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2 dead in attack targeting German synagogue on Yom Kippur

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HALLE, Germany (AP) — A heavily armed assailant ranting about Jews tried to force his way into a synagogue in Germany on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day, then shot two people to death nearby in an attack Wednesday that was livestreamed on a popular gaming site.

The attacker shot at the door of the synagogue in the eastern city of Halle but did not get in as 70 to 80 people inside were observing the holy day.

The gunman shouted that Jews were “the root” of “problems” such as feminism and “mass immigration,” according to a group that tracks online extremism. It said a roughly 36-minute video posted online featured the assailant, who spoke a combination of English and German, denying the Holocaust before he shot a woman in the street after failing to enter the synagogue. He then entered a nearby kebab shop and killed another person before fleeing.

Synagogue shooting

Germany’s top security official, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, said authorities must assume that it was an anti-Semitic attack, and said prosecutors believe there may be a right-wing extremist motive. He said several people were hurt.

The attack “strikes the Jewish community, Jewish people not just in Germany but particularly in Germany, to the core,” said the country’s main Jewish leader, Josef Schuster. “It was, I think, only lucky circumstances that prevented a bigger massacre.”

The filming of Wednesday’s attack echoed another horrific shooting halfway around the world when a far-right white supremacist in March killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and livestreamed much of the attack on Facebook. That massacre drew strong criticism of social media giants for not immediately finding and blocking such a violent video.

Wednesday’s assault followed attacks in the United States over the past year on synagogues in Pittsburgh and Poway, California.

The head of Halle’s Jewish community, Max Privorozki, told news magazine Der Spiegel that a surveillance camera at the entrance of the synagogue showed a person trying to break into the building.

“The assailant shot several times at the door and also threw several Molotov cocktails, firecrackers or grenades to force his way in,” he said. “But the door remained closed — God protected us. The whole thing lasted perhaps five to 10 minutes.”

A video clip shown on regional public broadcaster MDR showed a man in a helmet and an olive-colored top getting out of a car and firing four shots from behind the vehicle from a long-barreled gun.

Conrad Roessler said he was in the kebab shop when a man with a helmet and a military jacket threw something that looked like a grenade, which bounced off the doorframe. He said the man then shot into the shop.

“All the customers next to me ran, of course I did too. I think there were five or six of us in there,” Roessler told n-tv television. “The man behind me probably died.”

“I hid in the toilet,” he added. “The others looked for the back entrance. I didn’t know if there was one. I locked myself quietly in this toilet, and wrote to my family that I love them, and waited for something to happen.”

Police then came into the shop, he said.

Schuster offered his condolences to the relatives of “the two completely uninvolved people” who were killed and his sympathy to those were wounded. German authorities didn’t give any details on the victims.

The SITE Intelligence Group said the video on livestreaming site Twitch started with the assailant saying “my name is Anon and I think the Holocaust never happened.” He mentioned feminism and “mass immigration” and said that “the root of all these problems is the Jew.”

The video, which apparently was filmed with a head-mounted camera, showed the perpetrator driving up to the synagogue in a car packed with ammunition and what appeared to be home-made explosives.

He tried two doors and placed a device at the bottom of a gate, then fired at a woman trying to walk past his parked car. The assailant then fired rounds into the synagogue’s door, which didn’t open. He drove a short distance to park opposite the kebab shop. He fired at what appeared to be an employee, while customers scrambled away.

Twitch said it was “shocked and saddened” by the attack. “We worked with urgency to remove this content and will permanently suspend any accounts found to be posting or reposting content of this abhorrent act,” it said in an emailed response to a query about Wednesday’s events. It wasn’t immediately able to confirm who streamed the footage.

Twitch, owned by e-commerce giant Amazon, is best known as a site for watching others play video games, sometimes with commentary and tips for viewers. Wednesday’s attack appeared to be the first real-world violence livestreamed on Twitch, said Hannah Bloch-Wehba, a law professor at Drexel University. She said it was hard to guess why Twitch was chosen, although she noted that recent attempts by Facebook and Twitter to crack down on such material may be forcing attackers to look for new outlets.

Federal prosecutors, who in Germany handle cases involving suspected terrorism or national security, took over the investigation into the attack in Halle.

Authorities said shortly after the shooting that a person had been arrested, but advised residents to stay indoors for several hours as they worked to determine whether there were other assailants. They gave no information on the suspect but Der Spiegel and dpa, which cited unidentified security sources, said the suspect is a 27-year-old German citizen from Saxony-Anhalt state, where Halle is located. They identified him only as Stephan B.

Synagogues are often protected by police in Germany and have been for many years amid concerns over far-right and Islamic extremism, but Schuster said that there was no police presence outside the Halle synagogue on Wednesday.

“I am convinced that if there had been police protection there, in all probability the assailant would not have been able to attack a second site,” he said.

Security was stepped up at synagogues in other cities after the shooting in Halle.

German officials rushed to condemn the attack. Chancellor Angela Merkel visited a synagogue in Berlin on Wednesday evening in a show of solidarity.

“Shots being fired at a synagogue on Yom Kippur, the festival of reconciliation, hits us in the heart,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter. “We must all act against anti-Semitism in our country.”

Anti-Semitism is a top concern in Germany, where reports of anti-Semitic incidents rose 10% last year, according to Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center and where Merkel’s government earlier this year reaffirmed its commitment to protecting Jews who wear skullcaps from anti-Semitic threats.

Wednesday’s attack drew renewed calls from Jewish groups in the U.S. to step up cooperation in combating anti-Semitism. “We have been saying for several years that anti-Semitism is real, it’s resurgent, it’s lethal and it’s multi-sourced,” American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris said.

