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Sunday 19 November 2017

Russian police arrest leading Kremlin opponent at assembly rights protest

Russian police arrested a leading Kremlin opponent and dozens of fellow activists yesterday at a demonstration demanding freedom of assembly. Several hundred protesters gathered in a Moscow square chanting "Freedom! Freedom!" at the rally city authorities tried to ban.

A journalist saw Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov dragged to a police car and driven away. The rally had barely started. Three or four others appeared to have been detained.

A police spokesman said he wasn't sure how many people had been detained in total, but human rights advocate Lev Ponomaryov said there were as many as 30 arrests. "Authorities are just not listening to our demands," he said.

Pakistan spy chief cancels trip to UK

A diplomatic spat with implications for international counter-terrorism escalated yesterday after Pakistan's spy chief cancelled a visit to London following comments by British prime minister David Cameron suggesting that Pakistan exports terrorism.

A senior Pakistani intelligence official confirmed that Lieutenant General Ahmed Shujaa Pasha had called off a trip planned for this week, when he had been due to discuss security co-operation with British intelligence bosses. Mr Cameron said during a visit to India that Pakistan must not be allowed to "promote the export of terror whether to India, whether to Afghanistan or to anywhere else in the world".

Labour may be out of power for years

David Miliband has warned the British Labour Party that it could be out of power for years as he made his leadership bid at the final hustings before the vote.

The front-runner in the race to replace Gordon Brown shared a platform with brother Ed, along with Andy Burnham, Ed Balls and Diane Abbott in a question-and-answer session for 600 party members in Manchester.

Mr Miliband told the party faithful each time Labour had been thrown out of government they had stayed in opposition for between 14 and 18 years.

Thirty killed in forest fires in Russia

About 30 people have died in the last three days as massive forest fires wiped out villages and vast areas of woodland in Russia.

Officials insisted some of the worst blazes were under control but fires were still afflicting at least 14 regions, with the Voronezh and Nizhny Novgorod provinces the worst affected, Rossiya-24 TV reported yesterday.

Moscow and other regions are currently suffering their hottest summer since records began 130 years ago.

Police kill boy during Kashmir demo

Indian police opened fire to disperse thousands of people protesting against Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir yesterday, killing a child and wounding 25 demonstrators.

Muslim-majority Kashmir has been rocked by a series of pro-independence protests in the last six weeks and at least 22 people, mainly protestors, have been killed by security forces.

Fresh demonstrations broke out yesterday, a day after four protesters were killed and 75 injured in day-long clashes between stone-pelting protesters and government forces. A teenage boy was killed during the clashes, said Mohammad Usman, a doctor at a north Kashmir hospital.

Roadside explosion in Iraq kills four

A roadside bomb killed four people, including three soldiers, and wounded 11 people south of Baghdad yesterday, Iraqi officials said.

The blast took place near the municipal offices of the Rashid district just south of the Iraqi capital as soldiers were responding to an earlier explosion in the same area. The first explosion, also caused by a roadside bomb, did not cause any casualties.

Police and hospital officials said the three soldiers and a bystander succumbed to their wounds in a Baghdad hospital. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Plutonium found in lab after 42 years

Georgia has revealed its scientists discovered unused, radioactive plutonium-beryllium that had been "forgotten" for 42 years at a laboratory in Tbilisi.

The plutonium-beryllium was found in a "special container stored in wax and lead, which was quite safe and presented no danger for the environment", said the nuclear and radioactive specialist at Georgia's Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources.

Sunday Independent

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