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Hong Kong Protests: Council Delays Debate on Extradition Law

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The head of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council delayed debate on a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China after tens of thousands of residents surrounded the council’s complex in a defiant protest against the contentious legislation.

“The President of the Legislative Council has directed that the council meeting of June 12 scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. today be changed to a later time to be determined by him,” the council said in a statement. “Members will be notified of the time of the meeting later.”

Regina Ip, a pro-Beijing lawmaker and former cabinet minister, and her team were unable to enter the council building because protesters had blocked surrounding roads, said Emma Li, a spokeswoman for Ms. Ip’s New People’s Party.

The police said some protesters were digging up bricks near the legislative complex. “The police warn demonstrators not to throw bricks because it could cause serious injuries to others, even death, and is strictly illegal,” it said in a tweet.

Tens of thousands of young protesters demonstrating on a multilane road outside the Legislative Council erupted in chants of “Chit Wui!” The phrase means “retract it!” in Cantonese, the Chinese dialect spoken in Hong Kong, referring to their calls for the extradition bill to be withdrawn.

As the crowds of protesters swelled, police tried to push them back with water cannons and pepper spray. Some in the crowd unfurled convenience-store umbrellas. Others seized traffic signs and hurled them to the ground with a clatter.

A debate on the bill was scheduled for 11 a.m., but was delayed. Local news media reported that the delay was the result of lawmakers being unable to enter the building as a result of the protests.

The government later said that all entrances to its central offices had been closed as a result of the road blocks and told employees not already in the buildings to stay away.

Some protesters in the crowd said in interviews that they had little hope of forcing the government to back down on the extradition bill. But others, like Grace Tsang, were more optimistic.

Ms. Tsang, 25, said she had come in hopes of a drawing international attention to the bill, and said that she hoped global condemnation could force the government to back down from presenting the bill for a second reading in the local legislature.

“Hong Kong is a civilized city but they don’t listen to the citizens,” Ms. Tsang, who had worn sunglasses and a surgical mask to guard against pepper spray, said of the authorities. “It’s quite ridiculous.”

“We need all people from the world to support us because sometimes we are quite hopeless,” she added.

The city’s police force said some protesters were surrounding police and private cars in a tunnel and “threatening the lives of those who have been surrounded.”

“This behavior has gone beyond the scope of a peaceful gathering,” the statement said. “We call on those who surround the vehicles to leave as soon as possible, otherwise we will use appropriate force.”

Dragging heavy metal barriers, thousands of protesters poured onto roads around Hong Kong’s legislature on Wednesday morning to block access to the building, in the latest demonstration against a contentious bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China.

The demonstrators, many of them young people in black T-shirts and wearing surgical masks, set up the barriers on a wide road outside the Legislative Council, as the sound of the metal scraping the asphalt ricocheted through a canyon of skyscrapers. Hundreds of riot police, wearing full face shields and carrying batons, looked on.

The protest recalled the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement five years ago, which shut down several districts in the city — including the very roads that protesters were blocking on Wednesday — but ultimately failed to win any concessions from the government.

One of the protesters, Daniel Yeung, 21, stood on a cement barrier in the center of the road in the shadow of the legislative building, wearing black clothing, a white surgical mask and gardening gloves. The road, normally a busy thoroughfare, was now a sea of black shirts. A city bus stood stalled at the edge of the crowds.

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Mr. Yeung said he had come to protest the extradition bill and what he called the “arbitrary” policies of Carrie Lam, the Beijing-backed chief executive of Hong Kong, and President Xi Jinping of China. If the law passes, he said, he feared what the authorities might do. “They’ll think you’re a suspect and send you back to China.”

Many of the protesters had started gathering on Tuesday evening and stayed overnight.

Residents were planning protests, strikes and a transportation slowdown for Wednesday, as lawmakers were set to debate the contentious bill that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China for trial.

The demonstrations were expected to be smaller than the march held on Sunday, in which up to a million people, or a seventh of the territory’s population, paraded through the city in an overwhelmingly peaceful protest.

By Tuesday afternoon, labor groups, businesses and student organizations across the city had announced plans to demonstrate their opposition to the extradition bill. Small businesses, including restaurants and bookstores, said they would close their doors; high school students and as many as 4,000 of their teachers planned a walkout; and a union for bus drivers urged members to drive well below the speed limit.

An online petition called for 50,000 people to protest outside the Legislative Council, the city’s legislature, as it prepared for its second debate on the proposed law. On Monday, the council said it would restrict access to a nearby area that is typically reserved for demonstrations.

