(Adds HIGHLIGHTS tag; includes Thursday’s events)
HONG KONG, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Fewer than 100 protesters remained holed up in a Hong Kong university on Thursday as riot police encircled the campus, with some activists still desperately searching for ways to escape while others hid.
Following is the latest news from the protests:
Wednesday, Nov. 20
— 9:33 a.m. (0133 GMT): Hong Kong government expresses deep regret over passage of the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” and another act on Hong Kong by the U.S. Senate, saying the acts are unnecessary and unwarranted.
— 10:36 a.m. (0236 GMT): Hong Kong’s Secretary for Security John Lee says 730 people were arrested on Tuesday, and nearly 900 people surrendered to the police, including 300 who are under 18. Lee says the government aims to resolve the situation in a peaceful and orderly manner.
— 11:00 a.m. (0300 GMT) Primary and secondary schools opened after a week of class suspensions. Public broadcaster RTHK said there was an armed police presence in some key areas due to reports of minor protests.
— 1:00 p.m. (0500 GMT) Hundreds of office workers rallied in the Central business district during their lunch break, the latest in more than a week of demonstrations in the heart of the city, home to some of the world’s most expensive real estate. The protests were largely peaceful with riot police containing the crowds which have thinned over the past eight days.
— 3:54 p.m. (0754 GMT) Some anti-government protesters trapped inside a Hong Kong university tried to flee through the sewers, where one student said she saw snakes, an escape route firemen ruled out on Wednesday by blocking the main campus trapdoor into the system.
— 4:00 p.m. (0800 GMT) British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned China’s treatment of a former employee of Britain’s Hong Kong consulate who said Chinese secret police beat him as they sought information about pro-democracy protests in the former British colony.
— 3:44 p.m. (0744 GMT) Sophia Chan, the city’s Health Secretary, told lawmakers that police wanted to keep secret the manufacturing details and chemical composition of tear gas used at protests for operational reasons.
— 4:17 p.m. (0817 GMT) Polytechnic University President Teng Jin-Guang told media that he or one of his staff would meet the remaining protesters outside the campus and escort them to the police station to make sure their cases were handled fairly.
— 4:59 p.m. (0859 GMT) Edward Yau, the city’s Commerce and Economic Development secretary, said the protests had affected Hong Kong’s international image and caused many to raise concerns regarding their personal safety.
— 7:06 p.m. (1106 GMT) Carrie Lam said on her Facebook page that she had met heads of special departments to require everyone to double their efforts to restore social order. She also met senior officials to clarify rumours and explain the latest situation to the outside world.
— 8:38 p.m. (1238 GMT) Hong Kong’s justice secretary said she had no opinion on an accusation of torture made against China by a Hong Kong citizen who worked at the British consulate in the city.
— 8:50 p.m. (1250 GMT) At least 10 demonstrators have left Polytechnic University’s campus, RTHK reported. Seven of them were accompanied by university staff to board an ambulance and some were covered in foil to keep them warm.
Thursday, Nov. 21
— 7:00 am (2300 GMT) State media outlet Xinhua said that the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in Hong Kong, Xie Feng, summoned the U.S. consul general to say that the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act was gross interference and a violation of international law.
— 9:57 am (0157 GMT) Lawmaker Kenneth Leung said it was ridiculous for police not to reveal the ingredients of the tear gas they are using, as people are concerned about the impact on their health, public broadcaster RTHK reported.
— 10:00 am (0200 GMT) Some protesters told Reuters they where holding out not for a showdown with police, but because they were innocent and still looking for an escape route.
Reporting by Donny Kwok and Farah Master