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News ID: 103535
Publish Date : 11 June 2022 - 21:32
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PATNA, India (AFP) – Indian police shot dead two protesters and arrested more than 130 others during street rallies sparked by a ruling party official’s remarks about Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), authorities told AFP Saturday. There have been widespread protests in the Muslim world since last week, when a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party made the sacrilegious remarks about the revered prophet of Islam on a TV debate show. In India and neighboring countries, Muslims took to the streets in huge numbers after Friday prayers to condemn the remarks, with police firing on a crowd in the eastern Indian city of Ranchi.  Authorities cut internet connections and imposed a curfew, with local resident Shabnam Ara telling AFP the atmosphere remained tense on Saturday. “We are praying for peace and harmony,” she said. Police in Uttar Pradesh fired tear gas to disperse at least one rally after several demonstrations were staged across the northern Indian state.
Most protests ended peacefully but demonstrators in some cities threw stones at police and injured at least one officer, said Avanish Awasthi, a senior government secretary in the state.
 
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PYONGYANG (AFP) – North Korea has appointed veteran diplomat Choe Son-hui as its first female foreign minister, state media reported Saturday. Choe, who formerly served as the North’s vice foreign minister, was tapped to lead the foreign ministry at a ruling party meeting overseen by leader Kim Jong-un, the state media KCNA reported. She replaces Ri Son Gwon, a former military official who previously led talks with the South. A career diplomat who speaks fluent English, Choe served as a close aide to Kim during nuclear talks with the United States and accompanied the North Korean leader to summits with then U.S. president Donald Trump. She held a rare question and answer session with reporters on the night the two leaders’ summit in Hanoi collapsed without a deal in February 2019, blaming Washington for the failed talks. “I think the United States has missed a golden opportunity with its rejection of our proposals,” she said. The appointment comes as political tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have escalated in recent weeks. The United States says it has evidence that shows North Korea is preparing to conduct a seventh nuclear test. US officials claim there are new signs of construction at Punggye-ri, North Korea’s only known nuclear test site.
 
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LA PAZ (AP) – Former Bolivian interim president Jeanine Anez has been sentenced to a 10-year prison term more than a year after being arrested on charges of leading a U.S.-backed plot in 2019 to oust re-elected socialist president Evo Morales.
Anez will serve 10 years in a women’s prison in La Paz, the administrative capital’s First Sentencing Court announced on Friday in a ruling that came three months after her trial began. Convicted of crimes “contrary to the constitution and a dereliction of duties,” the former right-wing television presenter was sentenced to “a punishment of 10 years” over charges stemming from when she was a senator, before becoming president. Government prosecutors, however, had asked for a 15-year jail term for Anez, who has been held in pre-trial detention since March 2021 while dismissing her trial as “political persecution.” Also sentenced to 10 years were the former chief of Bolivia’s armed forces, William Kaliman, and the country’s ex-police chief Yuri Calderon -- both of whom have reportedly fled the country. This is while Anez still faces a separate, pending court case for sedition and other charges related to her short presidential tenure.
 
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ROME (Reuters) – Five people were killed after a helicopter crash in Italy, a regional governor said on Saturday, and two passengers were still missing two days after the aircraft vanished from radar screens. Eugenio Giani, the governor of the Tuscany region, wrote on Facebook the helicopter crashed in a mountain area at the border between Tuscany and the Emilia Romagna region. The bodies of the five dead were found on Saturday. The helicopter took off on Thursday from Lucca in Tuscany and was heading toward the northern city of Treviso when it disappeared from radar screens after hitting bad weather above a hilly, wooded area. Seven people were aboard the helicopter, including four Turkish businessmen working for Eczacibasi Consumer Products, a subsidiary of the major Turkish industrial group, Eczacibasi. They had been attending a paper technologies fair in Italy, the company said in a statement. According to Lebanese state news agency NNA, the other two passengers were Lebanese.
 
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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s capital Beijing is facing an “explosive” COVID-19 outbreak connected to a bar, a government spokesman warned on Saturday, as the commercial hub of Shanghai began mass testing to contain a jump in cases tied to a popular beauty salon. The warning followed a renewed tightening of COVID curbs in Beijing since Thursday, with at least two districts - including its most populous, Chaoyang - closing certain entertainment venues after a flare-up in a busy neighborhood known for its nightlife, shopping and streets of embassies. While China’s infection rate is low by global standards, President Xi Jinping has doubled down on a zero-COVID policy that authorities say is needed to protect the elderly and the medical system, even as other countries try to live with the virus. So far the country of 1.4 billion has seen a total of just 5,226 fatalities. The latest cases in Beijing were linked to a establishment known as Heaven Supermarket Bar. Infections have since surged, with Beijing saying on Saturday that all of the 61 new cases uncovered in the city on Friday had either visited the bar or had links to it.
 
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TUNIS (AFP) – A coalition of 10 rights groups have condemned a decree by Tunisian President Kais Saied firing scores of judges, describing it as a “deep blow to judicial independence.” The June 1 presidential decree saw Saied award himself the power to fire judges, and he duly sacked 57 of them, further cementing a power grab that began in July last year when he dismissed the government and suspended an elected parliament. The president disbanded parliament in March, adding to concerns that he has put the only country to emerge from the 2011 Arab Spring with a sustained period of democracy back on a path to autocracy. “The expansion of the president’s powers to summarily fire judges is a frontal assault on the rule of law,” 10 rights groups said in a statement, accusing him of delivering “a deep blow to judicial independence.” “Saied has removed whatever autonomy the judiciary in Tunisia still was able to exercise,” said Salsabil Chellali, Tunisia director at Human Rights Watch, one of the signatories.

 

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