Court sentences two, detain one, free other Barcelona terror attacker

By Newsdesk

A Spanish judge, Fernando Andreu, has sentenced two of the four surviving terror suspects linked to Barcelona and Cambrils attacks.

The court, after the hearing, charged the two, Chemlal and Driss Oukabir, for murder, membership of a terror organization and illegal possession of explosives.

Andreu, who made the rulings after the hearing, directed that the third suspect, Salah el Karib, be detained for another 72 hours for further investigated.

The judge, however, ruled that the fourth suspect, Mohammed Aalla, be freed because the evidence presented by prosecutor against him was weak.

The quartet of the 12-man terrorist cell responsible for last week’s attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils appeared at Spanish National High Court here on Tuesday.

The four suspects arrived at the court at around 8:00 a.m. yesterday after spending hours in the cells of the Civil Guard Headquarters in the town of Tres Cantos, north of Madrid.

Houli Chemlala, who was the first to speak before the judge, is reported to have testified that the terrorist cell had planned to destroy important monuments in Barcelona before a gas explosion in the house where they were preparing the attacks left him injured and two members of the cell dead.

Those replies matched what he told the Catalan regional police in the five days he had been maintained incommunicado under their custody.

Chemlal was accompanied to the court in Madrid by Mohamed Chemal, Dris Oukbar, Mohammed Alla and Salh Karib, all of whom were detained in the town of Ripoll, in Girona province, to the north of Barcelona.

Dris is the older brother of one of the terrorists who was shot by police during the attack on Cambrils in the early hours of Friday morning.

He handed himself to police few hours after the attacks, saying his brother had stolen his driving license, which was used to rent the van that killed 13 persons on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas street.

El Karib, who is the owner of a call center in the town of Ripoll, where three of the terrorists were arrested, told the court he had only helped members of the cell buy air tickets in order to earn a commission on the sale.

Aallaa, whose brother also died in Cambrils, told the judge that the although the Audi A3 used in the attack in which 5 terrorists, including his brother, were shot dead, was in his name, it was only for insurance issues.

India bans instant divorce

By Newsdesk

Worried by cases that often trail divorce cases in India, the country’s Supreme Court has banned instant divorce allegedly frequently perpetrated by some members of Muslim community in the country.

The landmark ruling came on a group of petitions filed by Muslim women and women’s groups who challenged the archaic practice.

Most Islamic countries including neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh – have banned triple talaq. But the practice has thrived in secular India, where religious authorities, including those of the Muslim minority, regulate marriage and divorce through civil codes.

India has so far been one of the few countries where a Muslim man could divorce his wife through uttering a word, talaq, meaning divorce in Arabic, three times in quick succession.

Of the five judges that ruled on the act, two voted that the act should remain while three others kicked against it, arguing that the practice was unconstitutional, illegal and a violation of the right to equality.

Although two dissenting judges, including Chief Justice JS Khehar, were critical of attempts to meddle with religious laws, they suggested that the Indian parliament should be the one to make this decision and frame legislation addressing the issue within the next six months.

Explaining what transpired during court proceedings, Zakia Soman, from the Indian Muslim Women’s Movement group, one of the petitioners in the case, expressed her satisfaction on the judgement.

She said: “We are very happy, we have won. We, the Muslim women, were till so far deprived of a law which is gender-just, which upholds our rights in marriage and in family.

“It is because of the domination and hegemony of patriarchal elements that Muslim women have suffered for the last 70 years. It is a historic day for us.

“But it doesn’t end here. A proper, longer battle for social reform, for women’s empowerment, awareness, education has to be taken up,” Soman added.

Of the Indian population, 14 per cent representing 1.25 billion, were governed by personal law, formally codified in 1937, which is loosely based on sharia, or Islamic law.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a non-governmental body, which oversees the application of the legislation, had opposed involvement of the court on the issue.

It argued that Islamic law could not be tested on basis of constitutional provisions and that the judiciary could not interfere with Muslim personal laws.

A AIMPLB member, Zafaryab Jilani, in her reaction to the judgement, hinted that the Muslim body will abide by court decision, but disapproved call of legislation.

According to her, I don’t think that the government may be required to bring about any legislation, we will try to carry on our reform programme throughout the country to ensure that this practice may come to an end or is reduced to a nominal extent.

 

 

Remains of 10 U.S. missing sailors found

By Newsdesk

Barely 24 hours after a United State (U.S) warship and tanker collided with 10 sailors missing, the U.S Navy and Marine Corps divers has found remains of missing sailors inside sections of a guided-missile destroyer

It would be recalled that USS John S. McCain and the tanker Alnic MC collided while U.S. ship was approaching Singapore on a routine port call.

 

The impact tore a hole in the warship’s port side at the waterline, flooding compartments that included a crew sleeping area.

U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander, Scott Swift, said an international search-and-rescue operation had during a wider search  found some remains of 10 missing sailors after the accident.

