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Archive for August, 2017

Berlin: A German nurse serving a life sentence for murdering two of his patients is believed to have killed at least 86 others entrusted to his care, officials said Monday, in what they described as an imagination-defying series of crimes.

The nurse, identified as Niels Hoegel, was sentenced to life in prison in February 2015, after a court in the northern town of Oldenburg found him guilty of administering overdoses of heart medication to some patients in an intensive care ward in Delmenhorst.

He was convicted of two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and causing bodily harm to patients and is serving his sentence.

During his trial, the former nurse confessed to intentionally inducing cardiac crises in 90 of his patients, 30 of whom he said had died. That prompted officials to launch an investigation into the deaths of some 130 of Hoegel’s former patients. The results were presented Monday in Oldenburg.

At least 84 of the convicted killer’s former patients were found to have died after suffering from injections of five different forms of medication, Johan Kuehme, chief of police in Oldenburg, told reporters.

Authorities are waiting for the results of another 41 toxicology reports, the results of which could drive the number of confirmed deaths even higher, he said.

“The realisation of what we were able to learn is horrifying,” Kuehme told reporters. “It defies any scope of the imagination.”

Former nurse Niels Hoegel stands in the courtroom wearing handcuffs and covering his face with a file at the district court in Oldenburg, Germany image www.crimefiles.net

Hoegel, now 40, told the court at the time that he had enjoyed trying to revive the patients. But his efforts did not always succeed, leaving some to become his victims.

Former nurse Niels Hoegel, accused of multiple murder and attempted murder of patients, covering his face with a file at the district court in Oldenburg,Germany

The special commission, launched in October 2014, combed through evidence that included more than 500 patient files. It based its conclusions in part on toxicology tests on the remains of 134 possible victims, who were exhumed to see if they contained traces of the chemicals the nurse had confessed to using.

It found that Hoegel had administered lethal injections to patients at a hospital in Oldenburg, where he worked from 1999 to 2001.

In October 2016, prosecutors brought charges against six employees of the hospital in Delmenhorst, on suspicion of negligent manslaughter, for failing to take action despite their suspicion regarding the nurse’s actions.

A related investigation into hospital personnel in Oldenburg is continuing, but no one has been charged.

Niels Hoegel, face covered, was convicted in 2015 of two murders and two attempted murders at a clinic in the northwestern town of Delmenhorst.Germany.

Copenhagen: The mystery surrounding the fate of Swedish journalist Kim Wall has deepened with the discovery of a headless body in the Baltic Sea near where she is believed to have died on a homemade submarine.

The female torso without legs, arms or a head was found by a member of the public, said the head of the Danish police investigation, Jens Moller Jensen.

“We have recovered the body … It is the torso of a woman,” Jensen told media. “An inquest will be conducted.”

He said it was “too early” to say if the body was that of 30-year-old Swedish reporter Wall, who went missing more than a week ago after a trip on the submarine owned by 46-year-old Peter Madsen, a Danish inventor.

Jensen said the body was discovered hours after Madsen told authorities that Wall had died on board in an accident, and that he buried her at sea at an unspecified location.

Madsen was arrested in connection with Wall’s disappearance after his submarine sank off Denmark’s eastern coast, an incident police believe was deliberate.

He denied any wrongdoing and initially told authorities he had dropped the reporter off on a island in Copenhagen’s harbour on August 10.

Madsen will continue to be held on preliminary manslaughter charges, police said.

Madsen was known for financing his submarine project through crowdfunding. The first launch of his 40-tonne, nearly 18-metre-long UC3 Nautilus in 2008 made international headlines.

Wall’s family earlier told The Associated Press that she had worked in many dangerous places as a journalist and it was unimaginable “something could happen … just a few miles from the childhood home”.

Before his arrest, Madsen appeared on Danish television to discuss the submarine’s sinking and his rescue. The submarine was found 22 feet below sea level and was brought ashore shortly after it sank.

It was the journalist’s boyfriend who alerted authorities that the sub had not returned from a test run, police said.

Wall’s disappearance has riveted Scandinavia with the latest development raising more questions than it answers.

Madsen is due again in court next month. His lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, told the Danish television network TV2 that her client was cooperating with police investigators and that he maintained that he was not guilty.

Madsen is known in Denmark as “Rocket Madsen,” an uncompromising builder of submarines and space rockets who was hoping to become the world’s first amateur space traveller riding in a homemade rocket.

For years he was able to build a community that offered helping hands and raised funds for his projects. But his temper caused conflicts with many of them, Thomas Djursing, a biographer, told BT, a Danish newspaper.

“He argues with every Tom, Dick and Harry,” Djursing said. “I’ve argued with him as well. But that’s what it’s like with people driven by deep passion.”

Wall’s friend and fellow journalist Victoria Greve, writing in the Swedish daily Expressen, commented on how improbable it was that a short day trip to Denmark would end up being the last reporting trip of her friend’s career.

“There’s a dark irony in Kim, who travelled to North Korea and reported from Haiti, should disappear in Denmark,” she wrote. “Perhaps it speaks to the vulnerability of female freelance journalists. To work alone and do everything.”

