New York subway massacre suspect tipped off police to his location

Suspect Frank James is led by police after being arrested for his connection to the mass shooting at the 36th St subway station on April 13, 2022 in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images/AFP)
Suspect Frank James is led by police after being arrested for his connection to the mass shooting at the 36th St subway station on April 13, 2022 in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images/AFP)
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Updated 14 April 2022

New York subway massacre suspect tipped off police to his location

New York subway massacre suspect tipped off police to his location
  • Frank R. James called police to come and get him as authorities hunted him for shooting 10 people on a Brooklyn subway train

NEW YORK: The man accused of shooting 10 people on a Brooklyn subway train was arrested Wednesday and charged with a federal terrorism offense after the suspect called police to come get him, law enforcement officials said.
Frank R. James, 62, was taken into custody about 30 hours after the violence on a rush-hour train, which left people around the city on edge.
“My fellow New Yorkers, we got him,” Mayor Eric Adams said.
James was due to appear in court Thursday on a charge that pertains to terrorist or other violent attacks against mass transit systems and carries a sentence of up to life in prison, Brooklyn US Attorney Breon Peace said.
In recent months, James railed in videos on his YouTube channel about racism and violence in the US and about his struggles with mental health care in New York City, and he criticized Adams’ policies on mental health and subway safety. But the motive for the subway attack remains unclear, and there’s no indication James had ties to terror organizations, international or otherwise, Peace said.
James didn’t respond to reporters’ shouted questions as he was led to a police car Wednesday afternoon. He was transferred hours later to federal Bureau of Prisons custody and was being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. A message seeking comment was sent to a lawyer representing him.
Police had urged the public to help find him, releasing his name and photo and even sending a cellphone alert before they got a tip Wednesday.
The tipster was James, calling to say he knew he was wanted and that police could find him at a McDonald’s in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood, two law enforcement officials said. They weren’t authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
James was gone when officers arrived, but he was soon spotted on a busy corner nearby, Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said.
Passer-by Aleksei Korobow said he saw four police cars zoom past, and when he caught up to them, James was in handcuffs as a crowd of people looked on.
“There was nowhere left for him to run,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
The arrest came as the gunshot victims, and at least a dozen others injured in the attack, tried to recover.
“I don’t think I could ever ride a train again,” Hourari Benkada, a Manhattan hotel housekeeping manager who was shot in the leg, told CNN from a hospital bed.
Gov. Kathy Hochul visited victims as young as 12 in a hospital Tuesday night. One had been heading to class at Borough of Manhattan Community College when he was hit by either a bullet or shrapnel and needed surgery, the governor said.
Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry said an 18-year-old Guatemalan national, Rudy Alfredo Pérez Vásquez, was hospitalized but “out of danger” Wednesday after being injured in the attack.
James detonated two smoke grenades and fired at least 33 shots with a 9 mm handgun in a subway car packed with commuters, police said.
When the first smoke bomb went off, a passenger asked what he was doing, according to a witness account to police.
“Oops,” James said, set off a second, then brandished the gun and opened fire, Chief of Detectives James Essig said.
When the train stopped at a station and terrified riders fled, James apparently hopped another train — the same one many were steered to for safety, police said. He got out at the next station, disappearing into the nation’s most populous city.
But James left behind numerous clues at the crime scene, including the gun — which he bought in Ohio in 2011 — ammunition magazines, a hatchet, smoke grenades, gasoline, a bank card in his name and the key to a U-Haul van he rented Monday in Philadelphia, according to police and a court complaint.
Tucked in an orange workers’ jacket, which he apparently tossed on a subway platform, was a receipt for a Philadelphia storage unit. Authorities found ammunition, targets and a pistol barrel in the storage locker and learned he’d been there on Monday, the complaint said.
The van was found, unoccupied, near a station where investigators believe James entered the subway system.
Surveillance cameras captured the van arriving from Philadelphia early Tuesday, and a man wearing what appeared to be the same orange jacket leaving the vehicle near the station.
James was born in New York but had lived recently in Philadelphia and Milwaukee, authorities said. Bruce Allen, a neighbor near a Philadelphia apartment where James stayed for the last couple of weeks, said the man never spoke to him, even when moving in.
James had worked at a variety of manufacturing and other jobs, according to his videos. Police said he’d been arrested 12 times in New York and New Jersey between 1990 and 2007 on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to possession of burglary tools, but he has no felony convictions.
His hours of disjointed, expletive-filled videos range from current events, to his life story, to bigoted remarks about people of various backgrounds. James is Black.
Some videos complain about Adams, mental health care James says he got in the city years ago, and conditions on the subway. In one post, he fulminates about trains filled with homeless people, the court complaint noted.
In another, he denounces the treatment of Black people in the US and says, “The message to me is: I should have gotten a gun, and just started shooting.”
The Brooklyn subway station where passengers fled the attack was open as usual Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after the violence.
Jude Jacques, who takes the subway to work as a fire safety director two blocks from the shooting scene, said he prays every morning but had a special request Wednesday.
“I said, ‘God, everything is in your hands,’” Jacques said. “I was antsy, and you can imagine why. Everybody is scared because it just happened.”
 


