OCCUPY CENTRAL - DAY 10: Full coverage of the day's events
With the number of protesters continuing to dwindle as the Occupy Central protests enter their tenth night we have decided to discontinue our continuous live blog from 11.30pm tonight. We will start a new live blog from 8am tomorrow morning, which will continue throughout the day. If there is any breaking news overnight, we plan to reinstate scmp.com's live blog immediately.
11.40pm HKU: Speaking after the preparatory meeting tonight, students express disappointment and anger at the dialogue agenda proposed by the government. But they decided the dialogue should go ahead to force the government facing the students' demands. "If they [government officials] do not try to face our demands or propose ways to solve the political problems directly, we may end the dialogue," warned Lester Shum, deputy Secretary General of Federation of Students.
Shum said the protests would continue despite the imminent dialogue, "People are ready to come out again if the government fails to demonstrate sincerity of solving the political crisis." Shum also warned that the dialogue could end if the government began actions to clear the protest sites or failed to guarantee the safety of protesters.
Shum said that the student leaders would discuss with other protest leaders - including the Occupy Central co-founders and Scholarism leaders - to decided whether to invite them to attend Friday's dialogue.
Joshua Wong Chi-Fung, convenor of student activist group Scholarism, called on members of the public to gather at Harcourt Road in Admiralty on Friday afternoon to support the students in their talks with officials.
11.15pm Mong Kok: Thousands of people, including Occupy protesters and pedestrians, pack the junction of Nathan Road and Argyle Street, at the sit-in site. A public forum at the main protesters' tent is ongoing, while others discuss the future of the campaign.
11pm: Undersecretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Lau Kong-wah and leaders of the Federation of Students have held the third preparatory meeting to set up a formal meeting with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. They agreed to hold the first session of formal dialogue on Friday at 4pm. The venue has yet to be confirmed.
The first dialogue would be separated into two sessions - with the themes of discussing the constitutional basis and the legal basis of the constitutional development respectively. A maximum of five people can attend from each side, and the talks will be made open to the media. However, the meeting will be closed to public.
Lau said Carrie Lam and Secretary of Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-Keung and Secretary of Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen would attend the dialogue. Further arrangements for future dialogue will be discussed after the first meeting on Friday.
10.45pm Admiralty: Two female protesters bed down under blankets and scarves outside the chief executive's office as the temperature feels noticeably autumnal. Around 40 protesters dot the area around the entrance to the chief executive's office on Tim Wa Avenue. It has been a quiet evening on the site with occasional supportive beeps from passing cars and at least one flurry of abuse aimed at protesters from a passing taxi driver.
10.15pm Admiralty: A rare get-together occurs between pro-Beijing, pro-democratic and former government respresentatives at Tamar Park near the Occupy rally in Admiralty. Pro-democratic law lecturer Eric Cheung Tat-ming, former senior assistant police commissioner Tang How-kong and Holden Chow Ho-ting, chairman of the Young DAB, a branch of the Beijing-loyalist Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, joined a forum on how to deal with emotional problems.
Despite their political backgrounds and Occupy Central being a hot topic, they steered clear of the subject. But they hinted on the issue by talking about openness, tolerance and the importance of communication.
10pm: Representatives of European Union countries stationed in Hong Kong expressed concern about the Occupy protests in an annual meeting with the city’s lawmakers this afternoon. Democrat Helena Wong Pik-wan, one of the five legislators that attended the meeting, said the European diplomats asked about the latest situation on Occupy Central, and what the outcome could likely be.
"Some expressed concern over constitutional reform, especially on whether we would 'pocket what we've got', and whether Legco members will filibuster. I explained to them the movement was peaceful and its aim was only to fight for universal suffrage and we were not staging a revolution. They understood our position."
Wong said the consulate members expressed hope that there would be positive outcome stemming from the Hong Kong government's dialogue with students over constitutional reform, and they did not express any worries over Hong Kong's business environment. Another lawmaker, who declined to be named, said that the diplomats urged lawmakers to help “solve the political problem in a political way”. One of them noted that democratic development in any country could take a long time to achieve.
