Stage set for election showdown
China’s legislature on Sunday ruled out allowing open nominations in the inaugural election for Hong Kong’s leader, saying they would create a “chaotic society.” Democracy activists in the Asian financial hub responded by saying that a long-threatened mass occupation of the heart of the city “will definitely happen.”
In setting tight limits on how far electoral reforms can go in Hong Kong, Beijing issued its firmest reminder yet that it’s still in charge despite the substantial autonomy it promised the city after taking control from Britain in 1997.
The guidelines laid down by China’s communist leaders ratchet up the potential for a showdown pitting Beijing against Hong Kong democracy supporters, a group that represents a broad swath of society, including students, religious leaders and financial workers.
The decision by the legislature’s powerful Standing Committee sharpens fears that China wants to screen candidates for loyalty to the central government and is reneging on its promise to let Hong Kong’s leader be directly elected by voters, rather than the current committee of mostly pro-Beijing tycoons.
“At this very moment, the path of dialogue has been exhausted,” said Benny Tai, a leader of the Occupy Central with Love and Peace protest movement, which has vowed to rally at least 10,000 people to paralyze Hong Kong’s financial district — known as Central — to press demands for genuine democracy.
Bidding war on for battery factory
LOS ANGELES — From the start, little has been typical about Tesla Motors’ plan for a $5 billion factory to make batteries for a new generation of electric cars.
It’s not just the project’s massive scale, the cutting-edge technology, or even the bonanza of 6,500 good-paying jobs.
It’s how Tesla is deciding where to build.
Through a series of unusual plays, Tesla has five states bidding up subsidy packages to land the coveted plant. The winner is expected to offer the luxury carmaker publicly financed incentives exceeding a half-billion dollars.
Tesla signaled this would be no ordinary competition last fall, when it gathered economic development officials from seven Western states and unveiled its vision for a “gigafactory.” (“Giga” refers to the large amount of power that batteries produced at the plant will store.)
Joan Rivers’ daughter hopeful
Joan Rivers’ loved ones said Sunday that they remain hopeful about her recovery three days after she went into cardiac arrest at a doctor’s office.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed,” her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement, thanking people who have expressed support for the 81-year-old comedienne. Rivers on Friday described her mother’s condition as serious.
Joan Rivers was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital on Thursday, a day after she spoke at an employee event at Time Inc. in New York. Spectators there said she had appeared to be well.
Rivers is the host of “Fashion Police” on E! and presides over an online talk show, “In Bed With Joan.” She also co-stars with her daughter on the WEtv reality show “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?”
Two of her “Fashion Police” co-stars tweeted their well-wishes to Joan Rivers and her family Saturday.