New York Police Arrest Dozens as M.L.K. Day Marchers Gather Near City Hall


Dozens of people were arrested on Monday night in Lower Manhattan as hundreds participated in a march on Martin Luther King’s Birthday organized by Black activist groups, according to the police and witnesses.

Videos posted online by witnesses and participants show New York Police Department officers with helmets, batons and zip ties trying to clear protesters who had gathered on the streets and sidewalks near City Hall. Some of the marchers went to the area after walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.

A spokesman for the department said dozens of arrests were made between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. in the vicinity of Chambers and Centre Streets. According to some videos posted online, the police began arresting people after urging the crowd to disperse.

The episode came in the late hours of Martin Luther King’s Birthday, and just days after the New York State attorney general, Letitia James, sued the New York Police Department over its handling of protests this summer after the death of George Floyd.

Ms. James is seeking to have a court-appointed monitor installed to oversee the department’s policing tactics at protests. If successful, this monitor would join another monitor appointed in 2013 to oversee how the city implements changes to its stop-and-frisk policy.

One witness to Monday night’s events, Jordan Plaza of the Bronx, said a relatively small number of protesters had spilled off the sidewalks and into the street when the police announced that they were obstructing the road and would soon be arrested.

“They weren’t approaching the police in a violent manner,” Ms. Plaza, 20, said. “Police randomly surged.”

Ms. Plaza said she had stumbled upon the protest earlier in the night on the way to see friends and joined on a whim. She said she was startled by what she saw and contrasted the treatment of protesters in New York City with the treatment of those loyal to President Trump who rioted inside the U.S. Capitol two weeks ago.

“It baffles me because the Capitol building, they were able to get in,” Ms. Plaza said. “Here, they were protesting outside a courthouse.” (The New York County Surrogate’s Court is on Centre Street, as is the Tweed Courthouse, which houses the New York City Department of Education.)

Hani Bello, a 27-year-old from Brooklyn, belongs to FreeBlackRadicals, one of several groups that she said responded to that evening’s “call to action” to protest.

After a gathering outside Barclays Center at 5 p.m. that featured speakers who frequently invoked the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ms. Bello said she and others walked onto the Brooklyn Bridge, which bikers with the protest closed off to vehicular traffic. At one point, the group broke into ballroom dancing and vogueing. Ms. Bello said it warmed her up and that she took off her gloves and scarf.

“It is a form of resilience, being on that bridge, taking it over,” Ms. Bello said. “To feel resilient is part of Black liberation.”

After the marchers crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, the police blocked the road leading from the bridge to City Hall Park, she said. “The park is for the public,” it was open for use, she said. “People have the right to voice their opinions on taxpayer-funded land.”

On Monday night, images of officers yanking individuals out of a crowd of protesters began circulating widely on social media, and echoed scenes from last summer, when Black Lives Matter demonstrators flooded the streets in New York and other cities. A number of those videos helped fuel the lawsuit by Ms. James, the state’s attorney general.

The lawsuit she filed in federal court in Manhattan is the first time that the state attorney general has sued a police department, according to Ms. James’s office.

“There was ample ability and opportunity for the city and N.Y.P.D. leadership to make important changes to the way that officers interact with peaceful protesters, but time and time again, they did not,” Ms. James said.



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Police arrest Alexey Navalny upon arrival in Moscow. Russia’s authorities now must decide what to do with him.




The Russian authorities followed through on their threat to arrest opposition figure Alexey Navalny on Sunday, January 17, taking him into police custody after he landed at Vnukovo International Airport.

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Broncos lash NRL star Haas after arrest


Brisbane have slammed an “ashamed” Payne Haas for his latest off-field indiscretion after the NRL forward was arrested and charged with abusing and intimidating police.

The NSW Origin and Australian representative was arrested about 10pm on Saturday when he allegedly abused police officers in Tweed Heads.