“The divers were able to locate some remains in those sealed compartments during their search,” Swift told reporters at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base where the USS John S McCain is docked for damage assessment.

“Additionally, the Malaysian authorities have reported that they have located potential remains. They are working to confirm and identify those remains,” he added.

The Malaysian navy said in a statement it had found a body eight nautical miles northwest of the collision site and it would transfer it to the U.S. Navy on Wednesday.

Swift also said the collision, which was the fourth major accident U.S. Pacific fleet this year, could not be viewed in isolation from other incidents and that investigations were seeking to find a common cause at the root of these events.

The John S. McCain’s sister ship, the Fitzgerald, almost sank off the coast of Japan after colliding with a Philippine container ship on June 17.

The bodies of seven U.S. sailors were found in a flooded berthing area after that collision.

The latest accident has already prompted a fleet-wide investigation and plans for temporary halts in operations.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said to have sailors killed in two collisions this year was disconcerting, saying, it’s just unacceptable and we’ll get to the bottom of it. But right now our hearts are with the families of those that are lost and we honor them.”

 

10 U.S sailors missing, five injure after warship, tanker collision

By Newsdesk

At least 10 United States sailors have been declared missing and five others injured after a collision between a warship and a tanker near Singapore lagoon, the second warship to involve in accident in two months.

The disappearance of the sailors has triggered stakeholder in the country’s maritime sector to demand for immediate probe of operations and training in the country.

It was gathered that guided-missile destroyer, John S. McCain, and the tanker, Alnic MC, collided on Monday, with the warship heading to Singapore for a routine port call.

Sources said that the collision tore a hole in the warship’s waterline, flooding compartments that included a crew sleeping area.

The U.S. Navy, while reacting over the accident in a statement made available to newsmen, confirmed that the warship suffered some damage to her port side aft.

According to the statement, after the collision, 10 of our sailors are currently still missing and five injured.

U.S. Defense Secretary, James Mattis, assured the citizens that the Chief of Naval Operations, John Richardson, would conduct a broad investigation into the country’s naval operations.

Meanwhile, Richardson has ordered stop in operation globally to ensure appropriate actions and effective operations around the world.

A U.S. Navy official disclosed that the pause in operation would involve a staggered day-long stand-down to check safety measures, especially in the Pacific theatre.

Total solar eclipse hits U.S states

By Newsdesk

Commercial activities were halted in United State when the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse was recorded in several states in the country.

The eclipse  which came 99 years after the country recorded the last, began in western Oregon, while millions of Americans looked skyward in wonder through protective glasses, telescopes and cameras.

About 12 million residents live within 70-mile-wide, 2,500-mile-long zone where the total eclipse was to appear, while hordes of others traveled to spots along the route.

After weeks of anticipation, the sight of the moon’s silhouette passing directly in front of the sun, blotting out all but a halo-like solar corona, drew attention and cheers from onlookers that had gathered at different locations across Oregon.

The eclipse first reached totality in Oregon at about 10:15 a.m. (17:15 GMT) and began marching slowly eastward across the country.

The phenomenon will take its final bow at 2:49 p.m. (18: 49 GMT) near Charleston, South Carolina, where the eclipse was expected to end.

At Roshambo ArtFarm in Sheridan, Oregon, people aimed their cameras at the sky as the moon slowly ate its way across the midday sun, causing the air to cool.

A resident, Jason Davis, 29, who was on honeymoon, disclosed that he decided to have a stop over in Oregon with his wife to catch a glimpse of the eclipse.

According to him, I’m really lucky we got to be here today. It’s pretty cool. I’m sort of surprised by the temperature change.

Nancy Conway, 57, an elementary school principal, said she and her family made the drive from Lynn, Massachusetts.

“Twenty hours, three drivers, four adults, two 6-year-old twins,” Conway said as she sat in a lawn chair facing the harbor. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she added.

Spanish police kills Barcelona terror attacker, Abouyaaqoub,

By Newsdesk

The Spanish authorities have disclosed that suspected driver of the vehicle that killed 13 persons in Barcelona, Younes Abouyaaqoub, has been killed.

It was gathered that the suspect, before his death, wore what looked like an explosive belt at the time when he was killed.

Earlier on Monday, police formally named Abouyaaqoub as the driver of a van that ploughed down crowd at Las Ramblas promenade in Barcelona recently, killing 13 and injuring many more.

Sources hinted that 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, on the run since he perpetrated the act recently when he drove at high speed into heavy crowds strolling along Barcelona’s most famous avenue, Las Ramblas.

It was Spain’s worst militant attack in over a decade, with Islamic State claiming responsibility for the attack.

Eyewitness narrated that the suspect was spotted by a woman and later fled through vineyards but police men at the scene find and shoot him on a road near a sewage treatment plant.

