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Tue, 22 Jun 2021
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Blackbox

"Truly shocking" London attack leaves 1 dead, 2 injured

Police officers guard a cordon
© Reuters / Stefan Wermuth
Police officers guard a cordon set up around a crime scene where one man was killed in London
Two men attacked another man near a London military barracks Wednesday, in what British authorities were investigating as a possible terror act. One man is dead and two others were injured.

While details were scant, Prime Minister David Cameron called the killing "truly shocking" and said he had asked Home Secretary Theresa May to call an urgent meeting of the government's emergency committee.

A British government official who spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the investigation said the details that had emerged were indicative of a "terrorist-motivated attack."

May said she had been briefed by Britain's domestic security service, MI5, and by police on what she called a "sickening and barbaric" attack.

Britain's Ministry of Defense said it was urgently investigating reports that a serving soldier was involved in the incident.

Police said armed officers responded to reports of the assault Wednesday afternoon just a few blocks from a military training barracks in southeast London.

Commander Simon Letchford said reports indicated that one man was being assaulted by two other men, and that a number of weapons - including possibly a firearm - were used in the attack.


Attention

Stockholm erupts in wave of violence for third night

Rioters have lit fires and stoned emergency services in the suburbs of Stockholm for the third night in a row after a man was shot dead by police. Incidents were reported in at least nine suburbs of the Swedish capital and police made eight arrests. On Sunday night, more than 100 cars were set alight, Swedish media report. Police in the deprived, largely immigrant suburb of Husby shot a man dead last week after he reportedly threatened to kill them with a machete. The founder of a local youth group told Swedish media the riots were a reaction to "police brutality." Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told reporters on Tuesday that Sweden would not be intimidated by rioters. On Tuesday night, cars were torched in western and southern Stockholm, and stones were thrown at police officers and firefighters.


One area affected, Rinkeby, saw similar rioting in 2010. Kjell Lindgren of the Stockholm police told Aftonbladet newspaper that the unrest had spread from the original rioting in Husby. "It feels like people are taking the opportunity in other areas because of the attention given to Husby," he said. Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Reinfeldt said: "We've had two nights with great unrest, damage, and an intimidating atmosphere in Husby and there is a risk it will continue. We have groups of young men who think that that they can and should change society with violence. Let's be clear: this is not okay. We cannot be ruled by violence." More than 80% of Husby's 12,000 or so inhabitants are from an immigrant background, and most are from Turkey, the Middle East and Somalia. - BBC

Blackbox

WHO chief warns the world is unprepared for a massive virus outbreak?

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The world is unprepared for a massive virus outbreak, the deputy chief of the World Health Organization warned Tuesday, amid fears that H7N9 bird flu striking China could morph into a form that spreads easily among people. Keiji Fukuda told delegates at a WHO meeting that despite efforts since an outbreak of another form of avian influenza, H1N1, in 2009-10, far more contingency planning was essential. "Even though work has been done since that time, the world is not ready for a large, severe outbreak," Fukuda said. Rapid-reaction systems were crucial, given that health authorities' efforts are already hampered by lack of knowledge about such diseases, he insisted.

"When people get hit with an emerging disease, you can't just go to a book and know what to do," he said. According to the latest official data, H7N9 avian influenza has infected 130 people in China, and killed 35, since it was found in humans for the first time in March. It is one of a vast array of flu viruses carried by birds, the overwhelming majority of which pose little or no risk to humans. Experts are struggling to understand how it spread to people, amid fears that it could adapt into a form that can be transmitted easily from human to human. "Any new influenza virus that infects humans has the potential to become a global health threat," WHO chief Margaret Chan told the meeting.

Alarm Clock

Mystery illness claims the life of 2 area teens, a third is critical


A hospital spokeswoman at Texas Children's in Houston said in a written statement that a 17-year-old boy in their facility is not believed, by them, to be connected two cases in which area teens died from a mystery illness.

Comment: And this reported yesterday:
Mysterious respiratory illness strikes 7 in Alabama; 2 dead


Pistol

Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage

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Dominique Venner; Notre Dame Cathedral is evacuated by the police.
A far-right French historian shot himself in the head beside the altar of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris today apparently in protest against the legalisation of gay marriage in France.

