TIME ebola

WHO Politics Interfered With Ebola Response, Panel Says

The World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters building in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 .
Raphael Satter — AP The World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters building in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 .

Office politics were largely responsible for the WHO's slow Ebola outbreak response, a panel says

An advisory panel selected to assess the response of the World Health Organization (WHO) to the Ebola outbreak blamed the agency’s politics and rigid culture for the poor response to the epidemic. The outbreak has infected more than 27,500 people and killed more than 11,200 in West Africa.

In a report published Tuesday, the panel blamed the organization as a whole for being late in activating emergency procedures, despite early warnings from other groups like Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. The panel concluded that the agency made noise about the outbreak with little action and poor preparation: “Although WHO drew attention to the ‘unprecedented outbreak’ at a press conference in April 2014, this was not followed by international mobilization and a consistent communication strategy,” the authors write.

The panel argues that the culture at the WHO greatly prohibited action, writing:

“WHO does not have a culture of rapid decision-making and tends to adopt a reactive, rather than a proactive, approach to emergencies. In the early stages of the Ebola crisis, messages were sent by experienced staff at headquarters and the Regional Office for Africa, including after deployments in the field, about the seriousness of the crisis. Either these did not reach senior leaders or senior leaders did not recognize their significance. WHO does not have an organizational culture that supports open and critical dialogue between senior leaders and staff or that permits risk-taking or critical approaches to decision-making. There seems to have been a hope that the crisis could be managed by good diplomacy rather than by scaling up emergency action.”

The panel says that a number of factors were responsible for the delay in declaring the outbreak a pubic health emergency of international concern, including a late understanding of the gravity of the situation, denial among country authorities, culture problems within the WHO and a failure of the international community as a whole to take notice.

The report suggests instituting a variety of reforms and priorities, including focusing on fast-tracking vaccines and drugs and calling upon WHO member states and partners to immediately contribute $100 million in voluntary contributions for an emergency fund.

Response to the report has been mixed. As the Associated Press reports, some members of the public health community involved were disappointed that individuals were not called out by name and that the agency was already focusing on lessons learned, when the outbreak is still ongoing.

TIME Iran

Iran Nuclear Talks Continue After Blowing Past Second Deadline

Austia Iran Nuclear Talks
Carlos Barria—AP U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman meet with foreign ministers of Germany, France, China, Britain, Russia and the European Union at a hotel in Vienna on July 7, 2015.

Current interim nuclear arrangement with Iran has extended through July 10

(VIENNA) — Iran nuclear talks busted through their second deadline in a week Tuesday, raising new questions about the ability of world powers to cut off all Iranian pathways to a bomb through diplomacy. The talks, already in their 12th day, were prolonged until possibly Friday.

“We knew it would have been difficult, challenging, and sometimes hard,” said Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign policy chief. She said the negotiations would continue despite hitting some “tense” moments, and the State Department declared the current interim nuclear arrangement with Iran extended through July 10.

As the latest target date arrived for a deal setting a decade of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other top diplomats huddled in Vienna in search of a breakthrough.

All had spoken of deep differences remaining, and there was no public indication they had resolved disputes ranging from inspection rules on suspicious Iranian sites to limits on Tehran’s research and development of advanced nuclear technology. Still, no one was speaking yet on Tuesday of a long-term extension.

“The last, difficult, political issues, we have to solve,” Mogherini said.

And as he left the talks for an economic summit at home, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said fewer than 10 major differences needed to be ironed out, including access to Iranian sites for international monitors. He said questions related to the easing of sanctions on Iran had been decided, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported. Lavrov said he could return to the talks later in the week.

Diplomats had extended their discussions by a week when they missed their goal of a pact by June 30, after passing previous deadlines in July 2014 and last November. For Kerry and his team, pressure is increasing from skeptical U.S. allies and members of Congress. If the accord isn’t sent over to American lawmakers by Thursday, their month-long review period would be doubled to 60 days, hampering the ability of the Obama administration to offer speedy economic benefits to Iran for nuclear concessions.

