Woman stabs 5 — including newborns — at New York nursery

A woman is escorted by police out of a daycare center, Mei Xin Care Incorporated located at the owner’s home in the Flushing area of Queens, September 21, 2018 after a female attacker stabbed five people, including three children. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Woman stabs 5 — including newborns — at New York nursery

  • Nine babies and some of their parents had been at the home at the time of the attack

NEW YORK: A woman stabbed five people — including three newborn babies — and then slashed her wrist early Friday inside a New York City home that was apparently being used as an unlicensed neighborhood nursery for new mothers and their children, authorities said.
All of the victims in the attack, which happened before 4 a.m., were hospitalized but expected to survive.
The 52-year-old suspect — an employee at the nursery — was taken into police custody and was being treated for her wounds and undergoing a psychiatric examination, authorities said.
No immediate charges were filed, and police said the motive was under investigation.
Investigators were trying to piece together what happened inside the building, a three-story, multifamily townhouse in a neighborhood popular with Chinese immigrants in the Flushing section of Queens. Nine babies were there during the attack, and the place had at least 11 cribs, the district attorney’s office said.
Local elected officials said it appeared it was an unlicensed facility for new mothers and their babies to convalesce for a month, in keeping with Chinese tradition.

“This is every parent’s worst nightmare imaginable,” said state Assemblyman Ron Kim. He said it had apparently been operating for more than 10 years.
Police responding to a 911 call discovered a 3-day-old girl and a 1-month-old girl who had been stabbed in the abdomen, and a 20-day-old girl with cuts on her ear, chin and lip. The father of one of the children and a woman who worked there were also stabbed, police said.
A butcher knife and meat cleaver were found at the scene.
The woman suspected in the attack was discovered bleeding and unconscious in the basement, and after officers applied a tourniquet, she regained consciousness and was taken to the hospital, police said.
“We pray that all of the victims will be fine and will survive these injuries,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “We are hoping these young babies — small and so very fragile — are also strong enough to overcome this horrible act of senseless violence.”
State records indicate that a business called Mei Xin Care Inc. was registered at the address, but there was no listed phone number for that company.
Dr. Anderson Sungmin Yoon, who works at a nearby community center offering counseling services, came by on Friday to offer comfort to neighbors. He said there is often a stigma in the community about seeking counseling for psychological problems.
 


Joy as US-seized bells return to Philippine church

Updated 43 min 8 sec ago
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Joy as US-seized bells return to Philippine church

  • US troops carted away the bronze objects as trophies in reprisal for a surprise 1901 attack
  • For the people of Balangiga the bells are a symbol of the Philippines’ long struggle for independence

BALANGIGA, Philippines: A sleepy central Philippine town erupted in joy on Saturday as bells looted from its church more than a century ago by vengeful US troops were to be turned over to the community.
Children waving bell-shaped signs and tearful residents in Balangiga gathered to welcome home the three bells that are a deep local source of pride, and which the US flew to Manila this week after decades of urging by the Philippines.
US troops carted away the bronze objects as trophies, after razing the town and killing potentially thousands of Filipinos, in reprisal for a surprise 1901 attack that left 48 of their comrades dead.
For the people of Balangiga the bells are a symbol of the Philippines’ long struggle for independence, and a dark chapter which is the subject of an annual re-enactment and remembrance event locally.
“It’s not just me but the whole town is walking in the clouds because the bells are finally with us,” 81-year-old Nemesio Duran told AFP.
“We are the happiest people on Earth now,” he added, noting he is descended from the boy who rang one of the bells, long said to have signalled the attack on the Americans.
The bells arrived in Balangiga late Friday ahead of an official handover ceremony set for later Saturday, but the town’s streets were already crowded with people and vendors selling T-shirts saying “Balangiga bells finally home.”
The ceremony will be not far from the town plaza that holds a monument with statues of the American soldiers having breakfast as the Filipino revolutionaries raise their machetes at the start of the onslaught.
Manila has been pushing for the bells’ return since at least the 1990s, with backing from Philippine presidents, its influential Catholic Church and supporters in the United States.
But the repatriation was long held back by some American lawmakers and veterans who viewed the bells, two of which were in the US state of Wyoming and the third at a US base in South Korea, as tributes to fallen soldiers.
A confluence of factors earlier this year, that included a key veterans’ group dropping its opposition, culminated in the bells landing in Manila aboard a US military cargo plane on Tuesday for a solemn handover.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, 73, bluntly called on Washington in a 2017 speech: “Give us back those Balangiga bells. They are not yours.”
His arrival in power in mid-2016 was marked by moves to split from Manila’s historical ally and former colonial master the United States. At the same time Duterte signalled an end to the standoff with Beijing over the disputed South China Sea.
Yet for some in Balangiga the bells’ return is also a somber occasion tinged with the pain of the past, which has been passed from generation to generation.
“It’s mixed emotions because the bells also remind me of what happened,” Constancia Elaba, 62, told AFP, adding how she grew up hearing stories of the episode from her father.
“It was painful and you cannot take it away from us. We can never forget that,” she said.