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Queen Elizabeth almost shot by guard who mistook her for an intruder

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The Queen was almost shot by one of her own guards while she took a late-night stroll through palace grounds, it has been reported. The guard is said to have shouted into the darkness when he spotted a figure walking around Buckingham Palace at 3am, believing it might be an intruder.

But the shadowy suspect was in fact Her Majesty, who had stepped out for some fresh air because she couldn’t sleep, The Times reported. The guard confessed to Her Majesty he had nearly fired his weapon, to which she quipped: ‘Next time I’ll ring through beforehand so you don’t have to shoot me.’



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Yesterday the Queen performed her first royal engagement since falling ill with the heavy cold that forced her to miss church services over the festive season. The Queen presented a trusted member of staff with an honour as she continues to recuperate at Sandringham. The monarch invested Ray Wheaton, the Queen’s Page of the Chambers, with the insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order, according to the court circular.



The LVO, which is the Queen’s personal gift and is bestowed independently of 10 Downing Street, recognises service to the Royal Family and household. The monarch, who missed church on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, is said to be up and about and dealing with her red boxes of official papers. Yesterday the Queen also sent a message of condolence to the President of Turkey, following the attack in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Day that killed 39 people. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh both fell ill with colds in the run-up to Christmas, forcing them to delay their trip to the Norfolk estate by a day. While Philip went to the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church, the Queen stayed indoors. A week later, she also missed the New Year’s Day service.

 

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Ten and thousands of Hong Kong protesters flood city streets in largest rally in weeks

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Source: AFP- A sea of democracy activists flooded the streets of Hong Kong Sunday in a defiant show to the city’s leaders that their movement still pulls wide public support, despite mounting violence and increasingly stark warnings from Beijing.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters carrying umbrellas poured across the heart of Hong Kong island defying torrential rain and a police order not to march from a park where they had gathered earlier for a rally.

Weeks of demonstrations have plunged the financial hub into crisis, with images of masked black-clad protesters engulfed by tear gas during street battles against riot police stunning a city once renowned for its stability.

Sunday’s action, which organisers the Civil Human Rights Front said drew more than 1.7 million in the largest rally in weeks, was billed as a return to the “peaceful” origins of the leaderless protest movement.


“It’s been a long day and we’re very tired, but to see so many people out in the rain marching for Hong Kong gives strength to everyone,” said Danny Tam, a 28-year-old graphic designer.

The unprecedented political crisis was sparked by opposition to a plan to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland.

But protests have since morphed into a wider call for democratic rights in the semi-autonomous city.

Anger has been sharpened among protesters by the perceived heavy-handedness of the police who have used tear gas, baton charges and rubber bullets in incidents that have pinballed across social media.

“The police are doing things that are totally unacceptable,” said Yim, who like many of the protesters gave only one name.

“They are hurting citizens, they aren’t protecting us.”

AFP / Manan VATSYAYANATorrential rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of protesters in Hong Kong

Communist Party-ruled mainland China has taken an increasingly hardline tone towards the protesters, decrying the “terrorist-like” actions of a violent hardcore minority among the demonstrators.

Despite the near-nightly clashes with police, the movement has won few concessions from Beijing or the city’s unelected leadership.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Hong Kong Activities face crucial weekend test after airport setback

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Source: AFP- Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement faces a major test this weekend as it tries to muster another huge crowd following criticism over a recent violent airport protest and as concerns mount over Beijing’s next move.

Ten weeks of protests have plunged the international finance hub into crisis with the communist mainland taking an increasingly hardline tone, including labelling the more violent protester actions “terrorist-like”.

Chinese state media have put out images of military personnel and armoured personnel carriers across the border in Shenzhen, while the United States has warned Beijing against sending in troops, a move many analysts say would be a reputational and economic disaster for China.

The nationalistic Global Times newspaper said there would not be a repeat of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, in which hundreds — or even thousands — are believed to have been killed, if Beijing moves to quash the protests.

“The incident in Hong Kong won’t be a repeat of the June 4th political incident in 1989,” it said, insisting the country now had more sophisticated approaches.

It was a rare reference to the bloody events, which are taboo in China.

Hong Kong’s protests were sparked by opposition to a plan to allow extraditions to the mainland, but have since morphed into a wider call for democratic rights in the semi-autonomous city.

Millions of people have hit the streets while clashes have broken out between police and small groups of hardcore protesters for 10 consecutive weekends.

For most of that time, US President Donald Trump has taken a hands-off approach to the unrest but began speaking up this week, suggesting any potential trade deal with Beijing could be upended by a violent response from the mainland.

Speaking on Thursday, Trump urged his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to meet protesters and solve the crisis “humanely”.

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