Failed Suicide Bomber Attacks Catholic Church in Medan


Post 7888

Failed Suicide Bomber Attacks Catholic Church in Medan

http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/failed-suicide-bomber-attacks-catholic-church-medan/

Jakarta. A suicide bomb attempt at a Catholic church in Medan, North Sumatra, Sunday morning (28/08) has left the suspect with minor injuries after the bomb failed to detonate correctly.

Father Albert S. Pandingan was leading the Sunday service at Medan’s St. Yoseph church when the suspect, identified as I.A.H., ran towards to pulpit and attempted to stab the priest. The bomb hidden in the suspect’s vest failed to detonate, only creating sparks which injured the would-be attacker. The priest sustained only minor scratches to his arm.

I.A.H. is a 17-year-old student from Setia Budi in Medan Selayang, North Sumatra.

Members of the church congregation seized the suspect, who was carrying a knife, an axe and a pipe bomb in his backpack, before police arrived to clear and secure the venue.

“We have seized a back backpack from the perpetrator. The perpetrator is alive and injured and there are no casualties in this incident,” National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar told Beritasatu.

Boy also said police had found what a drawing that resembles the Islamic State flag. It remains unclear if the suspect is affiliated with a terror cell and police are investigating potential links.

In early July, a day before Idul Fitri celebrations, a suicide bomber targeted the Solo police headquarters but killed only himself.

Medan Catholic Church Bomber a ‘Puppet,’ Says Anti-Terror Agency Chief

Medan. The young failed suicide bomber in Sunday’s (28/08) Medan terror attack is believed to have met an identified man on the street prior to the event, preliminary investigations have found.

“We are still interrogating the suspect. He said someone he met on the street asked him to launched the attack,” Medan Police Chief Comr. Mardiaz Khusin Dwihananto said.

Medan police is currently questioning the suspect, 17-year-old Ivan Armadi Hasugian, to investigate the link.

“[Ivan] confessed he did not knew anything about the man’s identity,” Mardiaz said.

National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) chief Comr. Gen. Suhardi Alius told Beritasatu the suspect is only a “puppet,” as he is too young to have planned the attack by his own.

“Considering his young age, there has to be someone else who supports him. We are currently digging to seek his identity,” Suhardi said.

The failed attack occurred while Father Albert S. Pandingan led the Sunday service at Medan’s St. Yoseph church when the suspect ran towards to pulpit and attempted to kill the priest.

The bomb hidden in the suspect’s vest failed to detonate, only creating sparks which injured the would-be attacker. The priest sustained only minor scratches to his arm and has been transferred to a hospital nearby the church.

Members of the church congregation seized the suspect, who was carrying a knife, an axe and a pipe bomb in his backpack, before police arrived to clear and secure the venue. There are no major casualties in the incident.

Unexploded Bomb Found in Bag of Medan Church Terror Attack Suspect

http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/unexploded-bomb-found-bag-medan-church-terror-attack-suspect/

Jakarta. Police discovered an unexploded bomb in the backpack of a suspect who failed in a suicide bomb attack at St. Yosef Church in Medan, North Sumatra, on Sunday morning (28/08).

The low-level explosion left the suspect, identified as Ivan Armadi Hasibuan, bloody and injured. Police arrested Ivan who revealed he is a student from Setia Budi, Tanjung Sari, Medan.

“Not all the bombs exploded as he only executed one bomb so the explosion was really low,” Parlindungan, a witness, told Suara Pembaruan. “We found material believed to be an unexploded bomb in his backpack.”

The 17 year-old perpetrator was also reported carrying a graphic image similar to the Islamic State logo. Investigations into potential links to terror groups are continuing.

The incident occurred while the priest delivered a sermon from the altar and Ivan ran towards him, throwing his backpack and creating a low explosion.

Ivan also attacked the priest with a knife, but wounded only his arm before being subdued by members of the church congregation.

 

Indonesian man arrested as 650 pangolins found dead in freezers


Post 7886

Indonesian man arrested as 650 pangolins found dead in freezers

  • 26 August 2016
  • From the sectionAsia

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37196635

Indonesian police display one of the 657 dead and frozen pangolins in Surabaya, East Java, on August 25, 2016
Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe pangolins were wrapped in plastic and frozen

Indonesian authorities have seized more than 650 dead pangolins hidden in freezers and arrested a man.

