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Martin Luther King Jr: Iconic civil rights leader’s name to be removed from Kansas City street | US News



Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s name will be removed from a historic street in the US state of Missouri after voters in Kansas City overwhelmingly voted to have it taken down.

Unofficial results showed the proposal to remove his name received nearly 70% of the vote.

The move comes less than a year after authorities in the city opted to change the name of the 10-mile (16km) stretch of road from The Paseo, which it was called since it was completed in 1899.

Martin Luther King addresses crowds amid his I Have A Dream speech during the March On Washington

Martin Luther King gave his famous I Have A Dream speech during the March On Washington, 1963

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) – founded by Dr King, and mostly black civic leaders – battled to have the civil rights icon honoured in this way.

Representatives from both sides of the issue have vowed to find an alternative tribute.

Diane Euston, a spokeswoman for the Save The Paseo group that led the successful petition for the change, said they had been brainstorming for months about ways to pay their respects to Dr King if they won the vote.

Members, many of whom are black, said throughout the campaign that their desire to replace his name was not about race.

The council voted in January to rename The Paseo, in the city's mostly black east side. Pic: CBSN

The council voted in January to rename The Paseo in Kansas City. Pic: CBSN

Kansas City is 60.3% white and 28.7% black, according to the US Census.

The Save The Paseo group argued the council did not follow proper procedures when it voted in January to rename the road, and did not properly consult residents affected by the change.

During a meeting last week with the city’s mayor Quinton Lucas – who strongly supported having Dr King’s name on the street – members made it clear they intended to be part of that conversation.

He said: “I believe we are going to take positive strides.

“We can in the long run be an example across the nation about what unity is going to look like, what consensus looks like.

Martin Luther King Jr gave his longest interview to Playbody magazine

Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in 1968

“The people have spoken, and people need to continue to speak in a positive manner in order to show Kansas City is an example of the democratic process while continuing to ensure we honour Martin Luther King.”

Mr Lucas, who is black and was on the city council when the name was changed, acknowledged city leaders and the SCLC could have handled the renaming decision better and will learn from the vote.

He said: “Everybody I talked to remains committed to honouring Dr King and his service to the country.

“We have a positive opportunity coming out of this. Every now and then we might need a painful start, but people want to make sure we get it right, that we get the collaboration right.”

John Lewis (3rd from left) stands next to Martin Luther King as Civil Rights leaders meet President John F Kennedy in the White House, 1963

Martin Luther King (2nd from L) and other civil rights leaders meet President John F Kennedy (R) in the White House, 1963

Alissia Canady, a former city councillor who was one of the few black leaders to support overturning the name change, said the decision was a “huge opportunity” for the city to be “innovative”.

She added: “We need to have a citywide conversation and be intentional about manifesting King’s dreams, rather than just building another statue or duplicating what others have done.”

Derek Alderman, a geography professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, has studied the naming of streets in honour of Dr King for decades.

It is estimated that there are more than 900 streets named after Dr King in 41 US states.

Over 900 streets in the US are named after Dr King - this one is in downtown Atlanta, Georgia

More than 900 streets in the US are named after Dr King – this one is in downtown Atlanta, Georgia

Professor Alderman claims the next steps are crucial for Kansas City, both to heal from the campaign and to protect its national reputation.

He said: “It’s a good sign that people are wanting to come forward and work with the city, but they need to understand it’s going to require sacrifice.

“It’s not as easy as ‘let’s find a convenient street to name for Dr King.’

“They’ll have to change the identity of a street they’ve known for a long time, with business and property owners to bear some costs, along with hard discussions of racism and exclusion.

“I’m not saying it should be divisive, but it needs to be accompanied with really genuine, hard conversations.

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China condemns ‘attack’ on Hong Kong official in London | UK News



The Chinese and Hong Kong governments have condemned an “attack” on a Hong Kong government official in London.

Protesters were involved in an altercation with Hong Kong’s Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng during her visit to London on Thursday.

A statement from the Hong Kong government said Ms Cheng suffered “serious bodily harm”, but gave no further details.

