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SRINAGAR | Thousands of protesters poured into the center of the main city of Indian Kashmir on Thursday after authorities lifted restrictions for the first time in five days.

The Muslim-majority region has been wracked by demonstrations since June 11, when security forces were accused of killing a 17-year-old. Since then, an additional 14 protesters and bystanders have been killed.

As violence spread, local authorities slapped rigid curfews on most of the region, arrested activists and ordered the army onto the streets to stage flag marches in the summer capital, Srinagar.

Kashmiris - mostly young men chanting “We want freedom!” and “Allah is great!” - staged sit-in protests at several places in Srinagar on Thursday, heeding a call by hard-line separatists opposed to Indian rule in the region.

Shops, schools and offices also remained closed for the fifth day.


Samsung calls for safety study

SEOUL | Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday it has commissioned an independent health and safety review of its semiconductor factories in South Korea after employee illnesses and deaths raised fears of cancer risks.

The yearlong investigation will be carried out by a team of leading occupational health and safety experts “who will be given complete access to Samsung’s semiconductor manufacturing facilities,” the company said in a statement.

Suspicion of a possible link between cancer and high-tech manufacturing is not new, and concerns are not confined to semiconductors or Samsung. The global technology industry has been beset by lawsuits and investigations over the years.

Samsung announced its plans for the health and safety review in April but did not offer concrete details. It has been attempting to allay public anxieties after a January lawsuit against a workers’ compensation agency involving six people who developed leukemia and lymphoma they claim was caused by exposure to radiation and the carcinogen benzene in Samsung’s chip factories.


Property giant ‘welcomes’ probe

HONG KONG | One of the giants of Hong Kong’s property market said Thursday it was cooperating with a police investigation into the collapsed sale of what was billed as the world’s priciest apartment.

Henderson Land Development said police had “visited” its headquarters on Wednesday to investigate the failed sale of luxury apartments at its exclusive Conduit Road tower development in the city’s Mid-Levels.

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