After rape-murder shocks Germany, suspect captured in Iraq

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Roses cover the photo of the 14-year-old killed schoolgirl in Wiesbaden, Germany, Friday, June 8, 2018. A young Iraqi man suspected in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old schoolgirl in western Germany has been arrested in his homeland. (AP)
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A cross with a sign reading 'Susanna, 14 year-old, victim of tolerance' is placed among flowers and candles at a makeshift memorial at the site where 14-year-old Susanna Maria Feldman has been allegedly raped and murdered by an Iraqi asylum seeker. (AFP)
Updated 08 June 2018
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After rape-murder shocks Germany, suspect captured in Iraq

BERLIN: A failed Iraqi asylum seeker suspected of raping and murdering a teenage girl in Germany was arrested in Iraq overnight, German authorities said Friday, after his escape sparked outrage and raised questions over immigration and police failings.
Ali Bashar, 20, who is believed to have strangled 14-year-old Susanna Maria Feldman after sexually assaulting her, was “arrested by Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq at the request of German federal police,” said German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.
The arrest came after an outcry in Germany as police hunting the fugitive admitted that Bashar had fled with his family.
They managed to fly out of Duesseldorf airport even though the names on their identity documents did not match those on their airline tickets, said police, adding that their identity was only checked against the photos on the papers.
Bashar also turned out to have chalked up a long police record over less than three years in Germany and should have been expelled months ago.
The case puts renewed pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government over the decision to open Germany’s borders at the height of Europe’s refugee crisis in 2015, which led to the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers over two years.


More than 60 dead in South Africa flooding after heavy rains

Updated 40 min 40 sec ago
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More than 60 dead in South Africa flooding after heavy rains

DURBAN: At least 60 people have been killed and more than 1,000 have fled their homes after heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides along South Africa’s eastern coast, authorities said on Wednesday.
Most of the deaths were in KwaZulu-Natal province. Flooding also killed at least three people in neighboring Eastern Cape province, state broadcaster SABC said.
The rains mainly hit areas around the port city of Durban. Multiple dwellings collapsed in mudslides, said Robert McKenzie, a KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesman.
Rescue workers were digging through collapsed buildings on Wednesday.
Victor da Silva, a resident of the coastal town of Amanzimtoti, said his family managed to evacuate before the floods destroyed their home and cars.
“On Monday, the water was just crazy. And yesterday morning I got here, everything was fine, my garage was still here, the other part of the house was still here, and it just couldn’t stop raining,” Da Silva said. “And then an hour and a half later, everything poof (vanished) because the rain just hasn’t stopped.
Authorities in southern Tanzania ordered evacuations of residents from low-lying areas and the closure of schools and offices ahead of landfall of Tropical Cyclone Kenneth on neighboring Mozambique’s coast on Thursday.
“We’ve decided to evacuate all residents of valleys and other low-lying areas and we advise them to seek refuge at public spaces,” Mtwara regional commissioner Gelasius Byakanwa, told reporters.
Johan Fourie said he fled his home in Amanzimtoti, Kwazulu-Natal, just before part of it collapsed.
“I nearly lost my life, and my neighbor, I believe, is in hospital,” Fourie told eNCA television.
The region had been hit by heavy rains for days, but authorities did not foresee the extent of the downpour late on Monday, said Lennox Mabaso, a spokesman for the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department.
“As a result, there was flooding and some structures were undermined and collapsed on people,” Mabaso said.
Some people were swept away by the water, he added.
President Cyril Ramaphosa visited affected communities in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday and was expected in the Eastern Cape in the next few days.
“This is partly what climate change is about, that it just hits when we least expect it,” he said.
Last week, 13 people were killed during an Easter service in KwaZulu-Natal when a church wall collapsed after days of heavy rains and strong winds.