9.30pm Admiralty: Protesters at the main protest site jeer an elderly speaker after he took to the stage to tell the audience that full democracy in Hong Kong could not be achieved in one goal. The man criticised some lawmakers for slowing down Hong Kong's development by attempting to block government plans to build more public housing. The man was stopped mid-speech by the emcee and asked to leave the stage.
9pm Admiralty: Hundreds of Occupy Central protesters boo and chase away an anti-Occupy and pro-police group sporting blue ribbons, after the group attempted to gain access to the Occupy site in Admiralty. "This is violence," said the group's organiser Leticia Lee. "This is not real democracy. You are bullying a woman. I will come back."
During the confrontation between the pro- and anti-Occupy Central groups, pro-democracy protesters shouted at the "blue ribbon" group, and mocked them for getting "paid to demonstrate," while attempting to shout them down. Lee and her group were escorted from the scene by a dozen police officers, some with shields, through a carpark to Admiralty MTR station.
— Connie Young (@shayyoung) October 7, 2014
8.30pm Causeway Bay: A string of multicoloured paper birds hang in Yee Wo Street. More than a hundred paper birds were found by accident in the supplies area by one an Occupy volunteer, who decided to hang the birds up in the street. The paper birds carry messages like "support Hong Kong." About 200 people are in the protest site, which stretches from Yee Wo Street to Hennessy Road. The mood is relaxed, with many just having finished work. Some are reading, chatting or folding more paper birds. About 20 policeman are patrolling the area.
8pm Admiralty: Hundreds of Occupy supporters surround Leticia Lee See-yin, leader of the anti-Occupy "blue ribbon" group, at the entrance of the Admiralty Centre. Occupy protesters greeted their rivals with a boisterous round of cheers and applause before singing "Happy Birthday" in both Chinese and English. Lee's massively outnumbered group are prevented from entering Harcourt Road as planned.
7.30pm Admiralty: There are more police than protesters outside the chief executive’s office complex in Tamar. About 22 police officers sit or stand behind metal barricades in front of the CE’s office, compared to the 20 or so protesters gathered under tents at the side of the road. Evan Wong, 18, is on his twelfth day outside government headquarters.
Wong says the lack of democracy in Hong Kong is responsible for a series of society’s ills. "If we have democracy, then legislators will listen to what we want – or we won’t vote for them in four years’ time. If they want to keep power, they’ll have to listen to us,” he said.“We don’t want independence, we just want to rule the place we live. It's a simple request.”
7pm Admiralty: Around 40 members from the anti-Occupy "blue ribbon" group formed by Leticia Lee See-yin arrive at the Admiralty Centre to confront Occupy protesters in Tamar.
6.40pm Admiralty: Protester Jacki Ho, 18, draws a yellow umbrella protecting the Hong Kong skyline on the pavement in chalk. Ho, who has been protesting outside the chief executive's office for three days, says she does not plan to give up anytime soon. "I think they're just waiting for us to have no more patience, but that won't happen."
6.30pm: Kindergartens in Wan Chai and Central and Western districts will not resume classes tomorrow, says Sophia Wong, Principal Assistant Secretary of the Education Bureau. She said the bureau made this decision because many students at secondary schools, which resumed classes on Monday, and primary schools, which resumed classes today, in these areas needed to take long time on buses or other transport due to traffic congestions caused by Occupy Central. She said the bureau had accessed the situation and decided it was not yet fit for kindergarten-aged children to take similar long and hard journeys.
As primary schools resumed classes today, Wong said 70 per cent of primary schools in Wan Chai reported that 30 to 40 per cent of students were late for 20 to 30 minutes. About 30 per cent of primary schools in Central and Western District reported that 10 to 25 per cent of students were late for between five to 30 minutes. She said fewer students in secondary schools were late today compared to on Monday.
