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Sabtu, 30 November 2019

2 killed, 3 injured in terrorist attack on London Bridge - ABC News

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2019-11-30 15:30:10Z
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Pelosi to lead delegation to climate summit amid U.S. withdrawal from Paris climate deal - CBS News

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading a delegation of members of Congress to the annual international climate summit known as COP25 in Madrid, Spain, next week. While the delegation will include members of both the House and Senate, it will not be bipartisan, as only Democrats will be attending. 

"It is a privilege to accompany a high-level Congressional delegation to Spain to combat the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis," Pelosi said in a statement on Saturday. 

"Taking action to protect our planet is a public health decision for clean air and clean water for our children, an economic decision for creating the green, good-paying jobs of the future, a national security decision to address resource competition and climate migration and also a moral decision to be good stewards of God's creation and pass a sustainable, healthy planet to the next generation," she said. "On behalf of the U.S. Congress, I am proud to travel to COP25 to reaffirm the commitment of the American people to combating the climate crisis."

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In 2016, attendees at the COP25 summit in Paris, France, announced they would sign a pact to lower greenhouse gas emissions, a deal commonly known as the Paris Climate Agreement. President Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the agreement shortly after taking office, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced earlier this month the U.S. had begun formal proceedings to pull the U.S. out.

The withdrawal process takes a year and will not become official until at least a day after the 2020 presidential election. The terms of the deal say no country can withdraw in the first three years, so November 4, 2019, was the earliest the U.S. could actually start the withdrawal process. Climate experts largely agree that pulling out will hurt efforts to fight global warming.

"Global objectives can't be met unless everybody does their part and the U.S. has to play the game," said Appalachian State University environmental sciences professor Gregg Marland, who is part of a global effort to track carbon dioxide emissions, in an interview with the Associated Press earlier this month. "We're the second biggest player. What happens to the game if we take our ball and go home?"

The climate summit in Madrid is taking place shortly after the UN released its annual "emissions gap" report showing the amount of greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere hitting a new high last year, despite the pledges by several countries to reduce them.

Current national pledges would leave the world 5.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer by 2100 than pre-industrial times, with dramatic consequences for life on Earth, according to the report. A fivefold increase in measures pledged so far would be needed in order to limit the increase to 2.7 degrees, the goal of the climate agreement.

Meanwhile, students around the world skipped school Friday to protest global warming. Demonstrations in Madrid, Tokyo and Melbourne were billed as a "Global Day of Action" ahead of the summit in Madrid.

Mr. Trump is unlikely to attend the summit, but the administration will send a small delegation of career diplomats to represent the U.S., Bloomberg reported. Mr. Trump is set to head to London next week to meet with other world leaders and mark the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance.

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2019-11-30 15:05:00Z
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Investigators release new info about slain London Bridge suspect - CNN

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2019-11-30 13:43:54Z
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China arrests two men for alleged involvement in Hong Kong protests - CNN

Businessman Lee Henley Hu Xiang, who is a Belize citizen, and Taiwan national Lee Meng-chu were arrested for "engaging in activities endangering China's national security and for their involvement in the Hong Kong riots," the Southern Daily reported.
Lee Henley Hu Xiang was arrested on November 26 by the Guangzhou State Security bureau "for funding criminal activities that endanger national security," the paper reported.
Lee, who lives in China, is also accused of funding "hostile forces" in the US, sponsoring foreign organizations and individuals "to damage China's national security," disrupting Hong Kong and supporting anti-China activities, and cooperating "with external forces to intervene in Hong Kong affairs."
Protesters celebrate a victory after Trump signs Hong Kong human rights act
Taiwan national Lee Meng-chu was arrested on October 31 by Shenzhen State Security bureau for spying for foreign forces and illegally providing state secrets, according to the report. He went missing in late August at the border city of Shenzhen, which neighbors Hong Kong.
He is also accused of being a key member of "Taiwan independence" forces; going to Hong Kong to support "anti-China" activities; and seeking military secrets in mainland China in August, the Southern Daily writes.
Hong Kong has been hit by several months of protests that began over a now-withdrawn extradition bill.
Since then, demonstrations have expanded to include five major demands, including an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality and wider democratic reforms.
China was enraged on Thursday after US President Donald Trump signed an act in support of the protest movement.
It came days after pro-democracy candidates scored a landslide victory in district council elections, framed as a de-facto referendum on the protest movement.

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2019-11-30 13:07:00Z
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'Heroic' bystanders praised for tackling London Bridge attacker - Al Jazeera English

Politicians, officials and social media users in the United Kingdom have praised the "heroism" of members of the public who tackled a knife-wielding attacker on London Bridge before armed police arrived and shot him dead.

The male attacker stabbed several people, including two fatally, during the assault on Friday that police in the British capital said they were treating as a "terrorist" attack.

More:

In dramatic footage widely shared on social media, a group of bystanders can be seen pinning down and disarming the attacker on the pavement, unaware he was apparently wearing an explosive device.

One video posted on social media showed two men struggling on the bridge before police pulled a man in civilian clothes off a black-clad man on the ground, with gunshots ensuing.

Another video showed a man in a suit holding a long knife that apparently had been taken from the attacker, identified by police as Usman Khan, who had been convicted of "terrorism" offences and released from jail last year.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to the "breathtaking heroism of members of the public who literally ran towards danger, not knowing what confronted them".

