India tension after ‘cow protectors’ assault Dalits in Gujarat


Dalit protest in Gujarat on Monday 18 July 2016Image copyrightPRASHANT DAYAL
Image captionProtesters set fire to government buses and blocked a national highway

Tension has gripped parts of the Indian state of Gujarat after reports that seven men from the low-caste Dalit community had attempted suicide.

The men tried to take their own lives to protest against last week’s assault on four Dalit men allegedly by the members of a Hindu hardline group.

The Dalit men were assaulted while trying to skin a dead cow.

Many Hindus consider cows sacred and the slaughter of the animal is banned in many Indian states.

Last year, a Muslim man was lynched by a violent mob that attacked his house over allegations that his family had been storing and consuming beef at home.

There have several other attacks across India where Muslim men have been accused of eating or smuggling beef.

Protesters set government buses on fire on Gondal, Dhoraji and Junagadh highway on Monday and blocked a national highway and seven men allegedly took poison at separate protest rallies by Dalit groups, police said.

A senior police official told BBC Hindi that a large number of policemen have been deployed in the region and the situation is under control.

Last week, four Dalit men, believed to be tannery workers, were stripped and beaten with sticks by men claiming to be “cow protectors”.

After a video of the assault was released on the internet, eight attackers were identified and arrested.

The victims are reported to be severely wounded and are recovering in hospital.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has said that her government was committed to protecting the Dalits and ordered an inquiry into the incident. Four policemen have been suspended.

German train attack: Afghan refugee ‘had IS flag in room’


Train attack site in Germany, 18 JulyImage copyrightEPA
Image captionThe attacker was shot dead by police as he fled

A hand-painted flag of so-called Islamic State has been found in the room of an Afghan refugee accused of carrying out an axe and knife attack on a southern German train, officials say.

The 17-year-old man injured four people from Hong Kong, two critically, in the attack in Wuerzburg on Monday evening. He was shot dead by police as he fled.

He had reportedly shouted Allahu akbar” (“God is great”).

The attack comes days after a deadly IS-claimed attack in Nice in France.

Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of the state of Bavaria, told German TV the flag had been found among the teenager’s belongings in his room in the nearby town of Ochsenfurt.

Mr Herrmann said it was too early to say whether the teenager was a member of an Islamist group or had become self-radicalised in recent times.

‘Slaughterhouse’

The teenager, who had claimed asylum after travelling to Germany as an unaccompanied minor, had been living with a foster family after moving from a refugee centre in the town.

Last year Germany registered more than one million migrants, including more than 150,000 Afghans, although the number has slowed dramatically this year since new EU measures were taken to stop the flow.

Bloodstains on the floor of the train carriage. 18 July 2016Image copyrightEPA
Image captionBloodstains could be seen on the floor of the train carriage

The South China Morning Post said it was believed the four people injured were a 62-year-old man, his 58-year-old wife, their daughter, 27, and her boyfriend, 31. The 17-year-old son travelling with them was not hurt, it said.

A source told the paper the father and boyfriend had tried to protect the other members of the group.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has condemned the attack and expressed his sympathy to the victims. Immigration officials from the city will accompany family members to Germany.

The attack happened at about 21:15 (19:15 GMT) on the train which runs between Treuchlingen and Wuerzburg.

Police said the attacker had fled the train but was chased by officers who shot him dead.

One local man told DPA news agency that the train carriage where the attack took place “looked like a slaughterhouse”.

The BBC’s Damien McGuinness in Berlin says there is nervousness in Germany about attacks by Islamist extremists following the attacks across the border in France.

Islamic State said one of its followers had carried out the lorry attack in Nice that killed 84 people on Bastille Day.

In May, a man reportedly shouting “Allahu akbar” killed a man and wounded three others in a knife attack at a railway station near the German city of Munich.

He was later sent to a psychiatric hospital and authorities said they had found no links to Islamic extremism.

Chinese tourists die in Taiwan bus fire


A handout photo released by the Taoyuan City Fire Department shows a tourist coach near the Taoyuan International Airport outside Taipei, Taiwan, 19 July 2016.Image copyrightEPA
Image captionThe tour bus had been bringing the group of Chinese tourists to Taoyuan Airport to catch a flight back to Dalian

At least 26 people have died after a tour bus caught fire in Taiwan’s Taoyuan city, according to local officials.

The bus smashed into a roadside barrier on a national highway and caught fire, Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) reported.

It had been bringing the group of Chinese tourists to Taoyuan Airport to catch a flight back to Dalian.

Officials said there were 24 tourists on board plus a local guide and driver.

“The fire moved very fast. All 26 died,” Lu Jui-yao, an official with the National Highway Police Bureau told Reuters.

Pictures from the scene showed thick black smoke and flames engulfing the bus.

Map
A handout photo released by the Taoyuan City Fire Department show police and firemen inspect the scene of a tourist coach fire near the Taoyuan Internatinal Airport in Taoyuan County outside Taipei, Taiwan, 19 July 2016.Image copyrightEPA
Image captionOfficials said there were 24 tourists on board plus a local guide and driver

The cause of the crash, shortly before 13:00 (05:00 GMT), was not immediately known. Taiwan authorities are still investigating.

Taiwanese cabinet spokesman Tung Chen-yuan said tourism government officials had reached out to their mainland counterparts and would arrange for relatives of the victims to come to Taiwan.

US election: Melania Trump ‘plagiarised’ Michelle Obama


Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, took centre stage on the first day of the Republican National Convention but faced accusations that a portion of her speech plagiarised Michelle Obama.

Commentators noticed similarities with Mrs Obama’s 2008 convention speech.

Mrs Trump’s speech also praised her husband as a “compassionate” man who would “fight for the country”.

It was her first speech of the campaign and she had the help of a speechwriting team.

Mr Trump’s communications adviser Jason Miller issued a statement saying: “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.

“Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”

Meanwhile Mr Trump himself described her speech as “absolutely incredible”.

Will Gibraltar end up as part of Spain after Brexit?


More than 95 per cent voted to remain in the EU

Updated: Jul 18th 2016 02:52 PM
According to NBC News, more than 95 per cent of Gibraltar residents voted to remain in the EU in the 23 June Brexit vote — the highest proportion of any British region.

The enclave has arguably the most to fear from losing the right to EU-wide trade and travel.

See also: Brexit fears: Brits start panic-buying foreign currency

See also: Who needs Europe? Britain has the best holiday spots

Gibraltarians already complain of excessive checks and delays on the Spanish side of the border, a vital lifeline for trade and tourism.

Many also suspect the situation will only get worse as Madrid ramps up the political pressure.

Gibraltar is conspicuously British despite its location at the southern tip of Spain, less than nine miles from north Africa.

British police wearing tall black hats patrol streets lined with UK stores agaisnt the backdrop of a huge limestone promontory that give the enclave its alternative name, ‘The Rock’.

Britain has already said it would be less able to protect Gibraltar’s interests if outside of the EU and Spain has begun muttering about ceasing Gibraltar and making it part of Spain once again.

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