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Trump-style ear bandages catch on

Courtesy: Reuters

MILWAUKEE: At the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this week, a fashion trend with a difference has emerged fake ear bandages, donned by attendees as a symbolic ges­ture of support for Donald Trump.

Trump has appeared at the convention wearing a large bandage where a would-be assassin’s bullet grazed his right ear at a rally on Saturday.

“We’re helping President Trump set a new fashion statement,” said Arizona delegate Susan Ellsworth.

“We’re standing in solidarity with him for his wound. And we just want him to know how much we love him.”

Delegate Michael Schafer, sporting a bandage taped to his right ear, said the trend was not quite the same as the ubiquitous red “Make America Great Again” hat.

“I think it’s something that’s of the moment,” he said.

Personality cult

Trump’s brush with death has fuelled the growing quasi-religious fervour among the party faithful, elevating him from political leader to a man they believe is protected by God.

“Trump, Trump, Trump,” attendees roared at the convention in Milwaukee when he appeared each night this week to listen to speaker after speaker intone reverentially about him and reference God’s hand in his survival from a would-be assassin’s bullet.

Republicans are uniting behind him this week. With most dissent quelled and his grip on the party never tighter, Trump will be in a much stronger position than in his 2017-2021 term to follow through on his agenda if he wins the November 5 election.

Untrammelled by the internal divisions that sometimes stymied him in his first term, Trump would be free to pursue hard-edged policies that include mass deportations as part of a crackdown on illegal migration, aggressive trade policies, and dismissing government officials seen as insufficiently loyal.

Even if Trump retakes the White House, Republicans take control of both houses of Congress, and conservatives go on holding a Supreme Court super majority, there would still be institutional checks on a second Trump term.

He could be kept in check by Congress, the courts and a public that elects a new Congress every two years and a president every four years, constitutional experts say.

Nevertheless, many Trump supporters want to see a powerful president.

“You need a strong leader at the top,” said Bill Dowd, a 79-year-old lumber business owner who was a guest of the Colorado delegation in Milwaukee.

“I’m a very, very big Ronald Reagan fan. Ronald Reagan pulled the party together also,” Dowd said.

Dowd acknowledged that some of his Republican friends feared that Trump might try to abuse his power. He said while he did not share that fear he believed that dissent should not be stifled in any party.

For Trump’s critics and political opponents, this is a dark and disturbing moment: they see the modern Republican Party as a cult of personality, a base from which Trump could pursue extreme policies and create America’s first truly imperial presidency, threatening the future of its democratic norms.

“Donald Trump has called for the termination of the constitution, promised to be a dictator on day one, and now his Supreme Court justices say he can rule without any checks on his power,” said Ammar Moussa, campaign spokesman for President Joe Biden.

1- Header image: THIS combo shows Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with a bandaged ear after he was injured in an assassination attempt last week; and supporters wearing bandages over their ears in tribute to the former president during the party’s convention in Milwaukee.—Reuters
Courtesy: Reuters MILWAUKEE: At the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this week, a fashion trend with a difference has emerged fake ear bandages, donned by attendees as a symbolic ges­ture of support for Donald Trump. Trump has appeared at the convention wearing a large bandage where a would-be assassin’s bullet grazed his right ear at a rally on Saturday. “We’re helping President Trump set a new fashion statement,” said Arizona delegate Susan Ellsworth. “We’re standing in solidarity with him for his wound. And we just want him to know how much we love him.” Delegate Michael Schafer, sporting a bandage taped to his right ear, said the trend was not quite the same as the ubiquitous red “Make America Great Again” hat. “I think it’s something
Trump embraces faith, family in glitzy convention finale

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP

“Together, we will launch a new era of safety, prosperity, and freedom for citizens of every race, religion, color, and creed,” Trump vowed.

As he basked in the glitz of the Republican National Convention’s closing night, Donald Trump’s bandaged ear served as a vivid reminder of his uncanny ability to turn adversity into triumph.

Multiple speakers in Milwaukee have suggested it was divine intervention that had saved him from assassination at the hands of a gunman in Pennsylvania last week, and the crowd roared as Trump declared: “I had God on my side.”

It was a night full of religious invocations, and TV evangelist Franklin Graham, one of the warm-up acts, set the tone by incorporating Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan into a prayer.