Lawmakers are likely to vote on the bill by the end of next week, the head of Hong Kong’s legislature said, despite mass protests over the weekend.

The plan, announced on Tuesday by the chairman of the Legislative Council, Andrew Leung, further inflamed tensions in Hong Kong after Sunday saw one of the largest protests in the semiautonomous Chinese territory’s recent history.

The city’s police force said no violence would be tolerated at any public protests. The South China Morning Post reported that thousands of additional officers had been mobilized.

Mr. Leung said that the bill could go to a vote on June 20 after about 60 hours of debate, adding “the case is pressing and has to be handled as soon as possible.” The measure is likely to pass in the local legislature, where pro-Beijing lawmakers hold 43 of 70 seats.

Opposition lawmakers had expected the vote to take place around the end of the month, based on a regular schedule of meetings. The legislative chairman’s decision to add more meetings in the coming days in order to bring the date of the vote forward quickly drew criticism. Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said on Monday that the bill would be pushed through “out of our clear conscience, and our commitment to Hong Kong.”

The bill would allow Hong Kong to detain and transfer people wanted in countries and territories with which it has no formal extradition agreements, including Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.

Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has said the new law is urgently needed to prosecute a Hong Kong man who is wanted in Taiwan for the murder of his girlfriend. But the authorities in Taiwan, a self-governed island claimed by Beijing, say they would not agree to the extradition arrangement because it would treat Taiwan as part of China.

Critics contend that the law would allow virtually anyone in the city to be picked up and put on trial in mainland China, where judges must follow the orders of the Communist Party. They fear the new law would not just target criminals but political activists as well.

The extradition plan applies to 37 crimes. That excludes political ones, but critics fear the legislation would essentially legalize the sort of abductions to the mainland that have taken place in Hong Kong in recent years. The mainland Chinese authorities are typically not permitted to operate in the semiautonomous territory.

Mike Ives, Tiffany May, Katherine Li and Daniel Victor contributed reporting.



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How to Have a High-End Vacation for Less

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Why pay top dollar for a luxury vacation when it’s possible to have it for less? A high-end trip without a premium price tag is possible anywhere in the world, but your approach needs to be tailored to your destination. Here, locals in five famously expensive cities — London, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore and Sydney — share luxury for less tips.

TIME IT RIGHT London has some particularly busy periods with sky-high hotel rates, according to Paula Fitzherbert, a lifelong Londoner and the head of communications for the five-star hotels Claridge’s, Connaught and Berkeley. They include June, during the Chelsea Flower Show, Ascot and Wimbledon, and the fashion weeks in February and September. These times asides, rates are least expensive on Sunday nights when occupancy is at its lowest. “A stay could be half the price, compared with another day of the week and you’re likely to get free amenities,” Ms. Fitzherbert said. The properties she represents try to offer Sunday night guests extras such as a bottle of Champagne, breakfast and a room upgrade.

James Manning, the global projects editor for Time Out London, encourages visiting either at the end of August or anytime in November. Flights and hotels are less expensive, and several noteworthy and free events take place. One of the largest street festivals in Europe, Notting Hill Carnival, is in August.

DINE AND DRINK SMARTLY Skip white tablecloth dining. Mr. Manning said that some of London’s casual and affordable restaurants, such as the Taiwanese spot Xu, outperform many expensive Michelin-recognized joints in atmosphere and flavor. To indulge in decadent cuisine for a bargain, head to a food hall in a luxury department store like Harrods or Selfridges, Ms. Fitzherbert said (she does, too). “You can buy small portions of rare cheeses and handmade chocolates, and the stores often give out free samples on weekends,” she said. She also suggested taking advantage of the widely available and attractively priced pre- and post-theater menus at otherwise expensive restaurants like The Ivy and Savoy Grill and enjoying an evening drink at an upscale bar like the Connaught Bar for less than $20 — an order usually comes with olives, nuts and other snacks.

FIND FREE OR CHEAP CULTURE Admission to most major museums, such as the Tate Modern, is free (special exhibitions usually have a fee), and venues such as Southbank Centre and Royal Opera House have free regular drop-in performances. (Time Out has a weekly update of the best free things to do in London). Most West End theaters release reduced price tickets (usually around $25) each morning for performances that evening. Ms. Fitzherbert also recommended trying an Off West-End show. Tickets can be half the price of the West End.

