Killer’s accomplice hunted
Authorities on the Crimean Peninsula were searching for a possible accomplice of the student who carried out a shooting and bomb attack on a vocational school, killing 20 people and wounding more than 50 others, an official said yesterday. An 18-year-old student, who later killed himself, was initially believed to be the only one to have been involved in the carnage at the Kerch Polytechnic College on Wednesday. Authorities have not provided a motive for the shooting, and teachers and classmates described the attacker as a shy man who had few friends, but Republic of Crimea Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov told news agencies that it is possible that the attacker, identified as Vyacheslav Roslyakov, had an accomplice. “The point is to find out who was coaching him for this crime,” he said.
The South Pacific nation is felling its tropical forests at nearly 20 times a sustainable rate, research by an environmental group said, driven by insatiable Chinese demand for its lumber. Export volumes of the archipelago’s single largest export commodity jumped more than 20 percent to just over 3 million cubic meters last year, central bank figures showed. Environmental and rights group Global Witness said that this was more than 19 times higher than sustainable levels, and if continued could denude the nation and soon exhaust the single biggest contributor to its economic growth. Global Witness also found that the overwhelming majority of the lumber was sent to China.
Apology to ‘German girls’
The nation on Wednesday officially apologized for the “shameful treatment” of women targeted for reprisals for their intimate relations with German soldiers during the nation’s occupation in World War II. Between 30,000 and 50,000 women, commonly labeled “German girls,” were involved with occupying troops during the war, according to estimates from the Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minorities Studies. As well as public humiliation, many of the woman were subject to reprisals by officials after the 1945 liberation from Nazi occupation, including illegal arrests and detentions, job dismissals, and even being expelled and stripped of their nationality. “Young Norwegian girls and woman who had relations with German soldiers, or were suspected of having them, were victims of shameful treatment,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said. “Today, in the name of the government, I want to offer my apologies.”
Girl bakes grandpa cookies
A teenage girl in California allegedly baked her grandfather’s ashes into cookies and handed them out to her school friends, local media reported on Wednesday. The student is said to have given her baked goods to at least nine students, the Los Angeles Times said, citing police in Davis. Some ate the cookies without knowing about the macabre extra ingredient and were horrified, Lieutenant Paul Doroshov said. In a bizarre twist, others among the Da Vinci Charter Academy students were fully aware and ate the cookies anyway, Doroshov told the newspaper. Student Andy Knox told TV station KCRA he was on his way into class when the unidentified young baker offered him one of her treats, saying they contained a “special ingredient.” “I thought that she put drugs in it or something. So I asked her if like: ‘Is this a weed cookie or something?’” he said. “And she said: ‘No.’ She said it was her grandpa’s ashes and then she kind of laughed, and I was really, I was kind of horrified.”
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,
An Australian graduate student arrested for spying and expelled from North Korea last year said that he was threatened with a firing-squad execution and told not even US President Donald Trump could save his “sorry arse.” Among the crimes Alek Sigley was accused of committing was posting a picture of a toy tank on Instagram, which his interrogators told him was military espionage. Sigley, 30, was studying for a master’s degree in Korean literature at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang when he went missing in June last year, sparking alarm. A fluent speaker of Korean, he had written articles for several publications