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.


German city of Hamburg ato restrict older diesel vehicles

A car passes a traffic sign showing a ban on diesel cars at the Max-Brauer Allee in downtown Hamburg, Germany, on May 23, 2018. (REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer)
Updated 22 min 49 sec ago
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German city of Hamburg ato restrict older diesel vehicles

  • Diesel bans will affect two streets, non-Euro-6 models
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has long sought to avoid bans, as has the VDA auto industry lobby representing carmakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW.

BERLIN: Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg, will ban the most polluting diesel vehicles from two major streets from next week, a move that could spur others to follow suit and raise pressure on carmakers to consider costly vehicle refits.
Hamburg, home to around 1.8 million people, said on Wednesday the ban would start on May 31 and affect diesel models that do not meet the latest Euro-6 emissions standards.
This follows a ruling in February by Germany’s top administrative court that the cities of Stuttgart and Duesseldorf should consider bans for older diesels.
The detailed publication of that ruling last Friday showed local authorities were entitled to implement targeted bans with immediate effect to bring air pollution levels into line with European Union rules, although curbs affecting wider city areas should only be phased in over time.
Bans on diesel vehicles from city centers are also planned in Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens by 2025, while the mayor of Copenhagen wants to bar new diesel cars from entering the city center as soon as next year.
Since the German ruling was disclosed, the environment minister of Germany’s northernmost state, Schleswig-Holstein, has said banning older diesel vehicles could also be an option for the regional capital Kiel, a city of about 250,000 people.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has long sought to avoid bans, as has the VDA auto industry lobby representing carmakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW.
Environment Minister Svenja Schulze — a member of the Social Democrats, junior partners in Merkel’s coalition government — urged carmakers to roll out retrofits for diesel cars to lower emissions. “Driving bans like those in Hamburg show how serious the situation is,” she told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. “It’s up to the car industry now.”
Levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emitted by diesel engines and known to cause respiratory disease should fall significantly as more efficient Euro-6 models are sold and emissions-cleaning software updates take effect, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer was quoted as saying on Wednesday by the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.
The bans in Hamburg affect a section of about 1.6 km (one mile) on Stresemannstrasse, where the restrictions will apply only to commercial vehicles weighing 3.5 tons or more, and a section of about 580 meters on Max-Brauer-Allee, covering all diesel vehicles.
Both thoroughfares are in Altona, a busy district in the west of the city.
Drivers aiming for a destination on the two affected streets, including residents, trash collectors, suppliers and taxis, will be exempt from the restrictions as they are designed to filter out through traffic, a spokesman for Hamburg’s environment and energy department said.
Of the 330,000 diesel cars on Hamburg’s roads, only about 116,000 have the Euro-6 technology that was introduced in 2014, according to local government data.
Police will make random checks and fine drivers of older diesel cars 25 euros ($30) and truck owners up to 75 euros for violating the new rules, he said.