The critically endangered species is a delicacy in parts of Asia and is used in traditional medicine.

Police found the animals when they raided a house in Jombang district on the main island of Java, after neighbours became suspicious about the number of freezers at the property.

The 55-year-old house owner has been arrested as a suspect.

He could face five years in prison and a fine of 100m rupiah ($7,500) for breaking wildlife protection laws.

The pangolins were found wrapped in plastic and stored in five large freezers, East Java province police spokesman Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono told news agency AFP.

Mr Yuwono said: “The suspect insisted the pangolins were not his, a friend asked him to store the animals because he has freezers.”

Pangolins, known as “scaly anteaters”, are used in parts of Asia for their meat, skin and scales.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the pangolin species found in Indonesia as critically endangered.

Flooding in Louisiana


Post 7883

Flooding in Louisiana

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/bigpicture/2016/08/23/flooding-louisiana/5ptaHnfweTUdPxygM7V4WI/story.html?p1=Gallery_InThisSection_Bottom

Louisiana continues to deal with the disastrous affects of historic flooding that killed at least 17 and destroyed about 60,000 homes.–By Leanne Burden Seidel
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Leslie Andermann Gallagher surveys the flood damage to her home on Aug. 17 in Sorrento, Louisiana. Last week Louisiana was overwhelmed with flood water causing at least thirteen deaths and thousands of homes damaged by the flood waters. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Evacuees take advantage of the shelter setup in the The Baton Rouge River Center arena as the area deals with the record flooding that caused thousands of people to seek temporary shelters on Aug. 19, in Baton Rouge, La. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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President Barack Obama hugs Marlette Sanders as he tours Castle Place, a flood-damaged area of Baton Rouge, La., on Aug. 23. Obama is making his first visit to flood-ravaged southern Louisiana as he attempts to assure the many thousands who have suffered damage to their homes, schools and businesses that his administration has made their recovery a priority. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)
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Dee Vazquez, from left, helps Georgette Centelo and her grandfather Lawrence Roberts after they tried to recover their belongings from a family mobile home in Central, north of Baton Rouge, La., Aug. 15. (David Grunfeld/NOLA.com The Times-Picayune via AP)
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Flooded areas of Baton Rouge are seen from the air. As many as 30,000 people have been rescued following unprecedented floods. (Melissa Leake/AFP/Getty Images)
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Sandra Montanaro holds her dog Dixy during one of two 20-minute daily visits at a temporary animal shelter the Lamar Dixon Expo Center near a flood victims shelter, Aug. 16, in Gonzales, La. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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Daniel Stover, 17, moves a boat of personal belongings from a friend’s home flooded home in Sorrento, La., Aug. 20. (Max Becherer/Associated Press)
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Members of the Louisiana Army National Guard load 3-month-old baby Ember Blount onto a truck as they rescue people from rising floodwater near Walker, La., after heavy rains inundated the region, Aug. 14. (Max Becherer/Associated Press)
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Piles of debris are seen in front of flood damaged homes in St. Amant, La, Aug. 21. (Jonathan Bachman /Reuters)
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Lester Duplessis walks down a flooded street to his house Aug.16 in Gonzales, La. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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Melissa Gouda removes flood damaged items out of a friend’s house in St. Amant, La., ,Aug. 21. (Jonathan Bachman /Reuters)
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Joey Gregory’s reflection is seen in flood water as he walks on top of sand bags in St. Amant, La., Aug. 20. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
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Katy Bueche and Chris Villnuve wait for a boat ride to salvage items from their flooded homes on Aug. 18, in Sorrento, La. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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People sort through water damaged products outside Jasmine’s Beauty Supply following the floods on Aug. 16, in Baton Rouge. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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Bryce Richard waits for a load of clothes from Blake Waguespack as they fill a boat with items they are salvaging from a friends flooded home on Aug.18, in Sorrento, La (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A water logged picture in a home that was inundated with flood waters on Aug. 19, in St Amant, La. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Cattle huddle together in the water, caused by flooding after the heavy rains in Ascension Parish, in St. Amant, south of Baton Rouge in Aug. 16. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP)
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A man navigates a boat of rescued goats past a partially submerged car after flooding on Aug. 16, in Gonzales, La. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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Damaged products are seen at Jasmine’s Beauty Supply following the floods on Aug. 16, in Baton Rouge, La. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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Travis Guedry and his dog Ziggy glide through floodwaters keeping an eye out for people in need on Aug. 17, in Sorrento, La. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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A statue of the Virgin Mary is seen partially submerged in flood water as it rains in Sorrento, La., Aug. 20. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
