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  • Carl Court/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Three large billboards pulled by vans snaked through the British capital Thursday afternoon. The words on the stark red backdrops read:“71 dead.”“And still no arrests?”“How come?”The banners were inspired by the 2017 film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," about a woman campaigning for police to find the culprit responsible for her daughter’s rape and murder.Last June, at least 71 people were killed as a devastating fire ravaged a tower block in West London. A block of public housing flats entrenched in Britain’s wealthiest neighborhood of Kensington and Chelsea, the burning tower became an iconic symbol of inequality in London.In the initial days following the tragedy, the council responsible for the area was harshly criticized for its slow response and for having possibly neglected safety standards that could have prevented the fire from taking place.After several initial reviews into fire safety and building materials, the Metropolitan Police -- the force responsible for Greater London –- announced a criminal investigation into the fire. In a public notice the police said that they had “reasonable grounds” to suspect that both the council and the building management company may have committed corporate manslaughter.In January 2018 the Metropolitan Police requested more than $50 million from the UK Home Office to cover the costs of the investigation, one of the most expansive and complex inquiries in the force’s history, involving around 250 officers and staff. More than 30 million documents and more than 1,000 statements have been taken from witnesses so far.Given the scale of the inquiry, reaction to the "Three Billboards" campaign through London was mixed online.Film director Ken Loach, known for his work exploring social issues through his films, praised and promoted the campaign as a way to refocus public attention on the issue in order to push for accountability.The Secret Barrister –- an anonymous legal commentator who has cautioned against prosecution to satisfy public anger -- replied to Loach's tweet, calling the three-billboard display "antagonism" that would help no one.
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  • USGS(MEXICO CITY) -- A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, south of Mexico City, on Friday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.Video on social media showed buildings shaking in Mexico City. People in the city gathered on the streets as sirens blared.Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said the National Civil Protection system protocols have been activated. Mexico City's Civil Protection said no damage was reported thus far.The Mexico City Government wrote on Twitter, "Before returning to your homes, it is important to check if there are any damages, turn off gas lines and disconnect energy sources."The quake was 15 miles deep, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The National Seismological Service said 59 aftershocks had been detected before 6:30 p.m. local time.Over 300 people, including schoolchildren, died from a powerful earthquake in central Mexico last September.This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.
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  • Murat Kaynak/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday struck an optimistic chord as they downplayed tensions between the NATO allies while announcing unspecified “mechanisms” for the countries to work through their recent disaffection.Speaking through an interpreter, Cavusoglu said the U.S. and Turkey had "taken an important turn in terms of normalizing our relations," adding, “We will work like two allies, establishing trust once again.”Tillerson sounded the same notes: "We’re not going to act alone any longer... We’re going to lock arms, we’re going to work through the issues that are causing difficulties for us, and we’re going to resolve them."The cheery tone of Friday’s announcement had an entirely different timbre from Tillerson’s curt dismissal of the press corps Thursday evening, declining to take questions after more than three hours of meetings with Cavusoglu and his firebrand president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan."Not tonight," Tillerson said in the lobby of his hotel in Ankara, Turkey's capital. "We're still working."But on Friday Cavusoglu and Tillerson touted the new "mechanisms" for the countries to work through their differences -- everything from U.S. support for Turkey's enemy, the Kurds; Turkey harassing and arresting American citizens and embassy employees; the possible extradition of a Turkish cleric legally residing in the U.S.; and more. The mechanism is an expansion of an already existing working group that sorted out the recent spat over visa services, where the U.S. stopped issuing visas in Turkey and Turkey responded in kind."We want to overcome all of these by working together, and I am sure that all of these will bring important results for us," Cavusoglu told reporters, denying that it was "kicking the ball off to the corner," or the can down the road: "They are not delaying the process. To the contrary, these are important aspects to get results."Among those cooperative efforts, according to Reuters, could be a joint deployment of American and Turkish forces in Manbij -- a Syrian city not far from the Turkish border where the two countries' forces have had tense encounters.U.S. forces have been deployed in the city to train -- and in effect, protect -- America's Kurdish ally known as the YPG. The group's formidable fighters made up the bulk of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which the U.S. trained, armed, and assisted as a local ground force to defeat ISIS. The SDF swept ISIS out of its major strongholds in eastern Syria, including its self-declared capital Raqqa.But Turkey considers the YPG terrorists and enemies of the state because of their ties to other Kurdish groups within their borders, and after attacking Kurds in the nearby Syrian city Afrin, they've threatened to move onto Manbij -- leading to a stand-off and a war of words with U.S. commanders.The State Department would not confirm that the U.S. is considering a joint deployment to cool tensions or what one would look like. But officials pointed to Tillerson's comments Friday that made clear the U.S. seeks cooperation and Manbij is the first step."We’re going to address Manbij first... through the working group," Tillerson said. A State Department official told ABC News that process will begin no later than mid-March, but deferred further questions to the Pentagon.Still, most of the issues that have divided the two countries remained, and despite the positive spin, neither side seemed to change their actual position on them.The extradition of that Turkish cleric, for example, has been a major sticking point. Fetullah Gulen is a legal permanent resident in the U.S., but Erdogan has blamed him for leading a failed coup against him in July 2016 and demanded the U.S. turn him over. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim went so far as to tell reporters in November that it was tantamount to
