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Barcelona Death Toll Rises, Another Suspect Arrested

Barcelona Death Toll Rises, Another Suspect Arrested

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack that killed at least 14.

By Katelyn Newman , Digital Producer, Staff Writer Aug. 18, 2017, at 9:17 a.m.

Barcelona Death Toll Rises, Another Suspect Arrested
Candles and bunches of flowers placed by people rest on the ground in Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain, Friday. (AP/Francisco Seco)

Candles and bunches of flowers rest on the ground in Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain, Friday. (FRANCISCO SECO/AP)

 Police continue to search for the driver behind the vehicular attack in Barcelona that killed at least 14 and injured dozens more.

The attack on the popular tourist boulevard of Las Ramblas injured at least 80 people when a van jumped the curb and plowed through a crowd. A woman wounded in the vehicular attack Thursday succumbed to her injuries Friday, raising the death toll to 14. The Islamic State groupclaimed responsibility for the incident.

The victims of the assault came from 34 different countries, according to Catalan emergency service. The French Foreign Ministry announced in a statement Friday that 26 of the victims were French, with at least 11 in serious condition.

Hours after the Barcelona attack, police fatally shot five terrorists in Cambrils, a seaside town 70 miles south, foiling what they believe was a second vehicular attack. The suspects were wearing what appeared to be explosive belts, but later turned out to be fake. Six civilians and one police officer were also injured, according to Catalan emergency services.

Police detained a fourth suspect Friday in connection to the two attacks in Ripoll, about 66 miles north of Barcelona. They also said the driver, who fled the scene of the crime in Barcelona and whose identity is still unknown, remains at large. None of the attackers had a history of terrorism-related events, police said.

 The two attacks, the deadliest in Spain in more than a decade, are the latest in a string of incidents throughout Europe in which assailants used vehicles to harm civilians, law enforcement and soldiers.

A moment of silence was taken at noon Friday in Catalonia Square in remembrance of the victims and in rejection of the attack. Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey tweeted that the attack shows the “global battle” against terrorism.

 United to condemn the barbarism, “we will defeat terrorism,” he tweeted.

The Catalan police tweeted that they believe the attacks had been planned months in advance out of Alcanar, a coastal town about 57 miles south of Cambrils and 126 miles south of Barcelona.

Raw: Barcelona Tense After Van Hits Crowd


Canadian Pastor Returns Home After Release From North Korean Prison

Canadian Pastor Returns Home After Release From North Korean Prison

Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, who was imprisoned in North Korea for more than two years, is seen celebrating as he returned Canada in this still image captured from a video in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 12, 2017. Courtesy Light Presbyterian Church/Handout via

By Jim Finkle

TORONTO (Reuters) – A Canadian pastor who was imprisoned in North Korea for more than two years quietly returned to his home in a Toronto suburb on Saturday following a long journey on a private government jet via Japan.

Hyeon Soo Lim, formerly the senior pastor at one of Canada’s largest churches, had disappeared on a mission to North Korea in early 2015. He was sentenced to hard labor for life in December 2015 on charges of attempting to overthrow the Pyongyang regime.

News of his release surfaced on Wednesday, when North Korea’s KCNA news agency said Lim was being let go on humanitarian grounds, suggesting his health was poor.

The announcement came amid heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, though authorities have not said there is any connection between his release and efforts to defuse the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear program.

The pastor’s son James Lim said his dad was happy to be back home in Canada, stopping for coffee and a donut at Canada’s popular Tim Horton’s coffee chain on his way home from the airport.

The family asked the public to respect their privacy, allowing him to rest for a day and catch up with family before appearing in public on Sunday to attend services at his church.

James Lim said his dad was in “good health,” but noted that the family planned to arrange for extended medical attention, including checkups.

“He is doing very well, considering everything he has gone through,” he said.

The family thanked the Canadian government for helping secure his Lim’s release. They declined to provide details on negotiations with the North Koreans.

“It’s a delicate dance. There’s a lot of complexity to it,” James Lim said.

He added that getting the pastor home took on increased urgency in June, following the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who died days after being released from a North Korean prison in a coma.

The Canadian government issued a statement saying it joined Lim’s family and congregation in celebrating his homecoming.

“Canada has been actively engaged on Mr. Lim’s case at all levels, and we will continue to support him and his family now that he has returned,” the statement said.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle in Toronto; Editing by Mary Milliken and Alistair Bell)

Submarine inventor will not contest detention over missing journalist

Submarine inventor will not contest detention over missing journalist

Peter Madsen denies any role in disappearance of Kim Wall as Danish and Swedish authorities continue search.

The submarine Nautilus after it was recovered from the seabed
 The submarine Nautilus after it was recovered from the seabed. 

An inventor accused of killing a missing Swedish journalist who boarded his submarine to interview him the night before it mysteriously sank will not contest his detention but denies any part in her disappearance, his lawyer has said.

Betina Hald Engmark told Denmark’s TV2 that her client, Peter Madsen, 46, would remain in custody for up to 24 days while Danish police continue their investigation into the presumed death of Kim Wall, 30.

The search for Wall continued on Monday in both Danish and Swedish waters, with Danish military aircraft joining search-and-rescue helicopters, ships and divers. Copenhagen police are also searching on land.

“At the moment we don’t know where she is or if she’s alive,” said Ole Thiell Sörensen, of the Danish defence operations centre. “That means police and rescue workers have to look both on land and at sea.”

He told the Swedish broadcaster SVT it would be “a big job” to find a body at sea. “In most cases we work with looking for survivors and that’s hard enough. Looking for a dead person is even more difficult because you cannot use thermal cameras.”

Police refloated the self-built, 18-metre (59ft) UC3 Nautilus in Køge Bay, south of Copenhagen, where it sank in about seven metres of water on Friday morning, and towed it into harbour.

“There are no persons in the submarine, either dead or alive,” said the Copenhagen police homicide chief, Jens Moller, adding that the vessel appeared to have been scuttled deliberately and was being treated as a possible crime scene.

Wall, a freelance journalist who has written from China and the US for the Guardian and the New York Times, and who was writing a feature about the Nautilus and its owner, boarded the submarine on Thursday evening and has not been heard from since.

After her boyfriend told police that she had not returned home as originally planned, Danish authorities began searching for the vessel – the world’s largest home-built submarine when it was launched in 2008 – eventually locating it in Køge Bay, about 30 miles from the Danish capital.

Madsen, an entrepreneur, artist, inventor and aerospace engineer, was rescued by a private boat from the submarine minutes before it sank. He told police he had dropped Wall off at the mouth of Copenhagen harbour late on Thursday night, three hours after she boarded, once the interview was over.

Madsen also told reporters at the scene that the vessel had sunk after running into problems with its ballast tank, but Danish police have since said he has given them a different version of events – although they would not say what.

