Coronavirus: Greeks celebrate Independence Day from balconies | AFP

Greeks are celebrating Independence Day indoors, without the usual parades and rallies due to the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of the usual parade by schoolchildren and the annual military parade, this year military aircraft flew over the country to mark the day.

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Tens of thousands join far-right Independence Day march in Poland | AFP

Poland’s far right attracts tens of thousands to a march in Warsaw to mark the country’s Independence Day just weeks after making significant gains in national elections. This year’s march comes a month after Poland’s Confederation, a new far-right libertarian coalition, won nine seats in the October 13 parliamentary elections.

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Mexican president’s first ‘El Grito’ kicks off Independence Day celebrations | AFP

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador performs the ceremonial duty of ‘El Grito’ or ‘the shout’ to mark the start of Independence Day celebrations in Mexico City.

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AP Top Stories August 19 A

Here’s the latest for Monday August 19th: Attacks strike sites in Afghanistan as country marks its Independence Day; Rep. Justin calls for Trump’s impeachment; Denmark’s PM says Greenland not for sale; Doggy Con hits Atlanta.

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Indonesia celebrates Independence Day with greasy pole contest | AFP

Indonesians hold a greasy pole climbing competition as part of celebrations to mark the country’s Independence Day. Hundreds of participants climb 174 slippery poles to collect prizes at the top.

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India’s Modi hails Kashmir move on Independence Day | AFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hails his move to strip the restive region of Kashmir of its autonomy, in a tub-thumping speech marking Indian Independence Day.

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Independence Day celebrations take place in Washington, DC | AFP

Marching bands, flags, floats and a giant inflatable red, white and blue cake as thousands gather in Washington DC to celebrate Independence Day. IMAGES

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Preparations underway for Independence Day parade in Washington | AFP

The capital of the United States prepares itself ready for a national holiday on July 4 that is very different from those that preceded it, with President Donald trump promising the “show of a lifetime”.

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Military parade marks Latvian 100th Independence Day anniversary in Riga

Latvians marked the 100th anniversary of their country’s independence with a military parade in Riga on Sunday. Over 1,000 soldiers took part in parade. They were joined by troops from the United States, Canada and other countries. The celebrations of the day were concluded with a torch procession. The Independence of the Republic of Latvia was proclaimed following WW1 on November 18, 1918.

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Mexico celebrates Independence Day with military parade

Mexico celebrated its yearly Independence Day with parade in Mexico City on Sunday. Members of Mexico’s armed forces and police marched in the parade, which was attended by Mexican President Enrique Nieto.

Mexico’s Independence Day falls on the 16th of September every year, and commemorates the “Cry of Dolores” in 1810, when a priest and political leader in the small Mexican town of Dolores made a speech against Spanish colonization and triggered the beginnings of the Mexican War of Independence.

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Brazilians watching military parade react to attack on Bolsonaro

Military parades are held throughout the country to celebrate Brazil’s Independence Day. Right-wing presidential candidate and former military Jair Bolsonaro usually attended the parade in Rio, but following the attack he was absent this year. Brazilians in Rio react to his absence and the significance of the attack for them and for the country.

India Shuts Down The Internet More Than Any Other Country (HBO)

Last week, India celebrated 71 years of independence from Great Britain, marking its birth in 1947 as the world’s largest democracy. But in 2012, it started taking a not-so-democratic approach at enforcing public safety: turning off the Internet.

Internet shutdowns were first notably used during the Arab Spring in 2011, when some regimes tried to prevent protestors who relied on social media from organizing online.

Today, India employs more internet blackouts than any other country in the world. The Internet has been turned off 97 times already this year, 18 more times than in all of 2017.

The first documented shutdown happened six years ago in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, where battles between separatists and the military are commonplace. Officials here feel that blackouts are an important part of maintaining security and turned off the internet ahead of Independence Day celebrations.

With at least 37 blackouts this year, the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir have their internet cut off more than residents of any other state in India.

“It’s a human right for every person to use internet” says Iqra Ahmed, a Kashmiri fashion entrepreneur. “I don’t have a physical store, so if Internet is banned, my whole business does not work properly, actually.”

A recent study estimates that from 2012 to 2017, Internet blackouts have cost the country over $3 billion in lost revenue.

India has taken massive steps to expand its digital infrastructure through Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Digital India” program. In 2015, India overtook America as the second largest nation online and now has more than 462 million internet users.

Last August, the government codified rules to the colonial-era telegraph laws to regulate Internet blackouts, which have since only increased, both in scope and frequency.

“These shutdowns seem to be spreading from border states to much more of mainland India” says Apar Gupta, a co-founder of the Internet Freedom Foundation. “It’s becoming a regular tool of administrative practice.”

This year, the state of Rajasthan has shut the Internet down on three different occasions in attempts to prevent cheating on exams. Gupta worries that more shutdowns will affect Indian democracy.

“Internet shutdowns are completely unacceptable in any democratic system. It eventually only causes a greater amount of lack of trust between citizens and the government itself and gives them a sense that they’re not being heard.”

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RAW: Moment Buk missile launcher slams into building in Kiev

Driver of the 30-tonne launcher caused panic on the sidewalk, as he lost control of the vehicle after a rehearsal of the Independence Day parade. DETAILS: https://on.rt.com/9co8

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Oops! Buk missile system ran into Kiev business center (STILLS)

Courtesy : Oleg Artemiuk

A Buk missile system ran into the front facade of the business center in Kiev during the rehearsal of an Independence Day parade. It damaged the wall but no one was injured, according to reports.

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Pakistan marks 71st anniversary, looks ahead to new PM

Pakistan celebrates Independence Day, marking 71 years since the end of British Raj rule in India, ahead of the inauguration of a new prime minister after World Cup cricket hero Imran Khan’s party emerged victorious in recent elections.

D.C. Celebrates the Fourth With Fireworks

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania stood from a balcony on the White House as fireworks erupted over Washington, DC. The explosions marked the end of day-long celebrations for Independence Day. (July 4)

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Trump Tweets July 4th Video Message

President Donald Trump has tweeted a military-themed, Independence Day video greeting to the nation. In a short recording, Trump said Wednesday he and first lady Melania Trump wished everyone a happy holiday. (July 4)

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Jeff Goldblum honoured with Hollywood star

American actor Jeff Goldblum gets a star on Hollywood Boulevard, the 2638th of the famous Walk of Fame. Goldblum is best known for ‘Independence Day’, ‘The Fly’ and ‘Jurassic Park’.