New top story from Time: Amnesty International Says Hong Kong Police Using ‘Reckless and Indiscriminate Tactics’

Amnesty International on Friday accused Hong Kong police of employing “reckless and indiscriminate tactics” against protesters in what amounts to an alarming pattern of abuse, and called for an independent investigation.

In a new report, Amnesty documented a series of arbitrary arrests and retaliatory violence against pro-democracy protesters held in custody, some of which, it said, amounted to torture.

“The evidence leaves little room for doubt—in an apparent thirst for retaliation, Hong Kong’s security forces have engaged in a disturbing pattern of reckless and unlawful tactics against people during the protests,” said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia Director at Amnesty International.

The police’s use of force, Bequelin added, is “clearly excessive, violating international human rights law.”

One of the key demands of the protests that have rocked the semi-autonomous Chinese enclave for three months has been an independent inquiry into the police response. While protesters have repeatedly accused the force of exercising excessive violence, the city’s embattled leader Carrie Lam has defended the police and resisted calls for independent accountability measures.

In preparing its report, Amnesty spoke with 48 people, including arrested protesters who shared accounts of being severely beaten and suffering other ill-treatment at the hands of police. One detainee said that after he refused to answer a question he was taken to another room where several officers attacked him and threatened to break his hands.

Another said he saw officers force a boy to shine a laser pen into his own eye in what appeared to be retribution for protesters’ use of laser pointers during the demonstrations.

Protesters spoke of similarly heavy-handed tactics at the time of arrest. One man was hospitalized with a fractured rib, among other injuries, after police pinned him to the ground and attacked him until he had difficulty breathing, Amnesty’s report said.

The human rights group also found police denied protesters held in custody access to lawyers and medical care.

In response to the report, Hong Kong police said it has respected the dignity, privacy and rights of those detained, according to local media. The police encouraged anyone who disagrees to file a complaint.

According to the police tally released Friday, over 1,400 people have been arrested since the protests began in June in response to a controversial extradition bill that would have allowed the transfer of fugitives to mainland China. The city’s leader withdrew the bill at the start of this month, but many chastised the concession as coming too late.

Amnesty’s report follows similar allegations against the police made by activists Denise Ho and Joshua Wong when they testified before the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China earlier this week.

“Given the pervasiveness of the abuses we found, it is clear that the Hong Kong Police Force is no longer in a position to investigate itself,” Bequelin said. “Amnesty International is urgently calling for an independent, impartial investigation aimed at delivering prosecutions, justice and reparation.”

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New top story from Time: A Top Defector Says the U.S. Must Levy Tougher Sanctions on North Korea to Prevent a New Nuclear State

The U.S. needs to wake up to the reality that its policy on North Korea is not working and quickly impose harsher sanctions if the world is going to avert the birth of a new nuclear state, a former North Korean diplomat says.

Thae Yong-ho, one of the highest-level North Korean officials to defect, told TIME in a recent interview that regime leader Kim Jong Un has no intention of abandoning his nuclear program and is only “trying to buy time” until the world accepts his country’s nuclear status.

Convincing Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear arsenal, Thae says, will require ramping up the pressure through punitive measures.

“Kim Jong Un is not interested in the denuclearization process,” he says, adding that “America has to take very resolute action by increasing additional economic sanctions.”

U.S. intelligence similarly concluded that Kim is not ready to relinquish his nuclear arsenal, Defense Intelligence Agency director Lieutenant General Robert Ashley told Fox News in June.

According to Thae, who served as the North’s former deputy ambassador to the U.K., President Donald Trump’s current approach of buddying up to the dictator and holding high-profile summits “is a failure.”

Thae’s comments come as Washington and Pyongyang both signal interest in resuming the stalled denuclearization talks. North Korea announced its willingness to reenter the discussions earlier this month in a statement that preceded its latest round of short-range missiles launches by just hours.

The last Trump-Kim summit in February collapsed over U.S. demands for denuclearization and North Korean demands for substantial sanctions relief.

