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French parliament approves anti-terrorism law
Publish Time: 2017-10-04 11:14:00
France's National Assembly, the parliament's lower house, on Tuesday approved counter-terrorism legislation which empowers police at times when a terror threat is "extreme".A total of 415 lawmakers endorsed the government's proposal to turn emergency security rules into law; with 127 deputies, notably those representing the hard left, against the legislation.The new law will grant police more power to search and arrest without a judge's approval and restrict people movements and gatherings. To supporters, the legislation is needed as the country "remains in a state of war"."We have to protect and preserve what our country's values against terrorism. Justice and freedom, the heart of our system, is what terrorists want to destroy," Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said after the vote. "The number (of lawmakers who approved the bill) shows that they are aware that the menace is serious," he added, as reported by persistent terror risks, prolonging the state of emergency gives fuel to domestic critics of the French government who say the law would undermine the republic's values and freedom of expression and right to assembly.In a statement released in September, Human Rights Watch said "France's new counter-terrorism bill grants the executive far-reaching powers to clamp down on the ability of ordinary people in France to worship, assemble, move freely, express themselves and enjoy their privacy."Former president Francois Hollande imposed the state of emergency in November 2015 following a series of coordinated terror attack in Paris that killed 130 people. The state of emergency has so far been extended six times, and is currently set to expire on Nov. 1.Over the past two years, France has seen several terrorist attacks the latest of which was a knifeman stabbing to death two young women at a railway station in the port city of Marseille on Oct. 1. The Islamic State (IS) had claimed responsibility for the attack. 
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Spain's King condemns Catalan leaders as thousands take to streets
Publish Time: 2017-10-04 00:22:00
Spain’s King Felipe VI on Tuesday accused Catalan secessionist leaders of shattering democratic principles and dividing Catalan society, as thousands took to the streets to protest against a violent police crackdown against the banned independence referendum held on Sunday.The televised speech, a rare intervention by the 49-year-old monarch who is normally silent on politics, was a sign of how deeply Spain has been shaken by the Catalan vote and a police crackdown that injured 900 people.On Tuesday tens of thousands of Catalans demonstrated in the streets of the northeastern region against action by the police who tried to disrupt Sunday’s vote by firing rubber bullets and charging into crowds with truncheons.Tuesday’s protests shut down road traffic, public transport and businesses. The referendum and its aftermath have plunged Spain into its worst constitutional crisis in decades, and are a political test for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a conservative who has taken a hard line stance on the issue.Late Tuesday Catalonia’s leader, Carles Puigdemont, told the BBC that the region will declare independence in a matter of days, as reported by Reuters.
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U.S. General calls for "military Schengen" in EU to counter Russia
Publish Time: 2017-10-03 11:12:00
The U.S. Army's commander in Europe is urging European nations to agree on special transport and border rules so that NATO forces can be quickly moved to deter potential aggressors like Russia, Voice of America reported citing the Associated Press.Lt. General Ben Hodges said Monday "the alliance needs to be able to move as quick, or quicker, than Russian Federation forces if we want our deterrent capability to be effective," according to a VOA report with the reference to AP. Hodges is calling for a "military Schengen," a reference to Europe's 26-nation Schengen area where people and goods can cross borders without ID checks. He said NATO needs to know how it can "get that speed within existing peace-time rules for movement on highways, rail and so on" for its deterrent to be effective. Hodges said parliamentary approval would be needed for new rules to work.
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General strike called across Catalonia in response to violence
Publish Time: 2017-10-03 06:49:00
Pro-independence groups and trade unions have called for everyone in the state – more than three million people – to stay home from work on Tuesday, October 3.At least 844 people were injured after the authorities clashed with people trying to cast their votes in an independence referendum. Police officers fired rubber bullets at the crowds, hit them with batons, and were pictured dragging people away from polling booths – even elderly people and young children. It has been described as the ‘biggest political crisis that Spain has seen since the civil war’ last century, Sky News reported. Responding to the horrific violence, Spain’s PM Manerio Rajoy declared that ‘there has been no independence referendum’ today. ‘At this time I can tell you, with full clarity, what you all know and what we have seen today,’ he said. ‘Today, we have not had a referendum for self-determination in Catalonia.‘Today, all the Spaniards have seen that our state rule of law keeps its strength and reality, and restricts those who wish to subvert the state of law.’ Rajoy also praised the Spanish police for responding with ‘firmness and serenity’ to the referendum. In protest against the violence, FC Barcelona played their match against Las Palmas behind closed doors – meaning the stadium was completely empty.