Noting that the attack in Halle comes on the heels of the one-year anniversary of an anti-Semitic shooting that killed 11 worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, he said such attacks “should be triggering alarm bells. The question is whether they are.”

AP

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Crime

Youngster marriage

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Youngster marriage

Present status + progress

Kid marriage is really a breach of individual liberties, it is all too typical

Wedding prior to the chronilogical age of 18 is really a fundamental breach of peoples legal rights. Numerous facets communicate to put a kid susceptible to marriage, including poverty, the perception that marriage will provide ‘protection’, family members honor, social norms, customary or spiritual laws and regulations that condone the practice, an insufficient legislative framework additionally the state of the country registration system that is’s civil. Whilst the training is much more frequent among girls than men, it really is a breach of legal rights aside from intercourse.

Kid marriage frequently compromises a girl’s development by leading to very very early maternity and social isolation, interrupting her education, restricting her possibilities for profession and vocational development and putting her at increased danger of domestic physical physical violence. Even though effect on kid grooms will not be extensively examined, marriage may similarly put males in a grown-up part which is why they have been unprepared, and may even spot pressures that are economic them and curtail their possibilities for further training or a better job.

Cohabitation – when a couple lives ‘in union’, as though hitched – rosebrides raises exactly the same rights that are human as wedding. Whenever a few cohabitates, the presumption can be that they’re grownups, even though one or both have not yet reached the chronilogical age of 18. (more…)

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Africa

Nigerian Children, At Least 300, Chained, Starved, Sexually Abused In Kaduna House Of Horror

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The police in Kaduna State have uncovered a building in Rigasa where
at least 300 people many of whom are children are tortured, chained,
sexually assaulted and starved.

The police added that there were signs that the victims were being
indoctrinated.

The victims, according to the police during a press conference, are
from Burkina Faso, Mali, and other African countries.

Bello Hamza, who had spent three months in chains at the centre, told
journalists, “I got admission to study Applied Mathematics, but here I
am chained. They claim to be teaching us the Quran and Islam but they
do a lot of things here. They subject the younger ones to
homosexuality.

“This is supposed to be an Islamic centre, but trying to run away from
here attracts severe punishment; they tie people and hang them to the
ceiling for that, but engaging in homosexuality attracts no
punishment.

“Within my short stay here, somebody had died as a result of torture.
Others have died before my coming due to poor health and torture. They
give us very poor food and we only eat twice a day; 11 am and 10 pm.

“They have denied me a lot of things here. I am a family man, I have
responsibilities, but I am chained here not knowing what is happening
to my family members.”

Ali Janga, the Kaduna police commissioner, said: “We received
information that something is going on in this rehabilitation centre
or Islamic centre. So, I sent my DPO here to check what was going on.

“On getting here, we discovered that this is neither a rehabilitation
centre or Islamic school. You can see it yourself that, small
children, some of whom are brought from neighbouring African countries
like Burkina Faso, Mali and others and from across Nigeria. Most of
them are even chained.

“These people are being used, dehumanized. You can see it yourself.
The man who is operating this home claimed that parents brought their
children here for rehabilitation. But, from the look on things, this
is not a rehabilitation centre. No reasonable parent will bring his
children to this place.

“So, we are going to investigate them and get to the root of the
matter. We will find out the real motive behind this centre, and if
they are found wanting they will be charged to court. But first, we
are evacuating all the people from this place to our station and we
will make an announcement for parents to come and recover their
children.”

But the owner of the centre said, “Those chained are the stubborn ones
who attempted to run away. Those who don’t attempt running away are
not chained. Some were chained before and after settling down, they
were freed.

“Most of them were brought by their parents from across the country
and others from outside the countries

“All those allegations of torture, dehumanization, and homosexuality
are false. We do nothing here other than teaching people Islam.

“They don’t do anything other than, recitation of Qur’an, pray and
worship God,” the Malam said.

SAHARAREPORTERS

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Crime

Prosecution Closes Case In Danish Citizen’s Murder Trial

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The Lagos State Government has concluded its evidence in the ongoing trial of Danish citizen, Peter Nielsen, who is standing trial before Justice Okikiolu Ighile in Igbosere Division of Lagos High Court.

Neilsen is being prosecuted by the state for allegedly murdering his wife, Zainab, and their three-year-old daughter, Petra.

At the resumed hearing on September 20, 2019, the prosecution led by Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Titilayo Shitta-Bey, concluded their case.

The defendant’s team led by Mr Olasupo Shasore (SAN) had taken the last prosecution witness, Dr Idem Somiari, on a train of cross-extermination.

The state’s ninth witness was examined and cross-examined for over three days.

Dr Somiari under cross-extermination by Shasore on Friday stated that the defendant’s DNA was found in the apartment and on the nightie of his deceased wife.

He testified further that the defendant’s DNA was not found anywhere on the body of his deceased daughter, nor in the kitchen where the bodies of both victims were discovered.

The expert however, stated that he found the DNA of an unknown female in the kitchen.

When confronted that the crime scene investigation and forensic DNA analysis was deliberately aimed at gathering evidence and arriving at results showing that the defendant was guilty of the murder, Dr Somiari denied it.

Dr Somiari was also unable to account for the number of people that had access to the crime scene in the period between the discovery of the bodies and the examination of the crime scene by forensic experts.

The prosecution witness also informed the court that samples for DNA analysis were only taken from three occupants of the apartment; the defendant and the two deceased persons even though six people lived in the apartment at the time of the murder.

The prosecution has now closed its case and the court has adjourned the matter until October 25, 2019 for continuation of trial.

It is expected that the defence would open its case on that day.

SAHARAREPORTERS

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