While Trump has agreed to ease joint military exercises with South Korea, he has not relieved Pyongyang of the embargoes meant to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

But Thae says that Trump’s refusal to exact a heavier toll on a regime that has made unprecedented gains in its nuclear program — Kim has conducted more missile and nuclear tests than his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung combined — is already a coup for the young leader. Directly undercutting his own cabinet, Trump in May rolled back additional measures imposed by the Treasury Department, a decision he announced via Twitter.

Some experts insist that progress toward denuclearization remains unlikely until Washington is prepared to ease its already tough sanctions regimen. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has advocated the U.S. take a more conciliatory approach, while in July Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly urged Trump in July to “show flexibility” and ease sanctions in due course. A New York Times report in June indicated that the Trump Administration may consider a deal that involves partial relief for partial dismantling.

Duyeon Kim, an adjunct senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security, suggests sanctions don’t have to be imposed in an all-or-nothing approach.

“If and when serious negotiations are held, Washington should consider providing time-bound ad hoc sanctions exemptions in exchange for some denuclearization steps,” she says.

“This provides some incentives and relief for Pyongyang to get the ball rolling on denuclearization while allowing for sanctions to be ‘snapped back’ if North Korea doesn’t fulfill its end of the bargain,” Kim adds. “Otherwise, if sanctions are completely lifted, then they would be difficult, if not impossible, to re-impose them because China and Russia would not vote in favor.”

The extent to which sanctions offer effective leverage over North Korea remains debatable. The regime itself insisted just last month that it “will never barter the strategic security of the country for the sanctions relief.”

Some analysts say it’s not the level of sanctions that should be up for debate, but how to more effectively enforce the U.S. and U.N. bans in place now, some of which date back to 2006.

“We don’t know precisely how badly the sanctions are hurting the North Korean economy,” says Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein, a Templeton Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, adding, “but we do know that they are.”

According to a report from South Korea’s central bank, the North’s economy in 2018 contracted for the second consecutive year, shrinking the most since 1997, due to a combination of international sanctions and drought.

Thae says the U.N.’s ban on North Korean exports of oil, seafood and petroleum have particularly put a squeeze on the country’s economy, but not enough to destabilize the black market or really force Pyongyang’s hand.

“The question is whether the sanctions are enough to stop the nuclear process of North Korea,” he says. “Clearly, it is not enough.”

New world news from Time: A Top Defector Says the U.S. Must Levy Tougher Sanctions on North Korea to Prevent a New Nuclear State

The U.S. needs to wake up to the reality that its policy on North Korea is not working and quickly impose harsher sanctions if the world is going to avert the birth of a new nuclear state, a former North Korean diplomat says.

Thae Yong-ho, one of the highest-level North Korean officials to defect, told TIME in a recent interview that regime leader Kim Jong Un has no intention of abandoning his nuclear program and is only “trying to buy time” until the world accepts his country’s nuclear status.

Convincing Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear arsenal, Thae says, will require ramping up the pressure through punitive measures.

“Kim Jong Un is not interested in the denuclearization process,” he says, adding that “America has to take very resolute action by increasing additional economic sanctions.”

U.S. intelligence similarly concluded that Kim is not ready to relinquish his nuclear arsenal, Defense Intelligence Agency director Lieutenant General Robert Ashley told Fox News in June.

According to Thae, who served as the North’s former deputy ambassador to the U.K., President Donald Trump’s current approach of buddying up to the dictator and holding high-profile summits “is a failure.”

Thae’s comments come as Washington and Pyongyang both signal interest in resuming the stalled denuclearization talks. North Korea announced its willingness to reenter the discussions earlier this month in a statement that preceded its latest round of short-range missiles launches by just hours.

The last Trump-Kim summit in February collapsed over U.S. demands for denuclearization and North Korean demands for substantial sanctions relief.

