May Day 2018: Protesters rally around the world

May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, is being celebrated around the world, with several cities participating in mass demonstrations and protests.

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Many European and Asian stock markets are closed to mark this occasion.

May Day is a public holiday in more than 80 countries. The day commemorates the struggle that Chicago workers, unionists and reformers went through in 1886 to fight for an eight-hour work day. Violent protests broke out on May 1, 1886 as 35,000 workers rallied on the streets in Chicago to demand better working hours.

Australia

While May Day has already finished in Australia, some cities are planning marches over the weekend.

Adelaide: Saturday May 3, 10.30am Torrens Parade GroundSydney: Sunday May 4, 11.30am Macquarie Street outside ParliamentFremantle: Sunday May 4, 12pm Fremantle EsplanadeBrisbane: Sunday May 4, 9.30am Cnr Wharf and Turbot Sts, BrisbaneNewcastle: Sunday May 3,10.00am Hamilton Station

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Thousands gathered in Malaysia’s capital on Thursday to protest against a planned new tax, but they also took shots at the government’s prosecution of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and handling of missing flight MH370.

Washington DC, United States

May Day marches are planned across the USA, including one in Washington D.C. that will see a rally from Union Station to the Capitol building and the White House.

Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish police used water canon and tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who tried to defy a Labour Day ban on demonstrations on Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the scene of protests that have dogged the government for months.

After giving a final warning, hundreds of riot police backed up by water cannon trucks moved in on protesters in the Besiktas district as they tried to breach the barricades leading up to the symbolic square, according to an AFP reporter.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

In Cambodia, security forces armed with sticks and batons forcibly dispersed dozens of May Day protesters near Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park, according to an AFP photographer.

Several people were beaten.

The park, opened by the government in 2010 as a designated area for people to air their grievances, was closed off by police with barbed wire as the authorities seek to clamp down on protests against long-ruling strongman premier Hun Sen.

“We are sad that we could not mark May Day properly. Workers’ rights have been thwarted,” said Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Indonesian police said some 33,000 workers were set to rally across the capital Jakarta. Unions said up to two million workers would be out in force to demand better working conditions in Southeast Asia’s most populous nation, although in previous years the numbers have come in much lower than such forecasts.

“Demonstrations will be held nationwide but the biggest will be in Jakarta, with around 33,000 workers,” police spokesman told AFP, adding that 18,000 police officers would be out on the streets.

He said workers were planning further rallies on Friday, with some 10,000 protesters expected to turn out.

Among the workers readying to march for Indonesia’s first May Day national holiday are women who used to earn less than $1 an hour making adidas shoes, until they were sacked.

Moscow, Russia

About 100,000 people have marched through Red Square to celebrate May Day, the first time the annual parade has been held on the vast cobblestoned square outside the Kremlin since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In keeping with Soviet-era traditions, Thursday’s parade was organised by trade unions and honored the working man. But it also celebrated Russia’s annexation of Crimea and was seen as part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to stoke patriotic feelings.

Hong Kong, China

In Hong Kong, union organisers said some 5,000 people were set to join their march from the city’s Victoria Park to government headquarters, with better working hours top of the agenda.

Seoul, South Korea

In Seoul around 5,000 workers were expected to rally outside Seoul railway station in the afternoon but this year’s traditional May Day trade union gathering has been overshadowed by the ferry disaster that has claimed the lives of hundreds of people, many of them schoolchildren.

The workers were to march to City Hall and pay their respects to the victims of the April 16 disaster at a temporary memorial.

Hotel stays to end for MH370 families

Malaysia Airlines will cease to provide hotel accommodation for relatives of missing flight MH370 passengers by May 7, the airline says.

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The Malaysian flag carrier has provided hotel accommodation for relatives in a number of countries – most of them in Malaysia and China – where it provided them periodic updates on the situation since shortly after the flight mysteriously disappeared on March 8.

But relatives’ tempers have repeatedly flared, particularly at the Lido Hotel in Beijing, where Chinese families have regularly lashed out at officials from the Malaysian government and the airline over their inability to explain the plane’s disappearance.

“Instead of staying in hotels, the families of MH370 are advised to receive information updates on the progress of the search and investigation and other support by Malaysia Airlines within the comfort of their own homes, with the support and care of their families and friends,” the airline said in a statement.

“In line with this adjustment, Malaysia Airlines will be closing all of its family assistance centres around the world by 7 May, 2014.”

Wen Wancheng, whose son was on the flight, said that relatives have come under pressure from time to time to leave the hotel and go back home, but was adamant that they would refuse.

“Today, MAS brought this up officially and we’re not going to accept it,” he told AFP, referring to the airline.

“They made the commitment in March that they wouldn’t drive us out of the Lido until any wreckage was found,” he said.

