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Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers charged, student mourned
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Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers charged, student mourned

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers charged, student mourned
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kin Cheung
A woman attends a vigil for student Chow Tsz-Lok in Hong Kong, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. Chow Tsz-Lok, the Hong Kong university student who fell off a parking garage after police fired tear gas during clashes with anti-government protesters died Friday in a rare fatality in five months of unrest, fueling more outrage against authorities in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers charged, student mourned

Police in Hong Kong said Saturday that they have arrested and charged six pro-democracy lawmakers, a move that could escalate public fury a day after the death of a university student linked to months of anti-government protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Protesters vented their anger over Chow Tsz-Lok's death and vowed not to give up their resistance at a police-approved prayer rally Saturday night, with frequent chants of "Hong Kong people, revenge" and "Free Hong Kong."

The 22-year-old died Friday, succumbing to injuries four days after falling from a parking garage when police fired tear gas during clashes with protesters. Although the circumstances of his death are unclear, many blame police who have been accused of heavy-handed tactics since the unrest began in June, including widespread use of tear gas and pepper spray.

Police said they arrested six lawmakers and charged them Saturday with obstructing the local assembly during a raucous May 11 meeting over a now-shelved China extradition bill that sparked the five months of protests calling for democratic reforms. All were freed on bail.

A seventh lawmaker received a summons but failed to turn up at a police station to face arrest, a police spokesman said.

Pro-democracy lawmakers slammed the government clampdown as a calculated move after Chow's death to provoke more violence as an excuse to postpone or cancel Nov. 24 district elections — polls viewed as a barometer of public sentiment amid the unrest.

"We'll say no to their plans," lawmaker Tanya Chan told a news conference. "It is a de facto referendum for all Hong Kong voters to cast their vote and say no to police brutality and say no to our unjust system."

She said the district elections will also send a crucial message to Beijing, accused by protesters of interfering in Hong Kong's freedoms and rights promised when the former British colony returned to Chinese control in 1997.

Hong Kong's constitutional and mainland affairs secretary, Patrick Nip, said police made the arrests based on their investigation and that they had nothing to do with the upcoming elections.

Violence erupted late Friday when protesters took to the streets following memorial events in multiple locations to mark Chow's death.

On Saturday night, thousands gathered at a Christian memorial service for Chow, singing hymns and laying white flowers and paper cranes at a makeshift stage in a downtown park.

It wasn't clear what Chow was doing at the garage early Monday as mobs clashed with police in the streets below. Police have repeatedly denied that officers pushed him down and had delayed emergency services that delayed treatment.

A friend of Chow told a citizens' press conference earlier Saturday that he had joined every protest since June.

"We, friends, were doing what we could on the streets. We were frustrated with the tyranny of this government," said the friend, who wore a mask and didn't identify himself.

At the evening prayer rally, various speakers, including hard-line protesters, took to the stage to call for justice for Chow and vowed never to surrender.

"Hong Kong people can be struck down but never defeated," said a masked protester. Another protester urged citizens to show their anger by going out early to vote in the district council elections.

Prominent activist Joshua Wong, who has been barred from running in this month's polls, said the city can emerge from the chaos if protesters unite and fight on despite the tough road ahead.

Shortly after the event ended, police issued warnings to dozens of protesters gathered outside the office of Hong Kong's embattled leader adjacent to the park. Some protesters pointed laser beams at the Chinese garrison building nearby and heckled police, but they later dispersed.

There have been only a few fatalities during the unrest, including some reported deaths by suicide and a man who fell to his death while hanging pro-democracy banners on a building.

More than 3,300 people have been arrested since the start of the protest movement, which has expanded to include calls for direct elections for the city's leaders and other demands.

