doctor visited China in 1959 and now his diagnosis is coming to pass in Hong Kong - Politics. Secretive government agency linked to AFP raid on ABC, documents show.