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World celebrates International Women's Day

People around the world celebrate International Women's Day, staging protests against women's rights abuses.

Activists protests against women's rights abuses Credit: Reuters

The UN writes that the day, celebrated on March 8, is an occasion to commemorate achievements in women's rights and to call for further change.

People form a female symbol to mark International Women's Day in Manila Credit: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

The celebration dates back to the beginning of the 20th Century and has been observed by the United Nations since 1975.

Women's advocacy group GABRIELA staged a rally in Quezon, Philippines Credit: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Turkish police fire tear gas at protestors

Turkish police fired water cannon and tear gas at demonstrators marching in Istanbul, who were protesting about urbanisation plans and calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan following a major corruption investigation.

Police fire water cannon at Turkish protestors Credit: REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Istanbul's Kadikoy district after Erdogan removed dozens of police chiefs from their posts, denouncing the corruption inquiry as the work of "dark dalliances".

Sixteen people, including the sons of two ministers and the head of state-owned Halkbank, were arrested on Saturday in a corruption inquiry that Erdogan has called a "dirty operation" to underminine his rule.

Police praise protestors for 'peaceful' manner

Protesters outside the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester Central. Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment

Police have praised the estimated 50,000 Trade Union Congress (TUC) protesters who staged "the largest protest Greater Manchester Police have had to manage" for their "peaceful and lawful manner".

"It was clear the intentions of the organisers and those who were involved in the march wanted to protest peacefully as is their democratic right to do so," Chief Superintendent John O’Hare said.

“It is pleasing that with a crowd of 50,000 there were only two arrests for low level offences."

One man, aged 19, was arrested for breach of the police while another man, aged 36, was arrested for a public order offence.

Turkish police fire tear gas as protests spread

Turkish police have fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters occupying a park in central Istanbul.

Riot police fire water cannons at protesters in Istanbul, Turkey. Credit: Reuters

The protest at Gezi Park started late on Monday after developers tore up trees but has widened into a broader demonstration against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

Violence erupted after a dawn police raid on demonstrators who had camped for days in the park in anger at plans to build a shopping mall.

Clouds of tear gas rose around the area in Taksim Square, long a venue for political protest.

A protester holds up a sign as riot police use water cannons. Credit: Reuters

Broken glass and rocks were strewn across a main shopping street.

A group of primary school children ran crying from the tear gas while tourists caught by surprise scurried to get back to luxury hotels lining the square.

Violence erupted after a dawn police raid on demonstrators in Gezi Park. Credit: Reuters

Riot police clashed with tens of thousands of May Day protesters in Istanbul weeks ago.

There have also been protests against the government's stance on the conflict in neighbouring Syria, a recent tightening of restrictions on alcohol sales and warnings against public displays of affection.


Protest group hails 'amazing day' of benefit cuts demos

The UK Uncut protest group said today's protests against the 'bedroom tax' and other benefit cuts had been successfully completed:

Duncan Smith 'misrepresenting benefit cap statistics'

The Work and Pensions Secretary was today accused of misrepresenting government statistics in order to claim his cap on benefits was driving people to find work.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

The Department for Work and Pensions(DWP) released figures yesterday showing the number of people expected to be hit by the cap had fallen from 56,000 to 40,000. Iain Duncan Smith hailed the figures, saying the cap had provided a "strong incentive" for people to look for jobs.

However, Jonathan Portes, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and a former chief economist at the DWP, said "there was no evidence at all" that the cap had affected people's behaviour.

Mr Portes told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "It may be that the benefit cap has indeed had the effect that Iain Duncan Smith would like it to have.

"That is perfectly possible but without doing the analysis - and it has not been done - you simply cannot say that and you shouldn't say it.

"This is, I am afraid, a consistent pattern of trying to draw out of the statistics things which they simply don't show."

Read more: What is the benefit cap?

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