UK police: New Year’s Eve stabbing of 3 treated as terrorism

Police officers stand at the end of a tram platform following a stabbing at Victoria Station in Manchester, Britain, January 1, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 01 January 2019
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UK police: New Year’s Eve stabbing of 3 treated as terrorism

  • The attack happened at Manchester’s Victoria Station shortly before 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve
  • Police have detained the suspect, who has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

LONDON: Police in the English city of Manchester are questioning a man arrested in the New Year’s Eve stabbing of three people at a train station and treating it as a terrorist attack, authorities said Tuesday.
Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said a man and a woman suffered “very serious” injuries in the attack and remained in the hospital. Both have abdominal injuries and the woman also has injuries to her face.
A police sergeant who was stabbed in the shoulder has been released.
The attack happened at Manchester’s Victoria Station shortly before 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The busy train station is next to Manchester Arena, where a suicide bomber killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017.
Police have detained the suspect, who has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, but not yet provided a motive for the stabbings. A witness said the suspect shouted Islamic slogans during the frenzied attack.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said police believe they have identified the suspect and are searching his home in the Cheetham Hill neighborhood of Manchester.
BBC producer Sam Clack, who was on the train platform, said he heard a “blood-curdling scream” when the attack started and saw a man dressed in black having what looked like a fight with two victims.
Clack said he heard the man with the weapon shout Islamist slogans during the assault, and then the attacker was chased by police.
“He came toward me. I looked down and saw he had a kitchen knife with a black handle with a good, 12-inch blade,” Clack said, adding that his reaction “was just fear, pure fear.”
Clack said police used pepper spray and a stun gun to bring the man down.
Police say there’s no indication that any others were involved in planning or assisting the attack. The investigation is being led by Britain’s counterterrorism police.
British police tried to reassure the public that the area was safe despite the attack.
The incident is “not ongoing” and there is “currently no intelligence to suggest that there is any wider threat,” Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said.
“I know that the events of last night will have affected many people and caused concern,” Hopkins said. “That the incident happened so close to the scene of the terrorist attack on 22 May, 2017, makes it even more dreadful.”
Prime Minister Theresa May expressed concern for the victims and thanked emergency workers for their “courageous response.”
Extra police officers were on the city’s streets Tuesday as a precaution.
Britain’s official threat level has long been set at “severe,” indicating that intelligence analysts believe an attack is highly likely.


Mexico demands apology for colonial ‘abuses,’ Spain hits back

Handout photo released by the Mexican presidency showing Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador answering questions during a press conference at the Palacio Nacional, in Mexico City on March 25, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 26 March 2019
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Mexico demands apology for colonial ‘abuses,’ Spain hits back

  • “The government of Spain deeply regrets that the letter the Mexican president sent to his majesty the king, whose contents we firmly reject, has been made public,” it said in a statement

MEXICO CITY: The 500-year-old wounds of the Spanish conquest were ripped open afresh on Monday when Mexico’s president urged Spain and the Vatican to apologize for their “abuses” — a request Madrid said it “firmly rejects.”
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist, reopened the debate over Spain’s centuries of dominance in the New World with a video posted to social media, urging Spanish King Felipe VI and Pope Francis to apologize for the conquest and the rights violations committed in its aftermath.
“I have sent a letter to the king of Spain and another to the pope calling for a full account of the abuses and urging them to apologize to the indigenous peoples (of Mexico) for the violations of what we now call their human rights,” Lopez Obrador, 65, said in the video, filmed at the ruins of the indigenous city of Comalcalco.
“There were massacres and oppression. The so-called conquest was waged with the sword and the cross. They built their churches on top of the (indigenous) temples,” he said.
“The time has come to reconcile. But let us ask forgiveness first.”
Spain’s reaction was swift and unequivocal.
“The government of Spain deeply regrets that the letter the Mexican president sent to his majesty the king, whose contents we firmly reject, has been made public,” it said in a statement.
“The arrival, 500 years ago, of Spaniards to present Mexican territory cannot be judged in the light of contemporary considerations,” it said.
“Our two brother nations have always known how to read our shared past without anger and with a constructive perspective, as free peoples with a shared history and extraordinary influence.”

Lopez Obrador took office in December after a landslide election win that represented a firm break with Mexico’s traditional political parties.
A folksy populist, he pulls no punches in going after traditional elites — but had so far cultivated cordial relations with Spain, including during a visit to Mexico City by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez earlier this year.
Lopez Obrador made the remarks during a visit to his native Tabasco state, in southern Mexico.
He was later due to visit the nearby city of Centla. On March 14, 1519, the site was the scene of one of the first battles between Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and the indigenous peoples of the land now known as Mexico.
With the help of horses, swords, guns and smallpox — all unknown in the New World at the time — Cortes led an army of less than 1,000 men to defeat the Aztec empire, the start of 300 years of Spanish rule over Mexico.