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Turkey Accuses Protesters Of Terror Links

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Anti-government protests continue in Turkey

Twenty-two more people have been charged in Turkey over their alleged role in mass anti-government protests, accusing them of acting on behalf of a far-left “terrorist” group, lawyers said.

A court in the Ankara charged the 22 on Saturday and ordered them to be detained, the Contemporary Lawyers Association (CHD) said. Three others were released and placed under judicial supervision, it added.

The indictments bring to at least 46 the number of people facing charges over the demonstrations that have presented Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government with the biggest challenge of its decade-old rule.

Thousands of people gathered in Taksim Square, Istanbul on Saturday night for another anti-government protest – the first in a week.

Riot police again fired water cannon to clear them, with the Reuters news agency reporting that protesters had been throwing red carnations at police before they opened fire.

Turkey has taken a tough stance against the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been protesting since May 31 against the government, seen as increasingly authoritarian and conservative.

The protests, which have left at least four people dead and nearly 8,000 injured, have infuriated Erdogan and have earned Ankara criticism from the West, leading to a flare in tensions with Germany.

On Tuesday, police in Istanbul and Ankara arrested dozens of members of leftist groups in an operation that the Interior Minister Muammer Guler said had been planned for months but also targeted demonstrators.

“The operation, in the works for a year…. targeted the terrorist MLKP (Communist Marxist-Leninist Party), that also participated in Gezi Park demonstrations,” Guler said.

In Istanbul, a court on Friday charged 18 members of the small far-left Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) who were among 90 detained in the same police sweep, accusing them of “belonging to a terrorist organisation” and “destroying public property”.

Police had also searched the offices of the Atilim newspaper and the Etkin news agency, both tied to the ESP group.

What began as a peaceful protest against plans to demolish Istanbul’s Gezi Park, one of the city’s last large green spots, turned violent on May 31 when police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators.

The heavy-handed police response sparked demonstrations that quickly turned into protests against Erdogan’s government.

Police moved in on June 15 to evacuate Gezi Park, the last stronghold of the anti-government protesters after a series of police crackdowns.

Erdogan on Saturday said in a speech in Samsun that protest-hit Brazil was a victim of the same conspiracy that he has blamed for demonstrations against his own rule.

“Those who failed in Turkey are now doing their best in Brazil,” he said.

Mass protests in Brazil were set off earlier this month by increases in public transport fares, and morphed into demands for more money spent on healthcare and other social services. The government in Brazil has moved quickly to announce a number of reforms to answer the demands. [Al Jazeera]

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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