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Hong Kong protests turn to violent clashes

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HONG KONG – Hong Kong riot police took up position at the main rail station serving the airport on Sunday to prevent a new anti-government protest targeting air travel after a night of violent street clashes in the Chinese-ruled territory.

Protesters have targeted the airport before, occupying the arrivals hall, blocking approach roads and setting street fires in the nearby town of Tung Chung, and trashing its subway station.

The Airport Express, which takes passengers under the harbour and across a series of bridges to the airport, built on reclaimed land around an outlying island, was only allowing passengers to board in downtown Hong Kong, not on the Kowloon peninsula, the Airport Authority said.

Hong Kong police fired tear gas to disperse pro-democracy protesters on Saturday after pro-China groups pulled down some of the “Lennon Walls” of anti-government messages posted in the Chinese-ruled city in more than three months of unrest.

The first canisters were fired when protesters hurled petrol bombs towards an approaching police line in the new town of Tuen Mun, in the west of the New Territories, and again after night fell in nearby Yuen Long.

“Radical protesters damaged facilities in Light Rail Town Centre Station in Tuen Mun with metal rods, hurled objects into the Light Rail tracks and set barricades in the vicinity, causing obstruction to the traffic,” police said in a statement.

“Radical protesters also threw petrol bombs, posing a serious threat to the safety of others and police officers. Authorities suspended rail and bus services in the area in response.

Hundreds of protesters retreated from the lines of riot police when the tear gas was fired, many sprinting across a highway to regroup briefly. Others melted away into malls and side-streets.

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ALERT : Cyclonic storm could reach coastal states of Maharashtra and Gujarat next week

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Sunitha Devi, in charge of overseeing cyclone conditions at IMD, said, “A low pressure area has formed over southeast and adjoining east central Arabian sea and Lakshadweep area. It is very likely to concentrate into a depression during the next 24 hours and intensify further into a cyclonic storm during subsequent 24 hours.”

She added, “It is likely to move nearly northwards and reach near north Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts by 3rd June.”

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A low pressure area and a depression are the first two levels on the IMD’s eight-category scale used to classify cyclones based on their intensity.

The weather bureau said that the sea condition will be very rough and advised fishermen not to venture into the sea till June 4. It has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall over south coastal Maharashtra for June 2-4, on north coast on June 2-3 and in Gujarat, Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli on June 3-5.

IMD said that under the influence of likely formation of a low pressure system over Arabian Sea, conditions will become favourable from June 1 for onset of monsoon over Kerala.

PM Modi addressed countrymen through radio program ‘Mann Ki Baat’

 

 

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