Police arrest dozens as they break up pro-Palestinian protests at several US universities

Pro-Palestinian students and others gather outside of Baruch College in Manhattan to protest the school's stance on Israel on May 09, 2024 in New York City. (AFP)
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Pro-Palestinian students and others gather outside of Baruch College in Manhattan to protest the school's stance on Israel on May 09, 2024 in New York City. (AFP)
Police arrest dozens as they break up pro-Palestinian protests at several US universities
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Protesters lock arms on Penn campus as police clear the encampment showing support for Palestinians in Gaza, at University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Friday, May 10, 2024. (AP)
Police arrest dozens as they break up pro-Palestinian protests at several US universities
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Dutch police officers stand in front of Pro-Palestinian students of the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Roeterseiland campus gather with thousands of people support them in a largely peaceful march to support Palestinians in Gaza, in Amsterdam, on May 9, 2024. (AFP)
Police arrest dozens as they break up pro-Palestinian protests at several US universities
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George Washington University police officers stand on the steps of The F Street House, which has long served as the home of the President, as Pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched from H Street near the now fenced off University Yard at George Washington University on May 9, 2024 in Washington, DC. (AFP)
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Updated 11 May 2024
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Police arrest dozens as they break up pro-Palestinian protests at several US universities

Police arrest dozens as they break up pro-Palestinian protests at several US universities
  • Israel has killed more than 34,700 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry
  • Nearly 2,900 people have been arrested at 57 colleges and universities

NEW YORK: Police made dozens of arrests as pro-Palestinian protest encampments were dismantled Friday at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hours after police tear-gassed demonstrators and took down a similar camp at the University of Arizona.
Philadelphia and campus police at Penn took action around daybreak to remove protesters from an encampment in place for more than two weeks. School officials said protesters were given warnings and the chance to leave without being detained. About 33 people, including faculty members and seven students, were among those arrested and charged with trespass, the school said.
Protest camps have sprung up across the US and in Europe in recent weeks as students demand their universities stop doing business with Israel or companies that support its war efforts. Organizers seek to amplify calls to end Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, which they describe as a genocide against the Palestinians. The top United Nations court has concluded there is a “plausible risk of genocide” in Gaza — a charge Israel strongly denies.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, police in riot gear arrived at MIT around 4 a.m., encircled the camp and gave protesters about 15 minutes to leave. Ten students who remained were arrested, the university’s president said. A crowd outside the camp began chanting pro-Palestinian slogans but was quickly dispersed.
At the University of Arizona in Tucson, campus police in riot gear fired tear gas at protesters late Thursday — the day before the school’s main commencement ceremony — before tearing down an encampment that included wood and plastic barriers. The school said police vehicles were spiked, and rocks and water bottles were thrown at officers and university staff. Two people were arrested, a university spokesperson said. Friday night’s commencement will go forward, university President Robert Robbins said.
And at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, police arrested 13 people Thursday night after they refused to leave a damaged and vandalized building. The charges ranged from misdemeanor trespass to felonies including battery on a peace officer, school spokesperson Amanda Bradford said. The building, Hadley Hall, was cleared and open Friday.
Protesters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison agreed Friday to permanently dismantle their 2-week-old encampment and not disrupt graduation ceremonies this weekend, in return for the opportunity to connect with “decision-makers” who control university investments by July 1. The university agreed to increase support for scholars and students affected by wars in Gaza and Ukraine.
Graduates from Pomona College in Southern California will have to travel 40 miles (65 km) for their commencement ceremony Sunday, as administrators seek to avoid a current encampment. The college said it will provide transportation to the venue, a historic theater in Los Angeles. In April, protesters entered an administration building and police arrested 20 people.
The protest movement began nearly three weeks ago at Columbia University in New York City. Some colleges nationwide cracked down immediately, while others tolerated the demonstrations. Some recently started calling in the police, citing concerns about disruptions to campus life and safety.
The Associated Press has recorded at least 75 instances since April 18 in which arrests were made at US campus protests. Nearly 2,900 people have been arrested at 57 colleges and universities. The figures are based on AP reporting and statements from schools and law enforcement agencies.
Arizona State University on Friday confirmed that it had placed its campus police chief on paid administrative leave pending a review of “complaints filed related to his actions” two weeks ago when an encampment was removed and police made more than 70 arrests during a pro-Palestine rally on the campus in Tempe.
The school said it was reviewing actions surrounding the establishment and removal of the encampment. Local news outlets reported earlier that ASU Police Chief Michael Thompson had been placed on leave after he had been seen out of uniform cutting and removing tents during the protest. The school told ABC15 Arizona earlier he had left a meeting to respond to the rally.
Although their encampment was cleared after two weeks, demonstrators at George Washington University vowed Friday to keep up their protest campaign.
Police arrested 33 people on Wednesday while ousting the initial encampment. The next night, a crowd of chanting demonstrators returned to the university about five blocks from the White House, setting up tents while a large Metropolitan Police Department force assembled. After multiple warnings to disperse, protests leaders ended the demonstration around midnight. One person was arrested for throwing water at a police officer.
The move at MIT came several days after police first attempted to clear the camp, only to see protesters storm past barriers and restore the encampment, which includes about a dozen tents in the heart of the campus in Cambridge.
Before removing the encampment, MIT earlier in the week started suspending dozens of students, meaning they’re barred from academic activities or commencement.
Protesters insist they will keep demanding MIT cut all ties to the Israeli military. The encampment was up for weeks and especially angered Jewish students, who held counterprotests nearby.
“This is only going to make us stronger. They can’t arrest the movement,” said Quinn Perian, an undergraduate student and organizer for MIT Jews for Ceasefire. “MIT would rather arrest and suspend some students than they would end their complicity with the genocide going in Gaza.”
MIT President Sally Kornbluth, in a letter confirming Friday’s arrests, wrote that her responsibility is “to make sure that the campus is physically safe and functioning for everyone ... and that everyone feels free to express their views.” The encampment, she wrote, “increasingly made it impossible to meet all these obligations.”
 