Death toll from a massive landslide in India rises to 37

Death toll from a massive landslide in India rises to 37
Updated 29 sec ago

Death toll from a massive landslide in India rises to 37

Death toll from a massive landslide in India rises to 37
  • A wall of mud and rock swamped a camp housing railway construction workers and members of the Territorial Army in remote Manipur state in the northeast after heavy rain early on Thursday

GUWAHATI, India: The death toll from a massive landslide in India hit 37 on Sunday, authorities said, as rescue teams battled teeming rain to search for 25 others still missing three days later.

A wall of mud and rock swamped a camp housing railway construction workers and members of the Territorial Army in remote Manipur state in the northeast after heavy rain early on Thursday.

Emergency teams rescued 18 survivors within the first few hours of the incident.

But army spokesperson Angom Bobin Singh said Sunday that 28 people were still missing before an announcement later that three more bodies had been retrieved.

The fourth day of search operations was ongoing “despite adverse weather conditions” because of “heavy rains and fresh landslides,” Singh said.

The remote northeast has generally poor road and railway infrastructure but India in the last few years has pushed ambitious infrastructure projects to match a Chinese buildup across the border.

The picturesque region — with mountains and dense forests — has been pummeled by heavy rainfall in recent weeks, triggering landslides and floods.

Dozens were killed in the area after flooding last month, with relentless rains causing landslides and inundating homes.

Experts say climate change is increasing the number of extreme weather events around the world, with damming, deforestation and development projects in India exacerbating the human toll.

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Floodwaters in Bangladesh take heavy toll on children’s education

Floodwaters in Bangladesh take heavy toll on children’s education
Updated 13 min 45 sec ago

Floodwaters in Bangladesh take heavy toll on children’s education

Floodwaters in Bangladesh take heavy toll on children’s education
  • Deadly floods in Bangladesh had killed dozens of people and stranded millions of others
  • Thousands of schools in worst-hit Sylhet region were impacted by deluge

DHAKA: Last month’s flooding in northeastern Bangladesh has dealt a heavy blow to the country’s education sector as authorities estimate that it has kept hundreds of thousands of children out of school.

Millions of people were displaced, and dozens of others killed when heavy floods triggered by monsoon rains hit northeast Bangladesh in June. The South Asian nation witnessed intense rainfall that continued for days, causing the worst deluge that the country had seen in more than a century.

In the worst-hit Sylhet region, thousands of schools and colleges were forced to remain shut weeks after the devastating floods, leaving hundreds and thousands of students out of classes as authorities began assessing the extent of the damages.

Over 3,000 primary schools — more than half of the total in Sylhet — sustained damages during the floods, Dr. Nasima Begum, deputy director at the department of primary education in the region, told Arab News. Around 1.8 million children were enrolled in the primary schools, she added.

“Since more than half of the schools were affected by flood water, it is anticipated that the children of these areas were also affected,” Begum said.

“We have yet to complete the loss assessment because the floods have not completely receded in many areas,” she said. “We have plans to provide new books and education materials to the children when classes resume.”

Mohammed Nazrul Hakim, executive engineer at Sylhet’s education engineering department, told Arab News that buildings damaged in the floods are in dire need of repairs.

“The ground floors of the affected institutions have become unusable due to the floods. Students can’t have classes there without repair works being done,” Hakim said.

As hundreds of high schools and colleges in the region had also been damaged during the disaster, around 150,000 secondary students also had their final exams, initially scheduled to take place in June, postponed.

“More than 600 high schools and colleges were affected due to this flood,” Prof. Abdul Mannan Khan, director of Sylhet’s department of secondary and higher education, told Arab News.

Classes are expected to resume on July 19, but for most of the affected students, the “floodwater damaged many of their books and education materials,” Khan added.

When the unprecedented floods hit villages across northeast Bangladesh, most people only had enough time to save themselves and their loved ones.

“Saving our lives was the only concern during the flood,” 16-year-old Abdur Rahman Sohag told Arab News.

“It happened so quickly that I couldn’t manage to save any of my books.”

Sohag was among tens of thousands who were scheduled to take their final exams last month. But as the situation worsened and the final exams had to be postponed, a new date has yet to be announced.

Like Sohag, 16-year-old Sanjida Zahan Chowdhury also lost her textbooks in the floods, which had submerged her home in the Sunamganj district.

“Within half an hour at midnight, we found ourselves in around 1.5 meters of high flood water inside our home,” Chowdhury told Arab News, adding that she and her family had to wait eight hours before they were evacuated.

“Many of my books and notes were washed away. How can I sit for the exam without my books?”


Sweden refuses to deny deportations to Turkey part of NATO deal

Sweden refuses to deny deportations to Turkey part of NATO deal
Updated 19 min 52 sec ago

Sweden refuses to deny deportations to Turkey part of NATO deal

Sweden refuses to deny deportations to Turkey part of NATO deal
  • In an agreement signed by Stockholm and Helsinki at a NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday, the two Nordic countries agreed to examine Turkish extradition requests “expeditiously and thoroughly”

VISBY, Sweden: Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson refused Sunday to deny Turkey’s claim that it had promised to deport individuals sought by Ankara as part of Stockholm’s efforts to join NATO.