He has been charged with negligent manslaughter “for having killed in an unknown way and in an unknown place Kim Isabell Frerika Wall of Swedensometime after Thursday 5pm”, according to the public prosecutor, Louise Pedersen.

Wall, who lives between New York and Beijing and has also written for Vice and the South China Morning Post, specialises in stories about “identity, gender, pop-culture, social justice, foreign policy and the undercurrents of rebellion”, according to her LinkedIn page.

Madsen told TV2 after his rescue that it had taken “about 30 seconds for Nautilus to sink, and I couldn’t close any hatches or anything. But I guess that was pretty good because otherwise I still would have been down there.”

Kristian Isbak, who responded to the navy’s call to help locate the submarine on Friday, said he had seen Madsen in his trademark military fatigues in the submarine’s tower while it was still afloat.

“He then climbed down inside the submarine and there was then some kind of air flow coming up and the submarine started to sink,” Isbak said. “He came up again and stayed in the tower until water came into it,” then swam to a nearby boat as the submarine sank.

Iranian blogger says she feels ‘safe’ after reaching Israel

WORLD

Iranian blogger says she feels ‘safe’ after reaching Israel

An Iranian blogger who wrote for an Israeli news website and who left her country for life in exile says she feels “safe now” after finally reaching Israel.

Neda Amin spoke at a press conference with David Horovitz, editor of the Times Of Israel, where her work has appeared. She arrived in Israel on Thursday.

The 32-year-old has been living in Turkey since 2014.

She says she left Iran after being threatened with prison for writing material critical of the government in Tehran. Iran is a bitter enemy of Israel.

Amin says Turkish authorities recently told her she would be deported to Iran and that she was in “such danger.”

Horovitz says he felt an obligation to Amin and that he persuaded Israeli authorities to help bring her to Israel.

North Korea’s nuclear threat at a ‘new stage’, warns Japan

North Korea’s nuclear threat at a ‘new stage’, warns Japan

Defense paper said it was possible that the regime was able to miniaturise a nuclear warhead to load it on to a missile

North Korea launched a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile, ICBM, in July.
 

Japan has warned that the threat from North Korean nuclear weapons has reached a “new stage” now that it appears to have developed an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US mainland.

In its defence white paper, Japan’s government said Pyongyang’s weapons programme had “advanced considerably,” adding that it was possible that the regime had acquired the ability to miniaturise nuclear warheads.

“North Korea’s development of ballistic missiles and its nuclear programme are becoming increasingly real and imminent problems for the Asia-Pacific region including Japan, as well as the rest of the world,” said the report, which ran to more than 500 pages.

Japan’s defence ministry said that security threats had reached a new stage after the North conducted two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile launches last year.

The report went on to speculate that North Korea had improved its technological expertise to the point where it could theoretically marry a nuclear warhead with a missile.

“It is conceivable that North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturisation of nuclear weapons into warheads and has acquired nuclear warheads,” the ministry said.

Some experts believe the North has already miniaturised its nuclear capability, while others believe the regime is still several years away from being able to do so. The Japanese defence ministry report was vague.

Scott LaFoy, a Washington-based imagery analyst focusing on ballistic missile and space technologies, said the report reflected “an increasing belief that North Korea either has or is very close to having a nuclear warhead”.

Based on data and projections by experts at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, LaFoy told the Guardian: “I lean towards believing North Korea is either in possession of a device, or the potential sixth nuclear test will be the practical test of said device.

There is growing concern in Japan over the increasing frequency of North Korean missile tests since Kim Jong-un became leader in late 2011.

“North Korea’s missiles represent a deepening threat. That, along with China’s continued threatening behaviour in the East China Sea and South China Sea, is a major concern for Japan,” the country’s defence minister, Itsunori Onodera, told reporters in Tokyo.

Japan has held several evacuation drills in recent months in preparation for a North Korean missile attack, while Onodera is among those who have called for the country to acquire the ability to strike North Korean bases if it is attacked.

That would require a drastic change in Japan’s defence posture to allow it to use offensive weapons, such as bombers and cruise missiles capable of striking targets overseas – a move that would inevitably prompt a debate on whether the country was honouring the defensive posture required by its “pacifist” constitution.

Onodera said this year: “To properly defend Japan we have to be able to attack the bases from where North Korean missiles are launched. This is to prevent a second or third attack. These are not pre-emptive strikes, but counterattacks that fall within the scope of self-defence.”

Although North Korea’s goal has always been to build weapons capable of striking the US mainland, its advances in missile technology have boosted the Japanese government’s case for increased defence spending.

Japan’s self-defence forces have dramatically increased their involvement in joint exercises with the US, and the defence ministry already plans to upgrade its ship-to-air and mobile missile defence capabilities.

The white paper, approved by Japan’s cabinet on Tuesday morning, was published less than two weeks after North Korea test-fired its second ICBM, which US experts have said may be able to reach most of the continental United States.

“Since last year, when [North Korea] forcibly implemented two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile launches, the security threats have entered a new stage,” the report said.

That missile was fired at an extremely high angle and landed about 120 miles (200km) off Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido.

The report was unclear, however, on whether North Korea had acquired the technological knowhow to fire a nuclear-tipped missile that would be able to re-enter earth’s atmosphere intact, according to Kyodo news.

The report also cited Pyongyang’s attempts to improve its ability to conduct a surprise attack using solid-fuel missiles, which can be prepared for launch in less time than liquid-fuelled rockets and are therefore harder to detect.

“The risk that North Korea will deploy nuclear-tipped missiles covering Japanese territory will grow as time passes,” it warned.

China, meanwhile, has promised to enforce UN sanctions against North Korea agreed at the weekend, even though it claims it has the most to lose from weakening its close trade links with Pyongyang.

Beijing has been criticised for failing to enforce previous sanctions packages, but China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said the measures were necessary to demonstrate international opposition to North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programmes.

“Owing to China’s traditional economic ties with North Korea, it will mainly be China paying the price for implementing the resolution,” a Chinese foreign ministry statement quoted Wang as saying at a regional security forum in Manila on Monday.

“But in order to protect the international non-proliferation system and regional peace and stability, China will … properly implement the entire contents of the relevant resolution.”

North Korea vows to retaliate against US over sanction

North Korea vows to retaliate against US over sanction

Media captionWhy does North Korea want nukes?

North Korea has vowed to retaliate and make “the US pay a price” for drafting fresh UN sanctions over its banned nuclear weapons programme.

The sanctions, which were unanimously passed by the UN on Saturday, were a “violent violation of our sovereignty,” the official KCNA news agency said.

Separately, South Korea says the North has rejected an offer to restart talks, dismissing it as insincere.

The sanctions will aim to reduce North Korea’s export revenues by a third.

The UN Security Council decision followed repeated missile tests by the North which have escalated tensions on the peninsula.

In its first major response on Monday, North Korea insisted that it would continue to develop its controversial nuclear weapons programme.