While Trump has agreed to ease joint military exercises with South Korea, he has not relieved Pyongyang of the embargoes meant to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

But Thae says that Trump’s refusal to exact a heavier toll on a regime that has made unprecedented gains in its nuclear program — Kim has conducted more missile and nuclear tests than his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung combined — is already a coup for the young leader. Directly undercutting his own cabinet, Trump in May rolled back additional measures imposed by the Treasury Department, a decision he announced via Twitter.

Some experts insist that progress toward denuclearization remains unlikely until Washington is prepared to ease its already tough sanctions regimen. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has advocated the U.S. take a more conciliatory approach, while in July Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly urged Trump in July to “show flexibility” and ease sanctions in due course. A New York Times report in June indicated that the Trump Administration may consider a deal that involves partial relief for partial dismantling.

Duyeon Kim, an adjunct senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security, suggests sanctions don’t have to be imposed in an all-or-nothing approach.

“If and when serious negotiations are held, Washington should consider providing time-bound ad hoc sanctions exemptions in exchange for some denuclearization steps,” she says.

“This provides some incentives and relief for Pyongyang to get the ball rolling on denuclearization while allowing for sanctions to be ‘snapped back’ if North Korea doesn’t fulfill its end of the bargain,” Kim adds. “Otherwise, if sanctions are completely lifted, then they would be difficult, if not impossible, to re-impose them because China and Russia would not vote in favor.”

The extent to which sanctions offer effective leverage over North Korea remains debatable. The regime itself insisted just last month that it “will never barter the strategic security of the country for the sanctions relief.”

Some analysts say it’s not the level of sanctions that should be up for debate, but how to more effectively enforce the U.S. and U.N. bans in place now, some of which date back to 2006.

“We don’t know precisely how badly the sanctions are hurting the North Korean economy,” says Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein, a Templeton Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, adding, “but we do know that they are.”

According to a report from South Korea’s central bank, the North’s economy in 2018 contracted for the second consecutive year, shrinking the most since 1997, due to a combination of international sanctions and drought.

Thae says the U.N.’s ban on North Korean exports of oil, seafood and petroleum have particularly put a squeeze on the country’s economy, but not enough to destabilize the black market or really force Pyongyang’s hand.

“The question is whether the sanctions are enough to stop the nuclear process of North Korea,” he says. “Clearly, it is not enough.”

New world news from Time: Why Hong Kong Protestors Are Watching a Film About Ukraine’s Bloody Revolution

Just outside a subway station in the city’s east, dozens gathered around a projector screen. They watched, transfixed, as the scene cut to riot police in full gear advancing towards protestors. For many in the audience, this was a picture they knew all too well.

On Thursday night, people in about a dozen locations across Hong Kong congregated at street corners, parks and other public spaces for screenings of “Winter on Fire,” an Oscar-nominated documentary about the Ukraine anti-government protests in 2013. The three-months-long demonstrations, known as the Euromaidan, successfully toppled the country’s pro-Russia leadership.

Almost 5,000 miles away from the Ukraine capital of Kiev, Hong Kongers are drawing parallels between the two movements: Both were sparked by the government’s response to a single piece of legislation — in Hong Kong, the leaders’ pushing of a controversial extradition bill, and in Ukraine, the president’s refusal to sign an association agreement with the European Union — but quickly snowballed to include demands relating to police violence and the release of those arrested.

“The way the protests developed in Ukraine is very similar to in Hong Kong, starting out peacefully and then becoming more and more radical and extreme,” Hansa, a 23-year-old protestor who organized a screening near a park that evening, tells TIME.

On the Reddit-like forum, LIHKG, some netizens said that if Ukraine’s movement is “winter on fire,” Hong Kong’s is “summer be water,” alluding to the “be water” slogan that has characterized the fluid, flash-mob style of the protests. Many also say the success of the Euromaidan make it a case study they can learn from.