GO BEHIND THE SCENES At many institutions, you can go behind the scenes and have an exclusive experience without spending a lot. The Natural History Museum offers behind-the-scenes tours of its preserved zoological collection for around $19 a person. You can go backstage at the National Theatre and Royal Opera House for less than $20. And for a slightly higher budget, a guided tour of operational areas at Tower Bridge — including the immense underground bascule chambers, a marvel of Victorian engineering hardly ever open to the public — is around $63 per person.

SHOP THE MARKETS Columbia Road Flower Market, in East London, and Portobello Market, in Notting Hill — are prime destinations to buy one-of-a-kind collector-worthy goods at reasonable prices. “They’re popular with celebrities, and the people watching can be as much fun as the shopping,” Ms. Fitzherbert said.

[Sign up for our Travel Dispatch newsletter for weekly tips on traveling smarter, destination coverage and photos from all over the world.]

TIMING MATTERS Avoid visiting during fashion weeks (women’s, men’s and haute couture), The French Open (from the end of May into early June) and the International Contemporary Art Fair, in October. Prices can be lower in winter and in August, when Parisians tend to leave the city, but this is event-dependent, too, so it’s best to research what’s happening in town. The site for the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau lists the city’s major events.

STAY AT AN UNDER-THE-RADAR HIGH-END HOTEL For luxury at a less stratospheric price point than the city’s palace-designated hotels, stay at a lower-key but still luxurious property. Examples include the San Regis, hidden on a quiet street in the 8th arrondissement’s so-called Golden Triangle or the Jacques Garcia-designed Hôtel Bourg Tibourg, in the Marais. Research these lesser-known gems online — the site Paris Boutique Hotels lists several, as does Time Out Paris.

PALACE HOTEL ACCESS WITHOUT THE PRICE TAG With standard doubles often starting at $1,000 or more per night, Paris’s palace hotels are price-prohibitive for most people. But Elsa Bacry, a lifelong Parisian and the director of European partnerships for the luxury travel network Virtuoso, said locals get a taste of them by frequenting their casual bistros and brasseries such as 114 Faubourg, at Le Bristol. “They’re not a deal, but you’re not spending a fortune either,” she said. Parisians also like to have drinks at the hotels’ bars such as the rooftop L’Oiseau Blanc at The Peninsula Paris or Bar Josephine at the Lutetia. Hannah Meltzer, a Paris-based journalist, said that spa treatments, such as a caviar facial at the lavish day spa at the Four Seasons Paris, are another option.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE SIGHTS AND GROUP TOURS Paris has plenty of museums with free entry including the fine arts museum Petit Palais and Musee de la vie Romantique, or museum of romantic life. Admission to many others, including The Pompidou, is free on the first Sunday of the month while the Louvre offers free admission on the first Saturday evening of every month. Some monuments also offer inexpensive small group tours, such as the 90-minute, 10-euro tour at Versailles of Louis XIV and XV’s private apartments.

SHOP SALES AND THE OUTLETS To buy designer goods at a discount, Ms. Bacry suggested checking out My Little Paris, a site that lists private sales. Also, designer stores have sales in July and January, and La Vallée Village, an outdoor designer outlet shopping mall about a 45-minute train ride from central Paris, is full of deals.

AVOID THE CONVENTIONS San Francisco hosts a significant number of conventions all year, according to Teresa Rodriguez, the editor in chief of the San Francisco edition of WhereTraveler magazine. When one is going on, hotel rates can more than triple. Check the calendar for the Moscone Center, the city’s major convention venue, and plan your trip accordingly.

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BOOK LESSER-KNOWN HOTELS OR RENT AN APARTMENT Debbie Kessler, who runs the San Francisco office of Protravel International and sells high-end trips to the city, said that travelers could save by staying away from well-known international brands and choosing a luxury boutique property instead. “They are far more reasonably priced than their big-name competitors,” she said. Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, for example, has four design-forward boutique properties in town. Booking an upscale hotel in Southern Marin County, about a 20-minute drive from San Francisco, is another money-saving option her clients use, taking Uber to get back into town. Ms. Rodriguez encourages visitors to rent a home through Airbnb or another rental site — you can stay in a historic Victorian home or sleek high-rise apartment for the fraction of the cost of a hotel.