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Billy Bethley throws flood damaged floor board on to a pile of debris in Prairieville, La., Aug. 22. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
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David McNeely (L) and Jason Schexnayder walk through a flooded street, as morning fog blankets the area on Aug. 17, in Sorrento, La. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Mud covered belongings are seen on the floor of a home after flood water receded Aug. 17, in Denham Springs, La. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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Boats sail on Highway 431, flooded after heavy rains in the Ascension Parish area, south of Baton Rouge, La., Aug. 16. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP)
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Families displaced by flooding are unloaded on dry ground after being rescued from the Hebron Baptist Church by the Louisiana Army National Guard in Walker, La., Aug. 15. About 200 people were taken to the church by the fire department when they became stranded as flood waters continued to rise. (Max Becherer/Associated Press)
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Mehmoud Elodeh walks over damaged merchandise as he checks on a clothing and shoe store following the floods on August 16, in Baton Rouge. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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Raymond Lieteau waits for help to move a refrigerator as his friend Melissa Lockhart, left, helps clean up the living room in his flood damaged home in Baton Rouge, La., Aug. 16. Lieteau had more than five feet of water in his home. (Max Becherer/Associated Press)
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A boy rides his bike inside the flood damaged Life Tabernacle Church on Aug. 15, in Baton Rouge, La. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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Rescue officials and civilians rescue people from their flooded homes along the Tangipahoa River near Amite, La., Aug. 13. (Ted Jackson/NOLA.com The Times-Picayune )
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Trina Staford throws one of her scrapbooks out of her childhood home while helping her mother clean out her flood damaged home Aug. 17, in Walker, La. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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Tony Fresina works to clean his flood damaged kitchen in Prairieville, La, U.S., Aug. 22. (Jonathan Bachman/REuters)
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Pastor Mark Carroll, right, listens to the prayers of Valerie St. Romain, 35, during church services at South Walker Baptist Church in Walker, La., Aug. 21. Outside the small town of Walker, Louisiana, the rural Baptist church has become an oasis for flood victims. (Max Becherer/Associated Press)
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A man throws flood damaged material into a pile of debris in St. Amant, La, Aug. 21. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
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A family of deer make their way through flood waters on Aug. 16, in Gonzales, La. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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The motorcade of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump passes piles of rubbish on the side of the road in East Baton Rouge, La., Aug. 19. (Max Becherer/Associated Press)
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Samantha Labatut cleans out a refrigerator inside her flood damaged kitchen in St. Amant, La., Aug. 21. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
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A casket is seen floating in flood waters in Ascension Parish, La, U.S., Aug.15. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
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Chad Credeur helps his brother Karl Credeur (R) toss out a headboard after it was inundated with flood water in his bedroom on Aug.18, in St Amant, La. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Gulfport, Miss., firefighters load water and cleaning supplies donated by Bayou View Elementary School families in Gulfport for flood victims in Louisiana. (John Fitzhugh/The Sun Herald via AP)
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Chickens are seen in a flooded coop in a neighborhood inundated with flood waters on Aug. 17, in Sorrento, La. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Wade Houston cleans out his mother’s home after flooding Aug. 17, in Denham Springs, La. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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Collan Ortego (L) gets help from Jason Fatherree as he retrieves a television set from his family’s flooded home on Aug. 17 in Sorrento, La. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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John Booth (L) sits with Angela Latiolais’s (2L) family while helping them save belongings after flooding on August 16, in Gonzales, La. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
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A resident wades through flood water at Tiger Manor Apartments by the North Gates of LSU, Aug. 13, in Baton Rouge, La. (Brianna Paciorka/The Advocate via AP)

Deadly earthquake hits Italy


Post 7882

Deadly earthquake hits Italy

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/bigpicture/2016/08/24/deadly-earthquake-hits-italy/5BXTwJrV6Gzfj1zd2DjwYJ/story.html?p1=BP_Headline

