Canadian police say hijab-cutting incident did not happen

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Khawlah Noman, 11, speaks to reporters with her mother at Pauline Johnson Junior Public School, after she told police that a man cut her hijab with scissors in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 12, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Helgren
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Khawlah Noman, 11, speaks to reporters at Pauline Johnson Junior Public School, after she told police that a man cut her hijab with scissors in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on January 12, 2018. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)
Updated 15 January 2018
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Canadian police say hijab-cutting incident did not happen

TORONTO: Toronto police are disputing an 11-year-old girl’s claim that her hijab was cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school last week.
Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash said Monday an extensive investigation was conducted and police concluded it did not happen.
The sixth-grader, her mother and her younger brother held a news conference at her school on Friday and Khawlah Noman said she was walking to school with her younger brother when a man came up behind her, pulled off her jacket hood and started cutting the bottom of her hijab. She said she turned around, screamed and the man ran away. She also said the man returned a short time later and continued to cut her hijab from behind before he smiled and ran away.
Her mother called on police to treat it as a hate crime.
The story made international headlines and drew public condemnation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“It’s something that received, quite understandably, a lot of media and social media attention and I know it caused significant concern, as it should,” Pugash said.
Pugash declined to say whether the girl acknowledged it didn’t happen. He said police wouldn’t take a step like this unless they were absolutely confident.
“It is absolutely unusual,” Pugash said.
Ryan Bird, a spokesman for the Toronto District School Board, said officials are “very thankful” that the alleged assault did not in fact happen.
The school declined further comment.


Cobra Gold: One of Asia’s largest war drills opens in Thailand

Updated 6 min 25 sec ago
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Cobra Gold: One of Asia’s largest war drills opens in Thailand

  • Cobra Gold is one of the largest military exercises in Asia
  • On Saturday US, Thai and South Korean forces descended on Namsai beach in Chonburi province in a joint drill intended to simulate securing the territory

SATTAHIP, Thailand: With weapons drawn camouflaged troops leapt out of amphibious assault craft while explosions sounded and parachutists glided in from above as the annual Cobra Gold war games took over a placid Thai beach Saturday.
Now in its 38th year, Cobra Gold is one of the largest military exercises in Asia, bringing thousands of forces from the United States, Thailand and other countries together for 11 days of training on Thai shores.
This year’s drill includes some 2,000 US Marines, 1,000 US soldiers and hundreds from the country’s Navy and Air Force.
On Saturday US, Thai and South Korean forces descended on Namsai beach in Chonburi province in a joint drill intended to simulate securing the territory.
Captain Melvin Spiese said the goal was to “bring power from ship to shore” and be ready for “any kind of future crisis we might need to respond to with our Thai counterparts.”
Helicopters buzzed overhead and fighter jets roared across the skies.
Cobra Gold exercises span air, land and sea and feature a jungle survivalist session where participants take turns drinking blood from a severed cobra and snacking on insects and scorpions.
Singapore, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia also took part in the war games.
A 2014 army coup in Thailand tested ties with Washington and the kingdom tilted towards China with high-profile arms buys.
But US military sales continued and the two countries have upped their engagement under US President Donald Trump, who has stepped back on human rights issues and invited junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha to the White House.
Prayut, who led the 2014 coup, is standing for prime minister in elections set for March 24.