By Clare Jim and Diana Chan HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong police used pepper spray to disperse pro-democracy activists on Monday as the Asian financial center braces for a wave of disruptive protests against China's decision to rule out full democracy. China's National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee set the stage for a political showdown on Sunday when it rejected democrats' demands for the right to freely choose Hong Kong's next leader in 2017, leading scores of protesters to take to the streets. Scuffles broke out on Monday during a tense stand-off at the entrance to a center where a senior Chinese official was explaining Beijing's decision, prompting police to use pepper spray amid chaotic scenes inside and outside the venue. Activists from a movement called Occupy Central have threatened to lock down Hong Kong's financial district on an unspecified date unless Beijing grants full democracy.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani anti-government protesters stormed the state TV building on Monday, forcing the channel briefly off air as they clashed anew with police and pushed further into a sprawling government complex in the capital, Islamabad, in an effort to reach the prime minister's residence.
By Syed Raza Hassan and Maria Golovnina ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani soldiers and paramilitary forces entered the headquarters of the state television channel PTV in Islamabad on Monday after a crowd of protesters stormed the building and took the channel off the air. Protesters led by opposition leaders Imran Khan, a hero cricket player turned politician, and Tahir ul-Qadri, a firebrand cleric, have been on the streets for weeks trying to bring down the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Clashes broke out early on Monday and the state PTV channel and its English-language PTV World service were taken off the air after protesters stormed its headquarters in Islamabad. "PTV staff performing their journalistic duties are being beaten up." A PTV source told Reuters the protesters had occupied the main control room and smashed some equipment.