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The Latest: Protesters against Hong Kong legislation gather

HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on the controversy over Hong Kong’s extradition laws (all times local):

11 p.m.

Protesters in Hong Kong opposed to legislation that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China are gathering outside the semiautonomous Chinese territory’s legislature amid plans for further demonstrations and strike actions on Wednesday morning.

The administration of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam plans to open debate on the legal amendments on Wednesday. Opponents say making it easier to send suspects to China constitutes an erosion of Hong Kong’s judicial independence and Western-style freedoms.

A protest Sunday against the legislation brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets.

The planned legal changes have become a lightning rod for concerns about Beijing’s increasing control over the former British colony, which retained its own legal and social institutions after its return to Chinese rule in 1997.

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5:30 p.m.

The head of Hong Kong’s legislature has announced the schedule for debate on contentious changes to the territory’s extradition laws, setting a vote by June 20.

Legislature President Andrew Leung said Tuesday that he had accepted 153 out of 238 proposed amendments to the bills. He said there would be 66 hours for debate.

Hundreds of thousands of people protested against the legislation on Sunday in the largest demonstration in Hong Kong in more than a decade.

The turnout reflected growing apprehension about relations with the Communist Party-ruled mainland.

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5:10 p.m.

Local media reports in Hong Kong say police are mobilizing thousands of additional officers to keep order amid calls for protesters to begin gathering Tuesday night to oppose a highly contentious extradition bill.

Some businesses have also announced plans to close on Wednesday and scattered reports told of students planning to boycott classes.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory over the weekend to protest the legislative proposal that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China. The protest appeared to be Hong Kong’s largest in more than a decade and reflected growing apprehension about relations with the Communist Party-ruled mainland.

The full Hong Kong legislature is expected to resume debate on the amendments on Wednesday, and a vote is expected this month.

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11:10 a.m.

Hong Kong’s leader says a highly controversial extradition law will proceed to the territory’s legislature.

Carrie Lam’s comments on Tuesday came after hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory over the weekend to the legislative proposal that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China. The protest appeared to be Hong Kong’s largest in more than a decade and reflected growing apprehension about relations with the Communist Party-ruled mainland.

Lam said the government had considered concerns from the private sector and altered the bill to improve human rights safeguards.

The full Hong Kong legislature is expected to resume debate on the amendments on Wednesday, and a vote is expected this month.

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