5 Things You Need to Know About What Went Down This Week - June 30

We know you’re busy so we’re breaking down the what’s happenings in the world. Powered by Pressed News, here is your round up of what you need to know about this past week.

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1. HONG KONG

Protesters in Hong Kong broke into the Legislative Council building (i.e. city hall) earlier this week. Half a million people marched through parts of the city, angry about a bill that was proposed last month. At least 54 people were injured.
 
Catch me up.
A few weeks ago, Hong Kong proposed a controversial new law that would allow mainland China to extradite (transfer) people from Hong Kong to be put on trial in China. Protesters argued the bill goes against the two-systems, one-country policy – which basically says that Hong Kong can operate under its own political, social, and legal system.

What’s so bad about the bill?
After Hong Kong was handed back to China by the British in 1997, China agreed that Hong Kong would be allowed to operate in a semi self-controlled way. Still, China has applied pressure in many ways, and Hong Kong residents fear that if the bill passes into law, it will leave people vulnerable to arrests by Chinese police. FYI, the Chinese justice system has been accused of human rights abuses. Hong Kong’s government eventually gave in to the mass protests and said it would suspend the bill. Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, apologized for proposing the bill in the first place, but it was too little too late.

What were the latest protests about?
The protests continued over the weekend on the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong’s release from the British. Protesters took over the Legislative Council building and occupied the seats where politicians typically sit. People want Lam to resign, they want a total retraction of the proposed law (instead of just a suspension), and they’re demanding the release of arrested protesters.

2. LET THE GAMES BEGIN

The NBA and NHL made big moves this week in preparation for the 2019/20 season. Teams are trading, strategizing, and spending major coin (almost $3 billion on the first day of NBA free agency!) to give themselves the best chance at a championship.
 
So, is Kawhi staying?
TBD. But the rumour mill is saying he’ll either sign a short-term deal with the Raptors or head home to California and sign with the L.A. Clippers or L.A. Lakers (to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis). Big news you should know: Damian Lillard resigned with the Portland Trail Blazers for a supermax $196-million deal, Canadian Jamal Murray signed a deal with the Denver Nuggets that will make him the highest Canadian player in NBA history ($170-million over five years), and Kyrie Irving (formerly Boston Celtics) and Kevin Durant (formerly Golden State Warriors, currently injured) are going to the Brooklyn Nets. This is a big deal because the Eastern Conference – where the Nets and Raptors compete – has historically been considered the weaker conference. Now, not so much.
 
What’s happening on the ice?
The Columbus Blue Jackets, who stunned the Tampa Bay Lightning in a first-round sweep in the playoffs, lost three star players this weekend. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky signed a 7-year, $70-million deal with the Florida Panthers, Artemi Panarin inked a deal with the NY Rangers worth $81.5-million, and Canadian Matt Duchene is heading to the Nashville Predators on a 7-year, $56-million deal. In Canada, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Nazem Kadri (who spent his entire NHL career with the Leafs) to the Colorado Avalanche, and Sebastian Aho signed a five-year, $42.37-million offer sheet from the Montreal Canadiens.

3. MADE FOR TV

President Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea. During a trip to South Korea after the G20 summit in Japan, Trump tweeted at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, asking to meet him for a quick handshake and it worked! Kim accepted the request and together with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump met with Kim at the DMZ – a neutral area between the two Koreas – on Sunday. During the meeting, Kim invited Trump to cross the line over to North Korea. The photo-op had some critics accusing Trump of making a “TV moment.” Others thought the meeting was a great way to progress the ongoing negotiation in the denuclearization of North Korea (which stalled after talks went sideways in February). Trump and Kim have agreed to restart negotiations.

4. STARS AND STRIPES

Nike pulled its special edition Fourth of July Air Max 1 USA sneaker off the shelves after former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who is sponsored by Nike, criticized the sneakers for using an old version of the American flag commonly known as the Betsy Ross flag. The flag, a circle of 13 stars representing the first US colonies, was created during the American Revolution and is linked to slavery in the U.S. Kaepernick argued that version of the flag doesn’t deserve to be celebrated on a sneaker, but the bad press made the sneakers even more appealing. Some websites were selling the shoes for $1,500 on markup from $140. Nike isn’t the only company that has had to reverse a decision due to racial insensitivity. Last year, Prada pulled its blackface products, and earlier this week, Kim Kardashian announced she was renaming her shapewear line, Kimono after she was called out for culturally appropriating traditional Japanese clothing.

5. GOOD NEWS

Bangladesh has made moves to protect its river systems and precious biodiversity. The country’s high court declared Bangladesh’s rivers “living entities,” meaning the rivers will receive the same rights as a person and they’ll be protected from industrial pollution and harm caused by humans. Now, anyone caught polluting, dredging, or developing land near the country’s protected rivers will face action from the National River Conservation Commission.

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