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Turkish Police Continue Offensive On Protesters Using Tear Gas In Ankara

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Protests continue in Turkey despite a recent apology on handling of protesters by the Deputy PM, Bulent Arinç, with Turkish police continuing the clampdown on protesters, firing tear gas and water cannon at crowds who joined mass demonstrations in Ankara, even as the government hit out at US expressions of concern over its handling of demonstrations.

The latest violence in days of angry protests erupted after thousands of union workers filled the central Kizilay square in the Turkish capital on Wednesday, urging Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resign.

Ambulances took away at least four people who collapsed as the gas blew into nearby restaurants, said an AFP news agency photographer at the scene.

Erdogan’s government earlier defended its democratic record after the United Nations, the United States and other Western powers voiced concern over allegations of police brutality.

Thousands of demonstrators also returned on Wednesday to Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the cradle of the unrest that erupted last week and has spread across Turkey.

Two people have been killed in the six days of unrest nationwide, doctors and officials said, while hundreds have been injured in protests police have sought to quell with tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu contacted US Secretary of State John Kerry to object to recent statements from Washington expressing concern over Turkey’s handling of the protests, a foreign ministry diplomat said on Wednesday.

“Turkey is not a second-class democracy,” Davutoglu told Kerry in a phone call late on Tuesday, the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

Davutoglu assured Kerry an investigation had begun into the police response, the ministry source said.

The diplomat said that the foreign minister told Kerry the protests were not “extraordinary”, comparing them to the Occupy Wall Street movement that sprang up in the United States in 2011.

Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Arinc apologised on Tuesday to those injured after police used tear gas and water cannon against the protesters and said the government had “learnt its lesson”, in comments that were welcomed by the White House.

Meanwhile, activists on Wednesday presented a list of demands they said could end days of anti-government demonstrations that have engulfed Turkey, as police detained dozens of people they accused of using social media to stoke the outpouring of anger.

At least 29 people were arrested in the coastal city of Izmir for encouraging rebellion over social media and tweeting “misleading and libellous information”, according to the state-run Anatolia news agency.

In a move to defuse the tension, the deputy prime minister met with a group whose attempt to prevent authorities from ripping up trees in Istanbul’s landmark Taksim Square has snowballed into nationwide protests against what demonstrators see as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule.

The Ankara-based Human Rights Association says up to 1,000 people have been injured and more than 3,300 people have been detained over five days of protests.

It demanded that officials, including governors and senior police officials, responsible for the violent crackdown be removed from office.

The protests appear to have developed spontaneously and remain leaderless.

The group of academics, architects and environmentalists, known as the “Taksim Solidarity Platform,” was formed to protect Taksim Square from development, including the rebuilding of an Ottoman army barracks and a shopping mall.

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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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