Chicago: Six people were killed and 31 others were wounded in shootings in Chicago over the weekend as the number of murders this year climbed to nearly 200 above the same period last year.
Six people were shot in just one hour between 4am and 5am on Sunday – an average of one person shot every 10 minutes, according to according to data compiled by the Chicago Tribune.
Is Chicago the Murder capital of the USA.?
Chicago: 37 people shot in one weekend
Last weekend in Chicago, 6 people were killed and 31 others were wounded in shootings, as gun violence continues to soar in the US city.
The hour ended with the city’s most recent homicide. At 5am on Sunday, 29-year-old Jason Balboa was found with several gunshot wounds near 28th Street and Pulaski Road in Little Village. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead a few hours later.
The last shooting on the weekend was reported around 7.45pm on Sunday when a 16-year-old boy was wounded in the Gresham neighbourhood.
Extended overnight periods without gun violence have been relatively rare since last winter, say police.
It’s ‘normal’ weekends like this one – combined with mass shootings like at those in Florida and Dallas – that prompted the American Medical Association earlier this year to call gun violence a “public health crisis”
The AMA, which lobbies on behalf of doctors, urged that Congress fund research into the problem.
Its president, Dr Steven Stack, called gun violence crisis “unrivalled in any other developed country.”
“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theatres, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence,” he said.
In some parts of Chicago, gun violence is the norm. So far this year, there have been at least 614 murders in the city, with at least 3,560 people wounded as a result of gun shots.
This time last year, there were 416 homicides and at least 2,495 people shot.
Quetta: At least 59 people were killed and 117 critically wounded when gunmen stormed a Pakistani police training academy in the south-western city of Quetta, government officials said on Tuesday.
Some 200 trainees were stationed at the facility when the attack occurred late on Monday, officials said, and some were taken hostage during the attack, which lasted five hours.
Many dead at Pakistan police academy
Dozens of police cadets are dead and scores more wounded after gunmen stormed in on a police academy in the city of Quetta.
Most of the dead were police cadets.
Mir Sarfraz Bugti, home minister of Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, had confirmed early on Tuesday that five to six gunmen had attacked a dormitory inside the training facility while cadets rested and slept.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but one of the top military commanders in Baluchistan, General Sher Afgun, told media that calls intercepted between the attackers and their handlers suggested they were from the sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
“We came to know from the communication intercepts that there were three militants who were getting instructions from Afghanistan,” General Afgun told media, adding that the al-Alami cell of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was behind the attack.
Baluchistan, particularly against minority Hazara Shiites. It was unclear what motive the group would have in attacking the police academy, a home ministry official said.
Police, military and paramilitary personnel arrived at the training centre within 20 minutes of the attack and launched an operation which last around five hours, the home ministry said.
A Reuters photographer at the scene said authorities carried out the body of a teenage boy who they said was one of the attackers and had been shot dead by security forces.
The bomber struck as a crowd of mostly lawyers and journalists crammed into the emergency ward of the hospital to accompany the body of a prominent lawyer who had been shot and killed in the city earlier that day.
Monday night’s attack also appeared well coordinated, with senior law enforcement agencies saying that assailants had fired at the police training centre from five different points.
The attackers then entered the centre’s hostel, where around 200 to 250 police recruits were resting, security officials said. At least three explosions were reported at the scene by local media
Quetta has long been regarded as a base for the Afghan Taliban, whose leadership has regularly held meetings there in the past.
The Afghan Taliban’s new leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, openly taught and preached at a mosque outside Quetta for 15 years, until May this year. Akhundzada’s predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, was killed by a US drone strike while travelling to Quetta from the Pakistan-Iran border.
Baluchistan province is no stranger to violence, with separatist fighters launching regular attacks on security forces for nearly a decade and the military striking back.
Militants, particularly sectarian groups, have also launched a campaign of suicide bombings and assassinations of minority Shiites.
“Extremely huge” bribes involved in handing out procurement contracts
The former manager of a Chinese state-owned coal-mining firm has been found guilty of accepting bribes and given a death sentence.
