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Daily Skimm: Hong Kong's Elections, Michael Bloomberg's 2020 Run, and a Total Recall

Hong Kong Elections
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Nov 25, 2019


The Story

Hong Kong voters showed up.

For what?

Yesterday, they voted for hundreds of district councilor seats. The councils don't have lawmaking power. Instead, they control some finances and deal with neighborhood issues like transportation and sanitation. But they could also help shape the gov in the future (like influencing votes on the committee that chooses its new chief executive.) Last time these elections were held, voter turnout was around 47%. Yesterday, it was over 71% – a record turnout rate in Hong Kong – with almost 3 million people showing up to vote.

What'd everyone come out for?

Reminder: anti-government protests started there in June over a proposal that would've sent some suspected criminals to mainland China. And in recent months, protests have gotten violent, killing at least two and injuring hundreds. Now, voters are making their voices heard at the polls.

Tell me more.

Early results show pro-democracy candidates won by a landslide, securing over 300 of the 452 open district councilor seats. The election was seen as a referendum in support of the months-long protests and the pro-democracy movement.


Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam – who has faced criticism from protesters – pledged that her gov would listen "more intensively" to the views of district councils. Meanwhile, some were celebrating a win which could bring hope for the pro-democracy movement.


Who's been asked to resign…

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer. Yesterday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper asked for Spencer's resignation over how he handled the case of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher. Reminder: Gallagher, a Navy SEAL, was acquitted of murder but was convicted of posing with a dead prisoner's body and demoted. Earlier this month, despite the Pentagon's objections, President Trump reinstated his rank.

  • Contradictions: Esper claims he lost trust in Spencer when he reportedly went outside his chain of command and made a proposal to the White House to allow Gallagher to retire as a SEAL. Spencer made no mention of that, saying he no longer shares "the same understanding" as Trump, and resigned.

  • Moving right along: Trump said he'd nominate current US Ambassador to Norway Kenneth Braithwaite to replace Spencer.

What's unveiled a new plan…

The Department of Justice. Last week, Attorney General William Barr announced a national plan to address the number of murdered and missing Native Americans. Native American women experience particularly high rates of violence, including sexual and domestic abuse, and murder. The department now plans to invest $1.5 million to hire coordinators in U.S. Attorney's offices and establish protocols for authorities to handle these cases. And it will provide the FBI's help as necessary.

Who's joining the race late…

Michael Bloomberg. Yesterday, the billionaire and former NYC mayor announced that he's joining the 2020 Democratic race for president.

  • Skeletons in this closet: Before entering the race, Bloomberg and his team had to answer to a couple of issues. Earlier this month, his team addressed crude comments he had allegedly made about women. And last week, Bloomberg apologized for the NYC police department's use of "stop-and-frisk" when he was mayor.

What's making business headlines...

Tesla. Last week, CEO Elon Musk introduced the company's all-electric Cybertruck – which basically looks like a futuristic pickup. But while things didn't go as expected in the reveal, Musk says there are already more than 100,000 preorders.

Uber. Today, London transportation authorities said they won't renew the company's operating license over safety concerns. Uber says it will appeal.

...Oh and speaking of business moves, Louis Vuitton owner LVMH is buying up Tiffany & Co. The little blue box comes with a $16.2 billion price tag.

When you're cooking up Thanksgiving dinner…

Beware of these recalled foods.

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