28 March 2017

3 Kashmir civilians killed in protests against Indian rule

An Indian paramilitary soldier fires at Kashmiri protesters near the site of a gun battle in Chadoora town, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Three civilians were killed and 28 other people were injured in anti-India protests that erupted Tuesday following a gunbattle between rebels and government forces that killed a rebel in disputed Kashmir, police and witnesses said. Witnesses said intense clashes between rock-throwing protesters and government forces erupted just a few hundred meters (yards) from the besieged house, with police and paramilitary soldiers firing shotgun pellets and tear gas to stop the protest. Later, government forces fired into the crowd, police said.
Three civilians were killed and 28 other people were injured in anti-India protests that erupted Tuesday following a gunbattle between rebels and government forces that killed a rebel in disputed Kashmir, police and witnesses said.

The gunbattle began after police and soldiers cordoned off the southern town of Chadoora following a tip that at least one militant was hiding in a house, said Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani.

As the fighting raged, hundreds of residents chanting anti-India slogans marched near the area in an attempt to help the trapped rebel escape.

27 March 2017

Avalanche kills 7 students, instructor in Japan

Firefighters make rescue operation at a ski resort following an avalanche in Nasu, Tochigi prefecture, Monday, March 27, 2017. Several high school students are feared dead after being caught in an avalanche Monday during a mountain climbing outing at a ski resort.
An avalanche killed seven Japanese high school students and an instructor Monday during a mountaineering field trip at a ski resort north of Tokyo, authorities said.

Nearly 50 students and instructors were caught by the morning avalanche in the town of Nasu in Tochigi prefecture, about 190 kilometers (120 miles) from the Japanese capital.

Police confirmed the death of the eight people late Monday, the prefecture said. Forty other people were injured, including two who were in serious condition, a prefecture report said.

Crackdown creates meat shortage in most populous India state

In this Sunday, March 26, 2017 photo, workers stand at a slaughter house where they used to work after the same was shutdown by authorities in Allahabad, India. India's most populous state is running out of meat. After the Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in Uttar Pradesh this month on the back of a resounding electoral victory and named a Hindu priest-cum-politician as the state's chief minister, the government began cracking down on illegal slaughterhouses and meat shops.
India's most populous state is running out of meat.

After the Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in Uttar Pradesh this month on the back of a resounding electoral victory and named a Hindu priest-cum-politician as the state's chief minister, the government began cracking down on illegal slaughterhouses and meat shops.

The new chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, is a strong supporter of laws protecting cows, which are revered by devout Hindus, and has publicly opposed beef consumption. The slaughter of cows and the consumption of beef are taboo for most Hindus. Their slaughter is barred by law in most Indian states, including Uttar Pradesh.

Nationwide protests bring thousands to Russia's streets

Protesters gather at Marsivo Field in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, March 26, 2017. Thousands of people crowded in St.Petersburg on Sunday for an unsanctioned protest against the Russian government, the biggest gathering in a wave of nationwide protests that were the most extensive show of defiance in years.
Russia's opposition, often written off by critics as a small and irrelevant coterie of privileged urbanites, put on an impressive nationwide show of strength Sunday with dozens of protest across the vast country. Hundreds were arrested, including Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic.

It was the biggest show of defiance since a 2011-2012 wave of demonstrations rattled the Kremlin and led to harsh new laws aimed at suppressing dissent. Almost all of Sunday's rallies were unsanctioned, but thousands braved the prospect of arrest to gather in cities from the Far East port of Vladivostok to the "window on the West" of St. Petersburg.

26 March 2017

No surprise: Beijing's pick Lam chosen as Hong Kong's leader

Former Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam declares her victory in the chief executive election of Hong Kong in Hong Kong, Sunday, March 26, 2017. A Hong Kong committee has chosen the government's former No. 2 official Lam to be the semiautonomous Chinese city's next leader.
The candidate favored by China's Communist leadership was chosen as Hong Kong's new leader on Sunday, in the first such vote since huge pro-democracy protests erupted over the semiautonomous Chinese city's election system in 2014.

A committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites selected Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's former No. 2 official, as the financial hub's chief executive even though she was far less popular than her main rival. Lam received 67 percent of the votes cast by the 1,194-member committee.

25 March 2017

Belarus police arrest over 400 protesters; many are beaten

Belarus police push a woman down while detaining an activist during an opposition rally in Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, March 25, 2017. A cordon of club-wielding police blocked the demonstrators' movement along Minsk's main avenue near the Academy of Science. Hulking police detention trucks were deployed in the city center. 
Police in Belarus cracked down hard Saturday on opposition protesters who tried to hold a forbidden demonstration in the capital — a human rights group said more than 400 people were arrested and many were beaten.

The demonstrators had hoped to build on a rising wave of defiance of the former Soviet republic's authoritarian government, led by President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994.

EU puts pen to paper, signs unity pledge on 60th anniversary

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gets ink on his hands as he signs a declaration with the original 1957 pen of the Rome Treaty during an EU summit meeting at the Orazi and Curiazi Hall in the Palazzo dei Conservatori in Rome on Saturday, March 25, 2017. European Union leaders were gathering in Rome to mark the 60th anniversary of their founding treaty and chart a way ahead following the decision of Britain to leave the 28-nation bloc.
With Britain poised to start divorce proceedings, the 27 remaining European Union nations put pen to paper Saturday in Rome to renew their vows for continued unity in the face of crises that are increasingly testing the bonds between members.

The EU nations marked the 60th anniversary of their founding treaty as a turning point in their history, as British Prime Minister Theresa May will officially trigger divorce proceedings from the bloc next week — a fact that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called "a tragedy."

24 March 2017

Ex-Russian lawmaker shot dead in Kiev; Ukraine blames Russia

A former Russian lawmaker who became a vociferous critic of Moscow following his recent move to Ukraine was shot and killed Thursday in Kiev, prompting harsh words between the two neighboring countries.

Denis Voronenkov, who had testified to Ukrainian investigators and criticized Russian policies after his move to Kiev last fall, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman near the entrance of an upscale hotel in the Ukrainian capital.