An attendee wearing a USA flag patch on his ear, prays during a sermon by president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Franklin Graham on the last day of the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 18, 2024. — AFPAn attendee wearing a USA flag patch on his ear, prays during a sermon by president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Franklin Graham on the last day of the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 18, 2024. — AFP

Trump himself projected an aura that was more grandfatherly than messianic.

“Together, we will launch a new era of safety, prosperity and freedom for citizens of every race, religion, color, and creed,” he vowed.

“The discord and division in our society must be healed.”

Call for healing

If the weekend shooting in Pennsylvania changed anything about the public image of Trump it was to humanize him.

Many had envisaged a full-throttle response from the rambunctious billionaire — all righteous anger and defiance — but he confounded expectations in his first public remarks after the attack.

“I am running to be president for all of America, not half of America, because there is no victory in winning for half of America,” he said.

Trump has held members of his extended clan close all week and on Thursday shared the limelight with his daughter Ivanka and wife Melania, both of whom had been absent from the campaign.

The former first couple sat with Trump’s new running mate J.D. Vance and his son Donald Trump Jr, with Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner in the row behind, alongside Trump’s younger daughter, Tiffany.

As thousands of balloons cascaded from the ceiling of Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum, the whole family took to the stage to accept a rapt ovation.

Trump’s rallies are typically filled with personal attacks on Joe Biden as the “worst president in history” and dark descriptions of a country doomed to economic collapse or even nuclear armageddon.

This speech was all that — but much more besides.

US former President and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives onstage to speak during the last day of the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 18, 2024. — AFPUS former President and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives onstage to speak during the last day of the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 18, 2024. — AFP

The former president and his aides had repeatedly said after Saturday’s shooting that he tore up his convention speech and would instead give a more unifying address.

His second son Eric had apparently missed the memo, as he ran through a laundry list of his father’s grievances in one of the most divisive speeches of the night.

‘Trumpmania’

Eric Trump led the crowd in a chant of “Fight! Fight! Fight!” — echoing Trump’s exhortation as he was ushered off the rally stage in Pennsylvania with gunshots reverberating from TV screens nationwide.

Trump himself encouraged the same chant — and he eventually reverted to his stump speech, accusing Democrats of destroying democracy and pursuing him with a corrupt “witch hunt” — but the vibe at the outset was conciliatory.

“As Americans, we are bound together by a single fate and a shared destiny. We rise together or we fall apart,” he said.

Many of the headlines will focus on Trump’s first detailed description of the terrifying moments of his brush with death on Saturday.

But it was also a night — in Trump’s own words — of “confidence, strength and unity.”

Trump turned to politics later in the speech, but the granular details of his policy platform were never the point.

The atmosphere throughout the night had been focused on the dramatic, with another of the warm-up acts, celebrity wrestler Hulk Hogan, leading the crowd in chants of “USA! USA!”

Hogan — who was fired by World Wrestling Entertainment after the emergence of an old racial slur caught on tape — earned huge applause as he tore off a shirt emblazoned with the words “real American” to reveal a red sleeveless “Trump Vance” top.

“Let Trumpmania run wild, brother!” he boomed.

Hulk Hogan, professional entertainer and wrestler, rips his shirt while speaking on Day 4 of the Republican National Convention, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, July 18, 2024. — ReutersHulk Hogan, professional entertainer and wrestler, rips his shirt while speaking on Day 4 of the Republican National Convention, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, July 18, 2024. — Reuters

1- Trump looked tickled pink, grinning broadly, as Hogan called the ex-president “my hero” and “that gladiator” who was going to “straighten the country out for all the real Americans.”

“I think he’s great. I think he was probably more subdued after his injury,” said Rachel Hale, 43, who had traveled from Texas to hear Trump speak.

“And I think you realize, especially when you’re facing life and death in a blink of an eye, what is important. And America is important, and it’s worth saving.”

