World News Quick Take


Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - Page 7


Police arrest axe attacker

A man was arrested on Thursday after injuring seven people with an axe at the main train station in Duesseldorf in what appeared to be a random attack, police said. Officers were alerted about an attack shortly before 9pm, prompting a large-scale police response. “A person, probably armed with an axe, attacked people at random,” police said in a statement. Seven people were injured, three of them seriously. The statement said police are investigating whether the suspect attacked passengers on a commuter train as well. The suspected attacker was arrested after jumping off an overpass near the train station, the statement said. The 36-year-old man, described as being from “the former Yugoslavia” and living in the nearby city of Wuppertal, suffered serious injuries and was being treated in a hospital. “The suspect appears to have had psychological problems,” police said. An axe was recovered and officers were searching the area in and around the station, which was closed for the investigation. Police withdrew an earlier report that a second person had been arrested.


Two killed in cafe shooting

Gunmen on Thursday opened fire inside a cafe in the city of Basel, leaving two people dead and a third critically wounded, authorities said. A statement from the office of the local prosecutor said two men entered Cafe 56 at 8:15pm and unleashed a salvo of gunfire. They then escaped in the direction of a nearby railway station. The identity of the three victims had yet to be determined, authorities said. No one else was hurt in the attack. Investigations are still ongoing, but a police officer told reporters: “This is a local incident. It has nothing to do with Islamists or terrorism.” He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. Forensic teams could be seen going in and out of the cafe collecting evidence.


Military budget ‘neglected’

The military has been “gravely neglected” under Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government and even if spending is increased, it will not be in a state of “basic readiness” until 2021 at the earliest, a key government adviser said yesterday. In a scathing report less than a week before a national election, the Advisory Council on International Affairs advised any incoming government to boost spending to the European average for the coming four years and to the NATO norm of 2 percent for the subsequent four. NATO has previously criticized the country for inadequate military spending, notably on ground forces and operational support. The country spends a little more than 1 percent of GDP on its military, versus the European NATO average of about 1.4 percent.


Police probe make-up heist

Los Angeles police are looking to throw shade at the thieves behind a million-dollar makeup heist. The Los Angeles Police Department on Thursday said that it is investigating after US$4.5 million worth of eye shadow was stolen from a cosmetics warehouse in the city. They say the theft occurred between Jan. 28 and Jan. 30 at a warehouse in Los Angeles that houses Anastasia Beverly Hills products. Police believe the suspects cut a hole in the roof of the warehouse and made off with 100,000 packages of the beauty company’s “Modern Renaissance” eye shadow. A message left on Thursday evening at Anastasia’s corporate office was not immediately returned.


Youths attack church guard

A Christian was yesterday severely injured after being hacked with knives by a group of youths while he was guarding a Catholic church, police said. Gilbert Costa, 65, was guarding the Church at Mathurapur in Pabna District, about 175km from Dhaka, when he was suddenly attacked by young men. “He was hacked randomly by sharp knives and was left severely injured. He was shifted to a hospital where his condition is now stable,” local police chief Ahsan Habib told reporters. Habib said police had arrested three young men from the same village where Costa lives in connection with the attack. He said they were investigating the attack, but ruled out any Muslim extremist link, saying it appeared to be the result of “personal enmity.” “Costa and his relatives have identified the attackers with whom they had personal feud in the village. We have found no extremist connection whatsoever,” he added.


Politicians indicted for graft

Politicians with key roles in President Joko Widodo’s governing coalition have been caught up in a corruption scandal, in which officials allegedly pilfered more than US$170 million of government money. The justice minister, a former interior minister, the speaker of parliament and provincial governors were among those named in an indictment presented to a special corruption court on Thursday at the start of a trial of two Ministry of Law and Human Rights officials. The case could turn into a test of Widodo’s ability to take a hard line against corruption, which is at epidemic levels. Anti-corruption police said that a network of about 80 conspirators and several companies used the introduction of a US$440 million electronic identity card system in 2011 and 2012 to steal more than one-third of the funds. Two officials currently on trial are charged with receiving US$4.4 million. Prosecutors have said the rest of the stolen US$172 million was distributed among the dozens of other people involved.


Bus crash kills at least 26

At least 26 people died and 36 more were injured when an overcrowded bus veered off a mountain road, officials said yesterday. Government administrator Krishna Chandra Poudel said the bus plunged off the road pm Thursday near a village about 400km west of the capital, Kathmandu. The bus rolled about 200m down a slope before crashing into the Pasagad River. Local villagers helped police and soldiers pull the bodies and the injured from the wreckage. Poudel said rescue helicopters reached the accident area late on Thursday and were able to fly 18 of the injured to a hospital in Nepalgunj. Another eight injured people were yesterday to be flown out, but had to wait for the weather to clear up.