U.S. aims new sanctions at China


Greetings, QuickTake readers! In this edition: Putin wins big to extend his rule, Seattle dismantles CHOP protest zone, and a Florida startup wants to take you to the edge of space to see the Northern Lights.

U.S. readies Chinese sanctions

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday imposing sanctions on banks that do business with Chinese officials involved in cracking down on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

The legislation passed as the Trump administration prepared to roll out long-delayed sanctions to punish senior Chinese officials over human rights abuses against Muslims in Xinjiang.

The moves came in light of Beijing's adoption of a national security law in Hong Kong, described by China as a "sword of Damocles" hanging over its critics, on the 23rd anniversary of the end of British rule.

Hong Kong police made the first arrests on Wednesday under the law, which targets crimes of secession, subversion, and terrorism that could be punished by life in prison.

British PM Boris Johnson said Wednesday if China's crackdown continues, the U.K. would grant 3 million Hong Kongers with British National (Overseas) status a path to full British citizenship.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned China for "not living up to its promises to the people of Hong Kong" under the U.K.-China treaty that handed the territory a high degree of autonomy, but added: "We will live up to our promises to them."

$ignificant figures

78%. A majority of Russians voted in favor of a national referendum that allows President Vladimir Putin to extend his two-decade grip on power to 2036, even as some polls show his approval ratings near historic lows.

$18.8 million. More than half a dozen women who were were assaulted or harassed by convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein will receive that much as part of a settlement announced by the New York attorney general's office.

$207.2 billion. Tesla overtook Toyota as the world's most valuable automaker, surpassing Toyota's $201.9-billion market cap, underscoring investor enthusiasm for the company aiming to disrupt the industry.

Highly quotable

"I'm all for masks." After months of anti-mask messaging, Trump flipped his position, saying he would wear one "in a tight situation with people" and that he recently wore a black one and "sort of liked the way I looked."

"CHOP has become lawless and brutal." Seattle police forced out and arrested demonstrators from the "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" zone after the mayor ordered people to vacate the area following weeks of violence.

"Symbol of hate." Trump blasted NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio over plans to paint a Black Lives Matter sign in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan, saying the "horrible BLM chant" would "denigrate this luxury Avenue."

This is not normal

Downpour. Weeks of torrential rain in southern China have displaced 12 million people and caused $3.6 billion in damages, illustrating the rising threat of extreme weather in the face of climate change, scientists say.

The future is now

Alt-steak. Israeli startup Redefine Meat has served up the world's first 3D-printed vegan steak that mimics the taste, texture and look of the real thing and will roll out a printer able to produce hundreds for cheaper than beef.

What's good

Lofty. Startup Space Perspective aims to take customers on a six-hour trip from Alaska to the top of Earth's atmosphere in a hydrogen balloon the size of a sports stadium to see the Northern Lights from the edge of space.

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BTW: A massive statue of Gen. Stonewall Jackson was removed from Virginia's capital after the mayor ordered an end to Confederate monuments on municipal land. See it happen.

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Thanks for reading!
-Andrew Mach


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