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Bulldog News

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  • ATHENS Georgia remains the top-ranked, one-loss team in the nation in the College Football Playoff Rankings. LSU (9-0) took over the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday nighton the strength of its 46-41 win at Alabama last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Ohio State (9-0) was No. 2 and Clemson (10-0) was No. 3, and then came the Bulldogs (8-1) at No. 4. The Crimson Tide (8-1) came in at No. 5 with Oregon (8-1) at No. 6. LSU's win last Saturday snapped Alabama's 31-game home win streak and ended the Bayou Bengals' string of futility against the Tide at 8 games last Saturday. The Tigers have four wins over teams ranked in the Top 20 this season: Alabama (No. 5), Florida (No. 11), Auburn (No. 12) and Texas (No. 19). Ohio State (9-0) dropped to No. 2 despite a 73-14 win over Maryland. The Buckeyes' best win was a 38-7 victory over No. 14 Wisconsin on Oct. 26 in Columbus, Ohio. It's the first time the top-ranked team in the CFP rankings has dropped when coming off a win. Defending College Football Playoff champion Clemson (10-0) is at No. 3 after its 55-10 at North Carolina State last Saturday. Georgia is ranked ahead of Alabama on the strength of its wins over No. 11 Florida and No. 16. Notre Dame. 'As you look at (Nos.) 4 and 5, two really good teams, one-loss teams, we just saw Alabama had a tough loss,' said Rob Mullens, the chairman for the 13-member CFP Committee. 'You compare that against Georgia's resume, and the two big wins that Georgia had.' Mullens explained on the teleconference that the committee works to rank the No. 1 to No. 3 teams, and then Nos. 4-6. 'The separator for Georgia in the (4-6) pool is their two wins against Top 20 teams,' Mullen said. 'You're looking at the full resume, so you're discussing everything, all the wins and the loss.' Mullens said the committee spent a lot of time comparing Georgia to Alabama, and it did take into consideration that the Bulldogs lost to unranked South Carolina while the Tide lost to LSU. The Crimson Tide, however, doesn't have any wins over Top 25 teams this season. Its best win is likely considered the 47-28 victory it scored over Texas A&M on Oct. 12. Alabama (8-1, 5-1) was ranked higher than t he Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1) in the AP Top 25 poll last Sunday, coming in at No. 4 there with UGA No. 5. Minnesota (9-0) made the biggest jump in the CFP rankings, up to No. 8 from No. 17 after a 31-26 home win over previously unbeaten and now No. 9-ranked Penn State. The Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) can clinch a spot in the SEC Championship Game with a win at No. 12 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. RELATED: Kirby Smart updates playing status of Trey Hill and Lawrence Cager The committee had Georgia as the top-ranked one-loss team last Tuesday night, too. CFP Committee chairman Rob Mullens explained why last week. 'Georgia has beaten two top 15 teams, (then-) No. 10 Florida, (then-) No. 15 Notre Dame,' Mullens said, asked by DawgNation on last Tuesday night's national teleconference about the Bulldogs place in the order of one-loss teams. 'They are the only FBS team to not give up a rushing touchdown, which is a pretty strong statement. They have an experienced quarterback, and elite running back,' he said. 'But the separator for them at this point was the two Top 15 wins.' Georgia extended its streak of games without a rushing touchdown with a 27-0 win over Missouri, it's third shutout of this season. The rankings will be released the next three Tuesday nights at approximately 7 p.m. on ESPN, with the final rankings coming out on Sunday, Dec. 8, at noon. College Football Playoff rankings for 2019 Week 12 Georgia football stories from DawgNation UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post College Football Playoff Rankings for Week 12 released: Georgia jumps Alabama in Top 5 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Mike Shildt has been named the 2019 National League Manager of the Year, after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to an NL Central title and an appearance in the NLCS. Shildt was followed by Craig Counsell, Brian Snitker, Dave Roberts and Dave Martinez in voting. Snitker earned three of the 30 first-place votes after managing the Atlanta Braves to another NL East title in 2019, leading them to their most wins (97), since 2003.
  • ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart said center Trey Hill has been practicing this week after leaving last Saturday's game with a sprained left ankle. 'Trey has been fine,' Smart said at his Tuesday night press conference. 'He's taken all the reps and done everything.' Smart said senior graduate transfer receiver Lawrence Cager has also had a good week of practice after re-aggravating a shoulder injury in the 27-0 win over Missouri. 'He's been good, taking all his reps, catching balls and doing what he's supposed to do,' Smart said. 'Hopefully we can keep him healthy.' Smart said senior defensive back Tyrique McGhee remains sidelined with a foot injury. 'He hasn't been able to practice,' Smart said. Hill's healthy status should pave the way for the Bulldogs to open the game with their starting line intact for the third consecutive week and fourth time this season. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) play at No. 13 Auburn (7-2, 5-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Georgia has had a rash of injuries on the offensive line, with left tackle Andrew Thomas the only player to start every game. Smart explained that Cager's shoulder injury is of the sort that the coaches leave it up to him whether or not to play. 'I think he's very tough,' Smart said. 'He's playing with a tough injury to deal with. It's his choice. He has to make a decision whether or not he wants to play. 'He wants to make plays for his brothers on the team.' The post Georgia coach Kirby Smart provides practice updates on Trey Hill, Lawrence Cager appeared first on DawgNation.