Search and rescue crews are using whatever they can to locate survivors from a magnitude 6.2 earthquake that reduced three central Italian towns to rubble early today. The death toll stood at 120, but certainly will rise said officials. ‘‘The town isn’t here anymore,’’ said Sergio Pirozzi, the mayor of the hardest-hit town, Amatrice.–By Lloyd Young
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A man is rescued from the ruins following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, on Aug. 2. (Remo Casilli/Reuters)
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Search and rescue teams survey the rubble in Amatrice, central Italy, following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), that struck at around 3:30 am. The quake was felt across a broad section of central Italy, including the capital Rome where people in homes in the historic center felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. (Massimo Percossi/EPA)
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A woman holds a child as they stand in the street following an earthquake in Amatrice. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via Associated Press)
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This aerial photo shows the historical part of the town of Amatrice, central Italy, after the quake on Aug. 24. (Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press)
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Rescue and emergency services personnel carry a survivor on a stretcher during search and rescue operations in Amatrice on Aug. 24 after a powerful earthquake rocked central Italy. The quake rattled a remote area of central Italy, leaving at least 120 people dead and and some 368 injured amongst scenes of carnage in mountain villages. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)
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An aereal view of collapsed and damaged houses due to the earthquake in Pescara del Tronto, central Italy. (Guardia Di Finanza Press Office via EPA /)
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A man is pulled out of the rubble following an earthquake in Amatrice. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via Associated Press)
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Residents reacts among the rubble after a strong earthquake hit Amatrice on Aug. Numerous buildings had collapsed in communities close to the epicenter of the quake near the town of Norcia in the region of Umbria, witnesses told Italian media, with an increase in the death toll highly likely. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)
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A man reacts to his damaged home after a strong quake hit Amatrice. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)
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A rescued woman is carried away on a stretcher following an earthquake in Amatric. The magnitude 6.2 quake struck at 3:36 am and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via Associate Press)
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A rescuer walks a sniff dog as they search through the debris of collapsed houses following an earthquake in Amatrice. (Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press)
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Residents are seen in front of collapsed houses in Amatrice, central Italy. (Massimo Percossi/EPA)
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A woman looks at damaged buildings after a strong earthquake hit central Italy, in Amatrice on Aug. 24. A powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake devastated mountain villages in central Italy on Wednesday, leaving at least 120 people dead and dozens more injured or unaccounted for. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)
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A man leans on a wall as the collapsed village of Pescara del Tronto, central Italy, is seen behind him. (Crocchionii/ANSA via Associated Press)
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A man walks amid rubbles after an earthquake struck in Amatrice Italy, on Aug. 24. (Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press)
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A nun checks her mobile phone as she lies near a ladder following an earthquake in Amatrice, Italy. (Massimo Percossi/Associated Press)
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Rescuers work on collapsed buildings following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, on Aug. 24. (Ciro De Luca/Reuters)
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A man is carried away on a stretcher after being pulled from the rubble of a collapsed house in Fonte del Campo near Accumoli, central Italy. (Angelo Carconi/EPA)
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Rescuers work among the debris of collapsed houses following an earthquake in Pescara Del Tronto on Aug. 24. (Andrew Medichini/Associated Press)
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Rescuers recover a lifeless body from a collapsed house following an earthquake in Pescara Del Tronto, Italy. (Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press)
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An injured man is rescued from the rubble by emergency teams in Amatrice, central Italy, following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey. (Massimo Percossi/EPA)
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Rescuers search through debris of collapsed houses following an earthquake in Pescara del Tronto, Italy. (Sandro Perozzi/Associated Press)
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Rubble of a building collapsed in Amatrice, central Italy, where a earthquake struck just after 3:30 a.m. in Amatrice, Italy, on Aug. 24. (Massimo Percossi/EPA)
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People hold a blanket as they prepare to spend the night in the open following the earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy, on Aug. 24. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)
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An excavator clears rubble following an earthquake in Pescara Del Tronto, Italy. (Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press)

Italy earthquake: Before and after images show destruction


Post 7880

Italy earthquake: Before and after images show destruction

  • 4 hours ago
  • From the sectionEurope
Rescuers in Amatrice, Italy on 24 August 2016Image copyrightAP

A strong earthquake has devastated a string of mountain towns and villages in central Italy, killing more than 240 people and leaving many unaccounted for.

