Tourist killed by falling window from Hong Kong hotel

Hong Kong police arrested a hotel cleaner under a law against allowing objects to fall from buildings and endanger or harm the public. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2019
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Tourist killed by falling window from Hong Kong hotel

  • The accident sparked alarm that a window could possibly fall from the outside of a modern hotel building in a city stacked with skyscrapers
  • ‘We believe that the cleaner tried to open the window, and the window immediately fell after she opened it’

HONG KONG: A hotel employee arrested after a window she was cleaning fell onto a busy Hong Kong street and killed a tourist was released on bail Tuesday as investigators try to work out what caused the fatal tragedy.
Police said a 24-year-old female tourist from the Chinese mainland was struck by the window which fell from the 16th floor of the Mira Hotel in the busy Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district on Monday.
She was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to save her. A male friend was also struck by the window but escaped with only light injuries.
Police arrested a hotel cleaner under a law against allowing objects to fall from buildings and endanger or harm the public.
The accident sparked alarm that a window could possibly fall from the outside of a modern hotel building in a city stacked with skyscrapers.
A police spokesperson said that the woman was released on bail Tuesday pending further enquiries and is required to report back in early February.
Local police officer Chan Ka-ying told reporters on Monday that the hotel windows could only be opened by staff with a special key.
“We believe that the cleaner tried to open the window, and the window immediately fell after she opened it,” she said.
The Mira Hotel made headlines in 2013 when it was chosen by whistleblower Edward Snowden as his bolthole in Hong Kong after he fled the United States carrying a trove of information on government surveillance.
The hotel did not respond to an AFP request for comment but local media said it had vowed to cooperate with authorities.


Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, right, accompanied by Gov. Gavin Newsom, said California will probably sue President Donald Trump over his emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP)
Updated 45 min 36 sec ago
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Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

  • The complaint added that the Department of Homeland Security had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to evaluate the environmental impact of the wall in California and New Mexico

SAN FRANCISCO: Sixteen US states sued President Donald Trump’s administration Monday over his decision to declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the southern border with Mexico, saying the move violated the constitution.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, said the president’s order was contrary to the Presentment Clause that outlines legislative procedures and the Appropriations Clause, which defines Congress as the final arbiter of public funds.
The move had been previously announced by Xavier Becerra the attorney general of California who said his state and others had legal standing because they risked losing moneys intended for military projects, disaster assistance and other purposes.
Several Republican senators have decried the emergency declaration, saying it establishes a dangerous precedent and amounts to executive overreach.
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia are party to the complaint seeking an injunction.
“Use of those additional federal funds for the construction of a border wall is contrary to Congress’s intent in violation of the US Constitution, including the Presentment Clause and Appropriations Clause,” the complaint said.
It added that Trump had “veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making.”
“Congress has repeatedly rebuffed the president’s insistence to fund a border wall, recently resulting in a record 35-day partial government shutdown over the border wall dispute,” the document read.
“After the government reopened, Congress approved, and the president signed into law, a $1.375 billion appropriation for fencing along the southern border, but Congress made clear that funding could not be used to build President Trump’s proposed border wall.”
The complaint added that the Department of Homeland Security had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to evaluate the environmental impact of the wall in California and New Mexico.
Friday’s declaration enables the president to divert funds from the Pentagon’s military construction budget and other sources.