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Several people were stabbed in an knife attack in the Finnish city of Turku on Friday but it was not immediately clear if this was a militant action or had some other motive. The Turun Sanomat newspaper reported that at least one person was killed in the attack. Newspaper Helsingin Sanomat said eight people had been taken to hospital following the stabbings, some of them are in critical condition.
Eight people were arrested at a "Free Speech Rally" in Boston that organisers said "fell apart" after it as dwarfed by a counter-protest against white nationalism. About 30 people attending the rally huddled on Boston Common's bandstand, their words drowned out by more than 10,000 counter-protesters. The two sides were kept more than 50 metres apart by fencing and police. Trouble flared only briefly. At the end of the hour-long rally when the speakers were hustled into a police van that was quickly surrounded by a mob shouting "make them walk". After a tense standoff police cleared a route away with a rolling blockade of motorbikes and bicycles. Police said they made 27 arrests. State and city police inspect people arriving for a "Free Speech" rally on Boston Common Credit: Michael Dwyer/AP American police had feared radical bands of counter-protesters were adding acid to their arsenal of extreme violence as they tried to disrupt far Right rallies and protests. The US has endured a hot week of demonstrations and soul-searching as the country re-examines its troubled racial history and the fall-out from Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency. Counterprotesters hold signs before conservative organizers begin a planned "Free Speech" rally on Boston Common, Saturday Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer As free speech campaigners and counter-protesters gathered in Boston for the latest potential flashpoint on Saturday, officers said they were worried militants were armed with acid. “We think it’s what they had in Charlottesville,” said one policeman, dressed all in black and equipped with a body camera, referring to violence last weekend in Virginia. “They are using hydrochloric acid or battery acid. “Their tactic now seems to be to cause so much trouble that the event just gets shut down before it can even begin.” Counter protesters gather in Roxbury before marching to the 'Free Speech Rally' on Boston Common Credit: Scott Eisen/Getty Images A law enforcement official told the Boston Globe that officers were investigating reports that radical counter-protesters were planning to throw acid. More than 600 officers yesterday patrolled fences and concrete blockades arranged on Boston Common to keep two rival rallies apart as crowds began gathering. Among them were more than 100 so-called antifa Left-wingers, wearing black scarves over their faces who paraded across the common chanting: “Nazi scum, off our streets.” Police stand by as thousands of protesters prepare to march in Boston Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images They are becoming a familiar sight as white supremacists assert their right to rally, one side in a bitter summer of discontent. The Boston event had been three months in the planning but took on greater significance after clashes in Charlottesville where a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, died when a car crashed into a crowd. Organisers of a the counter protest in Boston urged people to attend amid fears that members of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups would be among those at the free speech rally. Although the rally organizers stress that they are not associated with any alt-right or white supremacist groups, the city of Boston and Police Commissioner William Evans are preparing for possible confrontations Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images John Medlar, spokesman for Boston Free Speech which organised the rally, said such groups were not welcome. “We have made sure that one of the groups invited is not coming and have been clear that we are not neo Nazis. This has been misreported. We are only about free speech and have people from Left and Right speaking,” he said, referring to the part of the US constitution that guarantees free expression. Charlottesville far-right rally organiser is literally chased out of town 00:59 Among the confirmed guests were Joe Biggs, who used to work for the conspiracy-mongering website Infowars, as well as Shiva Ayyadurai, a scientist who claims to have invented email and is now running for the Senate. Police set strict limits banning protesters carrying anything that can be used as a weapon, as well as dogs and personal protection gear. However, that was not enough to prevent dozens of counter-protesters arriving with scarves over their faces and helmets. “It’s for protection,” said one man, who asked not to give his name. Charlottesville far-right protest In Dallas police used horses to break up a scuffle at a cemetery between people rallying against white supremacy and supporters of Confederate monuments. Officers riding on horseback had waited as the confrontation became more intense, but they moved in to break it up around 9 p.m. It happened at Pioneer Park, a Civil War cemetery that houses the memorial to Confederate soldiers. About 2,300 people, according to police estimates, showed up for a rally against racism at City Hall Plaza, not far from the cemetery. The group shouted," Take them down," referring to the monument.
