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.
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? An institute of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and a company are to be sanctioned over ‘human rights violations and abuses’ The US Department of Commerce on Friday said that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region. “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the department said in a statement. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co are to be sanctioned “for
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
Former US vice president Joe Biden on Friday said he “should not have been so cavalier” after he told a radio host that African Americans who back US President Donald Trump “ain’t black.” In a call with the US Black Chamber of Commerce that was added to his public schedule, Biden said he would never “take the African American community for granted.” “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden said. “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.” Biden faced criticism after his comments earlier on Friday on The Breakfast Club, a