Hong Kong: The U.S. government on Thursday stepped up its warnings to travelers to Hong Kong because of increasing violence surrounding pro-democracy protests in the Chinese city. The State Department’s Level 2 travel advisory issued Thursday urges “increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest” and tells travelers to avoid demonstrations and to “exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.” The protests were sparked two months ago by proposed extradition legislation that could have seen suspects sent to mainland China where they could face torture and unfair politicized trial. They have since morphed into calls for broader democratic reforms in the former British colony, along with the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and investigations into alleged police abuse of force. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe territory’s crucial travel industry has suffered as tourists put off their visits, with Australia, Ireland, Britain, and Japan having also issued travel advisories to their citizens. Hong Kong police say a total of 589 people have been arrested in the protests since June 9, ranging in age from 13 to 76. They face charges including rioting, which allows for prison terms of up to 10 years. Protests have seen police firing tear gas, rubber bullets and other projectiles, with demonstrators responding with sharpened metal sticks, lobbed bricks, petrol bombs and carts full of burning debris. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsOn several occasions, protesters have also been attacked by unknown persons believed to be linked to organized crime groups, while police took little action to stop them. The central government in Beijing has so far has not visibly intervened in the situation, though in editorials and public remarks it has condemned demonstrators and protest organizers as criminals, clowns and “violent radicals” and alleged that they have been inflamed by politicians from the U.S., Taiwan and elsewhere.
Cartoon Network, through its award-winning Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign, issued a national call-to-action to recruit one million people to speak up against bullying as a kick-off to National Bullying Prevention Month.As of this week, the network is proud to report that more than 1.1 Million kids, parents, educators and others to date accepted the challenge and “spoke up” against bullying.Select videos uploaded to www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com became part of new campaign spots appearing on Cartoon Network, its digital platforms and Boomerang throughout October. Participants were also encouraged to share their videos on their own social media platforms using #ISpeakUp to help spread the word.To see a sampling of the videos received from kids who wanted their voices to be heard in the fight against bullying, click here.Notable government officials and celebrities who also contributed video messages to the national campaign include U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Attorney Eric Holder and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, plus actors Tony Goldwyn (Scandal), Ken Marino (Marry Me), Alysia Reiner (Orange Is The New Black), Kris Jenner (Keeping Up With the Kardashians), Howie Mandel (Deal With It), Scooter Braun (School Boy Records), Jason Beghe (Chicago P.D.), Mark-Paul Gosselaar & Breckin Meyer (Franklin & Bash), Anderson Cooper (Anderson Cooper 360), Sam Champion (Weather Channel), Grant Hill (NBA TV’s Inside Stuff), Reggie Miller (NBA on TNT), Rick Fox (NBA GameTime), Skylar Astin & John C. McGinley (Ground Floor), Henry Winkler (Childrens Hospital), Wilson Cruz (Red Band Society), Michael Carbonaro (The Carbonaro Effect), Michaela Pereira (CNN New Day) and Robin Meade (HLN Morning Express).“For kids who’ve been bullied or know someone who has been bullied, knowing that more than a million people went out of their way to speak up for them is going to leave them with a great feeling,” said Alice Cahn, Cartoon Network vice president of social responsibility.Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up is an award-winning, multi-platform pro-social campaign, created with experts in the field to raise awareness, build partnerships and empower young people to speak up against bullying safely and effectively. Campaign resources include video, print and online content — including an award-winning documentary introduced by President Barack Obama — available at StopBullyingSpeakUp.com, available at no charge to schools, community groups and parents to motivate bullying prevention activities or discussions.Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com) is regularly the #1 U.S. television network in prime among boys 6-11 & 9-14. Currently seen in 97 million U.S. homes and 194 countries around the world, Cartoon Network is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for kids and families.Source:PR Newswire