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The "Black Panther" movie is winning attention for breaking Hollywood norms through its almost entirely black cast and crew, powerful black leading ladies and a superhero who is not, for once, white.But the movie’s cultural significance goes beyond the race of its characters to the language they speak.Xhosa, known affectionately as the ‘click click language,’ takes its name from a people in mostly southern Africa who speak it.One of the official languages of South Africa and the native tongue of the late Nelson Mandela, Xhosa is now spoken by around 8 million people.One of them is South African singer and actress Zolani Mahola, lead singer of Freshlyground.Zolani sang in Xhosa alongside Shakira for the country’s official World Cup song, ‘Waka Waka, This Time For Africa,' and continues to use the language in her music.She is thrilled Xhosa is featured in the new movie."I’m very pleased," Zolani said. "I think people here will only watch that part of the movie. Just cut and paste it on repeat," she added, laughing.The singer said she believes Xhosa's inclusion in "Black Panther" may help to build cultural bridges and appreciation.“We are all realizing how much we have in common," she said. "I think that it’s wonderful to open up people’s windows of experience. I mean, how many people living in Ohio have heard Xhosa? I think it’s awesome.”In South Africa, mention of the Xhosa language often brings up one of its most famous speakers.“One of the most influential leaders of our time was a Xhosa man, Nelson Mandela," Zolani noted. "It was his only language growing up. So I mean it’s high time we had a major Hollywood production using it."Stars of the movie are also proud of its use of Xhosa, saying it lends the film authenticity.Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye, told ABC News, “It was very important that when you're telling a story from the African perspective it is very authentic and also very accessible -- which kind of breaks that concept that you can't tell stories from the African perspective on a global scale.”The actress also talked of the excitement around "speaking a true African language on a global screen.”Zolani agreed that it's important for artists to speak authentically.“I think it’s hugely important to sound like yourself, to sound like all the parts that have informed who you are," she said. "For all artists, across all genres, it’s very important to bring that essence in.”Both Marvel Studios and ABC News are owned by Disney.
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  • Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Behind closed doors at the Israeli Ofer Military Base in the West Bank, Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who slapped an Israeli soldier, appeared in an Israeli military court Tuesday morning.Minutes after Ahed was brought into the courtroom Tuesday, Military Judge Lt. Col. Menachem Lieberman told the crowd of journalists, diplomats and non-profit group representatives they could not stay. He made the trial private on the grounds that Ahed is a minor, though that status has been under debate."I don't see how it's in the minor's interest that a 100 people are here all the time,” he said. “Her family can stay. Everyone else must leave."The curly-haired teenage girl, who is 17, has garnered harsh criticism and has bitterly divided public opinion. Human rights organizations, the European Union and United Nations have all voiced their concern.Ahed's Israeli lawyer Gaby Lasky protested today's decision to remove observers from the court."My client's arrest was filmed by the army and police, despite being a minor," Lasky told the judge. "So I think the media should stay here now. It's for her protection."Ahed's fight has become symbolic of the next generation of Palestinian resistance, many Palestinians hail Ahed as a brave young fighter.Some pro-Israel blogs have dubbed her "Shirley Temper," and right-wing Israelis accuse her of using social media to distribute propaganda and discredit Israel. One Israeli deputy minister and former ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, even investigated whether the Tamimis were "a real family,” according to Haaretz.Ahed is facing years in jail. She has been charged with twelve offenses, including assaulting security forces and incitement to violence.She turned 17 two weeks ago in jail, appeared to be in good spirits today, according to journalists who were briefly in the courtroom. Her father, Bassem Tamimi, shouted: “Stay strong! Stay strong! You will win!”"The military judge decided to have a closed session, justifying it because Ahed is a child," her father Bassem told ABC News Tuesday. "But he forgets that you do not put children in jails, so if she is a child she must be free and out of jail."“The Israeli military occupation does not want diplomats, human right organizations and the press to see and witness the ugly face of the Israeli military occupation," he continued. "This is why he kicked all the international observers out of the military court today."Representatives from the EU, Norway and Germany were all present Tuesday.At her bail hearing in January, Human Rights Watch notes that Lasky argued that international human rights law permits the detention of children only as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. But the Israeli military judge ruled that he “did not think the articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child should be viewed as absolute.”On Monday, Human Rights Watch said "Tamimi’s pre-trial detention – 56 days and counting – is both a violation of international law and unnecessary. Her case raises concerns that Israel’s military justice system, which detains hundreds of Palestinian children every year, is incapable of respecting children’s rights."Amnesty International has also called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to free Ahed, and the other 300 other Palestinian minors in Israeli jail cells. The group said that while in detention, "she endured aggressive interrogations, sometimes at night, and threats made against her family."Ahed is a well-known teenage activist, from a family of well-known activists in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank, which is occupied by Israel. The village has held weekly protests almost every Friday since 2009.The incident for which she is on trial was captured in a now-viral video, shot and distributed by her family on December 14, 2017. An
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