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Tensions escalate in Colombian protests: “we won’t stop until the fire is out”

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Citizens in Colombia are protesting a tax overhaul and the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic

Colombia recorded 20 deaths at protests over the weekend, but Human Rights Watch says the actual count may be closer to 60

Colombian city Cali has become the epicentre of anti-government protests. Over the weekend, individuals in civilian clothing opened fire on demonstrators. Authorities later confirmed one of the gunmen was an off-duty police officer.

The officer allegedly killed two people before the crowd lynched him.

“The youth of Cali has said that the people of the strike committee do not represent us. We will not give up and we will not stop until the fire is put out.”

Andres Velasquez, a protest leader in the city of Cali

The month of protests come in response to recently proposed social and economic policies. President Ivan Duque has since withdrawn the proposed tax reform.

Since the tax reform was withdrawn, protesters’ demands expanded to include a basic income and an end to police violence. Protesters also called for an end to police violence, including the dissolution of the feared anti-riot unit ESMAD.

In response to the protests, Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez deployed military personnel to thirteen cities to assist local police.

However, critics say this will only fuel the violence and not help end it.

“Having more security forces on the streets is not a step in the direction of peace.”

Sebastian Lanz, Co-director at TEMBLORESONG; Which is an NGO specialised in documenting police violence

Authorities are investigating 10 police officers who allowed civilians to shoot at protesters

Meanwhile, the protests continue in Colombia, with another one reportedly planned for Wednesday. The attorney general’s office also reportedly linked three additional deaths to protests.

In an interview with a German broadcaster, Jose Miguel Vivanco from Human Rights Watch said the situation in Cali could deteriorate with the deployment of the military.

Colombian security forces have “a very poor record with regard to the use of force,” Vivanco added.

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Four dead in Russian military plane crash

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Four people have been killed after a Russian military plane suffered an engine malfunction

The plane reportedly crashed in the city of Ryazan, which is located southeast of Moscow.

It’s believed five others are also injured. However, it is unclear how many were on board.

The Ilyushin IL-76 military cargo plane is a long-range aircraft, which can reportedly carry over 100 troops.

An Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft, which is similar to the one involved in the incident.

Local authorities say the plane suffered a malfunction while on a training flight.

Russia’s Defence Minister is yet to give any further details on the crash, or about the victims.

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Double election defeat for UK Conservatives

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have suffered defeat in two parliamentary by-elections

UK Conservatives have lost two crucial seats in England, which could spark concerns about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s future.

The centrist Liberal Democrat party won the seats of Tiverton and Honiton.

The seats are in a Conservative part of south-west England, where a majority of 24,000 has been overturned.

The Liberal Democrats say it is their biggest ever majority turn around at a parliamentary by election.

“Tonight, the people of Tiverton and Honiton have spoken for Britain. They’ve sent a loud and clear message: It’s time for Boris Johnson to go, and go now.”

winning candidate Richard Foord

The losses have renewed calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign after a police investigation into gatherings at his Downing Street offices.

Johnson recently survived a vote of no-confidence, which secured his term as Prime Minister for another 12 months.

It also follows the Conservatives winning a landslide majority in three decades during the last national election.

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Protestors disrupt Chinese ambassador’s speech in Sydney

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Protesters are causing disruptions during an address by China’s Ambassador to Australia

Xiao Qian is in Sydney, where is he speaking about how to improve ties between the two countries.

One protester described Mr Xiao as a “representative of a dictatorship” and accused the Chinese Government of committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims.

Others were heard shouting “Free Tibet”, and another was asked to leave the venue prior to the event because he was dressed in a military costume.

The speech was widely seen as an attempt to ease relations between the two countries.

China has put trade sanctions on Australia, while a recent encounter took place between a Chinese fighter jet and an Australian maritime aircraft over the South China Sea.

Security guards reportedly ushered the protesters.

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