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On the grass outside the university library, it is as though it never happened. 

The tents have been removed. The pavements have been sprayed. The graffiti removed.

Order and control have been restored. The protest has been silenced. For now at least.

A few streets away, at the university police station, an officer calls the names of the students arrested the night before.

On the steps in front of him, the bedraggled are waiting.

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Why are university students protesting in the US?
Inside pro-Palestinian protest as police break up UCLA encampment

Pic: Reuters
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Pic: Reuters

Police clash with pro-Palestinian demonstrators on the UCLA campus early on Thursday morning. Pic: AP
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Police clash with pro-Palestinian demonstrators on the UCLA campus early on Thursday morning. Pic: AP

Students, charged and released with a date in court, are here now to collect their belongings. They’re missing bags, belts, shoes, all lost in the chaos of the night before.

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From the very heart of the protest encampment, our cameras had captured the chaos.

Officers moving in. Tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse. Stun grenades to disorientate.

Police  detain a demonstrator, as they clear out the protest encampment in UCLA.
Pic: Reuters
Image:
Police detain a demonstrator, as they clear out the protest encampment in UCLA.
Pic: Reuters

They were scenes which have stirred an already fevered debate about Israel and Gaza, yes, but about much more too. About America, about policing, and about free speech too.

President Biden said yesterday: “Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduations – none of this is a peaceful protest.”

‘Wrong’ say the protesters. Their movement, they say, is the very essence of protest; of civil disobedience which is threaded through US college campus history.

Law enforcement official moves a tent at the protest encampment in support of Palestinians at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), as the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas continues, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 2, 2024. REUTERS/Aude Guerrucci
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Law enforcement official moves a tent at the protest encampment in support of Palestinians at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Signs of the days-long protest on campus being gradually cleared.
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Signs of the days-long protest on campus being gradually cleared.

They reject any notion that they are threatening or violent. Yet the deeply divisive history of the Israel-Palestine conflict ensures that the beholder will so often be offended by the actions of the other side.

It was the students perceived antisemitism through their pro-Palestinian slogans which had drawn a group of pro-Israel protesters to the encampment earlier in the week.

The chaos of that night was reflected in a statement by the university’s student radio station which has been covering every twist.

This embrace turned out to be a thread of history
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This embrace turned out to be a thread of history

“Counter protestors used bear mace, professional-grade fireworks and clubs to brutalize hundreds of our peers, UCLA turned a blind eye. Police were not called until hours into the onslaught and stood aside for over an hour as counter-protestors enacted racial, physical and chemical violence,” the statement from the UCLA Radio Managerial team said.

Watching the clear-up after the nighttime police sweep of the protesters I spotted two people embracing. A young man and an older woman.

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Professor recalls violent arrest at protest

It turned out to be a thread of history. One was a student who’d been arrested the night before.

The other was a student from a past time. Diane Salinger had been at New York’s Columbia University in 1968, at protests which now form a key chapter in American history.

Diane Salinger had been at New York’s Columbia University in 1968, at protests which now form a key chapter in American history
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Diane Salinger had been at New York’s Columbia University in 1968, at protests which now form a key chapter in American history

“I’m so proud of these people here. I’m so proud,” she told me.

“You know the civil unrest of the students back in ’68 and it continued for several years, it actually changed the course of the Vietnam War and hopefully this is going to do the same thing.”

But then, back at the police station, a conversation that hints at the wider challenges for America.

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‘Tom’ is a protester who wanted to remain anonymous – a graduate who feels politically deserted in his own country. For him, no government is better than any on offer.

'Tom' is a protester who wanted to remain anonymous - a graduate who feels politically deserted in his own country.
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‘Tom’ is a protester who wanted to remain anonymous – a graduate who feels politically deserted in his own country.

“The problem with our system is that we can’t rely on the police, we can’t rely on the military to keep us safe.

“When we need to make our voices heard, we need to make them heard, and the only way to do that without being repressed is by keeping each other safe and I think that last night and the last few months have really exemplified that,” he told me.

These protests are about more than Gaza. They are aligning a spectrum of dissent.

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Oregon: Woman crushed by grand piano shows ‘amazing spirit’ after being told she will never walk again

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Oregon: Woman crushed by grand piano shows 'amazing spirit' after being told she will never walk again

A woman has been left unable to walk after a piano slipped and dropped on her while she was helping a friend move the instrument.

Danielle Drummond, 28, who had recently relocated from Cleveland, Ohio, to Oregon for a fresh start, is now hoping for a scientific breakthrough after the ordeal left her needing both a wheelchair and a carer.

She told Cleveland-based broadcaster 19 News she had tried to stabilise the piano when offering to help last month, but her friend lost her grip.

“She dropped like a whole upright grand piano on me, and it severed my spinal cord,” Ms Drummond said.

“Now, I’m paralysed from the waist down.”

Ms Drummond has no family in Eugene, the city in Oregon where she lives, and also needs to find a permanent home, having been living in a van with her dog, Lotus.

Danielle Drummond. Pic: GoFundMe
Image:
Danielle Drummond. Pic: GoFundMe

Compounding her problems, she does not know how she would begin to move back to her family in Cleveland and transfer all her belongings and medical equipment.

Her sister has set up a fundraising page to “support future medical needs”, with the aim of raising $10,000 (£7,850).