DON’T SPEND ON HIGH-END MEALS Japantown is home to affordable sushi, ramen and shabu shabu places, while the Mission neighborhood has authentic and favorably priced Mexican. To sample the city’s famous crabs without blowing your food budget, buy them from one of the crab stands on Fisherman’s Wharf, and have them steamed and cracked. Ms. Rodriguez is a regular at a stand called Nick’s Lighthouse and enjoys the crabs, along with sourdough bread and wine with her family at Aquatic Park Cove, a park near the wharf with views of the bay and Alcatraz. Also, oyster specials abound: Woodhouse Fish Co., with two locations, for example, has $1 oyster specials on Tuesdays, and Plouf sells $1 oysters on weekdays at its bar from 6:30 p.m. until closing. Travelers keen on an upscale dining experience should know that some of the fanciest restaurants offer lower-priced menus in their bars. The three Michelin-starred Quince, for example, offers a five-course $180 menu in its bar area. While hardly inexpensive, that is less than the $295 eight to ten-course tasting menu in the main dining room.

SIGHTSEE WITH A TIGHT FIST Both Sigmund Stern Recreation Cove and Golden Gate Park have noteworthy free concerts, performances and events all year. Ms. Rodriguez said that Free Tours by Foot has free high-quality walking tours, including one in Chinatown. Also, the touristy Bay Cruise isn’t worth it. Instead, take an inexpensive ride on the commuter ferry from the well-known Ferry Building. (Ms. Kessler likes the ride to Sausalito.) There’s a bar on board so riders can savor a glass of wine while taking in the views.

WATCH FOR DEALS AT LUXURY HOTELS Singapore has no low or high season and sees consistent tourist traffic throughout the year, according to Howard Oh, the concierge manager at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, who is also Singaporean. So instead of having off-season rates, the city’s upscale hotels have promotions throughout the year. Mr. Oh recommended comparing rates offered by three luxury hotels you are keen on staying at and seeing which has the most attractive offers. “The deals vary, but you might find a discounted rate for a weekend stay with breakfast and other inclusions or a third night free with two paid nights,” he said.

DINE LIKE A LOCAL The food writer Annette Tan said that eating out in the city is generally expensive but that some neighborhoods are home to excellent and affordable restaurants. Keong Saik Road, in Chinatown, is lined with several, many of which aren’t Chinese. Cure, for one, serves modern European food with Singaporean accents. Another option is Gemmill Lane, a hidden alley off Amoy Street full of buzzy restaurants such as the French-Japanese Le Binchotan. Singaporeans also enjoy decadent high teas at the city’s five-star hotels. Ms. Tan recommended Regent Singapore, where a weekday high tea costs around $33 per adult and includes sandwiches, pastries, scones and cheeses, and the $37 tea at The Clifford Pier, overlooking Marina Bay, at the Fullerton Bay Hotel.

SKIP PRIVATE GUIDES Hiring a private guide costs about $45 an hour, Mr. Oh said, but a small group tour can be equally high-quality and costs around $6 per person, per hour. “The guides leading these tours are very knowledgeable, and you see the same sights you would on a private excursion,” Mr. Oh said. Companies offering such tours include RMG Tours and Tour East. Monster Day Tours also offers free walking tours.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE ART AND CULTURE Public art installations abound in Singapore, and they’re akin to open-air museums, Mr. Oh said. The Marina Bay District, for example, has several, including sculptures by Botero and Dali. Also, the Esplanade Theatres by the Bay holds almost daily free concerts and plays that feature local artists.

DOWNLOAD THE GRAB APP Grab is the Uber equivalent of Singapore (Uber does not operate in the country), and a less expensive way to get around than by taxi. A 10-minute ride costs less than $10, while the trip between the airport and the city center is around $20.

BOOK THE RIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS Carly Rea, the founder of Splendour Tailored Tours, advises staying at a five-star boutique hotel in a residential neighborhood, where nightly rates can be half of what they are in the touristy Central Business District. Ms. Rea recommended Spicers Potts Point, in Potts Point, an area full of homegrown boutiques, cafes and restaurants, and Paramount House Hotel, in Surry Hills. Josh Blake, the assistant chief concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney and a longtime Sydney-sider, as locals are called, said that travelers who want to stay in the heart of town should be aware that several of the luxury hotels in the CBD, including Shangri-La and InterContinental, have club lounges. You pay a fee on top of your room rate, the lounge at the Four Seasons, for example, costs $96 for two people per day. But you get a concierge, a lavish breakfast buffet and a premium open bar with appetizers in the evenings.For longer stays, consider a home rental through Contemporary Hotels or Luxico. “You can find a fantastic two-bedroom apartment for a week for the same price as a standard hotel room in the CBD,” Ms. Rea said.

