Tag Archives: violence

GOP Rep. Questions Dems’ Commitment to Stopping Gun Violence at Whitaker Hearing

GOP Rep. Questions Dems’ Commitment to Stopping Gun Violence at Whitaker HearingRepresentative John Ratcliffe (R., Texas) questioned his Democratic colleagues’ commitment to preventing gun violence on Friday, citing their lack of questions pertaining to the issue during acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee. “Earlier this week my colleagues on the other side of the aisle indicated they had a great desire to reduce gun violence in this country. In fact we had an eight-hour hearing with six witnesses that talked about the need to reduce gun violence in this country,” Ratcliffe said.



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US House holds first hearings on gun violence and climate change in 8 years

US House holds first hearings on gun violence and climate change in 8 yearsThe US House of Representatives on Wednesday saw its first committee hearings on climate change and gun control in eight years following Democrats’ victory over Republicans in last year’s Congressional elections. A hearing on gun violence was held at the same time, also a first in eight years, in a sign of changing times on Capitol Hill. Democrats retook control of the lower House in January after eight years of Republican majority.



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US lawyer Avenatti won't face felony domestic violence charges

US lawyer Avenatti won't face felony domestic violence chargesMichael Avenatti, the lawyer who represented an adult film star engaged in a legal battle with Donald Trump, will not face felony domestic violence charges, a spokesman said Friday. “Although we decline to file charges at this time, this matter remains open and we may file charges at any time prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations,” Los Angeles prosecutor spokesman Frank Mateljan said.



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Oil sanctions. Deadly violence. Dire economy. How the Venezuelan crisis could affect US

Oil sanctions. Deadly violence. Dire economy. How the Venezuelan crisis could affect USThe Trump administration’s push to oust Venezuela’s President Nicholas Maduro has wide-ranging implications.



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Netanyahu pledges 'lethal' response to Gaza violence after blocking aid

Netanyahu pledges 'lethal' response to Gaza violence after blocking aidIsrael’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Wednesday of a “lethal” reaction to any renewed Palestinian violence on the Gaza border, after blocking aid to the strip in response to the wounding of an Israeli soldier. Weeks of relative calm in the Gaza Strip ended Tuesday when Israeli soldiers came under fire along the border with the enclave in two separate incidents. Israeli tanks in response struck two Hamas positions in Gaza, killing a militant, while overnight Israeli warplanes struck what the army said was a Hamas military camp in northern Gaza.



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US deploys troops to Congo as fears of violence mount over election count delays

US deploys troops to Congo as fears of violence mount over election count delaysThe United States has deployed troops to Central Africa amid rising fears of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the country prepares to declare the result of last week’s presidential election. Donald Trump confirmed he was forward-deploying "appropriate combat equipment" and some 80 soldiers to neighbouring Gabon to be on standby to protect US citizens and diplomatic missions. The DR Congo voted on November 30 in a long-delayed election to replace President Joseph Kabila who has ruled the vast, conflict-ridden country for almost 18 years. The contest pitted Mr Kabila's handpicked successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary against two opposition candidates: veteran heavyweight Felix Tshisekedi and newcomer Martin Fayulu. Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, Former Congolese Interior Minister and presidential candidate Credit: Reuters Although election day itself was relatively peaceful, tensions have mounted over the lengthy counting process, with many fearing the result could be manipulated in Shadary's favour and with any delay likely to further exacerbate the situation. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) had said it would release preliminary results today, followed by a definitive count on January 15, but by last Thursday only 20 per cent of result has been collected, raising fears of delays. The last two elections in 2006 and 2011, both of which were won by Kabila, were marred by bloodshed, and many fear a repeat of the violence if the results are put in doubt. With international concerns growing over the transfer of power in sub-Saharan Africa's largest nation of 80 million people, Western powers have upped pressure on Kinshasa to ensure the vote count is accurate and transparent. Martin Fayulu, Congolese joint opposition presidential candidate Credit: Reuters "The Democratic Republic of Congo is at a historic moment toward a democratic transition," the European Union said, urging the authorities "to ensure the upcoming results conform with the Congolese people's vote". Washington has also urged Kinshasa to release "accurate" results and warned of sanctions against anyone seeking to "undermine the democratic process" in the former Belgian colony. The African Union, which deployed an 80-member team to monitor the vote, also said that respect for voters' wishes was "crucial". Although the UN Security Council met late on Friday to discuss the election, it did not issue a concluding statement. It will hold another meeting on the issue on Tuesday. The DR Congo's powerful Catholic Church, which deployed more than 40,000 observers to monitor the elections, on Thursday said it knew who had won the vote urging the electoral commission to publish the results "in keeping with truth and justice". But the ruling coalition, the FCC, angrily rebuffed the church's statement, accusing CENCO of "seriously breaching" the constitution and electoral law by "illegally declaring voting trends" in favour of a given candidate.