Header Image: Republican presidential nominee, former US President Donald Trump and members of the Trump family celebrate after Trump officially accepted the Republican presidential nomination on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum on July 18, 2024 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. — AFP

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP “Together, we will launch a new era of safety, prosperity, and freedom for citizens of every race, religion, color, and creed,” Trump vowed. As he basked in the glitz of the Republican National Convention’s closing night, Donald Trump’s bandaged ear served as a vivid reminder of his uncanny ability to turn adversity into triumph. Multiple speakers in Milwaukee have suggested it was divine intervention that had saved him from assassination at the hands of a gunman in Pennsylvania last week, and the crowd roared as Trump declared: “I had God on my side.” It was a night full of religious invocations, and TV evangelist Franklin Graham, one of the warm-up acts, set the tone by incorporating Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan into a prayer.
Trump recounts attempt on his life, then abandons unity theme in marathon convention speech

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters

Trump devoted much of his speech to attacking migrants, theme that has always animated his campaigns

  • Trump adopts softer tone at outset of convention speech.
  • Convention acceptance speech is longest in US history
  • President Joe Biden is “soul searching”, says source.

MILWAUKEE: Donald Trump described on Thursday how he narrowly survived an attempt on his life, telling a rapt audience at the Republican National Convention in his first speech since the attack that he was only there “by the grace of Almighty God.”

“I heard a loud whizzing sound and felt something hit me really, really hard on my right ear,” he said during a 14-minute account, a thick bandage still covering his ear. “I said to myself, ‘Wow, what was that? It can only be a bullet.”

When he told the Milwaukee crowd that he was “not supposed to be here,” the delegates chanted back, “Yes you are!”

The former president struck an unusually conciliatory tone during the speech’s opening moments, when he formally accepted the Republican presidential nomination for the November 5 election.

“I am running to be president for all of America, not half of America, because there is no victory in winning for half of America,” he said, in a marked shift in tenor for the typically bellicose former president.

But he swiftly pivoted to well-worn attacks on the Biden administration, which he said was “destroying” the country. He claimed without evidence that his criminal indictments were part of a Democratic conspiracy, predicted President Joe Biden, his Democratic rival, would usher in “World War Three,” and described what he called an “invasion” of migrants over the southern border.

In the meandering remarks that followed — at 90-plus minutes the longest convention speech in history — Trump abandoned the message of unity he had promised to embrace in favour of his usual mixture of bombast and grievance, repeating his false claim that Democrats stole the 2020 election.

Trump asserted, as he has throughout his political career, that only he was capable of saving the country from certain doom.

“I could stop wars with a telephone call,” he said.

The speech capped a four-day event during which he was greeted with adulation by a party now almost entirely in his thrall.

In a statement, Biden campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon said Trump had presented only problems, not solutions.

“It was Donald Trump who destroyed our economy, ripped away rights, and failed middle class families,” she said. “Now he pursues the presidency with an even more extreme vision for where he wants to take this country.”

Biden ‘soul searching’

Biden was meanwhile “soul searching” about whether to drop out of the race, one source said, after senior party figures, congressional allies and major donors warned him he could not win following a halting debate performance on June 27.

Biden, 81, was isolating at his Delaware home after contracting COVID-19. His doctor said he was experiencing mild symptoms.

Trump devoted much of his speech to attacking migrants, a theme that has always animated his presidential campaigns.

“They’re coming from prisons, they’re coming from jails, they’re coming from mental institutions and insane asylums,” he said, before citing by name several Americans who were murdered by suspects in the country illegally.

There is no evidence foreign governments are intentionally sending such people to the US Academic studies show that immigrants do not commit crime at a higher rate than native-born Americans.

The speech broke Trump’s own 2016 record for the longest delivered by a nominee, according to the American Presidency Project at the University of California in Santa Barbara. His 2020 convention address, delivered at the White House, was the third longest ever.

After Trump concluded, his family and that of his running mate, Senator J D Vance, walked onto the stage as balloons dropped from the ceiling. His wife Melania Trump, who is rarely seen on the campaign trail, joined him on Thursday for the first time this week.

Vance, at 39 half Trump’s age, is widely seen as the ideological heir to Trump’s Make America Great Movement.

“J D, you’re gonna be doing this for a long time,” Trump said. “Enjoy the ride.”

Trump tightens his grasp on the party

Some of the eclectic group of speakers – including conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, who received a huge ovation, and Trump’s son Eric – employed divisive language in denouncing the Biden administration.