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Firearm stockpile found at Las Vegas shooting suspect's home
Publish Time: 2017-10-03 03:09:00
At least 59 people have been killed and 527 injured in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, the Guardian reports. Police have named Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old from Mesquite, Nevada as the gunman. Police found a huge arsenal of 42 firearms, explosives and ammunition across his Las Vegas hotel room and Mesquite home.Experts believe an accessory known as a bump-stock was likely used in the attack, which modifies a semi-automatic weapon to fire at an automatic rate. There is still no known motive behind the attack, or any known links between Paddock and other organisations. The suspect’s girlfriend was named as a person of interest, but police said Paddock acted alone and that authorities would interview the woman after she returned from a trip in Tokyo.President Donald Trump said he would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday and called the shooting “an act of pure evil”. Hoaxes and fake news spread rapidly online, in some cases with boosts from Facebook and Google algorithms.
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ISIS claims responsibility for Las Vegas massacre
Publish Time: 2017-10-02 20:13:00
ISIS claimed responsibility Monday for the Las Vegas rampage, saying without offering evidence that the shooter had converted to Islam a few months ago, according to reports.The Las Vegas attack was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried it out in response to calls to target states of the coalition,” the terror group’s news agency Amaq said in reference to the US-led coalition fighting the group in the Middle East.The Las Vegas attacker converted to Islam a few months ago, Amaq also on the Telegram online messaging service, according to Agence France-Presse.US officials said Monday that there was no evidence that the attacker was tied to any international militant group, though one official said security agencies were examining the ISIS claim of responsibility, Reuters reported.The statements – which did not include the attacker’s name — came after ISIS on Friday released an audio recording of what it said was its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calling on jihadists in Syria and Iraq to “resist” their enemies.Source: NY Post 
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Trump, US leaders offer outpouring of support after mass shooting
Publish Time: 2017-10-02 18:13:00
President Donald Trump has been briefed on the shooting in Las Vegas, which has left at least 50 dead and 400 injured, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Monday morning.Trump tweeted shortly after Sanders' statement, writing: "My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!"The President will address the nation Monday morning, a White House official said.Sanders called the mass shooting a "horrific tragedy" in her statement.50+ killed in Las Vegas Strip massacre; suspect had 10 rifles, police sayWe are monitoring the situation closely and offer our full support to state and local officials, Sanders said. All of those affected are in our thoughts and prayers.Source: CNN 
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Over 50 dead, 200 injured in Las Vegas after deadliest shooting
Publish Time: 2017-10-02 16:03:00
More than 50 people were killed and 200 injured when a lone gunman opened fire from a perch high up in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Sunday night, police said, making it the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.Two police officers are among the dead. The shooter was named by police as Stephen Paddock, 64. Several rifles were found in his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, from where he fired multiple rounds at concertgoers at the Route 91 harvest country music festival.Source: The Guardian 
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Donald Trump tweets condolences to victims and families of 'terrible' Las Vegas shooting
Update Time: 2017-10-02 15:42:00
Donald Trump has responded to an attack on festival-goers in Las Vegas in which at least 50 people have died, making it the deadliest mass shooting in US history."My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!" he wrote.The shooting, late on Sunday evening at a country music festival close to the city's casino strip, left more than 200 injured. The US President tweeted his condolences around five hours later.White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Mr Trump had been "briefed on the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas".Ms Sanders said that "we are monitoring the situation closely and offer our full support to state and local officials. All of those affected are in our thoughts and prayers".Source: Independent 
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Las Vegas Shooting: More Than 50 Killed and 200 Hurt Near Mandalay Bay
Publish Time: 2017-10-02 14:41:00
