Putin blames Crimea school massacre on the globalization of an American trend

A woman cries during a church service for the victims of the college attack in Kerch, Crimea, on Oct. 18, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 18 October 2018

Putin blames Crimea school massacre on the globalization of an American trend

  • An 18-year-old student went on a rampage at the school on the Crimean Peninsula, killing 19 people and wounding more than 50 others before killing himself
  • The school attack in Kerch was the greatest loss of life in school violence in Russia since the Beslan attack, in which 333 people were killed

SOCHI: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the mass school shooting in Crimea a day before was the result of "globalization" and the continuation of an American trend.
"It's a result of globalisation. On social media, on the internet, we see that there is a whole community that has been created. Everything started with the tragic events in schools in the US," he said at a forum in Sochi.
He said unstable young people were creating "fake heroes for themselves" and "reaching out for a surrogate for heroism" in the absence of the real thing.
"We're not creating healthy (internet) content for young people... which leads to tragedies of this kind," he said.
"But there is a place for real heroism in today's life," he said.
An 18-year-old identified as Vladislav Roslyakov on Wednesday killed at least 20 students at a college in the Moscow-annexed peninsula before killing himself.
More than 40 others were injured in what local press dubbed "Russia's Columbine", a reference to a 1999 US high school massacre.
Authorities said they were working to establish the motive for the attack.
An ex-girlfriend told Russian state media Roslyakov had spoken to her about taking revenge for bullying at the school.
At least 10 of the wounded will be airlifted to hospitals in Russia, the health minister said Thursday.
Wednesday’s attack in the city of Kerch was by far the worst by a student in Russia, raising questions about school security in the country. The Kerch Polytechnic College had only a front desk with no security guards.
Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova told Russian news agencies on Thursday that authorities were preparing to airlift at least 10 people with severe injuries to top Russian hospitals for surgery. Dozens more remain hospitalized in Kerch.
Most of the people killed died from gunshot wounds, and those who ended up hospitalized have injuries from a blast from an improvised explosive device that was packed with shrapnel.
“The kids’ muscles have been ‘minced’ with small metal objects,” Skvortsova said in comments carried by the Interfax news agency. “Those who have their organs ripped apart, we are finding metal balls in kidneys, intestines, in blood vessels. That is how powerful the blast was.”
Kremlin-appointed Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov told Russian news agencies that the first victim will be buried later Thursday.
The school attack in Kerch was the greatest loss of life in school violence in Russia since the Beslan attack by Chechen separatists in 2004, in which 333 people were killed during a three-day siege, many of them children, and hundreds were wounded.


Italy has nothing to fear from ESM reform, PM Conte says

Updated 57 min 53 sec ago

Italy has nothing to fear from ESM reform, PM Conte says

  • Critics of the planned changes to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) say they would make it more likely that Italy will have to restructure its debt
  • During his speech to parliament, Conte sharply rejected criticisms by the right-wing League and Brothers of Italy parties

ROME: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte dismissed criticisms of planned reforms to the euro zone bailout fund on Wednesday, saying the proposals, which have been heavily attacked by right-wing opposition parties, posed no threat to Italy.

Critics of the planned changes to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) say they would make it more likely that Italy will have to restructure its debt, the highest in the euro area as a proportion of national output after Greece’s.

“Italy has nothing to fear ... its debt is fully sustainable, as the main international institutions, including the (EU) Commission have said,” Conte told parliament ahead of a European Council meeting this week to discuss the reform.

He repeated that Rome would not agree to any restrictions on banks holding sovereign debt.

During his speech to parliament, Conte sharply rejected criticisms by the right-wing League and Brothers of Italy parties, saying they appeared aimed at undermining Italy’s membership of the single currency.

“Some of the positions that have emerged during the public debate have unveiled the ill-concealed hope of bringing our country out of the euro zone or even from the European Union,” Conte said.

The League and Brothers of Italy have attacked the planned reforms to the ESM, which they say will open the door for a forced restructuring of Italy’s public debt that would hit Italian banks and savers who invest in government bonds.

Some members of the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement have made similar criticisms, adding to tensions with their partner in the ruling coalition, the center-left Democratic Party.

Lawmakers from 5 Star and the Democratic Party appeared to have smoothed over their differences on Wednesday, however, agreeing to drop demands for a veto on measures that could make it easier to reach a debt restructuring accord.

In a final resolution, they scrapped calls for a veto on so-called single limb collective action clauses (CACS), that limit the ability of individual investors to delay any restructuring agreement by holding out for better terms.

Under the new system, restructuring would go ahead after a single, aggregate vote by bondholders regarding all affected bonds while the clauses currently in place require an aggregate vote as well as an individual bond-by-bond vote.

Italy has asked to clarify that the new clauses will not rule out the so-called sub-aggregation, allowing separate votes for different groups of bond issuances to protect small investors, a government official told Reuters.