While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 20

In a picture taken on Aug 1, 2019, Vice President Mike Pence speaks to employees at a Manitowoc crane facility in Shady Grove.
In a picture taken on Aug 1, 2019, Vice President Mike Pence speaks to employees at a Manitowoc crane facility in Shady Grove.PHOTO: AP

Pence urges China to respect Hong Kong laws amid protest

US Vice President Mike Pence urged China on Monday (Aug 19) to respect the integrity of Hong Kong's laws and repeated US President Donald Trump's warning that it will be harder for the United States to make a trade deal with Beijing if there was violence in the Chinese-ruled city.

"For the United States to make a deal with China, Beijing needs to honor its commitments, including the commitment China made in 1984 to respect the integrity of Hong Kong's laws through the Sino-British Joint Declaration," Pence said in an address at the Detroit Economic Club.

"And our administration will continue to urge Beijing and the demonstrators to resolve their differences peaceably," Pence said in remarks prepared for delivery.


New York police officer fired for deadly 2014 chokehold on Eric Garner

The white New York Police Department officer who used a deadly chokehold on Eric Garner while trying to arrest him in 2014, giving rise to the Black Lives Matter movement, was fired on Monday (Aug 19), Commissioner James O'Neill said.

In this photo taken on May 13, 2019, Daniel Pantaleo leaves his house in Staten Island. Pantaleo was suspended earlier this in August after a departmental judge ruled that the officer should be fired. PHOTO: AP

The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, was suspended earlier this month after a departmental judge ruled that the officer should be fired. He had previously been on desk duty since he was seen in widely viewed cellphone videos using a banned chokehold on Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk during an attempted arrest.

Police believed Garner was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.


US attorney general shakes up prisons bureau after Epstein death

A view of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the prison where US financier Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

US Attorney General William Barr on Monday (Aug 19) announced a new leadership team at the federal Bureau of Prisons in a shakeup of the agency in the wake of financier Jeffrey Epstein's suicide inside a federal jail in Manhattan.

Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, a veteran of the Bureau of Prisons, will return to the agency to serve as its director, Barr said.

He named another former agency official, Thomas Kane, to serve as her deputy.


Chiding Macron, Putin says "I don't want yellow vests in Russia"

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a joint press conference before the talks at the fort of Bregancon in France, on Aug 19, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Vladimir Putin rebuked his French counterpart on Monday (Aug 19), saying he did not want "yellow vest" protests spring up like in France, after Emmanuel Macron urged the Russian leader to abide by democratic principles following weeks of protests in Moscow.

Macron, who was meeting Putin at his summer residence in southern France five days before hosting summit of G7 rich nations, is keen to show Moscow it is not ostracised despite being kicked out of the G7 after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Despite the talks focusing on international crises, Macron sought to tackle Putin on the internal Russian situation. Moscow has been rocked by weekly protests for more than a month after the authorities barred opposition candidates from running in an election for the city's legislature in September.


PM Modi tells Trump hopeful India, US will meet soon to discuss trade

US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in June and agreed to seek to deepen the two countries' relationship. PHOTO: REUTERS

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told US President Donald Trump that he is hopeful that representatives from the two countries will meet again soon to discuss trade issues, the government said in a statement on Monday (Aug 19).

Modi expressed hope that India’s commerce minister and the US trade representative would meet soon to discuss bilateral trade prospects, the government said.

Washington confirmed the leaders had spoken on Monday.