Germany arrests suspect in Dortmund team bus attack: prosecutor

Photo a window of Dortmund’s team bus is damaged after an explosion before the Champions League quarterfinal soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco in Dortmund, western Germany. (AP)
Updated 21 April 2017
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Germany arrests suspect in Dortmund team bus attack: prosecutor

BERLIN: German police on Friday arrested the suspected perpetrator of a bomb attack on Borussia Dortmund’s team bus, the public prosecutor’s office said, indicating his motive was financial and not terror-related.
Police commandos working on behalf of the federal prosecutor’s office “have arrested a 28-year-old German-Russian national, Sergej W.,” a statement said.
It said the suspect was hoping to profit from a drop in the football team’s share price as a result of the attack.
The incident, which occurred on April 11, saw three explosions go off alongside the team bus minutes after it left the squad’s hotel heading for a quarter-final home match against Monaco.
The blast shattered the bus windows, and Spanish international Marc Bartra, 26, underwent surgery after he was hit by flying glass.
A policeman on a motorcycle escorting the bus suffered trauma from the noise.
The explosive devices containing metal pieces appear to have been hidden in a hedge and were set off as the bus passed. The blast had a radius of more than 100 meters.
The match was postponed for a day.
There were three alleged claims of responsibility for the attack, one of which suggested an Islamist link, but security sources questioned their authenticity, with experts suggesting the aim may have been to put investigators on the wrong track.


Japan minister apologizes after ‘sexy yoga’ claims

Updated 31 sec ago
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Japan minister apologizes after ‘sexy yoga’ claims

TOKYO: Japan’s education minister apologized Wednesday for using an official car to visit a yoga studio, but denied claims that the facility was offering “sexy private yoga.”
The row is the latest headache for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government, which is already under fire after two cronyism scandals and sexual harassment claims against a top finance ministry bureaucrat.
The Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine on Wednesday reported that Education Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi visited a yoga studio in the hip Ebisu district in Tokyo using a state car and took private lessons there.
“I apologize for creating confusion amid a tense parliamentary situation,” Hayashi told reporters.
“As the government is facing severe rebuke and criticism, I will serve the public in a more disciplined manner,” he said, in an apparent reference to various scandals involving the cabinet in recent weeks.
“I should have drawn a line between the public and the private, even though this case was in line with rules,” he added.
Ministers are permitted to use government vehicles for private use in between public engagements, local media said.
The magazine described the yoga studio as a “sexy private yoga” studio run by a former porn actress that offers private lessons and oil massages.
But Hayashi said he was simply taking “regular yoga lessons and massages with finger pressure” for better health.
The president of the yoga studio has denied that she was ever a porn actress and is demanding a correction and an apology from the magazine.
“I firmly deny the article which presents an indecent image and is completely different from the facts,” she said.
The studio’s website says it offers private lessons for men or couples.
Support for Abe’s government has flagged due to two cronyism scandals and criticism of the way the finance ministry has handled claims that its top bureaucrat sexually harassed female reporters.
Around half of voters now disapprove of Abe’s administration, and a similar number want his Finance Minister Taro Aso to step down, polls published Monday found.
The polls bode ill for Abe’s bid to be reelected party chief in September in a vote he was once expected to win easily.