  • EDITOR'S NOTE: This original Richard LeCounte III story continues a special series in partnership with Georgia Farm Bureau profiling homegrown talent from the state of Georgia. To access the other HomeGrown Talent articles please visit the series hub on DawgNation.com. The year was 2015. It was a summer night in July. The Mark Richt era was on its last season in Athens. There was this rising 2017 prospect who kept bounding up and down. He wasn't the biggest cat, but boy could he move. He was so springy. That young man's name was Richard LeCounte III. He was a 'Down South Georgia Boy' prospect if there ever has ever been one. But back then, those guys didn't go play football at the University of Georgia. LeCounte had the hops and the explosive acceleration. He was often found near rising senior Mecole Hardman, Jr. at that camp. Hardman went on to basically shine as brightly as anyone at that camp that night at both the receiver and cornerback spots. Those two represented potential glory for Georgia. If the Bulldogs could only start signing guys like those two. Georgia did. Hardman put in his three years and is already making millions and weekly highlight reels in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs. LeCounte is still in Athens, but he's currently in a stretch that can be called the best football of his time at Georgia. The program would be lucky to keep him away from Hardman's new league for one more year the way he's playing. The former 5-star safety tied for the team-best total in tackles (6) against Kentucky. He shadowed future NFL tight end, Kyle Pitts, down in Jacksonville with great success and also had six tackles on that night. He picked off Missouri last Saturday in the red zone and returned that theft 71 yards. The former Liberty County star might have scored if he didn't have to vault over a teammate on that return. Those three games came after he managed just one tackle against South Carolina. That was saying something after LeCounte finished his sophomore season with 74 tackles. That led the Bulldogs in 2018. It was an up-and-down year for LeCounte, though. He's made sure that the valley against Carolina didn't become another 'rat trap' trend. 'The difference between Richard now and then is he's bought in a little more into the understanding of what I have to [do]within this system,' Kirby Smart said while describing LeCounte's proper thought process on Monday. 'What is my job? I have to make calls and decisions on my side of the field that is critical to our success. I've said after the [Missouri] game that I think in the last two or three weeks he's taken a little more ownership in that.' 'He's taken a little more initiative to watch [game] tape and not just think I can go out there and ball. I've got to go understand and play within the defense to make plays and he's doing a better job of that.' That's the present for LeCounte. It is a pretty good one at that. But it doesn't change the fact he will always be a bookmark recruit of the Kirby Smart era at Georgia. RELATED: Did you ever know the background story about Richard LeCounte III? He was driving a car at what age? Richard LeCounte III: When he chose to be a Bulldog There will be a time when Kirby Smart's first teams come back to celebrate their success between the hedges in Athens. There is already going to be a definite one with that SEC championship team from 2017. LeCounte was on that team. When he's taking another dip in the cheers of Sanford Stadium, the astute DawgNation fans will be able to point down to the field or to the Jumbotron and say the following: That was the first big-time recruit to take a chance and invest in Kirby Smart's Georgia. DawgNation broke the news Smart was hired by Georgia on Dec. 6. That was a Sunday. Smart earned the commitment from his first 5-star recruit less than a week later. LeCounte wanted to play for a coach like Smart. But he also wanted to play for that winning formula which was firmly in place at Alabama. But he wanted to do it for Georgia. When Smart was hired, it was all he needed to know. His thoughts about Alabama and Ohio State didn't last much longer than that week. When he chose Georgia, LeCounte was rated as the nation's No. 1 ATH and the No. 22 overall prospect for 2017. It was just after he finished his junior season. COUNT one for #SicEm17 #homeGrown #CommitToTheG Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) December 13, 2015 Smart even flashed some creativity with that 'COUNT' reference in his tweet that signaled Georgia just landed a major recruit. From there, LeCounte was a monster for Georgia on the recruiting trail. He became the type of recruiter that every year fans now wish for another 'LeCounte' in that cycle. He was that future Bulldogs who cared so much and bleeds so much for his home state. LeCounte's message was simple. He just wanted all of the 'Dawgs' in the state to stay home. When he showed up at the Rising Seniors game in Atlanta later that month, he started walking up to guys and calling them Dawgs, too. He was proclaiming them a part of 'SICEM17' before those guys fully realized they were going to