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Man dies after police chase, struggle with officer

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Mississippi authorities say a man has died in custody after a chase that ended with his car in a ditch and the man struggling with an officer.

Meridian Police Sgt. Dareall Thompson tells WTOK-TV that passengers ran as the officer tried to arrest the driver Monday, and a state Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks officer tried to help.

Coroner Clayton Cobler identified the dead man Tuesday as 33-year-old Jason Stevens of Meridian.

The short chase began in Meridian, ending just outside the city.

Lauderdale County Sheriff’s department Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun tells the Meridian Star that officers arrested the man, saw that he was in distress and called an ambulance, which took him to a hospital.

Spokesman Warren Strain says the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death.

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Airstrikes launched against Hamas after incendiary devices are sent into Israel | World News

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Israel has launched airstrikes in Gaza less than a month after a ceasefire agreement was reached.

The move, also the first strikes under the new Israeli government, came after incendiary balloons were launched from Palestinian territory.

The balloon launches appeared to be in retaliation for a march on Tuesday in East Jerusalem where Jewish nationalists celebrated Israel’s capture of the area in 1967.

A tree in a field catches fire after Palestinians in Gaza sent incendiary balloons over the border between Gaza and Israel, Near Nir Am June 15,2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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The incendiary balloons caused a number of fires, Israel said

Palestinians consider the march a provocation and it sparked threats of action from Hamas.

Israel said the balloon launches had caused 20 fires in open fields in communities near the Gaza border.

Commenting on Tuesday’s air strikes, the Israel Defense Forces said jets attacked Hamas military complexes that “served as camps and meeting places for terrorist operatives”.

“The attack was carried out in response to the inflating of incendiary balloons into Israeli territory,” it added.

“The terrorist organization Hamas is responsible for what is happening in the Gaza Strip and will bear the consequences of its actions.

“The IDF is prepared for all scenarios, including the resumption of hostilities, in the face of continued terrorist operations from the Gaza Strip.”

Jerusalem is claimed by both sides – Israel regards the city as its capital, having occupied the east in the 1967 war and annexed it in 1980.

But Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state that would include Gaza and the West Bank.

A spokesman for Hamas said on Tuesday that Palestinians would continue their “brave resistance and defend their rights and sacred sites” in Jerusalem.

The renewing of tensions provides a challenge for Israel’s new prime minister Naftali Bennett, a nationalist who presides over a diverse but delicate coalition government.

The government was sworn in on Sunday and one of the first problems was whether to cancel the Israeli march – there were concerns it would spark tensions but also that cancelling would be seen as giving in to Hamas.

Previously the march has passed through Damascus Gate and into the heart of the Muslim Quarter but police changed the route to avoid the Muslim Quarter on Tuesday.

Israeli Knesset members Bezalel Smotrich, center, waves an Israeli flag together with other Jewish ultranationalists during the "Flags March" next to Damascus gate, outside Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
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The “Flags March” went ahead on Tuesday, despite concerns

But not every party in the coalition agreed with the decision to let the march go ahead.

Mansour Abbas’s Raam party is the first Arab faction to be part of an Israeli coalition and he said the march should have been cancelled.

He described it as “an attempt to set the region on fire for political aims”, adding: “I call on all sides not to be dragged into an escalation and maintain maximum restraint.”

United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said UN officials have urged all sides to avoid “provocations” in order to solidify the informal cease-fire that halted last month’s 11-day Gaza conflict.

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COVID-19: New York returns to ‘life as we know it’ as state hits 70% adult vaccination target | World News

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New York is returning to “life as we know it” after at least 70% of adults in the state have received at least one COVID jab, its governor has said.

Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday he is lifting virtually all remaining COVID-19 restrictions for businesses and social settings.

It comes on the day the US, the worst-affected country during the global pandemic, hit another grim milestone as the number of people who have died passed 600,000 from more than 33 million cases.

Latest COVID news from the UK and around the world

Addressing an invited audience at the World Trade Centre, Mr Cuomo said: “What does 70% mean? It means that we can now return to life as we know it.”

COVID restrictions are being lifted across more than a dozen commercial and social settings, including childcare, camps, food services, offices, real estate, amusement, gyms and more, Mr Cuomo said.

The state is immediately lifting restrictions that limited the size of gatherings and forced some businesses to follow cleaning protocols, take people’s temperatures or screen them for recent COVID-19 symptoms.

Firms no longer have to adhere to social distancing rules or limits on the number of people allowed inside.

But for the time being, masks will still need to be worn in schools, subways, large venues, homeless shelters, hospitals, nursing homes and prisons.

Fireworks displays will be held across the state on Tuesday evening to honour essential workers, Mr Cuomo said, with bridges, along with the Empire State Building, lit blue and gold.

Mr Cuomo said: “It’s our way of saying thank you all across the state. I’ll tell you how to honour essential workers. You get vaccinated so you don’t need the essential workers again.”

Half of all 20 million residents in New York are fully vaccinated, according to government figures released on Monday, while about 58% of residents of all ages have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The city has been averaging around 450 new coronavirus cases a day over the last week, the lowest level since the pandemic began.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo winks during his remarks about lifting lockdown rules
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo winks during his remarks about lifting lockdown rules

Vaccination rates are particularly low in parts of the state that were hit hard by the winter coronavirus surge, including parts of New York City and rural counties in western and central New York.

California, the most populous US state and the first to impose a coronavirus lockdown, has also dropped state rules on social distancing and limits on capacity at restaurants, bars, supermarkets, gyms, stadiums and other places, governor Gavin Newsom said on Tuesday.

Passing 600,000 means the US death toll is now more than the population of cities such as Baltimore or Milwaukee and about equal to the number of Americans who died of cancer in 2019.

Worldwide, about 3.8 million people have died from COVID-19.



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Climate protester parachutes on to pitch at Euro 2020 game | World News

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A climate change protester parachuted into the stadium and landed on the pitch before Germany’s Euro 2020 game against France.

He appeared to parasail from the roof on to the turf at the Allianz Arena in Munich using a bright yellow parachute with the slogan “Kick out oil Greenpeace” written on it.

The man was quickly met by security staff and given medical attention on the side of the field.

The protester is led away security staff
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The protester is led away security staff

Kick-off in the group F match was not delayed and the game started as scheduled at 8pm UK time.

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