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’s Kim seeks a friend in Putin after Trump fall out

Updated 11 min 43 sec ago
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North Korea’s Kim seeks a friend in Putin after Trump fall out

VLADIVOSTOK: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday at a summit designed to show that Washington is not the only power able to set the agenda on Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

The two men embarked on a day of talks on an island off the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok two months after Kim’s summit with US President Donald Trump ended in disagreement, cooling hopes of a breakthrough in the decades-old nuclear row.

Putin and Kim, in their first ever face-to-face encounter, shook hands outside the summit venue, a university campus, then sat down in a conference room to exchange greetings in front of the television cameras.

Putin said he hoped Kim’s visit would “help us better understand by what means we can reach a settlement on the Korean peninsula, what we can do together, what Russia can do to support the positive processes now underway.”

“Without question we welcome your efforts to develop dialogue between the Koreas, and to normalize North Korean-US relations,” Putin said.

Kim, who had arrived in Vladivostok a day earlier on board his armored train, told Putin the meeting would help strengthen and develop ties between Russia and North Korea, which share a long history of friendship.

“As world attention is focused on the Korean Peninsula, there will be very meaningful dialogue for us to jointly assess the Korean peninsula policies and share, coordinate and study our views,” Kim said.

The summit in Vladivostok provides Pyongyang with an opportunity to seek support from a new quarter, Russia, and possible relief from the sanctions hurting its economy.

For the Kremlin, the summit is a chance to show it is a global diplomatic player, despite efforts by the United States and other Western states to isolate it.

But with Moscow committed to upholding sanctions until the North dismantles its nuclear program, analysts said the summit was unlikely to produce any tangible help for Pyongyang, beyond a show of camaraderie.