Several German health offices hit by bomb threats

Police from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia received a call claiming an imminent threat to a local health authority’s office. (File/AFP)
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Updated 08 August 2020

Several German health offices hit by bomb threats

  • Germany has been grappling with a resurgent far-right, and has suffered a number of attacks at the hands of far-right terrorists.

BERLIN: Several bomb threats were made against health authorities across Germany overnight, police said Saturday, although searches have so far not turned up any suspicious items.
The offices of the local health authority in Olpe in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia had to be temporarily evacuated late Friday after receiving such a threat.
The all-clear was given after a search by police officers and sniffer dogs.
Likewise, health authorities in the city of Cologne also received a threatening telephone call, although police said they did not deem it to be serious.
Separately in the Bavaria town of Ansbach, several residential homes were evacuated overnight after police received a call claiming an imminent threat to the local health authority’s office.
In July, several district courts were evacuated in Germany after they received bomb threats.
Nothing concrete have been found in searches and no arrests have been made.
The trial of a man accused of sending over 100 far-right letters to politicians, journalists and officials between October 2018 and April 2019 is ongoing.
The threats had prompted evacuations, including of the main train station in Luebeck and a tax office in Gelsenkirchen.


Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong arrested for 2019 ‘unlawful assembly’

Updated 15 min 19 sec ago

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong arrested for 2019 ‘unlawful assembly’

  • The 23-year-old pro-democracy figure said on Twitter he was being held for violating the “draconian anti-mask law”
HONG KONG: Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong was arrested on Thursday in relation to a protest at the height of the city’s pro-democracy unrest last year, his lawyer said.
The detention of the city’s most high-profile dissident is the latest in a string of arrests of government critics and comes after China imposed a sweeping new national security law on Hong Kong in late June.
He was arrested for “unlawful assembly” over a 2019 demonstration against a government ban on face masks that was imposed before the coronavirus pandemic, his lawyer said.
The 23-year-old pro-democracy figure said on Twitter he was also being held for violating the “draconian anti-mask law,” which has since been ruled unconstitutional.
Wong’s lawyer told AFP he was arrested when he reported to a police station concerning another case against him, for which he is currently on trial.
“Wong is accused of participating in an unlawful assembly on October 5 last year, when hundreds marched to oppose an anti-mask ban the government rolled out,” lawyer Jonathan Man said.
The march that day came after much of the city had ground to a halt with the subway suspended and many shops and malls shuttered following a night of violence.
Hundreds of protesters, almost all masked, staged the unsanctioned demonstration through the popular shopping district of Causeway Bay, a day after the city’s leader Carrie Lam outlawed masks by invoking colonial-era emergency powers not used for half a century.
The act of resistance came after a night of widespread chaos as hardcore protesters trashed dozens of subway stations, vandalized shops with mainland China ties, built fires and blocked roads. Many chanted “No rioters, only tyranny” and other popular protest slogans.
At the time of the march, Hong Kong had already been battered by four months of increasingly violent pro-democracy protests.