TIME Crime

Dashboard Video Shows Shooting Of Unarmed Driver

The 31-year-old former trooper is charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — A South Carolina state trooper’s dashboard video shows an unarmed driver being shot just seconds after he was stopped for a seatbelt offense — and the trooper, who was fired last week, has now been charged with assault.

As Levar Jones cried in pain waiting for an ambulance, he repeated one question: “Why did you shoot me?”

Jones’ painful groans and then-Trooper Sean Groubert’s reply — “Well you dove head first back into your car” — were captured by the camera.

Groubert’s boss, state Public Safety Director Leroy Smith, called the video “disturbing” and said “Groubert reacted to a perceived threat where there was none” as he fired the officer Friday.

The 31-year-old former trooper is charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. He was released after paying 10 percent of a $75,000 bond.

The dashboard camera video was released by prosecutors Wednesday night after they showed it at Groubert’s bond hearing.

Jones was stopped Sept. 4 as he pulled into a convenience store on a busy Columbia road. With the camera recording, Groubert pulls up without his siren on as Jones is getting out of his vehicle to go into the store.

“Can I see your license please?” Groubert asks.

As Jones turns and reaches back into his car, Groubert shouts, “Get outa the car, get outa the car.” He begins firing before he has finished the second sentence. There is a third shot as Jones staggers away, backing up with his hands raised, and then a fourth.

From the first shot to the fourth, the video clicks off three seconds.

Jones’ wallet can be seen flying out of his hands as he raises them.

Groubert’s lawyer, Barney Giese, said the shooting was justified because the trooper feared for his life and the safety of others. Police officers are rarely charged in South Carolina. In August, a prosecutor refused to file criminal charges against a York County deputy who shot a 70-year-old man after mistaking his cane for a shotgun during an after-dark traffic stop.

Groubert is white and Jones is black. Neither state police nor the FBI keep detailed statistics on the races of people in officer-involved shootings.

Much like the recent police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the racial aspect of the South Carolina shooting bothers state Rep. Joe Neal, an African-American lawmaker who has spoken out against racism in law enforcement for years.

“You are doing exactly what the police officer asked you do to and you get shot for it?” said Neal, D-Hopkins. “That’s insane.”

Neal said he doubts the trooper would have been charged without the video. South Carolina has nearly 300 police agencies, and many smaller forces don’t have dashboard cameras.

“If it had been the trooper’s story versus his story, I’m not sure anything happens,” Neal said.

Jones is recovering after being shot in the hip. He released a statement last week saying he hopes his shooting leads to changes in how police officers treat suspects.

“I thank God every day that I am here with a story to tell and hope my situation can make a change,” Jones said.

He and his lawyer have not spoken publicly since Groubert was charged Wednesday.

Groubert first worked for the Highway Patrol from September 2005 to September 2009. After going to work for the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, he returned to the state agency in July 2012.

This isn’t the first time Groubert fired his service weapon. In August 2012, Groubert and another trooper chased a man who drove away from a traffic stop and fired at the suspect after he shot first, according to the Highway Patrol. The suspect was convicted of attempted murder and is spending 20 years in prison.

Groubert was awarded the agency’s Medal of Valor Award for his actions in protecting the public.

So far in 2014 in South Carolina, police have shot at suspects 35 times, killing 16 of them, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. The number of officer-involved shootings has been steadily increasing over the past few years, with 42 reported in 2013.

TIME NFL

AP Source: Video Addressed to NFL Security Chief

Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice holds hands with his wife, Janay Palmer, as they arrive at Atlantic County Criminal Courthouse in Mays Landing, N.J., in May 2014.
Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice holds hands with his wife, Janay Palmer, as they arrive at Atlantic County Criminal Courthouse in Mays Landing, N.J., in May 2014. Mel Evans—AP

(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.) — The video of Ray Rice punching his fiancee inside a casino elevator was sent to NFL headquarters to the attention of league security chief Jeffrey Miller in April, a law enforcement official says.

The NFL has repeatedly said no one with the league saw the violent images until TMZ Sports released the video earlier this month. Miller said Thursday through an NFL spokesman that he never received the video.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release details of the case, said he doesn’t know if Miller ever saw the DVD or opened the package. His only communication with the NFL was a 12-second voicemail on April 9 from league offices confirming receipt of the package, in which a woman says, “You’re right. It’s terrible.”

