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Hong Kong's government cancels Friday's talks with protesters

Hong Kong's government had previously agreed to meet with the Hong Kong Federation of Students on Friday, but it has now canceled the proposed talks.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said in a statement Thursday that the talks were "seriously undermined" by some of the student leaders' statements. "I truly regret that we will not be able to have a meeting tomorrow which will produce any constructive outcome," Lam said.

The cancellation comes hours after leaders of the pro-democracy protest called on protesters to redouble their efforts to occupy an area of highway surrounding a government building, an area they have dubbed "Umbrella Square" thanks to protesters' use of umbrellas to shield themselves from pepper spray and tear gas dispensed by police officers.

The protests on Hong Kong's streets have been ongoing since Sept. 28. The protesters want Hong Kong's government to stop Beijing from screening candidates for its 2017 elections, and have called for Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong's Chief Executive, to resign.