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Thu, 22 Jun 2017
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Paris attacker swore allegiance to ISIS, had gun permit - was also on terror watch list

© Charles Platiau / Reuters
Members of the scientific police inspect a burned car on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, June 19, 2017.
The man who rammed a car into police officers in Paris had a gun permit, despite being on a terrorist watch list. He is said to have been raised in a Salafist family and had sworn allegiance to Islamic State. Four of his relatives have been detained.

The perpetrator, who died in the attack on the Champs-Elysees on Monday, has been identified as 31-year-old Adam Djaziri from the Paris suburb of Argenteuil. An assault rifle, two handguns, ammunition, as well as two gas canisters were found in his car after the attack.

Djaziri was in possession of at least nine registered weapons, including pistols and an assault rifle, an unnamed source close to the probe told AFP.

The man pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, ISIS or ISIL) in a letter to his brother-in-law, according to a source close to the probe as cited by Reuters. Djaziri has been described by media as a person raised in a Salafist family. Four of his relatives were detained by police following the attack - his father, ex-wife, brother, and sister-in-law.

Comment: See also: Paris counter-terrorism unit launch investigation into Champs-Elysees incident - Update: car contained 'number of firearms and explosives'

Heart - Black

Finsbury Park van owner's son on Facebook: "It's a shame they don't hire out tanks"

© Neil Hall / Reuters
A white van in the Finsbury Park neighbourhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017
It was shame that the van hire firm which rented out the vehicle allegedly used to kill and injure Muslim worshippers outside Finsbury Park mosque on Sunday night did not lease tanks, according to the owner's son.

Richard Gear Evans, whose father owns the South Wales-based Pontyclun hire firm, made the now-deleted post in the aftermath of the attack.

Darren Osborne, 47, who allegedly has a history of antagonism toward Muslims, remains in custody after the attack in which one person died and 11 were injured.
"It's my dad's company I don't get involved, it's a shame they don't hire out a steam rollers or tanks could have done a tidy job then," Evans said in a Facebook post, according to the Mirror.

Arrow Up

Russians overwhelmingly support Putin's policies, US poll

© Michael Klimentyev / Sputnik
Most Russians support both the internal and foreign policies of the current administration, according to a poll conducted by US company the Pew Research Center.

The report says that 87 percent of the Russian public are confident their president is making the right decisions on foreign policy, with just 12 percent believing the opposite to be true.

When US pollsters asked Russians if they considered their country's role on the international stage to have become more important over the past 10 years, 59 percent agreed with the statement. Ten percent said that Russia's positions on the international arena had weakened, while 21 percent answered that Russia's place among other nations remained unchanged.


Denmark gets "tougher" on money laundering, Bankers face more prison time

© Yves Herman / Reuters
Danish authorities are to tighten anti-money laundering laws following the recent revelations in the so-called Panama Papers. The proposal is longer prison sentences for individuals involved in financial crimes.

The Panama Papers investigation last year uncovered that around 500 banks worldwide might have aided tax evasion by helping customers create offshore companies in tax havens.

Governments have since tightened the requirements for lenders to report cross-border transactions as part of a stepped-up effort to curb money laundering.

"We will not accept this in Denmark," Business Minister Brian Mikkelsen told broadcaster TV2, after reaching an agreement with representatives of the governing coalition and the opposition.


Supreme Court overturns North Carolina law banning sex offenders from using social media

© Getty Images
The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a North Carolina law prohibiting registered sex offenders from using Facebook or other social networking sites that minors can join.

The challenge was brought by Lester Gerard Parkingham Jr., a registered sex offender in North Carolina, who faced additional charges after Durham police found a Facebook page he created under an assumed name.

The case raised questions about whether such laws prohibit sex offenders from participating in web-based forums, which have become virtual town squares, as they re-enter society.
"This case is one of the first this Court has taken to address the relationship between the First Amendment and the modern Internet," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. "As a result, the Court must exercise extreme caution before suggesting that the First Amendment provides scant protection for access to vast networks in that medium."


