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Bolivian interim president Anez withdraws candidacy for October election

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Bolivias conservative interim president, Jeanine Anez, on Thursday withdrew her candidacy for the Oct. 18 election, after opinion polls showed her lagging against the socialist party of ex-leader Evo Morales.

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Anez made the announcement in a video message. She took office during a power vacuum late last year following an election that sparked widespread protests and eventually led to the resignation of long-term leader Morales.

Anezs candidacy had sparked controversy, Read More – Source

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Huge wildfire in Southern California threatens historic observatory

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A major fire that has been raging outside Los Angeles for more than a week threatened to engulf a historic observatory and billion-dollar broadcast towers on Tuesday as firefighters struggled to contain the flames.

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The so-called Bobcat Fire was within 500 feet (150 meters) from the 116-year-old Mt. Wilson Observatory, the US Forest Service said in a tweet, while fire officials said crews were in place "ready to receive the fire."

Officials at the observatory said in a tweet late Monday that all personnel had been evacuated as the fire was "knocking on our door."

Firefighters battling the blaze had made slight headway in recent days in trying to control the flames that erupted September 6, but containment shrank from 6 percent to 3 percent Tuesday, according to the Angeles National Forest.

"They are in a firefight right now, because it is so close," LA County Fire Captain David Dantic told the Los Angeles Times, referring to crews positioned at Mt. Wilson.

He said the fire, located about 16 miles (25 kilometers) northeast of downtown Los Angeles, had grown to more than 40,000 acres (16,200 hectares).

"It's a bigger area now," Dantic said. "Before, we had 6 percent containment when it was about 30,000 acres, but now the fire has gotten bigger. Its a bigger footprint. Thats why the containment is down."

KNX radio said the fire was also threatening broadcast towers in the area worth more than a billion dollars.

French film ‘Cuties’ sparks controversy in the US

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In the United States, a French film has found itself at the centre of controversy over the hyper-sexualisation of young girls. It's called "Cuties," or "Mignonnes" in French, and the irony is that it's being accused of the very thing the film is trying to criticise, according to its director. The backlash has prompted an online campaign to "Cancel Netflix," its distributor in the United States. We tell you more.

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Meanwhile, devastating wildfires on the West Coast of the US spread toxic smoke into the country, as the natural disaster becomes a war of words in the debate on climate change.

Finally, looking ahead to the presidential election, America is still undRead More – Source

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Biden brands Trump a ‘climate arsonist’ over US wildfires

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Joe Biden branded President Donald Trump a "climate arsonist" on Monday for refusing to acknowledge global warming's role in deadly wildfires sweeping the western United States, while Trump blamed lax forestry and declared, "I don't think science knows."

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Dozens of conflagrations have raged with unprecedented scope across some 4.5 million acres (1.8 million hectares) in Oregon, California and Washington state since August, laying waste to several small towns, destroying thousands of homes and killing at least 36 people.

The fires also have filled the region's air with harmful levels of smoke and soot, bathing skies in eerie tones of orange and sepia while adding to a public health crisis already posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ten deaths have been confirmed during the past week in Oregon, the latest flashpoint in a larger summer outbreak of fires accompanied by catastrophic lightning storms, record-breaking heat waves and bouts of extreme winds.

Those incendiary conditions gave way over the weekend to cooler, moister weather and calmer winds, enabling weary firefighters to gain ground in efforts to outflank blazes that had burned largely unchecked last week.

Fire managers cautioned that the battle was hardly over. Thunderstorms forecast for later in the week could bring much-needed rain but also more lightning. Officials also braced for a rise in the death toll.

As disaster teams scoured the ruins of dwellings engulfed by flames amid chaotic evacuations last week, Oregon's emergency management authorities said they had yet to account for 22 people reported missing in the fires.

At least 25 people have perished in California wildfires since mid-August, and one fatality has been confirmed in Washington state. More than 6,200 homes and other structures have been lost, according to figures from all three states.

France 24's Alyssa Caverley reports on Trump's visit to California

WTO rules against US over Trump’s tariffs on China

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The World Trade Organization on Tuesday upheld a complaint by China over additional duties slapped by the Trump administration on some $250 billion (€211bn) worth of Chinese goods.

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A panel of experts set up by WTO's Dispute Settlement Body ruled the tariffs "inconsistent" with global trade rules, and recommended that the United States "bring its measures into conformity with its obligations".

The US response to Tuesday's ruling was defiant, blasting the organisation as "completely inadequate" in holding Beijing accountable.

"The United States must be allowed to defend itself against unfair trade practices, and the Trump administration will not let China use the WTO to take advantage of American workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers," US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

China's commerce ministry, for its part, said on Tuesday that it hoped the US would respect the WTO's rulings and take practical actions to maintain the multilateral trading system.

Trade war

The WTO panel was created in January last year to review US President Donald Trump's decision to hit China with tariffs on a quarter of a trillion dollars' worth of goods.

The tariffs imposed in 2018 marked the beginning of the trade war between the woRead More – Source

In US town of Paradise, residents defy recurring wildfires to rebuild their homes

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More than 4,000 homes and other structures have been incinerated in California alone over the past three weeks, but in the small mountain town of Paradise, many residents have chosen to defy the recurring wildfires, rebuilding the place they call home. FRANCE 24s Alyssa Caverly reports.