The government-controlled carrier also said it would soon make advance compensation payments to the next-of-kin of the 239 people on board the plane, part of a final package to be agreed upon later, but did not specify the amounts.

Wen, the Chinese relative, expressed concern about the payments.

“It has to have a legal basis,” he said.

“Is this for relatives’ mental damages or the casualties of our family members on board?”

About two-thirds of those aboard the missing plane, which vanished from radar en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, were Chinese nationals.

The plane is believed to have inexplicably diverted from its course and crashed in the Indian Ocean, however, a multi-nation search for plane wreckage has failed to find any evidence despite weeks of looking.

Toronto mayor `heading to rehab center’

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has begun a leave of absence and headed for a rehab centre after a report surfaced of second video of him apparently smoking crack cocaine.

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His brother, Doug Ford, said the mayor boarded a plane and would enter a 30-day inpatient treatment at one of the best rehab facilities in North America when he lands.

Speaking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Doug Ford declined to name the location of the facility.

A day after announcing his decision to take a leave, Ford left his west-end Toronto home in a two car-convoy without answering questions from reporters, leaving behind a trail of uncertainty about his re-election campaign and the political future of Canada’s largest city.

His nephew was seen leaving the home with a suitcase.

One of Ford’s campaign rivals and other Toronto politicians demanded he resign. But in a statement on Wednesday, Ford said only that would take leave for an unspecified amount of time both his mayoral post and his election campaign.

Ford, who was elected four years ago on a wave of support from Toronto’s conservative suburbs, has for months been the subject of a drug-related police investigation, but he has not been charged with any crime.

Toronto police said they were looking into the new video, which was reported by the Globe and Mail newspaper.

“I have a problem with alcohol, and the choices I have made while under the influence,” Ford said in statement late on Wednesday.

“I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 100 per cent committed to getting myself right.”

The Globe and Mail newspaper said it has viewed a second video of Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine in his sister’s basement.

The national newspaper said two Globe reporters viewed the video from a self-professed drug dealer showing Ford taking a drag from a pipe early on Saturday morning.

Colombian shaman has no remorse for death

A Colombian shaman is showing no remorse and taking no responsibility for the death of a British teenager who drank a hallucinogen during a tribal ritual.

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Guillermo Mavisoy says it’s common to vomit and become ill while consuming yage. But he says he’s never seen anyone die during the decades he’s been serving the herbal concoction made from the namesake vine and other plants native to the Amazon rainforest.

“When it’s time to die, you die,” Mavisoy said in rudimentary Spanish in a taped interview Tuesday from his home on a tribal reservation in the southern Colombian jungles.

“You can take the safest pill in the world and you can die. It doesn’t matter if you have lots of money when the time has come.”

Henry Miller’s body was found last week dumped near Mavisoy’s modest home after he and other foreigners attended a ceremony led by the shaman.

Authorities have yet to determine the cause of death but say the 19-year-old from Bristol, England fell ill during the ritual. Mavisoy says he ordered two family members to rush Miller to the hospital on a motorcycle but when the teen died en route the men panicked and left the body on the side of a dirt road.

The two men and Mavisoy have been questioned in connection with a manslaughter investigation but no charges have been filed.

Yage, also known as ayahuasca, has been venerated for centuries by indigenous tribes in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia as a divinatory tool and miracle cure for all sorts of ailments.

It was popularised in the West in the 1960s in The Yage Letters, a collection of correspondence and writings by William Burroughs, describing to fellow beat writer Allen Ginsberg his search for mind-altering experiences in the Amazon using the strange brew.

Mavisoy says he doesn’t seek out foreigners, but they find their way to his small ranch outside Mocoa, the capital of Putumayo province. The going rate for an all-night session: about $US25 ($A27.05), according to Filip Goemaere, owner of the Mocoa hostel where Miller and the other backpackers stayed.

“Indigenous tribes say they’re not commercialising yage but almost every day tourists go to try it,” said Goemaere, who estimates about a third of his guests ask about the psychedelic brew even though he doesn’t promote its consumption.

Late Mbia strike lands Sevilla in Europa final

Despite going down 3-1 in their second leg at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium, Mbia’s dramatic late strike set up a final showdown with Benfica on May 14 after the Portuguese club eliminated Italian side Juventus 2-1 on aggregate following a 0-0 draw in Turin.

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Sevilla were favourites to advance against their La Liga rivals after winning last week’s first leg 2-0 at home but a 14th-minute Sofiane Feghouli effort, an own goal from goalkeeper Beto in the 26th and a Jeremy Mathieu blast 21 minutes from time put Valencia 3-0 ahead on the night and 3-2 ahead overall.

They were just over a minute away from going through to the final when Federico Fazio flicked on a long throw and Cameroon midfielder Mbia rose to crash a header into the net and silence the Valencia fans packed into the Mestalla.