The official told the AP two weeks ago that he sent the video to the NFL, but asked the AP not to report that he had addressed the package to Miller. He eliminated that restriction Thursday.

“Since the NFLPA and NFL have launched separate investigations into the league and the Ravens’ handling of Ray Rice’s case, I want to make a few things clear. No one from the NFL ever asked me for the inside-elevator video,” the official said Thursday. “I mailed it anonymously to Jeff Miller because he’s their head of security. I attached a note saying: ‘Ray Rice elevator video. You have to see it. It’s terrible.’ I provided a number for a disposable cellphone and asked for confirmation that it was received. I knew there was a possibility Mr. Miller may not get the video, but I hoped it would land in the right hands.”

Miller, in London preparing for the Raiders-Dolphins game Sunday, issued a statement to the AP Thursday night through an NFL spokesman.

“I unequivocally deny that I received at any time a copy of the video, and I had not watched it until it was made public on September 8,” he said.

Miller joined the league in 2008 as director of strategic security and was promoted to chief security officer in April 2011. Before joining the NFL, Miller spent nearly six years as the commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. He worked for the state police for 24 years.

At the NFL, Miller’s responsibilities include overseeing investigative programs and services. He is also in charge of event security and game integrity. When players get arrested, the NFL’s corps of investigators rarely get involved, leaving that to local law enforcement. The league’s security operatives gather court documents and police reports available to the public, but don’t ordinarily interview witnesses or gather evidence independently.

It remains unclear what happened to the video once it arrived at league offices. There are two NFL executives named Jeffrey Miller, but the law enforcement official didn’t know that, and intended it to go to the chief of security. The official said he wanted to make sure the NFL had the video before deciding on Rice’s punishment.

“My intention wasn’t to bring down Commissioner Goodell or anyone else at the NFL,” he said.

He said he didn’t know the identity of the woman who left him the voicemail. He said he chose Miller because of his law enforcement background, even though he didn’t know him personally.

Rice, a former Pro Bowl running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was arrested in Atlantic City on an assault charge for hitting Janay Palmer in February. A police summons stated that Rice had struck Palmer with his hand, knocking her unconscious. Rice has been accepted into New Jersey’s pretrial intervention program, which enabled him to avoid jail time and could result in having the charge expunged from his record.

Initially, Goodell suspended Rice — who has since married Palmer — for two games. After criticism, Goodell announced new stiffer penalties for future domestic violence cases. After video of the punch in the casino elevator was released, the Ravens cut Rice and Goodell suspended him indefinitely.

League and Ravens officials said they requested the video from law enforcement but were denied. ESPN and others have reported that the Ravens had a detailed description of the video shortly after Rice was arrested.

After the AP reported that the video was sent to NFL headquarters, Goodell announced that former FBI Director Robert Mueller would lead an internal investigation. That probe is ongoing, and there is no timetable for its completion.

The law enforcement official said he does not want to speak to NFL investigators, and Mueller, who is now in private practice with a Washington law firm with deep ties to the NFL, has no subpoena power. “I know nothing else about this case,” the official said.

Former FBI Chief of Staff Aaron Zebley, who is working with Mueller on the investigation, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

TIME Cyprus

345 People Rescued From Boat Stranded Off Cyprus

(LIMASSOL, Cyprus) — A cruise ship picked up hundreds of people, apparently refugees who fled Syria, who were stranded aboard a small boat off Cyprus on Thursday, officials said.

The Cypriot Defense Ministry the 345 people, including 53 children, would arrive at the country’s southern port of Limassol Thursday evening. They will then be taken to a reception center near the capital Nicosia where they will be given shelter and medical attention.

Salamis Cruise Lines Managing Director Kikis Vasiliou told The Associated Press that one of its cruise ships was instructed to change course and pick up the people packed aboard the smaller vessel.

The Defense Ministry said the boat issued a distress call early Thursday amid bad weather and had “most likely” set sail from Syria loaded with “civilian refugees.”

Vasiliou said the company received the request from Cypriot Search and Rescue authorities to assist in the rescue operation Thursday morning while the cruise ship was returning to Cyprus from the Greek islands.

The Defense Ministry said the small boat was located about 50 nautical miles off Cyprus’ southwestern coastal town of Paphos.

Vasiliou said the cruise ship, with a crew of 230 and a passenger capacity of 800, would be able to give refugees blankets, medical care and food while taking them to the Cypriot port of Limassol.

