** People rescuing an injured passenger from inside a passenger bus hit by a truck on Dhaka-Mawa Expressway in Shologhar area of Shreenagar upazila in Munshiganj on Thursday. ** Motorcycles allowed on Padma Bridge after 10 months ** Commuters charge extra fare, passengers disappointed ** 78 people killed in Yemen stampede ** Moon sighting committee meets today to ascertain Eid day ** 9 killed in road accidents in 3 districts ** US announces new $325 m military aid package for Ukraine ** Eid-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia today ** Eid exodus begins ** LPG price cut illusive ** 15 hurt as bus overturns in capital ** New interbank cheque clearing timings set for Eid holidays ** Four women hit by a train die in Tangail ** 12.28 lakh SIM users left Dhaka on Tuesday ** Sylhet engineer threatened over power outage ** People rush to village homes to spend Eid holidays with their near and dear ones. This photo was taken from Sadarghat Launch Terminal on Tuesday. NN photo ** Surge in cases of dehydration, diarrhoea amid summer heat wave ** Padma Bridge construction cost increases by Tk 2,412cr ** PM gives Tk 90m to Bangabazar fire victims ** Textile workers block highway demanding wage, Eid bonus ** Attack on PM's motorcade Ex-BNP MP, 3 others get life term ** Load-shedding increases for demand of electricity during heat wave ** Motorbikes to be allowed on Padma bridge from Thursday ** 5-day Eid vacation begins from today ** Take Nangalkot train accident as a warning about negligence of govt functionaries **

US ‘deeply concerned’ by Chinese paramilitary reports on Hong Kong border

16 August 2019 AFP, Washington
US ‘deeply concerned’ by Chinese paramilitary reports on Hong Kong border

Armoured personnel carriers are seen outside a stadium in China\'s Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong.

The United States expressed concerns Wednesday over Chinese security force movements on the border with Hong Kong and urged Beijing to honor the territory's autonomy as pro-democracy protests continued.
A day after President Donald Trump appeared to take a hands-off position on the protests, a State Department spokesperson voiced concerns about the "continued erosion" of Hong Kong's autonomy and expressed "staunch" support for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the territory.
And senior members of Congress declared their backing for the protestors, blaming Beijing for a violent crackdown by the Hong Kong government.
"The United States is deeply concerned by reports of Chinese paramilitary movement along the Hong Kong border," the spokesperson, who would not be named, told AFP in a statement.
"The United States strongly urges Beijing to adhere to its commitments in the Sino-British Joint Declaration to allow Hong Kong to exercise a high degree of autonomy."
The protesters streamed into Hong Kong airport and quickly transformed the arrivals hall at one of the world's busiest transport hubs into a sea of black.
Top legislators, who normally have access to internal US government intelligence, were more directly critical of the Hong Kong government and Beijing.
"Images of Beijing-backed forces brutalizing civilians speak for themselves," tweeted Mitch McConnell, the powerful Republicans Senate majority leader.
"Millions of Hong Kongers protesting the Chinese Communist Party's encroachment know the truth about exactly who is responsible for 'inciting' chaos. The rest of the world knows too," he said.
Nancy Pelosi the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, called the use of force "perpetrated against" the demonstrators "extremely alarming."
"The pro-Beijing Chief Executive and the Hong Kong police forces must immediately cease the aggression and abuse being perpetrated against their own people," she said in a statement.
The State Department spokesperson said the protests, which forced the partial closure of Hong Kong's international airport on Tuesday, reflect Hong Kong citizens' "broad and legitimate concerns" over the loss of autonomy, which was agreed in the deal between London and Beijing over returning the former British colony to China in 1997.
"We condemn violence and urge all sides to exercise restraint, but remain staunch in our support for freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly in Hong Kong," the US official said.
The official also denied Chinese state-run media reports that the United States was stirring up the demonstrations behind the scene.
"We categorically reject the false charge of foreign forces as the black hand behind the protests," the official said.
Trump, who is locked in a tense showdown with Beijing over trade relations, has taken a milder approach to the Hong Kong protests, drawing criticism from US China experts and legislators.
He called the situation "very tricky," adding: "I hope it works out for everybody including China. I hope it works out peacefully, nobody gets hurt, nobody gets killed."
Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat, said Trump's silence was "devastating" to the protestors' cause.
Pelosi on Wednesday called on Trump to "walk away" from his statements, which she said "invite miscalculation."

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