Scenes of white-shirted gangsters attacking commuters indiscriminately at a subway station in July, and stick-wielding men suspected to be members of a mainland Chinese clan attacking protestors and even reporters last weekend, have incited comparisons to Ukraine’s Titushki — government-hired strongmen who reportedly joined forces with the police to take down protestors.

Kenneth Chan, a political science professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, says Hong Kongers could empathize with protestors in Ukraine, who felt like their government was not representative of them.

“Ukrainian protestors felt that their leaders were puppets of the Russian government, in the way that many in Hong Kong see theirs as puppets of Beijing,” Chan adds.

Still, protestors acknowledge that the use of force by Hong Kong police has been relatively restrained. In Ukraine, after tear gas and rubber bullets failed to disperse protestors, police used stun grenades and on some occasions, live rounds, with over a hundred casualties recorded in the movement. The use of force has been comparatively restrained in Hong Kong, though officers have fired warning shots in recent weeks. One police association has also urged the consideration of live ammunition at protestors who throw Molotov cocktails, which have been increasingly sighted on the frontlines as the confrontations get more violent.

More than 1,300 protestors have been arrested since the movement began in June, when demonstrations began over a proposed extradition bill that, if passed, would allow fugitives to be transferred to mainland China.

Early this month, the city’s embattled leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, withdrew the bill. But protestors, who want democratic reform and greater autonomy from Beijing, show few signs of backing down.

Thousands have gathered at the city’s shopping malls in recent weeks to sing “Glory to Hong Kong,” an original song that was the crowdsourced effort of singers, instrumentalists and sound engineers were recruited online. The march, which some have branded their new “national anthem,” is a nod to the slogan “Glory to Ukraine” that was popularly chanted during the demonstrations.

The director of “Winter on Fire,” Evgeny Afineevsky, penned an open letter encouraging Hong Kong’s protestors, for “hope truly lies in the hands of today’s younger generations.”

But some have blamed the film — with its graphic scenes of protestors burning tires and setting the city center ablaze — of radicalizing protestors. In an op-ed published Saturday, pro-establishment lawmaker Regina Ip wrote: “The forces driving the widespread upheaval are complex. We have young protesters imagining themselves as agents of change, as in the documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.”

The demonstrations came to an end in Ukraine after 93 days, when the country’s unpopular president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled and general elections were announced. This week, the movement in Hong Kong surpassed its 100th day.

“Hong Kongers need to be prepared,” a 38-year-old protestor who asked to be identified as Cloud, said. “This is going to be a long, uphill battle.”

New top story from Time: Why Hong Kong Protestors Are Watching a Film About Ukraine’s Bloody Revolution

Just outside a subway station in the city’s east, dozens gathered around a projector screen. They watched, transfixed, as the scene cut to riot police in full gear advancing towards protestors. For many in the audience, this was a picture they knew all too well.

On Thursday night, people in about a dozen locations across Hong Kong congregated at street corners, parks and other public spaces for screenings of “Winter on Fire,” an Oscar-nominated documentary about the Ukraine anti-government protests in 2013. The three-months-long demonstrations, known as the Euromaidan, successfully toppled the country’s pro-Russia leadership.

Almost 5,000 miles away from the Ukraine capital of Kiev, Hong Kongers are drawing parallels between the two movements: Both were sparked by the government’s response to a single piece of legislation — in Hong Kong, the leaders’ pushing of a controversial extradition bill, and in Ukraine, the president’s refusal to sign an association agreement with the European Union — but quickly snowballed to include demands relating to police violence and the release of those arrested.

“The way the protests developed in Ukraine is very similar to in Hong Kong, starting out peacefully and then becoming more and more radical and extreme,” Hansa, a 23-year-old protestor who organized a screening near a park that evening, tells TIME.

On the Reddit-like forum, LIHKG, some netizens said that if Ukraine’s movement is “winter on fire,” Hong Kong’s is “summer be water,” alluding to the “be water” slogan that has characterized the fluid, flash-mob style of the protests. Many also say the success of the Euromaidan make it a case study they can learn from.