In Tehran Tuesday, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization declared it had reached a “general understanding” in parallel talks with the U.N. nuclear agency on “joint cooperation.” The Iranians have made similar claims previously, and it was unclear if any process was established for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s long-stymied investigation of past nuclear weapons work by the Islamic Republic — a demand of Washington and its partners in negotiations in Austria’s capital.

There, in a baroque, 19th-century palace, Kerry gathered early Tuesday with the foreign ministers of Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. The larger group was to meet with Zarif at some point later in the day. Russia’s Lavrov and China’s Wang Yi had to leave for a gathering of emerging economies in the Russian city of Ufa starting Wednesday, and the EU’s Mogherini said different ministers were likely to depart and return.

“We are taking these negotiations day to day to see if we can conclude a comprehensive agreement,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement, adding that Kerry would remain in Vienna.

“We’ve made substantial progress in every area, but this work is highly technical and high stakes for all of the countries involved,” Harf said. “We’re frankly more concerned about the quality of the deal than we are about the clock, though we also know that difficult decisions won’t get any easier with time. That is why we are continuing to negotiate.”

The U.S. is in a tough spot. President Barack Obama has expended significant political capital on finalizing an agreement that has prompted suspicion from Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia, outright hostility from America’s closest Mideast ally, Israel, and deep ambivalence even among Obama’s Democratic allies in Congress. They’re concerned that the accord would leave Iran’s nuclear infrastructure largely intact and compel the West to provide the leading U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism with potentially hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of economic relief from international sanctions.

To ease their concerns, Obama and Kerry have vowed to hold out for a “good deal” that verifiably keeps Iran at least a year away from a nuclear weapons capability for at least a decade. Current intelligence estimates put the Iranians only two to three months away from amassing enough material for a nuclear warhead, if they pursued such a course. As part of the guarantee, the administration has repeatedly threatened to abandon negotiations if they prove fruitless or appear as an Iranian stall for time.

On-and-off talks with Tehran have been going on for more than a decade, though this incarnation has come closest to any resolution. The latest effort began in secret a couple of years ago and gained speed after the election of moderate-leaning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2013. By November that year, Iran and the six world powers clinched an interim nuclear agreement and began the process for a comprehensive accord.

Over the weekend, a cautious Kerry told reporters that talks on the final package “could go either way.”

Republicans hostile to compromise with Iran have been urging the U.S. to pull back from the talks. Their refrain has been that Obama and Kerry want a deal more than the Iranians do, and have let red lines erode on Iranian enrichment capacity, inspections and providing limited sanctions relief. The president and his top advisers vehemently reject such claims.

Iran has its own red lines, defiantly outlined in recent weeks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the nation’s supreme leader. They include a quick easing of sanctions, and rejection of any inspections of military sites or interviews with Iranian nuclear scientists.

___

Associated Press writer George Jahn contributed.

TIME carnival

Carnival’s Cruise Ships Are Setting Sail For Cuba

US-TOURISM-CRUISE-CARNIVAL
KAREN BLEIER—AFP/Getty Images A Carnival cruise ship.

Trips could start as soon as 2016

Carnival is going to Cuba.

The cruise liner has received permission from the United States to operate limited cruises into Cuba starting as soon as 2016. The liner received a nod from the U.S. under pre-existing laws that allow Americans to travel to Cuba for humanitarian and cultural exchanges.

The Cuba-bound cruises, which will start at $2,990 a person for a seven-day trip, will be part of Carnival’s new social impact initiative. The brand, called Fathom, will take passengers to countries were they perform volunteer work like teaching English, or contributing to water purification projects.

Carnival has already announced its first Fathom trips will send an estimated 35,000 passengers to the Dominican Republic in 2016.

The social impact brand is designed to market cruises to consumers who might not otherwise be inclined to vacation on a cruise. The company expects a global market of about $1.6 billion each year for social impact travel.

