While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 27

Hong Kong ‘hard to see’ as finance hub if China takes over, says White House

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned that Hong Kong could lose its status as a global financial centre if a proposed Chinese crackdown goes ahead, as the territory’s leader tried to reassure nervous investors.

It’s “hard to see how Hong Kong can remain a financial hub if China takes over,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told a briefing, saying this warning came directly from Trump.

“He’s displeased with China’s efforts,” she said.

Trump was voicing fears expressed by many Hong Kongers, business groups and Western nations about the proposed Chinese legislation clamping down on the semi-autonomous territory.

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SpaceX readies for blast-off with Nasa astronauts aboard

Grey skies loomed over Florida’s Atlantic coast on Tuesday, just one day before two astronauts were set to blast off aboard a SpaceX capsule on the most dangerous and prestigious mission Nasa has ever entrusted to a private company.

There was a 60 per cent chance for favourable weather for Wednesday’s flight, according to Tuesday’s latest Cape Canaveral forecast.

US astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been in strict quarantine for two weeks ahead of their trip on the brand-new Crew Dragon capsule, which will be propelled by a Falcon 9 rocket.

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Coronavirus: Crowded pool party slammed by US officials

US officials in Missouri have condemned raucous crowds who packed a pool and bar at a popular holiday venue after video footage of the weekend partying spread on social media.

The party at Lake of the Ozarks attracted furious criticism from nearby St Louis county, where many people travelled to the lake over the Memorial Day holiday despite concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials said that anyone who ignored protective measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 should self-quarantine for 14 days or until they test negative.

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White woman fired after reporting black birdwatcher in Central Park to police

A video of a white woman calling the police about a black birdwatcher in New York’s Central Park has gone viral, sparking anger about African Americans being falsely reported to the police.

The woman has since been fired from her job..

The clip, posted on Twitter and viewed 30 million times, was filmed by the man, Christian Cooper, who said he had asked the woman to leash her dog.

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JK Rowling publishes free fairy tale online for children in coronavirus lockdown

JK Rowling published the first chapters of a fairy tale about a monster known as the Ickabog on Tuesday, an allegory about truth and abuse of power that is free online so that children can read it during coronavirus lockdown.

The story concerns rumours of a fierce child-eating monster with extraordinary powers which lives in the northern tip of an imaginary land known as Cornucopia.

Further chapters will be published every weekday until July 10, Rowling said on Twitter, adding in capitals: “THIS IS NOT A HARRY POTTER SPIN-OFF”.

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