Belgian soldiers 'neutralize' person wearing explosive belt at Brussels Central Station - UPDATE

© Francois Lenior/Reuters
Belgian soldiers patrol outside the central train station where a suspect package was found, in Brussels, Belgium, June 19, 2016.
Belgian soldiers have "neutralized" a person wearing reportedly an explosive belt at Brussels Central Station. The news comes after the station was evacuated following reports of an explosion, according to local media sources.

Belgian police have confirmed the incident is under control. Soldiers guarding the main train station in the Belgian capital "neutralized" the suspect after a small explosion, according to local media.
"There was an accident at Central Station. There was an explosion around a person. That person was neutralized by the soldiers that were on the scene," a police spokesperson told reporters, as cited by Reuters.

"At the moment, the police are in numbers at the station and everything is under control."

Comment: A spokesperson for the Belgian Federal prosecutor confirmed there were no other casualties. He also reported the incident was a 'terrorist attack' and would not confirm whether the suspect was alive or dead.

A controlled explosion warning was issued by the Crisis Center Belgium.

Update: The suspect was a 36-year-old Moroccan from Molenbeek. The explosive device consisted of nails and gas canisters inside a bag, but it only caused a partial explosion. After the dud explosion, the man rushed to a soldier shouting "Allahu Akbar" and the soldier shot him dead.

Star of David

Council of Rabbis chairman calls for poisoning of Palestinian water supply

The foreign ministry of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Sunday, demanded the arrest of a Jewish Rabbi, who called on Israeli settlers to poison water used by Palestinians in hundreds of towns and villages across the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian national office for the defense of land and resistance of settlements warned of the dangers and consequences of such calls.

In its weekly report, it explained that Rabbi Shlomo Mlmad, the chairman of the so-called Council of Rabbis in West Bank settlements, called on settlers to poison Palestinians through their water supply, which came to light by the Israeli organization 'Breaking the Silence'.

Group member Yehuda Shaul said, according to WAFA, that the aim behind poisoning water in the West Bank is to push Palestinians out of their towns and cities in order to allow settlers to take over Palestinian lands.


'Sir, I have a firearm on me': Graphic dashcam footage of Philando Castile shooting released

© Ramsey County / YouTube
Police footage of the moment officer Jeronimo Yanez fatally shot Philando Castile has been released, days after a jury cleared the Minnesota policeman of all charges relating to the death which was livestreamed on Facebook.

Bad Guys

ISIS-linked militants storm school and take hostages in south Philippines village

© Romeo Ranoco / Reuters
Several residents have reportedly been taken hostage and used as human shields after armed terrorists stormed a village in the Cotabato province of the Philippines, according to local police.

Government troops are now engaging members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) after the terrorists partly overran the village of Malagakit, located just outside of Pigcawayan town, Chief Inspector Realan Mamon said.

Pigcawayan Mayor Eliseo Garsesa said about 200 armed men entered the Christian-Muslim village early Wednesday morning. Police earlier estimated that around 300 Islamist fighters raided the locality.


BBC pedophile exposé ignores real victims, triggers social-media firestorm

© Global Look Press
Although it is difficult to dispute the story's central message that individuals who have a sexual attraction to children 'need help,' attempting to label pedophilia as a 'sexual orientation' crossed the red line for many readers.

In a recent BBC article entitled, 'Paedophiles need help, not condemnation - I should know,' we are 'introduced' to an anonymous 60-something male who opens this teary-eyed treatise by proclaiming,
"It's a long time since I've described myself as a paedophile. Paedophilia is a disorder, a deeply distressing sexual orientation. For me, it's triggered by traumatic experiences in childhood."
Did you catch it? If you blinked you missed it. Like one of those clunky bills rammed through Congress on Christmas Eve that is 'sweetened' with all sorts of hidden 'riders,' the opening line of the article declares that pedophilia now ranks - alongside hetereosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality - as a "sexual orientation." A "distressing" one for the pedophile, no doubt, but a sexual orientation nevertheless. But that is simply wrong.