english news

Germany gun attack: Two killed in Halle


At least two people have been killed in a shooting in the eastern German city of Halle, police say. One person was arrested, police said, but other suspects were believed to have fled the Paulus area in a vehicle. Witnesses said one gunman was wearing military camouflage and carrying several weapons. A second shooting was then reported in Landsberg, some 15km (9 miles) east of the city. It was not clear if the incidents were connected.

A witness told German n-tv news that a gunman in camouflage opened fire with an assault rifle on a doner kebab shop.”The man came up to the Doner shop, he threw something like a grenade, it didn’t explode, and he opened fire with an assault rifle. The man behind me must have died… I hid in the toilet,” the witness told a TV reporter near the scene.

German media report that shots were also fired near a synagogue in Halle, but the details have not been confirmed. One witness said one attacker had thrown a petrol bomb or grenade over a cemetery wall. It happens as Jews celebrate Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day. It was not clear where the arrest took place. Police are still warning residents to remain in their homes.(BBC)…[+]

Three Trinidadian fishermen kidnapped by Venezue­lan pi­rates


Venezue­lan pi­rates who op­er­ate out of Patos Is­land, one of Venezuela’s small un­in­hab­it­ed is­land, have re­port­ed­ly kid­napped three Ica­cos fish­er­men for ran­som.

The is­land is lo­cat­ed in the north­west­ern Gulf of Paria and is said to be one of the hide­outs for des­per­ate Venezue­lan pi­rates who kid­nap and smug­gle drugs and guns in ex­change for ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties. Up to late yes­ter­day, ne­go­ti­a­tions were on­go­ing and rel­a­tives re­mained tight-lipped say­ing they had no in­for­ma­tion to give. Last night sec­re­tary of Fish­er­man and Friends of the Sea Gary Aboud said a US$10,000 has been de­mand­ed for their safe re­lease.

Po­lice said the fish­er­men Ramkissoon Har­richa­ran, 64, Car­lo Snei­der, 61, of Lovers Lane, Ica­cos and a third uniden­ti­fied man were snatched at gun­point around 7 am while they fished off Gal­fa Point in Ica­cos about half a mile from the shore. A fish­er­man who re­quest­ed anonymi­ty said he saw the Venezue­lan pi­rates ac­com­pa­nied by oth­er lo­cal Trinida­di­ans chas­ing down fish­ing ves­sels.

“We ran from them be­cause we re­al­ized they were pi­rates and they were com­ing to get our en­gines and nets,” the fish­er­man said. An­oth­er fish­ing crew from Erin was al­so pur­sued by the pi­rates. They even­tu­al­ly cap­tured the two old fish­er­men and took them aboard their pirogue. Two boat en­gines were tak­en and Snider’s boat Ger­man 1 was left adrift.(Stabroeknews)…[+]

Asim Umar: Al-Qaeda’s South Asia chief ‘killed in Afghanistan’


A top al-Qaeda leader has been killed in a joint US-Afghan military operation, according to Afghanistan’s intelligence agency. Asim Umar, the head of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), died in a raid on a Taliban compound in Helmand province on 23 September, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said.

At least 40 civilians were reported to have been killed in the same operation. The US and al-Qaeda have not confirmed Umar’s death.

In a statement shared on Twitter on Tuesday, the NDS said the joint US-Afghan raid took place at a compound in the “Taliban stronghold of Musa Qala” district, where Umar and other AQIS members “had been embedded”. It said six other AQIS members were also killed, “most” of whom were Pakistani.

Raihan, Umar’s “courier” to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, was named as one of those killed. The NDS shared pictures purportedly showing Umar both alive and dead alongside the statement. Further details of the operation and what happened to the bodies were not immediately clear. Officials also said air strikes conducted as part of the same operation had killed at least 40 civilians attending a wedding party.(BBC)…[+]

German lorry attack in Limburg seen as ‘act of terrorism’


An attack on motorists in the western town of Limburg is being investigated as terrorism, security sources have told German media. On Monday, a man hijacked a lorry and ploughed into eight vehicles waiting at a traffic light, injuring eight people. Seven were treated in hospital.

A thirty-two year-old suspect has been arrested. Originally from Syria, the man has been living in Germany since 2015, local reports say. Public broadcaster ZDF quoted sources as saying the incident was being treated by investigators as having a “terrorist background”, although Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Tuesday he could not yet say how the incident was being classified.

Police searched a flat in Langen, south of Frankfurt, early on Tuesday and said it was linked to what had happened in Limburg, local reports said. Security sources told the DPA news agency the suspect had been known to the police for drug offences and grievous bodily harm.(BBC)…[+]

Husband admits to chopping wife to death at Bygeval School


Forty-four-year-old Athlone Pitt yesterday admitted to chopping his wife to death in an attack at Bygeval Secondary School in 2016. The man was charged with murdering Candacy Pitt, on June 1st, 2016, at the Bygeval Secondary School, at Mahaica, East Coast Demerara. He, however, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of man-slaughter when he appeared before Justice Jo-Ann Barlow.According to previous reports, Candacy and Athlone were married for 13 years and the man had made threats to end her life that she had never reported.(Stabroeknews)…[+]

Ancient ‘New York’: 5,000-year-old city discovered in Israel

new york

The remains of a 5,000-year-old cityhave been discovered in Israel – the largest and oldest such find in the region. The city was home to 6,000 people and included planned roads, neighbourhoods, a ritual temple and fortifications.

