Your Monday Briefing

Hong Kong protests, India, Typhoon Haishen: Here’s what you need to know.

By Carole Landry

Good morning.

We’re covering the quashing of protests in Hong Kong, the setbacks caused by the pandemic in India and the struggle to do distance learning in Indonesia.

Hong Kong police break up protests over delayed election

Nearly 300 people were arrested during protests in Hong Kong on Sunday, the day when a legislative election was initially scheduled to take place. Thousands of police officers in riot gear filled the streets.

Videos showed plainclothes officers using pepper spray at close range and dragging a man across asphalt and sidewalks before putting him in handcuffs. Three activists from a leftist pro-democracy group and a leading figure of the People Power group, which had organized street booths, were among those arrested.

The legislative election was postponed for one year because of the pandemic, but many in the pro-democracy camp accused the government of stalling to avoid the defeat of establishment candidates. The protests were also to show public anger at a draconian security law imposed by Beijing that is silencing dissent.

A major shift: Our reporters documented the chilling effect that the law has had on free speech in Hong Kong.

How the pandemic ‘smashed’ India’s engine

Not so long ago, India had a sizzling economy that was lifting millions out of poverty. Leaders aimed to give the people a middle-class lifestyle, update the military and become a regional superpower that could some day rival China.

But the pandemic’s devastation is imperiling such aspirations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s early, abrupt lockdown hurt the economy but ended without having fully reined in the virus. India now has the fastest-growing outbreak, reporting a global record of more than 90,632 new cases on Sunday. Its economy has shrunk faster than that of any other major nation. As many as 200 million people could slip back into poverty.

Quotable: “The engine has been smashed,” said Arundhati Roy, one of India’s pre-eminent writers. “The ability to survive has been smashed. And the pieces are all up in the air. You don’t know where they are going to fall or how they are going to fall.”

Here are our latest updates and maps of the virus outbreak.

In other developments:

Many experts are skeptical about quick at-home tests for the coronavirus. There isn’t really yet data that shows it will work, they say.

The first famines of the coronavirus era could soon hit four chronically food-deprived conflict areas — Yemen, South Sudan, northeast Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo — the top humanitarian official of the United Nations has warned.

A menacing signal for U.S. media in China

Journalists from CNN, The Wall Street Journal and Getty Images who tried to renew their Chinese media credentials last week were told their cards, which are usually good for one year, would not be reissued, according to six people with knowledge of the events.

China also implied that it would expel foreign journalists if the Trump administration took further action against Chinese media employees in the U.S., the people said.

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