These images from Hong Kong today can’t be what Beijing envisioned. RT @BBCCarrie: Umbrella man. RT
Police and pro-democracy demonstrators clashed in Hong Kong this weekend, following a week of student-led boycotts and protests against China’s political control in Hong Kong.
The protests came after a week of student-led boycotts and demonstrations against China’s political reign over Hong Kong, and specifically to China’s rule that only Beijing-vetted candidates will be able to run for Hong Kong’s chief executive, the city’s top position.
Organizers asked protesters to go home late on Sunday, fearing police would use rubber bullets, but still the groups did not disperse.
At least 26 people were injured and taken to the hospital, CNN reported. There are not yet details on the severity of the injuries. Six of those hurt were police officers, but it’s not clear if they were included in the 26.
To protect themselves from tear gas, demonstrators donned goggles, masks and raincoats, and some brought umbrellas.
Demonstrators told CNN that they believe undercover police officers had joined in with the protest groups, and others said they saw police “preparing water cannons.”
The main pro-democracy advocacy group organizing the protests — Occupy Central — is not affiliated with the broader Occupy movement and is hoping to fight against China’s decision to mandate what candidates can make a bid for Hong Kong’s top civil position.
“Occupy Central has formally begun,” said a statement by the group. They added:
The two nights of occupation of Civic Square in Admiralty have completely embodied the awakening of Hong Kong people’s desire to decide their own lives. The courage of the students and members of the public in their spontaneous decision to stay has touched many Hong Kong people. Yet, the government has remained unmoved. As the wheel of time has reached this point, we have decided to arise and act
There are reports on Twitter that Instagram has been blocked in China, perhaps to shield users from seeing pictures of the Hong Kong riots.
If the world doesn’t get the Ebola outbreak in West Africa under control quickly, the disease could become a permanent fixture in the region, spreading as routinely as malaria or the flu, the World Health Organization warns Tuesday in a new report.
In the worst-case scenario – if nothing is done to effectively control the outbreak — there could be 1.4 million Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone by Jan. 20, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
BREAKING: US military launches 1st airstrikes against #ISIS in #Syria
BREAKING NEWS: U.S. military launches first airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, NBC News confirms
Tumblr, can you please spread awareness of the riots currently breaking out in Glasgow city centre in George Square -
Union supporters have begun rioting in the city waving Union Jacks, saluting Nazis and attacking nationalists.
Absolutely nothing is being reported on BBC News, Sky News or ITV news! Spread the word!
These KIDS ( as you can clearly see them smiling) are loyalists, probably Rangers supporters, numpties, neds, bawheeds, it’s not a riot, more like an old firm game from the 80’s……….we don’t have riots in Scotland, more like a ‘bit of noise’ people are there to cause a nuisance because they don’t have lives.
He told a press conference in his official residence of Bute House that he would stand down as first minister in November when a new SNP leader will be chosen.
Salmond said he had made the decision in the morning after the referendum result emerged: “For me right now there is a decision as to who is best placed to lead this process forward politically.
"I believe that in this new exciting situation, redolent with possibility, party, parliament and country would benefit from new leadership."
He said he would not accept the SNP’s nomination to be a candidate for leader at the party’s annual conference in Perth in November, allowing a new party leader to be elected.
Given the SNP’s majority in the Scottish parliament, the new leader will also become first minister.
Despite defeat in the referendum, his decision is a surprise: Salmond had repeatedly stated before the vote that he planned to stay on until after the 2016 Scottish election.
Salmond is likely to be succeeded by his deputy Nicola Sturgeon, who has become a commanding figure in the independence campaign after being appointed by Salmond to lead the referendum process.
Speaking minutes after Salmond’s announcement, Sturgeon said that she could think of “no greater privilege” than to succeed Salmond as SNP leader and first minister, but that the decision “is not for today”.
She added: “My priority this weekend, after a long and hard campaign, is to get some rest and spend time with my family. I also want the focus over the next few days to be on the outstanding record and achievements of the finest first minister Scotland has had.”
Salmond said the most important thing to the independence cause was not about who is first minister of Scotland.
This is the second time Salmond has dramatically resigned: he stood down from his first stint as Scottish National party leader in September 2000, only a year after the newly established Scottish parliament was founded in Edinburgh.
