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13 Killed, 80 Injured In Barcelona Terror Attack, Two Suspects Arrested|RN


• 2 suspects arrested

At least 13 people were confirmed dead yesterday after a van mowed down pedestrians in Barcelona city centre and 80 people were injured, Catalan police and the regional interior ministry said.

As at press time, two suspects have been arrested according to CNN. The van plowed into crowds in the heart of the city and Spanish police said they were treating the incident as a terrorist attack. The death toll was reported by news agencies, citing police sources. At press time, police said they said were searching for the driver of the van. Media reports said the driver of the vehicle had fled on foot.

Spanish newspaper El Periodico said two armed men were holed up in a bar in Barcelona’s city center, and reported gunfire in the area, although it did not cite the source of the information.

It was not immediately clear whether the incidents were connected.

A source familiar with the initial United States government assessment said the incident appeared to be terrorism, and a White House spokeswoman said President Donald Trump was being kept abreast of the situation.

Media reports said the van had zigzagged at speed down the famous Las Ramblas avenue, a magnet for tourists. “I heard screams and a bit of a crash and then I just saw the crowd parting and this van going full pelt down the middle of the Ramblas and I immediately knew that it was a terrorist attack or something like that,” eyewitness Tom Gueller told the BBC. (The Sun)

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Barcelona Attack: Five Terror Suspects ‘Wearing Suicide Vest’ Shot Dead In Cambrils

By Barney Henderson and James Rothwell and Hannah Strange and Chris Graham

 Terror returned to the streets of Europe on Thursday when a van ploughed into a crowd of people in Barcelona, killing at least 13 and injuring more than 100 others.Footage of the scene showed dozens of bodies sprawled across the pavement in Las Ramblas, a street popular with tourists. Two men, one Spanish and one Moroccan, were arrested but police said the driver of the van was still at large.

In the early hours of Friday morning, in the town of Cambrils, 70 miles away,  at least six people were hurt when “alleged terrorists” drove into pedestrians before being shot dead by security forces.

The five attackers in the Audi A3, who were wearing bomb belts, were shot dead, police said. The bomb belts were detonated by the force’s bomb squad.

Slide 1 of 30: Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, center, speaks during a meeting following the attack of Barcelona where a van ploughed into the crowd, killing 13 persons and injuring over 80 on the Rambla in Barcelona, on August 17, 2017.

Two of the injured in Cambrils was in critical condition, emergency services said.

“The alleged terrorists were in an Audi A3 and apparently knocked down several people before coming across a police patrol and a shoot-out ensued,” said a spokesman for the regional government of Catalonia, where Cambrils is located in Spain’s northeast. One of the suspects was said to be brandishing a knife.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack as Joaquim Forn, Catalonia’s police chief, warned: “Unfortunately the number of fatalities will likely rise.”

On Thursday night it was confirmed that a three-year-old child was among the victims and 15 people were in a critical condition.

Liam Searle, 22, from Chichester, West Sussex, said he was skateboarding along the road at around 5.15pm with his headphones on when he heard “massive bangs and thuds” which he thought were gunshots.

“I realised it was the van next to me hitting people,” he said. “The van had stopped right next to me. That’s when two men got out and I ran for my life.”

Driss Oukabir, a 28-year-old of Moroccan origin, was suspected of having rented the van used in the assault. Spanish reports later said he had handed himself into police, who were investigating whether his brother had stolen his documentation.

Two explosions at a house in the town of Alcanar, 120 miles south of Barcelona, on Wednesday night, were last night linked by police to the attack. Officers said the residents had been preparing explosives. At least one person died and more than 16 were injured in what was initially thought to be a gas explosion.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, condemned the “terrible” Las Ramblas assault and said Britain stood firmly with Spain against terrorism.

 Donald Trump, the US president, tweeted that the US “will do whatever is necessary to help”, adding: “Be tough & strong, we love you!.”   The Spanish royal family described the attackers as “assassins, criminals who won’t terrorise us”, while Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, said the attack was “jihadist terrorism” requiring a global response.

In the aftermath of the attack, metro and train stations were closed amid reports that the attackers had entrenched themselves in a nearby Turkish restaurant.  This was dismissed as false by Spanish police, who advised tourists to stay in hotels.  British tourist Steve Garrett was at a nearby market.

“A large number of people ran into the market, lots of screaming, lots of shouting,” he said. “We ran into a bakery with four or five others and ran straight upstairs. An enormous wave of people went through the market.”

A man was shot dead after running over two police officers at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the city later in the evening. Police said last night it did not appear that the incident was linked to the van attack.

This was the eighth terror attack using a vehicle in Europe in the past three years, following the Nice assault in July 2016 that killed 86 and attacks on Westminster Bridge and London Bridge earlier this year that left four and eight people dead. Spain has not been hit by a serious terrorist incident since 2004, when Islamist militants placed bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding more than 1,800. But the country’s reputation as a tourist hotspot has raised the terror risk.