From 2005 to 2011 Yu Tieyi was in charge of supplies to Heilongjiang Longmay Mining Holding Group Co Ltd, during which time he was accused of taking bribes in exchange for handing out bloated procurement contracts, according to a Monday report from Xinhua. In delivering the guilty verdict, the court in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang granted Yu Tieyi “leniency” for good behaviour, by giving him a two-year reprieve before the sentence is carried out.
The verdict stated the amount of Yu’s bribes was “extremely huge” and the state had suffered “a great loss,” both warranting the most severe penalty — death sentence without reprieve.
However, the court showed leniency because Yu had behaved well during investigation, reported the crimes of his accomplice, and returned most of the bribes.
The Chinese government under President Xi Jinping has cracked down on deep-rooted corruption since 2013 – with dozens of senior officials investigated or jailed. Known by its Orwellian title, the “Central Discipline Inspection Commission” has netted a number of big fish, including Jiang Jiemin, the former chairman of China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) who in September 2014 came under investigation. Oilprice.com named a number of other prominent oil industry figures swept up by the state that year, including:
Bo Qiliang, PetroChina vice president in charge of CNPC’s overseas business, detained on or around May 13;
Zhang Benquan, general manager of CNPC’s Iran subsidiary, detained in April;
Yan Cunzhang, general manager of PetroChina’s foreign cooperation department, detained in April;
Li Hualin, former CNPC deputy general manager, reportedly a target of a Communist Party corruption probe;
Wang Daofu, former PetroChina chief geologist, under investigation along with Ran Xinquan, former general manager at PetroChina subsidiary Changqing Oilfield Co.;
Sun Weidong, former deputy manager of PetroChina subsidiary Yumen Oilfield Co., under investigation;
Yang Guoling, assistant general manager and senior accountant at Yumen Oilfield Co., indicted for corruption.
In March of this year the deputy general manager of Chinese coal conglomerate Kailuan Group came under investigation for “serious violations of discipline”, Reuters said.
This upstart Filipino newcomer to the world stage has become a monster of his own mind & it has gone to his head.
He thinks he is at the same level as the world powers. The clown that is Rodrigo Duterte. Drunk on power. SAD CASE.
‘He says’ Please do not bring up the fact that I am encouraging my people to murder their friends & fellow citizens because they enjoy their pot or whatever.I have the right to do that because I am the BOSS.. Does not this person answer to the parliament of his country before setting forth on his murderous rampage of his citizens at will ?.
It seems he uses this descriptive rhetoric because he has been haunted by the fact that women in his country are deserting his homeland for westerners who can provide a better life than men like he can? Does he call them whores?
He is offering murder, abuse & dictatorial control. THIS IS YOUR LEADER & YOUR LIFE NOW PHILIPPINES .
Enjoy his tenure. He has indicated he is the leader of a nation of whores.Long live his short reign.
His time will come & the sooner the better.Enjoy it while you can Rodrigo Duterte
Obama is the leader of a great nation of multicultural peoples.
What is Rodrigo Duterte…?Has he a life or just an attitude??
Mr Duterte said he regretted that his comments “came across as a personal attack” on Mr Obama, after the White House cancelled a scheduled meeting.
The Philippines leader has been roundly criticised outside his country for a “war on drugs” that has killed about 2,400 people since he took office two months ago.
The White House had earlier said Mr Obama would not pull any punches on his concerns about human rights abuses in the Philippines when meeting Mr Duterte.
“Who is he to confront me?” Mr Duterte had told journalists ahead of the ASEAN summit in Laos.
“You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum.”
The Philippines Government moved to soothe tensions between the nations after the meeting was cancelled.
“President Duterte explained that the press reports that President Obama would ‘lecture’ him on extrajudicial killings led to his strong comments, which in turn elicited concern,” the Government said in a statement.
“He regrets that his remarks to the press have caused much controversy.”
In a separate statement, Mr Duterte said he remained committed to Manila’s alliance with the United States.
