Six In The Morning Tuesday 9 July 2019

Hong Kong extradition bill ‘is dead’ says Carrie Lam

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said the controversial bill that would have allowed extradition to the Chinese mainland “is dead”.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Ms Lam said the government’s work on the bill had been a “total failure”.

But she stopped short of saying it had been withdrawn completely, as protesters have been demanding.

The bill sparked weeks of unrest in the city and the government had already suspended it indefinitely.

“But there are still lingering doubts about the government’s sincerity or worries whether the government will restart the process in the Legislative Council,” Ms Lam told reporters.

South Korean TV star resigns after spycam scandal

Kim Sung-joon was allegedly caught photographing a woman in a subway station, the latest in a string of ‘molka’ incidents

A well-known South Korean broadcaster has resigned after allegedly taking photographs of a woman’s “lower body” without her knowledge, in the latest molka voyeurism scandal to hit the country.

Kim Sung-joon submitted his resignation to Seoul Broadcasting System [SBS] on Monday after he was reportedly caught taking the photographs with his mobile phone at a subway station in the South Korean capital last week, Yonhap news agency said.

He was apprehended shortly after the alleged incident after a witness warned the women she was being photographed and called police, it added.

Free trade or environment

by Serge Halimi
Europe’s Greens revived the old debate on the political positioning of their movement when they won 10% of seats in the new European Parliament. Is it leftwing, as most of its alliances to date suggest? Or is it neoliberal, given that several of its former leaders, including Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Pascal Canfin and Pascal Durand, have since joined forces with Emmanuel Macron, and that some coalitions in Germany include rightwing parties as well as the Greens?
At first glance, neoliberalism and ecology seem like an odd match. In 2003 Milton Friedman, the father of neoliberalism, said, ‘The environment is a greatly overstated problem … We cause pollution just by breathing. We can’t close all the factories on the grounds that it will stop CO2 emissions. We might as well go and hang ourselves right away’ (1). A decade earlier, Gary Becker, another winner of the Nobel for economics and outspoken critic of what is now called ‘punitive ecology’, wrote that labour legislation and environmental protection were now excessive in most developed countries. He hoped that free trade would curb some of the excesses by forcing everyone to stay competitive with imports from developing countries (2).

Illegal Japanese manga site manager arrested in the Philippines

A man who ran an illegal online manga comic library read by around 100 million people each month has been arrested in Manila, Philippine authorities said Tuesday.

Romi Hoshino, 28, managed “Manga Mura” (Manga village), which shut down on its own in April last year as Japan launched a manhunt for the website’s founder for massive violation of copyright.

About 100 million people each month used the popular pirate website, which made around 60,000 manga — Japanese graphic novels or comics — available to the public for free immediately after publication.

Manga publishers lost about 320 billion yen ($2.94 billion) in potential revenues over a six-month period to February 2018 alone, Japan’s Content Overseas Distribution Association said.

‘Americanized’ anti-abortion protests are on the rise in the UK. But a fight back has begun

Updated 0522 GMT (1322 HKT) July 9, 2019

Monika Neall was standing outside an abortion clinic in Manchester when she saw a woman in her mid-20s dart out the doors. The woman moved towards a parked car, then suddenly froze.

On the ground nearby lay plastic fetus models, candles and images of mothers gazing adoringly at babies. Panicking, she caught Neall’s eye. “That’s my car,” she said, her voice starting to crack.
Most Saturday mornings, Neall puts on a pink vest and joins a small group of women from the volunteer organization Sister Supporter. They stand outside the Marie Stopes clinic in the northern English city to oppose the anti-abortion protests that are held there weekly.

23 US governors join Calif. in opposing Trump mileage freeze

 ELLEN KNICKMEYER,Associated Press

Citing climate-damaging tailpipe emissions, 23 U.S. governors signed a pledge backing California leaders in their showdown with the Trump administration over its plans to relax vehicle mileage standards.

The stand by leaders of states and Puerto Rico — nearly all Democrats — comes as the Trump administration moves to freeze tougher mileage standards laid out by former President Barack Obama, in one of the previous administration’s key efforts against climate change.

The Trump administration says American consumers increasingly want bigger, gas-guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks. It also argues that demanding ever-more fuel-efficient vehicles will drive up automobile costs and keep less-safe, older vehicles on the road longer. Many engineers have challenged that claim.