Monday Sunrise Briefs: What fuels protests from Hong Kong to Iraq

(AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
Thousands of protesters marched against the Lebanese government, in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. The note in Arabic on flag reads, "Mom, I’m here don’t lose me."

A people-power push for justice and economic equality continues to pulse through places such as Lebanon, Iraq, Chile, and Hong Kong. 

Lebanese protesters demanding the overthrow of their country’s elite flooded the streets on Sunday in the largest numbers since the prime minister resigned Tuesday. President Michel Aoun staged a big rally, attempting to become the face of the anti-corruption movement. But a bigger rally later Sunday rejected his move: “All of them means all of them,” protesters chanted in Beirut. 

In Iraq, protesters are also targeting the nation’s elite - of all political parties. Iran’s influence is the focus of anger too, and on Sunday dozens attacked the Iranian consulate in the Shiite holy city of Karbala. 

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, sunrise briefing.

Here are three news events from this past weekend (while you were yard-sale shopping, watching football, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

In Hong Kong, a pro-democracy politician was wounded Sunday by a knife wielding, pro-China attacker. Violence appeared to escalate during a weekend of chaotic clashes with police in various pockets of the city.  

2. A peace offering. If Republicans want to directly question the whistleblower who ignited the impeachment process, they may "in writing, under oath & penalty of perjury," said the anonymous whistleblower’s lawyer Sunday. The surprise offer was apparently intended to address criticism from Republican leaders, including the president, that the impeachment process is unfair.  But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif rejected the offer as insufficient. Democrats say the whistleblower’s testimony is becoming less important as details about the July 25 call with the Ukrainian president are revealed by public officials in House depositions.

3. Doused, mostly. Firefighters continued to gain the upper hand in California, bringing most major fires under control this weekend. The Kincade fire which destroyed 350 structures in Northern California’s wine country, was 78% contained. The Maria fire, which burned some 10,000 acres in rural Ventura County (near L.A.) was 70% contained as of Sunday evening. All evacuation orders have been lifted in southern California. Calmer winds and moister air have helped.  


Amber Searls/USA TODAY Sports
Fans in D.C. celebrated the 2019 World Series victory during a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue Saturday for the Washington Nationals. It was the city's first world series win since 1924.

Look ahead

Monday, Nov. 4.

Impeachment watch: One more week of closed-door impeachment depositions, then open hearings start, California Rep. Jackie Speier (D), told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. Democrats have called as many as 11 witnesses to appear this week (including Energy Secretary Rick Perry and former national security adviser John Bolton). But will the big names show up? 

Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Back to 2016: The trial of Republican consultant Roger Stone begins Tuesday. He’s charged with lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering. Prosecutors will try to prove that Mr. Stone gave the 2016 Trump campaign an early tip off about info being released that WikiLeaks was getting from Russia about Hillary Clinton.

A window on 2020 elections: Wait? Elections? Yes, voters in Kentucky and Mississippi will be choosing governors. Trump has joined the fray, making the narrative as much about his future as about theirs. Some big cities, including San Francisco, Houston, and Philadelphia will also be electing mayors and other local reps.

The Trump Book Club: Donald Trump Jr. becomes the third member of the family to release a book during the Trump presidency. “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us,” comes on the heels of Ivanka Trump’s 2017 “Women Who Work,” and Ivana Trump’s 2017 “Raising Trump.”

Generosity Watch

Zach Johnson, MN Millennial Farmer/Facebook
Zach Johnson harvesting soybeans Oct. 28, 2019 for his deceased neighbor, Norm Johnson, in Lowry, Minn. Zach, a.k.a. the Millennial Farmer, posted a video on Facebook of the harvest. It's had more than 8.5 million views.

Norman Johnson of Lowry, Minn., had 200 acres of soybeans that were ready to harvest. The pods were green, full, plump. But he died unexpectedly. While Johnson’s family gathered this past week to celebrate his life at a visitation service, his neighbors, fellow farmers, sprung into action. They didn’t ask or tell the family ahead of time. They fired up four combines and went to work.

“We love each other, and help our neighbors. That’s who we are,” said Zach Johnson (no relation to Norman Johnson), reported KARE-11 NBC-TV in Minneapolis, Minn. Neighbors helping neighbors.

Hidden gem

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:

Yes, your dog really does understand you

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for lessons from France: Why many fewer people died during a heat wave this summer. 

Finally, the Monitor’s five best stories in Friday’s subscription-only Daily Edition:

  1. California’s Latino voters helped turn state blue. Will others catch the wave?
  2. Failing public schools in an Ivy League town: Can state turn the tide?
  3. One woman embraces Third Commandment in feeding 1,600 at Thanksgiving
  4. ‘Harriet’ biopic: One woman’s unshakable resolve
  5. When wildfire strikes, an army of animal lovers rushes to action

This is a beta test - an experiment with an early Monday morning news update. Please give us your feedback via the link below and let us know what you think. Thank you!

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