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Ed Sheeran and U2 cancel St Louis shows over security concerns

Ed Sheeran1 and U2 cancelled their shows in St .

Louis2 over the weekend due to security concerns, amid ongoing protests following the acquittal of a white former police officer charged with murdering a black man. U2 were booked to play The Dome at America’s Center on Saturday 16 September, while singer-songwriter Sheeran was supposed to perform a sold-out show at the Scottrade Center. However, police said they could not guarantee the typical level of security for a gig as protests continued in the city.

U2 frontman Bono3 said he was ‘deeply saddened” at the events in St Louis.

“I found myself reading Dr King’s speech from the National Cathedral and asking myself is this 1968 or 2017?” he said.

A statement from Live Nation, U2’s concert promoter, said: “We have been informed by the St Louis police department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event this size.

“We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity.”

An additional post on the band’s website said they “cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety by proceeding with tonight’s concert.

“As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment.”

The promoters of Sheeran’s tour also said they were concerned with fan safety due to an insufficient police presence.

“With the safety of the fans being of upmost concern, and after consulting with local officials who could not fully commit to providing a sufficient amount of police and other city services support, we felt it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel Sunday night’s show,” Messing Touring Group4 said in a statement.

“While we regret to have had to come to this decision, we do look forward to returning to St Louis as soon as Ed’s schedule will allow in 2018.”

Tickets for both concerts will be refunded.

Follow Independent Culture on Facebook5 for the latest news, video and features

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British Airways flight held at Paris Airport because of ‘security threat’

A British Airways flight has been held on the tarmac of a Paris airport and surrounded by police and fire vehicles because of a security threat. The plane was due to depart Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport at 7.25 Sunday morning, but passengers were informed shortly before take off that a “direct threat” had been made against the airport. According to passenger James Anderson, armed police searched all passengers on the flight, and fire crews also attended the scene.

The plane was bound for London Heathrow and was due to land at 7.45 . All passengers have since been given the all clear and have been assured they will be able to board another flight later today. A British Airways spokesperson said: “The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority.

“Additional security checks are being carried out as a precaution .

We would never operate a flight unless it is safe to do so.”

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Rohingya Muslim crisis: Burma’s security forces using scorched earth tactics to drive out minority, new evidence finds

Security forces in Burma are using scorched-earth tactics to drive out Rohingya Muslims, new evidence appears to show. Entire Rohingya villages are being burned down by vigilante mobs and security forces in an orchestrated campaign that has lasted almost three weeks, campaigners have warned . Those trying to flee the attacks are being shot dead. Fire-detection data, satellite imagery, photographs and videos from the ground has indicated at least 80 large-scale fires in inhabited areas across northern Rakhine State since 25 August, according to Amnesty International.

Satellite sensors during the same month-long period over the past four years detected no fires whatsoever of this magnitude anywhere in the state. While the extent of the damage caused by the fires cannot be independently verified on the ground due to access restrictions by the Burma government, Amnesty said security forces are likely to have burned down whole villages, forcing tens of thousands to flee in terror. Satellite images from the village tract of Inn Din, a mixed ethnic area in south Maungdaw, show how an area of Rohingya homes has been burned to the ground, while non-Rohingya areas alongside them appear to have been left untouched.

Satellite imagery showing the extent of burnings inside Rakhine State (Amnesty International )

Satellite imagery showing the extent of burnings inside Rakhine State

One 48-year-old man said he witnessed the army and police storm into his village of Yae Twin Kyun in northern Maungdaw township on 8 September.

When the military came, they started shooting at people who got very scared and started running . I saw the military shoot many people and kill two young boys . They used weapons to burn our houses . There used to be 900 houses in our village, now only 80 are left . There is no one left to even bury the bodies, he said. The true number of fires and extent of property destruction is likely to be high, as cloud cover during the monsoon season has made it difficult for satellites to pick up all burnings and smaller fires have gone undetected by environmental satellite sensors, the campaign group said.

Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International s Crisis Response Director, who has spoken to people who have fled across the border to Bangladesh, described the current situation as an ethnic cleansing . She said: The evidence is irrefutable – the Myanmar security forces are setting northern Rakhine State ablaze in a targeted campaign to push the Rohingya people out of Myanmar.

Make no mistake: this is ethnic cleansing . There is a clear and systematic pattern of abuse here .

Security forces surround a village, shoot people fleeing in panic and then torch houses to the ground.

In legal terms, these are crimes against humanity – systematic attacks and forcible deportation of civilians. The news comes as the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called on Burma’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to speak out against the “abomination” of the persecution of Rohingya Muslims. Mr Johnson’s comments followed an announcement that the UK would provide an additional 25m to help hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims driven out of their homes by the violence.

Announcing the money, International Development Secretary Priti Patel said she was “appalled” by allegations of human rights violations by the Burmese military and militias in Rakhine state. She appealed to the Burmese military to put a stop to attacks and ensure access for humanitarian workers seeking to reach displaced people. Mr Johnson, who was previously criticised for describing Nobel Peace Prize-winner Ms Suu Kyi as “one of the most inspiring figures of our age”, has urged her to stop the violence against the Rohingyas.

Rohingya Muslims flee violence in Burma

Speaking at a press conference in London alongside US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Foreign Secretary described events in Burma as a “tragedy” involving “gross abuses of human rights”. Asked about his earlier comments about Ms Suu Kyi, he added: “Let’s be clear, she led Burma after a period of decades of repression by a military junta and I yield to no-one in my admiration of what she stood for and the way she fought for democracy . I think many people around the world share that admiration.

“But I think it’s now vital for her to use that moral capital and that authority to make the point about the suffering of the people of Rakhine.

“Nobody wants to see a return to military rule in Burma, nobody wants to see a return of the generals.

“But it is vital for her now to make clear that this is an abomination and that those people will be allowed back to Burma and that preparation is being made and that the abuse of their human rights and the hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of killings will stop.”

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