sign with Georgia, too. There was also that time at the 'Rising Seniors' game when he lost a tooth, threw it to a defensive coach and never missed a practice rep. It will never be forgotten in the history of that game. When asked about it the next day, it suddenly dawned on him that he never bothered to ask that coach for his tooth back. LeCounte showed up at the Opening clad in Georgia gear that next February. He even had a Georgia cell phone case. He did backflips at the Opening finals out in Oregon. LeCounte was working fellow 2017 RB targets, Toniel Carter and D'Andre Swift, on that trip. Those two both chose Georgia. So did Andrew Thomas that week. When he visited for the games each week, he celebrated and cheered for his future teammates as very few recruits have done so before. Or have since. When December rolled around, he was Santa in a pair of DawgNation 'Christmas Commitments' videos. With the 'My Savages' hit from Future playing in the background, he coined the 'we ain't done yet' phrase that still stands in the hearts and minds of the Georgie fan base. It makes a lot of sense to hear Smart say those things about LeCounte now. That's because he has been constantly evolving. Backup and special teamer as a freshman. Full-time starter and leading tackler in 2018. Yet with that, he showed his passion and aggressiveness a little too much in 2018. It might have been he had too much of that 'Hit Stick' he always carried with him as a talented and passionate kamikaze defender a year ago. Those big hits are still there now, but so is the realization he has to be a full-time safety net or an eraser to cover his teammates more for a unit that is putting up some special weekly performances in 2019. Looking back, straight ahead and looking forward When he was on campus that first year, he laid a lot of bricks for the 2017 class in Athens. That one, his class, finished No. 3 overall in the 247Sports Team Composite ratings. But what was that phrase that LeCounte liked to say on the trail? Well, he had a 'we ain't done yet' for the 2018 class, too. He once spoke to a group that included Justin Fields, Kearis Jackson, Jamaree Salyer and Zamir White, among others. The phrase 'national championship' was used while the future core of the 2018 class was on campus, too. 'I guess there was like I don't know maybe 15 guys in the room,' Fields said back in 2017. 'He was just like If we get all you guys then we definitely have a shot at winning a national championship while we are here.' That line caught some ears. 'Then he said If you come in here there might be a guy above you on the depth chart that's pretty good but every day in practice we're going after each other and making each other better,'' Fields said. 'He said We're going 100 percent and full-throttle' in his message to us.' Shooters do like to shoot. LeCounte is one of those. 'I told them that we needed all of those guys to stay home or come here,' LeCounte said after the Rose Bowl win in 2018. 'I told all those Georgia guys that we needed them to stay home and stay in-state. Just to give us a try. I am never going to be the guy to tell anybody where they need to go. But I just wanted them to know that this program could really be something special if we could get every one of them to come.' This seems the perfect time to catalog all the marquee moments for LeCounte in Athens. He's already experienced quite a lot. He enrolled early in January of 2017 as part of Smart's first big class. There was that big reception at the UGA basketball game. Georgia beat Notre Dame in Notre Dame that fall The Bulldogs rolled Florida in 2017 Georgia won the SEC championship and the Rose Bowl during his freshman year The Bulldogs played for their first national title since 1980 The two memorable games with Alabama where the Bulldogs stood toe-to-toe in the reigning dynasty in college football Georgia now has two straight SEC East titles and three straight wins over Florida It means a lot for LeCounte to have been a part of this renaissance of the Georgia program. 'It is something special man,' he said last month. 'Every day I thank God for being in the position that I am,' he said. 'I come out there with a great staff. A great group of teammates and I do the thing that I love. I go to school and I play football.' 'So it is always a blessing when I wake up in the morning.' There has been a flurry of moments with DawgNation for LeCounte. Can he even believe that his first three years at Georgia have included all of that? 'I couldn't even imagine things like that and it happening back then,' he said. 'I'm so blessed to be here with this great group of guys.' Georgia's Homegrown Talent: The DawgNation series Homegrown: From Rodrigo Blankenship to 'Hot Rod' status at Georgia Brian Herrien: Why he embodies the Georgia Bulldog spirit Trey Hill: From Homegrown to the center of the Bulldog offense Homegrown: The twists and turns in Quay Walker's road to UGA Eric Stokes is more like 'UGA grown' Charlie Woerner: Homegrown from a Bulldog family Jake Fromm: From the Little League World Series to duck holes to the face of a program Andrew Thomas develops quickly into a hometown here at UGA Warren McClendon: Family roots run 44 years deep for this Georgia family D.J. Daniel: Likely impact defensive back took a longer route to Athens Travon Walker: Expect big things on the line from 5-star freshman Dominick Blaylock: Talented freshman WR found a homegrown fit in Athens Nolan Smith: From 'Baby Boy' to a long-awaited Bulldog in Athens The post Homegrown: Richard LeCounte III is a unique placesetter for the Kirby Smart era appeared first on DawgNation.