Meanwhile, Helios Lau, Chief Clinical Psychologist of the Social Welfare Department said there had been six emotional problem cases reported related to Occupy Central. He said the cases were relatively mild and did not expect the number to rise drastically. Florence Hui, Under Secretary for Home Affairs, said she hoped that the government could start talk with the Hong Kong Federation of Students within this week.
6.15pm Admiralty: Student volunteers have stuck two HK$100 banknotes dropped by a visitor to the ground at the protest site outside Central Government Offices in Tamar. The message reads: "Do not pick these up, we don't know who dropped these. Wait for the owner to claim them back. "
6pm: A coalition of about 20 groups representing small and medium enterprises, led by Liberal Party lawmaker Felix Chung, called on Occupy Central supporters to retreat from the shopping districts of Mong Kok and Causeway Bay first, in order to allow businesses to resume normal hours.
"I understand that students are afraid they will no longer have any bargaining power [with the government over constitutional reform] once they stop occupying. It is difficult to ask them to retreat from all protest points at once. But at least we hope they can retreat from Mong Kok and Causeway Bay first and join the rally in Admiralty," Chung said.
The pro-business legislator said he had wanted to talk to the protest organisers and discuss this proposal, adding that he had sent a message to Occupy Central founder Benn Tai Yiu-ting on Saturday but had not heard back so far.
5.45pm: Police reiterate that they will use “appropriate action” towards rallying protesters in Mong Kok and called for citizens to leave the “high-risk area”. Police Public Relations Branch Chief Superintendent Steve Hui Chun-tak said senior officers at the protest site would evaluate the situation on the ground and take appropriate action in accordance with protesters’ behaviour. “If there is any violence at the scene, the police will take actions resolutely,” Hui said. So far, 39 people aged 18 to 71 have been arrested for being involved in violence between pro- and anti-Occupy Central groups in Mong Kok on October 3. Hui declined to reveal the number of the arrested with a suspected triad background.
Meanwhile, the total length of vehicle queues on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon due to road blockage caused by Occupy Central rallies reached 20.7 kilometres at one point yesterday, Lee Kwok-chung, Senior Superintendent of Traffic Branch Headquarters, confirmed. He added that a total of 2.9 kilometres of roads were affected by the rallies yesterday. Ambulances were called out 1,807 times yesterday, and in 127 instances the vehicles were unable to arrive within their allotted time. A total of 80 fire truck services were required yesterday, with six being unable to reach the destinations within the promised time.
5.30pm: An irate food distributor says business owners in Central may take down the barricades themselves if the Occupy Central movement goes on for much longer. Speaking at a press conference alongside legislators from Central-Western district, food distributor Lau Chong-sun says his business, which handles meat and vegetables on Gage Street and Graham Street, has gone from HK$40,000 worth of a transactions a day to just HK$20,000. “Why don’t you go occupy the New Territories? I’m just trying to make a living,” he said. “If this goes on, we’ll take down the barricades in Central. Give us a road to use!” Lau said a lot of other business owners shared similar sentiments.
District legislator Jackie Cheung Yick-hung warned demonstrators that because the protests had gotten in the way of people going to work and school, residents could not be expected to tolerate them indefinitely. “The patience that residents have towards these protestors is reaching breaking point,” Cheung said.
5.15pm Causeway Bay: About one hundred people are on the Yee Wo Street and Hennessy Road, either occupying the roads or simply engaging in conversations about politics in Hong Kong. No anti-Occupy protesters wearing blue ribbons are in the area near theSogo shopping mall. However some residents are complaining about the inconvenience caused by the protests. A group of protesters start singing "Happy Birthday" to an old man who was particularly aggressive towards them.