At least 23 people were killed and dozens injured after an express train derailed in north India Saturday, officials said, as rescuers clambered across mangled carriages to pull passengers from the wreckage. Rescue and relief operations are continuing," G S Priyadarshi, Muzaffarnagar district magistrate, told AFP. A police officer at the accident spot said 50 people had been taken to hospital.
Hopes were fading for seven-year-old British boy Julian Cadman on Saturday as Spanish authorities revealed they were no longer searching for any missing youngsters. His father Andrew made the long flight from Australia and landed on Saturday afternoon to comfort his seriously injured wife, Jumarie, who had been in the area to attend a family wedding when she and her son were struck by the terrorist's van which killed 13 people and left more than 100 injured. Despite a major appeal by his loved ones, the former Kent schoolboy, who loved to dance and fill his pockets with Lego, has not been found. It is understood that Spanish authorities have a body that they believe is his, but are waiting for formal identification to take place. Another child was also taken in the tragedy, a three-year-old boy from Spain, died next to his mother. They had been on a family day out with relatives. The last smiling photo of honeymooners Jared Tucker and his wife Heidi Nunes was taken just an hour before the atrocity. The last smiling photo of honeymooners Jared Tucker and his wife Heidi Nunes was taken just an hour before the atrocity. The pair, who were celebrating their first wedding anniversary with a belated honeymoon, became separated in the attack and as his wife hid in a souvenir shop Mr Tucker, 42, hit by the van and died. Tales of heroism emerged of a brave stranger running into the carnage to try and save the lives of a Canadian family, picking up an injured man and placing him on the back of his scooter to rush him to hospital. The man's relative, grandfather Ian Moore Wilson, died at the scene as others battled to save his wife Valerie. Grandfather Ian Moore Wilson who died at the scene of the Barcelona attack. Italian father Bruno Gulotta, 35, died while trying to protect his child. He was on holiday with his wife Martina and two children when he was crushed to death as he walked hand in hand with his five-year-old son and died as he knelt down to shield the little boy. Belgian bank worker Elke Vanbockrijck, described as "super woman", lost her life as she walked with her husband and two sons, aged 11 and 14. Mum Elke Vanbockrijck was with her children when she died. Credit: AP Others killed include three Germans, Spaniard Pepita Codina, 75, Silvina Alejandra Pereyra, 40, an Argentine-Spanish dual citizen and Francisco Lopez, 65. In the second attack in Cambrils, Ana Maria Suarez, 61, died as terrorists attacked her family with knives. Her husband and sister were also injured in the attack. Those affected came from 34 countries, including China, Colombia, France, Germany, Honduras, Morocco, a testament to the global allure of the Spanish city.
An advisor to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said the six-year war is nearly over as foreign states cut backing for rebels, and vowed the government would confront any "illegitimate" forces, whether Turkish or American. Bouthaina Shaaban said the fact that Syria was staging the Damascus International Fair for the first time in the war "sends a message that the war has ended ... and we are at the start of the path towards reconstruction." With the help of Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, Damascus has shored up its rule over much of the country's populated west. The war, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people, has reached its "penultimate stage" as foreign powers that backed rebels change their policies, Shaaban said in comments to Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV carried on Syrian state news agency SANA on Thursday.
Prayer time is approaching but Raja Miah, an imam at a tiny mosque in the heart of Barcelona does not expect a big turnout. Since the twin attacks in Barcelona and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils claimed by the Islamic State group, the Muslim community in central Barcelona's neighbourhood of Raval fears an anti-Islam backlash. "People are very scared," said Miah, 23, as he sat in a small room at the mosque in Raval as a small group of children in an adjoining room studied the Koran.
