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Protesters have smashed barriers at Georgia’s parliament after it approved a divisive “foreign agents” bill.

Riot police used tear gas and sprayed crowds with water cannon as they entered the grounds of the Georgian parliament in the capital Tbilisi.

Sky’s international affairs editor Dominic Waghorn, who is covering the protests in Tbilisi, said there was a “febrile atmosphere” and a “real sense anger, frustration and massive disappointment” that MPs voted for the bill.

Follow live: Riot police move in on Georgia protesters

Pic: Reuters
Law enforcement officers stand guard near the parliament building as demonstrators hold a rally to protest against a bill on "foreign agents" in Tbilisi, Georgia, May 14, 2024. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze
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Hundreds of law enforcement officers guarded parliament. Pic: Reuters

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Protesters break through parliament barricades

The legislation is seen by some as threatening press and civic freedoms and there are concerns it’s modelled on laws used by President Vladimir Putin in neighbouring Russia.

The proposed law would require media and non-governmental organisations and other non-profit groups to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they receive more than 20% of funding from abroad.

Demonstrations have engulfed Georgia for weeks ahead of the bill’s final reading on Tuesday.

Pic: AP
Police use a spray to block demonstrators near the Parliament building during an opposition protest against "the Russian law" in the center of Tbilisi, Georgia, on Monday, May 13, 2024. Daily protests are continuing against a proposed bill that critics say would stifle media freedom and obstruct the country's bid to join the European Union. (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze)
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Police used a spray to keep back the crowds. Pic: AP

A protester wearing a Georgian and European flag faces off policemen blocking a street during a rally against the 'foreign bill'. Pic: David Mdzinarishvili/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
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Pic: David Mdzinarishvili/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Critics also see it as a threat to the country’s aspirations to join the European Union.

The bill is nearly identical to one that the governing Georgian Dream party was pressured to withdraw last year after street protests.

Pic: Reuters
Demonstrators gather at the fence protecting the gates of the parliament building during a rally to protest against a bill on "foreign agents" in Tbilisi, Georgia May 14, 2024. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze
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Pic: Reuters

Pic: Reuters
Law enforcement officers detain a demonstrator during a rally to protest against a bill on "foreign agents" in Tbilisi, Georgia, May 14, 2024. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze
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Authorities were seen detaining protesters near the parliament building. Pic: Reuters

Opponents have denounced the bill as “the Russian law” because Moscow uses similar legislation to stigmatise independent news media and organisations critical of the Kremlin.

Read more:
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A brawl erupted in the parliament as MPs were debating the bill on Tuesday.

Georgian Dream MP Dimitry Samkharadze was seen charging towards Levan Khabeishvili, the chairman of main opposition party United National Movement, after Mr Khabeishvili accused him of organising mobs to beat up opposition supporters.

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Fighting in Georgia’s parliament

‘Absolutely insane’

Former Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili called the bill a “joke” and a “replica” of one introduced by Vladimir Putin to “control his own society” in Russia.

He said the Georgian people would “not fall under that mistake” and that protesters were standing “firm, calm, peaceful and for freedom”.

“We will not let them prevail. We will overcome,” he told Sky News.

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Protesters angry after ‘Russian law’ passes

A protester said it was “absolutely insane that a country like Georgia has accepted this bill as it’s a complete violation for our future”.

The medical student said the bill “makes us more far away from Europe and the rest of the world”, while bringing Georgia closer to the Russian government.

Another protester outside parliament said: “Our government is a Russian government, we don’t want Russia, Russia is never the way, I’m Georgian and therefore I am European.”

One demonstrator said they had been trying to protest “peacefully” but were now “feeling anger, pain and disappointment that again in our history there is a government that goes against our wishes”.

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The president of the European Parliament has shown support for the Georgian people in a post on social media.

“Tbilisi, we hear you! We see you!” Roberta Metsola said.

Alex Scrivener, director of the Democratic Security Institute, said there was time for the law to be turned around.

He told Sky News: “The law passing isn’t the end of the vote.

“The president of Georgia who is aligned with the protesters can veto legislation and that buys us time.”

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has said she will veto it but her decision can be overridden by another vote in parliament, controlled by the ruling party and its allies.

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Four girls stabbed at cinema in Massachusetts

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Four girls stabbed at cinema in Massachusetts

Four girls aged between nine and 17 were stabbed in an “unprovoked” attack at a cinema in Massachusetts, US police have said.

A 21-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man were also found stabbed in a McDonald’s restaurant in an incident that may be connected, according to officers.

A man, whose identity has not been released, was taken into custody following a vehicle chase that ended in a crash in Sandwich, Cape Cod.

Police said a man came into the AMC Braintree 10 complex, south of Boston, at about 6pm local time on Saturday and entered one of the movie theatres without paying.

“Without saying anything and without any warning, he suddenly attacked the four young females,” the Braintree police department said in a statement.

“The attack appeared to be unprovoked. After the attack, the man ran out and left in a vehicle.”

The girls sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to hospitals in Boston for treatment.

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The suspect’s vehicle – what appeared to be a black SUV – and number plate was seen on camera, police said.

A vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle was later seen in Plymouth, about 27 miles south of Braintree.

Police said it had left a McDonald’s restaurant, where a 21-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man were found stabbed and both were taken to hospitals with injuries.

Police found the vehicle another 20 miles south, in Sandwich, and attempted to pull it over, but it didn’t stop and later crashed.

The driver was taken into custody shortly afterward and was being treated at a hospital.

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Passengers and crew injured after turbulence on Qatar Airways flight to Dublin

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Passengers and crew injured after turbulence on Qatar Airways flight to Dublin

Eight people have been taken to hospital due to turbulence on a flight to Dublin.

