Asian Insider Sept 2: New school term begins in Hong Kong, India’s register of citizens, trade war hits consumers

Asian Insider brings you insights into a fast-changing region from our network of correspondents.

In today’s bulletin: Protests in Hong Kong continue even as classes begin; the trade war could soon hit consumers, not just farmers and businesses; India published its controversial National Register of citizens and more.

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SCHOOL HOLIDAYS END IN HONG KONG, PROTESTS CONTINUE

There had been some talk in recent weeks that today - the first day of the new school term in Hong Kong - could prove a turning point for protests. It leaves young protesters with less time for demonstrations while offering authorities a convenient tool (class attendance sheets) for identifying protesters. However, thousands continued to gather at sites amid calls for a city-wide strike this week. A turbulent weekend of clashes proved that neither side is ready to back down. Police have stepped up arrests and protesters were once again out to disrupt public transport.

Catch-up reading: 5 stories on the Hong Kong protests

How Hong Kong protests could lead to Internet being cut off through use of emergency powers

Hong Kong protesters trash MTR stations after paralysing transport to airport

Beijing's Hong Kong strategy: More arrests, no concessions

High-school liberal studies class blamed for radicalising Hong Kong's young

SPECIAL REPORT: TRADE WAR COULD START TO BITE FOR CONSUMERS

For much of the ongoing tit-fot-tat tariff war between the US and China, the victims were largely seen as the farmers or manufacturers who suddenly saw the market for their goods dry up. With the new set of tariffs that took effect over the weekend - ones that include goods like footwear and clothing - consumers are set to also feel the pinch, as US Correspondent Charissa Yong outlines in her special report.  And with more tariffs set to kick in as the US heads for its most important year-end shopping season, the trade war is about to become real for more people.

What you need to know about the trade war today

China downplays latest Trump tariffs with path to talks unclear

Pressure grows on Asia's factories as US-China tariff escalation bites

Latest tariffs in US-China trade war come into effect

INDIA REGISTER OF CITIZENS COULD MAKE 2 MILLION STATELESS

On Saturday, the eastern Indian state of Assam published its National Register of Citizens - leaving out 1.9 million residents in a state of 33 million. The list is the result of a 4-year exercise with the announced intention of sifting out undocumented foreign immigrants. Several levels of appeals are available to the excluded and it not yet clear what will happen to those who remain off the list at the end. Critics have described the exercise as an attempt to deport minority Muslims who may have entered India from Bangladesh though no breakdown was available on those who have been left out.

Background reading: Wrongful detentions, judges' quotas in the search for illegals in India's Assam

FRESH VIOLENCE IN PAPUA

One university student was reported killed in Indonesia’s Papua in the latest round violence as mass protests sparked by what was deemed heavy-handed treatment of Papuan students in Java are stretching into a third week. Internet in Papua remains shut down, and security is high. Four Australian who reportedly arrived in the region on yacht have been deported.

The latest on Papua

Student killed in fresh violence in Indonesia's Papua

Indonesia deports four Australians for demonstrating in Papua

NOMINEE FOR ANTITRUST CHIEF IN SOUTH KOREA ATTACKED FOR NOT HAVING CHILDREN

Today, in “Can you believe this is happening in 2019”  news, I bring you a story from the confirmation hearing of Prof Joh Sung-wook, South Korea’s would-be antitrust chief. She faced a grilling during her confirmation from conservative opposition lawmaker Jeong Kab-yoon. But he was not probing her economics knowledge or her grasp of antitrust law. He was upset that she was not “fulfilling her duty to the nation" because she did not have any children. Prof Joh did not react, but Korean social media did.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Brexit: Britain's Conservative lawmakers have been warned by party officials that their party whip would be withdrawn if they attempt to block a no-deal Brexit, Sky News reported on Sunday (Sept 1), citing a source. The lawmakers who have the whip withdrawn are effectively expelled from the party in Parliament, meaning they sit as independent candidates.

India’s moon mission: The landing module of India's unmanned moon mission separated from the orbiter on Monday (Sept 2) ahead of its planned touchdown on the moon's south polar region this weekend, the space agency said.

Hurricane Dorian: Hurricane Dorian, the second-strongest Atlantic storm on record, pounded the Bahamian islands of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama on Sunday (Sept 1) night and was forecast to move dangerously close to Florida in the next two days, US forecasters said.  

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow.

 - Jeremy