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Hong Kong Protesters Use Catapults, Flaming Arrows and Javelins in Battle With Police

“We’re only trying to defend ourselves.”

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Hong Kong Protesters
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(TMU) — Hong Kong’s protesters are getting medieval on authorities, combining a mix of modern militant protest tactics such as Molotov cocktails with flaming bows and arrows, javelins, and even catapults.

As protests and clashes grow increasingly violent in the autonomous Chinese territory, Beijing has continued to issue stern warning of an impending clampdown by central authorities.

On Thursday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said that the continued unrest in Hong Kong must come to an end, describing protesters’ actions as persistent “radical and violent crimes that have … seriously trampled over [the] rule of law and social order,” reports South China Morning Post.

Hours later, a second person died during clashes between protesters demanding greater autonomy from the mainland Communist Party of China (CPC) government and pro-Beijing protesters. The 70-year-old victim, a cleaner working in the area, died after being struck by a brick, according to hospital officials.

The death came under a week after another student protester died after falling from a building. And on Monday, a 57-year-old man shouting pro-Beijing slogans at protesters was doused in fuel before being set on fire as he told protesters that they “are not Chinese.”

However, the threats of repression and spiraling violence hasn’t dissuaded protesters, who continue to erect makeshift Stonehenge-like walls across roads while stockpiling makeshift weaponry as they prepare to confront security forces loyal to Beijing-backed Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, reports AFP.

Universities have become the de facto headquarters and barracks for the militant student protesters, who have amassed an impressive arsenal filled with sports equipment from university storerooms including archery gear, javelins, and even tennis racquets used to swat away tear-gas canisters.

The ultra-modern East Asian metropolis is even seeing a revival of weapons and defense methods more befitting medieval siege warfare.

This has included gigantic wooden catapults made from scratch and even caltrops—spiked weapons laid out on the ground to prevent the advance of infantry and cavalry—made from PVC piping and nails, which the students have used to deny access to charging crowd-control police.

On Wednesday, protesters battling police introduced the cannon as they tried to seal off the Cross Harbor tunnel leading from the Kowloon peninsula, which connects to mainland China, and the financial center of Hong Kong Island.

A 23-year-old protester who identified themself as Ah Fai told AFP:

“If they come later we’re going to load it with bricks, Molotov cocktails and flammable arrows.”

In footage captured by AFP, the catapult is seen being tested as crowds of black-clad and masked protesters cheer it on.

Public security forces have pointed to the use of such DIY weapons, the destruction of city property, and the transformation of several university campuses into what they describe as a “weapons factory” as intolerable, calling on Hong Kong citizens to reject protesters’ tactics.

Chinese state television network CGTN quoted Kong Wing-cheung, senior superintendent of the Hong Kong Police Public Relations Branch, as saying:

“The police actively took action and went to the universities to do the dispersal. Some people have questioned that the police have no right to enter the school for law enforcement. I solemnly point out that we will not allow any place in Hong Kong to become a place for criminals to hide.”

But a 23-year-old student protester identifying himself as Josh, who stood watching protesters practice firing arrows as he spoke to Reuters, said that such tactics are needed for self-defense, especially given the brutal police response to non-violent approaches.

Josh said:

“It has never been a fair war zone.

We have nothing, only masks and the police have guns. We’re only trying to defend ourselves.”

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Akon Finally Breaks Ground On His Futuristic $10 Billion Solar Powered “Crypto City”

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The rapper, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Akon has been making significant progress on his development plans in Africa, which involve the creation of a futuristic city that runs on clean energy and cryptocurrency.

In January of last year, Akon revealed that his agreements with Senegal President Macky Sall were going forward, and a few months later it was announced that the engineering and consulting firm KE International was awarded a $6 billion contract to build the city. The company previously said it had already received $4 billion from investors for the first two phases of Akon City’s construction, giving the project a price tag of at least $10 billion. 

The project goes much further than just this one city and it has already begun to make an impact across the continent. In the short time since the deal was finalized last year, a large number of solar street lights, and solar home lighting units, have been installed across 14 African countries, according to Akon Lighting Africa.

The effort was made possible by a private-public partnership model and a well-established network of partners including SOLEKTRA INT, SUMEC, and NARI.

Phase 1 of construction on the city is expected to be completed in 2023, and will include roads, a hospital, residences, hotels, a police station, a waste facility, a school, and a solar power plant. The entire city is expected to be finished around 2029. The city’s economy will be facilitated by Akon’s cryptocurrency “Akoin,” which runs on the Stellar blockchain. Stellar is a crypto ecosystem that includes its own cryptocurrency XLM, and also allows for the development of other projects, such as decentralized exchanges and additional currencies like Akoin. Banks around the world have also been considering using the Stellar blockchain for stablecoin deployment. 

Akon believes that cryptocurrency is the solution to the corruption problems that create widespread inequality in Africa because the blockchain provides a record that would make corruption extremely obvious if it were to take place. With an independent cryptocurrency, governments are unable to print money and devalue the currency, and the control of the money is decentralized.