The 21-year-old was detained by police and taken to Tweed Heads police station where he was charged with “with offensive language and intimidate police officer”.

He was granted conditional bail to appear at Tweed Heads local court on February 2, with the matter now being investigated by the NRL’s integrity unit.

The incident came after the Brisbane squad started their day with a training session on the Gold Coast.

While a rising star of the game, it won’t be the first time Haas has been summoned by the NRL’s behavioural watchdog.

Haas was fined $20,000 and suspended for the opening four rounds of the 2019 NRL season for failing to comply with an NRL integrity unit investigation over a matter involving members of his family.

Broncos CEO Paul White said in a statement on Sunday that Haas was “ashamed and extremely remorseful”.

“It’s disappointing and not acceptable – we do set the highest standards for the behaviour of our players, they understand that and Payne knows this is well short of those standards,” White said.

“Payne knows he has done the wrong thing and is prepared to take ownership of his actions.

“As a club, we will continue to work with Payne to ensure he understands what he must do to improve, and also ensure he continues to receive the support and education that he needs.”

The two-Test forward is one of rugby league’s most talented big men and has been named the Broncos’ best player the past two seasons.

A shining light of an otherwise historically bad 2020 season, Haas last week expressed his desire to help rejuvenate the side.

“The trust that Kev’s put in us; we know what talent we’ve got here and it’s a good chance for us to redeem ourselves and return to winning ways,” he said.

“You can see how the boys are training; it’s pretty competitive.

“The motivation here is to bring the club back to what it was and we have just left what happened last year right there and dusted.”



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Navalny Prepares to Fly to Moscow, Despite Threat of Arrest


But analysts said that despite the bureaucratic drumbeat, the final decision over Mr. Navalny’s fate would be made in the Kremlin. In years past, the authorities have avoided locking Mr. Navalny up for longer than a few weeks at a time, apparently to avoid allowing him to become a locus of opposition to President Vladimir V. Putin while in prison.

Still, his prominence rose, along with Russians’ discontent. Mr. Navalny’s populist and tough-talking style, slick and humorous YouTube videos, and relentless derision of the “crooks and thieves” in the ruling class all struck a chord with Russians frustrated by corrupt officials and stagnant incomes.

The government barred him from running for president in 2018. But Mr. Navalny, who is 44, built up a nationwide network of regional offices and drew an online audience of millions for his video exposés of the hidden wealth and the foreign real estate holdings of the Russian elite. He exhorted Russians to use regional and local elections — even though they are not free and fair — to chip away at Mr. Putin’s power by supporting opposition candidates who had the best chance of winning.

Mr. Navalny fell ill from the poisoning in August, while returning from a trip to Siberia before elections there. He could be heard screaming in the airplane bathroom before he collapsed. The pilot’s quick emergency landing, and Mr. Navalny’s immediate treatment on the ground in the city of Omsk, most likely saved his life, his doctors later said. After a standoff, Mr. Putin agreed to let the comatose Mr. Navalny to be flown to Berlin for treatment.

In Germany, a military laboratory determined that Mr. Navalny had been poisoned by a chemical from the Soviet and Russian-developed Novichok family of nerve agents. Mr. Navalny regained consciousness and pledged to return to Russia, while blaming Mr. Putin for the attempt on his life.

In December, evidence emerged to back up that version. The research group Bellingcat, working with the Russian news outlet The Insider, used leaked phone records to show that officers from a secret Russian spy unit with expertise in poisonous substances trailed Mr. Navalny for years and were nearby when he was presumably poisoned.

Mr. Navalny then placed a call to a man he said was a member of the unit assigned to assassinate him and pretended to be a senior Russian official seeking to debrief him. In a video viewed more than 20 million times on YouTube, Mr. Navalny can be seen extracting a confession from the man, who describes a plot to plant the poison on the inside seam of the crotch area of the opposition leader’s underwear.