More than 50 people were killed in the worst mass shooting in modern American history when a "lone wolf" gunman opened fire into an outdoor country music festival from the 32nd floor of Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Sunday night, police said.More than 200 people were injured in the mass shooting as performer Jason Aldean was on the stage, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said at a news conference.The gunman was identified by law enforcement officials as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, a resident of Mesquite, Nevada.Source: NBC NEWS
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Las Vegas shooting: death toll rises to 20 in Mandalay Bay casino attack
Publish Time: 2017-10-02 13:26:00
A gunman in a Las Vegas hotel opened fire Sunday night at a concert outside, sending thousands of people fleeing as SWAT units searched for the attacker. More than 20 people were killed and more than 100 others injured, hospital officials said.The shooting happened near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Video posted online showed the country singer Jason Aldean performing outside the hotel at Route 91 Harvest, a country music festival, interrupted by the sound of automatic gunfire. The music stopped, and concertgoers ducked for cover. “Get down,” one shouted. “Stay down,” screamed another.Several SWAT teams were sent to the hotel immediately after the first reports of the shooting at 10:08 p.m., and officers reported being pinned down by gunfire, according to emergency radio traffic. Shortly before midnight the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported that “one suspect is down,” and soon thereafter the police said they did not believe there were any more active gunmen.Source: NY Times 
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Las Vegas shooting: More than 20 dead, 100 injured after gunman opens fire near Mandalay Bay casino
Update Time: 2017-10-02 12:42:00
More than 20 people were killed and 100 injured when what appears to be a lone gunman opened fire from a perch high up in the the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Sunday night, police said.The "nonstop gunfire," according to one witness, sent bystanders outside the resort on the Vegas strip ducking for cover and fleeing for their lives. Tourists hid in their hotel rooms and flights headed into the McCarran International Airport were held elsewhere.Bystanders sprang into action, caring for the wounded and at least one described someone dying in their arms.In the wake of the shooting, the Las Vegas Police Department said the suspected gunman, was believed to be a local, was on 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay hotel. Police responded to the scene, engaged him and he is now dead. Officials said they did not believe there were any more shooters.Authorities were looking for a companion of the shooter, Marilou Danley, as well as two vehicles, a Hyundai Tucson and Chrysler Pacifica, both with Nevada plates. At least two police officers were hospitalized.Source: ABC NEWS 
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Catalonia has overwhelmingly voted for independence from Spain
Publish Time: 2017-10-02 12:02:00
Catalonia has overwhelmingly voted for independence from Spain, with 90 per cent of over two million votes counted saying "yes", the regional government has said.According to voting figures issued early on Monday morning, 90.9 per cent of the votes now counted, or 2,020,144 were in favour of independence, and 7.87 per cent, just 176,565, were against.The regional government spokesman, Jordi Turull, said 15,000 votes were still due to be counted and that total voting figures remain incomplete and provisional because a much larger number, an estimated 770,000, are either inaccessible or lost after some polling stations were closed and ballot boxes were seized by police. Even before the figures were made public, Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont had already hinted strongly at a potential unilateral declaration of independence when he promised the results of the referendum will be sent to Catalonia’s parliament within the next few days.Source: Telegraph 
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Eastern France social housing fire leaves 5 dead
Publish Time: 2017-10-02 10:10:00
Four children and an adult were killed when a fire engulfed a social housing block in the French city of Mulhouse on Sunday night, authorities said.Eight others were injured, three critically, in the blaze that began in the basement of a four-storey building in the northern Bourtzwiller district, the fire service said.The fire broke out shortly before midnight. Around 20 residents were rescued from their homes by ladder, the local l'Alsace newspaper reported. "It's terrible, the whole city has been shaken by this tragedy," Mayor Jean Rottner told AFP.The cause of the fire was unknown. "The building is in very good condition and is situated in a quiet housing project, with no particular problems," Rottner said.
