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US cop convicted of rape sentenced to 263 years in prison

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Daniel Holtzclaw, the ex-Oklahoma City officer convicted of rape and other charges after he preyed on African-American women over six months, was sentenced Thursday to 263 years in prison, as recommended by the jury.

The sentence comes just over a month after a sobbing Holtzclaw was convicted on 18 of 36 counts, including four counts of first-degree rape and four counts of forced oral sodomy.
Prosecutors said Holtzclaw selected victims in one of Oklahoma City’s poorest neighborhoods based on their criminal histories, assuming their drug or prostitution records would undermine any claims they might make against him.

“It is what it is,” Holtzclaw’s attorney Scott Adams told reporters after the sentencing. “It wasn’t a surprise.”

Prosecutors said that Holtzclaw preyed on black women in poor areas of Oklahoma City.

The assaults took place between late 2013 and mid-2014.

As evidence mounted against him, Holtzclaw was fired from the police department in early 2015.

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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