Carnival’s addition of Cuba to Fathom will expand the social impact brand further, especially as the Obama administration moves to normalize relations with the country. CEO Arnold Donald told USA Today that operating the humanitarian line prepares Carnival to expand its Cuba offerings when the embargo between the two countries is lifted. As long as Cuba green-lights the humanitarian cruise plans, Carnival would be the first cruise ship to sail regularly between Cuba and the United States in decades, according to USA Today.

TIME Poland

Jewish Officials Slam Offensive Polish Gas Chamber Art

Efraim Zuroff
Tobias Hase—picture-alliance/dpa/AP November 25, 2013 file photo of Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Israeli Department of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Artur Zmijewski's installation shows naked men and women playing a game of tag in a gas chamber

WARSAW, Poland — Jewish officials are furious over a video installation at a Polish museum that shows naked men and women playing a game of tag in a gas chamber.

Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, called the exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow “so offensive and so disgusting that we found it necessary to protest.”

“Game of Tag,” made in 1999 by Polish artist Artur Zmijewski, has for years been accused of violating the dignity of Holocaust victims.

In response to protests, the museum put it behind an enclosure with a warning.

But Zuroff and other Jewish officials say it isn’t enough. He said it is “simply incomprehensible” that the video is being shown in Poland, where Nazi Germany killed millions of Jews and non-Jews.

 

TIME Nigeria

At Least 20 Killed in Suspected Boko Haram Bombing

Nigeria Boko Haram attack explosion
Adamu Adamu—AP People gather at the site of suicide bomb attack at Redeem Christian church in Potiskum, Nigeria on July 5, 2015.

Three hundred people have been killed in a series of bomb attacks in the last week

LAGOS, Nigeria — A bomb blast in Nigeria’s northern university town of Zaria killed 20 people Tuesday, the Kaduna state governor reported, the latest in a string of deadly bombing and shooting attacks by the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group.

Gov. Nasir el-Rufai urged citizens to avoid crowded public places including mosques and churches as the militants widen and accelerate the pace of attacks that have killed some 300 people in a week. Boko Haram may be responding to an Islamic State group order for more mayhem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

On Twitter, El-Rufai said “I am sad that a terrorist bomb attack just killed 20 people in Sabon Gari, Zaria.” Local media said the blast targeted government headquarters as civil servants assembled for a training course.

Boko Haram wants to install an Islamic state across the West African nation of about 170 million people divided between a predominantly Muslim north and Christian south. The extremists say democracy has brought nothing but woes to Nigerians plagued by endemic corruption that keeps Africa’s biggest oil producer and richest economy mired in poverty.

Nigeria’s police force Monday night announced increased security around mosques and churches after Boko Haram assaults on Sunday killed more than 60 people in a mosque and posh Muslim restaurant in central Jos city and at an evangelical Christian church in northeastern Potiskum town.

The attacks come just five weeks into the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim and former military dictator who has vowed to crush the 6-year-old insurgency that has killed more than 13,000 people and driven 1.5 million from their homes.

Boko Haram took over a large swath of northeastern Nigeria last year. A multinational force from Nigeria and its neighbors forced the militants out of many towns, but attacks have increased in recent weeks.

 

TIME Middle East

Israelis Fear Success of International Boycott Movement

PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-BOYCOTT
Thomas Coex—AFP/Getty Images Palestinians walk past a sign painted on a wall in the West Bank biblical town of Bethlehem on June 5, 2015, calling to boycott Israeli products coming from Jewish settlements.

Palestinian activists, inspired by the anti-apartheid movement, have been trying to persuade international groups to boycott Israel

JERUSALEM — Ten years ago, a small group of Palestinian activists had a novel idea: inspired by the anti-apartheid movement, they called for a global boycott movement against Israel as a nonviolent method to promote the Palestinian struggle for independence.

Long confined to the sidelines, the so-called BDS movement appears to be gaining momentum — so much so that Israel has identified it as a strategic threat on a par with Palestinian militant groups and the Iranian nuclear program. While Israel says the movement is rooted in anti-Semitism, its decentralized organization and language calling for universal human rights have proven difficult to counter, resulting in a string of recent victories that have alarmed Israeli leaders.