Aged 59, Salmond has now led the SNP for two spells of ten years; the first of which began in 1990. He said: “I think that’s a reasonable spell of service and I think there is an aspect that you have to understand and recognise when it is time to give someone else a chance to move that forward.”
Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum saw the no campaign fronted by Alistair Darling win 55.3% of the vote, compared to 44.7% for yes. But the proportion represented a high water mark for the independence movement and the Scottish National party.
Earlier, David Cameron, the British prime minister, declared a “clear result” in the referendum and promised a devolution revolution across Great Britain, including votes on English issues by English MPs at Westminster.
"There can be no disputes, no reruns – we have heard the settled will of the Scottish people," Cameron said in a statement outside No 10 Downing Street shortly after 7am on Friday.
The yes campaign scored four big successes, winning 53% of the vote in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, 54% in West Dunbartonshire, 57% in Dundee and 51% in North Lanarkshire.
However, the no camp was victorious in 28 authorities. It won overwhelmingly in areas where it was expected to do well, including Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire and Borders, but also in areas that could have gone to the yes campaign, including Falkirk, Inverclyde, Eilean Siar and Clackmannanshire.
In the final count, the no camp clocked up 2,001,926 votes to 1,617,989 for yes.
In his speech, Cameron made clear that the constitutional reforms, including in Scotland, would not be delivered until after the general election, and that Scottish measures would proceed in tandem with changes in England. “We have heard the voice of Scotland and now the millions of voices of England must be heard,” he said.
Cameron threw down a challenge to the Labour opposition to say whether it would agree to the introduction of English votes for English MPs, and announced that William Hague, leader of the House of Commons, would advance the issue in a special cabinet committee.
The prime minister, vindicated in his decision to stage a yes/no referendum, also revealed he had asked Lord Smith of Kelvin to implement the Scottish devolution reforms set out by the party leaders in the final weeks of the referendum campaign.
He announced that the government would shortly say more about the devolution of further powers to the cities and regions of the UK.
Cameron said: “The people of Scotland have spoken and it is a clear result. They have kept our country of four nations together and, like millions of other people, I am delighted.
"As I said during the campaign, it would have broken my heart to see our United Kingdom come to an end. And I know that sentiment was shared by people not just across our country but around the world because of what we have achieved together in the past and what we can do together in the future.
"So now it is time for our United Kingdom to come together and to move forward. A vital part of that will be a balanced settlement, fair to people in Scotland and importantly to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well."
Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, said the referendum was a vote from the Scottish people for change. “We know our country needs to change in the way it is governed and we know our country needs to change in who it is governed for. We will deliver on stronger powers for a stronger Scottish parliament, a strong Scotland.”
But he said that would go beyond Scotland. “We will also meet the desire for change across England, across Wales, across the whole of the United Kingdom.”
Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, said the referendum “marks not only a new chapter for Scotland within the UK but also wider constitutional reform across the union”.
Echoing the SNP’s argument, he said a vote against independence was “clearly not a vote against change”.
"We must now deliver on time and in full the radical package of newly devolved powers to Scotland," he added.
Yet that result raises the risk of further turmoil, with MPs from Cameron’s Conservative party threatening to revolt against the prime minister’s late and potentially vital vow to quickly increase the Scottish parliament’s powers while protecting its spending.
The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, said Cameron’s offer of more devolution for England did not go far enough. “The English are 86% by population of this union. They’ve been left out of all of this for the last 18 years. We still have a situation where Scottish MPs can vote in the House of Commons on English-only issues. I think what most English people want is a fair settlement,” he said.
The Queen made a statement on Friday saying the UK would respect the result of the referendum.
The prime minister wants to move fast to show that the three main UK party leaders will live up to their commitments made during the referendum campaign to deliver what the former prime minister Gordon Brown called home rule within the UK.
Ministers believe it is important to move quickly to avoid a repeat of the 1980 referendum in Québec. The triumphalist behaviour of Ontario fuelled the separatist cause that nearly succeeded in a second referendum in 1995.
For the no campaign there was relief: a spate of authoritative polls in the final days of the campaign had said the vote was on a knife edge, bringing Yes Scotland within touching distance of victory after a dramatic surge in support.