The state-run KCNA news agency said Pyongyang would “not put our self-defensive nuclear deterrent on the negotiating table” while it faces threats from the US.

It threatened to make the US “pay the price for its crime… thousands of times,” referring to America’s role in drafting the UN sanctions resolution.

Speaking to reporters at a regional forum in the Philippine capital, Manila, North Korean spokesman Bang Kwang Hyuk said: “The worsening situation on the Korean peninsula, as well as the nuclear issues, were caused by the United States.

“We affirm that we’ll never place our nuclear and ballistic missiles programme on the negotiating table, and won’t budge an inch on strengthening nuclear armament.”

The remarks come after reports emerged that the North and South Korean foreign ministers had met briefly on Sunday evening on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Manila.

South Korean media reported that its Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, shook hands with her North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong Ho, in a brief and unarranged meeting at an official dinner event.

A South Korean official told the BBC that Mr Ri had dismissed Ms Kang’s offer of talks as “insincere”.

Media captionJapanese people practising nuclear attack drills

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Ms Kang as saying that Mr Ri’s rejection of the talks proposal appeared to be connected to the new sanctions.

“I told him that [the two offers for talks] are an urgent matter that should be carried out immediately with any political agenda put aside and asked him to proactively react,” she was quoted as saying.

The foreign minister of China, which is Pyongyang’s closest ally, told journalists on Monday: “My feeling is that the North did not entirely reject the positive proposals raised by the South.”

Wang Yi added that China also supported the South’s initiatives, and was “100%” committed to enforcing the latest round of UN sanctions.

line break

What are the new sanctions?

North Korean labourers work beside the Yalu River at the North Korean town of Sinuiju on February 8, 2013 which is close to the Chinese city of Dandong. Piles of coal are seen.Image copyrightAFP
  • Importing coal, seafood, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore from North Korea is banned
  • Countries cannot receive new North Korean workers
  • No new joint ventures with North Korean entities or individuals
  • No new investment in existing joint ventures
  • More individuals targeted with travel bans and assets freezes
  • Member states to report to the UN Security Council within 90 days on how they have implemented resolution
line break

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also at the Asean forum, where he spoke about North Korea.

Noting Russia and China’s participation in the unanimous vote, he told journalists it was clear there was now “no daylight among the international community” on their desire for North Korea to stop its tests.

“The best signal that North Korea can give us [is] that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” he added.

Russia and China have previously differed with others on how to handle Pyongyang, but in recent months have joined calls for North Korea to stop its missile tests – while also urging the US and South Korea to halt military drills, and withdraw an anti-missile system from the South.

Media captionNorth Korea’s second intercontinental missile launched last month was “seen from Japan”

On Monday, US President Donald Trump spoke to his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in over the phone about relations on the Korean peninsula.

They agreed that North Korea “poses a grave and growing direct threat” and the two leaders were committed to fully implementing the latest round of UN sanctions, the White House said in a statement.

Gulag grave hunter unearths uncomfortable truths in Russia

Gulag grave hunter unearths uncomfortable truths in Russia

Supporters of Yury Dmitriyev say he is being held as a political prisoner by a state that would rather forget Soviet repression

Yury Dmitriyev
 Yury Dmitriyev has dedicated much of three decades to helping recover victims of Soviet repressions. Photograph: Sofia Pankevich

The pine trees creak and rustle ominously beneath even the faintest breeze, as if the vast forest between Lake Onega and the Finnish border remains reluctant to give up its dark secrets.

The secret police brought 6,241 gulag prisoners to these woods during Joseph Stalin’s Great Terror in 1937-8, put them face-down in pits dug in the sandy soil, and shot them in the back of the head with a revolver. As their remains decayed, the earth above each mass grave sank into the ground.

It was these pockmarks in the forest floor that helped Yury Dmitriyev and other members of Memorial, Russia’s oldest human rights organisation, find this site at Sandormokh in 1997. It is one of the largest mass graves in the former Soviet Union.

With Memorial, the 61-year-old gulag grave hunter from nearby Petrozavodsk has dedicated much of three decades to the effort to return the victims of Soviet repressions from “state-sponsored oblivion”, publishing several books of names, dates and locations of executions since the discovery.

“For our government to become … accountable, we need to educate the people,” Dmitriyev said of his efforts to uncover details of Soviet repression.

But not everyone wants to remember this forgotten history, especially amid Russia’s current patriotic fervour. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said in June that “excessive demonisation” of Stalin has been a “means of attacking the Soviet Union and Russia”, and several branches of Memorial have been declared “foreign agents” in recent years.

For the first time in two decades Dmitriyev will miss the annual day of remembrance at Sandormokh on 5 August. Arrested in December and charged with taking indecent photographs of his 12-year-old adopted daughter, which he denies, he is being held in custody during the ongoing trial. He faces 15 years in prison if convicted.

A memorial pinned to a tree at the woodland site in Sandormokh.
 A memorial pinned to a tree at the woodland site in Sandormokh. Photograph: Tomasz Kizny

An expert in sexual disorders has said the photographs are not pornographic, and Memorial and others argue that Dmitriyev is a political prisoner hounded for exposing a side of history that complicates the Kremlin’s glorification of the Soviet past.

He is supported by his adult daughter, who said he took the photographs to document the child’s improving health in case social services attempted to remove her. The girl had been malnourished when Dmitriyev and his wife took her in, age three, and according to Dmitriyev’s lawyer, the photographs were stored in a folder called “child’s health”. Each had a note about her height, weight and general health and many were taken ahead of social worker visits.

More than 30,000 people have signed an online petition calling to “restore legality and justice” in his case. Meanwhile, state media have run smear piecespainting Dmitriyev as a paedophile and Memorial as anti-government subversives.

“Like in the period of the Great Terror, when political reprisals, murders, extrajudicial executions became the norm of Soviet life, so today persecution, arrests, beatings at rallies, the closing of independent organisations … have become the norm of life in Russia,” said Irina Flige, the director of St Petersburg Memorial, who discovered Sandormokh with Dmitriyev.

“The majority … thinks that the regime can do anything with an individual for the sake of its own interests.”

Located near the Solovetsky islands, the birthplace of the gulag, the Karelia region in north-west Russia is where tens of thousands of prisoners were shot or died digging the infamous White Sea canal for Stalin’s first five-year plan. As an aide to a regional official, Dmitriyev first began searching for their graves after being summoned to deal with remains uncovered by an excavator at a military base in 1988.

Soon he began trying to identify victims of the mass executions, which were carried out covertly. During the brief period when secret police archives were opened up in the 1990s, Dmitriyev managed to read thousands of execution orders into his tape recorder. He could then try to match each group of skeletons he found to a specific order.

It was Flige’s long search for the disappeared “Solovetsky etape”, a group of 1,111 prisoners including many leading political, cultural and religious figures from across the Soviet Union, that led them to Sandormokh. Following hints from the testimony of the executioner Mikhail Matveyev, Flige, Dmitriyev and Veniamin Iofe discovered the telltale pockmarks in the woods on the road to the White Sea canal and began digging.

