World & U.S. News

Protests continue as Hong Kong fights for Democracy

Grind for August 7th
“At every party there are two kinds of people – those who want to go home and those who don’t. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other.”
– Ann Landers


The Headline

Protests continue as Hong Kong fights for Democracy

The Grind

The pro-democracy protests continued in Hong Kong this weekend as tens of thousands of people gathered to demand more protections for civic freedoms.

Police responded with tear gas after a group of protestors vandalized a police station.

Police also clashed with protestors last weekend, using tear gas and rubber bullets after protestors attacked them with bricks, bottles, and other projectiles.

The Details

The mass protests began in June over a proposed extradition bill that would have allowed the transfer of fugitives from Hong Kong to mainland China.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam suspended the extradition bill, but the protests have continued with demands for Lam’s resignation and calls for changes to elections and policing.

The Background

For residents of Hong Kong, the government’s consideration of the extradition bill was a red flag regarding Beijing’s intentions for the territory.

Hong Kong has been fighting to preserve its autonomy ever since it was returned to China from Britain in 1997.

Hong Kong was allowed to keep its capitalist system through the “one country, two systems” framework, but residents’ rights are constantly threatened by Beijing.

The situation has grown considerably worse under Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has emphasized Beijing’s authority while downplaying Hong Kong’s autonomy.

“When the ‘one country, two systems’ policy expires in 2047, it seems Beijing intends to take control of a city that has already been tamed and emptied of any serious resistance,” writes NPR journalist Anthony Kuhn.

Home Run

The Headline

Why a Major League Baseball team is suing the creators of its own mascot

The Grind

The Philadelphia Phillies filed a lawsuit Friday in an attempt to maintain exclusive rights to their mascot, the “Phillie Phanatic.”

The Phillie Phanatic is a green, flightless bird that was created in 1978 by Wayde Harrison and Bonnie Erickson. The mascot was an instant hit, and by 1980 Harrison and Erickson had received more than $200,000.

In 1984, they signed a new deal with the Phillies for $215,000.

There are three things that determine the success of a mascot character, explains Harrison, “A good design, a good performer, and the support of the team…None of those three things is easy. Nobody really executed the program as well as Philadelphia. The Phillies, they got it 100 percent.”

The Details

Now, Harrison and Erickson are threatening to make the Phanatic a “free agent” if the Phillies don’t agree to pay them millions of dollars to maintain exclusive rights to the mascot.

The way the Phillies see it, the team already has permanent rights to the Phanatic as per the 1984 agreement and, after more than 40 years with the Phanatic, are co-authors of the mascot’s costume and personality.

“The Club therefore requests that this Court put an immediate end to H/E’s effort to hold up The Phillies with its threats of legal action and to make the Phanatic a free agent,” reads the lawsuit.

“By issuing a declaratory judgement in The Phillies’ favor and an injunction against H/E’s threatened actions, the Court will ensure that Phillies fans will not be deprived of their beloved mascot of 41 years and that The Phillies’ investment of creativity, time, effort, and money in The Phanatic will not be liquidated by H/E.”

Did you know… In the 60s, a scientist gave LSD to dolphins in an attempt to teach them English.

World & U.S. News