Sterling jumped, reaching a new two-year high against the euro in Asian trading hours, as the referendum was called in favour of the no vote. The FTSE 100 opened 44 points higher.
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (12:54AM CDT/6:54AM GMT): NO vote in Fife (home to former PM Gordon Brown) puts the NO to independence side officially over the top. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
The 30th council to report is Fife. Fife votes 55.0% for No, 45.0% for Yes. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Moray declaration in: Moray votes “no” in Scotland #IndyRef— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
The No campaign has now clinched 50% of the total vote. Their magic number is now 0. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Salmond: “Scotland has, by majority, decided not, at this stage, to become an independent country. I accept that verdict of the people.”— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
Salmond calls “Yes” votes “substantial” for future independence of country— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
Darling: “Today is a momentus result for Scotland, but also for the United Kingdom as a whole.”— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 19, 2014
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (12:04AM CDT/6:04AM GMT): Argyll and Bute, Aberdeenshire, and Edinburgh vote NO; 3 left to go. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
BBC is officially projecting that No will win. Good for them for waiting & being cautious—I wish our election forecasters would. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
#BREAKING: Scotland has voted against independence: BBC forecast— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) September 19, 2014
Aberdeenshire, home of Alex Salmond, is the 27th council to report. It votes No by a 60–40 margin. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Edinburgh also goes heavily No, 61% to 39%. It’s the 28th council to report. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Argyll & Bute becomes the 29th council reporting. There, Yes wins 41.5% and No wins 58.5%. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
Yes got demolished in two big councils, Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire. That’ll make it go down in history as less close. #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
BREAKING: The Scotland Independence Referendum has failed, will remain in the United Kingdom. #Scotland #IndyRef #ScotlandReferendum #ScotlandDecides
— Justin Gibson (@JGibsonDem)September 19, 2014
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking)September 19, 2014
Scotland will stay in the UK, likely with more devolved powers.
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (11:12PM CDT/5:12AM GMT): South Lanarkshire, Perth and Kinross, West Lothian, Scottish Borders, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire vote NO; North Lanarkshire, Glasgow vote YES. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
West Lothian has opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 53,342 NO - 65,682— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
North Ayrshire has opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 47,072 NO - 49,016— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
East Ayrshire has opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 39,762 NO - 44,442— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (10:40PM CDT/4:40AM GMT): Midlothian, East Lothian, Stirling, Falkirk, Angus, Dumfries, E. Renfrewshire, E. Dunbartonshire, Aberdeen City vote NO; West Dunbartonshire votes YES. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
East Dunbartonshire has opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 30,624 NO - 48,214— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (9:59PM CDT/3:59AM GMT): Inverclyde, Renfrewshire vote NO; Dundee votes YES. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
Inverclyde is the 5th council to report. It votes 49.9% yes, 50.1% no. Only about 100 votes separating! #indyref— Nathaniel Rakich (@baseballot) September 19, 2014
East Renfrewshire opted for: THE UNITED KINGDOM. YES - 55,466 NO - 62,067— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
The Nationalists’ failure to win the Western Isles does not bode well for the Yes cause. This was nationalist homeland once.— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 19, 2014
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (9:05PM CDT/3:05AM GMT): Shetland Islands, Eilean Siar vote NO to independence. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
Scottish Independence Referendum Updates (8:00PM CDT/2:00AM GMT): Clackmannanshire votes NO to Scottish Independence 53.8-46.2. #ScotlandDecides #IndyRef #Scotland #ScottishReferendum
— Justin Gibson (@JGibsonDem)September 19, 2014
— Guardian news (@guardiannews)September 19, 2014
Glasgow at 75% turnout — lower than the rest of Scotland. Bad news for Yes? #indyref— Eric Kleefeld (@EricKleefeld)September 19, 2014
It will affect you more than you realize.
NOTE: Polls in Scotland just opened. They will be open until 5 PM ET.
Scotland and England were first bound together in 1707, when, after centuries of war, the two nations were united in an Acts of Union.
Not everyone was pleased. Especially Scottish nationalists. “The Scots deserve no pity,” the politician Andrew Fletcher wrote in 1706. And yet, the United Kingdom has held strong. Until now.
On Thursday, voters in Scotland will take to the polls to answer a straightforward yes-or-no question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” If the answer is no, the United Kingdom holds. If the answer is yes, a 307-year-old union will break apart, and Britain will be torn asunder.