Despite questioning by journalists and concerns among Kurdish and Turkish refugees in Sweden, Andersson would not say whether such a commitment had been given to Ankara for it to lift objections to Sweden’s membership.

“I’ve been a minister for eight years and I never talked about what is said in the negotiation room,” she said. “(That) actually puts me in a bit of a difficult situation right now,” she added.

In an agreement signed by Stockholm and Helsinki at a NATO summit in Madrid on Tuesday, the two Nordic countries agreed to examine Turkish extradition requests “expeditiously and thoroughly.”

No promise has been given to actually carry out the extraditions, and Finland and Sweden have since recalled that the process is in the hands of the authorities and independent courts.

But Turkish President Erdogan on Thursday said at the end of the NATO summit that Sweden had made a “promise” to extradite “73 terrorists” and threatened to block NATO membership if the commitments were not met.

Andersson, who was pressed several times on Sunday to say whether such a promise had been given, simply repeated Stockholm’s position.

She said Sweden will continue to respect national and international laws, no Swedish nationals will be extradited, the decision will be up to independent authorities and courts.

“If you are not involved in terrorist activities, there is no need for concern,” she said.

The Swedish leader was holding her first press conference since returning from the summit, during a visit to the Baltic Sea island of Gotland.

Every July, it hosts a week of political meetings bringing together party leaders.

But it is also one of the locations due to be reinforced by the Swedish army after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Sweden’s decision to join NATO.


UK whistleblower receives $500k payout after Kosovo corruption claims

UK whistleblower receives $500k payout after Kosovo corruption claims
Updated 03 July 2022

UK whistleblower receives $500k payout after Kosovo corruption claims

UK whistleblower receives $500k payout after Kosovo corruption claims
  • Ex-Foreign Office prosecutor told to ‘turn a blind eye’ before losing job
  • Lawyer: ‘The protection of whistleblowers is crucial for a fair and functioning democratic society’

LONDON: The UK government has agreed a settlement of more than $500,000 with a Foreign Office whistleblower who claimed she was undermined after exposing corruption in EULEX, the EU’s mission in Kosovo.
Maria Bamieh, a former prosecutor with the Foreign Office, was awarded the $512,000 settlement a decade after first raising concerns in her position in 2012, The Observer reported.
In her role Bamieh worked with EULEX, but a series of discoveries and interventions led to her being sidelined and terminated from her position in 2014.
Bamieh alleges that after discovering corruption and referring evidence back to the Foreign Office and local embassy, she was told to ignore the evidence.
The Foreign Office denies her claims despite the payout, which was agreed upon before a hearing took place.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We have agreed to settle this long-running case without any admission of liability and continue to strongly refute these allegations.”
Bamieh said: “I believe that I should have been commended and supported by the Foreign Office for raising my concerns about possible corruption within EULEX and the treatment I suffered afterward, but instead I felt abandoned.”
The $1 billion EULEX mission aimed to pursue high-profile politicians and officials in Kosovo with links to organized crime and corruption.
Bamieh’s first discovery came in 2012 after attempts by a health official in Kosovo to undermine an investigation using links with a senior EULEX judge.
A senior prosecutor allegedly shared details of the investigation with the official through a third party.
Bamieh raised concerns with a UK diplomat but was told to “turn a blind eye.” A year later, however, she was disciplined for parking and work experience violations in an apparent attempt to undermine her work.
In 2014, the Foreign Office reduced its staff presence in Kosovo. Bamieh was terminated late that year.
He lawyer Mike Cain said: “The protection of whistleblowers is crucial for a fair and functioning democratic society. This is all the more the case in spaces where public power is being exercised as it was when our client formed and reported her concerns both in
Kosovo and to senior figures within the Foreign Office.”
Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, urged the Foreign Office to reform its internal complaints system.
“It takes great moral fibre and courage to raise your head above the parapet, knowing there may be significant personal cost,” he said.
“Cover-up culture benefits no one. Perhaps if the Foreign Office strengthened its complaint processes, and increased its openness, members of staff within the department would not have to resort to such drastic measures.”


Bus crash kills at least 20 in southwest Pakistan — official

Bus crash kills at least 20 in southwest Pakistan — official
Updated 03 July 2022

Bus crash kills at least 20 in southwest Pakistan — official

Bus crash kills at least 20 in southwest Pakistan — official
  • Poor road infrastructure and rash driving often cause deadly road crashes in Pakistan

QUETTA: A passenger bus plunged into a ravine in southwestern Pakistan on Sunday killing 20 people, a government official said.
The road crash also injured another 13 people aboard the bus that was traveling from garrison city of Rawalpindi to Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province, said Ijaz Jaffar, deputy commissioner of Sherani district.
The ravine is some 350 kilometers north of Quetta.
Poor road infrastructure and rash driving often cause deadly road crashes in Pakistan.
The province is home to several Chinese projects under an investment plan in which Beijing is seeking road and sea trade linkages with the world.