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NY police salute fallen colleague at officer's wake

Officers carry Rafael Ramos' coffin. Credit: Reuters

New York Police officers have today been paying their respects to one of the two officers murdered as he sat in his squad car last week.

Police pallbearers carry Rafael Ramos' coffin. Credit: Reuters

Rafael Ramos and his partner Wenjian Liu were shot when they were sitting in their car in Brooklyn, with the gunman killing himself shortly after.

Mourners hold up pictures of Rafael Ramos and his partner Wenjian Liu. Credit: Reuters

Hundreds of mourners attended a church in the Queen's area for Ramos' wake.

At least nine dead in Sri Lanka mudslides

At least nine people have been killed and 10 others are missing in mudslides triggered by heavy rains today in the central hills of Sri Lanka.

More than 60,000 people have been evacuated and 3,000 homes destroyed as floods and mudslides covered many parts of the Indian Ocean island in the last four days, disaster officials said.

Nine people were killed and two injured in mudslides today in the tea-growing Badulla district when their houses were buried in landslides, Udaya Kumara, an official at the state disaster management centre, said.

Ten others were missing and rescue operations were temporarily halted due to risk of further landslides, Mr Kumara said.

The inclement weather has so far affected more than 500,000 people across the country.

Lawyers confident as Thailand murder trial set for July

A lawyer for two Myanmar nationals indicted over the murder of two British tourists on a Thai holiday island said he was confident of persuading scared witnesses to testify and exonerate the accused.

A trial date was today set for July 8 next year by a court on Koh Samui, the neighboring island to Koh Tao, where the bodies of David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, were found on a beach in September.

The parents of defendant Win Zaw Htun travelled to Thailand to support their son. Credit: Reuters

Police arrested Myanmar workers Zaw Lin and Win Phyo, both 21, in October, saying their DNA samples matched those found on the victims.

A committee of investigators set up by Myanmar's embassy in Bangkok last week said potential witnesses able to prove the suspects were innocent were too scared to appear in court for fear of retribution by Thai police or their former employers.

Thailand's military government pressed police to solve the case quickly. Zaw Lin and Win Phyo, who were migrant workers, initially confessed but later retracted their statements, saying they were given under duress.


Poignant tsunami memorials for thousands dead

There were tsunami memorial events today in three of the countries worst hit by the Boxing Day 2004 disaster - Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

Thailand - 5,395 confirmed deaths

A wave shaped memorial in Ban Nam Khem, a southern fishing village destroyed by the wave. Credit: Reuters

Indonesia - 131,028 confirmed deaths

Acehnese women attend a mass prayer at the mosque that was one of the few buildings left standing in Banda Aceh, the city flattened by the tsunami. Credit: Reuters

Sri Lanka - 31, 229 confirmed deaths

The Samudra Devi train, which was swept off its tracks by a towering wave killing more than 1,000 people, made a special commemorative journey today. Credit: Reuters

Foreign Office 'monitoring' Thailand murder case

The Foreign Office said it expected the trial of two Burmese men accused of murdering British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller in Thailand to be "fair and transparent".

We continue to monitor the case closely and expect the trial to be conducted in a fair and transparent way in line with international standards. The British government cannot interfere with Thailand's judicial processes just as other government's are unable to interfere in UK judicial processes.

We continue to provide support and assistance to both the families of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller.

– Foreign Office spokesman

PM pays tribute to 'resilience' of tsunami victims

Cameron said the Government had provided almost £300m to the tsunami relief effort. Credit: PA

David Cameron has paid tribute to the victims of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami which claimed an estimated 230,000 lives - including 151 British nationals - in countries around the Indian Ocean.

In a statement to mark the tenth anniversary of the tragedy, the Prime Minister praised the "real resilience" of the communities which had since rebuilt their lives as well as the generosity of the international response.

He said the UK Government alone had provided almost £300 million to support the reconstruction of affected areas.

Today we think of all those for whom Boxing Day is no longer a happy festive celebration but the day they lost a loved one in the Indian Ocean tsunami.

At this poignant time, my prayers are with all those remembering people who were caught up in the disaster, including the 151 British nationals who lost their lives.

In the face of tragedy and adversity, hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated real resilience to rebuild their lives and millions more have shown extraordinary generosity to help those affected.

– David Cameron
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