For a while, it seemed like a No victory was a done deal. But last Sunday, a poll by YouGov put the Yes side in the lead for the first time.
The decision could lead to amazing changes or devastating consequences — or maybe a bit of both.
On the downside:
1. You might have to pay more for that whiskey drink.
Source: Bloomberg/Getty Images
An independent Scotland would be cast out of the European Union and lose out on European markets for at least a few years. Sales would drop and costs (perhaps even barley costs) would rise, all of which would drive up prices.
The Scotch Whisky Association warns, ”The implications [of the referendum] are huge.”
2. Regions all over the could start fighting for independence.
Specifically Catalonia, a region in northern Spain, where residents say they will hold their own referendum on independence on Nov. 9 with the goal of breaking off from Madrid.
Source: Manu Fernandez/AP
Last week, Catalan residents held a massive pro-independence rally in Barcelona. Hundreds of thousands of Catalan residents showed up to form a 7-mile-long “V” for vote (votar) or victory (victoria). But Spain says it ain’t happening. On Tuesday, the Spanish government said it would use “the full force of the law” to block the vote — which, in any case, would be nonbinding.
3. Europe’s economy could plummet.
The final weeks leading up to the vote have brought signs of market panic in Britain.
The Royal Bank of Scotland has already indicated that it would move to England if independence wins out. A big chunk of Edinburgh’s financial services is expected to follow. Already, shares in Scottish firms have taken a hit on the stock market. Scottish companies are busy making contingency plans and hedging against potential currency swings and mass capital flight. On Monday, the British pound fell 1.3% to its lowest value against the dollar in over a year.
Some predict that an independence vote could destabilize larger markets and result in significant earnings loss.
4. It could mark the end of nuclear weapons.
Britain’s supply of Trident nuclear weapons is currently held at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, in Faslane, near Glasgow. If Scotland goes, England will need to reposition its nuclear submarine fleet. This could be pricy and logistically complicated.
Could it also be dangerous? According to former British Prime Minister Sir John Major, Britain’s nuclear capacity would be “effectively wrecked" by the move, since it would take "many, many years" to find a replacement port.
On the upside:
5. It could mark the beginning of the end of income inequality.
In some circles, the Scottish referendum is being hailed as the “world’s first vote on economic inequality.”
Source: Bloomberg/Getty Images
Class is certainly not the only indicator of Yes/No allegiance, but it is an important one. In general, lower-income Scots are far more likely to back independence than high earners. Low earners are more hostile to the conservative government in London. Scotland, unlike England, boasts free university tuition, free personal aid for the elderly, and a wholly public health care system.
Independence campaigns in other places, from Quebec to East Ukraine, tend to be based on more fixed identifiers, like religion, race and language. Might Scottish independence provide new ammunition to would-be separatists far and wide?
6. Sixteen-years-olds will have the rare chance to vote.
Early in the campaign, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond struck a controversial deal with British Prime Minister David Cameron to lower the referendum voting age from 18 to 16.
Source: ANDY BUCHANAN/Getty Images
Teenagers now hold key roles on both sides of the campaign, but the rise of the 16-year-old politico has notbeen straightforward. Last summer, the pro-Union campaign announced that it would send “teacher resource packs” into schools, which would include referendum-themed lesson plans. In return, the pro-Independence side accused opponents of “seeking to influence schoolchildren.” (Before long, independence campaigners had created their own “independence packs” for schools.)
But according to some data, 16 and 17-year-old voters are actually more likely to vote No.
7. It might never, ever end.
The narrow margin between Yes and No has some Scots worried that this referendum won’t be the final word. They warn of a “neverendum referendum.” (To be fair, the Yes side promises that this is a once-in-a-generation event.)
Source: Katie Engelhart for World.Mic
Scotland voters, vote YES to Scottish Independence! #YesScotland #Scotland #ScottishIndependence
Today’s the big day in Scotland, Voting starts at 1AM CDT (7AM Scotland Time) and ends at 4PM CDT (10PM Scotland Time).
Results will be coming out sometime late Thursday night or more likely Friday.
I have not leaned either way on the issue until now, but now I’m throwing in my support for the Yes Scotland movement.