4.45pm: A group of Mong Kok residents and business owners complain that the ongoing sit-in has affected their daily lives and businesses at a forum held in a park for people to express their grievances. An investor in a restaurant chain, who only gives his surname as Cheung, says he has a couple of restaurants in Causeway Bay and Mong Kok. He says takings at his restaurant chain are down HK$100,000 per day since the protests started 10 days ago. "In the short term, we could still hang in there. The impact has not emerged yet," he says. "We have no plans to ask our staff to go on unpaid leave to minimise losses."
4.20pm: Frank Ching writes that the students' achievement in highlighting to the world Hong Kong's fight for democracy could help enable change.
— SCMP VideoMoJo (@SCMPVideoMoJo) October 7, 2014
3.45pm: This table from the Hong Kong Journalists Association details attacks on reporters covering the protests …
3.30pm: The number of protesters at all sites may be dwindling but those still there seem just as determined to continue as they were at the start of the demonstrations 10 days ago.
Occupy supporter Peter Wong, 23, has even brought a bed to the Mong Kok protest site to dig-in for the long term, if necessary.
"I bought the bed to mark the 10th day here at this movement. This is going to be a long fight and there is no reason not to make myself comfortable," he says.
"The government is not treating Hong Kong people as human. If we don't get democracy this time I doubt if we are ever going to get it."
3pm: Hong Kong has become the second largest market for FireChat, a mobile messaging app which allows users to communicate in chat rooms without mobile networks, since the Occupy Central movement started a week ago.
2.35pm: In Mong Kok, Occupy protester Marco Ho says he drew a divination stick for the movement at a Sha Tin temple, which says that "the students will win a little and the government lose a little".
"The guy in the temple who interpreted the stick for me also said there will not be big casualties," says Ho, a 40-year-old renovation worker.
Ho says he joined the movement when students began a class boycott. He has only gone to work twice since then. But he has no regrets as says he feels the need to protect the students.
He believes that the prospect of Beijing giving Hong Kong true democracy may not be likely, and hopes the Federation of Students will not be "too greedy" in discussions with the government.
2.20pm: Perhaps fed up of queuing outside restaurants, hundreds of office workers enjoy an al fresco lunch with the Occupiers in Admiralty.
White-collar workers took to the streets this afternoon for a break, many of them enjoying a stroll in temperatures that have dropped a few degrees Celsius since the height of summer.
2.05pm: Legco president Jasper Tsang says the decision to postpone tomorrow's council for a week was made after considering the unprecedented circumstances, under which no one could guarantee an unobstructed and safe passage for all members concerned to attend the meeting.
He admits that the Occupy movement has been peaceful and many people are now free to move around in the area near the government headquarters in Admiralty, but he believes the topics scheduled for debate in tomorrow's meeting – on the government and police's handling of Occupy – would only stimulate the emotions of people from both sides, and is likely to draw a larger crowd into the area.
He stresses the council meeting would not be deferred forever as he would look for ways to put in place a better arrangement for next week.
"We are considering some ways ... such as to negotiate whether the crowd would clear a passage for vehicles to enter the complex, or to hold the council meeting in another venue," he says.
"May I stress this decision is only made under these very exceptional circumstances. This is definitely the first time when the access around the Legco complex has been completely blocked by protesters."
He also says inviting police to maintain order in the area around Legco is not a good idea as it would trigger even more emotion among the protesters.
His decision was made this morning after receiving a letter signed by 41 pro-establishment lawmakers last night urging a halt to the council meeting. Some government officials also expressed concern for their personal safety, he said.
Pan-democrats have challenged Tsang's decision, saying that it is a stalling tactic for the government to avoid responsibility on its handling of peaceful protesters.
"[The government] cannot avoid this forever," says the Civic Party's Alan Leong Kah-kit. "We will still insist to debate on the government and police handling of peaceful protesters outside the complex. [The pro-Beijing camp in] Legco does not have the courage to stand up and defend what the government did to peaceful protesters outside the complex."
1.30pm: Debates continue in Causeway Bay, only less vociferously now. Another group of passersby, including some moderate and less vocal dissenters, has entered the occupied area to talk to protesters about politics in Hong Kong and economic inequality.
