Colorado police officers fired after photos mocking death of Black man surface

DENVER – Three Colorado police officers were fired and a fourth resigned after they shared photographs they took of themselves re-enacting a chokehold officers used to subdue a Black man who later died, authorities said on Friday. Vanessa Wilson, interim chief of police in the Denver suburb of Aurora, called the officers’ actions surrounding the death of Elijah McClain, who was unarmed, “reprehensible.” “I am disgusted to my core,” Wilson said at a news conference…

"Colorado police officers fired after photos mocking death of Black man surface"

19 Sikh pilgrims killed in Pakistan when train collides with van

LAHORE, Pakistan – At least 19 pilgrims of Pakistan’s minority Sikh community were killed when a train collided with a passenger van in eastern Pakistan on Friday, officials said. According to police, the dead, which include two children, were all residents of the western Pakistani city of Peshawar, home to most of Pakistan’s nearly 40,000 Sikhs. The accident occurred at an unmanned Railway crossing close to the city of Sheikhupura in Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab,…

"19 Sikh pilgrims killed in Pakistan when train collides with van"

Botswana top vet defends investigations into unexplained elephant deaths

GABORONE – Botswana’s top wildlife vet on Friday dismissed accusations from some conservationists that the government had not moved quickly enough to investigate the unexplained deaths of least 275 elephants. Authorities said on Thursday they were still trying to find out what killed the elephants around two months after the first carcasses were spotted in the Okavango Panhandle region. Widely-published pictures of the bodies triggered an international outcry, and some campaign groups raised questions about…

"Botswana top vet defends investigations into unexplained elephant deaths"

Canada’s biggest banks join boycott of Facebook platforms

TORONTO – Canada’s biggest lenders confirmed on Friday they had joined a widespread boycott of Facebook Inc begun by U.S. civil rights groups seeking to pressure the world’s largest social media platform to take concrete steps to block hate speech. More than 400 brands have pulled advertising on Facebook in response to the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign, begun after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis…

"Canada’s biggest banks join boycott of Facebook platforms"

Turkish court convicts four rights activists on terrorism-related charges

ISTANBUL – A Turkish court on Friday sentenced a former local head of Amnesty International to more than six years in jail and convicted three other activists on terrorism-related charges for holding a meeting about digital security, the rights group said. Amnesty Turkey said on Twitter that seven other defendants, detained three years ago during a crackdown following an attempted coup in July 2016, were acquitted in a case which fuelled concern over Ankara’s human…

"Turkish court convicts four rights activists on terrorism-related charges"

Spanish minister says all EU COVID-19 debt will be repaid

MADRID – Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said on Friday that all the debt issued by the European Union to help its member states deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis will eventually be paid back. The debt will be sustainable as it will finance projects to help the EU resume the economic growth that was interrupted by the coronavirus crisis, she said in a virtual panel held by French think tank Cercle des…

"Spanish minister says all EU COVID-19 debt will be repaid"

Factbox: What could be causing Botswana’s mystery elephant deaths?

GABORONE – Botswana is investigating hundreds of unexplained elephant deaths in one of Africa’s premier tourist destinations. Botswana is home to a third of Africa’s elephants, and there are concerns that whatever is causing the deaths, first recorded in May, could affect animals in neighbouring countries. Following are some theories as to what could be behind the unexplained deaths. POACHING The government and conservationists ruled out poaching at an early stage because the carcasses have…

"Factbox: What could be causing Botswana’s mystery elephant deaths?"

Russia to reopen embassy in Libya – Ifax cites foreign minister

MOSCOW – Russia has decided to reopen its embassy in Libya, the Interfax news agency cited Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Friday. Lavrov said a ceasefire in the Libyan conflict, proposed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi alongside Libya’s eastern commander Khalifa Haftar in Cairo on June 6, fitted into decisions taken at an international conference in Berlin regarding the situation in the North African country. Lavrov was speaking at the start of…

"Russia to reopen embassy in Libya – Ifax cites foreign minister"

China braces for more rainstorms over weekend, climate change blamed

SHANGHAI – Rainstorms are expected for large parts of China over the weekend, the state weather bureau said on Friday, forecasting of even more extreme weather a day after some regions suffered more than 200 mm of rainfall. China’s emergency ministry warned that water levels in the middle reaches of the Yangtze river were expected to exceed warning levels, raising risks of geological disasters and urban waterlogging in central and southwest regions. Following the forecasts…

"China braces for more rainstorms over weekend, climate change blamed"