Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung said Thursday that his government is ready to start talks with students leading protests that are in their third week in the Chinese territory. He said at a press conference that he hopes the talks will begin next week and that he will ask university vice-chancellors to act as moderators. The announcement comes as the protests, which had been flagging, gained new traction due to outrage over police violence and allegations of police brutality in the beating of a pro-democracy demonstrator. The government has vowed to investigate the beating, apparently by plainclothes officers, which has been seen in a grainy video broadcast all over the city. A week ago the government shelved planned talks between the students and Hong Kong’s second-ranking public official, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, saying such a dialogue would not be productive.