Bombing kills at least six
A suspected car bomb yesterday exploded outside a government office in Mogadishu, killing at least six people, leveling buildings and leaving an unknown number wounded, police said. “The blast was huge and the initial information we are getting indicates it was a car loaded with explosives that targeted the Hodan district headquarters,” police officer Ibrahim Mohamed said. A vehicle had rammed a security checkpoint then exploded, he said. Images from the scene showed collapsed buildings — including a mosque — with rescue workers and civilians picking through the debris.
‘Twitter killer’ indicted
Takahiro Shiraishi, the so-called “Twitter killer” suspected of murdering and chopping up people he lured on social media, and storing their body parts in cooler boxes, was yesterday charged with nine counts of murder. Shiraishi, 27, has admitted to killing and butchering nine people, all but one of whom were women aged between 15 and 26. A police search of his apartment on Oct. 31 last year found nine dismembered bodies with as many as 240 bone parts stashed in coolers and tool boxes, sprinkled with cat litter in a bid to hide the evidence. Prosecutors pressed charges after five months of psychiatric examination showed Shiraishi could be held criminally responsible, the Jiji Press agency said.
Fuel protests shut cities
Nationwide protests organized by opposition parties against record high gasoline and diesel prices yesterday shut down businesses, government offices and schools in many parts of the nation, and in some places protesters blocked trains and roads and vandalized vehicles. The protests turned violent in some states. Television images showed protesters breaking car and bus windows in the Patna, the state capital of the northern state of Bihar, and protesters blocked roads with burning tires there and elsewhere, including in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat. “The Modi ‘govt’ is stealing from the people of India with excessive taxes on fuel,” the main opposition Congress party said on Twitter, posting graphics on many how prices of many commodities have risen under Modi.
Protest for Zia’s release
Thousands of opposition supporters yesterday staged protests nationwide calling for the immediate release of their leader and three-time former prime minister, Khaleda Zia, jailed early this year for graft. Zia, 73, is currently on trial in Dhaka on more corruption charges. A police official said about 4,000 members of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party joined protests outside the National Press Club in Dhaka, but opposition spokesman Fakhrul Islam said there were about 20,000 people.
Trafficking victims rescued
Police have rescued 94 victims of human trafficking, including 85 minors, from open-air goldmines near Khartoum and the city’s international airport, among other places. Interpol, which coordinated the Aug. 26 to Aug. 30 operation, yesterday said that so far 14 people, 12 of them women, have been arrested. The rescued victims came from a half-dozen countries, including Chad, Eritrea, Niger and South Sudan, underscoring the transnational aspect of human trafficking, Interpol said. Operation Sawiyan involved 200 officers, while it provided training and equipment, it said.
More detained for Gulen ties
Authorities yesterday detained 51 soldiers and nine others over alleged links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says orchestrated the failed coup in 2016 against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Istanbul police said. Those detained were among 89 suspects whose detention was ordered in an investigation launched by Istanbul prosecutors and spread over nine provinces, it said. Separately, Ankara prosecutors issued detention warrants for 13 senior officers, all with the rank of major and three of whom are on active duty, the Hurriyet newspaper said.
Crowd protests man’s death
About 2,500 people on Sunday marched in a far-right demonstration in Koethen after a man died following a fight with two Afghans, as officials pleaded for calm to avoid the anti-foreigner unrest that has shaken Chemnitz. Police and prosecutors said the 22-year-old deceased suffered acute heart failure after coming to blows with the suspects during a dispute on a playground on Saturday. The man’s death was “not directly” linked to the injuries sustained, authorities said in a statement. Reports said that he died in hospital and that he had a pre-existing heart condition. Prosecutors said that one Afghan suspect, 18, is accused of causing grievous bodily harm and that the other, 20, is charged with causing bodily harm with fatal consequences.
ELN refuses to restart talks
The National Liberation Army (ELN) yesterday said that conditions set by President Ivan Duque to restart peace talks in Havana aimed at ending its insurgency are “unacceptable.” Right-winger Duque gave the Marxist ELN a one-month deadline after his inauguration on Aug. 7 to convince him that the group is serious about laying down arms and re-entering civilian life. That cut-off point expired on Friday last week. By refusing to recognize agreements reached under Duque’s predecessor, former president Juan Manuel Santos, “and unilaterally placing unacceptable conditions, this government is ... ending the process of dialogue” aimed at reaching a peace agreement, ELN negotiators in Havana said in a statement.
Officer arrested for killing
A Dallas police officer who says she mistook her black neighbor’s apartment for her own when she fatally shot him has been arrested on a manslaughter charge. Officer Amber Guyger was off duty on Thursday last week and returning to South Side Flats, where she and 26-year-old Botham Jean had apartments, when the shooting occurred. Many questions remain about what led Guyger, who has been an officer for four years, to shoot Jean. Lawyers for Jean’s family had been calling for Guyger’s arrest since the shooting, saying that her remaining free days later showed that she was getting favorable treatment. She was arrested on Sunday and later released on bond.
Dead chef wins two Emmys
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who committed suicide in June at age 61, on Sunday posthumously earned a pair of Emmy Awards for his work on the popular CNN food-and-travel show he hosted, Parts Unknown. Bourdain was awarded one of the Emmys for outstanding writing of a nonfiction program for an episode of the series set in southern Italy that aired in November last year. He also shared a second Emmy for best informational series or special in his role as host and executive producer of Parts Unknown.
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,
The dramatic quietening of towns and cities during lockdown in Britain has changed the way the Earth moves beneath our feet, scientists said. Seismologists at the British Geological Survey (BGS) have found that their sensors are twitching less now that human activity has been curtailed, leading to a drop in the anthropogenic din that vibrates through the planet. The fall in the human hum that rings around the world means that, in theory at least, the scientists should be able to detect smaller earthquakes in the UK, and more distant tremors in Europe and in countries further afield than their equipment usually