Dublin Airport said six passengers and six crew members on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin were hurt after experiencing turbulence over Turkey.

In a later statement, the airport said all passengers were assessed for injury before getting off the plane and eight were taken to hospital.

Graeme McQueen, a spokesman for DAA, the operator of Dublin Airport, told Sky News the aircraft was met by emergency services upon landing shortly before 1pm on Sunday.

The scene at Dublin Airport

Qatar Airways described the injuries sustained by passengers and crew as “minor”.

It said: “[They] are now receiving medical attention… The safety and security of our passengers and crew are our top priority.”

An internal investigation into what happened has now been launched.

Read more:
Is flight turbulence getting worse – and what types are there?

Climate change causing more turbulence – scientists

Earlier this week, in a separate incident, a British man died on a Singapore Airlines flight after extreme turbulence on a Heathrow-Singapore journey.

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Singapore Airlines passenger Josh Silverstone describes ordeal

Turbulence is defined as a sudden change in airflow and wind speed.

It can often be associated with storm clouds, which are usually well forecast and monitored, allowing planes to fly around them, Sky News weather producer Jo Robinson said.

Clear-air turbulence (CAT) is much more dangerous as there are no visual signs, such as clouds.

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This invisible vertical air movement usually occurs at and above 15,000ft and is mostly linked to the jet stream.

It is unclear what type of turbulence the Qatar Airways flight went through.

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Papua New Guinea: More than 2,000 people buried alive in landslide – as ‘major destruction’ hampers rescue efforts

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Papua New Guinea: More than 2,000 people buried alive in landslide - as 'major destruction' hampers rescue efforts

More than 2,000 people have been buried by a massive landslide in northern Papua New Guinea, the country’s disaster agency has said.

The landslide levelled the mountainous Kaokalam village in Enga Province – about 370 miles (600km) northwest of the capital Port Moresby.

It hit the Pacific nation at around 3am local time on Friday (6pm on Thursday UK time), and the United Nations had earlier said it estimated 670 people had been killed. Local officials had initially put the number of dead at 100 or more.

People search through a landslide in Yambali village. Pic: Kafuri Yaro/UNDP Papua New Guinea via AP
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People search through a landslide in Yambali village. Pic: Kafuri Yaro/UNDP Papua New Guinea via AP

The Papua New Guinea national disaster centre said the landslide had buried more than 2,000 people.

“The landslide buried more than 2,000 people alive and caused major destruction to buildings, food gardens and caused major impact on the economic lifeline of the country,” an official from the national disaster centre said in a letter to the United Nations.

Earlier, Serhan Aktoprak, head of the United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration mission on the island nation, said the figure of 670 deaths was based on calculations by local officials that more than 150 homes had been buried. The previous estimate was 60 homes.

“They are estimating that more than 670 people [are] under the soil at the moment,” he said.

More than 4,000 people were likely impacted by the disaster, humanitarian group CARE Australia said earlier.

It said the area was “a place of refuge for those displaced by [nearby] conflicts”.

Pic: New Porgera Limited/Reuters
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Pic: New Porgera Limited/Reuters

Pic: New Porgera Limited/Reuters
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Pic: New Porgera Limited/Reuters

About six villages were affected by the landslide in the province’s Mulitaka region, according to Australia‘s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Three bodies were pulled from an area where 50 to 60 homes were destroyed. Six people, including a child, were pulled from the rubble alive, the UN’s Papua New Guinea office said.

But hopes of finding more survivors were diminishing.

Pic: AP
Villagers use heavy machinery to search through a landslide in Yambali in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, Sunday, May 26, 2024. The International Organization for Migration feared Sunday the death toll from a massive landslide is much worse than what authorities initially estimated. (Mohamud Omer/International Organization for Migration via AP)
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Villagers use heavy machinery to search through the landslide. Pic: AP

Yambali was among the villages affected. Pic: Mohamud Omer/International Organisation for Migration via AP
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Yambali was among the villages affected. Pic: Mohamud Omer/International Organisation for Migration via AP

The landslide left debris up to eight metres deep across 200 sq km (77 sq miles), cutting off road access, which was making relief efforts difficult. Helicopters were the only way to reach the area.

Survivors searched through tonnes of earth and rubble by hand looking for missing relatives while a first emergency convoy delivered food, water and other provisions on Saturday.

However, Mr Aktoprak added: “Hopes to take the people out alive from the rubble have diminished now.”

In February, at least 26 men were killed in Enga Province in an ambush amid tribal violence that prompted Prime Minister James Marape to give arrest powers to the country’s military.

Mr Marape has said disaster officials, the defence force and the department of works and highways were assisting with relief and recovery efforts.

View of the damage after a landslide in Maip Mulitaka, Enga province, Papua New Guinea May 24, 2024 in this obtained image. Emmanuel Eralia via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.?
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A damaged house after the landslide. Pic: Reuters

People carry bags in the aftermath of a landslide in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea, May 24, 2024, in this still image obtained from a video. Andrew Ruing/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT
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Locals carry their belongings away from the scene of the landslide. Pic: Reuters

Papua New Guinea, with a population of around 10 million, is a diverse, developing nation of mostly subsistence farmers with 800 languages. There are few roads outside the larger cities.

It is located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where much of the world’s earthquake and volcanic activity occurs.

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In March, the country was hit by a 6.9-magnitude earthquake.

The US and Australia are building closer defence ties with the strategically important nation, while China is also seeking closer security and economic ties.

US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said their governments stood ready to help respond to the landslide.

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