“We are now beginning to harvest the fruits of 10 years of strategic, morally consistent and undeniably effective BDS campaigning,” said Omar Barghouti, one of the group’s co-founders. “BDS is winning the battles for hearts and minds across the world, despite Israel’s still hegemonic influence among governments in the U.S. and Europe.”

The BDS movement — named for its call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel — began as an idea by 170 Palestinian civil society groups worldwide in 2005. It has grown into a worldwide network of thousands of volunteers lobbying corporations, artists and academic institutions to sever ties with Israel.

Its members include campus activists, church groups and even liberal American Jews disillusioned by Israeli policies.

Most worrying for Israel, some of the group’s core positions toward products made in West Bank settlements are starting to be embraced by European governments. Although the EU says it opposes boycotts of Israel, it is exploring guidelines for labeling settlement products, which many in Israel fear could be a precursor to a full-fledged ban.

At a time when peace efforts are frozen and show no sign of getting back on track under a new hard-line government, Israelis fear such sentiment will increase.

“The concern is that there will be a spillover to a much wider phenomenon that will become mainstream and erode support for Israel,” said Emmanuel Nahshon of Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

The BDS movement has three goals: to end Israel’s occupation of territories captured in the 1967 Mideast war, to end discrimination suffered by Arab citizens of Israel, and to promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to family properties lost in the war surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948.

For Israel, this last position is nothing less than a call for its destruction. Israel opposes the Palestinian “right of return,” saying a massive influx of refugees would mean the end of the country as a Jewish state. The international community favors a “two-state solution” creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has indicated willingness to compromise on the refugee issue under a final peace deal.

Barghouti, a U.S.-educated engineer who also holds a graduate degree at Israel’s Tel Aviv University, said the BDS movement is “completely neutral” on the political solution to the conflict. But he said he represents the Palestinian “consensus,” and any deal that “undermines our basic rights under international law and perpetuates the colonial oppression” is unacceptable.

As for his attendance at a university he asks others to boycott, he said Palestinians “cannot possibly observe the same boycott guidelines as asked of internationals,” adding that the “indigenous population” is entitled to all services they can get from the system.

Israeli leaders consider the movement to be the latest in a history of antagonists out to destroy the Jewish people.

“We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the state of Israel, an international campaign to blacken its name,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recently. “It is not connected to our actions. It is connected to our very existence.”

The BDS movement is led by a West Bank-based national committee with representatives from around the world, which sets guidelines but allows local branches to decide their own strategy. It focuses on battles with a reasonable chance of success. So some of the biggest companies active in Israel, such as Microsoft and Intel, have not been targeted.

Battles have taken place in U.S. food co-ops and city councils. The movement has helped organize several boycotts by U.S. and British academic unions and has made inroads on American campuses. Roughly a dozen student governments have approved divestment proposals.

Entertainers, including Roger Waters, Elvis Costello and Lauryn Hill have refused to perform in Israel. The BDS movement also claims responsibility for pressuring some large companies to stop or alter operations in Israel, including carbonated drink maker SodaStream, French construction company Veolia and international security firm G4S.

Last month, Britain’s national student union joined the movement. Last week, the top legislative body of the United Church of Christ voted to divest from companies with business in the Israeli-occupied territories, following a similar move by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) last year. The Episcopal Church and Mennonite Church USA also considered divestment proposals recently, with the Episcopals rejecting it and the Mennonites deferring action for two years.

Perhaps the biggest blow was last month’s announcement by the chief executive of French mobile phone giant Orange that he wanted to end his partnership with Israeli carrier Partner Communications. He cited his desire to improve business in the Arab world. Although CEO Stephane Richard later traveled to Israel to apologize, Orange and Partner announced plans to unwind their deal.

The idea of boycotts is extremely sensitive in Israel. The Nazis launched a nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses and artists — often accompanied by acts of violence and anti-Semitic slogans — in the 1930s Germany ahead of the Holocaust. In the 1970s and 1980s, Arab countries pressured companies doing business with them to shun Israel. Currently, Israel is fending off attempts by the boycotters to compare Israeli policies in the West Bank to South African apartheid.

