Raw Politics in full: Hong Kong protests, Commission horse-trading, Italy migration crackdown

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By Shoshana Dubnow
Protesters march during a demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong, China June 12, 2019.
Protesters march during a demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong, China June 12, 2019.   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Tyrone Siu   -   Protesters march during a demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong, China June 12, 2019.

Hong Kongers protest against extradition bill

Thousands of protesters in Hong Kong have taken to the streets for a second day, blocking roads and erecting barricades around government headquarters.

Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Protesters are demonstrating against a new extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial. Those opposed to the new bill say critics of Beijing could be arbitrarily extradited and face torture, detentions or forced confessions.

In response, the government has promised legally binding safeguards.

This week's protests are the largest Hong Kong has seen since the handover to China in 1997.

European Commission president horse-trading continues

Members of the centre-right European People's Party descended on San Sebastián for its "study days," where the Parliament group will work on finding ways to get their lead candidate, Manfred Weber, installed as the next European Commission president.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday teased support for his German counterpart, floating Chancellor Angela Merkel as another contender to fill Jean-Claude Juncker's shoes.

"I won't speak for Angela Merkel, but should she want it, I would support her," said Macron. "I think we need someone strong."

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group is teaming up with Macron's La Republique En Marche party for some rebranding.

The pair has chosen a new name: Renew Europe.

Italy's migration measures spark controversy

Italy's government on Tuesday passed an emergency decree that would limit the entry of ships into Italian waters.

The measure also targets NGOs with fines if they dock in the country without authorisation.

Rescue groups said the controversial decree is an attack on those conducting missions in the Mediterranean.

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said the measure is needed for security.