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Las Vegas: Active shooter reported near Mandalay Bay
Publish Time: 2017-10-02 10:04:00
Police in Las Vegas are responding to reports of an active shooter near the Mandalay Bay Hotel.At least one gunman is reported to have opened fire at a country music festival being held on the Las Vegas strip.Videos on social media show hundreds of people fleeing from the scene. The sound of what appears to be automatic gunfire can be heard in some clips.Las Vegas police have advised people to avoid the area. There are unconfirmed reports of multiple casualties.Source: BBC 
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More than 30,000 people marched on Manchester city centre in protest at the Conservative government
Publish Time: 2017-10-02 09:52:00
More than 30,000 campaigners and activists marched through Manchester city centre on Sunday afternoon as the Conservatives came to town.Anti-Brexit campaigners and activists protesting the government’s austerity policies held rallies to coincide with the start of the Tory conferenceThere was a large police presence in the city centre, although GMP said the events passed off peacefully, with no arrests made.Protesters vowed to ‘make a huge noise’ ahead of the marches.Police said more than 30,000 people attended. Organisers say the figure was closer to 50,000.Source: Manchester Evening News
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Two women plead not guilty to murdering North Korea leader's half-brother Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia
Publish Time: 2017-10-02 09:37:00
Two women pleaded not guilty on Monday to murdering the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, at the start of their trial in Malaysia over the Cold War-style assassination that shocked the world.Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who arrived at the heavily guarded court in handcuffs and wearing bulletproof vests, entered their pleas through interpreters as proceedings got under way.The defendants were arrested just days after the killing of Kim Jong-Nam on February 13 as he waited to board a plane to Macau at Kuala Lumpur airport.The women are accused of rubbing toxic VX nerve agent, a chemical so deadly it is listed as a weapon of mass destruction, on his face.Kim died an agonising death about 20 minutes after the hit, which was caught on airport CCTV as the VX rapidly shut down his central nervous system.Source: Telegraph
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CNN: Catalans vote to split from Spain amid violent police crackdown
Publish Time: 2017-10-02 03:47:00
Spain is facing a political crisis after Catalans voted for independence in a contested referendum that descended into violence when police cracked down on polling booths, injuring hundreds.The Catalan government said late Sunday it had earned the right to independence from Spain after preliminary results showed 90% of respondents were in favor of a split, though turnout was relatively low.Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that the vote was illegitimate."At this point, I can tell you very clearly: Today a self-determination referendum in Catalonia didn't happen," he said in a televised speech.Some 844 people were injured as riot police raided polling stations, dragged away voters and fired rubber bullets during clashes Sunday -- scenes that reverberated across Europe.The Catalan government blamed Madrid for the police heavy-handedness and called on the European Union to respond."I want to make clear that all responsibility, all violence acts, repression is exclusively on the government of Rajoy, " the region's Minister of Foreign Affairs Raül Romeva said."Today Europe has to choose, shame or dignity. Violence or democracy, this is our demand. With this demand, we begin to work for a response to these circumstances. The absence of a response would suppose a lack and loss of credibility to the EU and its institutions.Catalonia's separatist government pushed forward with the vote despite opposition from Madrid and a ruling from the country's top court declaring it illegal.Catalan nationalists argue the region is a separate nation with its own history, culture and language, and that it should have increased fiscal independence.Source: CNN&l
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Referendum in Catalonia - interview with Barcelona Mayor
Publish Time: 2017-10-01 16:05:00
Clashes with police and queues at polling stations, - Catalonia's independence referendum is ongoing in such environment. The Spanish government has pledged to stop a poll that was declared illegal by the country's constitutional court.Catalan officials say at least 38 people have been injured in clashes. Most of them have minor injuries, but the video footage released by citizens shows that the police are using rubber batons against the activists.The head of the Catalan government described the use of force by police as "unjustified". Official Madrid considers the referendum and its results as illegal.Moambe reporter Keti Tutberidze covers the developments - interview with the Barcelona Mayor.
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North Korea seen moving missiles from development center: South Korean broadcaster
Publish Time: 2017-09-30 15:32:00
Several North Korean missiles were recently spotted moved from a rocket facility in the capital Pyongyang, South Korea’s Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) reported late Friday amid speculation that the North was preparing to take more provocative actions.The report cited an unnamed intelligence source saying South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials detected missiles being transported away from North Korea’s Missile Research and Development Facility at Sanum-dong in the northern part of Pyongyang.The report did not say when or where they had been moved. The missiles could be either intermediate range Hwasong-12 or intercontinental ballistic Hwasong-14 missiles, according to the report, though the missile facility at Sanum-dong has been dedicated to the production of intercontinental ballistic missiles.A source from South Korea’s defense ministry said he could not confirm details of the report or whether there has been any unusual activities in the area mentioned, Reuters reported.South Korean official have voiced concerns that North Korea could conduct more provocative acts near the anniversary of the founding of its communist party on Oct. 10, or possibly when China holds its Communist Party Congress on Oct. 18.Amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, South Korea and U.S. forces recently held their first joint short range air defense training exercise in South Korea, according to a statement released by the U.S. Pacific Command on Friday.The statement did not give the date of the exercise, but said the next exercise is scheduled to take place over the next few months as the two forces become more familiar with each other’s capabilities.
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