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to fly home despite arrest threat


Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is due to fly back to Russia for the first time since he was poisoned last summer, despite the authorities’ stated desire to arrest him and potentially jail him for years.

Mr Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent domestic critics, announced his decision to return from Germany this week, saying he missed Moscow and was not interested in what he called new fabricated criminal cases against him.

A day later, the Russian capital’s prison service said it would do everything to arrest him once he returned, accusing him of flouting the terms of a suspended prison sentence for embezzlement, a 2014 case he says was trumped-up.

Mr Navalny, 44, is expected to fly from Berlin, where he was flown in August for emergency medical treatment after being poisoned with what German tests showed was a Novichok nerve agent, and to arrive in Moscow on Sunday (local time).

The opposition politician, who says he has nearly fully recovered, says Mr Putin was behind his poisoning.

The Kremlin denies involvement, says it has seen no evidence he was poisoned and that he is free to return to Russia.

Mr Putin recently said in a national address that: “If someone had wanted to poison him they would have finished him off.”

Mr Navalny’s supporters plan to meet him at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport despite a forecast of bitterly cold minus-17 Celsius weather and over 4,500 new coronavirus cases a day in the Russian capital.

The Moscow prosecutor’s office, which says it has officially warned 15 pro-Navalny organisers, has said the event is illegal because it is not sanctioned by the authorities. That means that people who turn up could be detained, fined or jailed.

Pro-Kremlin activists are also expected to turn up.

Navalny hopes to run in September elections

The prison service, which has asked a Moscow court to turn Mr Navalny’s 3.5-year suspended sentence into a real one, said it was “obliged to take all the necessary action to detain Navalny pending the court’s ruling”.

The European Court for Human Rights had ruled that his conviction was unlawful.

In a parallel move at the end of 2020, Russia’s main investigative agency also opened a new criminal case against Mr Navalny on charges of large-scale fraud related to his alleged mishandling of $US5 million ($6.5 million) in private donations to his Anti-Corruption Foundation and other organisations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin smiles
Mr Putin publicly dismisses the political threat posed by Mr Navalny.(Kremlin: Aleksey Nikolskyi)

Mr Navalny, who is hoping for success in parliamentary elections in September, has dismissed all accusations as crudely fabricated.

Mr Putin’s allies point to opinion polls that show the Russian leader is far more popular than Mr Navalny, whom they call a blogger rather than a politician.

A Moscow court on Saturday ordered a Navalny ally, Pavel Zelensky, to be held in pre-trial detention on extremism charges which he denies.

On the eve of his return to Russia, Mr Navalny took to Facebook to thank Germans for what he described as their stereotype-breaking friendly hospitality in the last five months.

“Thank you friends!” he wrote in German.

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Police arrest man sought over alleged murder at Reedy Marsh in Tasmania’s north


Tasmanian police have arrested a man following an alleged murder in the state’s north on Tuesday night.

Police said 47-year-old Robert Gerard was taken into custody near Parkham.

He was spotted by drone this afternoon and police made an arrest just before 4:00pm.

Police will allege he was armed with a large knife when he was arrested.

Acting Commander Stuart Wilkinson says no-one was injured during the arrest.

“One of the drones identified our suspect, he then got mobile, but we were able to relay his location to our members and they were able to take him into custody from there,” he said.

“The drone operators observed him appearing to move towards an outbuilding and he obviously was aware he had been seen and he then made movement back toward bushland where he was more comfortable.”

A search had been underway since Tuesday when the body of a 69-year-old man was found in a house at Reedy Marsh, west of Launceston.

Police had described the suspect as a skilled bushman who may have camouflage paint on his face.

He was spotted by members of the public allegedly carrying a knife on Wednesday morning near Parkham.

Police arrested a 47-year-old man near Parkham.(ABC News: Jessica Moran)

Helicopters, sniffer dogs and thermal imaging cameras were also used in the search.

Local residents had been urged to secure properties.

Police are yet to release the name of the alleged victim.