It was a triumph for Sevilla coach Unai Emery, who never completely won over the Valencia fans when he was in charge there from 2008 to 2012, and he celebrated Mbia’s goal wildly on the side of the pitch.

“This is a unique experience,” Emery said in an interview with Spanish television.

“We don’t care who we are playing in the final, we just have to enjoy this,” added the 42-year-old former Real Sociedad midfielder.

“Now we have to beat a great team (Benfica) because they have beaten Juve, who are also a great club.”

Valencia forward Pablo Piatti struggled for words in a TV interview immediately after the whistle and said he and his team mates were “feeling the pain” and “in a bad way”.

“We tried, we gave it everything and they scored against us in the last minute,” added the Argentine.

“We are happy with the work we put in but it was pointless in the end.”

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Valencia made an energetic start in front of their vociferous supporters while Sevilla had clearly opted to play a more patient game and wait for a chance on the break.

The home side forced themselves back into the tie when Feghouli received the ball inside the area and cut inside his marker and his left-foot strike took a slight deflection off a defender on its way into the net.

Valencia were level on aggregate in the 26th minute when Jonas made the most of slack marking to send a powerful header towards goal from a Juan Bernat centre.

Beto could only palm the ball onto the underside of the crossbar and then watch helplessly as it bounced off his back and into the net for what UEFA ruled was an own goal by the Sevilla goalkeeper.

The visitors managed to survive the early onslaught without conceding again and came close to a goal in the 36th when Jose Antonio Reyes met a clever Carlos Bacca backheel at the far post but his close-range effort was blocked superbly by Valencia keeper Diego Alves.

Both sides showed attacking intent in the early stages of the second half before defender Mathieu was quickest to react when the ball ran loose at a corner and the Frenchman left Beto no chance with a powerful shot.

Valencia were moments away from going through when Mbia struck to keep alive Sevilla’s chances of repeating their successes in Europe’s second-tier club competition from 2006 and 2007, when it was known as the UEFA Cup.

Juve, Inter Milan and Liverpool are the only three sides to have won the UEFA Cup/Europa League three times.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Late Mbia strike lands Sevilla in Europa final

Despite going down 3-1 in their second leg at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium, Mbia’s dramatic late strike set up a final showdown with Benfica on May 14 after the Portuguese club eliminated Italian side Juventus 2-1 on aggregate following a 0-0 draw in Turin.

南宁桑拿

Sevilla were favourites to advance against their La Liga rivals after winning last week’s first leg 2-0 at home but a 14th-minute Sofiane Feghouli effort, an own goal from goalkeeper Beto in the 26th and a Jeremy Mathieu blast 21 minutes from time put Valencia 3-0 ahead on the night and 3-2 ahead overall.

They were just over a minute away from going through to the final when Federico Fazio flicked on a long throw and Cameroon midfielder Mbia rose to crash a header into the net and silence the Valencia fans packed into the Mestalla.

It was a triumph for Sevilla coach Unai Emery, who never completely won over the Valencia fans when he was in charge there from 2008 to 2012, and he celebrated Mbia’s goal wildly on the side of the pitch.

“This is a unique experience,” Emery said in an interview with Spanish television.

“We don’t care who we are playing in the final, we just have to enjoy this,” added the 42-year-old former Real Sociedad midfielder.

“Now we have to beat a great team (Benfica) because they have beaten Juve, who are also a great club.”

Valencia forward Pablo Piatti struggled for words in a TV interview immediately after the whistle and said he and his team mates were “feeling the pain” and “in a bad way”.

“We tried, we gave it everything and they scored against us in the last minute,” added the Argentine.

“We are happy with the work we put in but it was pointless in the end.”

POWERFUL HEADER

Valencia made an energetic start in front of their vociferous supporters while Sevilla had clearly opted to play a more patient game and wait for a chance on the break.

The home side forced themselves back into the tie when Feghouli received the ball inside the area and cut inside his marker and his left-foot strike took a slight deflection off a defender on its way into the net.

Valencia were level on aggregate in the 26th minute when Jonas made the most of slack marking to send a powerful header towards goal from a Juan Bernat centre.

Beto could only palm the ball onto the underside of the crossbar and then watch helplessly as it bounced off his back and into the net for what UEFA ruled was an own goal by the Sevilla goalkeeper.

The visitors managed to survive the early onslaught without conceding again and came close to a goal in the 36th when Jose Antonio Reyes met a clever Carlos Bacca backheel at the far post but his close-range effort was blocked superbly by Valencia keeper Diego Alves.

Both sides showed attacking intent in the early stages of the second half before defender Mathieu was quickest to react when the ball ran loose at a corner and the Frenchman left Beto no chance with a powerful shot.

Valencia were moments away from going through when Mbia struck to keep alive Sevilla’s chances of repeating their successes in Europe’s second-tier club competition from 2006 and 2007, when it was known as the UEFA Cup.