Following violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, Facebook began taking down all positive mentions of an article by the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, attacking the woman who was killed protesting the rally. But while the site has been banned from Facebook, far-right users continued to post on a Daily Stormer group on VK, Russia's most popular social network. “Cloudflare just dropped us,” the Daily Stormer VK group posted on Wednesday, referring to the Internet security company that protects sites from cyber attacks. “We'll have to build an alternative.” White nationalists and far-right activists from Western countries have increasingly been moving to VK, also known as VKontakte, where they don't face the same censorship as on social media like Facebook. Charlottesville far-right protest Of the 97 major neo-Nazi, white nationalist and racist skinhead organisations on the Southern Poverty Law Centre's list of US hate groups, The Telegraph found VK groups matching at least nine of them, with members that appeared to be American. There were also more than 50 VK groups named after the Ku Klux Klan, although many of them appear to be run by Russian fans. According to the news site Meduza, more than 100 nationalist groups on VK have members from the United States, Germany, Sweden and other Western countries. Membership on the most popular of these groups numbers in the thousands. A far-right user who identified himself as Henry from Houston told Meduza that moving from Facebook to VK was becoming a “trend” among nationalists trying to avoid censorship. He's started two VK groups already with a total membership of 550. “You can't even write a post about Adolph Hitler” on Facebook, he complained. In contrast, on the Daily Stormer page and other VK groups, users have continued merrily posting racist slurs and threats. Dropped by its US domain registrar, the Daily Stormer also tried to relaunch its website under a Russian domain name, but this too was soon suspended. Asked about VK's apparent lack of censorship, a spokesman said the social network is “against calls for atrocities and violence” and deletes materials that include them. Russian authorities have been increasingly fining and even imprisoning social media users under a vague law against extremism, but many of these people have been convicted for criticising Russia's intervention in Ukraine. Law enforcement here most likely wouldn't be able to bring Americans to court on similar charges, however.
As the official start time of the contentious “Free Speech Rally” in Boston approached, the winner in the battle of words between organisers and counter-demonstrators had already been determined. If hateful speech aimed at Jewish people or minorities was chanted at Boston Common park, it was not audible at one of the largest rallies being held just one week after the deadly demonstrations in Charleston, Virginia, where neo-Nazis marched bearing torches, and where one woman was killed. Instead, an estimated 15,000 counter-protesters dominated the air with anti-Nazi and anti-fascist chants.
By Ed Cropley JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa has granted diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe's first lady, Grace Mugabe, allowing her to return to Harare and avoid prosecution for the alleged assault of a 20-year-old model, a security source said on Friday. South African police had put border posts on "red alert" to prevent Mugabe fleeing and indicated she would receive no special treatment in the case involving Gabriella Engels, who says Mugabe whipped her with an electric extension cable. A security source, however, said immunity had been granted.
Ruth Pfau, a German nun who devoted her life to combatting leprosy in Pakistan, was buried with full state honours on Saturday, in an unprecedented service for a foreign Christian in the Muslim-majority country. Pfau, who died at the age of 87 on August 10 was known locally as Pakistan's Mother Teresa. Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain attended the state funeral service at St Patrick's Cathedral in the city, where hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects.
The head of the Philippines' powerful Catholic Church called Sunday for an end to the "waste of human lives" following a brutal week in President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war in which a 17-year-old boy was among dozens killed. On Sunday, the highest-ranking Church official in the predominantly Catholic nation expressed concern about the increase in the number of deaths. "We knock on the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces with bonnets, to stop wasting human lives," Manila Cardinal Luis Tagle said in a statement read in Sunday Masses in the capital.