His wife has been released from hospital, after being treated for minor lacerations.

Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Forensic officers and detectives are expected to remain at the scene until Thursday.

Three people were taken into custody for questioning on Tuesday.

Police said they had been released without charge.

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Police use a Taser to arrest woman, 28, after two men die


Police use a Taser to arrest woman, 28, after two men die of serious injuries at a home in Ilford

  • Two men found seriously injured at property Ilford, east London, this morning
  • Despite efforts of paramedics the men died at scene and woman was arrested 
  • Woman, who had non life-threatening injuries, taken to hospital for treatment

A 28-year-old woman has been arrested after two men died at a house in east London this morning. 

Emergency teams were called to a property in Ilford at around 4.20am following reports of a ‘disturbance’. 

The men were found seriously injured at the property and died at the scene, the Metropolitan Police said.      

A 28-year-old woman has been arrested by police after two men died at a house in Tavistock Gardens, Ilford, east London, this morning. Pictured: GV of Tavistock Gardens

The woman, who had non life-threatening injuries, was arrested at the scene and taken to hospital for treatment.

A Taser was used during her arrest, the force said.  

Detectives in Scotland Yard’s Specialist Crime Command have been informed and a crime scene is in place.

The men’s next of kin have not yet been informed     

The woman was arrested at the scene and taken to hospital for treatment and a crime scene is in place, the Metropolitan Police said. (Stock image)

The woman was arrested at the scene and taken to hospital for treatment and a crime scene is in place, the Metropolitan Police said. (Stock image)

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Australia joins US, UK and Canada in criticising Hong Kong arrest of pro-democracy activists


The foreign ministers of Australia, the United States, Great Britain and Canada have issued a joint statement expressing “serious concern” about the arrest of 55 democracy activists and supporters in Hong Kong last week.

The arrests were by far the largest such action taken under a national security law that China imposed on the semi-autonomous territory a little more than six months ago.

“It is clear that the national security law is being used to eliminate dissent and opposing political views,” the four foreign ministers said.

The Chinese and Hong Kong governments say the law is needed to restore order in a city that was rocked in 2019 by months of often violent anti-government demonstrations as protesters demanded greater democracy.

Most of those arrested last week had taken part in an unofficial primary for a legislative election that was later postponed.

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Hong Kong police arrest dozens of political activists.

Authorities allege the primary was part of a plot to take control of the legislature in order to paralyse the Government and force the city’s leader to resign.

The 55 have not been charged, and all but three have been released on bail pending further investigation.

Convictions could disqualify them from running for office.

The four foreign ministers said the next legislative election should include candidates representing a range of political opinions.

Only half the city’s legislature is elected by popular vote.

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“We call on the Hong Kong and Chinese central authorities to respect the legally guaranteed rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong without fear of arrest and detention,” the ministers wrote.

The statement was signed by Foreign Minister Marise Payne along with her counterparts Francois-Philippe Champagne of Canada, Dominic Raab of the UK and Mike Pompeo of the United States.

Separately, Mr Pompeo announced the US was voiding longstanding restrictions on how its diplomats and others had contact with their counterparts in Taiwan, a self-governing island China says should be under its rule.

The actions on Taiwan and Hong Kong will undoubtedly anger China, which views such moves as foreign interference in its internal affairs.

The Trump administration, which is in its final days, is also sending Kelly Craft, its ambassador to the United Nations, to Taiwan later this week.

China has sharply criticised the upcoming visit, while the Taiwan Government has welcomed it.

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Former HK Legislative Council member says people won’t be intimidated into silence

AP

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Police involved in arrest which knocked man unconscious will not be prosecuted, court told


Four South Australian police officers involved in the arrest of a handcuffed man that ended with him being knocked unconscious at the Victor Harbor Police Station in 2017 will not be prosecuted, a court has heard.

Nathan Cross, 43, has launched civil action against SA Police, alleging the officers failed in their duty of care and were negligent during his arrest.

