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Villagers Beaten And Tortured By Security Forces In Kashmir

Security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir have been accused of carrying out beatings and torture in the wake of the government’s decision to strip the region of its autonomy.

 Kashmir MapSeveral villagers have said they were beaten with sticks and cables, and given electric shocks. The Indian army has called them “baseless and unsubstantiated”.

Unprecedented restrictions have put Kashmir into a state of lockdown for more than three weeks and information has only trickled out since 5 August when Article 370 – as the provision giving the region special status is known – was revoked.

Tens of thousands of extra troops have been deployed to the region and about 3,000 people – including political leaders, businesspeople and activists – are reported to have been detained. Many have been moved to prisons outside the state. The authorities say these actions are pre-emptive and designed to maintain law and order in the region, which was India’s only Muslim-majority state but is now being divided into two federally-run territories.

The Indian army has been fighting a separatist insurgency here for over three decades. India blames Pakistan for fomenting violence in the region by supporting militants – a charge that its neighbour, which controls its own part of Kashmir, denies.

Many people across India have welcomed the revocation of Article 370 and have praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the “bold” decision. The move has also been widely supported by mainstream media.

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Cybergendarmes Destroy Virus That Infected Over 850,000 Computers

A team of French police dubbed “cybergendarmes” has destroyed a virus that infected more than 850,000 computers worldwide, authorities say.

Cyber GendarmesThe network of infected computers, known as a botnet, was controlled from France and is thought to have made millions of euros from fraud. After a tip-off, the French team located and dismantled the pirate server in the Paris region. Then they succeeded in disinfecting the computers around the globe.

France’s C3N digital crime-fighting centre was alerted in the spring by anti-virus company Avast to the possible existence of a private server that had apparently sent a virus called Retadup to hundreds of thousands of Windows-operating computers, in over 100 countries but mainly in Central and South America.

The virus was sent via an email offering easy money or erotic pictures and through infected USB drives, officials explained. Hackers had then been able to use the virus to control the computers remotely without owners realising, to create the cryptocurrency Monero, extort money through “ransomware” and even steal data from hospitals in Israel as well as Israeli patients.

The operators behind the botnet are thought to have made millions of euros since they set it up in 2016 and are still on the run.

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Unexploded Bomb Found In Barcelona

Barcelona’s popular Sant Sebastià beach was partially evacuated after an unexploded bomb was spotted in the water nearby.

Spain BarcelonaExplosive experts moved the bomb out to sea, where it was successfully detonated, police said, in an operation involving the Spanish navy. The device was thought to date from the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War and contained about 70kg (154lb) of TNT.

A police officer found the bomb on Sunday 80ft (25m) from the shore.

Parts of Sant Sebastià beach, which draws millions of tourists every year, remained closed to the public on Monday. The beach, together with Barceloneta, is one of the most famous in the capital of Spain’s independent-minded Catalonia region.

Man Assassinated By Russian Agent In Berlin

A Chechen exile shot dead in a Berlin park had fought against Russian troops and may have been assassinated by a Russian agent.

Berlin ShootingGerman police arrested a 49-year-old Russian man soon after the shooting on Friday, and found the suspected pistol and bike used in the attack. So who was the victim, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, and why was he a target?

Witnesses quoted in German media said the killer approached Khangoshvili, aged 40, from behind on a bicycle and shot him twice in the head, then sped off. The attack took place in the Kleiner Tiergarten park in Moabit, central Berlin, just before midday on 23 August.

Police were quickly on the scene and arrested the suspected killer, who had been spotted dumping the bike, pistol and other evidence into the nearby River Spree.

The gun, a Glock 26, was used with a silencer. Police divers recovered the gun and bike, the Berlin state prosecutor’s office tweeted. The suspect, named only as Vadim S, reportedly had a large sum of cash in his flat, searched by investigators. He has been formally accused of “treacherous killing”.

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Hotel Worker In California May Have Prevented Mass Shooting

California police say a hotel worker may have prevented a mass shooting after the worker reported that a disgruntled colleague had threatened to shoot staff and guests.

Seized WeaponsActing on the tip-off, officers arrested a 37-year-old man who was found to have high-powered weapons and ammunition at his Los Angeles home. It comes amid a wider FBI effort to prevent such shootings. That followed attacks in El Paso and Dayton that killed 31 people.

Since then US authorities say they have foiled a series of alleged plots to carry out attacks, some of which would have targeted minority groups.

The FBI has reportedly instructed its field offices to conduct threat assessments and has also urged the public to report threats or suspicious activity.

Rodolfo Montoya made the threat to someone he worked with at a Marriott hotel near Long Beach airport, Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said. “Thank God that employee decided to bring that information forward,” he told reporters.

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