A worker at Britain's consulate in Hong Kong went missing in China, and his girlfriend is blaming Beijing
- Britain said on Tuesday it was "extremely concerned" by reports that a staff member at the consulate in its former colony of Hong Kong had been detained in mainland China.
- Simon Cheng did not return to work on August 9 after visiting the neighboring mainland city of Shenzhen the previous day, Hong Kong news website HK01 reported, citing an interview with his girlfriend and family.
- Cheng's girlfriend was told by Hong Kong's Immigration Department on August 10 that Cheng was under administrative detention on the mainland, which can last as long as 15 days.
- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said he was unaware of the incident when asked at a press briefing on Tuesday, the Hong Kong Free Press reported.
- Britain, the US, and other countries have urged China to respect the "one country, two systems" formula under which Hong Kong returned to China in 1997.
A US diplomat held hostage in Iran 40 years ago sees the same 'bizarre history' repeating itself now 'as farce'
- Our hope was that, as soon as possible, adults in Tehran would take control of the situation, expel the "Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line" from the embassy compound, and set us free, either to continue service in Iran or leave the country.
- Why did the Trump administration take the bizarre action of sanctioning the Iranian foreign minister?
- Since it can only denounce, but cannot act, against the JCPOA's American architects (Obama, former Secretary of State John Kerry, and former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz), who are now private citizens, the Trump administration has vented its spleen against the main Iranian negotiator, who is still an official of his government.
- If Trump, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cannot act against Obama, they will go after Zarif.
Leaked Brexit Document Predicts 'Catastrophic Collapse' of U.K. Infrastructure
- Above, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks outside 10 Downing Street in London in July.
- Britain would face gridlock at ports; shortages of medicine, fuel and food; and a hard border with Ireland if it left the European Union with no deal, according to a leaked government document.
- Trucks could be dealt 2 1/2-day delays at ports, with significant disruption lasting up to three months, which would affect fuel supplies in London and the southeast of England, according the document.
- It also forecasts the closure of two oil refineries after import tariffs are eliminated, causing an expected loss of 2,000 jobs, worker unrest and disruptions to fuel supplies.
- The revelations come just before Boris Johnson takes his first official foreign trip as prime minister to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in advance of this coming weekend's G7 summit in Biarritz, France.
Our Graham Greene in Havana
- Harold Macmillan’s Conservative government embargoed British arms sales to Batista just two weeks before the Cuban Revolution, a full nine months after Washington had halted its military exports to the increasingly repressive dictator.
- When Greene wrote a new introduction to Our Man in Havana in 1963, he described how, during his November 1957 visit, he made a trip to the heart of insurrection in eastern Cuba carrying warm clothing for Castro’s guerrillas in the hills.
- Two guides accompanied him to Santiago de Cuba, the island’s second largest city, one a Cuban woman from the propaganda arm of Castro’s rebel movement and the other an American local correspondent for Time/Life magazine.
- On the one hand, Greene’s real contribution in October 1958 to the embargo on British arms sales played a small part in Fidel Castro’s revolutionary success.
What is mainland China hearing about Hong Kong?
- If you Google "Hong Kong" in Chinese, the first term that comes up is "Hong Kong protest", linking to coverage by both Western media such as the BBC and the New York Times and state media like CCTV.
- Videos of armed police assembling in the neighbouring city of Shenzhen, on the mainland, were circulating by state media as well, as well quotes from the Chinese government's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office warning that the movement had laid the foundations for "terrorism".
- Despite reading both domestic and foreign news, one mainland Chinese youth, who asked not to be identified, was still largely unsympathetic, and said the ultimate reason behind the unrest was not political, but economic.
- State media censor Hong Kong reports and blame protests on a violent minority and foreign interference.
5 questions about Donald Trump's interest in buying Greenland, answered
- This President, the most unorthodox resident of the White House in modern history, is actually, apparently, interested in buying Greenland -- the world's largest island currently owned by Denmark.
- The United States has actually pursued the purchase of Greenland before, according to a Danish historian named Tage Kaarsted.
- In 1946, US Secretary of State James Byrnes -- serving under President Harry Truman -- broached the idea with the Danish foreign minister at a United Nations meeting in New York.
- Almost 100 years before that, Secretary of State William Seward -- fresh off the US's purchase of Alaska -- apparently looked into buying Greenland from the Danes.
- The last time the United States bought land from a foreign country was in 1867, when Seward orchestrated the purchase of Alaska from the Russians for $7.2 million.