“Our primary intention is to chart an independent foreign policy while promoting ties with all nations, especially the US with which we have had a longstanding partnership,” he said.
Two ex police officers get life sentences after court finds them guilty of executing Jamie Gao.
As grey-haired killers Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara waited to learn their fate for murder, each of them took turns in shutting their eyes for several minutes at a time.
But the former policemen, 75 and 57 respectively, were wide-eyed and standing when they were given a life sentence for the “heinous” and “audacious” murder of university student and drug dealer Jamie Gao, 20.
Rogerson, McNamara trial: What happened in unit 803?
The trial of Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara over the murder of Jamie Gao heard three accounts of the university student’s death in a Sydney storage unit.
On Friday Justice Geoffrey Bellew found the pair had been “overwhelmed by greed” when they killed Mr Gao to steal 2.78 kilograms of ice.
He also said the pair had “a complete disregard for the life of another human being” when they murdered Mr Gao inside a southern Sydney storage unit in May 2014.
“The joint criminal enterprise to which each offender was a party was extensive in its planning, brutal in its execution, and callous in its aftermath,” Justice Bellew said during his sentencing remarks before the NSW Supreme Court on Friday.
The pair were also given a minimum nine-year sentence for the supply of a prohibited narcotic drug
Upon hearing the life sentence handed down, Mr Gao’s family released a statement, saying the life sentence was everything they had hoped for.
“To have these two men, who took Jamie from us, sentenced to essentially die in jail, is absolutely fitting,” they said.
“The courts can’t lessen the term of Jamie’s death or the impact that his death, the investigation and ensuing trial has had on our family. Unfortunately, there is no opportunity for a lesser sentence for Jamie or for those of us left behind.”
During his sentencing remarks Justice Bellew noted Mr Gao had been killed by two former police officers.
“Aspects of their commission of these crimes reflect the fact the offenders put to use, for all the wrong reasons, knowledge and experience that they gained as a consequence of their investigation of criminal offences when they were members of the police force,” he said.
Upon learning his fate, an apparently emotionless Rogerson hobbled down the stairs in his prison greens with corrective service officers to the cells below the historic Darlinghurst court complex.
The joint criminal enterprise … was extensive in its planning, brutal in its execution and callous in its aftermath.
Justice Geoffrey Bellew
McNamara said to his teary family “be strong”: his daughter Jessica responded by blowing kisses.
During an 18-week trial, a jury heard how Rogerson and McNamara had spent months planning the murder of Mr Gao to steal 2.78 kilograms of the drug ice from him.
Mr Gao was shot dead and stuffed into a silver surfboard bag then dumped at sea. His body was found floating off the shore of Cronulla several days later.
“The disposal of the deceased’s body at sea was both cruel and insensitive. It was done solely for the purpose of the offenders endeavouring to ensure that the deceased would never be found, rendering it all the more difficult for any responsibility to ever be attributed to either of them,” Justice Bellew said.
During the sentencing hearing the court heard how on the day of the murder, Mr Gao was captured on CCTV footage going into unit 803 at Padstow Rent-a-Space, with McNamara.
A little more than three minutes later, Rogerson walked into the shed.
At some point, Mr Gao was shot dead although Rogerson and McNamara blamed one another.
Rogerson told the court that McNamara told him there had been a struggle, and that Mr Gao had shot himself twice in the chest.
But McNamara said he was by himself with Mr Gao inside the shed when Rogerson opened the door and demanded the victim hand over the “gear”.
Mr Gao pulled out a combat-style knife and, simultaneously, Rogerson produced a gun and fired two shots.
McNamara said Rogerson then aimed the gun at his head and threatened to kill him and his daughters if he did not help dispose of the body.
Justice Bellew rejected both of their accounts but said he could not find beyond reasonable doubt who had pulled the trigger.
“The deceased was executed in cold blood, just as the offenders had planned. Clearly, one of them shot the deceased. There is an obvious suspicion, arising from the evidence of the presence of gunshot residue on his clothing, that it was Rogerson who did so,” he said.
