IUSF accuse police of abducting two people

The Inter University Student’s Federation (IUSF) has accused the police of “abducting” two people following a demonstration staged in Colombo yesterday.According to the IUSF, the police had arrested a student and a driver of a vehicle used by the students at the end of the demonstration in Fort. The police have also seized loudspeakers used during the demonstration to draw attention to several demands of the university students. IUSF convener Najith Indika said that the policemen who made the arrest were dressed in civil clothes and had arrived in a double cab. He said that following the incident the students had visited the Fort police station and sough information about the arrest but the police had insisted that no such arrest was made.The students had later staged a protest outside the Fort police station and after nearly two hours the two people had been released. “The two people had told us they were taken in a normal double cab by plain clothed policemen and were threatened while being kept at the Fort police station,” Najith Indika said.The IUSF said that this was a serious incident as the police have a procedure to follow when arresting people and they cannot simply drag people off the street. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Syria UN rights officials deplore government aerial attacks warn of retaliation by

“Government air strikes have reportedly killed more than a hundred civilians in the past week. Employing means or methods of combat which cannot distinguish civilian from military objectives is a clear violation of international humanitarian law. Not only has the Government of Syria failed in its responsibility to protect its populations from atrocity crimes, but it continues to attack its own people,” says the statement.The statements was issued by: the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng; the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, Jennifer Welsh; the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Rita Izsák; and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt.The Special Advisers and the Special Rapporteurs sounded the alarm about the broader consequences of the aerial attacks by Government forces for particular communities in Syria. As a result of such strikes, they said, non-State armed groups could carry out large scale reprisal attacks against religious and ethnic minorities perceived to be associated with the Government, including Shia civilians who live in Aleppo and Idleb governorates, and Druze communities concentrated in As Suwayda governorate.In addition, the experts reiterated their concern about the ongoing threat to the safety of minority groups in Syria, including Alawites, Armenians, Assyrians, Druze, Ismailis and Kurds, who are being killed, persecuted or otherwise targeted – primarily by non-state armed groups, including Jabhat al Nusra and the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ – on the basis of their religious or ethnic identity. “We call on all parties to respect international human rights and humanitarian law and immediately stop targeting people on the basis of who they are or what they believe and to do everything, in action as well as in words, to prevent further rifts and escalation of tensions along sectarian lines.”The Special Advisers and the Special Rapporteurs also condemned advocacy of racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to violence in the traditional and social media against ethnic and religious minorities in Syria. In particular, they expressed outrage at recent speeches and media articles that dehumanise Alawites and Christians and call for their conversion, or death.All parties to the conflict, including the Syrian Government and non-state armed groups, are alleged to have committed grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Syria that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, adds the statementDenouncing the prevailing culture of impunity in Syria, the Special Advisers and the Special Rapporteurs warned that “it must be made very clear to everyone carrying a gun, or holding a command position, that perpetrators of atrocity crimes in Syria will be held to account.” “The protection of the populations in [Syria] is the primary responsibility of the Syrian state. However, in face of the State’s failure to do so, and with a situation of continued attacks against civilians by all parties to the conflict, the international community – and in particular the Security Council – has the responsibility to take timely and decisive action to protect populations in Syria,” stated the group of experts. read more

UK weather Strong winds and flood warnings as temperatures plummet after heatwave

Lightning flashes over Humber estuary A number of flights were affected, and travellers suffered long delays waiting for ferries and cross-Channel trains.But is heatwave set to return by the weekend?The heatwave, which last week contributed to a “high” air pollution alert being issued for London, is set to return towards the end of next week.”We will see more settled conditions across southern areas by the weekend, with temperatures creeping back towards 30C in places,” said Ms Kent.Weather map for Sunday and week ahead Flooding is possible and large waves are likely in coastal areas, the forecaster added, warning of potential damage to tents and other temporary structures.Saturday was the first day this month that nowhere in the UK reached at least 25C, the forecaster added, marking a 10-degree drop from Thursday which saw the hottest day of the year so far. Cavendish in Suffolk and Weybourne in Norfolk enjoyed Saturday’s UK high of 24C. Heavy, thundery showers will continue as changeable weather replaces the hot spell much of the UK has endured for weeks.”It’s a very unsettled weather picture across the whole of the UK,” said meteorologist Sarah Kent.She said campers especially should take heed of the windy weather, adding: “The warning is in place particularly for holidaymakers who are out camping or towing their caravans, they are going to see some very strong gusts.”Sunday’s highs are expected to remain much nearer normal for the time of year, with the south of England likely to see the mercury struggle to climb higher than the low 20s in southern England.While some will have welcomed the rain and the cooler temperatures, those keen to catch a glimpse of the blood moon, the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century, on Friday were disappointed by cloud cover. More heavy rain and gusts of up to 50mph will see the weekend washout continue following weeks of hot, dry weather.A deluge of rainfall and a dramatic drop in temperatures brought an end to the summer heatwave for many on Saturday.More than a month’s worth of rain fell at Belfast International Airport, with the torrential downpours causing flooding and traffic disruption across the region.A yellow weather warning for rain was in place for western parts of Scotland on Saturday, while a warning for wind and rain covers Wales and the south of England on Sunday.Winds of up to 50mph are forecast for exposed coasts and hills with as much as 80mm of rain possible in the Brecon Beacons and Dartmoor, the Met Office said. Lightning flashes over the Humber Estuary on Friday night as the heatwave gave way to rainCredit:Danny Lawson /PA As thunderstorms brought the first significant rainfall for weeks to the UK, Belfast International Airport saw 88.2mm in just a few hours – above the July average for the entire region, which sits at 81.2mm.Meteorologist Sarah Kent said that, unlike thunderstorms in many other parts of the UK, those in Northern Ireland came as a result of low pressure, rather than directly relating to the recent heatwave.Short Ferry in Lincolnshire had 41.8mm of rainfall in one hour on Friday, nearing the county’s monthly July average of 55.8mm. Holidaymakers were beset by delays and cancellations due to the extreme weather on Saturday. Perhaps not the radar image 🌧️ you want to see if you’re on holiday or have outdoor plans, but at least the water butt will get topped up… pic.twitter.com/NOg0FZ4RfO— Met Office (@metoffice) July 29, 2018 Bodies found after people get into trouble in waterTwo bodies were recovered on Saturday in separate incidents following concerns people had got into difficulties in water.The body of a 15-year-old was recovered in Essex.Police said the teenager, provisionally named as Ben Quartermaine, was found near Clacton Pier after a search which began on Thursday.In Bedfordshire, the body of a man aged in his late 20s was recovered from the Great Ouse river after reports someone had got into difficulty there on Friday afternoon.A man’s body was recovered from the Jubilee River in Slough on Thursday, Thames Valley Police said, and on Friday a body was found by police in Warwickshire searching for a 17-year-old boy who disappeared after getting into difficulty in a quarry lake. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more