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China dispatches evacuation ships to Vietnam

Riot policemen keep guard at an industrial zone in Vietnam's southern Binh Duong province Credit: Reuters

China has dispatched five ships to Vietnam to speed up the process of evacuating its citizens following deadly anti-Chinese riots over Beijing's deployment of an oil rig in disputed territorial waters, news agencies are reporting.

China's foreign ministry says more than 3,000 Chinese have already been evacuated from Vietnam following the riots this week that left two Chinese dead and injured about 100 others.

A damaged Chinese owned shoe factory is seen in Vietnam's southern Binh Duong province. Credit: Reuters

Vietnam ordered a stop to anti-China protests and in the capital, Hanoi, police today pushed away a handful of protesters and journalists in front of the Chinese Embassy.

Vietnam has protested against China's positioning of the oil rig in the South China Sea and has sent ships to confront China's vessels.

Venezuela: Protesters clash with police in Caracas

Anti-government protesters run away from tear gas during a protest in Caracas. Credit: Reuters/Tomas Bravo

Small groups of anti-government protests continued to clash with police on Saturday in Caracas as isolated incidents of violence continued to erupt throughout the day.

Venezuelan opposition sympathizers have been holding rowdy street protests for nearly a month to demand the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro. They accuse his government of using excessive force against demonstrators.

Maduro says the demonstrations are part of a Washington-backed plot to overthrow his government.

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Ukraine opposition leaders set ultimatum for President

Leaders of the Ukrainian opposition issued a firm ultimatum to President Viktor Yanukovych to call early elections within the next 24 hours or face further outrage from protesters.

The deadline comes after two protesters were killed in scuffles with police on Wednesday, fuelling fears that the daily demonstrations aimed at bringing down the government over its decision to shun the EU in favour of closer ties to Moscow, could turn more violent.

A pro-European integration protester in Kiev at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev Credit: REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

Ukrainian opposition leaders emerged from crisis talks with President Viktor Yanukovich on Wednesday saying he had failed to give concrete answers to their demands, and told their supporters on the streets to prepare for a police offensive.

Pro-European protesters throw tyres into a fire during street violence Credit: REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili

With a central Kiev street ablaze, opposition leaders have urged tens of thousands of demonstrators in a nearby square to refrain from violence and remain in the main protest camp for the next 24 hours.

Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko addresses pro-European protesters during a rally Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

Mass rallies held in Turkey over park tensions

Clashes between Turkish activists and pro-government supporters continued in Istanbul on Saturday as riot police used water cannon to disperse the thousands of people gathered in the city's Taksim Square.

The violence in Turkey had eased since last Saturday but the mass protest continued late into the night.

The disagreement stems from when the police cleared Istanbul's Gezi Park to start work on a new construction project.

Brian May leads 2,000 people in anti-badger cull march

Rock star Brian May led around 2,000 animal welfare supporters - some wearing badger masks - in a march through central London today as they called for the Government to abort plans to cull thousands of badgers.

Brian May joins protesters dressed as badgers as they march through central London. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire
Some protesters dressed as badgers during the protest. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire
Around 2,000 animal welfare supporters joined the march. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

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  1. London

Badger cull protest at Westminster

Animal welfare supporters Credit: @John_Cooper_QC

Thousands of people decked in black and white clothing have marched on Westminster to call for an end to plans for a badger cull.

Rock star Brian May led around 2,000 animal welfare supporters - many wearing cardboard badger masks - as they chanted "stop the cull" in protest at pilots in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset - two bovine TB hot spots, due to start from today.

The pilot culls aim to ensure free-running badgers can be killed humanely, with marksmen observed by independent experts to check they are killing the protected animal swiftly, and post-mortem examinations carried out to assess speed of death.

Brian May renews calls to stop badger cull plans

Queen guitarist Brian May has renewed calls for the Government to abort plans to cull thousands of badgers in an effort to tackle bovine TB.

May said: "The great bit of new information is it has now been demonstrated that the cull cannot make economic sense. It will lose the taxpayer money rather than save it.

Queen guitarist Brian May pictured at a rally last year. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

"That was really the last shred of reason that you could give for this cull going ahead. It is a very good time for Mr Cameron to reconsider and withdraw from this monstrous cull, in the public interest.

"Our point is to save wild animals from abuse and there is no doubt this cull is going to cause intense pain on a massive scale to badgers. You cannot call it humane, which is apparently what these pilot culls are about.

"It has become increasingly apparent to me that, although we call ourselves a nation of animal lovers, we treat them appallingly".

Brian May to lead fight against government over cull

Rock star Brian May will lead today's rally against the Government's plans. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Rock star Brian May will today lead a rally against planned badger culls, due to begin from this weekend in an effort to tackle bovine TB.

The Queen guitarist, a long-time campaigner against the plan, will be joined by TV naturalist Bill Oddie as they lead a march through Westminster.

Organisers say they expect thousands to join them, all wearing badger masks, in an effort to demonstrate their opposition to the culls, the pilots for which are in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset.

Some 5,000 badgers are set to be killed in the two south west regions, with policing costs expected to reach £4 million to cope with potential disruption from activists.

Police last night said they were "prepared" for any disruption and protests.

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