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Shireen Abu Aqla: UN says an Israeli shot killed Al Jazeera journalist

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Israeli forces – and not Palestinian militants – shot dead a high-profile Al Jazeera journalist, the UN’s human rights office has concluded. A spokeswoman said the findings were the result of “independent monitoring” of the incident on 11 May. The killing of Shireen Abu Aqla, who was reporting on an Israeli operation in the occupied West Bank, caused widespread outrage. Palestinians have blamed Israel. Israel says blame cannot yet be determined. The 51-year-old Palestinian-American journalist was one of the region’s most experienced and admired correspondents. Abu Aqla, who was wearing a protective vest with the word “Press” on it as well as a helmet, was shot in a road near where a gun-battle had taken place between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants. The Israeli military said its forces had gone into Jenin to apprehend “terrorist suspects” following a wave of deadly attacks against Israelis by Palestinians, two of whom came from the Jenin district.(BBC)…[+]

Japanese man loses USB stick with entire city’s personal details

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For many, after-work drinks are a common way of relaxing after a busy week. But one worker in Japan could be nursing a protracted hangover after he lost a USB memory stick following a night out with colleagues. Why? It contained the personal details of nearly half a million people. The unnamed man placed the memory stick in his bag before an evening of drinking in the city of Amagasaki, north-west of Osaka. He spent several hours drinking in a local restaurant before eventually passing out on the the street, local media reported. When he eventually came around, he realised that both his bag and the memory stick were missing.  The Japanese broadcaster NHK reports that the man, said to be in his 40s, works for a company tasked with providing benefits to tax-exempt households. He had transferred the personal information of the entire city’s residents onto the drive on Tuesday evening before meeting colleagues for a night on the town. City officials said the memory stick included the names, birth dates, and addresses of all the city’s residents. It also included more sensitive information, including tax details, bank account numbers and information on families receiving social security.(BBC)…[+]

Lawyers threatened to quit over Trump election pressure

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US government lawyers threatened to quit en masse as then-President Donald Trump hounded them almost daily to help overturn his 2020 election defeat, a congressional inquiry has heard. Justice department officials said they told Mr Trump there was zero evidence for his claims of mass voter fraud. The attorneys also testified that the president’s plan to reverse his loss in key states was “a murder-suicide pact”. The panel is investigating last year’s US Capitol riot as an attempted coup. The House of Representatives select committee is seeking to build a case that Mr Trump’s efforts to stay in power in the lead-up to the violent raid by a horde of his supporters on Congress on 6 January 2021 amounted to illegal conduct. Mr Trump, a Republican, has described the inquiry as a “kangaroo court” designed to distract Americans from the “disaster” of Democratic-led governance and spiralling inflation ahead of November’s mid-term elections.(BBC)…[+]

Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar ex-leader sent to solitary confinement

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Myanmar’s deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been moved from house arrest to solitary confinement in a prison in the capital Nay Pyi Taw. The Nobel laureate, 77, was arrested when the military overthrew her elected government in February 2021. For the past year she has been held at an undisclosed location in the capital. Ms Suu Kyi has already been sentenced to 11 years in jail and denies a host of charges which have been widely condemned as politically-motivated. Her move to solitary confinement makes her more isolated than ever – she became a global democracy icon during a previous period of military rule when she spent 15 years in detention, but almost all of it was under house arrest. It’s thought Ms Suu Kyi, who remains highly popular in the country, will attend trial hearings from a special court set up inside prison. Sources close to the court told BBC Burmese that she had been moved on Wednesday to separate, specially-built accommodation inside the jail. Her colleague, ousted President Win Myint, is in similar solitary confinement in the jail.(BBC)…[+]

Sexual harassment at Western Australia mines ‘appalling and systemic’