“It wasn’t just bones but the bones of people I knew, whose children I knew,” Flige recalled.

Today, wooden posts stretch hundreds of yards back into the woods at Sandormokh with photographs and names of victims.

Yury Dmitriyev.
 Yury Dmitriyev. Photograph: Tomasz Kizny

The local authorities initially backed the memorial, helping build an access road and a chapel and sending representatives to the day of remembrance on 5 August. But last year, for the first time, no government or church officials attended.

The political temperature at Sandormokh has been rising since at least 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea. The Ukrainian delegation, typically the largest, skipped the ceremony that year, and in a speech Dmitriyev condemned Russia’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

He also suggested the Russian government was failing to fully acknowledge its predecessor’s crimes, a controversial stance amid the continuing surge of patriotism and Soviet nostalgia. Stalin monuments have popped up in several towns across the country, and the late dictator topped a survey in June for most “outstanding” person of all time. Last summer, state media began reporting the unfounded claim that Sandormokh actually holds Soviet soldiers killed by the Finns.

In November state television accused Memorial of helping “those who aim to destroy the Russian state” after it published information on 40,000 Soviet secret police officials and Dmitriyev reportedly received angry phone calls about his own participation in the project.

Dmitriyev was unexpectedly arrested the next month after an anonymous source tipped police off that nude photographs of his adopted daughter Natasha were stored on his computer.

Wooden posts at Sandormokh with photographs and names of victims
 Wooden posts stretch hundreds of yards back into the woods at Sandormokh with photographs and names of victims. Photograph: Tomasz Kizny

Dmitriyev’s adult daughter, Yekaterina Klodt, told the Guardian that her father, who had always obsessively documented human remains with photographs and measurements, had taken the shots to show Natasha was healthy in his care. Adopted himself as a child, Dmitriyev had trouble receiving permission to adopt her from an orphanage in 2009, and he wanted to document that the underweight child was regaining her health, Klodt said. He also grew worried after one of her teachers raised a furore over ink stains on the child’s skin she mistook for bruises.

Lev Shcheglov, the president of the National Institute of Sexology in Moscow, testified at the trial that the photographs could not be considered pornographic or abusive. The prosecution is pushing ahead with the case, which also includes charges of “perverted acts” and illegal possession of a firearm, namely the barrel of a 60-year-old hunting rifle Dmitriyev found, according to his lawyer.

Dmitriyev’s real crime, his supporters believe, is his criticism of the government and work with activists from geopolitical foes including Poland and Ukraine to commemorate their countrymen at Sandormokh.

“Russia doesn’t need this now,” said Anna Yarovaya, a journalist for news site 7×7. “We’re searching for enemies everywhere, including abroad, but for him, everyone was a friend.”

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UK court increases sentence for surgeon who maimed patients

WORLD

UK court increases sentence for surgeon who maimed patients

Britain’s appeals court has increased to 20 years the prison sentence of a surgeon convicted of performing unnecessary operations, leaving scores of patients maimed and some in constant pain.

Ian Paterson falsely told patients they had cancer and performed operations including mastectomies. He was convicted of crimes against 10 patients in May and sentenced to 15 years. Prosecutors believe there were many more victims.

The government challenged the sentence, and three appeals judges agreed Thursday that it was “unduly lenient.”

One of the judges, Heather Hallet, said “greed, self-aggrandizement, power” and other possible motives “do not come close to explaining how a doctor can falsely tell a patient he or she has cancer when they have not.”

She said the victims “must feel no sentence could properly reflect their suffering.”

Nashville mayor’s son dies of apparent overdose

Nashville mayor’s son dies of apparent overdose

Megan Barry with son Max in 2015
Image captionMegan Barry describes her only child, Max, as “a kind soul full of life”

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has said her 22-year-old son died of what appeared to be a drug overdose, according to a family statement.

Max Barry “suffered from an overdose and passed away” in Denver on Saturday, said Ms Barry and her husband, Bruce.

The circumstances surrounding his death, including what substance he overdosed on, were not clear.

Max Barry had recently graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, in June.

He died in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, where he moved after graduation, according to the Tennessean newspaper.

“Early this morning, we received news that no parents should ever have to hear,” the couple said in a statement on Sunday.

This undated photo provided by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry shows her and her son, Max, at a young age.Image copyrightFACEBOOK/MEGAN BARRY

“We cannot begin to describe the pain and heartbreak that comes with losing our only child. Our son was a kind soul full of life and love for his family and friends,” the statement continued.

Max Barry is the only child of Mrs Barry and her husband, a professor at Vanderbilt University

“Our hearts break for Mayor Megan Barry,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted. “Please keep her family in your thoughts.”

Congressman Jim Cooper called it a “terrible tragedy that no family should have to suffer”.

“My heart goes out to Megan and Bruce. They are such wonderful people,” he told the Tennessean.

More than half a million people in the US died from drug overdoses between 2000 and 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many of those deaths involved overdosing on an opioid, a type of drug used to relieve pain that has ravaged parts of the US.

Mrs Barry was sworn in as Nashville’s first female mayor in 2015.


Man killed wife on cruise ship for ‘laughing’ at him

Man killed wife on cruise ship for ‘laughing’ at him

Emerald Princess cruise ship
Image captionThe couple were travelling on the Emerald Princess cruise ship (file picture)

A man suspected of killing his wife while on a cruise ship in the US state of Alaska did so because “she would not stop laughing” at him, a witness says.

Kenneth Manzanares has been charged with the murder of his 39-year-old wife, whose body was found with severe head wounds in their cabin.

He was detained after security agents found blood on his hands and clothes, court documents said.

Mr Manzanares’ court-appointed public defender has not commented.

The victim has been identified by US media as Kristy Manzanares, from Utah.

A witness who entered the couple’s cabin before the security agents said he saw the 39-year-old suspect dragging the victim’s body to the balcony, the documents said.

The witness then grabbed the woman’s ankles and pulled her back in.

When he asked Mr Manzanares what had happened, the man allegedly said: “She would not stop laughing at me.”

Later, during a search by FBI agents, the suspect said, according to the documents: “My life is over.”

The incident happened on Tuesday night on the Emerald Princess cruise ship, operated by Princess Cruises. It had departed with some 3,400 passengers from Seattle on Sunday for a week-long trip.

Kristy Manzanares was described by her employer, Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, as being a “dedicated and loving mother who juggled her business schedule to make her children a top priority.”

The FBI is investigating the case because it occurred in US waters. A spokesman said other family members were onboard the ship on the same trip, but details about them have not been released.

Mr Manzanares made his first appearance in a federal court in Anchorage via video link from Juneau, where he was being held. A hearing has been scheduled for 10 August.