Thousands of migrants fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and northern Africa attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea in rickety boats in search of safe havens in Europe, and hundreds have died at sea.

TIME Ukraine

Ukraine’s Poroshenko Sure That Peace Is on the Way

(KIEV, Ukraine) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he believes the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in the east is on the wane and that peace efforts will work.

In a news conference Thursday outlining his plans for Ukraine over the next half-decade, Poroshenko said: “I have no doubt whatsoever that my peace plan will work and that the main and most dangerous part of the war is behind.”

His proposals were a foundation for agreements this month aimed at ending the conflict that has killed at least 3,500 people since mid-April. The first step was a cease-fire called three weeks ago that in the beginning was repeatedly violated. But in recent days, reports of violations have decreased notably.

Poroshenko also said he is working to arrange a meeting in the next several weeks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and that he believes there has been a “transformation” of Russia’s aims regarding Ukraine.

Russia at first wanted to tear apartment Ukraine, Poroshenko said, but now “the relationship with the Russia and the plans of Russia are changing.”

Ukraine and Western countries claim that Russia sent troops and equipment into eastern Ukraine to back the separatist rebels, which Russia denies.

Russia was a party to the talks that led to the cease-fire.

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he believes the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in the east is on the wane and that peace efforts will work.

In a news conference Thursday outlining his plans for Ukraine over the next half-decade, Poroshenko said: “I have no doubt whatsoever that my peace plan will work and that the main and most dangerous part of the war is behind.”

His proposals were a foundation for agreements this month aimed at ending the conflict that has killed at least 3,500 people since mid-April. The first step was a cease-fire called three weeks ago that in the beginning was repeatedly violated. But in recent days, reports of violations have decreased notably.

Poroshenko also said he is working to arrange a meeting in the next several weeks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and that he believes there has been a “transformation” of Russia’s aims regarding Ukraine.

Russia at first wanted to tear apartment Ukraine, Poroshenko said, but now “the relationship with the Russia and the plans of Russia are changing.”

Ukraine and Western countries claim that Russia sent troops and equipment into eastern Ukraine to back the separatist rebels, which Russia denies.

Russia was a party to the talks that led to the cease-fire.

TIME Crime

Suspect Captured in Case of Missing UVa Student

Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr
This undated photo provided by the Charlottesville Police Department, in Virginia, shows Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. AP

(RICHMOND, Va.) — A man charged with abducting a missing University of Virginia sophomore has been captured in Texas and is awaiting extradition — but there is still no sign of the student, authorities said.

Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. was arrested on a beach in the Texas community of Gilchrist by Galveston County Sheriff’s authorities, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo announced Wednesday night.

The capture came less than a full day after police announced they had probable cause to arrest Matthew on charges of abduction with intent to defile Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old sophomore who went missing on Sept. 13 in Charlottesville.

Longo said an intense search for Graham continues.

“This case is nowhere near over,” he told a news conference late Wednesday. “We have a person in custody but there’s a long road ahead of us and that long road includes finding Hannah Graham.”

Matthew was captured at a beach in the community of Gilchrist about 3:30 p.m. after police received a call reporting a suspicious person, the Galveston County Daily News reported. The newspaper quoted Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset as saying a deputy responding to the call found a man who had pitched a tent on the beach with his car parked nearby. Trochesset said a check of the car’s plates revealed it was the vehicle sought in connection to the case. Authorities were trying to get a warrant to search the car, he added.

A dispatcher at the sheriff’s office in Galveston referred questions about the arrest and timing of Matthew’s extradition to Charlottesville police, who did not provide details at the news conference and did not immediately respond to telephone messages afterward.

The case has spread fear through Charlottesville, a quiet community about 70 miles west of Richmond. Authorities have increased patrols and a late-night transportation program for students, who also have begun walking in pairs at night and are paying closer attention to their surroundings.

Graham was an alpine skier and alto saxophone player who had earned straight A’s six years in a row, according to family members and police. Graham met friends at a restaurant for dinner on Sept. 12 before stopping by two parties at off-campus housing units, authorities said. They said she left the second party alone, and sent a text message to a friend saying she was lost.

Surveillance videos showed her walking, and at some points running, past a pub and a service station and then onto the Downtown Mall, a seven-block pedestrian strip where police believe she entered a bar with Matthew.

The university said Matthew had been employed at the University of Virginia Medical Center since Aug. 12, 2012, as a patient technician in the operating room.