The head pro at Trump’s Florida golf club, John Nieporte, praised Trump’s skills on the course and claimed the former president had won 21 club championships.

“Joe Biden? Zero,” he said, evoking the surreal moment from the presidential debate when Trump and Biden argued over which of the two candidates had a better golf game.

With his grip on the Republican Party never tighter, Trump will be in a much stronger position than in his 2017-2021 term to follow through on his agenda if he wins the election.

Biden has faced increasing pressure from heavyweights in his party to cede his position at the top of the ticket. Former House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among those who have told him he cannot win in November, according to a White House source familiar with the matter.

After weeks of insisting that he will remain in the race, Biden is now taking calls to step aside seriously, and multiple Democratic officials think an exit is a matter of time, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate — Hakeem Jeffries and Chuck Schumer — have told Biden directly that he will not only lose the White House but also endanger their effort to win back the House, according to reports in multiple news outlets.

Senator Jon Tester, who faces a challenging reelection battle in Montana this year, on Thursday became the 21st congressional Democrat and the second senator to publicly call on Biden to drop out.

1- Header image: Republican presidential nominee and former US President Donald Trump gives his acceptance speech on Day 4 of the Republican National Convention (RNC), at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, on July 18, 2024. —Reuters
Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters Trump devoted much of his speech to attacking migrants, theme that has always animated his campaigns Trump adopts softer tone at outset of convention speech. Convention acceptance speech is longest in US history President Joe Biden is “soul searching”, says source. MILWAUKEE: Donald Trump described on Thursday how he narrowly survived an attempt on his life, telling a rapt audience at the Republican National Convention in his first speech since the attack that he was only there “by the grace of Almighty God.” “I heard a loud whizzing sound and felt something hit me really, really hard on my right ear,” he said during a 14-minute account, a thick bandage still covering his ear. “I said to myself, ‘Wow, what was
Dubai Princess Sheikha Mahra Makes Headlines With Divorce Announcement

Courtesy: Daily Jang

Dubai Princess Sheikha Mahra made a surprising revelation as she announced her decision to divorce.

The daughter of Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took to her Instagram account on Wednesday to share that she was ending her marriage, saying “I hereby declare our divorce.”

She wrote in a statement, “Dear Husband,” adding, “As you are occupied with other companions, I hereby declare our divorce. I divorce you, I divorce you, and I divorce you. Take care. Your ex-wife.”

Dubai Princess Sheikha Mahra makes headlines with divorce announcement

Soon after she made the announcement, the netizens went crazy over the news, and many have noticed that the pair erased all of their mutually posted photographs from their Instagram accounts and unfollowed each other.

One user wrote, “Wishing you peace, strength and happiness ahead!!,” while another noted, “Setting up the example to stand for right more power to you.”

Prior to this announcement, the princess shared a cryptic post on Instagram, cuddling with her baby, writing, “Just the two of us.”

Shaikha Mahra and Sheikh Mana Bin Mohammed Bin Manna Al Maktoum tied the knot in May last year, and they welcomed their daughter 12 months later.

1- Header image: Dubai Princess Sheikha Mahra makes headlines with divorce announcement
Courtesy: Daily Jang Dubai Princess Sheikha Mahra made a surprising revelation as she announced her decision to divorce. The daughter of Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took to her Instagram account on Wednesday to share that she was ending her marriage, saying “I hereby declare our divorce.” She wrote in a statement, “Dear Husband,” adding, “As you are occupied with other companions, I hereby declare our divorce. I divorce you, I divorce you, and I divorce you. Take care. Your ex-wife.” Soon after she made the announcement, the netizens went crazy over the news, and many have noticed that the pair erased all of their mutually posted photographs from their Instagram accounts and unfollowed each other. One user wrote, “Wishing you peace,
Muscat Shia mosque attackers were Omani citizens: police

Courtesy: Dawn News/Reuters

The three gunmen who shot and killed six people at a Shia Muslim mosque in Muscat in an attack claimed by the banned militant Islamic State (IS) group this week were all Omani nationals, police said on Thursday.

The assault began on Monday evening at the Ali bin Abi Talib mosque in the Wadi al-Kabir neighbourhood of Oman’s capital as Shia Muslims gathered.

