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Hong Kong protesters raise £1.5m in a day to fund global ad campaign | World News

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A crowdfunding campaign launched by protesters in Hong Kong has raised more than £1.5m in less than 24 hours.

Organisers say it will be used to raise awareness of the protests in the UK and the US.

The campaign, which was started on 11 August, has raised $1,908,980 (£1,580,635) – almost double its initial goal of $1m (£830,000).



Riot officers have clashed with protesters at Hong Kong airport after flights were disrupted for a second day







Police in violent clashes with protesters

The group responsible for the campaign, which calls itself Freedom Hong Kong, says the money will be used to fund a “worldwide advertisement campaign on 17 August”.

The campaign – the third organised by the group, which also goes by the name Stand With Hong Kong – is being hosted on American crowdfunding site GoFundMe.

An anonymous spokesperson for Freedom Hong Kong told Sky News: “This platform allows donors to contribute to our cause anonymously due to a perceived possibility of retribution from state machinery.

“The success of our crowdfunding campaigns highlights the burning desire of many Hongkongers to elevate our cause onto an international level.”

A previous GoFundMe campaign calling for funds to advertise in the United Kingdom raised £319,513 earlier in the month.

The money was used to buy adverts in UK publications including the Evening Standard, The New Statesman and The Guardian calling on the British government to “declare a Chinese breach against the Sino-British Joint Declaration”.

The online campaign comes as violent protests continue
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The campaign is being hosted on GoFundMe

The Sino-British Joint declaration is a treaty, signed by the UK and China in 1984, which guaranteed that “the city’s rights and freedoms would be protected” for 50 years.

Freedom Hong Kong has also advertised on social media.

According to data released by Facebook, the Freedom Hong Kong group has spent £13,729 on ads in the last 30 days.

The ads call on UK citizens to sign a petition to “Tell your MP to stand up for the rights of all Hongkongers.”

Another crowdfunding campaign aiming to publish an open letter in international newspapers at the time of the G20 Osaka summit raised over £700,000 in nine hours, according to the organisers.

The digital campaign is just one part of the online battle being waged alongside increasingly volatile street protests.

Protesters use discussion forum LIHKG to plan protests, then rely on encrypted app Telegram to communicate during them.

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The online campaign comes as violent protests continue

The anonymous spokesperson added: “Technology has been very important for protesters to anticipate and meet each others’ needs.

“And of course, protesters have used technology to share informational resources in various languages to let the world know how Hong Kong is doing.

“But of course technology can be a double-edged sword.

“Hongkongers remain concerned that the government may enact an internet shutdown, following reports of DDOS and hacking attacks of various platforms.

“Given that Hong Kong is an international finance centre, an internet shutdown over a long period of time is unlikely but we can certainly see it forming part of police tactics during clashes.”

As soon as the crowdfunding campaign reached its goal, some pro-China websites accused its organisers of working for foreign governments.

The Dimsum Daily website reported that the domain owner of the Freedom Hong Kong website was registered in the US, warning as a result that “these student protesters may be without their knowledge used as tools by the powerful nation to achieve their own agendas”.

According to the protesters, the website appears to be registered in the US as it uses a service called Privacy Guardian to protect the organisers’ identity.

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Child among 22 migrants rescued from Channel by French authorities | World News

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French authorities have rescued 22 migrants who got into trouble while trying to cross the Channel.

The group, which included a woman and a child, was found roughly two miles off the coast of Dunkirk at about 1.30am on Sunday.

Authorities were alerted to the migrants’ plight by a ferry just after midnight and sent out search and rescue teams.

They were safely recovered and taken back to Dunkirk on board the RIAS Bee Languedoc.

Earlier this week, Boris Johnson warned migrants not to attempt the Channel crossing, saying: “We will send you back.”

The prime minister said: “Clearly the most important thing is to stop them coming across from France so we are working very closely with the French authorities.

“The point I would just make to people thinking of making this journey – one, it is very hazardous, you may think the weather looks great but it’s a very, very dangerous thing to do.

“The second thing is – we will send you back. The UK should not be regarded as a place where you could automatically come and break the law by seeking to arrive illegally.”

His comments came after dozens of migrants were rescued off the British south coast on Thursday.

One witness told Sky News dozens of people were picked up and taken to Dover, in Kent.

The Home Office confirmed 37 migrants were rescued after four small boats were intercepted.

It said Home Secretary Priti Patel would be raising the issue with her French counterpart.

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Five Britons arrested and 100kg of drugs confiscated in Malaga | UK News

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A British criminal network has been foiled in Spain, with more than 100kg of drugs confiscated. 

Five Britons – three men and two women aged between 38 and 62 – have been arrested in connection with the network by the National Police in Malaga.

Five people were arrested. Pic: Policia Nacional
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Three men and two women have been arrested. Pic: Policia Nacional

Officers said they intercepted 52kg of a mix of marijuana and hash, and 51kg of vacuum-packed marijuana buds.

The police operation also saw the seizure of 23,000 euros (£21,000) in cash.

Drugs were being sent across Europe through couriers based in Malaga, and it is thought they were destined for countries including the UK, Sweden, Poland and Denmark.

The suspects allegedly took steps to avoid police, including frequently changing which vehicles they used and the homes they rented, officers said.

Some of the drugs were destined for the UK. Pic: Policia Nacional
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Some of the drugs were destined for the UK. Pic: Policia Nacional

A long-running police operation saw two parcel shipments intercepted at courier agencies in May, containing 58kg of drugs in seven boxes intended for Sweden, Poland and Denmark.

In subsequent shipments, the last one intercepted earlier in August, three packages containing 17kg of the drugs were prevented from reaching Sweden and the UK, the force said.

Police then carried out home searches once the suspects were identified, with a further 28kg uncovered in the raids.

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Hong Kong: Police use water cannon for first time against protesters | World News

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Hong Kong police have used water cannon against anti-government protesters for the first time during a second straight day of demonstrations.

There have been skirmishes between activists and officers following a pro-democracy march in an area known as the New Territories where tens of thousands took to the streets.

A large crowd then attended a rally in a park but another group of protesters took over a main street, putting up barricades with traffic barriers and cones.

Police tried to disperse them by firing tear gas but protesters reacted by throwing bricks and other objects towards the officers.

The violence came a day after similar clashes in the Kowloon Bay district where authorities arrested 29 people for offences including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons and assaulting police officers.

According to the South China Morning Post, the custom-built French trucks have 15 high-pressure cannons.

Two cannons on the roof can fire more than 1,200 litres of water a minute over a distance of 50 metres. The water can be mixed with tear gas or liquid dye as well.

According to guidelines, the cannons should only be aimed at the lower limbs of the protesters.

An assistant commissioner of police overseeing operations is allowed to authorise deployment of the water cannon after assessing threats.

The trucks arrived in the city in May last year.

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