 


Ambani nuptials spotlight India’s multibillion-dollar wedding industry

Updated 4 sec ago
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Ambani nuptials spotlight India’s multibillion-dollar wedding industry

Ambani nuptials spotlight India’s multibillion-dollar wedding industry
  • Groom is the youngest son of Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani
  • Lavish pre-wedding celebrations around the world started in March

NEW DELHI: After four months of lavish events spotlighting India’s multibillion-dollar wedding industry, the nuptials of the son of Asia’s richest man reached their final stage on Friday, with global A-listers and elites arriving in Mumbai for the most extravagant of billionaire celebrations.

The celebrations that built up to the wedding of Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son, 29-year-old Anant Ambani, to Radhika Merchant, daughter of a pharmaceutical tycoon, saw the family and hundreds of its guests serenaded by the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber, sailing up the coast of Italy on a luxury cruise, watching a 5,500-drone light show in Cannes, and participating in a jungle-themed safari party in India’s Gujarat.

The groom’s father, chairman of Reliance Industries — the largest private sector corporation in India — is the world’s 10th richest man.

The display of his wealth through the wedding has set a new benchmark for the sector worth some $130 billion, according to last month’s report by the global investment banking firm Jefferies.

The Indian wedding industry is the country’s second-largest, after food and grocery.

“The Indian wedding industry is one of the largest and most lucrative markets globally. India hosts around 10 million weddings each year, with varying scales and budgets,” Simran S. Kohli, wedding planner and founder of Love Me Knot Weddings, told Arab News.

“The Ambani wedding is a prime example of just how extravagant and grand one can be.”

With the swathes of business billionaires, world leaders and top Bollywood and Hollywood stars attending, and the amount of international media attention focused on all the nuptial events, it is also an example of how the legendary allure and grandeur of Indian weddings never fades.

“How everyone looks forward to being a part of Indian weddings, the involvement of international celebrities, performers, and guests reflects the global influence and reach of the Indian wedding industry now,” Kohli said.

“Indian weddings can push the boundaries of creativity and extravagance.”

With dignitaries and celebrities from all over the world flocking to Mumbai to attend the four-day ceremony, parts of the city have been sealed.

“Mumbai is closed for almost three days now where the wedding is happening. There are VIP restrictions,” said Suneer Jain, director of Oh Vow Weddings.

“Ambani’s wedding reminds you of the grand Mughal weddings where thousands of horses and elephants used to participate. Now, the elephants have been replaced by artists. The Ambanis have set a different standard in weddings by inviting lots of international artists to come and perform.”

While the celebration has been reported to cost $600 million, from the artist lineup alone, Jain estimated it could be much more.

“This wedding is a showoff and it’s showing to the people how important they are and how well connected they are, how powerful they are. It’s a demonstration of wealth,” he said.

“The spending in Ambani’s wedding would be much more than what we can think about. Engaging an international artist is not only about the fee, it’s also about their comfort, their hospitality, doing everything for their team. It involves huge costs in many other aspects also.”

It has raised the bar so high that it will not be easy for the next celebrity weddings to cross it and organize nuptials on an even bigger scale.

It is a matter of Indian family prestige to do so.

“It is a lifetime event. We earn for only two things in life: for getting our own home and for weddings,” Jain told Arab News.