In court documents, he has claimed that his head was “slammed” into a charge counter at the Victor Harbor Police Station by Senior Constable Ben Higgins, causing him to be knocked unconscious and to suffer a brain injury.

Mr Cross was charged with assaulting police but was acquitted in September after Magistrate Sue O’Connor found he had not been a threat and some of the officers had colluded with each other.

CCTV from within the Victor Harbor Police Station was tendered during the criminal prosecution against Mr Cross.

In her verdict, Magistrate O’Connor said Senior Constable Higgins “was not candid” in his statement about the incident, but conceded in court that “he had pushed” Mr Cross.

She said one officer was a “helpful witness” but the other two had made “misleading” statements “that place Higgins in the best possible light and blame Mr Cross for what happened to him”.

Today, Andrew Carpenter, for Mr Cross, told the District Court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would not be charging the police officers involved.

The court heard SA Police has applied to put the civil lawsuit on hold until it completes an internal investigation.

Nathan Cross was acquitted of assault in September.(ABC News)

“I would still need to speak to the officers and as has been indicated, we can’t do that until the internal investigation process has been dealt with,” lawyers for SA Police told the court.

But Mr Carpenter said the civil lawsuit had already been delayed for three years to give Mr Cross an opportunity to fight the assault charge.

“We’re saying this matter should not be delayed any further on the basis they may have disciplinary proceedings,” he said.

“The police originally requested a four-month adjourned to file a defence so they could interview the officers and now they’re saying they haven’t interviewed them yet.

“They’ve provided oral testimony, sworn affidavits and there’s been findings, of a court, of untruth of statement.

Master Elizabeth Olsson adjourned the police’s application to put the civil action on hold until February next year.

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“Stingray Technology” Used To Locate Child-Trafficking Associate Eluding Capture

An associate of Jeffrey Epstein – who is facing child trafficking charges – Ms Ghislaine Maxwell, was tracked down by the FBI using the data from her mobile phone.

Shortly, the 58-year-old woman was arrested in her secluded mansion in New Hampshire on July 2 during a raid. The operation happened a day after a request was made for a search warrant “to determine with precision the Target Cellular Device’s location”.

However, upon arrest, she pleaded not guilty in helping Epstein recruit and groom underage girls for sex, and not guilty to perjury for having denied involvement under oath.

As first reported by The Daily Beast, the newly unsealed document revealed that Ms Maxwell was located using GPS and “stingray” technology to pinpoint a phone she had registered under the name “G Max”. This phone had been used to call her lawyer, sister and husband.

Ms Maxwell had been hiding out in the $1.3 million home following the arrest and subsequent death in prison of Epstein, with whom she had a relationship with in the 1990s. Currently, she is being held in detention in New York City ahead of her trial, which is set to begin in July.

In the court documents disclosed, details of her arrest including the request of a “GPS warrant” to locate Ms Maxwell were revealed, which allowed them to track Ms Maxwell’s whereabouts to an area of about 2.5 square kilometres.

Another warrant was requested for the use of a “stingray” device to narrow the search.

According to the second application, “The location data is insufficiently specific to allow the FBI to identify the particular building in which the Target Cellular Device is currently located.”

The device used to trace Ms Maxwell’s exact location inside her mansion is defined in the warrant as a device “capable of broadcasting signals … in some respects like a cellular tower”.

In addition, prosecutors said Ms Maxwell had used her New Hampshire home, which officials said she purchased in December 2019 in cash, as a hideout.

Her husband, on the other hand, whose name was redacted from court papers, argued that Ms Maxwell moved there to protect her safety and escape the media frenzy, not to dodge from capture.

Her record shows that she was denied bail twice, most recently on December 29 on a judge ruling as Ms Maxwell posed a “flight risk” despite her proposed $37.5 million bail package.

As predicted, Ms Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted at her scheduled trial in July 2021.

(Image source: ABC News)