Woman killed, 12 injured in Beijing mall knife attack

Police patrol outside the Joy City Mall in the Xidan district after a knife attack, in Beijing, on Sunday. (Reuters)
Updated 11 February 2018
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Woman killed, 12 injured in Beijing mall knife attack

BEIJING: A woman was killed and 12 other people injured after a man carried out a knife attack in a mall in a busy shopping district in the Chinese capital, Beijing, police said on Sunday.
Beijing police said in a short statement they had detained a man over the early afternoon attack at the Joy City Mall in the Xidan district.
Three men and 10 women were sent to hospital after the attack and one woman died of her injuries, police said. The others were all expected to recover.
Police said they acted quickly in handling the incident and identified the detained man as a 35-year-old surnamed Zhu from the northern province of Henan.
The man had already confessed to carrying out the attack to “express his discontent,” they said but did not elaborate.
Beijing radio showed pictures on their WeChat account of blood spattered on the floor in part of the mall and at least one injured person being taken from the scene.
Violent crime is rare in China compared with many other countries, especially in major cities where security is tight, but there has been a series of knife and axe attacks in recent years, many targeting children.
In 2015, police arrested a sword-wielding man who killed a Chinese woman and injured a French man in Beijing’s fashionable Sanlitun shopping and entertainment district.
Such attacks are often blamed on people with mental illness or who have personal grievances. Knives are most commonly used because gun controls are extremely strict in China.
However, the government has also blamed some knife attacks on militants from the violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang, where Beijing says it faces an Islamist insurgency, adding to China’s nervousness about such incidents.
Thirty-one people were killed in 2014 during a knife attack at Kunming train station in southwestern China that the government said was the work of Xinjiang militants. Police shot dead four of the attackers.


Pelosi scrapped Afghan trip after Trump ‘leaked’ details

Updated 41 min 56 sec ago
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Pelosi scrapped Afghan trip after Trump ‘leaked’ details

WASHINGTON: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday excoriated her political nemesis, President Donald Trump, for “outing” her commercial trip to Afghanistan after barring her from using a military aircraft, forcing her to scrap it entirely over security concerns.
The brawl between the no-nonsense Republican leader and the take-no-prisoners Democrat — who is now just two heartbeats away from the presidency — is the latest round in their shutdown showdown.
The federal government has been shuttered for four weeks over Trump’s insistence that a wider budget measure include billions of dollars for a wall on the border with Mexico — and Pelosi’s refusal to do so.
Their spat spilled into the diplomatic arena on Thursday when, after Pelosi suggested that Trump postpone his State of the Union address until the government reopens, the president grounded her military flight.
Pelosi accused Trump of being “very irresponsible” in breaching security protocol.
“We had a report from Afghanistan that the president outing our trip had made the scene on the ground much more dangerous because it’s just a signal to the bad actors that we’re coming,” she told reporters.
The administration strongly denies that it “leaked” any plans about the trip to a war zone.
“The idea we would leak anything that would put the safety and security of any American at risk is a flat-out lie,” a senior White House official said.
The US government shutdown, which has left about 800,000 federal workers without a paycheck, is now the longest in the country’s history — and there is no sign of a compromise.
The Office of Management and Budget reportedly issued a memorandum saying that “under no circumstance during a government shutdown” can a congressional delegation use government aircraft for travel.
However, Republican Representative Lee Zeldin led a delegation to Iraq and other countries since the shutdown began.
Pelosi’s office sounded off on the administration’s handling of her trip, which had not been announced for security reasons.
The State Department released an updated assessment stressing that Trump’s announcement of the Pelosi travel “had significantly increased the danger to the delegation and to the troops,” her spokesman Drew Hammill said.
“This morning, we learned that the administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well.”
Democratic lawmakers have expressed outrage.
“As a former member of the Intelligence Committee who has traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan, disclosing ANY Members’ travel into a war zone is disgraceful and dangerous,” tweeted House Democrat Jan Schakowsky.
“This is unprecedented.”
Trump lashed out at Pelosi once again on Twitter, asking why she and other Democrats would leave the country “on a seven day excursion when 800,000 great people are not getting paid.”
And then his re-election campaign team released a tongue-in-cheek shutdown-related campaign fundraising request.
For a contribution of $20.20, a reference to the next election year, the campaign told supporters it would send a fake red brick to Pelosi and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — to build a wall.