Scenes of white-shirted gangsters attacking commuters indiscriminately at a subway station in July, and stick-wielding men suspected to be members of a mainland Chinese clan attacking protestors and even reporters last weekend, have incited comparisons to Ukraine’s Titushki — government-hired strongmen who reportedly joined forces with the police to take down protestors.

Kenneth Chan, a political science professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, says Hong Kongers could empathize with protestors in Ukraine, who felt like their government was not representative of them.

“Ukrainian protestors felt that their leaders were puppets of the Russian government, in the way that many in Hong Kong see theirs as puppets of Beijing,” Chan adds.

Still, protestors acknowledge that the use of force by Hong Kong police has been relatively restrained. In Ukraine, after tear gas and rubber bullets failed to disperse protestors, police used stun grenades and on some occasions, live rounds, with over a hundred casualties recorded in the movement. The use of force has been comparatively restrained in Hong Kong, though officers have fired warning shots in recent weeks. One police association has also urged the consideration of live ammunition at protestors who throw Molotov cocktails, which have been increasingly sighted on the frontlines as the confrontations get more violent.

More than 1,300 protestors have been arrested since the movement began in June, when demonstrations began over a proposed extradition bill that, if passed, would allow fugitives to be transferred to mainland China.

Early this month, the city’s embattled leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, withdrew the bill. But protestors, who want democratic reform and greater autonomy from Beijing, show few signs of backing down.

Thousands have gathered at the city’s shopping malls in recent weeks to sing “Glory to Hong Kong,” an original song that was the crowdsourced effort of singers, instrumentalists and sound engineers were recruited online. The march, which some have branded their new “national anthem,” is a nod to the slogan “Glory to Ukraine” that was popularly chanted during the demonstrations.

The director of “Winter on Fire,” Evgeny Afineevsky, penned an open letter encouraging Hong Kong’s protestors, for “hope truly lies in the hands of today’s younger generations.”

But some have blamed the film — with its graphic scenes of protestors burning tires and setting the city center ablaze — of radicalizing protestors. In an op-ed published Saturday, pro-establishment lawmaker Regina Ip wrote: “The forces driving the widespread upheaval are complex. We have young protesters imagining themselves as agents of change, as in the documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.”

The demonstrations came to an end in Ukraine after 93 days, when the country’s unpopular president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled and general elections were announced. This week, the movement in Hong Kong surpassed its 100th day.

“Hong Kongers need to be prepared,” a 38-year-old protestor who asked to be identified as Cloud, said. “This is going to be a long, uphill battle.”

New top story from Time: Global Climate Strike Protests Kick off in Australia Ahead of U.N. Summit

(CANBERRA, Australia) — Thousands of protesters gathered Friday at rallies around Australia as a day of worldwide demonstrations calling for action to guard against climate change began ahead a U.N. summit in New York.

Some of the first rallies in what is being billed as a “global climate strike” kicked off in Australia’s largest city, Sydney, and the national capital, Canberra. Australian demonstrators called for their nation, which is the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas, to take more drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Global Strike 4 Climate said protests will be staged in 110 towns and cities across Australia on Friday, with organizers demanding government and business commit to a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Similar rallies were planned Friday in cities around the globe. In the United States more than 800 events were planned Friday, while in Germany more than 400 rallies were expected.

A similar coordinated protest in March that drew crowds around the world.

The protests are partly inspired by the activism of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly demonstrations under the heading “Fridays for Future” over the past year, calling on world leaders to step up their efforts against climate change. Many who have followed her lead are students, but the movement has since spread to civil society groups.

Australian universities have said they will not penalize students for attending Friday’s rallies, while Australian schools vary on what action, if any, they take against children who skip classes to attend demonstrations.

Siobhan Sutton, a 15-year-old student at Perth Modern School, said she would fail a math exam by attending a protest in the west coast city of Perth.

