Man sentenced to more than 24 years in prison for Texas mosque fire

Marq Vincent Perez was sentenced Wednesday during a court hearing in Victoria, Texas for setting fire to a mosque. (AP)
Updated 17 October 2018
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Man sentenced to more than 24 years in prison for Texas mosque fire

VICTORIA, Texas: A man convicted of torching a South Texas mosque last year has been sentenced to more than 24 years in prison.
Marq Vincent Perez was sentenced Wednesday during a court hearing in Victoria, Texas.
In July, a jury convicted the 26-year-old Perez of federal arson, explosives and hate crime charges.
Mark Di Carlo, Perez’s defense attorney, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
At his trial, prosecutors said that a “rabid hatred” of Muslims led Perez to set fire to an Islamic center in Victoria, destroying the building.
Authorities asserted Perez aimed to terrorize Muslims along the middle Texas Gulf Coast and to cause damage and destruction.
Perez, who denied involvement in the blaze, could have been sentenced to up to 40 years.


North Korea says it has tested new “high-tech tactical” weapon

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects Samjiyon County, in this undated photo released on October 30, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). (REUTERS)
Updated 16 min 31 sec ago
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North Korea says it has tested new “high-tech tactical” weapon

  • The North has reportedly expressed anger in recent days at South Korea’s resumption of small-scale military drills with the United States

SEOUL, South Korea: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observed the successful test of a “newly developed high-tech tactical” weapon, the nation’s state media reported Friday, though it didn’t describe what sort of weapon it was.
It didn’t appear to be a nuclear or missile-related test, a string of which last year had many fearing war before the North turned to engagement and diplomacy early this year. Still, any mention of weapons testing could influence the direction of stalled diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang that’s meant to rid the North of its nuclear weapons.
The North said the test took place at the Academy of National Defense Science and that Kim couldn’t suppress his “passionate joy” at the success of the test.
The North has reportedly expressed anger in recent days at South Korea’s resumption of small-scale military drills with the United States. But Friday’s report didn’t appear to focus on North Korean claims of US and South Korean hostility, as it did when announcing previous weapons tests. Last year’s weapons tests, many experts believe, put the North on the brink of a viable arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles that can target anywhere in the mainland United States.
The North says this recent unspecified weapon has been under development for a long time and will help strengthen the country’s defense and the combat power of its army.
It was the first publicly known field inspection of a weapons test by Kim Jong Un since he observed the testing of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile in November of last year, according to South Korea’s Unification Ministry.
Diplomacy has stalled since a June summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim in Singapore, with Washington pushing for more action on nuclear disarmament and the North insisting that the US first approve a peace declaration formally ending the Korean War.