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AP Explains: Why Congo's election could lead to violence

AP Explains: Why Congo's election could lead to violenceJOHANNESBURG (AP) — The results of Congo's presidential election were delayed Sunday. Some 80 U.S. military personnel have been deployed to Central Africa to protect U.S. assets from possible "violent demonstrations" in Congo over the election outcome. The international community has warned Congo's government that the results must accurately reflect the people's will — and that internet service should be restored.



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Violence in India as female worshipers break blockade to secretly enter one of India's holiest temples

Violence in India as female worshipers break blockade to secretly enter one of India's holiest templesTwo women made history by sneaking into one of India's holiest Hindu temples before dawn yesterday/WED in defiance of hardline activists blockading the shrine from female worshipers. The Sabarimala temple in southern Kerela has been at the centre of a highly politically charged stand-off after the Supreme court lifted a centuries-old ban on women of menstrual age from praying inside it. Violence erupted as news spread that the two women in their 40s had defied traditionalists, backed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), by entering the temple for the first time since the landmark court ruling. Police fired tear gas, stun grenades and used water cannon as clashes between rival groups erupted across the southern state of Kerala, local media reported. Several officers were reportedly injured. The two women entered the temple under police escort around 3.45am local time, and left undetected a short while later after offering prayers inside the shrine. Women on a previous attempt to breach a blockade surrounding a Hindu temple in the Indian state of Kerala, after the country's supreme court lifted a ban on women entering Credit: AFP/Getty “It is a fact that two women entered the shrine” state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed, adding that police are bound to offer protection to anyone wanting to worship inside the temple. Bindu Ammini, 42, and Kanaka Durga, 44, had tried entering Sabarimala last month, but were forcibly turned back by Hindu activists committed to violently enforcing the ban, despite its revocation by India’s Supreme Court last September.  At the time the court had ruled that banning women of menstrual age-between 10 and 50 years-from entering Sabarimala was unconstitutional and an infringement of human rights and of equality of worship.   Immediately after the ruling protesters, with the support of the government, disregarded the court’s ruling and begun preventing women devotes from entering Sabarimala, even resorting to force. They maintained that age-old religious sentiments prevailed over judicial rulings and that preventing menstruating women from entering the shrine was essential to appease and protect Ayyappan, the temples deity who is depicted as a celibate yoga-practising god. Police protected the temple again in October, after clashing with devotees and arresting 2,000 people Credit:  REUTERS/Sivaram V/File Photo Devotees take a vow of celibacy for 41 days before undertaking the arduous trek to the Sabarimala temple in a bid to earn the deity’s blessings. Officials at the temple on Wednesday said the two women had left for 11-mile log uphill trek to Sabarimala around midnight, but instead of ascending the final 18 holy steps to the temple had entered the shrine stealthily through the staff gate. Video images circulating on WhatsApp reveal the two women dressed in black tunics entering the temple with their heads bowed as they rushed inside. “We arrived early in the morning and had a darshan (visitation of the idol) for a few minutes “ Ms Ammini told the BBC later. We left before protestors stopped us, she added.   After news of the two women entering Sabrimala became public, the temple authorities accused them of ‘defiling’ the shrine and closed it for an hour to ‘purify’ it before opening it up to receive male devotees.   Protestors block traffic and shout slogans reacting to reports of two women of menstruating age entering the Sabarimala temple Credit:  R S Iyer/ AP Local BJP leader Sreedharan Pillai, however, strongly criticised the temple entry by the two women, calling it a ‘conspiracy by Kerala’s atheist rulers to destroy Hindu temples’. He was referring to Kerala’s Marxist government that came to power in 2016. “The BJP will support all struggles against the destruction of (the Hindu) faith by the Communists” Mr Pillai told local television news channels. On New Years Day some five million women formed a 385-mile long ‘human chain’ across Kerala in support of gender equality and to protest against activists enforcing the ban on females entering Sabarimala despite the Supreme Court having overturned it. Women of all ages and from all wakes of life including lawyers, doctors, actors, authors, teachers, civil servants and even members of the LGBT community stood shoulder to shoulder for 15 minutes late in the afternoon in a show of female solidarity. Their protest ended with a pledge to ‘harness the power of enlightenment to insulate society against revanchist forces that sought to push Kerala back to the dark ages of casteism and discriminatory religious practices’. Meanwhile, in many traditional Hindu communities across India, menstruating females are considered unclean and unholy. This, in turn, results in restrictions and, in some cases outright bans, on women of child- bearing age from entering some temples and holy spots.



