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Turkey detains nine police officers over links to failed coup in 2016

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Istanbul, May 29 (IANS) The Turkish police on Wednesday detained nine police officers in the western province of Izmir over their alleged links to a network accused of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Six police officers currently serving in the Izmir Police Department, along with three former deputy police chiefs, were detained in a large-scale operation, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The operation was launched by the Izmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office following the determination that the suspects were in contact with members of the Gulen movement, a network led by US-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen.

The network was accused by the government of infiltrating the state bureaucracy and then attempting a coup on July 15, 2016, which killed at least 250 people. Following the attempt, the government initiated a widespread crackdown on individuals suspected of having ties to the movement.

–IANS

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Death toll from heavy rainfall rises to 9 in China

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Beijing, June 21 (IANS) Torrential rains have killed nine people in two places in south China’s Guangdong province, local authorities said.

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, heavy rains left four people dead and four others missing in the Meixian district of the city of Meizhou, and another five dead and two others missing in Jiaoling County of Meizhou.

In Meixian, the rains have affected 32,083 people and more than 1,586 hectares of crops, causing direct economic losses of about 1.06 billion yuan ($146.4 million), Xinhua news agency reported.

In Jiaoling, a total of 64,947 people have been affected, with direct economic losses of about 3.65 billion yuan.

Rescue and disaster relief efforts are underway in the two places.

–IANS

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UN chief calls for global efforts to protect refugees

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United Nations, June 21 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for global efforts to protect the 43.4 million refugees across the globe in a video message on World Refugee Day.

“From Sudan to Ukraine, from the Middle East to Myanmar to Congo and beyond, conflict, climate chaos and upheaval are forcing record numbers of people from their homes and fueling profound human suffering,” Guterres said on Thursday.

According to the latest figures, a total of more than 120 million people around the world are forcibly displaced, including 43.5 million refugees, Xinhua news agency reported.

World Refugee Day, celebrated annually on June 20, is about honouring their strength and courage, and stepping up efforts to protect and support refugees on every step of their journey, the UN Chief added.

Refugees need global solidarity and the ability to rebuild their lives in dignity, said Guterres, adding “When given the opportunity, refugees make significant contributions to their host communities, but they need access to equal opportunities and jobs, housing, and healthcare”.

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Noting that young refugees need quality education to achieve their dreams, he said that host countries — mostly low- or middle-income countries — need the support and resources to fully include refugees in societies and economies.

“Let us pledge to reaffirm the world’s collective responsibility in assisting and welcoming refugees, in upholding their human rights, including the right to seek asylum, in safeguarding the integrity of the refugee protection regime, and ultimately, in resolving conflicts so that those forced from their communities can return home,” the UN Chief concluded.

World Refugee Day, an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe, was set for the first time on June 20, 2001, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

–IANS

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Malawian president appoints Michael Usi as new Vice President

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Lilongwe, June 21 (IANS) Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has appointed Michael Usi as the country’s Vice President, replacing Saulos Chilima who died in a plane crash on June 10.

The President announced on Thursday through Secretary to the President and Cabinet Colleen Zamba, adding that the new Vice President will be sworn in on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Usi was the Minister of Natural Resources and Climate Change until he was appointed Vice President.

He is also the Vice President of the United Transformation Movement, a political party that Chilima founded and led as President.

Born in 1968, Usi is known for his significant contributions to the entertainment industry as an actor, playwright, and filmmaker. He is also known for his development work in Malawi.

In addition to his entertainment career, Usi has extensive experience with non-governmental organisations, focusing on community projects in health, education, and economic development.

Throughout his career, Usi has been an advocate for social justice, education, and community empowerment, earning him widespread respect and popularity among Malawians.

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His appointment is reportedly seen as a strategic move to harness his charisma and experience to address the nation’s challenges and promote development initiatives.

–IANS

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Palestinian teen killed by Israeli army in West Bank

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Ramallah, June 21 (IANS) A Palestinian teenager was killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Qalqilya, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

The Ministry added on Thursday that 15-year-old Naeem Abdullah Naeem Samha died after being hit by live bullets fired by the Israeli army, Xinhua news agency reported.

Local Palestinian sources told Xinhua that Israeli forces stormed the city, leading to confrontations with young men.

The Israeli army has not yet commented.

At least 549 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army across the West Bank and East Jerusalem since October 2023, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

–IANS

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3 killed, 2 injured in Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon

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Beirut, June 21 (IANS) Three people were killed and two civilians injured in Israeli air strikes targeting several areas in southern Lebanon, Lebanese military sources told the media.

The sources, who spoke anonymously, said on Thursday that an Israeli warplane fired six air-to-surface missiles at the southeast village of Khiam, killing a Hezbollah member and wounding two civilians, Xinhua news agency reported.

In a separate incident, an Israeli drone fired four air-to-surface missiles at a car in the Tyre district of southwest Lebanon, killing a Hezbollah official, Abbas Ibrahim Hamza Hamada, who was a commander in the western region of the border area.

The sources added that an Israeli drone raided a civilian car in the village of Houmine in the Nabatieh district, killing its driver, Hadi Jumaa, whose father was reportedly close to Hezbollah.

Tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border escalated on October 8, 2023, following a barrage of rockets launched by Hezbollah toward Israel in solidarity with Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.

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Israel then retaliated by firing heavy artillery toward southeastern Lebanon.

–IANS

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