Briefs | UN chief urges restraint as global protests unfurl

Secretary-General António Guterres is responding to the recent wave of street protests in many countries with a reminder that freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fundamental rights — and an appeal to security forces to act with “maximum restraint.” U.N. spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said Friday the secretary-general stresses that upholding the rights to free expression and peaceful assembly are “bedrocks of our society” and are “crucial for advancing democracy, development and peace.” He pointed to protests in countries including Ecuador, Hong Kong and South Africa as well as Iraq where demonstrations have left 42 people dead. Guterres called on protesters to refrain from violence and urged law enforcement officials to respond in conformity with international human rights standards. He asked all countries to uphold human rights.

HK millionaires seek Irish residency amid unrest

Some millionaires in Hong Kong are seeking fast-track residency in Ireland because of political unrest in the Asian city, the Sunday Times reported. About 100 residents contacted Bartra, which promotes Ireland’s immigrant investor program to wealthy Asians, in the past eight weeks, compared with less than a handful before protests started in June, the paper said, citing Bartra Wealth Advisors. To qualify for the program that provides residency rights, applicants must invest at least 1 million euros ($1.1 million) in the country, the Times said.

Global Times editor raps Pelosi for opposing HK mask ban

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is “so quick to instigate” with her opposition to Hong Kong’s decision to ban the use of masks at protests, Global Times’ Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin said in a Twitter post. Hu was responding to a comment by Pelosi where she said a newly implemented anti-mask law in Hong Kong only intensifies concerns over freedom of expression. He said her comments showed what she wanted to see most is “turmoil, not democracy” in Hong Kong. “So quick to instigate, showing once again what you want to see in Hong Kong most is turmoil, not democracy. Canada, the US ally, bans mask at protest. The US can stage the beautiful sight of masked protest,” wrote Hu. On Friday, Hu said he hoped Western countries wouldn’t apply double standards on the Hong Kong’s government rule of banning face masks at public gatherings. He cited Canada and the state of New York as examples of places that had similar laws. The Global Times is a Chinese tabloid run by the People’s Daily, which is the flagship newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party. Hu Xijin has said the paper voices opinions that official sources can’t.

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