The Latest: Dog-Walker Saw Chainsaw Suspect in Swiss Woods

The Latest: Dog-Walker Saw Chainsaw Suspect in Swiss Woods

A woman who walks her dog in the woods just south of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen says she has seen the suspect in Monday’s chainsaw attack several times in the last few weeks.

The Associated Press

The police shut down the old town of Schaffhausen in Switzerland, while they search for an unknown man who attacked people, on Monday, July 24, 2017. Swiss police say five people have been hospitalized, two of them with serious injuries, following the apparent attack in the northern city of Schaffhausen. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on an attack in the northern Swiss city of Schaffhausen (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

A woman who walks her dog in the woods just south of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen says she has seen the suspect in Monday’s chainsaw attack several times in the last few weeks.

Therese Karrer, who lives in the small village of Uhwiesen, said Monday: “I talked to him a few times and walked by his car every day with our dog.”

Karrer said suspect Franz Wrousis showed up three or four weeks ago in the forest. He chatted with her once when he was having breakfast. She says “he may have been a little strange, but he wasn’t unfriendly — I never felt threatened.”

Swiss police, who are still hunting for Wrousis, described him as aggressive and unstable. They say he wounded five people in a Swiss insurance office Monday in Schaffhausen.

___

4:15 p.m.

Swiss authorities have identified the suspected perpetrator of the chainsaw attack in Schaffhausen as a 51-year-old man who has two previous convictions for contraventions of weapons laws.

Police official Ravi Landolt identified the man as Franz Wrousis on Wednesday. Prosecutor Peter Sticher said the man had no fixed address but previously had been registered himself as living in the southeastern Swiss canton (state) of Graubuenden.

Landolt says Wrousis has two previous convictions, dating back to 2014 and 2016, for contraventions of weapons laws. He didn’t elaborate.

Wrousis is on the run. Five people were wounded in the attack, two of them seriously. ___

2:30 p.m.

The Swiss newspaper Blick is quoting an insurance company as saying that two of its employees in the northern city of Schaffhausen had to be taken to a hospital after an attack by a man wielding a chainsaw.

Insurer CSS spokeswoman Christina Wettstein told Blick the two were undergoing medical operations after the Monday morning attack and she doesn’t know how they are doing.

She says it’s not clear who the other three wounded people are and the company is checking to see if they customers.

Swiss police are hunting for the man who wounded five people in the city on the border with Germany and have sealed off the city’s Old Town area. They say the attack was “not a terrorist act.”

___

1:30 p.m.

Police say that a man who wounded several people in the northern city of Schaffhausen was armed with a chainsaw.

Speaking shortly after the Monday morning attack, they say they’ve issued a description of the man, who is on the run. They say five people were taken to hospitals, two with serious injuries, following the attack on Monday morning.

They say they have now identified the suspect, adding that he is about 1 meter 90 centimeters (6.2 feet) tall, bald and with an unkempt appearance. He’s believed to be driving a Volkswagen vehicle with Swiss plates. Police say that the attack “is not a terrorist act.”

___

1:10 p.m.

Swiss police say five people have been hospitalized, two of them with serious injuries, following an apparent attack in the northern city of Schaffhausen. Authorities are searching for a man.

Police spokeswoman Cindy Beer told SRF television that police were alerted at 10.39 a.m. Monday (0839 GMT) to the incident. She said “we can’t say exactly what happened at this point.”

She added: “We just know that a person wounded several people.” The man’s whereabouts are currently unknown.

Beer said police can’t say with certainty what implement the man used to wound the others.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Swiss chainsaw attack: Images from scene
AFP

Catholic priest killed by ISIS remembered in memorial marking year since attack

Catholic priest killed by ISIS remembered in memorial marking year since attack

An emotionally-charged mass Wednesday — attended by French President Emmanuel Macron — marked one year since the brutal murder of a Catholic priest whose throat was slit by two 19-year-old ISIS terrorists.

The ceremony took place outside the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray church, inside of which the men killed Father Jacques Hamel, 85, as he celebrated morning Mass last year.

“Hamel’s smile has become a reminder of resistance in the face of bigotry,” Macron said.

Rouen Archbishop Dominique Lebrun, who led the service, said “though he is dead, Father Jacques Hamel is still alive…hate has not triumphed, and it will never triumph.”

The mayor of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Joaquim Moise, spoke of the horror that the two jihadis brought to the sleepy Normandy town.

“A year ago, the population of Saint-Etienne was thrown into the whirl of emotions,” said the mayor from outside the church.

“The initial disbelief was followed by fear then mixed with incomprehension, sorrow, disgust. In a horrific act, Jacques Hamel’s life was taken away.”

Following the ceremony, local dignitaries unveiled a 2-meter metal memorial tribute to the slain priest with writings from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“This memorial is a symbol of peace and brotherhood,” Moise said.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack last July, in which two nuns and an elderly couple were held hostage before the assailants slashed the priest’s throat and seriously wounded another man.

One of the nuns slipped away and alerted authorities, and police shot and killed the attackers as they left the church. The attack was one of several ISIS-claimed assaults targeting France over the past two years.

The church reopened in October, with a special cleansing ritual and call for tolerance across religions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Trump boy scout Jamboree speech angers parents

Trump boy scout Jamboree speech angers parents

Media captionDonald Trump delivered a speech to remember to the Boy Scouts of America

Parents have expressed anger after President Donald Trump delivered a highly politicised speech to tens of thousands of boy scouts.

Mr Trump started by saying: “Who the hell wants to speak about politics?”

But his speech to the Jamboree in West Virginia railed against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the “cesspool” of politics, drawing whoops and cheers.

One parent wrote: “Done with scouts after you felt the need to have my kid listen to a liar stroke his ego.”

The Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America is held every four years and drew about 35,000 scouts from the ages of 12 to 18 to the latest event, held in Beaver, West Virginia, on Monday evening.

Media captionWhat made Trump roll his eyes?

The Jamboree had issued a warning on its blog about being respectful.

It read: “Chants of certain phrases heard during the campaign (e.g. ‘build the wall’, ‘lock her up’) are considered divisive by many members of our audience, and may cause unnecessary friction.”

But in a rambling 35-minute speech, Mr Trump whipped up a response of boos, cheers, chants and jeers as he lambasted fake news, Hillary Clinton’s election campaign and President Obama’s failure to address a Jamboree in person.

Audience at the JamboreeImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe whoops and hollers ran contrary to some parents’ views of boy scout values

Responding to the criticism of the speech, the Boy Scouts of America insisted it was “wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy”.

It said the invitation to Mr Trump was a “long-standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies”.

But the Boy Scouts of America Facebook page carried a number of angry posts.

Jude Nevans Cleaver wrote: “I am the proud mother of a former scout who was sheltered from that pack of lies speech at the Jamboree. Done with scouts after you felt the need to have my kid listen to a liar stroke his ego on our time.”