“The attacks on the Jews were always preceded by the slander of the Jews,” Netanyahu recently said.

BDS activists deny being fueled by anti-Semitism, saying their battle is against Israel, not Jews. They point to a small but growing number of Jewish supporters, including the “Jewish Voice for Peace,” whose 9,000 dues-paying members support a boycott of Israel.

Naomi Dann, JVP’s media coordinator, said the stance stems from frustration over failed U.S.-backed peace efforts. She said that while the group recognizes the Jewish attachment to Israel, it can’t come at the expense of Palestinians.

“It’s not about destroying Israel,” she said. “But full equal rights and a democratic society are more important than preserving the Jewish character of the state.”

It remains difficult to quantify the BDS movement’s actual achievements.

Leading global companies, including Microsoft, Google, Apple and Intel, maintain operations in Israel. Major entertainers, including Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Madonna and Rihanna, have performed in Israel in recent years.

A February report by Israel’s Finance Ministry concluded the BDS movement has had a negligible economic impact. But it outlined some worst-case scenarios, including EU government-led boycotts or cancellation of free-trade agreements. Likewise, a recent study by the Rand Corp. said that while the BDS movement “has not yet had a significant negative effect” on Israel, it is growing. It noted Israeli leaders’ fears it could have “substantial detrimental effects” on the economy.

Last month, Jewish billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban led a Las Vegas fundraiser to fight the BDS movement at U.S. universities. Israel’s justice minister, Ayeled Shaked, instructed her ministry to prepare “legal steps” against the movement. This week, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton said she opposed the BDS movement.

David Makovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington Policy for Near East Policy and former member of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace team, said Israel must show it is serious about the creation of a Palestinian state to slow the momentum.

 

 

TIME Spain

Two Americans and a Brit Gored in Spanish Bull Running Festival

Spain San Fermin pamplona running bulls
Andres Kudacki—AP A steer and a Jandilla fighting bull run after revelers during the running of the bulls, at the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain on July 7, 2015.

Pamplona's nine day festival was made famous in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises" and attracts thousands of foreign tourists

PAMPLONA, Spain — Two Americans and a Briton were gored and eight others injured Tuesday as thousands of daredevils dashed alongside fighting bulls through the streets of this northern Spanish city on the first bull run of the San Fermin festival, organizers said.

The San Fermin press office said a 38-year-old American identified only by his initials, M.W.O., was gored in the armpit and a 27-year-old Californian identified by the initials D.M.O. was also gored. A 30-year-old Briton with the initials A.B.O. was gored in the groin area. None of the three was said to be in serious condition.

Three other Americans were among the eight others injured, most with bruises sustained in falls and crowd crushes during the nationally-televised run that lasted just over two minutes.

In its first report after the run, the Spanish Red Cross only had details of one person being gored and six people injured.

The daily run sees people dashing with six bulls along a narrow, 930-yard (850-meter) course from a holding pen to the city’s bull ring. The bulls are then killed by professional matadors in bullfights each afternoon. The nine-day fiesta in Pamplona, which features 24-hour street partying, was made famous in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises” and attracts thousands of foreign tourists.

Bull runs are a traditional part of summer festivals across Spain. Dozens of people are injured each year in the runs, most in falls.

Two men have died recently after being gored by bulls in Spanish festivals — one Saturday in the eastern town of Grao de Castellon and another June 24 in the southwestern town of Coria.

In all, 15 people have died from gorings in San Fermin since record-keeping began in 1924.

TIME

French Police Investigate Theft of Military Explosives

Detonators, plastic explosive and grenades were stolen

PARIS — French authorities are investigating the theft of roughly 200 detonators plus grenades and plastic explosives from a military site in southeastern France, officials said Tuesday.

The thefts at the Miramas site, which is operated by a combination of military services west of Marseille, appeared to have occurred overnight from Sunday to Monday. The break-in comes as France has strengthened its security measures after two deadly attacks by extremists this year.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said in a statement that an investigation has started on charges of “theft with break-in carried out by a criminal group” and “fraudulent entry into a military compound.”