The 6.2 magnitude quake, which was followed by several aftershocks, struck at 03:36 (01:36 GMT) on Wednesday, 100km (65 miles) north-east of Rome.

Worst affected were the towns of Accumoli and Amatrice and the village of Pescara del Tronto.

Map showing severity of Italy earthquake

The first confirmed deaths following the quake came in Amatrice, when search teams found two bodies amid the rubble.

The town’s mayor, Sergio Pirozzi, told the AP news agency that more than a dozen victims had been discovered by rescuers, but added: “I believe the number will rise.”

The earthquake badly damaged the centre of Amatrice, shown in these two pictures of the same street before and after the quake - 24 August 2016
Image copyrightGOOGLE/AP

Image captionThe main street through Amatrice was reduced to rubble following the earthquake
This aerial photo shows the damaged buildings in the centre of Amatrice - 24 August 2016
Image copyrightAP

Image captionThe clock tower in the town centre was left standing but many of the surrounding buildings were not
An image of a house in Amatrice before and after the earthquake in central Italy – 24 August 2016
Image copyrightGOOGLE/REUTERS

Image captionMany homes in and around the small town were completely destroyed by the tremors
A church in Amatrice before and after it wasbadly damaged by an earthquake in central Italy - 24 August 2016
Image copyrightGOOGLE/AFP

Image captionA church in the town was also badly damaged, losing much of the top of the building and its roof

In Accumoli, a small mountain town, the first victims were a family of four who were found under the debris of a collapsed building.

Mayor Stefano Petrucci told reporters: “We have a tragedy here. There are people under the ruins.”

He said the town of just 700 residents swells to 2,000 in the summer months thanks to tourism, but that he feared for its future after the earthquake.

“I hope they don’t forget us,” he told the Sky TG24 broadcaster.

A building in the centre of Accumoli before and after the earthquake - 24 August 2016
Image copyrightGOOGLE/REUTERS

Image captionA residential building in the heart of Accumoli that was partially destroyed by the quake
Firefighters search amid rubble following an earthquake in Accumoli, central Italy - 24 August 2016
Image copyrightAP

Image captionAccumoli Mayor Stefano Petrucci said some hundreds of people had been left homeless

The village of Pescara del Tronto was also badly hit, with the Italian news agency ANSA reporting that at least 10 people had been killed there.

The main road into and out of the town was covered in debris, making it difficult for search and rescue teams to gain access to some damaged areas.

An image of some of the damage on the Via Salaria road in Pescara del Tronto compared to an image of the street before the quake - 24 August 2016

Image copyrightGOOGLE/EPA

Image captionOne section of the road into Pescara del Tronto was almost entirely destroyed

A general view of Pescara del Tronto town destroyed by the earthquake - 24 August 2016

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionPhotos taken from the air by regional firefighters showed much of the town flattened

Quake damage in Amatrice (24 August 2016)

Amatrice: Most of the pretty, historic town is now rubble, blanketed in grey dust

Home exposed by quake in Amatrice, 25 Aug 16

The interior of a home in Amatrice exposed by the quake

Rescuers said they had pulled five bodies from the ruins of the Hotel Roma in Amatrice. As many as 70 tourists were staying at the hotel when the quake struck. Many are feared to be in the rubble, though several were pulled out and given medical care.

Many of those affected were Italians on holiday in the region. Some were in Amatrice for a festival to celebrate a famous local speciality – amatriciana bacon and tomato sauce.

Late on Wednesday there were cheers in the village of Pescara del Tronto when a young girl was pulled alive from the rubble after being trapped for 17 hours. Almost all the houses there had collapsed, the mayor said.

Why is Italy at risk of earthquakes? By Jonathan Amos

Earthquakes are an ever-present danger for those who live along the Apennine mountain range in Italy.

Through the centuries thousands have died as a result of tremors equal to, or not much bigger than, the event that struck in the early hours of Wednesday. The modern response, thankfully, has been more robust building and better preparation.

Map showing the earthquake and its aftershocks in central Italy - 24 August 2016

Mediterranean seismicity is driven by the great collision between the African and Eurasian tectonic plates; but when it comes down to the specifics of this latest quake, the details are far more complicated.

The Tyrrhenian Basin, or Sea, which lies to the west of Italy, between the mainland and Sardinia/Corsica, is slowly opening up.

Scientists say this is contributing to extension, or “pull-apart”, along the Apennines. This stress is compounded by movement in the east, in the Adriatic.

