Over a hundred thousand Hong Kong citizens held hands forming a human chain of unity

It's hard to find positive news in Hong Kong these days. Every day, the world watches with growing anxiety as its citizens bravely stand up against what they consider the oppressive hand of China. So much of that anxiety stems from the unknown: if China cracks down on Hong Kong will anyone stand up for the political dissidents? Yet, that same uncertainty is also the source of some incredible inspiration.

Over one-hundred thousand protesters in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong formed a human chain that snaked its way through the city and up the famous Lion Rock hill, in protest against the Chinese mainland government's attempt at more centralized rule over the city. The visuals from the spectacle, much like the unyielding struggle for freedom around the globe, are impossible to ignore.



Organizers of the protest were inspired by the "Baltic Way," a similar protest in 1989 in which citizens across Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia formed a human chain of nearly two-million people across 419 miles to pressure the Soviet government in Moscow into giving them autonomy and the right to self-government. It was a significant event at the time and the hope is that following in those footsteps now will keep international attention on the situation in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong has been under Chinese control since 1997, when the British handed it back to Chinese authorities after 100 years of control. At the time of the handover Beijing promised a policy of "one country, two systems" designed to let Hong Kong keep most of the legal and economic structures that were in place during British rule. But, in the decades since the Communist Party of China, China's ruling political party, has instituted a number of changes that are geared more toward "just one system."


RELATED: A teenager took advantage of Popeyes' long chicken sandwich lines by registering people to vote

This is the 12th consecutive weekend of protests in reaction to a new extradition bill introduced by Beijing that would allow the government to prosecute criminal and civil cases in mainland courts. These courts are seen by many as tools used by central communist authorities to stifle dissent and free speech. The protests have at times been peaceful, as in this case, and tumultuous like when protesters stormed the Parliament building and Police cracked down on demonstrators in the streets with tear gas and rubber bullets.


This is a fraught time and brings to mind the Tiananmen Square student protests nearly thirty years ago that seared iconic images of tanks rolling over protestors into the minds of people all over the world. And is made all the more salient by reports of the People's Liberation Army, the main arm of the Chinese military, holding drills outside of the city despite Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam's promises that a vote on the extradition bill is delayed indefinitely.

popular
Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

Keep Reading Show less
Science & Technology
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

Keep Reading Show less
popular