The Royal Oman Police said the three gunmen were brothers and “were killed due to their insistence on resisting security personnel”. It said that police investigations had indicated the three gunmen were “influenced by misguided ideas”.

The six people killed by the gunmen were four Pakistanis, an Indian and a police officer responding to the attack, which IS later claimed responsibility for.

Pakistan has labelled the assault a terror attack. IS on Tuesday said that three of its “suicide attackers” fired on worshippers at the mosque on Monday evening and exchanged gunfire with Omani security forces until morning.

The militant group also published what it said was a video of the attack on its Telegram site. It has claimed responsibility this year for high-profile attacks in Russia and Iran which inflicted mass casualties and is active in Afghanistan.

It had not claimed an assault on the Arabian Peninsula for several years until the attack in Oman.

IS seeks comeback

Its operations have indicated the group is attempting a comeback after it was crushed by a US-led coalition following its occupation of large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate.

It also inspired lone-wolf attacks in the West.

Any inroads in Gulf Arab oil producers such as Oman would raise fears in Washington and the region which has long viewed militant groups as a major threat.

Dozens of people at the mosque in Oman were wounded with around 30 people treated at local hospitals, including for gunshot wounds.

Monday evening marked the beginning of Ashura, an annual period of mourning during the month of Muharram, observed in particular by Shia Muslims worldwide. It commemorates the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD, where amongst many, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Imam Husain, was martyred and other family members were martyred or subjected to humiliation.

The observation of Ashura has sometimes triggered sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims in some Middle East countries.

The attack was largely unprecedented in Oman, where most of its citizens follow the Ibadi Muslim faith that shares many similarities with mainstream Sunni Islam.

Oman has a small but influential Shia population. Like other Gulf countries, there is a large and significant foreign workforce in Oman too.

Courtesy: Dawn News/Reuters The three gunmen who shot and killed six people at a Shia Muslim mosque in Muscat in an attack claimed by the banned militant Islamic State (IS) group this week were all Omani nationals, police said on Thursday. The assault began on Monday evening at the Ali bin Abi Talib mosque in the Wadi al-Kabir neighbourhood of Oman’s capital as Shia Muslims gathered. The Royal Oman Police said the three gunmen were brothers and “were killed due to their insistence on resisting security personnel”. It said that police investigations had indicated the three gunmen were “influenced by misguided ideas”. The six people killed by the gunmen were four Pakistanis, an Indian and a police officer responding to the attack, which IS later claimed
7 Pakistanis among 100 executed by Saudi Arabia in 2024

Courtesy: Geo News/AFP

Saudi Arabia executed two people convicted of drug trafficking, the interior ministry said on Thursday, bringing the total number of executions carried out this year to at least 106, according to an AFP tally.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported the ministry’s announcement, saying one was a Saudi national executed for trafficking amphetamines and the other a Pakistani for trafficking heroin, both in Makkah.

Saudi authorities resumed executions for drug-related offences at the end of 2022 after a hiatus of nearly three years.

Seven of the 106 executions recorded this year have been for drug-related offences, according to the AFP tally, based on official data.

In 2023, the authorities executed at least 170 people, including 33 accused of terrorism-related crimes.

At this point last year, the Gulf kingdom had executed at least 74 people.

On Monday, the Berlin-based European-Saudi Organisation for Human Rights condemned Saudi Arabia for carrying out “one execution almost every two days”.

“One hundred executions in 196 days demonstrates the Saudi government’s insistence on using the death penalty extensively, in violation of international laws and its official commitments,” it said in a statement.

Those executed this year include 78 Saudis, eight Yemenis, five Ethiopians, seven Pakistanis, three Syrians and one individual each from Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Jordan, India and Sudan, according to the rights organisation and AFP’s tally. Two of them were women.

Saudi Arabia had executed more people in 2023 than any other country besides China and Iran, Amnesty International said in its annual report on the death penalty for that year.

The kingdom, notorious for beheadings, drew a wave of condemnation from around the world when it executed 81 people in a single day in March 2022.

The authorities deem the executions to be compatible with Sharia law and necessary to “maintain public order”.

De facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to transform the image of the world’s biggest crude oil exporter in a bid to draw in tourists and investors.

