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A Cyprus court has ordered 12 Israelis tourists to remain in police custody for eight days after a British woman alleged that she was raped.

The woman, 19, filed a complaint with police in Ayia Napa on Wednesday morning saying she had been gang-raped the previous night.

The suspects, who are aged between 15 and 18, covered their faces with their clothing as they arrived in court on Thursday.

Judge Tonia Nicolaou removed reporters from the hearing because of the suspects’ ages.

The alleged attack took place early on Wednesday at a hotel in the popular Cyprus resort town of Ayia Napa where the woman and the suspects were staying separately.

Aerial view of Sandy Bay on April 29, 2016 in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. Sandy Bay has fine white sands and gently shelving waters
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Ayia Napa is a beach resort in Cyprus known for its beaches

Some of the suspects’ parents were present at the court hearing.

They embraced the handcuffed teenagers as they arrived at the courthouse in shorts and T-shirts.

One young suspect broke down in tears.

Lawyer Ioannis Habaris, who represents four of the suspects, said that prosecutors informed the court that the British woman was raped but that it was unclear exactly how many of the suspects were implicated, the Associated Press reported.

Israeli lawyer Nir Yaslovitzh, who represents three of the suspects, said there was no evidence that the victim knew any of the suspects and that the 12 suspects were visiting Ayia Napa in three separate groups and did not know each other.

He said some of the suspects had gone on the holiday prior to being inducted into the Israeli army.

Mr Yaslovitzh claimed police investigators were trying to set a trap by implicating all 12 suspects.

“I think it’s a trick,” Mr Yaslovitzh told the Associated Press. “They want to know how my clients will [react].”

The suspects were at court for a remand hearing conducted behind closed doors
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The suspects were at court for a remand hearing conducted behind closed doors

Police said earlier that the investigation was in its early stages and it is not yet clear how many people are suspected of being involved.

Israel’s foreign ministry said in a statement that its diplomats had been allowed to speak with the suspects.

They added: “The Israeli consul in Nicosia, Yossi Wurmbrand, is following developments and is in contact with the detainees.

“Their families have been updated.”

The woman is undergoing medical checks, according to the Times Of Israel.

Ayia Napa is on the southeast coast of Cyprus.

It is known for its beaches and is particularly popular with younger tourists who go for the vibrant nightlife.

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Five Britons arrested and 100kg of drugs confiscated in Malaga | UK News

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A British criminal network has been foiled in Spain, with more than 100kg of drugs confiscated. 

Five Britons – three men and two women aged between 38 and 62 – have been arrested in connection with the network by the National Police in Malaga.

Five people were arrested. Pic: Policia Nacional
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Three men and two women have been arrested. Pic: Policia Nacional

Officers said they intercepted 52kg of a mix of marijuana and hash, and 51kg of vacuum-packed marijuana buds.

The police operation also saw the seizure of 23,000 euros (£21,000) in cash.

Drugs were being sent across Europe through couriers based in Malaga, and it is thought they were destined for countries including the UK, Sweden, Poland and Denmark.

The suspects allegedly took steps to avoid police, including frequently changing which vehicles they used and the homes they rented, officers said.

Some of the drugs were destined for the UK. Pic: Policia Nacional
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Some of the drugs were destined for the UK. Pic: Policia Nacional

A long-running police operation saw two parcel shipments intercepted at courier agencies in May, containing 58kg of drugs in seven boxes intended for Sweden, Poland and Denmark.

In subsequent shipments, the last one intercepted earlier in August, three packages containing 17kg of the drugs were prevented from reaching Sweden and the UK, the force said.

Police then carried out home searches once the suspects were identified, with a further 28kg uncovered in the raids.

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Hong Kong: Police use water cannon for first time against protesters | World News

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Hong Kong police have used water cannon against anti-government protesters for the first time during a second straight day of demonstrations.

There have been skirmishes between activists and officers following a pro-democracy march in an area known as the New Territories where tens of thousands took to the streets.

A large crowd then attended a rally in a park but another group of protesters took over a main street, putting up barricades with traffic barriers and cones.

Police tried to disperse them by firing tear gas but protesters reacted by throwing bricks and other objects towards the officers.

The violence came a day after similar clashes in the Kowloon Bay district where authorities arrested 29 people for offences including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons and assaulting police officers.

According to the South China Morning Post, the custom-built French trucks have 15 high-pressure cannons.

Two cannons on the roof can fire more than 1,200 litres of water a minute over a distance of 50 metres. The water can be mixed with tear gas or liquid dye as well.

According to guidelines, the cannons should only be aimed at the lower limbs of the protesters.

An assistant commissioner of police overseeing operations is allowed to authorise deployment of the water cannon after assessing threats.

The trucks arrived in the city in May last year.

More follows…

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Australia to block websites hosting terror content during attacks | World News

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Websites and social media companies that host terrorist material during attacks will be blocked, Australian officials have said.

The government plans to crack down on extremists exploiting digital platforms to post very violent content.

And it is considering bringing in legislation to force the platforms to improve safety.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “We are doing everything we can to deny terrorists the opportunity to glorify their crimes.”

The clampdown comes after suspected gunman Brenton Tarrant allegedly live-streamed on Facebook an attack on two mosques in March which claimed 51 lives in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

This led to increased scrutiny of websites and social media companies.

Brenton Tarrant, charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is seen in the dock during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand March 16, 2019
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Suspected gunman Brenton Tarrant pictured in court in New Zealand

Internet domains hosting any abhorrent violent material – content showing murder, attempted murder, rape, torture, or kidnapping – recorded by those involved would also be blocked, the government said.

A crisis coordination centre would also be set up to monitor the online world for extreme violence or terrorist material.

Mr Morrison is outlining his plans at the G7 summit in the French town of Biarritz, where the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and US gathered.

He is trying to push countries to take more action against terrorist and violent extremist material during a series of meetings on the sidelines of the summit.

The Australian government has not elaborated on what legislative options would be used if digital platforms failed to improve safety.

Tech giants including Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Microsoft and Twitter, and telecoms firms Telstra, Vodafone, TPG and Optus are set to tell the government next month how they plan to carry out the recommendations.

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