Debbie S. Milligan said: “Wow, this is what you are teaching the Boy Scouts? To be disrespectful to a Past President. One that had been a Boy Scout, unlike the current President. Completely disrespectful!”

On Instagram, Pete Souza, the former chief official White House photographer, posted a picture of President Barack Obama meeting a scout.

“I can assure you, POTUS [president of the United States] was not telling this Cub Scout and the Boy Scouts who followed about his electoral college victory,” Mr Souza wrote.

Many parents, lobbyists and politicians took to social media to cite the 107-year-old organisation’s values, and to suggest Mr Trump had failed them.

Lobbyist for women’s and LGBT rights Amy Siskind tweeted: “If the Boy Scouts organization has any decency, they’ll come out with a statement tonight denouncing Trump, and giving instructions for all troop leaders to speak to these boys about what they just heard and why it was wrong.”

Five injured in chainsaw attack in Swiss town

Five injured in chainsaw attack in Swiss town

Old town of Schaffhausen has been sealed off as police search for perpetrator of the attack

Police vehicles in the old town of Schaffhausen as officers search for an unidentified man.
 Police vehicles in the old town of Schaffhausen as officers search for an unidentified man. Photograph: Ennio Leanza/EPA

Five people have been injured, two of them seriously, when a man carrying a chainsaw stormed an office building in the Swiss town of Schaffhausen on Monday morning.

The old town of Switzerland’s northernmost city has been sealed off as police continue to search for the perpetrator.

Officials told the Swiss news portal 20 Minuten that the incident was not being treated as a terrorist attack.

According to the Swiss newspaper Blick, the male suspect was described as approximately 1.9m tall male, bald and of “unkempt appearance”, driving a white Volkswagen Caddy vehicle with a number plate from the canton of Graubünden.

Earlier in the day the owner of a shop in the area told Blick that a man with a chainsaw was walking the streets, and that pedestrians and residents had been asked to leave shops and apartments.

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Vladimir Putin: ‘I may not leave Russian presidency’

Vladimir Putin: ‘I may not leave Russian presidency’

A question-and-answer session at a Sochi school was designed to make Putin seem youth-friendly after recent youth demonstrations

Vladimir Putin
 Vladimir Putin agreed to have his picture taken with a synchronised skating team. Photograph: Alexei Nikolsky/Tass

Asked what he plans to do when he leaves the presidency, Vladimir Putin paused and smiled. “But I haven’t decided yet if I will leave the presidency,” the Russian leader replied, to laughter and applause from an audience made up almost entirely of Russians who were born after he first became president in 2000.

A month after thousands of young Russians took to the streets to protest against corruption among the Kremlin elite, Putin held a set-piece discussion event on Friday with hundreds of children, in an apparent attempt to portray himself as a youth-friendly president.

Presidential elections will take place next March and Putin is widely expected to stand and win another six-year term. An opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, who organised the recent round of protests, has said he would like to stand but his name is unlikely to be allowed on the ballot paper.

Putin spent three hours speaking with the assembled children, in a session broadcast live on Russian television. Those present appeared to have been screened to ensure there would be no hostile questions.

The discussion took place at Sirius, a school in Sochi for gifted children, which Putin opened several years ago. The tone of the discussion was set by the first question, when Putin was thanked for backing the school and for giving opportunities to so many children. “I can also tell you that I even thought up the name: Sirius,” said Putin, to prolonged applause.

Vladimir Putin at a school
Pinterest
 Vladimir Putin visits the Sirius education centre for gifted children. Photograph: Alexei Nikolsky/Tass

Sitting in an open-necked white shirt, with hundreds of schoolchildren arranged in circles around him, Putin took questions from those present and at times picked out cards with pre-written questions on them in a game-show-style format.

Unlike Putin’s press conferences and phone-ins with the nation, which usually vary across a range of topics from foreign policy to the minutiae of regional problems, his discussion with the children was divided between talk about their own achievements in sport, music and science, and questions about Putin’s personal life and preferences.

“I like chatting with my friends, reading historical books, listening to music and doing sport,” said Putin when asked what he does in his spare time. At times, Putin was in philosophical mood, answering questions about the three values that are most important to him in life (“love, freedom and life itself”) and when asked what his childhood dream was, he declined to say but dispensed some life advice: “You know, dreams are things that change over time. You should instead be happy that you have a dream and you should make strides towards it.”

Asked whether he used the internet, Putin said almost never but said the way people use nicknames and fake identities online was quite similar to how he had adopted false identities during his work for the KGB.

There was very little discussion of politics and no mention of Navalny’s investigations into corruption among Putin’s inner circle, which were the motivation for the recent protests. The one nod to the recent events was a softball question asking what Putin thought of opposition politicians. The president, who has never uttered Navalny’s name in public, said merely that in Ukraine people had used anti-corruption slogans to get into power and now the country was even more corrupt.

The discussion quickly moved on, with a synchronised skating team telling Putin it was their dream to have a photograph with him on ice: Putin said he would be happy to oblige.

Major foreign policy questions were also absent from the discussion and there was no talk of the alleged Russian interference in the US elections or Putin’s recent meeting with Donald Trump at the G20 summit.

Indeed, the only American mentioned during the long discussion was Oliver Stone, the film director who made a four-hour documentary about the Russian president, which was criticised in some quarters for being too soft on the president. Putin said he really liked the “extraordinary” Stone, though admitted he had fallen asleep while trying to watch the film.

The Russian spies living next door

The Russian spies living next door

Program note: CNN’s “Declassified” reveals the story of Russia’s secret network of deep-cover spies living in the United States on Saturday July 22, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

(CNN)For unsuspecting residents of a suburban Montclair, New Jersey, neighborhood, it seemed too crazy to be believed: their quiet, unassuming neighbors had turned out to be Russian spies.

The couple, known as Richard and Cynthia Murphy, had appeared to be part of a typical American family, living in a beige, two-story colonial-style home with their two young daughters at 31 Marquette Road.
Cynthia’s business card said she worked as a financial planner at an accounting company in nearby Manhattan. Richard told neighbors he was a stay-at-home dad raising Lisa, age nine, and her 11-year-old sister, Kate.
The shocking truth emerged when the FBI raided the house in 2010: Richard and Cynthia’s real names were Vladimir and Lydia Guryev.
“You could have told me they were Martians from space and I would have been less surprised,” said Elizabeth Lapin, a poetry professor who still lives down the street from the home now known as “the spy house.”
The Guryevs had been gathering information since the 1990s for Russia’s SVR, which the FBI describes as the modern equivalent of the KGB. The KGB, if you remember, was the widely feared national security agency of the now-defunct Soviet Union, tasked during the Cold War with running a domestic secret police force and operating a network of spies throughout the world.
On June 27, 2010, the FBI arrested the Guryevs along with eight other alleged Russian spies in Manhattan, Yonkers, Boston and northern Virginia. The announcement triggered headlines reminiscent of the Cold War, and even inspired the creation of FX’s 1980s-era spy drama “The Americans.”
But while the deep-cover Russian spies on “The Americans” “do all sorts of reckless, wild things,” said neighbor Virginia Bailey, that wasn’t the impression she got from the Guryevs.
“By all accounts,” Bailey told CNN, “these neighbors were neither reckless nor wild.”
This is what it was really like to live next door to a Russian spy, according to various Montclair residents who spoke to CNN.