Train derails in India, claims 14 lives, injures 58

By Newsdesk

A train came off its tracks in Uttar Pradesh city, India, claiming at least 14 persons lives and injured dozens of others after its carriages slammed into each other.

Aside the deaths recorded, it was gathered that property which worth could not be ascertained were destroyed when some derailed carriages hit them.

Saturday’s accident marked the fourth major passenger train derailment this year in the country and the third in Uttar Pradesh after last year’s tragedy where 150 persons died.

As rescuers intensify efforts to rescue the victims, residents trooped to scene obstructing the officials from having easy access to the overturned five carriages that had come off tracks.

“We are struggling to pull out injured, and are waiting for gas cutters to arrive. It’s too dark to launch a full fledged search operation, but our teams are trying their best,” said Ajay Pandey, a senior police officer at the site.

A Muzaffarnagar lawmaker, Sanjeev Balyan, told newsmen that at least 14 persons had been killed and 58 seriously injured.

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in a message posted on one of his social media pages, lamented that the derailment of the Utkal Express, offering condolences to families of those killed and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

Train crashes were frequent in India, which has the world’s fourth biggest rail network. Poor investment in past decades in the vast network and rising demand means overcrowded trains are running on creaking infrastructure.

 

 

One dies, five sustain burns in Mexico pipeline explosion

By Newsdesk

No fewer than one person died and five others suffered severe burns after an oil pipeline exploded during an alleged illegal hacking in eastern Mexican state of Veracruz.

It was gathered that the death and injuries were recorded few minutes after the victims vandalised the facility and started scooping content from the pipeline.

Sources said that an explosion occurred on Saturday at the location and resulted in fire that killed and burned the vandals, ending chances of leaving there with any product.

The guild gathered that the fire was brought under control by the state’s fire fighters and emergency personnel.

Confirming the tragedy, state-owned oil company, Pemex and state emergency services, said that one person died and five others were currently been treated.

Fuel thieves regularly tap Pemex pipelines, stealing millions of liters of fuel in high-risk maneuvers that can often be deadly.

 

Scores injure during knife attack in Finland 

By Newsdesk and agency report

The Police in Finland has shot and arrested a suspect that allegedly attacked residents of Turku city, injuring scores.

It was gathered that the suspect, who brought out a big knife at 3 pm and stabbed residents, was shot in the leg on Friday to prevent further assaults on residents.
The country’s police has directed residents to move away from the city center and passengers at the airport and train stations should also be alert, to avoid been trapped in the attacks.
Eyewitness disclosed that a small crowd thronged the scene where a resident was found been assisted  by the crowd that gathered at the scene.
A witness from Sweden, Kent Svensson, 44, narrated that the suspect held a huge white knife, ran towards residents and stabbed anyone found on his path.
“It was really horrible. We were sitting on a terrace just next to the square and this woman just screamed like hell and this guy was standing in front of her with a huge knife just stabbing people,” he said.

Barcelona terror attack Death toll increases after police kills five suspects

By Newsdesk and agency report

The Spanish police has killed atleast five persons linked to terror attack in Barcelona during a confrontation between its personnel and the suspects in Southern axis of the city.

Meanwhile, the death toll from the attack perpetrated by a member of world terror group, Islamic State, has increased to 14 and scores injured.

However, the Police has disclosed arrest of four suspects including a Moroccan, a man from Spain’s north African enclave of Melilla and the third was in the town of Ripoll on Friday.

Islamic State hinted that the  perpetrators responded to its call for action by carrying out yesterday’s attack along Barcelona’s most famous avenue, which was thronged with tourists enjoying an afternoon stroll at the peak of the summer season.

In order to prosecute perpetrators, the security forces commenced manhunt for the van’s driver, during which it killed five suspects in Cambrils along the coast to thwart another separate attack in the city.

On why the suspects were killed, the police narrated that the suspects attempted to drive into tourists on the Cambrils seafront but their car overturned and some of them started stabbing residents at the scene.

In order to prevent recording huge causalities, the police shot four dead while the fifth was killed a few hundred meters away.

Bodies, many motionless, were left strewn across the avenue and authorities said the toll of dead, which included several children, could rise, with more than 100 injured.

One civilian – a Spanish woman – was killed in the Cambrils incident while several other civilians and a police officer were injured. Police destroyed explosive belts the men had been wearing, though they turned out to be fake.

Shortly before midnight on Wednesday, the day before the van plowed into the tree-lined walkway of Barcelona’s Las Ramblas avenue, one person was killed in an explosion in a house in the city.

A judicial source said investigators believed a cell of at least eight people, possibly 12, may have been involved in the Barcelona and Cambrils operations and that it had been planning to use gas canisters.

As Spain went into three days of mourning, people laid flowers and lit candles in memory of the victims along the promenade.

Among early visitors to the scene on Friday were Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Spain’s king, Felipe, who both visited Barcelona’s main square to observe a minute’s silence.