Dominique Venner, 78, a former member of the nationalist terrorist movement, OAS, placed a pistol in his mouth and shot himself dead in front of scores of tourists inside the most visited building in France.

Mr Venner, a presenter on a Catholic-traditionalust radio station and controversial historian and essayist, posted an essay on his website earlier in the day calling for "new, spectacular and symbolic actions to shake us out of our sleep, to jolt anaesthetised minds and to reawaken memory of our origins".

2 + 2 = 4

Coronavirus deaths mount to 16 In Saudi Arabia

With the death of one more patient at a hospital in Al-Ahsa, death toll in the novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection in Saudi Arabia has mounted to 16, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said on Monday.

The patient who died on Monday was suffering from chronic heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure, in addition to renal failure, the MoH said in a statement posted on its website.

Meanwhile, one of the health workers, being treated for the infection, has recovered and left hospital, the statement said. Virologist from the World Health Organization (WHO) are making allout efforts to find out the origin of the virus and how it spread fast in the oil-rich kingdom.

Bizarro Earth

Oceanside couple who held girl as sex slave sent to prison

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© Fox5 San Diego
Inez Martinez Garcia and Marcial Garcia Hernandez were sentenced for keeping an underage relative as a sex slave, housekeeper, baby-sitter and prostitute.
An Oceanside couple are headed to prison for keeping an underage relative as a sex slave, housekeeper, baby sitter and prostitute.

Inez Martinez Garcia, 44, was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison, and her husband, Marcial Garcia Hernandez, 45, to 23 years to life. Each had pleaded guilty to multiple counts of abuse.

The two were accused of forcing the girl to clean and cook, take care of the couple's three children and have sex with Hernandez and with other men for money.

Pistol

Elderly mother fatally shoots drunk son after he tries to shoot her

An 86-year-old Florida woman shot and killed her son after he became violently drunk and shot her. William Pennypacker, 64, attacked his mother, Nancy Pennpacker, on Friday night in her Lakeland home. He punched her in the face and eventually pulled a gun on her.

William shot Nancy in the fingers, and the bullet travelled up her arm and into her right shoulder. Nancy, who was also armed at that point, fired one shot back at him, killing him.

A Polk County Sheriff's deputy heard the shots around 10:30 p.m., while patrolling the area. He saw Nancy run out of her home screaming. William was found dead inside.

Black Magic

DR Congo's witchcraft epidemic: 50,000 children accused of sorcery

Branded a Witch_1
© BBC3
Children line up to be judged by a pastor.
There are around 50,000 children being held in churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo accused of witchcraft, a BBC film team has discovered.

Branded a Witch shows Kevani Kanda exploring the secretive world of faith-based child abuse, where children are physically assaulted because a church leader believes they possess kindoki or magic powers.

The documentary explores the increase in the number of children abused and murdered by relatives in the name of driving out demons.

Kanda, who was born in the DRC, looks to establish how ancient traditions have resulted in children being singled out for abuse.

Attention

The killing of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Durrah in Gaza became the defining image of the second intifada Only Israel claims it was all a fake

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One of the most evocative and shocking episodes of the second Intifada, the shooting of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy by the Israeli army, was staged. Indeed, Mohammed al-Durrah was not even injured in the incident.

Those, at least, are the findings of an investigation by the Israeli government, published today, which has described the case as a "blood libel on the state of Israel".

The killing of Mohammed al-Durrah in Gaza was played out on television scenes across the West in September 2000, days after the start of the Palestinian uprising. The France 2 network filmed Jamal, Mohammed's father, desperately trying to shield his young son after they were caught up in a heavy gun battle between Palestinian fighters and Israeli soldiers. After 40 minutes of being pinned behind a barrel and against a wall, Mohammed's body appears to crumple, hit it seems, in the crossfire. Mohammed's death became a Palestinian rallying call in the violence that followed.

Despite Israel initially admitting that the bullets had "apparently" come from their positions, and apologising for the incident in what the report describes as the "fog of war", lobbyists have long argued that the footage was staged.