Vox Sentences: The Umbrella Movement in jail

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A pro-democracy protester cuts down a yellow umbrella outside Hong Kong’s Government complex on December 11, 2014. 

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Boeing takes a financial hit after two plane crashes; pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong are sentenced to prison time for 2014 protests.


Boeing’s PR nightmare reflected in profits


Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
  • Boeing’s 737 Max jets are still grounded after two fatal crashes, and the company’s finances are hurting amid the increased scrutiny on its safety protocols and ensuing PR crisis. The company revealed Wednesday that its profits were down 13 percent in the first quarter of 2019. [WSJ / Doug Cameron and Andrew Tangel]
  • The slowdown in production due to the groundings has cost the company more than $1 billion so far. [CBS News / Rachel Layne]
  • The two crashes of Boeing’s planes, one in March and the other last October, led to the grounding of all of its 737 Max jets. Boeing is now undergoing a thorough software update for its planes, and it’s still unclear when the planes will be cleared to fly again. [Reuters / Ankit Ajmera and Eric M. Johnson]
  • Customers are now skeptical of Boeing, especially because the company is under investigation by Justice Department, which will look into whether the company was truthful to the Federal Aviation Administration about its certification process. [CNN / Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz]
  • Just last week, the company was accused of shoddy production that gave little consideration to safety. A Boeing factory in South Carolina overlooked manufacturing errors and safety issues to produce planes faster. [NYT / Natalie Kitroeff and David Gelles]
  • In the grand scheme of things, Boeing has the resources to withstand these financial blows. Whether the company will be able to restore its reputation, however, is still to be determined. [CNN / Chris Isidore]

Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement leaders are sentenced to prison

  • Eight Hong Kong activists were sentenced Wednesday for their role in coordinating the “Umbrella Movement” pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014. They were charged for public nuisance and incitement; two of them were sentenced to 16 months in prison. [Time / Hillary Leung]
  • The 2014 protest, in which thousands of peaceful activists staged sit-ins, was one of the largest pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong in years. The movement snarled the city’s financial district and closed down major roads for 79 days. [NYT / Tiffany May]
  • These activists were part of a movement called the “Umbrella Movement,” so named for the yellow umbrellas carried by protesters to protect them from the sun and, eventually, police tear gas. [NPR / Matthew S. Schwartz]
  • Two founders of the Umbrella Movement, Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Chan Kin-man, were given the longest sentences of 16 months. Judge Johnny Chan Jong-herng acknowledged that the protests were peaceful but cited the inconvenience of the road closures in the sentencing. Critics of the decision decried the charges as politically motivated and said they would have a chilling effect on pro-democracy advocacy. [South China Morning Post / Chris Lau and Sum Lok-kei]
  • As the activists showed up to court, supporters dressed in yellow chanted “civil disobedience” while holding yellow umbrellas to symbolize the movement. [Al Jazeera / Lana Chan]

Miscellaneous

  • Meet Bad Bunny, a Puerto Rican trap artist whose embrace of more feminine fashion embodies a new type of masculinity not often seen in Latin America. [CNN / Vanessa Rosales]
  • The “Instagram aesthetic” used to mean highly polished and carefully staged. Now, it’s all about being real and candid. [Atlantic / Taylor Lorenz]
  • Time to rethink screen time rules for kids? The World Health Organization says children under 1 shouldn’t be exposed to any electronic screen. [Washington Post / Rachel Siegel and Craig Timberg]
  • In an effort to combat the criticism that it helped spread “fake news” during the election, Twitter will now let users flag tweets that are “misleading about voting.” [BuzzFeed News / Pranav Dixit]
  • A woman was in a coma for almost 30 years. Now she’s made a miraculous recovery. [BBC]

Verbatim

“Freedom of expression in Hong Kong has deteriorated significantly in the past few years, and [Wednesday’s] sentencing only adds to that.” [Maya Wang, a senior researcher on China for Human Rights Watch, criticizing the jailing of the Umbrella Movement activists]


Watch this: Designing a safer street

During the 20th century, the car became America’s dominant mode of transportation. As vehicle miles traveled soared well past the rate of population growth, demands on the roadway surged. Congestion became a major issue. So transportation planners made the roads wider and added traffic lanes. [YouTube / Carlos Waters and Mallory Brangan]


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