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“Weve been in Paradise our entire lives. Its home, thats why were rebuilding here,” a resident explains as he shows FRANCE 24 around his new home after his former one burned down to the ground in one of the deadliest wildfires in the states history in 2018.

“I love this town, I love its people — especially after everything that happened. It just makes me feel that much closer to everybody. Im not going to live in fear, Im going to live my life.”

But its not just an emotioRead More – Source

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Manhunt underway for shooter after 2 deputies ambushed in Los Angeles

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A manhunt was ongoing Sunday for the gunman who shot two sheriff’s deputies in an apparent ambush, hours after hundreds of demonstrators gathered to protest the shooting death of Dijon Kizzee by members of the sheriff’s department.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva expressed frustration over anti-police sentiment and urged people to pray for the officers.

“It pisses me off,” he said of the shooting. “This was a cowardly act.”

The sheriffs department released video that shows someone walking up to a patrol car parked near a Metro station in Compton about 7 p.m. Saturday. The person opens fire and runs from the scene. Villanueva said the deputies, a 31-year-old female and a 24-year-old male, were shot multiple times but were able to radio for help.

Both were hospitalized in critical condition at St. Francis Medical Center. Villanueva’s press conference at the hospital a few hours later drew more protests.

The sheriff’s department tweeted: “To the protesters blocking the entrance & exit of the HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM yelling ‘We hope they die’ referring to 2 LA Sheriff’s ambushed today in #Compton: DO NOT BLOCK EMERGENCY ENTRIES & EXITS TO THE HOSPITAL. People’s lives are at stake when ambulances can’t get through.”

Deputies issued a dispersal order for the “unlawful assembly” of the protesters for blocking the hospital’s emergency entrance and exits, the sheriff’s department said. Two people were arrested, including someone later determined to be a member of the media.

“A male adult protester refused to comply and cooperate,” the department said in a statement. “During his arrest, a struggle ensued at which time a female adult ran towards the deputies, ignored repeated commands to stay back as they struggled with the male and interfered with the arrest.”

The woman, later identified as Josie Huang, a public radio reporter for KPCC and LAist, did not identify herself as a member of the media and did not have proper press credentials, the statement said.

LAist reported that Huang’s phone continued to film after it was knocked out of her hand. In the video, Huang repeatedly identified herself as a journalist and can be heard yelling, “You’re hurting me,” LAist reported. She wearing a lanyard with a press credential, the outlet said.

Rochester, New York police chief quits after protests over death of Daniel Prude

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The police chief in the US city of Rochester resigned Tuesday, following days of protest over the death of a black man whom police had hooded and forced face-down on a road.

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The arrest of Daniel Prude took place in March, but his family and activists made his death public last Wednesday, after receiving body cam footage through an open records request.

When officers arrived, the 41-year-old Prude — who was suffering from a psychotic episode at the time — was unarmed and naked in the road, according to the video.

Police ordered an initially compliant Prude to get on the ground, but after being handcuffed he became increasingly agitated.

Officers then put a "spit hood" on him, because he said he had contracted the coronavirus, and forced his head to the pavement. Moments later he lost consciousness.

He died in a hospital a week later, when life support was switched off.

The seven officers present were all suspended and an investigation into the event is under way by New York state Attorney General Letitia James.

In a statement, Rochester police chief La'Ron Singletary said the accusations about his lack of initiative in the matter and alleged attempts to cover up the case were a "mischaracterisation" and slammed the "politicisation" of his actions.

Trump admits to deliberately misleading US public over Covid-19, but will it matter?

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IN THE PAPERS – Thursday, September 10: We look at reactions in the papers to Donald Trump admitting that he deliberately misled the US public over coronavirus so as not to create panic. Also, Nafissatou Diallo, the New York hotel maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of raping her in 2011, breaks her silence over the scandal. In France, a new petition calls for rebel poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine to be buried at the Panthéon. And find out how your fRead More – Source

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Protests against police brutality leave several dead, hundreds injured in Bogota

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Demonstrators took to the streets for a second night in Colombias capital Bogota on Thursday to press ahead with protests against police brutality that have erupted in violence and taken nine lives so far.

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The demonstrators were protesting the death this week of law student Javier Ordonez, 46. A widely-shared video filmed by Ordonezs friend showed the father of two being repeatedly shocked with a stun gun by police. He died later in a hospital.

Some 300 protesters gathered once again Thursday afternoon outside the police station in Villa Luz, where Ordonez was taken before his death and which was heavily damaged on Wednesday.

“How many are you going to kill today,” screamed barista Alejandra Pulido, 25. “The authorities that should protect us are killing us!”

“Pigs, pigs, pigs!” chanted the crowd, as police officers with riot shields stood in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary.

A number threw stones at the assembled police while others spray painted graffiti on their riot shields.

Bogota: several killed, dozens of police stations burned down in protests

Since the protests started Wednesday in Bogota and satellite city Soacha, at least nine people have been killed while hundreds of civilians and police officers have been injured.

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