Juve, Inter Milan and Liverpool are the only three sides to have won the UEFA Cup/Europa League three times.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Late Mbia strike lands Sevilla in Europa final

Despite going down 3-1 in their second leg at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium, Mbia’s dramatic late strike set up a final showdown with Benfica on May 14 after the Portuguese club eliminated Italian side Juventus 2-1 on aggregate following a 0-0 draw in Turin.

南宁桑拿

Sevilla were favourites to advance against their La Liga rivals after winning last week’s first leg 2-0 at home but a 14th-minute Sofiane Feghouli effort, an own goal from goalkeeper Beto in the 26th and a Jeremy Mathieu blast 21 minutes from time put Valencia 3-0 ahead on the night and 3-2 ahead overall.

They were just over a minute away from going through to the final when Federico Fazio flicked on a long throw and Cameroon midfielder Mbia rose to crash a header into the net and silence the Valencia fans packed into the Mestalla.

It was a triumph for Sevilla coach Unai Emery, who never completely won over the Valencia fans when he was in charge there from 2008 to 2012, and he celebrated Mbia’s goal wildly on the side of the pitch.

“This is a unique experience,” Emery said in an interview with Spanish television.

“We don’t care who we are playing in the final, we just have to enjoy this,” added the 42-year-old former Real Sociedad midfielder.

“Now we have to beat a great team (Benfica) because they have beaten Juve, who are also a great club.”

Valencia forward Pablo Piatti struggled for words in a TV interview immediately after the whistle and said he and his team mates were “feeling the pain” and “in a bad way”.

“We tried, we gave it everything and they scored against us in the last minute,” added the Argentine.

“We are happy with the work we put in but it was pointless in the end.”

POWERFUL HEADER

Valencia made an energetic start in front of their vociferous supporters while Sevilla had clearly opted to play a more patient game and wait for a chance on the break.

The home side forced themselves back into the tie when Feghouli received the ball inside the area and cut inside his marker and his left-foot strike took a slight deflection off a defender on its way into the net.

Valencia were level on aggregate in the 26th minute when Jonas made the most of slack marking to send a powerful header towards goal from a Juan Bernat centre.

Beto could only palm the ball onto the underside of the crossbar and then watch helplessly as it bounced off his back and into the net for what UEFA ruled was an own goal by the Sevilla goalkeeper.

The visitors managed to survive the early onslaught without conceding again and came close to a goal in the 36th when Jose Antonio Reyes met a clever Carlos Bacca backheel at the far post but his close-range effort was blocked superbly by Valencia keeper Diego Alves.

Both sides showed attacking intent in the early stages of the second half before defender Mathieu was quickest to react when the ball ran loose at a corner and the Frenchman left Beto no chance with a powerful shot.

Valencia were moments away from going through when Mbia struck to keep alive Sevilla’s chances of repeating their successes in Europe’s second-tier club competition from 2006 and 2007, when it was known as the UEFA Cup.

Juve, Inter Milan and Liverpool are the only three sides to have won the UEFA Cup/Europa League three times.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

North Korea number two replaced

The de-facto number two in the North Korean hierarchy after Kim Jong-Un has been replaced as head of the army’s political department, the official KCNA news agency says, signalling a major leadership change.

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In a report on May Day celebrations in Pyongyang on Friday, KCNA named Hwang Pyong-So as the director of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) General Political Bureau, not Choe Ryong-Hae, who previously held the position.

Hwang’s appointment comes just days after KCNA reported his promotion to the rank of vice marshall on April 28 – a rank shared with Choe and four others.

Choe was widely believed to have moved into the role of North Korea’s unofficial number two following the execution in December of Kim’s uncle and political mentor, Jang Song-Thaek.

Seen as Kim Jong-Un’s close aide, Choe assumed the post of vice chairman of the powerful National Defence Commission earlier this month.

Choe had dropped from public sight on several occasions in recent months – once for as long as three weeks – prompting speculation that he might have been purged.

But he reappeared and his replacement as head of the KPA’s political department is believed to be down to serious health problems.

Hwang was said in the KCNA report Friday to have addressed a banquet in Pyongyang held for workers at a textile mill, attended by KPA commanding officers.

A report on KCNA earlier in the week said Hwang accompanied Kim on a tour of a newly built workers’ hostel at the mill but made no mention of Choe, sparking initial speculation of the leadership shuffle.

Speculation about changes at the top of the Pyongyang regime intensified following Jang Song-Thaek’s execution.

In February North Korea promoted a host of key military officials including the chief of its rocket unit, the Strategic Rocket Force Command, which is in charge of the country’s mid and long-range missiles program.

Satellite images showing a recent increase in activity at North Korea’s main nuclear test site has led to concerns that the country may be preparing to stage a fourth nuclear test.