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Bangladesh opposition calls for fresh election as Sheikh Hasina wins amid violence and vote-rigging claims

Bangladesh opposition calls for fresh election as Sheikh Hasina wins amid violence and vote-rigging claimsBangladesh's main opposition called for a fresh vote on Sunday as the country's prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and her ruling Awami League were declared the winners of an election tainted by violence and vote-rigging allegations. At least 17 people were said to have been killed in election day clashes, while reports flowed in of alleged vote manipulation and people being blocked from entering polling stations by ruling party supporters. As Mrs Hasina's alliance sailed past the 151 seats needed to form a government and headed for a landslide third consecutive term, the country's main opposition leader called for the "farcical" election to be declared void.  Kamal Hossain, head of the Jatiya Oikya Front (JOF), the largest opposition alliance, told a press conference in Dhaka that votes had been "rigged on a massive scale across the country".  He urged Bangladesh's election commission to dismiss the result and call "fresh elections under a non-partisan caretaker government as soon as possible".  Salahuddin Ahmed, a candidate for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the largest single party in the opposition alliance, was stabbed in Dhaka as the election unfolded Credit: Reuters With 293 of 300 parliamentary seats declared, the Awami League and its allies had won 259, while the JOF had taken six.    The poll followed a campaign that had been marred by violence and a crackdown on freedom of speech. Human Rights Watch and other international groups had decried repressive measures which they said had created a climate of fear. Some 600,000 security personnel had been deployed for the election, while authorities ordered the shutdown of high speed internet to prevent the spread of "rumours" that might spark unrest. Vehicles in Dhaka burn after an opposition rally which ended with police using tear gas and batons after the election was announced Credit: AFP On Sunday, polling agents alleged that they had stayed away out of fear. Others claimed they had been beaten up and forced out of voting centres. Rumana Mahmood, a JOF candidate in Sirajganj, 68 miles northwest of Dhaka, claimed that 90 percent of her supporters had been prevented from voting for her. "In most cases they were not allowed to enter the voting centres. Police and the ruling Awami League party cadres blocked them,” she alleged to the Telegraph, claiming that supporters of the ruling party had stuffed ballot boxes in favour of the government. Supporters of Bangladesh Awami League march along a street as they take part in a rally ahead of December 30 general election vote Credit:  MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP One 65-year-old woman in Ms Mahmood’s constituency claimed that the police had not allowed her to vote freely. "We were around 20 or 25 women from the same locality. The policemen at the gate of the centre said that he would allow us inside if we voted for the boat (symbol of the Awami League),” she said."In my locality there are hundreds of people who have not been allowed in any voting centre today."  Bangladesh has become increasingly authoritarian under Mrs Hasina’s rule, moving closer towards a de-facto one-party state while Begum Khaleda Zia, her arch-rival, and leader of the largest opposition party, the Bangladesh National Party, serves a lengthy prison sentence on corruption charges.        



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Bangladesh opposition calls for fresh election as Sheikh Hasina wins amid violence and vote-rigging claims

Bangladesh opposition calls for fresh election as Sheikh Hasina wins amid violence and vote-rigging claimsBangladesh's main opposition called for a fresh vote on Sunday as the country's prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and her ruling Awami League were declared the winners of an election tainted by violence and vote-rigging allegations. At least 17 people were said to have been killed in election day clashes, while reports flowed in of alleged vote manipulation and people being blocked from entering polling stations by ruling party supporters. As Mrs Hasina's alliance sailed past the 151 seats needed to form a government and headed for a landslide third consecutive term, the country's main opposition leader called for the "farcical" election to be declared void.  Kamal Hossain, head of the Jatiya Oikya Front (JOF), the largest opposition alliance, told a press conference in Dhaka that votes had been "rigged on a massive scale across the country".  He urged Bangladesh's election commission to dismiss the result and call "fresh elections under a non-partisan caretaker government as soon as possible".  Salahuddin Ahmed, a candidate for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the largest single party in the opposition alliance, was stabbed in Dhaka as the election unfolded Credit: Reuters With 293 of 300 parliamentary seats declared, the Awami League and its allies had won 259, while the JOF had taken six.    The poll followed a campaign that had been marred by violence and a crackdown on freedom of speech. Human Rights Watch and other international groups had decried repressive measures which they said had created a climate of fear. Some 600,000 security personnel had been deployed for the election, while authorities ordered the shutdown of high speed internet to prevent the spread of "rumours" that might spark unrest. Vehicles in Dhaka burn after an opposition rally which ended with police using tear gas and batons after the election was announced Credit: AFP On Sunday, polling agents alleged that they had stayed away out of fear. Others claimed they had been beaten up and forced out of voting centres. Rumana Mahmood, a JOF candidate in Sirajganj, 68 miles northwest of Dhaka, claimed that 90 percent of her supporters had been prevented from voting for her. "In most cases they were not allowed to enter the voting centres. Police and the ruling Awami League party cadres blocked them,” she alleged to the Telegraph, claiming that supporters of the ruling party had stuffed ballot boxes in favour of the government. Supporters of Bangladesh Awami League march along a street as they take part in a rally ahead of December 30 general election vote Credit:  MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP One 65-year-old woman in Ms Mahmood’s constituency claimed that the police had not allowed her to vote freely. "We were around 20 or 25 women from the same locality. The policemen at the gate of the centre said that he would allow us inside if we voted for the boat (symbol of the Awami League),” she said."In my locality there are hundreds of people who have not been allowed in any voting centre today."  Bangladesh has become increasingly authoritarian under Mrs Hasina’s rule, moving closer towards a de-facto one-party state while Begum Khaleda Zia, her arch-rival, and leader of the largest opposition party, the Bangladesh National Party, serves a lengthy prison sentence on corruption charges.        



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