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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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WATCH: Ricky Gervais roasts Hollywood as hypocrites at Golden Globes

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British filmmaker Sam Mendes on Sunday secured a shock best director win for war epic "1917" at the Golden Globes, which kicked off with a no-holds-barred monologue by host Ricky Gervais that shocked Hollywood's A-listers.

Stars arriving under bright California skies in couture gowns and extravagant jewels were greeted by the British comic's signature cutting one-liners at the awards ceremony, the first of the year building up to next month's Oscars.

"Let's go out with a bang, let's have a laugh at your expense, shall we?" joked Gervais, hosting the awards for the fifth and final time, before tearing into the industry.

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FBI surveillance of Trump aide reflects flaws in secretive FISA system that mostly targets Muslims

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Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Wednesday the FBI should have considered halting its surveillance of Trump’s campaign aide Carter Page months before it did, after it was revealed that accusations against him may not be credible. Horowitz made the comments while testifying to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, saying the FBI used false information to obtain approval to wiretap Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and raising wider concerns about the agency’s use of surveillance. He testified a day after the highly secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — known as the FISA Court — issued a public order accusing the FBI of misleading the court to gain approval to wiretap Page, and ordering the FBI to propose changes in how its investigators seek permission for domestic surveillance of U.S. citizens by January. Last week, Horowitz issued a first report finding a series of inaccuracies and omissions in the FBI’s surveillance application process. We speak with Ashley Gorski, staff attorney with the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

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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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