“Whilst I am satisfied that the deceased was shot by one of the offenders whilst in storage unit 803, I am unable to determine which offender was responsible.”
The jury accepted the pair were part of a joint criminal enterprise, finding them both guilty of murder and commercial supply of a prohibited drug in June.
Brittanee Drexel was raped in a gang “stash house”. Picture: Missing Brittanee Marie Drexel
A TEENAGER who vanished from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 2009 was repeatedly raped in a gang “stash house” for several days — then she was shot dead and fed to alligators when her disappearance generated too much media attention, the FBI said last week.
Fox News reports the shocking new details about the mysterious disappearance of 17-year-old Rochester, New York, native Brittanee Drexel came largely from a “jailhouse confession” that was subsequently substantiated by others with “titbits” and “second-hand information,” FBI Agent Gerrick Munoz testified in a federal court transcript obtained by The Post and Courier.
The inmate who gave the alleged bombshell confession, Taquan Brown, is serving a 25-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter in a different case.
Brown told authorities he was present during the final agonising moments of Drexel’s life, Munoz said.
Brown claimed to have seen Drexel when he visited a “stash house” — typically a place used to keep guns, drugs or money — in the McClellanville area, the general location where Drexel’s cellphone last pinged.
Munoz said Brown told officials he saw Da’Shaun Taylor, then 16 years old, and several other men “sexually abusing Brittanee Drexel.”
Brown then said he walked to the backyard of the house to give money to Taylor’s father, Shaun Taylor. But as Brown and Shaun Taylor talked, Drexel tried to make a break for it.
Her escape attempt was in vain, however, and one of the captors “pistol-whipped” Drexel and carried her back inside the house. Brown said he then heard two gunshots.
The next time Brown said he saw Drexel, her body was being wrapped up and removed from the house.
Drexel’s body has never been found, but Munoz said “several witnesses” have told investigators she was dumped in an unspecified McClellanville pond teeming with alligators.
Drexel was last captured on video on April 25, 2009, leaving the Blue Water Hotel in Myrtle Beach, where she was staying against her parents’ permission.
A different inmate serving time at Georgetown County Jail told officials he was informed Da’Shaun Taylor picked Drexel up in Myrtle Beach and transported her to McClellanville.
Munoz said the FBI believes Taylor “showed her off, introduced her to some other friend that were there … they ended up tricking her out with some of their friends, offering her to them and getting a human trafficking situation.”
As the media spotlight grew ever brighter on the desperate efforts to find Drexel, the girl was “murdered and disposed of,” Munoz said.
Munoz’s testimony was part of a bond hearing for a federal charge against Da’Shaun Taylor, now 25, stemming from a 2011 robbery of a McDonald’s. Taylor had previously confessed to being the getaway driver for the holdup, co-operated with South Carolina authorities and completed probation. But prosecutors are now trying to bring federal charges and, if convicted of the new charges, Taylor could face a life sentence.
Taylor’s lawyer contended the federal charges are a naked attempt to “squeeze” Taylor for information on the Drexel case. Asked by Magistrate Judge Mary Gordon Baker about “the real reason” for the charges and if they had to do with Drexel’s disappearance, Assistant US Attorney Winston Holliday said “that would be one” reason.
Taylor was released after posting $10,000 bail.
The FBI declined to discuss Munoz’s testimony or any aspect of the Drexel case with The Post and Courier.
The stolen vehicles had a common software that’s used by auto technicians and dealers.
The thieves reprogramed cars’ security so their own electronic keys would work to open them.
Two men jailed in Houston and accused of using pirated computer software to steal more than 100 vehicles may have exploited an electronic vulnerability to advance auto theft into high-tech crime.
Michael Arce, 24, and Jesse Zelaya, 22, focused on new Jeep and Dodge vehicles, which attract big money on the black market in Mexico, authorities said. The men allegedly used a laptop computer to reprogram the targeted vehicles’ electronic security so their own key worked.
