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News Daily: US boost for Hong Kong activists and Labour strategy change

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Trump signs law backing Hong Kong protesters

After a remarkable performance in district elections, Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement has received another boost - this time from the US. President Donald Trump has signed into law the Human Rights and Democracy Act, which mandates an annual review of whether Hong Kong has enough autonomy to justify its special status with the US. Currently, its special status means it is exempt from US sanctions or tariffs placed on the mainland. The bill also allows for Hong Kong residents to obtain US visas, even if they have been arrested for being part of non-violent protests. While welcomed by one of the pro-democracy campaign leaders, the move could hamper efforts to end a trade war with China. The foreign ministry in Beijing is threatening "firm counter measures", while Hong Kong's government says it will would not help to ease tensions.

Labour to change election strategy

Two weeks out from polling day, is the election campaign about to change shape? Labour is to move activists to areas that backed Leave in a bid to reassure voters the party is not opposed to Brexit - just to Boris Johnson's deal - and turn around a stubborn Conservative poll lead. Our political correspondent Iain Watson says the strategy was prompted by Labour's own polling, and devised before the release of a YouGov poll of more than 100,000 people suggesting the Conservatives would win a 68-seat majority if the election was held tomorrow. While that poll - which applies national trends to individual constituency demographics - suggests the Tories will pick up seats from Labour in the Midlands and northern England, others suggest the Conservative lead is narrowing, as our poll tracker shows.

One thing that won't change is the daily trumpeting of policies. Throughout Thursday you can expect to hear Jeremy Corbyn announce Labour would plant two billion trees, Boris Johnson suggest the Conservatives would "support women to reach their full potential" and Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson attack Mr Johnson for not caring about anyone but himself. Later, the Institute for Fiscal Studies will assess the party manifestos and their likely impact on the public finances. The Resolution Foundation think tank, which focuses on those on lower incomes, says both the Conservatives and Labour are likely to break their own rules on borrowing - an opinion the parties contest.

In other election coverage:

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Netflix 'reactivated' users without permission

Imagine cancelling your subscription to a streaming service, only to discover it taking payments from your account months later. That's exactly the situation described by some Netflix subscribers who have been targeted by criminals who sell on login details. Because customer data - including billing information - is held on the site for 10 months to allow people to rejoin, hackers can reactivate dormant accounts without knowing users' bank details, BBC Radio 4's You & Yours programme has learned. "Criminals had changed my login details completely and had signed me up for the most expensive service," says Emily Keen, from Oxford. Netflix says the safety of member accounts is top priority and urges members who notice unusual activity to contact the company.

Loan sharks cash in on Black Friday spending spree

By Rebecca Wearn, business reporter, BBC News

She'd not borrowed a lot. And she'd more than paid it back. Six times over. But when one mother looked up from her washing-up to see the man who'd lent her a few hundred pounds standing with her two teenage daughters, she was so frightened that she continued to pay back even more.

"That image was what he could do if he chose to," says Cath Williams, who heads up government agency England Illegal Money Lending Team. "It's psychological warfare." But one of the most potent pieces of emotional blackmail is specific to this time of year - that desire to spend in the Black Friday sales, or the need to buy Christmas presents.

Read the full story

What the papers say

A range of election stories lead the papers. Labour's claim that official papers show the Tories want to allow access to the NHS as part of a future US trade deal - something denied by Boris Johnson - leads the Guardian. "The proof," is how the Daily Mirror headlines the story. Meanwhile, the prime minister's criticism of austerity - and claim that he told colleagues in 2010 it was the wrong approach - leads the Daily Express. The Times leads on a major poll suggesting the Conservatives are heading for a big majority, although Mr Johnson's senior advisor Dominic Cummings is quoted by the Daily Telegraph saying a hung Parliament is a "very real possibility".

Daily digest

Rough sex Violence during consensual intercourse 'normalised'

TikTok Banned US teen is reinstated with apology

Harry Dunn Parents begin legal proceedings against Foreign Office

Plastic Bags for life 'adding to rising waste'

If you watch one thing today

What does a billion pounds look like?

If you listen to one thing today

Image copyright Getty Images

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Image copyright Phil Reid/Antarctica New Zealand

The Antarctic plane crash that changed New Zealand

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Lookahead

09:30 NHS Digital publishes its latest statistics on job vacancies in England, including the numbers of unfilled doctor and nurse posts

12:00 TSB chief executive Debbie Crosbie expected to announce which 82 of the bank's 540 branches face closure under plans to cut costs by £100m by 2022.

On this day

1990 Margaret Thatcher tenders her resignation to the Queen after a making tearful last statement as prime minister from the doorstep of No 10.

From elsewhere

'There's a new level of anger': the women fighting to end the 'rough sex' defence (Guardian)

How austerity is robbing disabled people of their freedom (HuffPost UK)

A crisis in the water is decimating this once-booming fishing town (Washington Post)

Clive James, Australian-born man of letters who invented modern television criticism and became a star of the medium himself (Telegraph)

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