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Turkish court throws out Taksim redevelopment project that sparked mass protests

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(Reuters) – A Turkish court has cancelled a project to redevelop Istanbul’s central Taksim square, a copy of the court’s decision showed, ruling in a dispute that triggered a nationwide wave of violent anti-government protests.

The administrative court ruled in early June, at the height of the unrest, that a master plan to reshape the square violated preservation rules, the square’s identity and other regulations, according to a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

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The decision may jeopardize what many saw as Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s personal quest to remake Taksim Square in the teeth of opposition that led to mass protests over his perceived authoritarian style of rule.

Erdogan said on June 14 that his government would wait for the judiciary to rule, including the appeals process, before proceeding with Taksim’s development.

The leafy Gezi Park, one of central Istanbul’s few green spaces, became a makeshift campsite occupied by thousands of people to stop the park’s demolition and protest at the government’s plans.

Anger mushroomed into mass demonstrations against Erdogan’s rule and Islamist-inspired policies in late May and simmered for much of June in several Turkish cities. Four people were killed and some 7,500 wounded in the police crackdown, the Turkish Medical Association has said.

(Reporting by Ayla Jean Yackley, editing by Mark Heinrich)

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‘America is running away like rats’: Watch angry Kurds blame US troops for dead babies as they withdraw

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The Associated Press obtained video of Kurds pelting American military vehicles with fruit as they withdrew from Syria.

The video was first captured by a Kurdish news agency, the AP said in a report on Monday.

“Like rats, America is running away,” one man shouted in Arabic. Another shouted obscenities and talked of babies in Kurdish-held Syria who had died in the Turkish offensive.

The scene encapsulated the Kurds’ feelings of betrayal and added a new indignity to a US withdrawal that has been rushed and involved several close brushes with Turkish-backed forces.

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WATCH: White House protesters chant ‘impeach Trump’ loud enough for aides to hear

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Protesters gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to call on President Donald Trump to be removed from office.

Videos circulated online showed protesters chanting "impeach Trump" close enough to the White House for staff to hear the demonstration.

In other videos, protesters were blowing loud whistles.

Meanwhile, demonstrators also greeted Trump as he visited his New Jersey golf course. Pro-impeachment protesters were also reportedly out on the streets in Boston and New York City.

Watch some of the video clips below.

Outside the White House right now:

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White House urged diplomats to stay quiet about withheld aid to Ukraine: ‘Nothing to see here’

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As Democrats proceed with impeachment, there are explosive new revelations almost daily related to President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that top diplomats were instructed to keep quiet about the temporary freeze on the $141 million package of aid to Ukraine.

“Keep moving, people, nothing to see here,” Brad Freden, the State Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary of Europe and Eurasia, said in an email.

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