EAT LIKE A LOCAL Ms. Rea said that the tastiest and most affordable food in town is to be found at neighborhood spots. Bistro Rex, in Potts Point, a vibrant place showcasing seasonal dishes, is an example. She also recommended a meal at one of the city’s many inexpensive and delicious Asian-influenced restaurants where diners can bring their own alcohol. The Darlinghurst and Newtown neighborhoods are full of these. On Bondi Beach. a table at a casual seaside cafe is a less expensive and more authentic way to go than a pricey restaurant, said Mr. Blake. He suggested Speedos Cafe, a local favorite that serves health-focused dishes using seasonal and organic produce. Picnics are a longtime tradition for Sydney-siders, and it’s one that travelers should partake in, too.

BE A SAVVY SIGHTSEER Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a mainstay tourist activity, but it costs more than $120 and takes hours. Walking across the bridge is another option. “It’s free, the path is uncrowded and you get the same views,” Mr. Blake said. Also, skip a pricey private boat rental and enjoy Sydney’s skyline from a public ferry or water taxi. A ferry ride, depending on the route, is less than $10, while a 30-minute scenic ride in a taxi around the harbor costs about $70. Mr. Blake recommended the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly, a lively suburb with a scenic beach and a thriving surf community.



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Opinion | Donald Trump Will Pick the Democratic Nominee

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And every Democratic candidate’s theory of the race is a theory of Trump, reflecting his or her analysis of how Trump pulled off his astonishing upset.

Did it indeed rest on embittered and economically vulnerable white men in the Rust Belt? Then his challenger must be able to speak to that demographic group. That’s an argument made for and by Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Tim Ryan, Steve Bullock and John Hickenlooper. Note that they’re all white men themselves. By this thinking, it’s potentially reckless, after Hillary Clinton’s defeat, to stage a rematch against Trump with a woman or a member of a minority group.

Did Trump prevail in 2016 because too few young people, progressives and voters of color cast ballots? Then the key is a candidate who can supposedly energize one or more of those groups. Cue Harris, Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Julián Castro and Elizabeth Warren.

Has Trump’s grossly misogynistic behavior and assault on reproductive rights set the stage for a woman-powered rebellion at the polls? Then Harris, Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand deserve serious consideration.

Was the lesson of Trump that you must be able to saturate the media, social and otherwise, and become a compulsively watchable character in a narrative of your own invention? Beto O’Rourke obviously thinks or at least thought so, and that’s partly why so many Democratic voters saw such promise in him.

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“On stylistic and even substantive grounds, Trump is arguably exerting more gravitational pull on Democratic politics than the party’s most recent president, Barack Obama,” John Harris, a founding editor of Politico, recently wrote. Harris also asserted that the Democratic primary contest thus far “is over which candidate can most credibly claim that he or she will not just beat Trump but repudiate all he stands for.”

That’s the essence of Biden’s strategy and message, which boil down to this: Electing me would mean that the past four years were a bad dream, like that kooky season of the 1970s television series “Dallas.” It would restore Obama (in absentia), resume the arc and renounce this dance with the devil, who could no more drain the swamp than tell the truth. Nostalgia is the new revolution.



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A Dad by Any Other Name

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“They do need you,” Paul replied. “Didn’t you have to teach them when they were babies how to sleep on their own by allowing them to scream and cry a little?”

After I disabled their phones, they responded with anger. But at least there was a response. When I picked up my daughters for the Christmas holiday and brought them again to my mother’s house, Marisa narrowed her eyes and said, “You’ve changed.”

I thought about the different ways I could respond, and the first two that bubbled to the surface were silence and anger. It was how I had responded for most of my life, silent about who I was, and angry at the world for not accepting me. What did that teach my children? If I wanted my daughters to understand me, I had to claim my identity and my pride. I needed to accept myself.

“Yes, I have changed,” I replied, “for the better.”

When Marisa was a toddler, at night, she used to run into our bedroom and hop into our bed. After many sleepless nights, we put a sleeping bag next to the bed and told her she could sleep there and not disturb us. Somehow we always found each other in the dark, my arm dangling over the bed, her hand in mine.

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Late at night over that Christmas holiday, I lay in bed in the tiny upstairs bedroom of my mother’s house, staring through the window at the crescent moon cradled in the arms of a pine. I called Paul and lamented the passage of time and the years lost, never to be regained.

“Dad?” I heard a tiny voice and a gentle knock on my bedroom door.

“Did you hear what she called you, Daddy-O? Call me later,” Paul said and hung up.

“Come in,” I replied.

Marisa opened the door, ran to my bed, and jumped in.

As I held her small hand in mine, I wondered if perhaps there was some secret part of me that had wanted my daughters to call me Bill. Not because I believed that they were beginning to understand I was not always a father, but because I wanted to believe that they had grown into young adults.



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