The result is a major fault system that runs the length of the mountain range with a series of smaller faults that fan off to the sides. The foundations of cities like Perugia and L’Aquila stand on top of it all.

Quakes ‘ever present’ for Italy’s Apennines

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Attack on American University in Kabul Ends, 12 Dead


Post 7879

MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN and DAVID CAPLAN,Good Morning America

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/american-university-under-attack-kabul-152404330–abc-news-topstories.html

A deadly attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul has ended, according to a government spokesperson.

General Abdul Rahman Rahimi, Kabul’s police chief, said early Thursday that 12 people were killed. Of the 12 killed, he said 7 were students, 3 were police officers and 2 were American University of Afghanistan guards.

Rahimi said 35 students and 9 police officers were injured.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack. Although suspicion falls on the Taliban, the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, would only tell the media that the group is “investigating,” according to The AP.

Three attackers were involved in the attack, Rahimi said. The first attacker detonated a suicide car bomb at the entrance the other two managed to enter the campus, he said.

(Rahmat Gul/AP Photo)

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said the attackers were armed with grenades and automatic weapons. The siege of the university lasted almost nine hours, before police killed the two assailants around 3.30 am, he said.

“Most of the dead were killed by gun shots near the windows of their classrooms,” Sediqqi said.

More than 150 students who had been trapped in university buildings were rescued by special police units, according to The AP.

The U.S. State Department acknowledged reports Wednesday morning of the attack on an official Twitter account, posting, “Reports of attack on American University in Kabul. Exercise caution, avoid unnecessary movement in the area & monitor news for updates.”


State Department Director of Office of Press Relations Elizabeth Trudeau later read a statement saying that they “condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms.”

“An attack on a university is an attack on the future of Afghanistan. Our embassy in Kabul, as well as our NATO counterparts of the Resolute Support Mission, are closely monitoring the situation as we are. We understand this situation is ongoing.

“We do understand there are small numbers of Resolute Support advisers who are assisting their Afghan counterparts as Afghan forces are responding as this situation develops. These advisers are not taking a combat role but advising Afghan counterparts,” she said.

“We are in the process of accounting for all chief of mission personnel and working to locate and assist any U.S. citizens affected by these attacks. The U.S. embassy in Kabul did issue a security message warning U.S. citizens of the attack and advising them to avoid the area until further notice. Our travel warning for Afghanistan warns U.S. citizens against travel to Afghanistan because of the continued instability and threats by terror attacks against U.S. citizens,” she said.

Massoud Hossaini, a photographer for The Associated Press, tweeted that he was trapped inside during the attack.

“Help we are stuck inside AUAF and shooting flollowed [sic] by Explo this maybe my last tweets,” he wrote.

The AP later reported that he was safe and had escaped from the school.

The attackers managed to enter Noor Hospital, adjacent to the school, according to eyewitnesses.

The American University of Afghanistan opened in 2006 and was a pet project of former first lady Laura Bush, who helped launch the institution on a 2005 visit to Kabul, the capital.

Much of its funding has come from the U.S. Agency for International Development, which administers civilian foreign aid, and today the school has more than 1,700 full- and part-time students. It has produced 29 Fulbright scholars and maintains partnerships with many U.S. colleges, such as Stanford, Georgetown and the University of California system.

The school says on its website that it “embraces diversity and community” in Afghanistan.

But it has been no stranger to threats of violence since its creation.

Two professors at the university — one American and one Australian — were abducted at gunpoint outside the campus earlier this month, underscoring the deteriorating security situation in the capital and across the rest of the country.

Also, two people employed by the university were killed in 2014 when a suicide bomber set off an explosion in a Kabul restaurant that was popular with expats.

ABC News’ Aleem Agha and Jon Williams contributed to this report. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

Subscribe to real-time updates as this story unfolds. To start, click the bell on the top left corner in the ABC News’ phone app. Download ABC News for iPhone here or ABC News for Android here.

