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Bangladesh Sentences Seven To Death For 2016 Cafe Attack

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Bangladesh Sentences Seven To Death For 2016 Cafe Attack

Seven Islamists have been sentenced to death by a Bangladesh court for their roles in a deadly 2016 terror attack on foreigners in a café.

The attack on the upmarket Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in Dhaka on July 1, 2016, the deadliest terrorist incident in Bangladesh’s history, killed 22 persons, mostly foreigners.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, but Bangladesh disputed this, instead holding a local militant group responsible. The defendants, all said to be members of the group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, which seeks to establish sharia rule in the predominantly Muslim country

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Among the eight defendants, one person was acquitted by the court on Wednesday, which delivered its verdict amid tight security as hundreds of security forces, including the paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion, were deployed in and around the court premises in Dhaka.

Judge Md Majibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal of Dhaka ordered the deaths by hanging.

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“These people wanted to wreak havoc in the society and wanted to establish a Jihadist state. As their activities threatened public safety, they will be executed by hanging until they are pronounced dead,” Judge Rahman pronounced.

The seven men convicted were guilty of planning the attack, providing guns, making bombs and murder, prosecutors said

The seven convicts facing the gallows are: Hadisur Rahman, Rakibul Hasan Regan, Aslam Hossain Rash, Md Abdus Sabur Khan, Shariful Islam Khaled, Mamunur Rashid Ripon and Jahangir Hossain.

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“You will be judged by Allah in afterlife,” one of them shouted at Judge Rahman, according to Aljazeera.

A defence lawyer said the seven men would appeal. Death sentences in Bangladesh are carried out by hanging.

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Belarus President Closes Western Borders, Puts Army On High Alert

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Belarus President Closes Western Borders, Puts Army On High Alert

Protesters in Belarus are still angry in their sixth week of mass protests demanding the resignation of president Alexander Lukashenko.

The president has announced, in retaliation, he is putting troops on high alert and closing the country’s borders with Poland and Lithuania.  He also said the Belarusian border with Ukraine would be strengthened.

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Lukashenko insists the six weeks of protests are driven by the west. He faces increasing criticism from the united states and the European Union.

Demonstrations began after the disputed august presidential election official results gave the authoritarian leader a sixth term in office–results opponents say were manipulated.

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Bolivian Interim President Anez Withdraws From Election Race

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Bolivian Interim President Anez Withdraws From Election Race

Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Anez has withdrawn from next month’s presidential election, saying she’s withdrawing in the interest of the party.

Anez, a former conservative senator, took office during the power vacuum that followed former president Morales’s departure after allegations of irregularities in last year’s election.  Those allegations fueled violent protests, and army pressure forced the country’s first indigenous president into exile in Mexico.

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Anez says if she does not step down, Morales would possibly return to power.

She declined to name the candidate for whom she will vote.

Next month’s election is the delayed rerun of last year’s ballot.  Anez’s candidacy had sparked controversy after she initially ruled herself out and pledged to guide the country to transparent new elections.

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By pulling out of the race, analysts say Anez could increase chances that the election will be pushed to a second round by consolidating the anti-Arce vote.

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To avoid a second round, the election winner requires at least 40 percent of valid votes in the first round and a 10-point advantage over the closest competitor.

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First Case-Free Day For New Zealand In Five Weeks

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First Case-Free Day For New Zealand In Five Weeks

New Zealand for the first time in more than five weeks has reported no new confirmed cases of the coronavirus amid efforts to stamp out an outbreak discovered in Auckland last month ending a spell of 102 days free of community transmission.

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The South Pacific nation with its population of five million has reported more than 1,800 cases of COVID-19 and 25 fatalities.

The report on Friday also marked the fourth consecutive day without any cases of community transmission. All recent cases have been found among quarantined travellers returning from abroad.

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Following strict measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which were widely praised, New Zealand is in its deepest recession in decades after the country’s GDP shrank by 12.2% between April and June as the lockdown and border closures hit.

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Auckland lockdown began on 12 August after four cases were detected in the city of 1.5 million.

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