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Violence In Hong Kong Escalates

Hong Kong has been left in shock after a night of violence on Sunday, which saw dozens of masked men storm a train station.

Hongkong Protest Attack MapThe men – dressed in white shirts and suspected to be triad gangsters – assaulted pro-democracy protesters and passers-by in the Yuen Long area.

This is the first time this kind of violence has been seen in the ongoing anti-extradition demonstrations. Several lawmakers questioned why police were slow to arrive at the scene.

Footage posted on social media showed dozens of men attacking people with wooden rods and metal sticks inside the station. Forty-five people were injured, with one person in critical condition.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam told reporters the gang attacks were “shocking”. She also condemned protesters for defacing China’s main representative office in the city earlier on Sunday.

Pro-democracy protesters were set upon as they travelled back from a rally in the centre of Hong Kong, where riot police had fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters. The masked men stormed Yuen Long MTR station at about 22:30 local time (14:30 GMT).

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Venezuelan Fighter Jet Shadowed US Reconnaissance Aircraft

The United States military has accused a Venezuelan fighter aircraft of endangering the crew of a US navy plane in international airspace.

SU-30 FlankerThe Venezuelan plane made an “unsafe approach” and “aggressively shadowed” the US reconnaissance aircraft over the Caribbean Sea, US Southern Command said on Sunday.

Venezuela said the US plane had entered Venezuelan airspace without permission. Relations between the two countries have been tense for years.

The incident happened on Friday, the same day the US treasury department imposed sanctions on four members of Venezuela’s military counterintelligence directorate (DGCIM) for their alleged role in the physical abuse and death of a Venezuelan navy captain, Rafael Acosta.

Capt Acosta’s death, which a leaked forensic report suggests occurred after he was severely beaten, asphyxiated and given electric shocks while in DGCIM custody, caused an international outcry earlier this month.

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French Army To Use Sci-Fi Team For Future Threats

The French army is to create a “red team” of sci-fi writers to imagine possible future threats.

French MilitaryA new report by the Defence Innovation Agency (DIA) said the visionaries will “propose scenarios of disruption” that military strategists may not think of. The team’s highly confidential work will be important in the fight against “malicious elements”, the report states.

It comes amid efforts by the French to innovate its approaches to defence.

An inventor piloted his jet-powered flyboard over crowds at Bastille Day military celebrations in Paris on Sunday. Tweeting after Franky Zapata stunned crowds, President Emmanuel Macron said: “Proud of our army, modern and innovative” with a video of the stunt.

Comprised of just four or five sci-fi writers, the group will be expected to think more creatively than more traditional elements of the army.

Through role play and other techniques, the team will attempt to imagine how terrorist organisations or foreign states could use advanced technology.

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Police Are Solving Fewer Crimes

The proportion of crimes solved by police in England and Wales has fallen to the lowest level recorded, according to Home Office data.

PoliceIn the 12 months to March, 7.8% of offences saw someone charged or summonsed, down from 9.1% a year ago. The data began to be compiled in 2015.

It comes after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick acknowledged too many offences were being left unsolved, in a speech about the future of policing. She said sifting through vast amounts of phone and computer data was partly responsible and called for investment in resources, technology and expertise to drive up clear-up rates.

The Home Office said work to improve crime recording by police forces has “both increased the volume forces are dealing with and changed the crime mix to include more complex cases, such as sexual offences and domestic abuse, which can be more challenging to resolve”.

It added: “At the same time, while more crimes are now being recorded, in a growing proportion of cases the victim either doesn’t support further action or police are unable to contact them.”

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US Judge Jails Mexican Drug Lord To Life

A US judge has sentenced Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to life in prison plus 30 years.

El ChapoGuzmán, 62, was found guilty of 10 charges, including drug trafficking and money laundering, by a federal court in New York in February. He escaped a Mexican jail through a tunnel in 2015, but was later arrested. He was extradited to the US in 2017. He is a former head of the Sinaloa cartel, which officials say was the biggest supplier of drugs to the US.

During the trial, witnesses said he had tortured his cartel’s enemies.

Speaking through an interpreter just before Wednesday’s sentencing, Guzmán said in the Brooklyn courtroom his confinement in the US had amounted to “psychological, emotional, mental torture 24 hours a day”. He also said he had received an unfair trial, accusing jurors of misconduct.

The life sentence was the minimum Guzmán faced. The additional 30 years were for unlawful uses of firearms.

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