Two employees of elite universities charged in the fatal stabbing of a 26-year-old hair stylist were returned to Chicago early Saturday to face charges of first-degree murder in the brutal killing. Chicago police escorted fired Northwestern University professor Wyndham Lathem, 43, and Oxford University financial officer Andrew Warren, 56, from Northern California, where they surrendered peacefully on Aug. 4 after an eight-day, nationwide manhunt. Detectives were questioning the men Saturday. They could appear in court as early as Sunday. The men are accused of killing Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, a Michigan native who had been living in Chicago, last month in Lathem's high-rise Chicago condo. Chicago police have said Cornell-Duranleau suffered more than 40 stab wounds, including "mutilations," to his upper body. Authorities say the attack was so violent the blade of the knife they believe was used was broken. They found Cornell-Duranleau's body July 27 after the building's front desk received an anonymous call that a crime had occurred on the 10th floor. He had been dead more than 12 hours. By then, authorities say Lathem and Warren had fled the city. According to autopsy results released Friday by the Cook County medical examiner's office, Cornell-Duranleau had methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death. Wyndham Lathem Credit: Chicago Police Department/PA Police say Lathem and Cornell-Duranleau, who moved to Chicago from the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area about a year ago, had a personal relationship, though they have not described the nature of it or a motive for the attack. It's unclear what the relationship was between Lathem, Cornell-Duranleau and Warren, who's British. He arrived in the U.S. three days before the killing, after being reported missing in Great Britain. Lathem, a microbiologist who's been on Northwestern's faculty since 2007 but was not teaching at the time of the attack, was terminated by the university for fleeing from police when there was an arrest warrant out for him. Investigators said the day after the crime was committed Lathem and Warren drove about 80 miles (128 kilometers) northwest of Chicago to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. One of the men made a $1,000 donation to a local library in Cornell-Duranleau's name. Lake Geneva authorities said the man making the donation didn't give his name. Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau Credit: Facebook At another point after the killing, Lathem sent a video to friends and relatives apologizing for his involvement in the crime, which he called the "biggest mistake of my life." The video raised concern among investigators that Lathem might kill himself. Lathem and Warren both appeared in court in California last week, where they agreed to return to Illinois to face charges. An attorney for Lathem, Kenneth H. Wine, called him a "gentle soul" and said "what he is accused of is totally contrary to the way he has lived his entire life." Wine said Lathem intends to plead not guilty to the charges. Warren was represented by a public defender during a brief appearance in a San Francisco court. She said he is "presumed innocent," but declined to comment further.
A student who took part in the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville has said he is leaving Boston University because of the violent threats he has received since the event. “It’s becoming very dangerous,” Nicholas Fuentes told the Boston Globe. “Massachusetts, and Boston in particular, are among the most left-wing states and cities,” he said.
By Tom Perry and Angus McDowall BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Lebanese army launched an offensive on Saturday against an Islamic State enclave on the northeastern border with Syria, as the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah announced an assault on the militants from the Syrian side of the frontier. The Lebanese army operation got underway at 5 a.m. (0200 GMT), targeting Islamic State positions near the town of Ras Baalbek with rockets, artillery and helicopters, a Lebanese security source said.
Children are particularly vulnerable in the conflicts raging around the globe, according to a draft UN report that specifically pointed the finger of blame in Yemen at the Saudi-led coalition. The draft of an annual UN report on the impact of armed conflict on children lists the countries and entities accused of recruiting child soldiers and using children as weapons of war. "I am highly concerned by the scale and severity of the grave violations that were committed against children in 2016, which included alarming levels of killing and maiming, recruitment and use and denial of humanitarian access," Secretary General Antonio Guterres says in the draft seen by AFP.