The charges against the 6-foot-2, 270-pound Matthew surprised Dave Hansen, who first met him about 11 years ago when Hansen served as an assistant pastor at an area church.

“I always thought he was a gentle giant, just a nice guy,” Hansen said. “He seemed genuine with his faith and spirituality. … I don’t see him doing this at all, but that’s usually the case, I guess.”

Hansen said he’s only kept up with Matthew through Facebook, but ran into him at the university’s medical center within the last year. He said the soft-spoken Matthew greeted him in an elevator with a high-five.

Matthew attended Liberty University from 2000 to 2002, said officials with the Lynchburg school founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. The school’s athletics website listed him as a defensive lineman on the football team.

More recently, he also served as a part-time volunteer for the football team at The Covenant School, a private Christian pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade school in Charlottesville. Officials said his involvement with the school began last month following interviews with the athletic director and head football coach, as well as normal background and reference checks.

After Matthew was named a person of interest in Graham’s disappearance, school officials said in a letter that he will “no longer be working with our football program while this matter is being clarified and resolved.”

While Matthew has had past brushes with the law, the details of those cases are not clear.

Online court records show Matthew was convicted of trespassing in 2010 but provide no details about the incident. Details also were unavailable for two other charges of assault and attempted grand larceny relating to a 2009 incident that were not prosecuted. Matthew, who had a taxi permit from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles from 2007 through 2010, also has several traffic infractions, records show.

The latest revelations came late Tuesday, when police, who have searched Matthew’s car once and his apartment twice, decided they had probable cause to charge him in the disappearance. Longo declined to say what new information police had, but authorities sent several items, including clothing, to a state forensics lab for testing.

TIME ebola

Sierra Leone to Cordon Off 3 Areas to Stop Ebola

A group of volunteers inform residents about Ebola and a lockdown in the Brookfield neighborhood of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sept. 19, 2014.
A group of volunteers inform residents about Ebola and a lockdown in the Brookfield neighborhood of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sept. 19, 2014. Samuel Aranda—The New York Times/Redux

(FREETOWN, Sierra Leone) — Sierra Leone restricted travel Thursday into and within three more “hotspots” of Ebola where 1.5 million people live, meaning that more than a third of the country’s population is now under quarantine.

Sierra Leone is one of the hardest hit countries in an Ebola outbreak sweeping West Africa that is believed to have killed more than 2,900 people, according to World Health Organization tolls published Thursday. The agency says the situation in Sierra Leone continues to deteriorate, driven primarily by a sharp increase of cases in the capital, Freetown.

In an address to the nation on Wednesday night, President Ernest Bai Koroma put Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba districts under isolation, meaning only people delivering essential services can enter and circulate within these areas. WHO also noted that these districts were seeing a rise in cases.

In other areas, including in the capital, homes will be put under quarantine when cases are identified, a government statement after the address said.

The Ebola outbreak, the largest ever, has also hit Liberia and Guinea and is believed to have sickened more than 6,200 people. An Ebola patient also slipped into Senegal from Guinea but the disease does not appear to have spread there. Nigeria has linked 20 cases to the disease and eight deaths after a man infected with Ebola traveled there from Liberia; the outbreak seems to have been contained there as well.

“Nigeria is free of the virus now but we know that to be permanently free from it, we must remain vigilant and work with WHO and the international community to eradicate it completely from our sub-region and forestall the possibility of its re-emergence on our shores through migration,” Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Wednesday night.

The outbreak’s unprecedented scale and geographic spread have pushed governments to impose severe measures, like the cordoning off of entire towns or regions. Last week, Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown, confining its 6 million people to their homes while health teams spread out to look for the sick and educate people about the disease.

That exercise revealed that the outbreak is worse than thought, the government said, with 160 Ebola cases found during the shutdown.

“There is a desperate need to step up our response to this dreaded disease,” the Sierra Leone government statement said. “The prognosis is that without additional interventions or changes in community behavior, the numbers will increase exponentially and the situation will rapidly deteriorate.”

Two districts near the outbreak’s epicenter — Kenema and Kailahun — had already been isolated. Liberia, the country hardest-hit by the disease, cordoned off areas of its capital at one point to slow transmission.

TIME United Kingdom

Cameron to Apologize to Queen for Indiscretion

(LONDON) — Prime Minister David Cameron will apologize to Queen Elizabeth II for disclosing details of a private conversation with her about the Scottish referendum.