Earlier this year, jihadists warned that they would be seeking to take their campaign of death and destruction to popular areas in the Mediterranean.

The CIA warned Spanish police two months ago that Las Ramblas was a potential target, reports said.

“The CIA had already warned the Mossos d’Esquadra [police] that Barcelona might be a terrorist target … They even put the focus on the Ramblas,” El Periodico stated.             (The Telegraph)

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Russian Ban On Jehovah’s Witnesses Comes Into Force |The Republican News

Jehovah's-Witnesses

Russia’s justice ministry said Thursday that it has added Jehovah’s Witnesses to its black list, formalising a ban for the Christian movement over alleged “extremist activities.”

In a statement, the ministry said that the decision “had entered legal force” to ban the activities of the central organisation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and also all 395 local offices.

The evangelical movement also appeared in the ministry’s online register of banned organisations.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have fought a long legal battle against the ban, culminating in a Russian Supreme Court ruling in July to reject an appeal.

In April, the Supreme Court issued a ruling banning the Christian group and seizing its property.

That decision came after the justice ministry said it had found signs of “extremist activity” within the religious movement and requested that it be banned.

Members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses — a Christian evangelical movement that was born in the United States in the 19th century — consider modern churches to have deviated from the Bible’s true teachings. They reject modern evolutionary theory and refuse blood transfusions.

Washington last month called the ruling against the group “the latest in a disturbing trend of persecution of religious minorities in Russia.”

There are more than eight million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, with some countries classifying the group as a sect.

Its members are known for preaching on doorsteps, where they offer religious literature and attempt to convert people.

In 2004 Russia dissolved the Moscow branch of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2010 that the move had violated the right to freedom of religion and association.

AFP

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Parents Who Came Under Fire For YoutTube Prank On Kids Could Face 10 Years In Jail

Inside Edition

 

The Maryland couple who gained internet infamy after a video of them playing an expletive-laced prank on their children went viral may face up to 10 years in prison.

Michael and Heather Martin have been charged with two counts each of neglect of a minor after making headlines in April for posting a since-removed video to YouTube that many viewers blasted as abusive.

The video, posted to their channel, “DaddyOFive,” shows Heather Martin spreading what she said was ink that would soon disappear, but she and her husband later blame two of the children for the stains.

Both dad and stepmom can be heard cursing and shouting during the ordeal, which left the children in tears – an outcome typical of some of the 300 videos they posted online.

The videos have since been removed from YouTube.

Parents Who Came Under Fire for YouTube Prank on Kids Could Face 10 Years in Prison: Michael and Heather gained notoriety after a video of them playing an expletive-laced prank on their children went viral.© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Michael and Heather gained notoriety after a video of them playing an expletive-laced prank on their children went viral.

One month after the video surfaced, Michael Martin’s children, 12-year-old Emma and 9-year-old Cody, were removed from the home by Frederick County officials and placed in the custody of their biological mother, Rose Hall.

In a May 1 clip posted by Hall and her attorney, she called the videos and behaviour pictured “very heartbreaking and disturbing.”

The two children removed from the home were the youngest of five kids in total.

Michael and Heather Martin issued an apology for their behaviour in April, telling Inside Edition, “We got carried away in the moment.”

“I acknowledge and I respect how everyone feels about this and I do agree we put things on the internet that should not be there,” Michael Martin said in a video posted online. “We did things we should not do.”

Heather Martin added that the videos began as something the family did together and the children were excited about them.

But they “went from something that wasn’t so bad and then we just kept going more and more for the shock factor… to see what could get more views,” she said.

Prosecutors filed charges against the Martins on July 27.

They said the couple neglected Emma and Cody between November 2016 and April 2017, the Frederick News Post reported.

The pair faces up to five years in prison per count and a $5,000 fine.

Their attorney, Stephen Tully, told the Frederick News Post that his clients have reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, but for would not comment further.

They are due in court for a plea hearing on Sept. 11.  (Inside Edition)

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Hollywood Reacts To President Trump’s Charlottesville Remarks About ‘Very Fine People’ At Neo-Nazi Rally

Roisin O’Connor
               © Provided by Independent Print Limited

Stars of the entertainment world have condemned US President Donald Trump on social media after he refused to denounce white supremacists after the violent rally in Charlottesville.

Speaking at a press conference that was supposed to be about infrastructure, Trump responded to the incident and said there was “blame on both sides”. He attacked what he referred to as the “alt-left” protesters.

He has already been criticised since his initial reaction to the rally which took place last week, where he refused to denounce people in attendance who were seen waving Nazi flags and performing the Hitler salute.

At one point, he said that the protest, which was attended by members of the KKK, included some “very fine people”.

His comments have caused an uproar, with some fellow Republicans criticising him for failing to establish that racism and hate would not be tolerated by the White House.