The Philippines’ new president is waging a drug war that has killed nearly 1,800 people


Post 7878

The Philippines’ new president is waging a drug war that has killed nearly 1,800 people

image: https://static-ssl.businessinsider.com/image/57b04f335124c9c15cafd45d-512/ap-hundreds-protest-heros-burial-for-philippine-dictator.jpg

Protesters gather at Rizal Park during a rally to oppose the burial of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes' Cemetery in Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. It was the biggest gathering so far since President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the burial of Marcos with full military honors and with the opposition announcing its plan to file a petition with the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

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Protesters gather at Rizal Park during a rally to oppose the burial of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes’ Cemetery in Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. It was the biggest gathering so far since President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the burial of Marcos with full military honors and with the opposition announcing its plan to file a petition with the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

When the Philippines’ president, Rodrigo Duterte, took office in June, he announced a sweeping crackdown on drug trafficking in the island nation.

In the seven weeks since, nearly 1,800 suspected drug dealers have been killed.

Under Duterte, 712 drug suspects had been killed in police operations since July 1, while 1,067 killings were carried out by vigilante groups during the same time-frame, National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa, told a Philippines senate committee on Monday, according to the New York Times.

Senators have been questioning police on the killings as part of joint hearings by the Senate’s committee on justice and human rights and the committee on public order and dangerous drugs. The senators also heard from witnesses accusing police of gunning down their family members for being involved in illegal drugs.

Senator Leila de Lima, the head of the Senate justice committee, said she’s concerned that some law enforcers and vigilantes are using the campaign against drugs to “commit murder with impunity” since many killings had not been carried out legally, AP reported.

“We want to know the truth behind the killings and violence. What really happened and why does this continue to happen?” de Lima said in Tagalog. “I’m not saying the killings and the use of lethal force have no legal basis, but too many have been killed for us to not be suspicious and to not question whether the rules of engagement are being followed.”

Between July 1 and August 15, 665 people were killed by police while another 899 were murdered by unknown killers, dela Rosa reported to the committee last week, according to the Washington Post — a drastically lower number than the one reported on Monday.

Police didn’t explain the sudden increase in deaths over the past week, but senators are expected to question them about the tally on Tuesday.

image: https://static-ssl.businessinsider.com/image/57bb1cd85124c9123f2e8547-800/us-voices-concern-over-extra-judicial-killings-in-philippines-2016-8.jpg

Relatives of slain people cover their faces as they attend a Senate hearing investigating drug-related killings at the Senate headquarters in Pasay city, metro Manila, Philippines August 22, 2016. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Thomson Reuters

Relatives of slain people attend a Senate hearing investigating drug-related killings at the Senate headquarters in Manila

The spate of killings has alarmed human rights groups including U.N.-appointed human rights experts, who have urged the country to stop the killings.

But Duterte’s foreign ministers later said the Philippines would not do so, and the president threatened to withdraw from the United Nations.

The Philippines’ foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay said his country is “certainly not leaving the U.N.,” CNN reported on Monday.

Duterte, known locally as “the Punisher,” campaigned on a pledge to rid the country of drug dealers and won a landslide presidential election in May. The 71-year-old leader has publicly advocated the killing of suspected drug dealers, urging citizens to kill criminals if they feel it’s necessary.

“Shoot him and I’ll give you a medal,” Duterte said in June, according to AP.

Richard Javad Heydarian, a political science professor at De La Salle University in Manila, told the Times that Duterte’s brazen stance is indicative of outsized public expectations.

Duterte’s massive support in the Philippines “largely has to do with dissipated public trust in existing judicial institutions, a sense that the normal democratic processes are not coping with the magnitude of the crisis,” said Heydarian.

Duterte threatened to declare martial law in early August when the Philippines’ Supreme Court questioned his authority to oversee judges who’ve been accused of taking part in drug-dealing activities, Al Jazeera reported.

During Monday’s hearing, one of the witnesses, Harra Bertes, said policemen had beaten up, arrested, and killed her husband, a suspected drug dealer.

Police raided Bertes’ house, demanded the surrender of drugs that she did not have, and removed the underwear of her two-year-old daughter to search for illegal drugs, Bertes told the committee, according to Philstar.com.

Bertes admitted that her husband was a drug dealer, but that he had been planning on surrendering to the authorities soon.

Approximately 600,000 suspected drug dealers or users have surrendered to the police since Duterte’s drug crackdown began, Philippines’ authorities said, according to the Times.

Read more at http://www.businessinsider.co.id/philippines-dutertes-drug-war-has-killed-nearly-1800-people-2016-8/#0TrjjGCQsCpkpWoG.99