Video footage of the incident shows the minister falling to the ground.

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam strongly condemned the “attack”, saying the incident was brutal and transcended the bottom line of a civilised society.

“The secretary denounces all forms of violence and radicalism depriving others’ legitimate rights in the pretext of pursuing their political ideals, which would never be in the interest of Hong Kong and any civilised society,” the Hong Kong government said in a separate statement.

The Chinese and Hong Kong governments have condemned an

The Hong Kong government said Ms Cheng suffered ‘serious bodily harm’

The Chinese embassy in the UK has urged UK police to carry out a thorough investigation of the incident and to step up security for its personnel and organisations in Britain.

In Hong Kong, a 70-year-old man has died after being struck on the head during clashes between government supporters and protesters.

Hong Kong’s Food and Environmental Hygiene Department expressed “profound sadness” at the death of its cleaning worker and said it was providing assistance to his family.

Meanwhile, anti-government protesters have again paralysed parts of Hong Kong, forcing schools to close and blocking some roads as students built barricades in university campuses.

The protests escalated in June over an extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial.

The bill was later scrapped but the protests have since evolved into calls for greater democracy, among other demands.

The months-long protests have plunged the former British colony into its biggest political crisis in decades and pose the biggest challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

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Israel and Islamic Jihad reach ceasefire after dozens killed | World News



Israel and the militant group Islamic Jihad have begun a ceasefire after at least 34 Palestinians were killed in the heaviest fighting in months.

Almost half of the dead were civilians, including eight children and three women, medical officials in Gaza said.

Eight members of one Gaza family were killed by an Israeli missile strike shortly before the truce came into effect, officials and residents said.

They claimed none of the victims were militants.

Palestinians gather at the scene of an Israeli air strike in the central Gaza Strip

Palestinians gather at the scene of an Israeli airstrike in the central Gaza Strip

However, Israeli military spokesman Major Avichay Adraee said the head of the family, Rasmi Abu Malhous, who was among the dead, was the commander of Islamic Jihad rocket crews in the central Gaza Strip, although the group has not claimed him as a member.

Some of the family’s bodies were completely buried in sandy earth, neighbours helping rescue workers to pull them out.

In two days of fighting, southern Israel was paralysed as militants fired hundreds of rockets across the border, injuring dozens of people.

Hamas, the dominant faction in Gaza, appeared to stay out of this round of fighting.

The clashes began early on Tuesday after Israel killed one of Islamic Jihad’s senior commanders, Bahaa Abu el-Atta, who it had deemed to be an imminent threat.

He was claimed to be behind a string of rocket attacks, and was believed to be planning cross-border infiltration, Israel said.

Rockets are fired from Gaza towards Israel

Rockets are fired from Gaza towards Israel

The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire began at 5.30am (03.30 GMT), about 48 hours after the fighting began, Islamic Jihad spokesman Musab al-Berim said.

“The ceasefire began under Egyptian sponsorship after the Occupation (Israel) submitted to the conditions set by Islamic Jihad on behalf of Palestinian resistance factions,” he said.

An Israeli military spokesman announced that its Gaza operation was over on Twitter.

“Quiet will be answered with quiet,” Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, told its Army Radio.

Islamic Jihad, like Hamas, refuses to accept permanent coexistence with Israel.

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Evo Morales: Bolivia’s president quits over electoral fraud claims



Bolivian President Evo Morales has resigned amid deepening unrest over allegations of electoral fraud.

The announcement came after the country’s military chief went on TV on Sunday to call for him to step down.

Mr Morales has endured weeks of anti-government protests since his election victory last month was called into question, with the Organization of American States later discovering “clear manipulation” at the polls.

Concerns were initially raised about a day-long gap in reporting results from the poll, just before a spike in votes for Mr Morales.

Mr Morales, who came to power in 2006, had promised a fresh election.

In his TV appeal, General Williams Kaliman said: “After analysing the situation of internal conflict, we ask the president to resign, allowing peace to be restored and stability to be maintained for the good of our Bolivia.”

He also urged Bolivians not to resort to violence.

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