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Colleagues rifling through your underwear drawer. A boss demanding sex in exchange for promotion. Unsolicited nude photos, innuendo, and assaults. These are all experiences of women in Western Australia’s mining industry, as told to a state parliament inquiry. Its report was handed down Thursday, revealing sexual harassment is rife at sites run by large mining firms. The landmark report described the harassment as “appalling” and “generally accepted or overlooked”. Australia’s richest mining companies – including BHP and Rio Tinto – run large operations in the state’s remote Pilbara region, to unearth iron ore, copper and other minerals. Thousands of workers are flown in each season and housed in village camp-style accommodation.(BBC)…[+]

Germany takes step closer to gas rationing

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Germany has taken a step closer to gas rationing after a drop in supplies from Russia. The country has triggered the “alarm” stage of an emergency gas plan to deal with shortages, Germany’s economy ministry said. It is the latest part of a standoff between the European Union and Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. German economy minister Robert Habeck said Russia was using gas “as a weapon” in response to EU sanctions. “We must not fool ourselves. The cut in gas supplies is an economic attack on us by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Mr Habeck said, adding Germans would have to reduce consumption. Mr Habeck said there would “hopefully never” be a need to ration gas for German industry, but he added: “Of course, I can’t rule it out.” Germany has now moved to the second stage of its three-part emergency plan, which is triggered when there is disruption or very high demand for gas. The government will provide €15bn (£13bn) of loans to try to fill gas storage facilities, and will start auctioning gas to industry to encourage big businesses to use less. Moving to stage two of the plan puts more pressure on suppliers and network operators to balance out disruption by taking measures such as finding alternative sources for gas.(BBC)…[+]

Uvalde mass shooting: Photos show armed police waiting in school hallway

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The first images showing armed police waiting in a corridor during last month’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas have emerged. Officers arrived earlier in the attack and with more powerful weapons than previously reported, according to US media who have seen investigative documents. Police have been accused of failing to act quickly enough to stop the attack. Twenty-one people, including 19 children, died in the shooting. Texas police have not publicly commented on the reports, from the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV. More details of 24 May shooting at the Robb Elementary School classroom are expected to be presented at a public hearing in the Texas Senate later on Tuesday.(BBC)…[+]

 

Assam: India floods destroy millions of homes and dreams

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“There was water everywhere, but not a single drop to drink.” That is how Ronju Chowdhary described the scene outside her house on Saturday. She lives in Udiana, a remote village in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, which has been hit by severe floods. It had been raining incessantly, she remembers. The water rose so quickly that the streets were completely submerged within hours. When the water entered their home, she says the family huddled together in darkness trying to keep themselves safe.  Two days on, the family is still marooned in their house – now resembling a lonely island – amid a sea of water. “We are surrounded by flood water from all sides. There’s hardly any water to drink. Food is running short too. And now I hear that the water levels are further rising,” Ms Chowdhary says. “What will happen to us?”(BBC)…[+]

France elections: Macron rejects prime minister’s offer to resign

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French President Emmanuel Macron has rejected a resignation offer from the prime minister he appointed, saying instead that the government must “stay on task and act”. Elisabeth Borne was criticised by some commentators after Mr Macron’s coalition lost its majority on Sunday. Her future looked under threat after the result, which left the president needing to secure support from rivals. He is set to meet his political opponents for rare talks on Tuesday. But neither Marine Le Pen’s far-right nor Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s left-green alliance are keen to work with Mr Macron’s centrist government, which is 44 seats shy of a majority and desperately trying to avoid political paralysis. The Élysée palace said Ms Borne formally offered to resign on Tuesday morning, submitting a letter to Mr Macron – the head of state – who turned it down.(BBC)…[+]

Agnipath: India strike over controversial army hiring plan

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Tens of thousands of job seekers have called for a shutdown in India to protest against a new army hiring plan which has sparked violence. Some states shut down the internet and suspended train and bus services on Monday. Protesters are demanding the rollback of the plan to hire soldiers on a fixed four-year term, saying it would shatter their dreams of a secure job. They have taken to the streets, blocking roads and torching trains. Several opposition political parties have given their support to the protests. But the government has refused to cancel the plan, though it has been trying to allay the fears of protesters. Demonstrations against the plan began in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar last week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced changes to how it would recruit soldiers for the armed forces.(BBC)…[+]