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Sudan army accused of trying to break up anti-government protests | World News



Protesters in Sudan have accused the military of going against their word by trying to break up an anti-government demonstration.

A transitional administration led by a military council is in charge after the ousting of Omar al Bashir.

Despite the long-time president being deposed, thousands have continued to rally in the capital city of Khartoum to demand further and faster political change.

The demonstrators are demanding that a civilian government be formed
The demonstrators want a civilian government to be formed

The army had promised that no force would be used to disrupt the peaceful demonstrators.

However, videos online purport to show troops being ordered to “clean the area” around a military compound.

In the footage, an officer is heard saying they have arrived to open roads and remove barricades set up by the protesters.

Some are seen sitting on the ground in front of the soldiers, while others chant “revolution”.

Sudanese armed forces gather near the site of a demonstration close to the military headquarters in the capital Khartoum
Sudanese armed forces kept watch at a demonstration near the military HQ in Khartoum

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which has been leading the protests, urged people to defend the demonstration.

“There is an attempt to break up the sit-in,” the group said.

“We appeal everyone to head to the area to protect your revolution and gains.”

At least 16 people were killed and 20 injured in the two days after Mr al Bashir was forced from power on Thursday.

The military has committed to organising elections within two years in a bid to calm the unrest.

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Leader of the military council General Abdel-Fattah Burhan has said the country will soon be led by a civilian government after consultations with opposition figures and meetings with protest leaders.

But demonstrators are worried that the army will cling to power and want change to come quicker.

Further protests since Mr al Bashir was forced out have already resulted in the resignation of two other senior government figures, the intelligence chief and the defence minister.

The latter, Awad Ibn Auf, stepped down as head of the transitional military council on Friday after only a day in the job, sparking wild celebrations in Khartoum.

Protesters defy army curfew after coup

His replacement, General Burhan, was the third most senior general in the Sudanese armed forces and has overseen troops fighting in the Saudi-led Yemen war.

Mr al Bashir, 75, led Sudan for nearly 30 years after seizing power in a military coup in 1989 and oversaw a period of rising food costs, high unemployment and increasing repression.

An army spokesman has said he will not be extradited to The Hague to face war crimes charges, as it would be “an ugly mark on Sudan”, and for now remains under house arrest.

He is facing an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court over his campaign against insurgents in Sudan’s Darfur region.

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Flight MH17: Four charged with murder over downing of Malaysia Airlines jet | World News



Four men have been charged with murder over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which killed 298 passengers and crew.

Almost five years after the Boeing 777 jet was shot down above eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, an international team of investigators announced that three Russians and a Ukrainian were to be “held accountable” for transporting the missile system used to its launch site.

The three Russians were named as former Igor Girkin, 48, Sergey Dubinskiy, 56, and Oleg Pulatov, 52, while the other man was identified as 47-year-old Leonid Kharchenko.

Part of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk
Part of the Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove, some 80km east of Donetsk

Girkin is a former colonel of the FSB, the Russian security service, Dubinskiy was once employed by GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, and Pulatov is an ex-soldier of the Spetznaz, the GRU special forces. Kharchenko is the only suspect with no military background.

The international team of detectives and prosecutors investigating the crash said the men had “co-operated closely” to obtain the weaponry – a 9M38 variant of the Buk missile system used by Russia – and position it in advance of it striking the passenger plane, which was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Speaking at a news conference at The Hague, Dutch police chief Wilbert Paulissen said their murder trial would begin at the same court on 9 March 2020 – although the men are unlikely to appear as their countries do not recognise extradition requests and are unlikely to co-operate with the investigation.

Chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said the failure by Russia to aid the investigation was a “slap in the face” to the families of those who died.

“We have established that there has been involvement of the Russian Federation because they made available the missile that was used to shoot down MH17,” he said.

“The Russian federation has not disclosed anything that happened and that is a slap in the face for all the relatives of the victims, and I call out to them to start co-operating.”

The plane was heading to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Moscow did not trust the investigation, but claimed that there had been a willingness to help.

He told reporters ahead of the news conference: “Russia was unable to take part in the investigation despite an interest right from the start and trying to join in.”

A pro-Russian separatist stands at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, Ukraine
Potential suspects include rebel forces in the area

Relatives of the victims were briefed on the updates provided in the news conference beforehand.

Silene Fredriksz-Hoogzand, whose son Bryce and his girlfriend Daisy Oehlers were among those killed, hailed the charges for the four suspects as a “good start”.

She said: “This is what we hoped for. This is a start of it. It is a good start.”

Mr Paulissen said more suspects could be identified at a later date, including those “higher up the chain of command”, but added that there is not yet sufficient evidence to do so.

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Girl, 10, is youngest person to climb 7,500ft El Capitan | US News



A 10-year-old girl has made rock climbing history by becoming the youngest person on record to scale Yosemite’s iconic El Capitan.

Selah Schneiter, from Colorado, climbed the 7,500ft (1,100 metre) route – known as The Nose – over five days with her father Mike, an experienced climber, and a family friend.

She reached the summit on 12 June after using a rope climbing technique known as jumaring to tackle the famously steep rock formation.

After reaching the top of the granite monolith in central California, Selah celebrated her feat with a pizza.

The 10-year-old used a rope climbing technique known as jumaring

“I just can’t believe I just did that,” she said in a video captured after her impressive achievement.

“Our big motto was ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ Small bites. One pitch at a time, one move at a time, one day at a time,” she told KFSN in Fresno.

Few adults can say they have successfully reached El Capitan’s zenith, with many experienced climbers considering The Nose to be the most iconic big-wall climb in the world.

Saleh’s father said she was in shock on reaching the peak.

Revealing she broke down in tears, Mr Schneiter said: “She said it was her first happy tears she’s ever had.

“We were tired after a long five days and camped out that night, but she was like a little kid again and wanted to check everything out, exploring almost like it was nothing.”

He said they spent time on ledges throughout the climb “just relaxing… talking about the world… talking about life”.

El Capitan is a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park
El Capitan is a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park

Selah comes from a family of hiking enthusiasts who have developed a special connection to Yosemite’s trails.

Mr Schneiter, a climbing instructor, claims to have met his daughter’s mother, Joy, while hiking in the region years prior.

Selah is now encouraging her seven-year-old brother to follow in her footsteps.

In 2017, American rock climber Alex Honnold became the first person to scale El Capitan without ropes or safety equipment.

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Mines used in tanker attacks 'strikingly' like Iran's, US says



Pieces of mines recovered after attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman “strikingly” resemble Iranian mines, the US navy has said.

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