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Tens of Thousands in Hong Kong Stage March for Democracy

Tens of thousands of protesters, some waving British imperial flags and denouncing Chinese "colonists", marched through torrential rain in Hong Kong Monday to clamor for universal suffrage on the 16th anniversary of the city's return to mainland rule.

Tropical Storm Rumbia brought a drenching and strong winds to the march, now an annual outpouring of discontent directed at both China's communist government and the semi-autonomous territory's local leadership.

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Thousands Rally in Hong Kong to Call for Democracy

Thousands of protesters, some waving British colonial-era flags, marched in Hong Kong Monday to denounce the city's leaders and demand universal suffrage on the 16th anniversary of the territory's handover to China.

Tropical Storm Rumbia brought rain and strong winds as demonstrators bearing banners saying "Democracy now" and "Down with the Chinese Communist Party" started off from the city's landmark Victoria Park to march to the financial district of Central.

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Venezuela Says Would Consider Asylum for Snowden

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday he would consider an asylum request from U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden if the country receives one.

"We have not received an official request. But in the event we were to receive one, we would evaluate it as we understand Ecuador is doing," Maduro said on state television from Haiti, where he was on an official visit.

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Lawyer Says Snowden Feared Sudden Loss of Freedom in HK

In the buildup to his 30th birthday last week, U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden came to the sudden realization over a dinner of pizza and Pepsi that Hong Kong may be a less welcoming refuge than he'd thought, his legal adviser said on Tuesday.

Even before the United States issued an arrest warrant on Friday -- his birthday -- the truth was dawning on the former IT technician that he risked prolonged detention in Hong Kong with no creature comforts: no computer, and no Internet access.

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Washington Urges Russia to Return Snowden to U.S.

The White House said early Monday it expected cooperation from Russia on returning fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden back to the United States to face espionage charges.

"Given our intensified cooperation after the Boston Marathon bombings and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters -- including returning numerous high-level criminals back to Russia at the request of the Russian government -- we expect the Russian government to look at all options available to expel Mr. Snowden back to the U.S. to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged," said National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden.

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U.S. Leaker Snowden Charged with Espionage, Theft

The Justice Department has charged former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden with espionage and theft of government property in the NSA surveillance case.

Snowden, believed to be holed up in Hong Kong, has admitted providing information to the news media about two highly classified NSA surveillance programs.

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Protesters Rally in Hong Kong to Support Snowden

Hundreds of protesters staged a rally in rain-hit Hong Kong Saturday to urge the city's government not to extradite former spy Edward Snowden, and slam the United States for its surveillance programs.

Snowden, 29, has gone to ground in the city after blowing the lid on the U.S.'s vast electronic surveillance operation and has vowed to fight any extradition request.

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Fabius Urges Political Solution to Syria Crisis, Warns of Spillover to Neighbors

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called Monday for "a political solution" to the conflict in Syria, after its regime was suspected of using chemical weapons and after two Israeli raids on the country.

Israeli raids on Sunday hit three military sites outside Damascus, the second such reported attack in 48 hours, reportedly targeting weapons bound for Lebanon's Hizbullah which is an ally of President Bashar Assad's regime.

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Thousands March against Hong Kong Leader

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong Tuesday, calling for the city's embattled leader to quit and demanding greater democracy 15 years after it returned to Chinese rule.

Organizers have said they expected 50,000 people to join the New Year's Day march against Leung Chun-ying, while pro-government groups staged separate and smaller rallies in support of the Beijing-backed chief executive.

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Crew Held after 37 Die in Hong Kong Ferry Disaster

Six crew members were arrested Tuesday over a collision between a ferry and a pleasure boat in Hong Kong that killed 37 people in the city's worst maritime disaster in decades, officials said.

More than 120 passengers and crew were on the Hong Kong Electric company's vessel to watch a huge National Day fireworks display in Victoria Harbor Monday evening when the collision occurred near Lamma island.

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