Screenings of Winnie the Pooh horror film cancelled in Hong Kong

Distributor gives no reason for cancellation, but Chinese censors have targeted Pooh before due to Xi Jinping comparisons

The screening of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, a British slasher film due to be released in Hong Kong this week, has been cancelled, its distributor said on Tuesday, without giving a reason for pulling it.

VII Pillars Entertainment said on its Facebook page that it was with “great regret” that the scheduled release of the film on 23 March had been cancelled. It did not give further details.

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Hong Kong pressures Google to remove protest anthem from searches

Authorities want Glory to Hong Kong axed from top results and replaced with China’s national anthem

Google has refused to change its search results to display China’s national anthem, rather than a protest song, when users search for Hong Kong’s national anthem, the city’s security chief has said, expressing “great regret” at the decision.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Hong Kong: five teenagers sentenced in first security case involving minors

Group, some as young as 15 at time of alleged offence, detained for up to three years for ‘inciting others to subvert state power’

Five teenagers with a Hong Kong group advocating independence from Chinese rule have been ordered by a judge to serve up to three years in detention at a correctional facility, for urging an “armed revolution” in a national security case.

The five, some of whom were aged between 15 and 18 at the time of the alleged offence, had pleaded guilty to “inciting others to subvert state power” through a group called Returning Valiant.

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Macau shuts all casinos in bid to contain worsening Covid outbreak

More than 30 closed for a week – with extension thought likely – and dozens of city zones locked down in gambling hub

Macau has shut all its casinos for the first time in more than two years as authorities struggle to contain the worst coronavirus outbreak yet in the world’s biggest gambling hub.

The city’s 30-plus casinos, along with other non-essential businesses, will shut for one week from Monday and people have been ordered to stay at home. Police would monitor flows of people outside, the government said, and stringent punishments would be imposed for those who disobeyed.

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Hong Kong shops ration food and drugs to curb panic buying amid Covid lockdown fears

Government is planning to test entire population for virus but insists it will not impose ‘complete lockdown’

Soaring Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong have led to court services being suspended for a month as the two largest consumer retail chains ration certain items.

The Asian financial hub has recorded more than 50,000 new coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day in what the authorities called a “fifth wave”, overwhelming hospitals and shattering the city’s zero-Covid strategy.

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Hong Kong says commenting on Covid strategy is not illegal

Government says ‘general remarks’ about its zero-Covid policy do not violate national security law

Having discussions and making “general remarks” about Hong Kong’s coronavirus strategy is not illegal and does not violate the Chinese territory’s national security law, the government has said as it grapples to control a rise in cases.

Hong Kong has followed China in sticking to a zero-Covid policy with the economic and psychological tolls rapidly rising, and measures becoming more draconian than those first implemented in 2020.

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Surrendered Hong Kong hamster tests positive for Covid as cull continues

The case is the first involving a hamster in the care of an owner following pet shop outbreak

A hamster surrendered to Hong Kong authorities by its owners has tested positive for Covid-19 and more than 2,200 hamsters have been culled, as the city grapples to contain an outbreak of the virus.

On Tuesday officials ordered the killing of hamsters from dozens of pet shops after tracing a Covid-19 outbreak to a worker and asked people to surrender any of the animals bought on or after 22 December.

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Hong Kong’s Citizen News to close citing fears for staff safety

Independent online news portal to cease operations amid ‘worsening environment for media’ in city

The Hong Kong independent news outlet Citizen News has said it will cease operations from Tuesday in the face of what it described as a deteriorating media environment in the Chinese-ruled city and to ensure the safety of its staff.

“Regrettably, the rapid changes in society and worsening environment for media make us unable to achieve our goal fearlessly. Amid this crisis, we have to first make sure everyone on the boat is safe,” Citizen News, which was established in 2017, said in a statement.

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China bans footballers in national teams from getting tattoos

Authorities also tell inked players to remove or cover up their designs to set ‘a good example for society’

Chinese authorities have banned footballers from getting tattoos and instructed national team players who have been inked to remove them or cover them up to set a “good example for society”.

A growing number of high-profile Chinese players have tattoos, including the international defender Zhang Linpeng, who has previously been told to cover up while appearing for the national team and his club Guangzhou FC.

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Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai sentenced over banned Tiananmen vigil

Lai and seven other democracy campaigners handed prison sentences for commemorating victims of massacre

The Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and seven other pro-democracy activists have been sentenced to up to 14 months in prison for organising, taking part in and inciting participation in a banned vigil last year for victims of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

The former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with the promise of wide-ranging freedoms, traditionally holds the largest 4 June vigil in the world, but police have rejected applications for the past two events, citing coronavirus restrictions.

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Danish sculptor seeks legal protection to pick up Tiananmen statue from Hong Kong

Jens Galschiot wants to bring sculpture back after decades in Hong Kong but fears arrest under national security law

The Danish sculptor of a statue that commemorates pro-democracy protesters killed during China’s Tiananmen Square crackdown has asked Hong Kong authorities for immunity from a national security law so he can take it back to Denmark.

Jens Galschiot loaned the eight-metre high, two-tonne copper sculpture called Pillar of Shame to a local civil society group, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, in perpetuity.

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Jimmy Lai’s Hong Kong media group files for liquidation

Apple Daily publisher Next Digital hopes move will allow payments to be made to creditors and former staff

Next Digital, a Hong Kong media group known for its criticism of Beijing, has filed for liquidation, with its board of directors resigning to help facilitate the process.

Owned by the jailed tycoon Jimmy Lai, the group was the publisher of Apple Daily, a popular pro-democracy newspaper that closed in June after its newsroom was raided by police investigating whether some articles breached a national security law introduced by China last year.

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500,000 Hongkongers cast ‘protest vote’ against security law

Unofficial poll will choose pro-democracy candidates for legislative council elections

Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens queued to cast ballots over the weekend in what the Chinese-ruled city’s opposition camp says is a symbolic protest vote against a tough national security law directly imposed by Beijing.

The unofficial poll will decide the strongest pro-democracy candidates to contest elections for the legislative council in September, when those candidates will aim to ride a wave of anti-China sentiment stirred by the law to seize control from pro-Beijing rivals for the first time.

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Hong Kong braces for fresh protests during new year festivities

Official issues stark warning to protesters planning to target shopping and business districts

Hong Kong will end 2019 with multiple protests planned for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day aimed at disrupting festivities and shopping in the Asian financial hub, which has seen a rise in clashes between police and protesters since Christmas.

Events dubbed “Suck the Eve” and “Shop with You” are set for New Year’s Eve on Tuesday in areas including the party district of Lan Kwai Fong, the picturesque Victoria Harbour, and popular shopping malls, according to notices on social media.

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Hong Kong police fire teargas to disperse Christmas Eve protests

Hundreds of officers guard main roads as thousands of shoppers and tourists look on

Hong Kong riot police fired rounds of teargas at thousands of anti-government protesters, many wearing masks and reindeer horns, after scuffles in shopping centres and a tourist district on Christmas Eve.

Demonstrators inside the malls threw umbrellas and other objects at police who responded by beating some with batons; one pointed his gun at the crowd, but did not fire.

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