The Latest: Hong Kong flights take off as protesters return

HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on Hong Kong protests (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Flights have been taking off from the Hong Kong airport as it works through a backlog of cancelled flights while a few thousand protesters have once again occupied the arrival hall.

Some flights Tuesday were still cancelled. It was not immediately clear whether they were affected by the current demonstration, as occurred Monday, when about 200 flights were cancelled and airport completely shut down amid a mass protest.

The airport authority said they were implementing flight rescheduling Tuesday. The authority urged passengers "to use public transportation and allow sufficient time to go to the airport."

Hong Kong has seen two months of anti-government demonstrations that have increasingly impacted day-to-day operations in the financial hub.

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10:30 a.m.

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Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has defended law enforcement actions after protesters prompted an airport shutdown with calls to investigate alleged police brutality.

Airlines early Tuesday were checking in passengers for flights, including those cancelled the previous day because thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators had packed into the airport's main terminal.

Demonstrators have called for an independent inquiry into what they call the police's abuse of power and negligence. Some protesters thrown bricks, eggs and flaming objects at police stations.

Lam told reporters that dialogue would only begin when the violence stopped. She reiterated her support for the police and said they have had to make on-the-spot decisions under difficult circumstances, using "the lowest level of force."

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8 a.m.

One of the world's busiest airports was struggling to reopen the morning after thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators crowded into Hong Kong's main terminal and forced flight cancellations.

Passengers were checking in for flights Tuesday morning in a sign operations were returning to normal, although protesters have shown no sign of letting up on their campaign to force Chief Executive Carrie Lam's administration to respond to their demands.

About 200 flights had been canceled.

Passengers unable to leave on Monday were among those crowding in the departure hall.

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