One Sunday morning, Will Dean informed his girlfriend Katie: “I am going to electrocute thousands of people.” Unfazed, she continued reading her newspaper. But the Sheffield-born founder of Tough Mudder – the now-globally successful obstacle course series which comes to Gloucestershire’s Badminton Estate this weekend – was devilishly serious. “I started calling engineering companies, saying: ‘Hello, we’re Tough Mudder, we want to shock people with electricity,’” explains Dean, 36, who launched his first “weekend obstacle course for adults” in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in May 2010, after studying a MBA at Harvard Business School. “You’d get a pause and then the line would go dead. People thought they were being pranked.” In the Tough Mudder innovations lab, human guinea pigs spend their mornings running through hay bales and dipping their extremities in buckets of ice The obstacle called Electroshock Therapy, which involves running through wires fizzing with 10,000 volts (triple the sting of your average electric fence), is now the event’s signature challenge. “As CEO, I have a unique role in all this because I am also the majority shareholder. People said: “Will, we can’t do this.” I was saying: “Yes, we can. We can have a board meeting and get it approved in two seconds. Look, it just happened…’” Dean spent five years working as a UK counter-terrorism officer in the Middle East and Afghanistan until, stifled by bureaucracy, he sought entrepreneurial fulfilment. His Harvard tutors called his business plan “optimistic”. At the inaugural edition, he prayed for 500 customers and got 4,500. There are now 130 annual Tough Mudder events in 11 countries with 3 million entrants worldwide so far. This weekend’s clientele have paid up to £139 to take on a 10- to 12-mile course littered with tunnels, nets, walls, fire, ice and mud. The company’s annual revenues now exceed $100m. Mud Run Electroshock Wire Caught on Neck 00:27 Obstacles are conjured up at an “Innovation Lab” in Pennsylvania where human guinea pigs spend their mornings running through hay bales and dipping their extremities in buckets of ice. Cry Baby, an obstacle which requires people to crawl through eye-watering smoke, was tested by spraying staff with homemade tear gas. Spider Box (a pit full of tarantulas) and Acid Rain (a container of floating acid bubbles) didn’t make the cut. “The Innovation Lab is as crazy as it sounds,” says Dean. “I joke that you will never get a Nobel Prize unless you test it on yourself. We start by saying: let’s think of the unthinkable. We finish by saying: now we have to make this work in Dubai, Germany and Mexico and get several thousand people of all shapes and sizes through in one hour. It is a strange remit.” Splashdown: a Tough Mudder comptetitor comes to grief Credit: Ben Birchall /PA Obstacle races have become wildly popular, with 5 million people in 40 countries taking part in events each year. Tough Mudder attracts a mix of couples, families, friends, work colleagues, students and executives. “The mud is a leveller,” says Dean. But why pay money to endure manufactured suffering? Dean believes the trend may be in part a reaction to our risk-averse society, with desk-bound workers seeking raw experiences to share on social media and in pub chats. But he insists the benefits are real. “I believe in challenging oneself to take on new things and I believe that is the secret to developing confidence. In a funny way, running through electric wires gives people the confidence to take on other challenges and changes in their life.” Tough Mudder's latest obstacles 01:05 He says Tough Mudder’s fun values have helped them outsmart rivals like Spartan Race, launched by Joe De Sena, a former Wall Street trader, in 2007. Miss an obstacle at Spartan Race and you have to do 30 burpees. At ToughMudder, nobody cares. Spartan Race times and ranks all contestants (accountability is the real secret to better health, insists De Sena), but Dean refuses, haunted by a 2008 triathlon when time-conscious athletes wouldn’t stop to help him unjam the zip of his wetsuit. “My belief came from me saying: I would do this. My friends would do this. I genuinely believe there is a market for a race that is not a race.” There are now 130 annual Tough Mudder events in 11 countries, with 3 million entrants worldwide so far Credit: Andrew Crowley Dean now lives in New York with his lawyer wife Katie and their one-year-old daughter, Isobel. He still tackles the courses himself and joins in “Breakfast Club” workouts at the company’s Brooklyn HQ. His events deliberately inspire this same sense of community – what he calls his “tribe”. He hates seeing runners plodding side-by-side on gym treadmills and never speaking. His event forces you to seek help from strangers to scale walls and nets. “Tough Mudder gives you a sense of personal accomplishment, a sense of a team and being a part of something bigger than yourself, and hopefully a sense of fun.” He is not surprised it has proven popular in the UK. “More than any