Britain’s leader was overheard telling former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that the monarch appeared relieved that the Scots voted to stay in the United Kingdom.

Microphones picked up an unguarded Cameron describing how the queen “purred down the line” after hearing the results.

Conversations with the monarch are considered private and her views are rarely aired. Cameron said Wednesday he was sorry.

“It was a private conversation, but clearly a private conversation that I shouldn’t have had and won’t have again,” he said. “My office has already been in touch with the palace to make that clear and I will do so as well.”

TIME Qatar

Qatar Women Withdraw Over Asian Games Hijab Ban

"On the one hand, everyone wants more women to participate in these games and, on the other hand, they're discouraging Muslim women who want to play in hijab"

(INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA) — The Qatari women’s basketball team withdrew from the Asian Games on Thursday to protest an international rule that bans players from wearing Muslim headscarves in competition.

The dispute over the Qatari players’ refusal to remove their hijabs — regarded by some as a rule that discriminates against Muslim women — has created a major stir at the games and raised new questions about international rules banning the head coverings.

Qatar delegation leader Khalid al-Jabir said the team had decided to withdraw and was already preparing to return home.

The decision appeared to take by surprise games organizers, who have tried to portray the regional Olympic-style event as a showcase of diversity.

Qatar was due to play Nepal on Thursday afternoon but did not show up at the venue. Officials took their places, starting line-ups were distributed to the media and announced to the spectators, but none of the Qatari players arrived.

“We did not get any intimation from the Qatar team on whether they’ll come for the match or not,” technical delegate Heros Avanesian said. “We had no option but to wait for them before awarding the match to the other team.”

Al-Jabir said the team had no choice but to pull out.

“We’re not forfeiting games — we’re not being allowed to play,” al-Jabir had said before the game was supposed to start. “On the one hand, everyone wants more women to participate in these games and, on the other hand, they’re discouraging Muslim women who want to play in hijab.”

Although sports ranging from bowling to badminton allow hijabs to be worn during Asian Games competition, basketball’s world governing body does not allow them in international competition. The issue reached an impasse on Wednesday, when the Qatari women forced the issue by refusing to play without their hijabs against Mongolia.

Asian Games officials said they did not receive any instructions from FIBA to allow head coverings, and were simply following the rules which restrict the use of headgear, hair accessories, and jewelry when they awarded the result to Mongolia.

Such restrictions were initially designed for the safety of players, but have recently been challenged on cultural and religious grounds.

Regulations about head coverings in basketball came into focus this year when two male Sikh players from India were told to remove their turbans during the Asia Cup in July in China.

Earlier this month, FIBA said it was launching a two-year trial phase allowing some players to wear head coverings. But the Swiss-based FIBA issued a clarifying statement saying it “allows exceptions to be applied only at the national level and the Asian Games is an international event.”

FIBA will evaluate the rule again next year and determine whether to allow head coverings at some level of international competition from next summer. A full review in 2016 will decide if it will become a permanent rule change after the 2016 Olympics.

In Doha, Qataris interviewed by The Associated Press said the players should have been allowed to compete while wearing the hijab.

“The girls already have a lot of social pressures,” said bank employee Faisal Salman. “Their determination to play basketball or football should be supported and encouraged by the authorities and sports bodies. Instead (they are) preventing them and discriminating against them.”

TIME Hong Kong

Trouble in Hong Kong? Beijing Summons Tycoons

Xi Jinping, Tung Chee-hwa
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, meets with a delegation of Hong Kong's industrial and business circles headed by Tung Chee-hwa, left, in Beijing on Sept. 22, 2014 Rao Aimin—AP

Beijing has long courted the tycoons, who employ hundreds of thousands of people, for the influence they have in the capitalist enclave of Hong Kong

(HONG KONG )— As trouble brews in Hong Kong, who’s Beijing going to call? The billionaires.

With political tension in the southern Chinese financial hub at its highest in years, China’s leaders summoned dozens of the city’s tycoons earlier this week for talks.

The rare trip by the large contingent of business leaders to meet President Xi Jinping in Beijing highlighted the unlikely role that Hong Kong’s capitalists have played as longstanding supporters of China’s communist rulers.

“I see most of my old friends,” Xi said with a light chuckle as he sat down for the meeting with 70 of Hong Kong’s richest and most powerful people.