John McCain tweeted: “There’s no moral equivalency between racists and Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry. The president of the United States should say so.”

He was backed up by one of Trump’s rival Republican presidential candidates, Jeb Bush, who stated: “This is a time for moral clarity, not ambivalence. I urge President Trump to unite the country, not parse the assignment of blame for the events in Charlottesville.

“For the sake of our country, he must leave no room for doubt that racism and hatred will not be tolerated or ignored by the White House.”

Prolific figures in film, music, comedy and television also reacted to Trump’s remarks, speaking out on social media to condemn him.

TV legend and Air Force veteran Norman Lear wrote: “I fought Nazis in World War II. They aren’t ‘very fine people’.”

Filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted: “OMG. What did we just watch? He blamed the anti-racism protesters. He likened George Washington to Robert E. Lee. Donald. Trump. F***. You.”

Jimmy Kimmel said he hadn’t seen “anything that crazy since Tyson bit Holyfield”.

Author JK Rowling noted that it was “now impossible for any Trump supporter to pretend they don’t know what he is”.

During the press conference, Trump accused the media of “changing history, changing the culture” of treating the people who were holding the rally “very badly”. He reaffirmed his statement that there were “bad people” on both sides of the violence. Soon after the press conference, the hashtag #ImpeachTrump was a top trend in both the US and the UK.    (The Independent)

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Britain ‘Won’t Back Donald Trump In Military Strike On North Korea’ But Could Help Spy On Nuclear Bases |RN

Chris Hughes
Credits: AFP                © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP
 

Britain won’t play a role in any military strike on North Korea, it has been claimed.

Kim Jong-Un’s regime has ramped up threats to unleash missiles on US territory in Guam.

It followed Donald Trump’s warning the rogue state faces “fire and fury” if it fails to curb its nuclear testing.

It is feared the US is moving towards a military solution to deal with North Korea’s increasing threat.

But reports last night suggest Britain will only support diplomatic resolutions through the UN.

A senior government source told The Sun: “The Americans are more than capable of doing what they might want, or have to do, in the region without our help.”

However, the Mirror understands Britain could play some role in the unfolding crisis.

The RAF has been asked to join an international spy operation to pinpoint nuclear sites and artillery batteries in North Korea.

US military chiefs hope the surveillance mission would help them prepare for a massive strike or for war.

Credits: AFP              © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP  

If the Commons backs the request, at least one of Britain’s three Rivet Joint spy planes could fly to a base in Japan within a fortnight.

A source said: “Although a conflict between North Korea and America and their allies is unthinkable, everything that can be done is being done to prepare for that if it happens.

“Western war planners are keen to minimise the death toll and that means a massive stepping-up of intelligence gathering against North Korea.”

The source added: “ NATO needs to stand behind the US as this situation could impact everyone.”

The £800million spy plane would pry on communications chatter in North Korea.

The RAF crew would be joined by US personnel who speak the language.

Credits: AFP                © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP  

Britain has also put intelligence agencies on high alert. MI6 and the listening station GCHQ are gathering information to learn how other nations are preparing to take on tyrant Kim.

An intelligence source told the Mirror: “This is all about making sure every step is taken to avoid something going wrong as efforts are made to solve this crisis through diplomacy.

“They are monitoring how Japan and China and other surrounding countries are reacting to each development.”  (Mirror)

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Beachgoers Watch As Migrant Boats Land On Spanish Shore |The Republican News

Stephen Burgen in Barcelona

 Bathers on a southern Spanish beach watched in amazement when a large dinghy carrying as many as 20 African migrants came ashore in broad daylight before its occupants fled into the surrounding countryside.
The landing, caught on video, took place on Wednesday afternoon in Zahara de los Atunes near Cádiz, 7.7 miles from the coast of north Africa.

Heavy police and coast guard patrols have in recent times forced migrants to use the much longer and more hazardous route from Mauritania to the Canary Islands, but lately, there has been an upsurge in crossings via the Strait of Gibraltar.

Migrant boat arrives on Spanish holiday beach        © JAVIER NEIRA Migrant boat arrives on Spanish holiday beach  

The Spanish coastguard had earlier received an SOS call from another dinghy and rescued all eight people on board. The Moroccan navy rescued seven people from another vessel.

According to the EU’s Frontex border agency, 7,500 immigrants made the crossing to Spain in the first three months of the year, compared with 3,600 in the same period last year.

In June alone, 2,200 attempted to cross the strait on vessels ranging from inflatable toy boats to high-powered launches.

A Frontex spokesman said the route across the strait had been revived because it was the shortest and because powerful launches of the type employed by drug smugglers meant it was possible to ship a large number of people over in a matter of minutes.

The spokesman said the closure of migrant camps in Morocco and Algeria may be driving migrants to take greater risks.

More than 1,600 people have been rescued off the coast of Cádiz since January. According to the Red Cross, more than 90% are from sub-Saharan Africa.   (The Guardian)

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