AP and the New York Times

Henry Sapiecha

The Spanish policeman, who shot and killed four terrorists as they attacked civilians with knives and an axe in the resort town of Cambrils, is a former special forces soldier who was working overtime.

The married father, who has not been named for security reasons, served with the Legion – an elite infantry unit of the Spanish army.

He was highly trained in firearms and marksmanship. After leaving the armed forces he joined the Catalan police force Mossos d’Esquadra, where he had hoped for a more stable and less dangerous life.

The officer was not meant to be on duty on Thursday night, but agreed to work overtime, to beef up security, after the attacks in Barcelona earlier that day.

As his patrol monitored the promenade in Cambrils, 120 kilometres from Barcelona, five terrorists drove into the resort intent on causing further death and destruction.

Driving at high speed, the jihadists ploughed a black Audi A3 into pedestrians on a promenade before crashing into a police checkpoint – overturning the vehicle and injuring one officer.

The terrorists, who were wearing fake suicide vests, then jumped out, armed with an axe and knives.

But using his army training and experience, the officer shot and killed four of them, probably saving dozens of lives.

The fifth terrorist got away and stabbed a woman in the neck before being shot dead by another officer.

The Audi A3 used in the Cambrils attack was photographed by a speed camera near Paris about a week before the atrocities in Spain, it has emerged.

French police found the photo while searching for possible accomplices, according to security sources.

Telegraph, London

Washington: US President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea, saying the US military was “locked and loaded” as Pyongyang accused him of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war and world powers expressed alarm.

The Pentagon said the United States and South Korea would proceed as planned with a joint military exercise in 10 days, an action sure to further antagonise North Korea.

Trump, vacationing at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort, again referred to North Korea’s leader in his latest bellicose remarks Friday evening Australia time. “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely,” he wrote on Twitter. “Hopefully Kim Jong Un [sic] will find another path!”

The term “locked and loaded,” popularised in the 1949 war film “Sands of Iwo Jima” starring American actor John Wayne, refers to preparations for shooting a gun.

Asked later by reporters to explain the remark, Trump said: “Those words are very, very easy to understand.”

Again referring to Kim, Trump added, “If he utters one threat … or if he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else that’s an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it, and he will regret it fast.”

In remarks to reporters after a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Trump said the situation with North Korea was “very dangerous and it will not continue.”

“We will see what happens. We think that lots of good things could happen, and we could also have a bad solution,” he said.

Despite the tough rhetoric, Trump insisted that “nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump.”

Trump said he thought US allies South Korea and Japan were “very happy” with how he was handling the confrontation.

The president, a wealthy businessman and former reality television personality, sent his tweet after North Korean state news agency, KCNA, said in a statement that “Trump is driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war.”

Guam, the Pacific island that is a US territory, posted emergency guidelines on Friday to help residents prepare for any potential nuclear attack after a threat from North Korea to fire missiles in its vicinity.

Guam is home to a US air base, a Navy installation, a Coast Guard group and roughly 6000 US military personnel. KCNA said on Thursday the North Korean army would complete plans in mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles over Japan to land in the sea (30-40 km) from Guam.

Trump called the governor of Guam, Eddie Baza Calvo. “We are with you a thousand percent. You are safe,” Trump told Calvo, who posted a video of him speaking with the president on Facebook.

Washington wants to stop Pyongyang from developing nuclear missiles that could hit the United States. North Korea sees its nuclear arsenal as protection against the United States and its partners in Asia.

Trump said he was considering additional sanctions on North Korea, adding that they would be “very strong.” He gave no details and did not make clear whether he meant unilateral or multilateral sanctions.

US officials have said new US steps that would target Chinese banks and firms doing business with Pyongyang are in the works, but these have appeared to be put on hold to give Beijing time to show it is serious about enforcing new UN sanctions.

Trump said he did not want to talk about diplomatic “back channels” with North Korea after US media reports that Joseph Yun, the US envoy for North Korea policy, has engaged in diplomacy for several months with Pak Song Il, a senior diplomat at Pyongyang’s UN mission, on the deteriorating relations and the issue of Americans imprisoned in North Korea.

But Daniel Russel, the former top US diplomat for East Asia until April, said this so-called New York channel had been a relatively commonplace means of communication with North Korea over the years, and it was not a forum for negotiation.

“It’s never been a vehicle for negotiations and this doesn’t constitute substantive US-DPRK dialogue,” he said, using the acronym for North Korea’s formal name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The annual joint US-South Korean military exercise, called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, is expected to proceed as scheduled starting on August 21, said Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman.

Trump’s latest comments were a continuation of days of incendiary rhetoric, including his warning on Tuesday that the United States would unleash “fire and fury” on Pyongyang if it threatened the United States.

Amid the heated words, South Koreans are buying more ready-to-eat meals that could be used in an emergency and the government is going to expand nationwide civil defense drills planned for August 23. Hundreds of thousands of troops and huge arsenals are arrayed on both sides of the tense demilitarised zone between the two Koreas.

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