The site has been quiet all day – bar the odd shouting match – but it has once again drawn passing Hongkongers, tourists and policemen.
1.10pm: More scenes of confrontation in Causeway Bay, where a small but angry group of men face off with protesters outside the Sogo department store.
"I don't care about democracy!" shouts a man with grey hair, wearing a Standard Chartered Marathon T-shirt. The heated argument draws murmurs of approval from some passersby and attracts as many as 30 onlookers.
"I've had to look for a new route to take every day, and I can't go to work,” the man complains “We'll all be democratic once we all have work. You students don't know anything! Your parents take care of you and you just sit here all day. Not even the cops dare touch you now. You're gods!"
When the man begins to swear, an older protester starts screaming back. He says he recognises this group of dissenters and adds that they come by every day. Police step in to keep both parties from coming to blows, as the arguments rumble on.
1pm: Some photos just in from the Admiralty protest site, where things are pretty quiet …
12.30pm: A Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability, scheduled to take place in the city this week, is a casualty of the protests as organisers announce the three-day event is cancelled.
Co-organisers the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Asia Society Hong Kong Centre say they took the “difficult decision” to cancel the event “due to the sustained disruptions in the city”, adding that they will explore options for an alternative date.
12.10pm: More from Legco, where pro-Beijing DAB lawmaker Ip Kwok-him says the group urged Jasper Tsang last night to postpone tomorrow's Legco meeting as the traffic in Admiralty remains blocked by protesters.
The Labour Party's Cyd Ho Sau-lan says it is unnecessary to postpone the meeting as the traffic is not affected much and the protest has been peaceful.
11.55am: A middle-aged woman with short black hair, glasses and a blue shirt stops by the protest area in Causeway Bay to berate protesters for blocking the road.
"Why are you blocking the streets for no reason? What's so good about universal suffrage? Look at the US and all the chaos over there because of democracy!" she yells.
One female protester tries to argue, but the conversation becomes increasingly heated and three policemen step in to keep them apart. The handful of remaining protesters sing “happy birthday” to cover up her shrieks. Other passersby try to hold the woman back.
"These children are ignorant Mong Kok residents, traitors and dogs!" she shouts, before leaving.
11.45am: A group of pan-democrat lawmakers is currently meeting with Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing over the decision this morning to cancel tomorrow’s Legco session due to the Occupy movement.
Legco was scheduled to resume tomorrow after the summer break. Tsang will meet the press to explain the decision after the meeting.
11.30am: A real estate firm is expressing regret after one of its agents in a Facebook post yesterday called on those disgruntled by the protests to "occupy" Joshua Wong Chi-fung’s home – publishing what he said was the Scholarism convenor’s address.
Rylie Ip, an associate district manager of Midland Realty, said Wong should "put himself into others' shoes". The post published an address on Hong Kong Island, saying it was Wong's home and asking people to surround it. But Wong later said it was not his home address.
The company issued a statement saying the Facebook post was a staff member’s personal view and expressed regret that the message had "caused public discontent".
In response to concerns over a possible breach of privacy by publishing clients' addresses, the company said it respects clients' privacy and would not tolerate any act breaching the law. Ip could not be reached for comment.
— Phila Siu (@phila_siu) October 7, 2014
11am: It’s been largely peaceful and quiet in Mong Kok so far this morning, bar the odd spontaneous verbal jousting match between those for and against the Occupy movement.
"Just because there are many people occupying this place doe not mean you are right. My grandchildren are very well educated. If you people were also educated, you wouldn’t be bringing chaos to this city," an elderly anti-Occupy woman says, as she draws a dozen people to engage in a street debate.
But Occupy supporters try to persuade her that they are protesting for Hong Kong’s future.
"I understand that we are bringing inconvenience to some people by blocking the roads. But we are doing this for Hong Kong," says 15-year-old Crystal Kong.