“I have basically been told that because it is not a valid reason to be missing school — it is not a medical reason or anything — I am going to get a zero on the test if I don’t actually sit it,” she told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“Even though we ourselves aren’t sick, the planet which we live on is, and we are protesting and fighting for it,” she added.

Siobhan said her math teacher had given her an option to sit the exam before Friday, but she was unable to do so because of her commitments as one of the protest organizers.

The demonstrations come as Australia’s center-left opposition mulls abandoning its policy, rejected at May elections, of reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 2005 levels by 2030. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition won a surprise third term with a commitment to reduce emissions by a more modest 26% to 28% in the same time frame.

Morrison is in the U.S. for a state dinner with President Donald Trump on Friday and has been criticized for failing to include in his New York itinerary the U.N. climate summit on Monday, when leaders will present their long-term plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Government lawmaker Craig Kelly on Thursday told students who planned to join Friday’s climate strike that “you are being used and manipulated and everything you are told is a lie.”

“The facts are, there is no link between climate change and drought; polar bears are increasing in number,” Kelly told Parliament.

“Today’s generation is safer from extreme weather than at any time in human history,” he added.

Some companies are encouraging their employees to join the climate strike.

Australian Council of Trade Unions, which represents labor unions, said it supported employees taking time off work to protest.

The council said in a statement that it “must take a stand for our future when our government will not.”

New world news from Time: Global Climate Strike Protests Kick off in Australia Ahead of U.N. Summit

(CANBERRA, Australia) — Thousands of protesters gathered Friday at rallies around Australia as a day of worldwide demonstrations calling for action to guard against climate change began ahead a U.N. summit in New York.

Some of the first rallies in what is being billed as a “global climate strike” kicked off in Australia’s largest city, Sydney, and the national capital, Canberra. Australian demonstrators called for their nation, which is the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas, to take more drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Global Strike 4 Climate said protests will be staged in 110 towns and cities across Australia on Friday, with organizers demanding government and business commit to a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Similar rallies were planned Friday in cities around the globe. In the United States more than 800 events were planned Friday, while in Germany more than 400 rallies were expected.

A similar coordinated protest in March that drew crowds around the world.

The protests are partly inspired by the activism of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly demonstrations under the heading “Fridays for Future” over the past year, calling on world leaders to step up their efforts against climate change. Many who have followed her lead are students, but the movement has since spread to civil society groups.

Australian universities have said they will not penalize students for attending Friday’s rallies, while Australian schools vary on what action, if any, they take against children who skip classes to attend demonstrations.

Siobhan Sutton, a 15-year-old student at Perth Modern School, said she would fail a math exam by attending a protest in the west coast city of Perth.

“I have basically been told that because it is not a valid reason to be missing school — it is not a medical reason or anything — I am going to get a zero on the test if I don’t actually sit it,” she told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“Even though we ourselves aren’t sick, the planet which we live on is, and we are protesting and fighting for it,” she added.

Siobhan said her math teacher had given her an option to sit the exam before Friday, but she was unable to do so because of her commitments as one of the protest organizers.

The demonstrations come as Australia’s center-left opposition mulls abandoning its policy, rejected at May elections, of reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 2005 levels by 2030. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition won a surprise third term with a commitment to reduce emissions by a more modest 26% to 28% in the same time frame.

Morrison is in the U.S. for a state dinner with President Donald Trump on Friday and has been criticized for failing to include in his New York itinerary the U.N. climate summit on Monday, when leaders will present their long-term plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Government lawmaker Craig Kelly on Thursday told students who planned to join Friday’s climate strike that “you are being used and manipulated and everything you are told is a lie.”

“The facts are, there is no link between climate change and drought; polar bears are increasing in number,” Kelly told Parliament.

“Today’s generation is safer from extreme weather than at any time in human history,” he added.

Some companies are encouraging their employees to join the climate strike.

Australian Council of Trade Unions, which represents labor unions, said it supported employees taking time off work to protest.

The council said in a statement that it “must take a stand for our future when our government will not.”