“When people see Ambani’s wedding, (it is assumed that) the next super wedding would be at a much higher scale … It gives you a clear picture that no one wants to do a normal wedding, but everyone wants to do a grand wedding.”

Everyone also wants to attend weddings in India, as they are an intrinsic part of its culture and play a major role in boosting other sectors such as entertainment, fashion, design, and travel.

“There is a person who is creating entertainment, there is a person who is doing labor work, there is a person who is doing floral work, there is a person who is working for fabric treatment. There is a person who is working on the structure, there is a transporter, manager, designer, sound engineer, artist. A lot of people get jobs out of it,” said Rajat Tyagi, director of Weddings Flowers Decor India.

An Indian wedding is never a cheap affair. A “good decent function” organized by Tyagi’s company at a local venue starts at about $45,000.

“As Indians, a society, we are bright, we are vivid, we are diverse, and we are vocal. We are not bland … If we have a taste, why not flaunt it,” he said.

“Even if you go to a village, the poorest of the poorest women are wearing makeup … It’s like we are made this way, our upbringing is that way. We love to show off.”

The display pulled off by the Ambani family was for Tyagi not only a record-breaking event, but also proof of India’s growth.

“At the end of the day, Mukesh Ambani is also an Indian entrepreneur, so India is not just a country of snake charmers. Now it has people who have the potential to bring such international artists and spend so much,” he said.

“It shows the potential of the Indian wedding industry. It shows the potential of Indians globally.”


Japan’s Foreign Minister evades comment on Israel threats to Lebanon

Japan’s Foreign Minister evades comment on Israel threats to Lebanon
Updated 32 min 16 sec ago
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Japan’s Foreign Minister evades comment on Israel threats to Lebanon

Japan’s Foreign Minister evades comment on Israel threats to Lebanon
  • “We have been lobbying Israel and Hezbollah on the need to avoid further escalation,” Kamikawa said

TOKYO: Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko on Friday declined to respond to Israel’s threats that Lebanon could see destruction like that seen in Gaza.
When asked at a press conference if she thought Israel might blast Lebanon back to the Stone Age — a threat made by Israel’s defense minister — Kamikawa evaded the question, responding: “We have been keeping a close watch on the escalating tensions between Israel and Hezbollah with concern. We have been lobbying Israel and Hezbollah on the need to avoid further escalation of the conflict in the region.”
Minister Kamikawa said that Japan will “continue to make steady and active diplomatic efforts” to help reduce tensions in the area and prevent it from spreading in the region.


Ambani nuptials spotlight India’s multibillion-dollar wedding industry

Ambani nuptials spotlight India’s multibillion-dollar wedding industry
Updated 59 min 46 sec ago
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Ambani nuptials spotlight India’s multibillion-dollar wedding industry

Ambani nuptials spotlight India’s multibillion-dollar wedding industry
  • Groom is the youngest son of Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani
  • Lavish pre-wedding celebrations around the world started in March

NEW DELHI: After four months of lavish events spotlighting India’s multibillion-dollar wedding industry, the nuptials of the son of Asia’s richest man reached their final stage on Friday, with global A-listers and elites arriving in Mumbai for the most extravagant of billionaire celebrations.

The celebrations that built up to the wedding of Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son, 29-year-old Anant Ambani, to Radhika Merchant, daughter of a pharmaceutical tycoon, saw the family and hundreds of its guests serenaded by the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber, sailing up the coast of Italy on a luxury cruise, watching a 5,500-drone light show in Cannes, and participating in a jungle-themed safari party in India’s Gujarat.

The groom’s father, chairman of Reliance Industries — the largest private sector corporation in India — is the world’s 10th richest man.

The display of his wealth through the wedding has set a new benchmark for the sector worth some $130 billion, according to last month’s report by the global investment banking firm Jefferies.

The Indian wedding industry is the country’s second-largest, after food and grocery.

“The Indian wedding industry is one of the largest and most lucrative markets globally. India hosts around 10 million weddings each year, with varying scales and budgets,” Simran S. Kohli, wedding planner and founder of Love Me Knot Weddings, told Arab News.

“The Ambani wedding is a prime example of just how extravagant and grand one can be.”

With the swathes of business billionaires, world leaders and top Bollywood and Hollywood stars attending, and the amount of international media attention focused on all the nuptial events, it is also an example of how the legendary allure and grandeur of Indian weddings never fades.

“How everyone looks forward to being a part of Indian weddings, the involvement of international celebrities, performers, and guests reflects the global influence and reach of the Indian wedding industry now,” Kohli said.

“Indian weddings can push the boundaries of creativity and extravagance.”

