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5 August 2019updated 07 Jun 2021 4:17pm

Five things you need to know today: Hong Kong protests lead to transport chaos

By New Statesman

Hong Kong flights and trains halted as pro-democracy protests intensify

Activists in Hong Kong have blocked roads and disrupted subway services as part of pro-democracy demonstrations. More than 200 flights to and from the city were cancelled, while in the Yuen Long district, a car rammed its way through barricades, narrowly missing protesters who sought to push it back. At a press conference on Monday, the city’s chief executive Carrie Lam warned that activists were “pushing our city… to the verge of a very dangerous situation” and accused them of using opposition to an extradition bill as a cover for “revolution”. 

Trump condemned by Democrats following mass shootings

Donald Trump has been accused by senior Democrats of fuelling violence through anti-immigration rhetoric and opposition to gun control after two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Ohio left 29 dead. A 21-year-old white man arrested over the former published an online document calling the attack a response to “the Hispanic invasion” of the state. Trump responded by stating that “hate has no place in our country” and attributed both shootings to mental illness. Democratic presidential candidate Corey Booker said: “He [Trump] is responsible for what is going on and is doing nothing to stop the carnage and chaos.”

Chinese yuan falls below 7 per dollar for first time since 2008

The Chinese yuan has fallen below 7 per dollar for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, raising the prospect of a currency war between China and the US. After the renminbi fell as much as 1.3 per cent to 7.0297 per dollar on Monday morning, the People’s Bank of China issued a statement blaming  the decline on “unilateralism and trade protectionism measures” in reference to the US’s tariff increases. For years, faced with accusations of manipulating its currency to boost exports, China has sought to maintain a higher yuan. 

Majority back Scottish independence in new poll 

A new poll has found that a majority of Scottish people now favour independence from the UK. The survey by Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft and Holyrood magazine – the first to be published since Boris Johnson became prime minister – found that 52 per cent would vote Yes in a second referendum, while 48 per cent would vote No. It also found that 47 per cent believe there should be a new vote in the next two years, with 45 per cent opposed.

McDonnell denounces Javid over Deutsche Bank past

John McDonnell has questioned Sajid Javid’s fitness for office after warning that the new Chancellor “profited from the greed” that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. In a letter to Boris Johnson, McDonnell wrote that Javid’s past as a managing director at Deutsche Bank, where he sold collateralised debt obligations, meant he was implicated in “some of the worst excesses of the casino economy”. The shadow chancellor also called on his rival to publish his tax return and to answer questions over any connection he had with the “dark blue” tax avoidance scheme. 

Follow the day’s politics on The Staggers blog 

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