A rape victim set on fire on her way to court by a gang of men, including her suspected attacker, has died in a New Delhi hospital.
The 23-year-old woman had been travelling to a hearing for her case in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh when she was doused with paraffin and set ablaze.
It is the second deadly attack against a woman in recent weeks, causing a public backlash across the country.
The victim suffered extensive injuries and was airlifted to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, where she died of a cardiac arrest.
Dr Shalab Kumar, head of the hospital’s burns unit, said she had suffered 95% burns and that “toxic and hot fumes” had filled her lungs.
Five men have been arrested in connection with the fire attack.
The woman had lodged a complaint with police in March claiming she had been raped at gun-point last December.
Her alleged rapist was jailed, but was released last week on bail.
Priyanka Gandhi, the general secretary of the opposition Congress party, has blamed the Uttar Pradesh government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for failing to provide the woman with security.
It follows a similar case in the state in which a woman, who accused a BJP politician of rape, was severely injured in a vehicle hit-and-run.
Uttar Pradesh has become notorious for its poor record of crimes against women, with more than 4,200 cases of rape reported there in 2017 – the highest in the country.
The burns victim’s death came on the same day that police in the southern state of Telangana shot dead four men being held on suspicion of raping and killing a 27-year-old vet.
Their deaths have drawn both praise and condemnation in a case that has sparked protests across the country.
The woman’s burned body was found last week by a passer-by near the city of Hyderabad, after she went missing the previous night.
Investigators took the four suspects, who had not been charged, to the crime scene.
They said the men grabbed guns from their police escort, began shooting and were killed when officers returned fire.
A court hearing is to be held into the case, while separately, the national commission on human rights, an autonomous body within India’s parliament, sent a fact-finding mission to investigate, amid questions from opposition politicians about the circumstances of the suspects’ deaths.
World’s oldest asteroid strike in Western Australia ‘could have ended Ice Age’ | World News
The world’s oldest asteroid crater has been discovered in Western Australia, which could have ended an Ice Age, according to scientists.
A team from Curtin University, in WA, said the Yarrabubba strike, in the Outback, happened 2.2 billion years ago and is around half as old as the Earth.
Experts from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences say they analysed the minerals – zircon and monazite at the base of the eroded hole that were “shock recrystallised” by the impact, to calculate exactly when it happened, in a similar way tree rings can provide clues about their past.
They believe the strike released huge volumes of water vapour into the atmosphere, which may have lifted the planet out of a deep freeze.
Professor Chris Kirkland said Yarrabubba – which sits between Sandstone and Meekatharra – was known to be an impact structure for many years, but it was unclear exactly how old it was.
He continued: “Now we know the Yarrabubba crater was made right at the end of what’s commonly referred to as the early Snowball Earth – a time when the atmosphere and oceans were evolving and becoming more oxygenated, and when rocks deposited on many continents recorded glacial conditions.
Another scientist involved in the research, Associate Professor Nicholas Timms, added: “The age of the Yarrabubba impact matches the demise of a series of ancient glaciations.
“After the impact, glacial deposits are absent in the rock record for 400 million years.
“This twist of fate suggests the large meteorite impact may have influenced global climate. And this finding raises the question whether this impact may have tipped the scales enough to end glacial conditions”.
The team say their study could have major implications for future crater discoveries.
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Senior research fellow Dr Aaron Cavosie, said: “This one sat in plain sight for nearly two decades before its significance was realised.”
He added that the discovery “raises the question of whether all older impact craters have been eroded or if they are still out there waiting to be found”.
The study has been published in the leading journal Nature Communications.
Trump impeachment: Republicans block Democrat bids for new evidence and witnesses | US News
Republican senators have blocked a move by Democrats to compel Donald Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton to appear as a witness in the impeachment trial.
In an early sign of partisanship, the Republican-controlled Senate rejected several Democrat bids for more witnesses to expose the US president’s alleged abuse of power and the covering-up of his actions.
Republicans also turned back Democratic amendments to subpoena documents from the White House, State Department, Defence Department and budget office, as the first day of proceedings continued into the early hours of Wednesday.
They voted against compelling Mr Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney – both with front-row seats to the president’s actions – to give evidence at the historic trial.
By the same 53-47 party-line, the Republicans banded together to adopt their rules governing the proceedings, including delaying a debate over whether to call witnesses until the middle of the trial.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer accused Republican senators of “enabling a cover-up”.
The president, who is 4,000 miles away from Washington in Davos, Switzerland, is charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after investigations by the lower House of Representatives, which the Democrats control.
Mr Trump is accused of freezing Congress-approved aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, and impeding the inquiry into the matter.
Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, leading the prosecution, said America’s founders had added the remedy of impeachment in the US constitution with “precisely this type of conduct in mind – conduct that abuses the power of office for a personal benefit, that undermines our national security, and that invites foreign interference in the democratic process of an election”.
But White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, the president’s lead lawyer, said the charges against Mr Trump were “ridiculous”, insisting the president had done “absolutely nothing wrong”.
Mr Bolton, a foreign policy hawk, was sacked by Mr Trump in September with the pair having significant disagreements on Iran, Afghanistan and other global challenges.
Earlier this year, he issued a statement on Mr Trump’s impeachment, saying that if he was compelled to, he would give evidence at the trial.
“If the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify,” he wrote.
The final impeachment vote in the Senate, which will decide whether Mr Trump is guilty, is expected to be along party lines and it is therefore unlikely the president will be removed from office.
Flamur Beqiri murder: Man arrested in Denmark over shooting of suspected London gangster | UK News
A man has been arrested in Denmark over the Christmas Eve murder of a suspected gangster in front of his wife and child in south London.
The 22-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder on Monday night under a European Arrest Warrant at Copenhagen Airport at the request of Scotland Yard after arriving on a flight from Thailand.
The suspect remains in custody in Denmark pending extradition proceedings back to the UK.
He is accused of shooting Swedish national Flamur Beqiri, who police believe may have had criminal links in Sweden and was killed in a targeted attack.
The 36-year-old was shot multiple times by a lone suspect on his doorstep as he returned to his Battersea home with his family at around 9pm on 24 December.
The killer fled the scene on foot.
A neighbour heard the gun shots and the screams of Mr Beqiri’s wife and came out and saw the Swede lying in front of his doorway in a pool of blood.
According to reports, Mr Beqiri is the brother of former Real Housewives Of Cheshire star Misse Beqiri.
He met his wife at his sister’s wedding, and reportedly ran a record company in London.
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