Yet activists say the kingdom’s continued embrace of capital punishment undermines the image of a more open, tolerant society that is central to Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 reform agenda.

Courtesy: Geo News/AFP Saudi Arabia executed two people convicted of drug trafficking, the interior ministry said on Thursday, bringing the total number of executions carried out this year to at least 106, according to an AFP tally. The official Saudi Press Agency reported the ministry’s announcement, saying one was a Saudi national executed for trafficking amphetamines and the other a Pakistani for trafficking heroin, both in Makkah. Saudi authorities resumed executions for drug-related offences at the end of 2022 after a hiatus of nearly three years. Seven of the 106 executions recorded this year have been for drug-related offences, according to the AFP tally, based on official data. In 2023, the authorities executed at least 170 people, including 33 accused of terrorism-related crimes. At this point last year, the Gulf
32 dead as riots against job quota continue in Bangladesh

Courtesy: Geo News/AFP/Reuters

PM Sheikh Hasina urges protestors to de-escalate clashes as furious youth set state TV network ablaze

  • Incensed crowd sets ablaze network’s reception building
  • Broadcaster says “many people” trapped inside burning building. 
  • Premier vows to punish culprits regardless of political affiliation.

DHAKA: Bangladeshi students set fire to the country’s state broadcaster on Thursday, a day after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appeared on the network seeking to calm escalating clashes that have killed at least 32 people.

Hundreds of protesters demanding reform of civil service hiring rules fought back and overwhelmed riot police who had fired at them with rubber bullets, chasing the retreating officers to BTV’s headquarters in the capital Dhaka.

The incensed crowd then set ablaze the network’s reception building and dozens of vehicles parked outside, a BTV official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The broadcaster said “many people” were trapped inside as the fire spread but another official from the station later told AFP that they had safely evacuated the building.

Hasina’s government has ordered schools and universities to close indefinitely as police step up efforts to bring the country’s deteriorating law and order situation under control.

The premier appeared on the broadcaster on Wednesday night to condemn the “murder” of protesters and vow that those responsible will be punished regardless of their political affiliation.

But violence worsened on the streets despite her appeal for calm as police again attempted to break up demonstrations with rubber bullets and tear gas volleys.

At least 25 people were killed on Thursday in addition to seven killed earlier in the week, according to a tally of casualty figures from hospitals compiled by AFP, with hundreds more wounded.

Police weaponry was the cause of at least two-thirds of those deaths, based on descriptions given to AFP by hospital figures.

“We’ve got seven dead here,” an official at Uttara Crescent Hospital in the capital Dhaka, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, told AFP.

Students take part in the ongoing anti-quota protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh on July 18. — AFP

“The first two were students with rubber bullet injuries. The other five had gunshot injuries.”

Nearly 1,000 others had been treated at the hospital for injuries sustained during clashes with police, the official said, adding many had rubber bullet wounds.

Didar Malekin of the online news outlet Dhaka Times told AFP that Mehedi Hasan, one of his reporters, had been killed while covering clashes in Dhaka.

Several cities across Bangladesh saw violence throughout the day as riot police marched on protesters who had begun another round of human blockades on roads and highways.

Helicopters rescued 60 police officers who were trapped on the roof of a campus building at Canadian University, the scene of some of Dhaka’s fiercest clashes on Thursday, the elite Rapid Action Battalion police force said in a statement.

‘Calling her a dictator’

Near-daily marches this month have demanded an end to a quota system that reserves more than half of civil service posts for specific groups, including children of veterans from the country’s 1971 liberation war against Pakistan.

Critics say the scheme benefits children of pro-government groups that back Hasina, 76, who has ruled the country since 2009 and won her fourth consecutive election in January after a vote without genuine opposition.

Her administration is accused by rights groups of capturing state institutions and stamping out dissent, including by the extrajudicial killing of opposition activists.

Mubashar Hasan, a Bangladesh expert at the University of Oslo in Norway, said the protests had grown into a wider expression of discontent with Hasina´s autocratic rule.

“They are protesting against the repressive nature of the state,” he told AFP.

“Protesters are questioning Hasina’s leadership, accusing her of clinging onto power by force,” he added. “The students are in fact calling her a dictator.”