The stolen vehicles had a common software that’s used by auto technicians and dealers, Houston police officer Jim Woods said.
“As you get more and more computers installed in vehicles — if somebody has that knowledge and that ability, they can turn around and figure out a way to manipulate the system,” he said.
Fiat Chrysler, which makes Jeeps and Dodges, and police are investigating how the thieves got access to a computerized database of codes used by dealers, locksmiths and independent auto repair shops to replace lost key fobs, said Berj Alexanian, a spokesman at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. He said the code database is national and includes vehicles in areas outside of Houston, although he wasn’t aware of similar thefts elsewhere.
“We’re looking at every and all solutions to make sure our customers can safely and without thinking park their vehicles,” Alexanian said Friday.
With more automotive tasks becoming computerized and more cars being linked to the internet, such thefts are likely to increase across the globe, said Yoni Heilbronn, a computer security expert.
The auto industry has worked hard in the past year to develop protections, but hackers with multiple motivations will always be looking for ways to get in, said Heilbronn, vice president of marketing for Argus Cyber Security, an Israeli company that works with automakers.
While increased computerization brings safety benefits, Heilbronn foresees more thefts, malicious software being installed that shuts down cars until a ransom is paid, and even attacks that disable many cars at a time. The industry, he said, has to install multiple layers of defense.
Automakers have been working together to develop best practices and to share information on cybersecurity threats. Companies, including Fiat Chrysler, have their own hacking teams and have offered bounties to outside hackers if they find vulnerabilities.
The Houston investigation began in late May with the theft of a Jeep Wrangler near downtown. Leads in that case had been exhausted when investigators received information from federal Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers about vehicles being stolen using a laptop. Arce and Zelaya then were identified as suspects.
The two men, who each have criminal records, were arrested last weekend driving a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee after police had been concentrating on an area of Houston that had been hit previously by auto thieves. They also recovered electronic devices, keys and other tools believed used in the thefts, along with drugs, firearms and body armor.
In the Jeep Wrangler case caught on a surveillance video, the suspect got under the hood, cut wires to the horn to disable an alarm and then got inside the SUV. Once inside, he used the database and the vehicle identification number to program a new key fob for the Jeep.
Arce remained in jail without bond on charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle, felony possession of a weapon, and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He was set for a court appearance Aug. 26.
Zelaya is being held on $500,000 bond on a charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle and was due in court Wednesday.
A 27-year-old man who had been denied asylum dies after explosion in southern German town
Janek Schmidt in Munich and agencies
A Syrian man killed himself and injured 12 people after a “deliberate explosion” outside a music festival in the German town of Ansbach.
Authorities said the 27-year-old had been denied asylum a year ago and had a history of making attempts on his own life.
It is believed a device he was carrying exploded although it is not clear whether it was a suicide bombing or whether the man intended to plant it and harm others.
At a media conference in the early hours of Monda,y the Bavarian interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, said the man had attempted to gain entrance to the Ansbach open music festival.
More than 2,000 people had been in the crowd in the small town of 40,000 people south-west of Nuremberg that is also home to a US army base.
Herrmann said the man was carrying a backpack at the time of the blast, at about 10pm on Sunday, but was turned away at the entrance to the festival, where the performers were to have included Ian Anderson, frontman of defunct prog-rock band Jethro Tull.
The backpack contained metal items used in “wood manufacturing” and could have killed many more people, he said.
Hermann did not specify whether these items were nails or screws but he said that because of the contents a terrorist motivation for the incident could not be ruled out.
However, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Ansbach said the attacker’s motive was unclear. “If there is an Islamist link or not is purely speculation at this point,” said the spokesman, Michael Schrotberger.
Hermann said the man’s request for asylum was rejected a year ago, but he was allowed to remain in Germany on account of the situation in Syria. “It’s terrible … that someone who came into our country to seek shelter has now committed such a heinous act and injured a large number of people who are at home here, some seriously,” he said.
“It’s a further, horrific attack that will increase the already growing security concerns of our citizens. We must do everything possible to prevent the spread of such violence in our country by people who came here to ask for asylum.”