Hiding in plain sight

Looking back, neighbors say the Guryevs’ “spy house” was a perfect place to hide in plain sight. Manhattan was just 30 minutes away by shuttle bus. And the house property backed up against a 21-acre wildlife preserve where meetings with agents and exchanges of information could easily be hidden from prying eyes.
The family wasn’t overly social — but they weren’t exactly hiding either. Neighbors say they sometimes attended summer neighborhood block parties.
Before the raid, Bailey and her daughter, Jessie Gugig, remember seeing their neighbor “Cynthia” walking her dog many mornings down Marquette Road. Although they never stopped to have a conversation, Bailey remembered her as being “very attractive and very well put together. She always dressed very nicely.”
Some neighbors said the couple spoke with accents, but Lapin said she never heard one.
“The girls built a lemonade stand one summer,” Lapin said. “That was such an American thing.”
Lapin said she had a “premonition” that “something strange” was going on long before the raid. A few months before, she noticed unusual, prolonged construction under the neighborhood streets. The Friday before the raid, she said a police car had been parked in front of her house.
But espionage? It never occurred to her, Lapin said.

How they got caught

The FBI and CIA first learned about the collection of deep-cover SVR spies in the United States in the early 2000s. They were living as so-called “illegals,” meaning they had no diplomatic protection.
Deep-cover Russian spies explained

Deep-cover Russian spies explained 01:35
US authorities secretly surveilled all the spies for years, bugging the Guryevs’ house and even secretly searching it when they weren’t around. The FBI told CNN’s original series “Declassifed” that the Guryevs tried so hard to blend into American society that they didn’t even speak Russian inside their own home.
Eventually, the United States cracked a secret code the spies used to communicate with Moscow, allowing the FBI to learn more about the Guryevs’ comings and goings. In 2009, the FBI shot video of a meeting between Vladimir and a Russian government official. Authorities decided it was time to arrest the spy ring.
Russian deep-cover spy caught on camera

Russian deep-cover spy caught on camera 00:55
Jessie Gugig remembers being a 15-year-old experiencing the shock of watching FBI vans stop at the Guryevs’ home, just a stone’s throw from her own residence.
“Eventually another car pulled up and guys in suits with earpieces showed up with some papers that must have been a warrant,” Gugig, now a 22-year-old law student, recalled. Agents suddenly poured into the home, turning on the lights and searching it from top to bottom.
“The house got lit up like it was Christmas,” she said.
For at least a week after the raid, the press seemed to be everywhere throughout the neighborhood, said Gugig’s mother Bailey. “I mean hordes of them,” she said. “It was just a carnival.”
Lapin gathered up enough courage to approach the house after the arrest and peer into the window. Inside she saw several items on a table — including Lisa’s textbook on Chinese grammar, stacks of coins and a copy of a 1953 post-World War-II memoir, “Woman in Berlin.”
On the wall next to a piano was a “beautiful painting” of a young girl, which Lapin believes was a self-portrait by Kate.
The Guryevs’ two girls, Bailey said, were taken away to stay with a family friend.

What happened to the kids?

Two weeks after the FBI arrests, Moscow and Washington made a deal.
After all ten of those arrested pleaded guilty to being Russian agents, the United States agreed to transfer them to Russian custody. In exchange, Moscow agreed to release “four individuals” who were “incarcerated in Russia for alleged contact with Western intelligence agencies,” the Justice Department said.
Kate and Lisa — who were born in the United States — eventually accompanied their parents back to Russia. US Attorney General Eric Holder told CBS’ “Face the Nation” in 2010 that the Guryevs’ kids and all other children of the Russian agents were “repatriated.”
“That whole aspect was very sad,” said Bailey. “To all of a sudden have their lives completely and utterly changed. The children didn’t know Russia … They have to leave their friends abruptly and suddenly. … Everything would have just been so radically different.”
Former FBI operative Eric O’Neill, who helped catch FBI double agent Robert Hanssen, said in 2010 that it’s unusual for spies serving overseas to have children, because they could suffer from divided loyalties.
“When you’re a parent, you’re supposed to take care of your kids. You are supposed to put them first in your life. And a spy can’t do that,” O’Neill said.

Are other spies still living among us?

At the time, having Russian spies in the neighborhood felt like a weird throwback to the Cold War, neighbors said.
But now that people on Marquette Road are hearing more about heightened tensions between Russia and the United States, they say the idea of Russian spies living among Americans doesn’t seem so surprising. Some of them are following the current US government investigations into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion with members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
In fact, Russian spies are ramping up their intelligence-gathering efforts inside the United States, current and former US intelligence officials told CNN this month.
Former Soviet KGB spymaster Oleg Kalugin told CNN he “would not be surprised” to learn that Russia is still running illegal deep-cover spies in the United States. But he suspects these programs would be less active now than in 2010. Kalugin, who says he never ran illegal deep-cover programs, criticized them as wasteful and inefficient.
“It’s risky and lonely and a really difficult job,” he said.
One of the key pieces of evidence uncovered by the FBI in the 2010 case was a message Russian spymasters sent the Guryevs shortly before their arrest.
“You were sent to USA for long-term service trip,” the message said. “Your education, bank accounts, car, house etc. — all these serve one goal: fulfill your main mission, i.e. to search and develop ties in policymaking circles and send intels to C.”
“C” is thought to refer to “The Center,” an espionage information clearinghouse in Russia.

What’s next for the ‘spy house’

Built in 1950, the beige, two-story house is a typical middle class home for the area. It measures a bit more than 1,800 square feet and the county valued it this year at $425,700, according to Essex County tax records.
The 'spy house' where the Guryevs lived in 2010.

So much time has passed that “it’s hard to believe it happened,” said Bailey.
“Nature is kind of taking the house back,” Gugig said. “Ivy is starting to eat into the house. The garden is completely overgrown.”
“The house just sits there and it’s empty,” she added. “It’s just a constant reminder.”
Lapin — who has lived near the house for 11 years — said the neighborhood was friendlier before the raid. “I liked the neighborhood — until this event happened,” she said.
But the old vibe has slowly been coming back, she said. Several of her neighbors have left since the raid — replaced by new residents who don’t associate the house with the spies.
A local realtor said the home has recently been sold.
Perhaps a new family will move in soon, which will help Montclair close the book and move on from its connection to international espionage.

Pilot praised after avoiding mid-air collision with world’s biggest passenger jet

Pilot praised after avoiding mid-air collision with world’s biggest passenger jet

An Emirates A380 was involved in the incident
An Emirates A380 was involved in the incident 

Apilot has been praised for helping avert a mid-air collision between two passenger jets that could have led to the death of hundreds of people.