With dignitaries and celebrities from all over the world flocking to Mumbai to attend the four-day ceremony, parts of the city have been sealed.

“Mumbai is closed for almost three days now where the wedding is happening. There are VIP restrictions,” said Suneer Jain, director of Oh Vow Weddings.

“Ambani’s wedding reminds you of the grand Mughal weddings where thousands of horses and elephants used to participate. Now, the elephants have been replaced by artists. The Ambanis have set a different standard in weddings by inviting lots of international artists to come and perform.”

While the celebration has been reported to cost $600 million, from the artist lineup alone, Jain estimated it could be much more.

“This wedding is a showoff and it’s showing to the people how important they are and how well connected they are, how powerful they are. It’s a demonstration of wealth,” he said.

“The spending in Ambani’s wedding would be much more than what we can think about. Engaging an international artist is not only about the fee, it’s also about their comfort, their hospitality, doing everything for their team. It involves huge costs in many other aspects also.”

It has raised the bar so high that it will not be easy for the next celebrity weddings to cross it and organize nuptials on an even bigger scale.

It is a matter of Indian family prestige to do so.

“It is a lifetime event. We earn for only two things in life: for getting our own home and for weddings,” Jain told Arab News.

“When people see Ambani’s wedding, (it is assumed that) the next super wedding would be at a much higher scale … It gives you a clear picture that no one wants to do a normal wedding, but everyone wants to do a grand wedding.”

Everyone also wants to attend weddings in India, as they are an intrinsic part of its culture and play a major role in boosting other sectors such as entertainment, fashion, design, and travel.

“There is a person who is creating entertainment, there is a person who is doing labor work, there is a person who is doing floral work, there is a person who is working for fabric treatment. There is a person who is working on the structure, there is a transporter, manager, designer, sound engineer, artist. A lot of people get jobs out of it,” said Rajat Tyagi, director of Weddings Flowers Decor India.

An Indian wedding is never a cheap affair. A “good decent function” organized by Tyagi’s company at a local venue starts at about $45,000.

“As Indians, a society, we are bright, we are vivid, we are diverse, and we are vocal. We are not bland … If we have a taste, why not flaunt it,” he said.

“Even if you go to a village, the poorest of the poorest women are wearing makeup … It’s like we are made this way, our upbringing is that way. We love to show off.”

The display pulled off by the Ambani family was for Tyagi not only a record-breaking event, but also proof of India’s growth.

“At the end of the day, Mukesh Ambani is also an Indian entrepreneur, so India is not just a country of snake charmers. Now it has people who have the potential to bring such international artists and spend so much,” he said.

“It shows the potential of the Indian wedding industry. It shows the potential of Indians globally.”


Russia says it is not preparing to attack NATO

Russia says it is not preparing to attack NATO
Updated 12 July 2024
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Russia says it is not preparing to attack NATO

Russia says it is not preparing to attack NATO
  • Zakharova said NATO was trying to “justify its existence and strengthen Washington’s control over European satellites“

MOSCOW: Russia said on Friday it was not planning to attack NATO and it was the alliance that was aggravating tensions.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was referring to a NATO Summit declaration that said: “Russia remains the most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security.”
Zakharova said NATO was trying to “justify its existence and strengthen Washington’s control over European satellites.”
Western leaders have repeatedly said that President Vladimir Putin will order his military to go further and attack NATO countries in central and eastern Europe if he is not stopped in Ukraine.


Nigeria school collapse kills several students, traps others

Nigeria school collapse kills several students, traps others
Updated 12 July 2024
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Nigeria school collapse kills several students, traps others

Nigeria school collapse kills several students, traps others
  • Parents desperately looked for their children at the Saint Academy in Jos North district
  • It was not immediately clear what caused the collapse

JOS, Nigeria: A school in central Nigeria collapsed on Friday, killing several students and trapping others who were heard crying out for help under the rubble, a rescue agency and witnesses said.
Parents desperately looked for their children at the Saint Academy in Jos North district of Plateau State after the building fell in on students taking their exams, an AFP correspondent at the site said.
“A two-story building housing Saint Academy... in Busa Buji in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State collapsed this morning killing several students,” the National Emergency Management Agency said in a statement.
“NEMA and other critical stakeholders are presently carrying out Search and Rescue operations,” it said.
Officials did not give a precise toll, but a resident at the scene Chika Obioha told AFP he estimated eight people died at the site and dozens more had been injured.
“Everyone is helping out to see if we can rescue more people,” he said.
It was not immediately clear what caused the collapse but residents said it came after three days of heavy rains in Plateau.
Building collapses are fairly common in Africa’s most populous nation because of lax enforcement of building standards, negligence and use of low quality materials.