VOA NEWS 2019-06-11

This is VOA news. I’m Marissa Melton.

Hong Kong’s top official said Monday the city will proceed with its controversial plan to allow extradition of some suspects to mainland China for prosecution. But the idea has met with opposition in semi-autonomous Hong Kong and around the world.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Hong Kong on Sunday to protest the plan. Estimates of the crowd vary between a few hundred thousands and a million.

It was the largest protest Hong Kong has seen since its 1997 handover from Britain to China.

The Hong Kong diaspora and people in more than two dozen cities internationally also rallied to show support for the protesters’ demands.

And U.S. officials and lawmakers are voicing grave concerns, citing the possible erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy from China.

Critics of the measure say China’s legal system would not guarantee the same rights to defendants as they would have in Hong Kong. Some fear that Beijing would use extradition from Hong Kong to seize people it couldn’t otherwise apprehend, including human rights advocates and other critics of Chinese leadership.

One person died Monday when an executive helicopter crash-landed on top of a Manhattan skyscraper in rainy, foggy weather.

Media reports said the casualty was the pilot of the chopper who was flying alone.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told people the incident appeared to be isolated and unrelated to terrorism.

“There is no indication at this time that this was an act of terror and there is no ongoing threat to New York City based on all the information we have right now.”

Authorities said the chopper was flying in restricted airspace. Aircraft are supposed to fly above a certain level within one mile of Trump Tower, which is a few blocks from the crash site.

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The Boston Red Sox baseball team has sent a team plane to the Dominican Republic to fly its former superstar David Ortiz to Boston for treatment after he was shot and seriously wounded at a bar Sunday night.

Doctors in Santo Domingo removed his gallbladder and part of his intestine in a six-hour operation.

The hospital and Red Sox officials say Ortiz was in serious but stable condition on Monday.

Ortiz’s father told the ESPN television that doctors expect him to recover quickly.

The Dominican native was sitting at a table with friends on Sunday night when a gunman pulled up on a motorcycle, entered the bar and fired at Ortiz pointblank. The crowd jumped on the suspected shooter and beat him before handing him over to police.

Mexican officials are denying a claim by U.S. President Donald Trump that the United States has signed an important part of the immigration and security deal with Mexico.

Trump pleaded those words without revealing any details on Monday about the contents of such a deal.

Mexican officials deny any such side agreement on controlling migrants.

Trump said that undisclosed provision needs to be approved by Mexico’s Congress. He said he does not anticipate a problem with the vote but threatened that if the measure fails among Mexican lawmakers, he’ll return to the threat of imposing new tariffs on Mexican goods.

In a call to the CNBC news channel on Monday, Trump issued another tariff threat: this one to China.

AP’ Sagar Meghani reports.

Amid a trade war with Beijing, the president says he expects to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at this month’s G20 summit in Japan. If Xi does not show up, the president says he’ll put more tariffs into effect against China.

He made this threat the same day tariffs he’d threatened against Mexico war to kick in. They’re now on the backburner after the U.S. reached an agreement with Mexico.

The president made the China threat after calling into CNBC “Squawk Box” this morning apparently in response to criticism from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the Mexico threat.

Sagar Meghani, Washington.

Iran’s foreign minister predicts economic confrontation with the United States as Persian Gulf tensions continue.

AP correspondent Charles De Ledesma reports.

Mohammad Javad Zarif warned the U.S. “cannot expect to stay safe” after launching what he described as an economic war against Tehran.

A stern-faced Zarif was offering a series of threats over the ongoing tensions gripping the Persian Gulf.

Zarif said, “Mr. Trump himself has announced that the U.S. has launched an economic war against Iran” and that “the only solution for reducing tensions in this region is,” he says, “stopping that economic war.”

I’m Charles De Ledesma.

And I’m Marissa Melton. You’re listening to VOA news.

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