World News Brief, Thursday October 16

Hong Kong police break up protests; no breakthrough in military talks between North and South Korea; Russia and US to share more intelligence on IS; second healthcare worker sick following first US ebola death; and more 

Top of the Agenda

Hong Kong Police Break Up Protests

Hundreds of Hong Kong police dressed in riot gear and wielding batons and pepper spray cleared downtown protest areas (WSJ), arresting forty-five people early Wednesday. Clashes were violent, and public outrage (SCMP) spread as footage of plain-clothes police officers beating a handcuffed protester was caught on camera. Protesters later reoccupied Lung Wok Road outside the offices of Hong Kong's top officials in hopes that negotiations will be held, despite the sharp drop in protester numbers.


"Those who claim that the current protests are motivated by economic inequality and crony capitalism have to explain why Mr. Leung's measures did not win him lasting popularity. In reality, the movement has little to do with economics and everything to do with creeping 'mainlandization' of Hong Kong politics," writes Hugo Restall in the Wall Street Journal.

"The students are effectively demanding not just reversing the Standing Committee's August decision, but questioning whether the Standing Committee has any power of binding interpretation at all in relation to Hong Kong. In that case, why not scrap the five-step election amendment process and make the 2016 Legco election by universal suffrage? That may well be the right thing to do but it does look extra-constitutional or even revolutionary," writes senior South China Morning Post writer Alex Lo.

"But most protesters seemed to have lost hope for a satisfactory outcome. 'We are just holding out until we get cleared away eventually,' said a young protester. 'But even if there are no protests any more how can Hong Kong be governed when the people have lost all faith in leaders and the central government's commitments to us?'" writes the Economist.



Inter-Korean Dialogue Ends Without Breakthrough

North and South Korea held high-level military talks (Yonhap) on Wednesday but failed to narrow differences on issues such as clashes near the western maritime border. The meeting was the first of its kind since 2007 and was held amid clashes between the two sides over maritime disputes.


Russia and US to share more intelligence on IS

Second healthcare worker sick after first US ebola death 

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