Mobile internet down

Bangladeshis reported widespread mobile internet outages around the country on Thursday, two days after internet providers cut off access to Facebook — the protest campaign’s key organising platform.

Junior telecommunications minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak told AFP that the government had ordered the network cut off.

He earlier told reporters that social media had been “weaponised as a tool to spread rumours, lies and disinformation”, forcing the government to restrict access.

Along with police crackdowns, demonstrators and students allied to the premier’s ruling Awami League have also battled each other on the streets with bricks and bamboo rods.

Hasina’s national address did not assign responsibility for the deaths, but descriptions from hospital authorities and students suggest at least some died when police used supposedly non-lethal weapons on demonstrations.

Rights group Amnesty International said video evidence from clashes this week showed that Bangladeshi security forces had used unlawful force.

1- Header image: Police fire teargas during a clash between anti-quota supporters, police and Awami League supporters at the Rampura area in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 18, 2024. — Reuters
Courtesy: Geo News/AFP/Reuters PM Sheikh Hasina urges protestors to de-escalate clashes as furious youth set state TV network ablaze Incensed crowd sets ablaze network’s reception building Broadcaster says “many people” trapped inside burning building.  Premier vows to punish culprits regardless of political affiliation. DHAKA: Bangladeshi students set fire to the country’s state broadcaster on Thursday, a day after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appeared on the network seeking to calm escalating clashes that have killed at least 32 people. Hundreds of protesters demanding reform of civil service hiring rules fought back and overwhelmed riot police who had fired at them with rubber bullets, chasing the retreating officers to BTV’s headquarters in the capital Dhaka. The incensed crowd then set ablaze the network’s reception building and dozens of
WATCH: Donald Trump’s granddaughter Kai makes first political appearance

Courtesy: Geo News
Video: ABC/YouTube

Former US president’s granddaughter steals show with personal testament in political debut at RNC stage

Kai Trump, eldest granddaughter of former United States president Donald Trump, stole the show as she made her political debut on the Republican National Convention (RNC) stage on Wednesday.

The 17-year-old daughter of Donald Jr, the oldest son of the former president, and his ex-wife, Vanessa, delivered a short but personal tribute to her grandfather, NPR reported.

The 78-year-old Republican presidential candidate smiled through her heartfelt speech.

Kai’s dad introduced her on stage and said that it was her “first time ever on a stage” and “first time ever giving a speech”.

After introducing herself to the crowd as “the granddaughter of Donald Trump”, Kai began her speech, saying: “I’m speaking today to share the side of my grandpa that people don’t often see.

“To me, he’s just a normal grandpa. He gives us candy and soda when our parents aren’t looking. He always wants to know how we’re doing in school.”

She continued: “Even when he’s going through all these court cases, he always asks me how I’m doing. He always encourages me to push myself to be the most successful person I can be.

“Obviously, he sets the bar pretty high, but who knows, maybe one day I’ll catch him.”

She added: “A lot of people have put my grandpa through hell… and he’s still standing.”

Who is Kai Trump?

Kai is an avid golfer and she recently posted a photo on her Instagram, which showed her standing beside her grandfather after winning a tournament at the Trump International Palm Beach golf course.

She offered words of support for Trump in a post after the recent assassination attempt against him.

She posted a photo of a bloodied Trump raising his fist in the air moments after the shooting. She captioned the post: “We love you Grandpa. Never stop fighting!”

1- Header image: Kai, daughter of Donald Trump Jr, speaks on Day 3 of the Republican National Convention (RNC), at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, July 17, 2024. — Reuters
Courtesy: Geo News Video: ABC/YouTube Former US president’s granddaughter steals show with personal testament in political debut at RNC stage Kai Trump, eldest granddaughter of former United States president Donald Trump, stole the show as she made her political debut on the Republican National Convention (RNC) stage on Wednesday. The 17-year-old daughter of Donald Jr, the oldest son of the former president, and his ex-wife, Vanessa, delivered a short but personal tribute to her grandfather, NPR reported. The 78-year-old Republican presidential candidate smiled through her heartfelt speech. Kai’s dad introduced her on stage and said that it was her “first time ever on a stage” and “first time ever giving a speech”. After introducing herself to the crowd as “the granddaughter of Donald Trump”, Kai began her speech,

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