other culture, we believe in not taking ourselves too seriously. In our school sports, we have second and third teams. No American would play in that. It would be an embarrassment. You do get differences around the world. Germans ask six times more customer service questions. Australians sign up last-minute. But it’s a bit like kids and ice cream – it’s universal in its appeal.” Tough Mudder - are you tough enough? Next month, Dean is publishing a new business book, It Takes a Tribe, which analyses the social psychology, corporate theory and personal stories behind his success. It also documents the fierce battles that shaped the company. Dean and De Sena used to fly provocative advertising banners over each other’s events. De Sena once declared in an interview: “There’s not a person on this planet I despise more than Will Dean.” They have since bonded over lunch, but the rivalry bubbles away. “I have a lot of respect for Joe De Sena, as much as I tease him. I have said before when asked if we have anything in common: yes, we both wake up every morning and the first thing we think about is Tough Mudder. But I do think the rival philosophy has meant we ended up creating two companies which superficially may seem similar, but are very different.” “Tough Mudder gives you a sense of personal accomplishment, a sense of a team and being a part of something bigger than yourself," says founder Will Dean Credit: Andrew Crowley More troubling was the multimillion dollar lawsuit Dean faced in 2010. Billy Wilson, a former soldier who launched Tough Guy, an obstacle course in Wolverhampton in 1987, had granted Dean access to his company information for his Harvard studies and then accused him of stealing his idea. Dean countersued for defamation. After a vitriolic battle, the pair agreed a confidential settlement in 2011, with Dean reportedly paying $725,000. “There is only so much I can say, but one thing I can say is that we had to literally quadruple our pace. We weren’t just fighting for the survival of the company. Suddenly everything was on the line: personal bankruptcy, reputation. It was incredibly stressful. But it is part of the narrative now. I don’t think we would be as ambitious were it not for that experience.” The Four Phases | Chris Hall's Tough Mudder Workout Prep Aware of the perennial need to innovate, Dean has in recent years added events like Mini-Mudder (for kids) and World’s Toughest Mudder (a 24-hour elite event). He has signed television deals with CBS and Sky Sports, and he is now launching Tough Mudder boot camps around the UK, offering high-intensity, 45-minute group workouts. “There are a few things in society right now which are worrying,” he explains. “Obesity and diabetes rates are up, loneliness is up, people spend more time on social media and less time with friends. It all comes back to our mission to grow a global tribe. The boot camps are the local community hub and the event is the pilgrimage when the tribe comes together. I don’t pretend we are curing cancer. But I do think in our own small way we are making the world a better place.” For event details, go to toughmudder.co.uk. Jeep has launched a limited edition Tough Mudder Renegade: jeep.co.uk/tough-mudder
Donald Trump has once again taken to Twitter in the wake of the recent terrorism in Barcelona, attacking the US courts and Democrats for undermining national security. Mr Trump appears to be referring to his travel ban, which placed a hold on people from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. The so-called 'Muslim ban' was upheld by the US Supreme Court on 29 June 2017.
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston officials are planning road blockades and even banning food vendors from the historic Boston Common as they step up security around a "Free Speech" rally on Saturday featuring right-wing speakers, aiming to avoid a repeat of last weekend's violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia. Saturday's rally has drawn intense concern from city and state officials following the violence in Charlottesville, when white supremacists at a "Unite the Right" rally fought in the streets with anti-racism protesters.
Roberto Altamirano has the lake to himself as he casts his glistening net onto the still water in a perfect circle, lets it sink, then slowly pulls it in. It comes back bearing a large haul of tilapia and carp -- and that is exactly the problem. Altamirano is one of just 20 or so fishermen who remain in the floating gardens of Xochimilco, an idyllic network of lakes, canals and artificial islands improbably tucked into the urban sprawl of Mexico City.
A widely-shared image that appears to show an anti-fascist protester beating a police officer has been revealed to be fake. The image, which shows a man in an “Antifascist Action” jacket beating a fallen police officer, was shared widely after a white supremacist rally in Virginia turned violent. People shared the photo as evidence that “many sides” were to blame for the violence, as President Donald Trump had suggested.