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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 President Ivan Duque has since withdrawn the proposed tax reform.

Since the tax reform was withdrawn, protesters’ demands expanded to include a basic income and an end to police violence.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.

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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Time is running out for Biden’s death penalty abolition

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President Joe Biden is facing increasing pressure as his administration grapples with the challenge of fulfilling a key 2020 campaign promise – the abolition of the federal death penalty.

The issue has gained renewed attention as the Department of Justice reviews its policies on capital punishment.

Despite initial steps like imposing a moratorium on federal executions, the President’s commitment to a complete abolition faces hurdles in Congress and legal complexities.

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What can be learned from the AT&T outage?

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The outage lasted for several hours and impacted thousands of customers across the United States.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were looking into an AT&T outage that lasted for several hours and impacted thousands of customers across the United States.

AT&T said the hour-long outage to its U.S. cellphone network appeared to be the result of a technical error, not a malicious attack and that the Federal Communications Commission was in touch with the company.

Hugh Odom a former AT&T Attorney and the Founder and President of Vertical Consultants joins Veronica Dudo to discuss. #IN AMERICA TODAY #featured #telecommunications #cellphone #AT&T #AT&Toutage

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Extremism top concern for U.S. voters ahead of election

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Worries over political extremism and threats to democracy have surged to the forefront as the primary concern for U.S. voters, setting the stage for a high-stakes showdown in the upcoming November election.

The three-day Reuters Ipsos poll, which concluded on Sunday, found that 21% of respondents identified “political extremism or threats to democracy” as the nation’s most pressing issue, narrowly edging out concerns about the economy and immigration.

President Joe Biden appears to hold a slight advantage over his predecessor, Donald Trump, in addressing this issue, with 34% of respondents believing Biden has a better approach compared to 31% for Trump.

The findings underscore the deeply polarized political landscape in America, with Democrats prioritizing extremism as the top issue, while Republicans overwhelmingly focus on immigration.

Independent voters

The poll also highlights the pivotal role of independent voters, with nearly a third citing extremism as their primary concern, followed closely by immigration and the economy.

This suggests that the handling of extremism could significantly influence voter behavior in the upcoming election.

The rise of extremism as a top concern comes amid ongoing political turmoil, with Trump continuing to challenge the legitimacy of U.S. institutions and perpetuate false claims of election fraud.

His rhetoric has not only fueled division but also incited violence, as seen in the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

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