An official with the gendarmerie police force, which generally runs law enforcement in more rural areas of France, said the thief or thieves appeared to have cut through a fence to enter the high-security site. The official was not authorized to speak publicly because the operation is ongoing.

The Defense Ministry and a top spokesman for the French military did not immediately respond to calls and text messages from The Associated Press seeking details.

Mayor Frederic Vigouroux of Miramas told the AP he did not know precisely what was stolen, but said it was the first theft at the site. He said the outer fences were broken into, and that nine storehouses were affected.

“It wasn’t cotton candy that was stolen,” he said. “These are dangerous munitions. Everything is inherently dangerous.”

France has been on its highest level of alert for terrorism following deadly attacks in January and June.

The base, about 200 hectares (500 acres), sits on the outskirts of the town of 30,000 and stocks munitions of the type used in French military operations in Mali and Afghanistan.

 

TIME United Kingdom

London Marks the 10th Anniversary of the July 7 Terrorist Attacks

"Ten years on from the 7/7 London attacks, the threat from terrorism continues to be as real as it is deadly"

On Tuesday, London will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the July 7, 2005, bombings that killed 52 people — the worst single terrorist attack on British soil.

A service will take place in St Paul’s Cathedral to remember those who died in what became known as the 7/7 bombings, reports the BBC. Family members of the victims and some of those who were injured will attend the ceremony.

A minute’s silence will be held across London’s transport network at 11:30 a.m. BST (6:30 a.m. ET) with London Underground trains and buses coming to a halt wherever possible.

There will also be a service at Hyde Park’s July 7 Memorial.

Just after 8:30 a.m. on 7 July, four suicide bombers with links to al-Qaeda detonated homemade bombs on three subway trains and one bus during the morning rush-hour.

Twenty-six people lost their lives in the bombing at Russell Square, six died at Edgware Road and seven in the explosion at Aldgate.

About an hour later, 13 people were killed as a fourth device detonated on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. More than 700 people were injured in the bombings.

“Ten years on from the 7/7 London attacks, the threat from terrorism continues to be as real as it is deadly — the murder of 30 innocent Britons whilst holidaying in Tunisia is a brutal reminder of that fact,” said U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. “But we will never be cowed by terrorism.”

[BBC]

TIME India

Indian Woman Dies After Claiming Cops Set Her on Fire After Attempted Sexual Assault

Akhilesh Yadav speaks during a news conference at their party headquarters in Lucknow
Reuters Akhilesh Yadav speaks during a news conference in the northern Indian city of Lucknow on March 6, 2012

The woman accused two policemen of attempting to sexually assault her before setting her ablaze

A 40-year-old woman has succumbed to her injuries after she was allegedly set on fire by two police officers in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, the Press Trust of India reports.

The incident occurred when the woman went to a police station in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district on Monday to enquire about her husband, who had been detained by the police. In her testimony to a local administrative official before she died, the woman alleged that when she refused to pay a bribe to free her spouse, two police officers at the station attempted to sexually assault her before setting her ablaze.

“Station house officer Rai Sahab Yadav and constable Akhilesh Rai took me into a room in the police station. They snatched my jewelry and tried to outrage my modesty. When I raised an alarm, the cops poured petrol on me and set me afire,” she said in a statement to the administrative official, according to the Hindustan Times.

The woman was rushed to a hospital in the state capital of Lucknow, where she passed away on Tuesday morning. “The woman died at around 4 a.m.,” Dr. Ashutosh Dubey, an official at the hospital where the woman was being treated, told the newspaper. “[She] had near total burns and her condition was serious when she was brought here.”

Although the two policemen have been suspended and booked under the Indian Penal Code, the police contest the victim’s account, claiming instead that the woman tried to commit suicide inside the police station by setting herself on fire when she was abused and chased away by the two police officers.

Speaking to local media, Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of the state, said, “A magisterial inquiry has been ordered and stern action will be taken against those found guilty in the report.”

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