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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Several thousand people rallied in Belgrade on Sunday in another environmental protest, a day after demonstrators blocked bridges and roads in different parts of Serbia and scuffled with riot police who formed cordons to try to stop them.

The rally on Sunday was called in protest at alarming levels of air pollution in Serbia produced by coal-fueled power plants, lack of proper air-filtering protection in mines and factories, old cars and bad fuel for home heating.

The protesters, carrying banners reading “The Air Is Dangerous” and “You Are Suffocating Us,” marched through downtown Belgrade, blowing whistles and chanting anti-government slogans.

“We don’t have to measure the pollution, we can see it and feel it,” said Bojan Simisic, from the Eko Straza, or the Eco Guard, the environmental group that is behind the protest. “It is killing our children, I don’t want my children to be forced to flee the country because of the pollution.”

Serbia is one of the most polluted states in Europe, but public protests have gained attention only recently, with activists accusing the populist authorities of allowing foreign investors mostly from China to further hurt the Balkan nation’s environment.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters blocked a key traffic artery in Belgrade and in other towns, angered over two laws they say would pave the way for such projects.

The hour-long blockade on Saturday led to skirmishes and organizers said a number of protesters were detained. In the western town of Sabac, a video emerged on social networks of unidentified thugs beating protesters with batons.

Western Serbia has been at the center of the ecological movement because of a bid by Rio Tinto excavation company to open a lithium mine in the area. The company has said it would meet the highest ecological standards, but activists and experts insist the mine would destroy farmland, animal life and rivers.

Serbia’s autocratic President Aleksandar Vucic and his populist government have dismissed the environmental protests as political. They have promised to tackle Serbia’s huge ecological problems that have piled up after decades of neglect, but stressed that they have no intention of stopping coal mining any time soon.

Vucic’s government is formally seeking European Union entry, but he has instead forged close ties with Russia and China. A number of major Chinese investments, such as the purchase of a large copper and gold mine and the country’s only steel mill, have considerably increased CO2 emissions in the country, environmentalists say.

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Its Getting Bad. Community To Rally For Peace After Shooting Death Of Christopher Braxton, 17-Year-Old Bartram High School Student

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Residents will gather in Southwest Philadelphia this afternoon, calling for peace on the streets after the shooting death of a 17-year-old. That student was just steps away from his high school, where grief counselors are being made available Thursday.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia police are still in the process of interviewing witnesses.

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“Bad bad. It’s getting bad. It’s getting bad,” one neighbor told CBS3.

Neighbors are left stunned and speechless after learning 17-year-old Christopher Braxton, a high school senior, was killed steps away from Bartram High School.

“That’s terrible. It’s terrible,” neighbor Raymond Howard said.

“It’s just bad,” one person told Eyewitness News, adding, “The last six, seven years maybe, it started going downhill.”

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Classes were back in session Thursday morning at Bartram High School. The shooting happened about block away from campus on South 66th Street near Paschsall Street. Investigators said the school had just dismissed Wednesday when Braxton was shot at least once.

“We know two shots were from a semi-automatic weapon,” Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Police have not released a motive, and no arrests have been made.

“Its dangerous,” Howard said. “I’m scared to come home from work at night. I got to look both ways, and it’s crazy. It’s crazy. Something has to be done.”

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson is hosting a peace rally at the school as classes are released at 2:30 p.m.

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