An Emirates Airbus A380, flying from Dubai to Mauritius last Friday, had been cleared to descend to 38,000 feet by Air Traffic Control on its approach to the Indian Ocean island, with an Air Seychelles Airbus A330, Flight HM54, having taken off from Mauritius travelling in the opposite direction. However, the crew of the Emirates plane, Flight EK703, which is configured to carry as many as 615 passengers, incorrectly stated that its altitude was 36,000 feet, according to the Aviation Herald.

When it was realised that the Emirates plane was higher than previously thought, and with the Air Seychelles A330, which could have been carrying up to 277 passengers, flying towards it, a Traffic Collision Avoidance System alert was initiated.

 The two crews were able to see each other before the pilot of Flight HM54 turned a sharp right to avoid a collision. The two aircraft eventually passed each other at the same altitude but around 14 kilometres apart, according to the Aviation Herald.

A spokesperson for Air Seychelles commended the pilot’s actions. “We commend our Captain Roberto Vallicelli and Seychellois First Officer Ronny Morel who were operating the HM054 flight from Mauritius to Seychelles on the evening of Friday 14 July 2017,” a statement read.

Large passenger aircraft are required to be at least three miles apart horizontally or 1,000 feet vertically
Large passenger aircraft are required to be at least three miles apart horizontally or 1,000 feet vertically

“Their training standard and operating protocols immediately kicked in which demonstrates the extremely high standards of training which our Air Seychelles pilots attain. We highly commend them for what they have done.”

The incident took place over the Indian Ocean near Mauritius
The incident took place over the Indian Ocean near Mauritius 

A spokesperson for Emirates said: “Emirates has received reports of an event on July 14, 2017 in relation to aircraft separation involving flight EK703 in Mauritius airspace. The matter has been reported to the respective air transport authorities and Emirates will extend its full cooperation to any investigation. The safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance.”

Last week details of another near-miss emerged after the Federal Aviation Administration launched an investigation after an Air Canada plane lined up to land on a busy taxiway rather than the adjacent, and free, runway.

The plane arriving at Toronto was set to land on four other aircraft before Air Traffic Control intervened and told the pilot to pull up. One expert commenter said the “greatest aviation disaster in history” had been avoided.

Iran Jails U.S. Dual National for 10 Years on Spying Charges

Iran Jails U.S. Dual National for 10 Years on Spying Charges

DUBAI — An Iranian court has sentenced a U.S. dual national to 10 years in jail on spying charges, Iran’s Judiciary spokesman said on Sunday, the latest case of dual nationals held on security charges in the country.

The spokesman did not name the person or give details on when the sentence was passed, but said the person was a citizen of the United States and an unnamed country other than Iran.

Image: Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei
First Deputy of the Chief Justice of Iran Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei listens to a member of parliament’s speech at the Iranian parliament on Aug. 21, 2005. Atta Kenare / AFP/Getty Images

“This person, who was gathering information and was directly guided by America, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the sentence can be appealed,” spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said on state television.

It was not immediately clear whether Mohseni Ejei was referring to Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen with permanent U.S. residency, who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $4.2 million fine after he was found guilty of collaborating against the state, according to his U.S.-based lawyer who spoke to reporters in September.

Several Iranian dual nationals from the United States, Britain, Austria, Canada and France have been detained in the past year and are being kept behind bars on charges including espionage and collaborating with hostile governments.

Charlie Gard’s parents storm out of new court hearing

Charlie Gard’s parents storm out of new court hearing

The parents of a baby with a rare disease returned to a court in London on Thursday, hoping for a fresh analysis of their wish to take the critically-ill child to the United States for medical treatment.

Charlie Gard’s parents disagree with Britain’s most famous children’s hospital on how best to care for the 11-month-old with a rare genetic condition.

Great Ormond Street Hospital argues experimental treatment in America won’t help and may cause suffering for Charlie, who suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease that has left him brain damaged and unable to breathe unaided. The hospital says there is no known cure and believes his life support systems should be turned off.

The parents want to try — but it isn’t up to them.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates stormed out of Thursday’s hearing when the judge suggested that their argument has not been consistent. Chris Gard punched a table, while his wife said: “We said he’s not in suffering and in pain. If he was we wouldn’t be up here fighting for that.”

British judges are tasked to intervene when families and doctors disagree on the treatment of people unable to speak for themselves. The rights of the child take primacy, with the courts weighing issues such as whether a child is suffering and how much benefit a proposed treatment might produce.

“Unlike the USA, English law is focused on the protection of children’s rights,” said Jonathan Montgomery, professor of Health Care Law at University College London. “The USA is the only country in the world that is not party to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child; it does not recognize that children have rights independent of their parents.”

Montgomery said that while it was right to consider the views of Charlie’s parents, the court will not make a determination on this basis.

“This case is about Charlie’s rights and what the evidence tells us that they require,” he said. “That will be the only consideration of the judge at the hearing.”

Judge Nicholas Francis, who ruled in favor of doctors in April, says he will consider any new evidence. The courtroom was packed, as Francis heard arguments on differences of medical opinion.

“We are continuing to spend every moment, working around the clock to save our dear baby Charlie,” they said in a statement before the hearing. “We’ve been requesting this specialized treatment since November, and never asked the hospital, courts or anyone for anything – except for the permission to go.”

A succession of judges has backed specialists at Great Ormond Street. Britain’s Supreme Court ruled it’s in the boy’s best interests to be allowed to die with dignity. The European Court of Human Rights rejected an appeal from the parents, which briefly stalled their legal options.

But days afterward, President Donald Trump and Pope Francis gave the parents new hope by shining an international spotlight on the ethical debate.

Francis issued a statement insisting on the need to respect the wishes of the parents to “accompany and treat” their son to the very end.

Americans United for Life and other groups have seized upon the case, arguing the infant needs a “chance at life.” Petitions have circulated to offer support and others have arrived at Charlie’s bedside to pray.

A huge crowd appeared at Britain’s High Court to observe the proceedings.

A decision is not expected Thursday.

Prosecutors ask for life sentence in Nemtsov murder trial

WORLD

Prosecutors ask for life sentence in Nemtsov murder trial

Prosecutors have asked a Moscow court to send a man convicted in the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov to prison for life.

A Russian jury last month found five men guilty of involvement in the killing. Prosecutors on Wednesday asked the court to sentence the suspected killer, Zaur Dadayev, a former officer in the security forces of Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov, to life in prison and the other four men to lengthy prison terms.

Nemtsov, a top opponent of President Vladimir Putin, was shot late at night in 2015 as he was walking across a bridge just outside the Kremlin.

Nemtsov’s allies have criticized investigators for not studying a possible role of Kadyrov in the killing.

The court is expected to deliver the sentences on Thursday.