Seated next to him in the Great Hall of the People was billionaire businessman Li Ka-shing, Asia’s wealthiest person, who Xi greeted with a hearty double-handed handshake. Between them was Tung Chee-hwa, son of a shipping magnate who China anointed as Hong Kong’s first leader after taking back control of the former British colony in 1997. Other Hong Kong billionaires with interests in property, media, banking and finance and casinos filled out the ranks.

Beijing has long courted the tycoons, who employ hundreds of thousands of people, for the influence they have in the capitalist enclave of Hong Kong.

The meeting coincided with the start of a protest involving thousands of Hong Kong college students against Beijing’s refusal to grant democratic reforms that would let Hong Kong’s people have a genuine say in electing their own leader. It also came ahead of a planned rally by pro-democracy activists to “occupy” the Asian financial hub’s central business district as early as next week, which has raised the hackles of business leaders.

The central business district is Hong Kong’s “lifeline” as a global financial center and occupying it would be “tantamount to destroying the Great Wall” — a potent national symbol — billionaire property developer Lee Shau-kee told Hong Kong reporters after the meeting with Xi.

“Hong Kong will lose its advantage and its prosperity will wane. It’s unwise,” he said, calling for the organizers to stop.

Henry Tang, the heir to a Shanghai textile fortune and former senior government official, said Xi supports the Hong Kong government’s work and said candidates for Hong Kong leader must be “patriots.”

Beijing used the meeting to reinforce its message that candidates for Hong Kong leader in promised elections must first be screened by a committee in tune with the priorities of China’s leadership. The stance has sent tensions soaring in the former British colony. Surveys show the approval rating of the city’s Beijing-backed leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, is plummeting while distrust of China’s central government is at the highest level since the handover.

Discontent, especially among the young, is fuelled by a widening wealth gap that many blame on the billionaires, a large number of whom made their fortunes in property development and also sit on a panel that selects Hong Kong’s leader. Once revered for their business acumen, they’re now reviled for cozy ties with the government, which tightly controls the supply of land for development, making home ownership unaffordable for many.

Monday’s meeting was the first time that such a big delegation has travelled to the Chinese capital since 2003. That year, a similar group made the journey after more than half a million took to the streets to protest a deeply unpopular plan to introduce anti-subversion legislation.

For the tycoons, supporting China’s communist leaders ensures their business interests survive, analysts said.

“Beijing thinks that Hong Kong people are economic animals, so they think that if they can get the tycoons lobbying for support” there is a better chance residents will accept its decision to curb democratic reforms, said Willy Lam, a political analyst at Chinese University of Hong Kong.

As a reward for falling in line, “Beijing has given them reassurance that they will not be marginalized by huge Chinese companies,” said Lam.

Most of Hong Kong’s tycoons are private entrepreneurs who founded their own companies, in contrast with China’s big state-owned firms that have a growing presence in Hong Kong.

Investments by Hong Kong tycoons in mainland China is another source of political leverage for Beijing.

“Beijing thinks that these tycoons can be held hostage because of their big exposure in China,” said Lam. “The tycoons dare not go against Beijing simply because they have so much at stake in the China market.”

Hong Kong’s tycoons are also worried about other reforms demanded by democracy activists, chiefly replacing seats in the legislature held by business groups with directly elected ones, said Sonny Lo, a governance expert at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Big business is concerned that if its say in the legislature is eroded, the freewheeling capitalist hub could be put on a path to a European social welfare state by requiring companies to provide more benefits to workers, he said.

Last month, a Chinese legal scholar on a committee overseeing Hong Kong’s mini-constitution made a rare acknowledgement that these concerns are also on Beijing’s mind.

“To some business elites, if the democrats can capture the entire Legislative Council, then social welfarism would likely be the result that would undermine the economic prosperity of Hong Kong,” Lo said.

TIME Crime

Man Charged With Abducting Va. Student Apprehended

Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr
This undated photo provided by the Charlottesville Police Department, in Virginia, shows Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. AP

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Police say they have captured the man charged in the disappearance of a University of Virginia student.

Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said Wednesday that 32-year-old Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. is in custody in Galveston, Texas. Matthew is charged with abduction with intent to defile in the case of 18-year-old Hannah Graham, who has been missing since Sept. 13.

Police had been looking for Matthew since Sept. 20, when he sped away from officers who had him under surveillance after he left the Charlottesville police station. He had gone there with his mother and uncle to ask for a lawyer after police searched his car and apartment and said they wanted to question him about Graham’s disappearance.

Graham vanished after leaving an off-campus party alone.

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