"When such scuffles happen we try to be peaceful by, for example, singing a happy birthday song to ease the tension."
Kong says she was among the first group of people who occupied Mong Kok last Sunday after police fired tear gas outside government headquarters in Admiralty. She respects some protesters' decision to abandon Mong Kok for Admiralty, but she is staying put.
10.45am: Writing in his Lai See column, Howard Winn warns that the Umbrella movement is heading for an unhappy ending.
10am: Volunteer attendants continue to keep the public toilets clean around the Admiralty protest site.
Polly Lui, 40, a health assistant at a hospital, has been helping out after work since last Sunday.
"I first saw young students do the cleaning in the toilet and was so touched by it,” she says “They probably did not lift a finger to do housework at home before, but now they are doing that here for everyone.”
All the daily necessities a woman needs can be found at the toilet, including shampoo, facial cleanser, cotton buds, tampons, contact lens cleaner and other cosmetics – all there to be shared among protesters. And the toilet is yet to run out of tissue since the protests started.
"If the toilet is clean, everyone feels more at ease being here," Lui says.
9.40am: Defiant protester Lam Poa-yuen, a 36-year-old flight attendant, says she arrived in Causeway Bay this morning after taking her child to primary school.
She’s been coming to the protest site as often as she can because she works irregular hours, and usually comes at night when her children and family are asleep.
“Whenever I have time, I come to this area in Causeway Bay because I feel like they need more people here. I was very tired yesterday so I didn't come at night. I felt bad about that so I'm here now,” she says.
“Everyone deserves the right to vote for their leader. As the government has ignored our rallies and polls, this is the only way to make ourselves heard.
“I'm not going to rest. I'll leave when there's no one else here and there's nothing I can do. I won't accept it if nothing changes after these protests. If that happens, we should escalate until the government caves in.
“There are maybe 500 people here in the evenings. There was one or two days when there were very few people here and morale was low.
“Maybe a lot of parents will say we're getting in the way of people going to work or school. I think that's extremely selfish. This is a short-term sacrifice of a few days for the greater goal of democracy. Do they want their children to live in a place where the government can blatantly do whatever it wants?”
9.30am: Volunteers at Admiralty announce over a loudspeaker that a member of the public has donated boxes of egg tarts for breakfast, as protesters wake up in the sun and enjoy their food.
Free coffee and tea are also available at the resource centre.
9.15am: Some parents taking their children to school in Wan Chai this morning say that protests have added up to 20 minutes to their commute:
“Of course we're affected,” says Winnie Tang Ka-mun, 46, whose son is in primary school year four. “We walked to school. The school bus was running, but we wanted to avoid traffic.
“My son's school assigned quite a bit of homework so I'm not too worried about his education.
“I think the protesters are well-intentioned, but their tactics aren't very smart. Not everyone will blame the government for the disruption. Why not just Occupy Central? How many places do they need to block?”
9.05am: As Tim Wa Avenue outside the chief executive's office remains blocked by protesters, this morning’s Executive Council meeting is being held at Leung Chun-ying's Government House residence.
By 9am, at least seven ministers, including chief secretary Carrie Lam, justice secretary Rimsky Yuen, and ministers for commerce, development, labour, environment and constitutional affairs had arrived in their cars.
None of the officials stopped to answer the media's questions.
9am: Some 20 protesters are outside the entrance to the chief executive’s office at Tim Wa Avenue.
Alexandra Wong, a 58-year-old retired accountant, says she has been protesting since day one. She says very few people chose to stay overnight at this location because of poor air quality and the noisy environment.
But she says she will fight till the end. “If not, the government would not make a sincere promise," she adds.
Social worker Issac Wong says he stays at the chief executive’s office because he hopes the city's leader, Leung Chun-ying, can listen to the voice of the people.
8.50am: Civil servants are turning up for work at government headquarters in Admiralty, accessing their offices through the footbridge from Admiralty Centre, where a small passage has been left for them to walk through the partially blocked entrance. Another passage through Citic Tower footbridge remains completely blocked.
