Monday, July 22, 2019 View this email in your browser

Sound bites: Protests turned ugly in Hong Kong • a British tanker was seized by Iran • thousands of protesters gathered in Moscow, Russia demanding fair elections • wildfires in Portugal have injured at least 20 people.



400,000 people marched in Hong Kong on Sunday, continuing a month-long protest against Hong Kong’s government. ICYMI: a controversial new law was proposed last month intended to extradite (transfer) people from Hong Kong to be put on trial in China. Protesters argue the bill goes against the two-systems, one-country policy – which basically says that Hong Kong can operate under its own political, social, and legal system. On July 8th, Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, finally gave in and said the deal is “dead.”
That’s good, right?
Not good enough. Protesters want to go even further with changes to the government. They’re demanding that Lam formally withdraw the bill, drop all charges against protesters, dissolve the government, and get direct voting rights for all Hong Kong residents. Yesterday, protests turned ugly when police used tear gas to disperse the remaining protesters that had crossed the police-marked endpoint. Demonstrators occupied business areas and threw eggs at the Liaison Office, the office that represents China’s Communist Party in the city.


Looks like Iran isn’t just butting heads with the U.S. Over the weekend, Iran took over a British tanker (a ship designed to transport oil) called Stena Impero in the Persian Gulf. Iran said it was for security reasons but Britain said the seizure was a “clear violation of international law.”
This sounds complicated.
It is. Iran views the whole thing as a tit-for-tat situation. Earlier this month, an Iranian tanker was seized by the British Royal Marines because, Britain says, it was in breach of EU sanctions (rules/penalties). But the crisis goes much deeper than that. This tweet by Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Javad Zarif says it all. It seems Iran hasn’t let go of President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, which curbed Iran’s nuclear activity in return for loosened international sanctions. And since the U.S. and Britain are friends, Iran won’t be cutting Britain any breaks.


For the third day in a row, 22,000 protesters gathered in Moscow, Russia to demand fair city council elections. Protesters are mad because, in September, the electoral board banned 30 independent politicians from running in Moscow’s local elections; politicians who just so happen to be critics of President Vladimir Putin and his government. To be eligible to run in city elections, candidates must collect 5,000 signatures. The candidates did just that, but the electoral commission claimed the signatures were fake or from dead people. Candidates denied the claims and some of their supporters even took to social media to prove how alive they really are. The protests also represent people’s growing frustration with a declining economy, and with Putin, whose approval rating has dipped to an all-time low.


Central Portugal is dealing with massive wildfires. Almost 2,000 firefighters are on the scene in the district of Castelo Branco – about 200km from the capital city, Lisbon – along with 19 planes and helicopters and hundreds of vehicles. At least 20 people have been injured, including eight firefighters. The cause of the fires, which started on Saturday, is TBD, but Interior Minister Eduardo Cabrita has launched an investigation to find out if they were deliberate. Portugal’s hot summers and strong winds make the country prone to wildfires every summer. Over 100 people were killed in 2017.


Target just introduced new adaptive Halloween costumes for children with disabilities. The department store’s new Hyde and Eek! Boutique offers costumes for kids who use wheelchairs, like this pirate ship wheelchair cover and this princess carriage. The costumes themselves (which are sold separately) are also uniquely designed for wheelchair users. The new line also offers costumes for kids with sensory sensitivities, with “flat seams and no tags for an ultra-comfy feel”. The costumes are now ready for pre-order and will be delivered in time for this Halloween.


• Canadian actor Simu Liu, best known for his role in Kim’s Convenience, has been tapped to play Shang-Chi in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. BTW, if you don’t believe in manifesting your dreams, check out his tweet to Marvel a year ago.

• Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, and Richard Madden are just a few of the celebrity names joining Marvel’s Eternals.

• In more Marvel news, Natalie Portman is taking the lead as the new Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder.

s season 3 trailer takes you out of the Western theme, but not out of Westworld.

• TBS released the first trailer for its highly anticipated series, Snowpiercer.

Celebrate Monday and share Pressed with a friend.