In an interview with TMZ last year, Akon compared the vision that he has for the city with the fictional “Wakanda” from the movie Black Panther.

“This movie literally made an idea of what Africa could really be. It’s just ironic that I was already working on this before the movie came out, but it’s something that helped me a lot when I was trying to explain to explain to people what I was trying to do,” Akon said.

The city’s crypto-economic system will also solve many problems specific to the developing world, like instantly calculating conversation rates for currencies, which is often an obstacle because there are so many different regional currencies and methods of trade. In some cases, people even use prepaid cellphone minutes as a currency because it is easier to use and exchange than traditional currencies. Akon says that the Akoin wallet will allow users to trade between cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, and cellphone minutes instantly without having to go through a major exchange using Atomic Swap technology. The app will also teach users to become more familiar with the technology in general.

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Florida Man Uses Stimulus Check to Start Thriving Home Garden to Feed His Community

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When millions of people across the United States received their federal stimulus checks to help them cope with the devastating economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown, most people spent their checks on basic necessities like food, rent, mortgage, utilities, and other basic necessities

However, one man from East Tampa, Florida, decided to use his funds to invest in a much more long-term project: building his own garden at home and using it to help provide food for himself. He’s now teaching his community about the massive benefits of food independence.

Michael Chaney, who goes by the nickname “Spirit Mike,” has long been interested in gardening. It wasn’t until the pandemic struck and local supermarkets were struck by the crisis that he was able to muster the self-motivation and time to fully pursue what began as a hobby and now has turned into his passion.

When he received his first stimulus check, he immediately used the funds to purchase some pots and start growing his first tomato plant. He also spoke to seasoned gardeners at the nearby A Land of Delight Natural Farm to pick up some materials and advice that would enable him to begin growing his own food, he told local radio station WMNF.

Now, Chaney is growing not only tomatoes but also collard greens, ghost peppers, mustard greens, strawberry guava, eggplants, onions, papaya, cashew apples, sugar cane, lemon, yucca, and lettuce, among other plants on his .3 acres of land.

“I do biointensive gardening, which means planting as much as you can in a small space,” Chaney told Atlanta Black Star. “I specifically picked these types of fruits [dwarf plants] because they grow fruit fast.”

Chaney derives the most pride from his moringa trees, which he values for its high viamin C content and celebrated medicinal properties as well as its antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant qualities.

“That is the Michael Jordan and the Kobe Bryant together,” Chaney told WMNF with pride.

“If you were stranded somewhere and all you have his this and water you would not only survive, you would thrive,” Chaney added. “I don’t work out. All I did was add this to my diet and add flax seed fiber and I lost 65 lbs.”

Chaney also has nine chickens that he purchased for only $3 per chick.

“My aim is to make my food cost zero,” he explained. “So, my food scraps go into the soldier fly larvae bin, they eat that and produce more larvae. Those larvae get fed to the chickens. The chicken produces eggs, I sell the eggs and eat the eggs; life is good.”

Chaney made sure to meticulously plan his garden so that actually managing it and ensuring its success would be much easier.

“It’s very important that you plan your garden. Do your research before you put a dollar down because you want your dollar to go as far as it can,” Chaney said.

He is now upholding the garden – which he has named New World Growers – as an example of community self-determination and food independence at a time when food insecurity is sharply on the rise.

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Edward Snowden Applies For Russian Citizenship As He Announces He’s About To Be A Dad

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U.S. NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden has announced that he is going to be a dad and that he has applied for Russian citizenship due to the coming change in his life. Snowden said the move is to prevent separation from his unborn son.

Snowden and his wife are applying for Russian citizenship in order not to be separated from their future son in an era of pandemics and closed borders, he said on Monday. Snowden’s wife, Lindsay, is expecting a child in late December, the RIA news agency said, citing his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, Reuters reported.

Snowden fled the U.S. and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret NSA files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency where he was a contractor. Snowden exposed various capabilities by the NSA by revealing various extensive privacy violations. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently found one such program was unlawful and that the U.S. intelligence directors who publicly defended it had lied to the public. The court determined that the warrantless telephone dragnet that secretly collected millions of Americans’ telephone records violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

U.S. authorities have for years wanted Snowden to return to the U.S. to face criminal charges on espionage brought against him in 2013.

“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son. That’s why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we’re applying for dual US-Russian citizenship,” Snowden wrote on Twitter. “Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love, including the freedom to speak his mind. And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited. Our greatest wish is that, wherever our son lives, he feels at home.”

Russia has already granted Snowden permanent residency rights, his lawyer said last month, a requisite step towards Russian citizenship.

Snowden’s wife recently publicly announced her pregnancy last week in a photograph posted to Instagram. “A long time in the making,” she wrote. “Our greatest collaboration coming soon.” Snowden said; despite applying for Russian citizenship, he hopes to one day return to the U.S. to reunite his family.

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