Trump faces criticism over Hong Kong protest response

The president said: "I hope it works out for everybody, including China, by the way."
Image: An exterior view of the Metropolitan Correctional Center jail where financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead
An exterior view of the Metropolitan Correctional Center jail where financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in the Manhattan borough of New York City.Jeenah Moon / Reuters

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By Patrick Smith

Good morning, NBC News readers.

The situation in Hong Kong continues to escalate, with President Donald Trump facing criticism for his response. We also have the latest on the Jeffrey Epstein story... and even some surfing dogs.

Here's what we're looking at this morning:


Democrats criticize Trump's response to Hong Kong democracy protests

Riot police use pepper spray to disperse anti-extradition bill protesters at the Hong Kong international airport on Aug. 13, 2019.Thomas Peter / Reuters

Democrats were lining up Tuesday to attack the president's stance on the increasingly tense and violent clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

Protesters were met by police in riot gearwho used tear gas in the main terminal at Hong Kong International Airport, which had become a base for a movement that's calling for the territory's historic democratic rights to be protected and extended.

Asked by a reporter if the Chinese should show restraint against the demonstrators, Trump said, "We’ll see what happens. But I’m sure it’ll work out. I hope it works out for everybody, including China, by the way. I hope it works out for everybody."


Epstein investigation looking into whether prison guards were asleep

The Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York on Aug. 13, 2019.Mary Altaffer / AP

The investigation into how financier Jeffery Epstein was able to apparently take his own life in a federal jail at the weekend will ask whether the two guards tasked with watching his cell were asleep when he died.

Two officials familiar with the investigation told NBC News on Tuesday that this was an active line of inquiry and that no conclusions have been reached by investigators so far.

It also emerged Tuesday that those two guards have been placed on leave, and that Lamine N'Diaye, the warden at the Metropolitan Correction Center, had been reassigned to a different facility.

Epstein's official cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Also on the site today, NBC News reporter Jon Schuppe writes that the Epstein case highlights how little is known about suicides in prison.


Comedian Andy Dick taken to hospital after attack outside New Orleans club

Andy Dick arrives at the premiere of "Takers" in 2010.Gus Ruelas / Reuters file

Police are investigating after grainy video was released showing the comedian Andy Dick being viciously punched to the ground outside a club in New Orleans early Saturday morning.

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Dick, 53, had performed a comedy set at a venue in the city's French Quarter on Friday night. He was approached by a man in dark clothing and was struck in the head, apparently without provocation.

Dick was taken to a local hospital and observed for a "possible brain bleed."


Utah teen killed by falling rocks at Glacier National Park, Montana

Officials confirmed that a 14-year-old girl from Utah died after the vehicle in which she was travelling was hit by falling rocks at a national park Monday.

Glacier National Park said in a statement that rocks shattered the windscreen and also hurt her parents and two other children, but those injuries were described as minor.

The name of the girl has not been released. An air ambulance was called but was unable to airlift her to a hospital because of "her unstable condition" the park said.

The park said a 14-year-old girl died in a rockfall that struck the vehicle she was in (Pat Cummings)


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Plus

  • Food safety experts have expressed concern that Tyson, one of the country’s largest meatpackers, is petitioning the government to reduce the number of inspectors at one of its plants.
  • A 22-year-old man who pleaded guilty to murdering an Iowa State University golfer has apologized for the killing.

THINK about it

Academia needs to find ways to broaden the dialogue on college campuses so that students, both on the left and the right, understand politics from more than one point of view, according to Matthew Woessner, associate professor of political science at Penn State-Harrisburg and Robert Maranto, from the University of Arkansas.


Better

Social media itself may not cause harm, but for teenage girls it could "disrupt activities that have a positive impact on mental health," according to a new study. So the impact of social media apps need not be negative, but girls should be encouraged to get enough sleep, get exercise and learn to deal with cyber-bullying, the study says.


Quote of the day

"When we first met, that feeling came to each one of us, to each other, and we've been together ever since. We were going to live together and die together, that was our plan."

— Harry Dean Reckard, whose wife Margie was among those killed in the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas last week.


One fun thing

These really are the dog days of summer. About 50 dogs recently competed in the World Dog Surfing Championship at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica, California. The competition raises money for various dog-related charities. Congratulations to Cherie, the winner of the competition's Top Dog award.


Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: patrick.smith@nbcuni.com.If you'd like to get the Morning Rundown in your inbox every weekday, you can sign up here.

Thanks, Patrick Smith.