Herrmann added it was unclear if the man had planned to kill only himself or “take others with him into death”.
At least 12 people are reported to have been injured in the blast – three are believed to be in a serious condition.
Shortly after the explosion, the mayor of Ansbach said the blast had been caused deliberately.
A police spokesman said: “An explosion went off in the city centre and a man, which the latest inquiries show caused it, was killed in the event.” After the explosion the area was evacuated and the music festival cancelled.
Thomas Debinski, who was interviewed by Sky News, described a “disturbing” scene as people in the small city realised a violent act had taken place.
“People were definitely panicking, the rumour we were hearing immediately was that there had been a gas explosion,” he said. “But then people came past and said it was a rucksack that had exploded. Someone blew themselves up. After what just happened in Munich it’s very disturbing to think what can happen so close to you in such a small town.”
Police sealed off the town centre and emergency services attended the scene. Bomb experts were sent to determine the cause of the explosion.
Police had said earlier the explosion might have been caused by a gas leak. But a spokesman for the Bavarian interior ministry later said the blast was not an accident and appeared to have been intentional. “The explosion was set off deliberately,” said Michael Siefener, a spokesman for the regional interior ministry.
Germany, and Bavaria in particular, has been on edge after a deadly rampage at a Munich shopping mall on Friday in which nine people were killed, and an axe attack on a train near Würzburg last Monday in which five people were wounded.
10 officers have been shot by two snipers, leaving three officers dead and two in surgery, according to the Dallas police chief, KDFW reported. The shooting broke out during peaceful protests in downtown Dallas. There is an active shooter situation.
Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown added that the shots came from two snipers.
Three of the officers are reported to be in critical condition.
Dallas Police Chief: 2 snipers shoot 10 officers; 3 killed, 3 in critical condition, 2 in surgery
10 police officers shot, 3 killed at Dallas #BlackLivesMatter rally, sniper reported
★ Dozens dead as vehicle crashed into crowd in Nice, France
AT LEAST 60 people have been killed in France after a truck packed with arms and grenades ploughed into a crowd during Bastille Day celebrations in the southern city of Nice.
The city’s mayor said dozens had been killed in the apparent attack while local media is reporting 73 unconfirmed fatalities and more than 100 people injured.
A spokesman for France’s Interior Ministry said “it’s going to be a very high toll”.
The incident interrupted a fireworks display for the national celebration when the huge truck rammed into the crowd celebrating on the French Riviera.
Mown down bodies remain strewn on the streets and the scene has been described as “apocalyptic” and “carnage on the road”.
Christian Estrosi, president of the region, says the truck in Nice was loaded with weapons including grenades.
A man who witnessed the attack told CNN he saw the driver accelerate and aim for people as the vehicle slammed the crowd.
The driver then emerged from the truck and opened fire on the crowd, another eyewitness said. French media is now reporting the gunman got back in the driver’s seat and travelled to another populated area before starting to shoot again.
Police reportedly opened fire on the truck, which local media said crushed revellers and sent people running for their lives. The truck’s driver was shot dead.
Witnesses have reported people being hit by debris flying around the scene, and videos have emerged on social media showing people fleeing in panic.
Images of streets strewn with bodies are flooding social media as authorities warn locals and tourists to stay indoors.
“The driver of a van appears to have killed dozens. Stay in your homes for now. More info to follow,” mayor Christian Estrosi wrote on Twitter.
Local authorities from the Alpes-Maritimes prefecture also urged people to remain indoors following what appeared to be a deliberate attack on crowds who had been watching the annual fireworks display from the famed Promenade des Anglais.
Witnesses also described hearing gunfire, but this was not immediately confirmed by the authorities.
There is speculation the fatal attack was an act of terrorism. Authorities are yet to comment on the situation and emergency crews remain on the scene.
Panic has broken out in Paris where a fire has broken out by the Eiffel Tower following the Nice attack.
The fire is not believed to be terror-related and is not being treated as an attack.