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Rally against Angela Merkel, accusing her Refugee policy for sexual assaults

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Thousands of far-right protesters have rallied in the eastern German city of Leipzig against the record refugee influx they blamed for sexual violence against women at New Year’s Eve festivities. The crowd loudly vented its anger at Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday, whom they accuse of destroying their homeland by allowing in 1.1 million asylum seekers last year.

“We are the people”, “Resistance!” and “Deport them!”, chanted the followers of LEGIDA, the local chapter of xenophobic group PEGIDA, the “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident”. A heavy police presence, with water canons at the ready, kept watch over the crowd of several thousand, and separated them from thousands of counter-demonstrators, as rain poured down.

While the rally stayed peaceful, police said some 250 far-right hooligans had thrown rocks and smashed shop windows in a traditionally left-wing student district of the city, before police dispersed them. The key theme of the LEGIDA protest was the New Year’s Eve attacks in the western city of Cologne, where hundreds of women reported being groped and robbed by men described as Arabs and North Africans, in scenes that have shocked the country.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas earlier warned yesterday that “those who now hound refugees — on the Internet or on the streets — have obviously just been waiting for the events of Cologne” and were now “shamelessly exploiting” the attacks. “Refugees not welcome!” read one sign, showing a silhouette of three men armed with knives pursuing a woman, while another declared “Islam = terror”.

“Since New Year’s Eve, nothing is like it was,” said one speaker, PEGIDA activist Tatjana Festerling, who decried the night’s “sex jihad against women”. “Asylum-Mummy Merkel had barely delivered her New Year’s address to the people when in Cologne the first fireworks it the cathedral and police,” she said.

“Then these Muslim refugees started their wholesale terror attack against German women, against blonde, white women,” she said to loud boos from the crowd. Waving a sign declaring “State of injustice”, 44-year-old demonstrator Lukas Richter said “Merkel is breaching the constitution and must go,” and that “the government must close the borders and return all illegal migrants”.

He charged that the New Year’s Eve attacks highlighted “the violence of foreigners in Germany that has existed for years”. One sign mocked Merkel’s “We can do it” motto on the refugee influx, saying “You can’t even secure a train station”.

Disaster

6.8-magnitude quake hits Indonesia, no tsunami alert

Indonesia is frequently hit by earthquakes as it sits on a vulnerable quake-impacted zone called “the Pacific Ring of Fire”.

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Earthquake Strong

Jakarta, June 4 : An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale jolted Indonesia”s North Maluku province on Thursday, but did not trigger a tsunami alert, the meteorology and geophysics agency said.

The agency initially issued the quake at 7.1 magnitude before revising it down to 6.8, Wahyu Kurniawan, official in charge at the agency, told Xinhua news agency.

The quake jolted at 3.49 p.m. with the epicentre at 89 km northwest Daruba village of Pulau Marotai district and the depth at 112 km under sea bed, the official said.

“For this quake, we did not issue a tsunami warning,” he added.

Indonesia is frequently hit by earthquakes as it sits on a vulnerable quake-impacted zone called “the Pacific Ring of Fire”.

–IANS

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George Floyd Death: Numerous arrests in NYC as protests continue

Floyd”s deaths has also triggered protests around the world including in France, the UK, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, Greece, South Africa and Germany.

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George Floyd Death Protest

New York, June 4 : New York City police officials have made numerous arrests and even resorting to force after a curfew began amid continuous protests against the death of the unarmed African-American man, George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis last week.

Faced with a third night of demonstrations involving thousands of New Yorkers who defied the curfew to protest against the Floyd”s death, the police on Wednesday night decided to act more harshly after giving them an hour”s notice when curfew came into force at 8 p.m., reports Efe news.

New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief of Department Terence Monahan told reporters that the police had adopted a more aggressive approach in order to quickly disperse the groups of protesters.

The police resorted to force in Brooklyn, using batons, rubber bullets and tear gas with the aim of dispersing protesters and arresting numerous people to enforce the curfew.

The detainees were then loaded onto buses of the city”s Department of Correction.

After protesting peacefully for more than an hour in front of the Mayor Bill de Blasio”s”s residence in Manhattan”s upper east side, the demonstrators began marching south of the city, until the police began charging through the crowd at Third Avenue and 50th Street at about 9 p.m.

It was police officials on bicycles who first charged the protesters and then those on foot began to arrest dozens as loudspeakers on police vehicles reminded the demonstrators of the curfew orders and demand everyone leave the area.

Arrests also took place in Union Square.

The marches on Wednesday seemed to be more organized than the chaotic protests of recent days with private vehicles offering water and food as well as hand gel and masks to try to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

“Hands up, don”t shoot” and “Justice Now” were some of the most heard slogans on the streets.

Protests were also held in other cities around the country, including Washington D.C., Oakland, Chicago, Miami, Tampa and Orlando.

Floyd”s deaths has also triggered protests around the world including in France, the UK, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, Greece, South Africa and Germany.

–IANS

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India

India-Aus ties have always been close: Modi on summit

The two leaders are likely to review the broad framework of bilateral strategic ties and explore ways to expand cooperation in areas of trade and defence.

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Modi Scott Morrison

New Delhi, Jun 3 : India-Australia ties have always been close, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said ahead of his first-ever virtual summit with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison on Thursday.

“Glad to be joining the first India-Australia Virtual Summit with you, PM @ScottMorrisonMP. India-Australia ties have always been close,” Modi wrote on Twitter.

“As vibrant democracies, from Commonwealth to cricket to even cuisine, our people-to-people relations are strong and the future is bright,” he said.

Modi was responding to a tweet by Prime Minister Morrison, who said he is looking forward to catching up with his Indian counterpart for the virtual summit.

The two leaders are likely to review the broad framework of bilateral strategic ties and explore ways to expand cooperation in areas of trade and defence.

The two countries are also expected to finalise a landmark agreement for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support in the summit besides sealing a number of other pacts.

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