“Our family thanks you for all your support, consideration, thoughts, love and prayers,” her sister Rosie Hayne wrote, describing Ms Drummond as “strong”, “wise”, and “down to earth”.

In an update on the GoFundMe page, Ms Hayne added: “She wants to make it clear that she is not expecting to ever walk again.

“She has accepted the reality of her situation. But she has an amazing spirit and an overall positive outlook, focusing on what she can do.”

Ms Drummond told 19 News she hopes people going through similar circumstances “don’t give up”.

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Meanwhile, her wish remains for a new development in treatment.

“It definitely is a game change for me,” she said. “I try to stay hopeful.”

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Iowa town flattened as tornadoes cause fatalities and devastation in US Midwest

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Iowa town flattened as tornadoes cause fatalities and devastation in US Midwest

An unknown number of people have died after a powerful tornado ripped through a small town in Iowa.

Dramatic pictures showed the destruction left behind in Greenfield, with police confirming there had been fatalities and at least a dozen injuries, without being able to provide specific figures.

The devastation came as multiple tornadoes rolled through the US Midwest.

At least three 250-foot-high wind turbines were toppled by an apparent tornado in southwest Iowa.

One turbine was in flames, with black smoke pouring from the bent structure.

Officials said most of Greenfield, with a population of about 2,000 people, had been destroyed, with rescue efforts continuing in an attempt to find survivors.

Workers search through the remains of tornado-damaged homes, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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A trail of destruction was left behind in Greenfield. Pic: AP

Damage is seen after a tornado moved through Greenfield, Iowa, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Hannah Fingerhut)
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Pic: AP

A firefighter walks among tornado-damaged homes, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Pic: AP

Pic: AP
A damaged car sits on a street after a tornado Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Pic: AP

Buildings, including homes and businesses, were flattened, trees shredded, and vehicles thrown down the streets which were left strewn with piles of debris.

Sgt Alex Dinkla, a spokesperson for the Iowa State Patrol, said: “This tornado has devastated a good portion of this town.

“Sadly, we can confirm that there have been fatalities. We’re still counting at this time.”

Pic: AP
The remains of a tornado-damaged wind turbine touch the ground in a field, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, near Prescott, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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The extreme conditions in Iowa brought down wind turbines. Pic: AP

The remains of a tornado-damaged wind turbine touch the ground in a field, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, near Prescott, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Pic: AP

Pic: AP
The remains of a tornado-damaged wind turbine touch the ground in a field, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, near Prescott, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Pic: AP

He said Greenfield’s hospital was among the buildings that were damaged, which meant at least a dozen people who were hurt had to be taken to facilities elsewhere.

Residents helped each other salvage their belongings as they tried to come to terms with what had happened.

Pic: AP
A firefighter walks among homes destroyed by a tornado Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Pic: AP

Workers search through the remains of tornado-damaged property, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Greenfield, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Pic: AP

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Extreme weather gripping different parts of the world
Four killed as severe thunderstorms sweep across Texas

Rogue Paxton said he sheltered in the basement of his home when the storm moved through.

He told WOI-TV he thought his family was lucky not to lose their house.

“But everyone else is not so much, like my brother Cody, his house just got wiped,” he said.

“Then you see all these people out here helping each other.

“Everything’s going to be fine because we have each other, but it’s just going to be really, really rough. It is a mess.”

The storms followed days of extreme weather which has ravaged much of the middle section of the US.

Strong winds, large hail and tornadoes swept across parts of Oklahoma and Kansas late Sunday, damaging homes and injuring two people.

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Ex-model accuses Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs of sexually assaulting her at his studio in 2003

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Ex-model accuses Sean 'Diddy' Combs of sexually assaulting her at his studio in 2003

A former model has accused Sean “Diddy” Combs of sexually assaulting her at his New York City recording studio in 2003 in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

Crystal McKinney’s allegations are just the latest in a series of accusations made against the rapper and producer.

McKinney says she was a successful 22-year-old model when she met Combs at a restaurant during Men’s Fashion Week in Manhattan.

The music mogul invited her to his recording studio later that night, according to the federal complaint filed in New York City.

The lawsuit states McKinney arrived and found Combs drinking and smoking cannabis with several other men.

She smoked some marijuana, which she “later came to understand” was laced with another narcotic or intoxicating substance, the lawsuit claims.

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‘Diddy’ apologises after assault video

McKinney says she felt as though she was floating, then Combs led her to the bathroom, where he sexually assaulted her, according to the lawsuit.

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Combs then led her back to the studio where she lost consciousness, later waking in a taxi where she realised what had happened.

Combs is yet to respond to these latest allegations.

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The lawsuit comes just days after CNN aired security video that showed Combs attacking singer Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel hallway in 2016.

Cassie, an R&B singer whose legal name is Cassandra Ventura, was his protege and girlfriend at the time.

On Sunday, the 54-year-old, released a video saying he was “truly sorry” and his actions were “inexcusable”.

He is not in danger of being criminally prosecuted for the beating because of the statute of limitations.

Combs, whose homes in Los Angeles and Miami were raided by Homeland Security Investigations agents in March, has faced a series of public allegations of physical and sexual violence as well as sex trafficking.

A lawsuit filed by Cassie in November alleging beatings and abuse was settled a day after it was filed.

The claim on Tuesday was filed under a New York City law that allows accusers to file civil litigation during a limited window, even if the events allegedly happened long ago.

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