An even earlier settlement, believed to be 7,000 years old, was discovered beneath the city. Israeli archaeologists said the discovery was the most significant in the region from that era. “This is the Early Bronze Age New York of our region; a cosmopolitan and planned city where thousands of inhabitants lived,” the excavation directors said in a statement. “There is no doubt that this site dramatically changes what we know about the character of the period and the beginning of urbanization in Israel,” the statement added.

Known as En Esur, the site spans 650 dunams (161 acres), about double the size of previous similar findings. The design of the city included designated residential and public areas, streets and alleys, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

About four million fragments were found at the site, including rare figurines of humans and animals, pieces of pottery and various tools, some of which came from Egypt.(BBC)…[+]

Jeff Koons’ Paris Bataclan sculpture mocked as ‘pornographic’


A large tulip sculpture in Paris in tribute to the victims of the 2015 attacks in the city has been criticised for looking more like marshmallows – or even parts of human anatomy. The Bouquet of Tulips, a gift from US artist Jeff Koons unveiled near the Champs-Elysées on Friday, features the flower often used to symbolise love.

But the work, created in Koons’ typical kitsch style, has divided opinion. In November 2015, mass shootings and a bomb attack killed 130 people in Paris.

The co-ordinated terror attacks on a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars in the French capital wounded hundreds more. Unveiling his 40ft (12m) high structure near Le Petit Palais art gallery on Friday, Koons said the large handheld bouquet of balloon-like tulips was intended to show his support and US solidarity with the French people.”I did, as a citizen in New York, experience 9/11 and the depression that hung over the city,” he said, adding that 80% of the money raised after selling the copyright to the artwork would be given to the victims’ families.(BBC)…[+]

Florida man charged with murder of Trinidad-born girlfriend

florida man

Deangelo Clark, the suspect in the murder of his 20-year-old Trinidadian girlfriend Kiara Alleyne, will be charged with murder today.

Sgt Paul Bloom of the Marion County Sheriff’s office told Newsday that Clark will return to the county this morning, and placed in jail at around 10 am. Clark was in hospital being treated for “serious injuries.” “He is suspected of killing his girlfriend in Marion County and fleeing to the Florida Keys where he broke into a home and started a fire before being arrested by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office,” Bloom said.

On September 11, Kiara Alleyne originally from Point Fortin, was found murdered in her Ocala, Florida home. Police said Clark video called her father, Sheldon Alleyne, on FaceTime during the act. Clark then fled with their one-year-old daughter and police issued an AMBER alert which was cancelled after the child was found, unharmed, with a family member.(Stabroeknews)…[+]

‘I try not to sleep’: attacks on homeless in Los Angeles increase over past year


Arson, assault, harassment and vandalism: as the rising cost of housing funnels more Los Angeles residents out of their homes and onto the streets, homeless people and their advocates are reporting an alarming rise in vigilante attacks against the unhoused.

In late August, a fast-moving fire in the hip, residential neighborhood of Eagle Rock briefly dominated headlines when it temporarily closed down two freeways and triggered a small-scale evacuation. In the week that followed, authorities revealed the fire had started in a homeless encampment, and was set by two men, one the son of the local chamber of commerce president. No one was injured, but prosecutors are reportedly considering charges of attempted murder.

By the time of the Eagle Rock fire, advocates for the homeless say they had already clocked a steady rise in vigilantism. Statistics have long shown that the homeless are more likely than the housed to be the victims of a variety of crimes. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) doesn’t keep specific records of vigilante attacks against the homeless. But in interviews with close to a dozen people who live on the streets and in their cars, all said there had been a noticeable increase in attacks and harassment from people who target them for being homeless over the past year.

Many of those attacks have occurred in the San Fernando Valley, a sprawling network of suburbs with a growing homeless population.(The Guardian)…[+]

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to send daughter home to UK

woman jailed

A British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran is to send her daughter home to the UK to start school, she has said in an open letter. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was jailed for five years in 2016 after being convicted of spying, which she denies. Her family insist she was in Iran to introduce her daughter to relatives.

Five-year-old Gabriella – who has been living with her grandparents in Tehran – has visited her mother at least once a week since her arrest. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described the letter as “heart-breaking” and said Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s detainment was “unjustifiable and unacceptable”.

Her daughter will be back in London before Christmas, according to the Times. Speaking to the BBC, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, confirmed that the couple have decided to bring Gabriella back to the UK to start school. He added that his wife is hoping for a last minute release to enable her to come home with Gabriella. “I don’t think she’s expecting it though,” he said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family told the Times they had agreed Gabriella should return to the UK for the start of the school year in September but postponed the decision after Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was taken to a psychiatric hospital.(BBC)…[+]