Reporters ask Bernadette Linn Hon-ho, director of the Lands Department, if she had a smooth trip to the office. She said it was "quite good" but added: "[I] hope the roads will be unblocked as soon as possible."
8.45am: Rick Tang, convenor of the China Rule of Law Forum, writes that protesters should leave now – or be made to leave by force – so we can begin to build a solid democratic system within the Basic Law.
8.30am: A Post reporter on the ground estimates there are just 31 protesters at the Causeway Bay site.
Meanwhile, in Mong Kok there are still some 100 demonstrators.
8am: Crowd estimates by our reporters on the ground:
Mong Kok: 100
7.45am: Lucas Wong Wing-ki, 22, a self-proclaimed part-time magician with a higher diploma in computer studies, treats protesters to a morning magic show. He gets a few rounds of applause from a sparse crowd of sleepy protesters.
His trick of choice: placing a bottle cap upside down on the mouth of a bottle and flicking a playing card in between.
"The cards represent Hong Kong people, the cap represents an objective," he said. "It might take many tries but whether or not you can hit the target depends on how hard you take action."
He said the manifestation of Occupy Central was in and of itself "magical". "I hope the magic will not die."
7.30am: Commuters are leaving their homes early on Tuesday as primary schools in Wan Chai, Central and Western districts resume classes.
7.15am: It's morning in Admiralty and about 200 protesters remain scattered across Harcourt Road and Connaught Road Central after another trouble-free night. Temperatures have dropped to a breezy 24 degrees overnight - perfect weather for an extra few minutes of shut-eye.
7am: The Post's front-page on Tuesday:
6.45am: Here are some excerpts of our Occupy Central coverage on Tuesday:
As protests continue for a second week in the city, speculation is mounting over the so-called though train scheme that's set to allow cross-border stock trading with Shanghai by this month as the authorities are still refusing to provide a clear launch date.
There were limits to the exceptions granted to Hong Kong by the central government, the latest Beijing commentary on the Occupy sit-ins said.
A former aide to late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher says it is naive to expect Beijing to yield to Occupy Central's demands.
Retailers reported a decline in sales of between 30 per cent and 40 per cent in the first five days following the National Day holiday on October 1.
A willingness to listen to reason has also been shown by protesters in allowing limited access to government headquarters in Admiralty so that civil servants can return to work.
6.35am: A round-up of the front-pages in the local Chinese press:
Mingpao: Federation of Students and government might enter talks this week. Agreement reached on three principles in preparatory meeting.
Apple Daily: "Shanghai Boy" chief protégé helped mess up Occupy Mong Kok. A ploy by the Ministry of State Security.
Oriental Daily: Occupy Central campaign continues to rage, paralysing LegCo.
The Sun: 13-year-old elite school girl arrested after hacking into government computer network for Occupy Central
Singtao: CY Leung hints at enforcing laws with iron fist as he urges students to leave Mong Kok
6.30am: Here's a summary of what happened in the night to Tuesday:
* Federation of Students leaders met with constitutional affairs undersecretary Lau Kong-wah at the University of Hong Kong to discuss preparations for a dialogue with Carrie Lam.
Both sides agreed the talks should be held “this week” and that it should not be a one-off dialogue, but they are still at odds on the venue and format.
* Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office has released a report on the economic impact of the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.
It said that, barring any "unexpected escalation", the protests would have few long-term economic effects.
* It was a mostly peaceful evening at the protests camps, punctuated by some minor confrontations.
A local news crew was forced to stop its reporting on Harcourt Road in Admiralty when protesters started loudly jeering over what they perceived as the network’s conservative coverage of Occupy.
And in the wee hours, a drunk man showed up near the government HQ to lecture protesters on why they should leave and why they should be grateful to Beijing.
6am: Read a detailed run-down of last night's events.