"Members of the public didn't realise at the time that was a hoax device and they really are the best of us - another example of the bravery and heroism of ordinary Londoners running towards danger, risking their own personal safety to try and save others." 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also hailed the "extraordinary bravery of those members of the public who physically intervened to protect the lives of others".

"They represent the very best of our country and I thank them on behalf of all of our country," he added.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said: "We owe a deep debt of gratitude to our police and emergency services, and the brave members of the public who put themselves in harm's way to protect others."

In a statement on Saturday, the Muslim Council of Britain also hailed the "selfless, heroic actions of the public who swiftly responded to the attack by a convicted terrorist".

Metropolitan police chief Cressida Dick said officers were called just before 2pm on Friday to Fishmongers' Hall, a conference venue at the north end of London Bridge.

On Twitter, user Amy Coop, who was at Fishmongers' Hall, praised a man who "went out to confront the attacker."

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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2019-11-30 12:32:00Z
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'Heroic' bystanders praised for tackling London Bridge attacker - Al Jazeera English

Politicians, officials and social media users in the United Kingdom have praised the "heroism" of members of the public who tackled a knife-wielding attacker on London Bridge before armed police arrived and shot him dead.

The male attacker stabbed several people, including two fatally, during the assault on Friday that police in the British capital said they were treating as a "terrorist" attack.

More:

In dramatic footage widely shared on social media, a group of bystanders can be seen pinning down and disarming the attacker on the pavement, unaware he was apparently wearing an explosive device.

One video posted on social media showed two men struggling on the bridge before police pulled a man in civilian clothes off a black-clad man on the ground, with gunshots ensuing.

Another video showed a man in a suit holding a long knife that apparently had been taken from the attacker, identified by police as Usman Khan, who had been convicted of "terrorism" offences and released from jail last year.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to the "breathtaking heroism of members of the public who literally ran towards danger, not knowing what confronted them".

"Members of the public didn't realise at the time that was a hoax device and they really are the best of us - another example of the bravery and heroism of ordinary Londoners running towards danger, risking their own personal safety to try and save others." 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also hailed the "extraordinary bravery of those members of the public who physically intervened to protect the lives of others".

"They represent the very best of our country and I thank them on behalf of all of our country," he added.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said: "We owe a deep debt of gratitude to our police and emergency services, and the brave members of the public who put themselves in harm's way to protect others."

In a statement on Saturday, the Muslim Council of Britain also hailed the "selfless, heroic actions of the public who swiftly responded to the attack by a convicted terrorist".

Metropolitan police chief Cressida Dick said officers were called just before 2pm on Friday to Fishmongers' Hall, a conference venue at the north end of London Bridge.

On Twitter, user Amy Coop, who was at Fishmongers' Hall, praised a man who "went out to confront the attacker."

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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2019-11-30 12:10:00Z
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'Amazing bravery': Stories of London Bridge attack heroes emerge - USA TODAY

LONDON – A day after two people were killed in a terror-related stabbing attack on a bridge in central London, reports emerged of the brave actions taken by members of the public to detain the alleged assailant before he was shot dead by British police. 

Scotland Yard identified the suspect as Usman Khan, 28, an extremist previously jailed for plotting to bomb the London Stock Exchange, Britain's Parliament and the U.S. Embassy. After serving prison time for his role in that plot, Khan was released in 2018 and fitted with an electronic tag to monitor his movements, according to a report in The Times (of London). Khan was wearing a fake suicide belt when he was fatally shot Friday. Police feared it was real and that he was trying to detonate it.

Terror in London: Suspect had served time for terror crimes, UK police say

The two people killed in the incident on London Bridge have not been named. Three others, a man and two women, remain in the hospital with serious injuries.

While Khan's motivations remain unclear, investigators are treating the incident as terrorism and it marks the third time in the run up to the last four national votes that Britain has experienced a terrorist attack. A general election is taking place Dec. 12.

More: British lawmakers vote to hold rare December election due to Brexit

On Saturday, investigators confirmed that Khan began his assault inside Fishmongers' Hall, a historic venue near the north end of London Bridge. There, he was registered to take part in a conference on rehabilitating former prisoners. It was organized by the University of Cambridge. Police believe that after Khan started his attack inside the hall, he proceeded to the bridge looking for more victims. They believe he acted alone.

However, according to footage that has circulated on social media, some of which has subsequently been confirmed in statements from police and witnesses, at some point when Khan got to London Bridge he was tackled by passers-by. 

"This man was walking behind us on the other side of London Bridge when the attack began," a Twitter user identified as George Roberts wrote on the social media platform.

"He ran through traffic and jumped the central partition to tackle the attacker with several others. We ran away but looks like he disarmed him. Amazing bravery." 

Stevie Hurst, a tour guide, was one of the people who helped restrain the attacker.

"Everyone was just on top of him trying to bundle him to the ground," he told the BBC.

"We saw the knife was still in his hand. I just put a foot in to try to kick him in the head. We were trying to do as much as we could to try and dislodge the knife from his hand so he wouldn't harm anyone else. The guys that were there (are) heroes beyond belief."

The interventions from pedestrians prompted praise from police.

"(I) want to thank the members of the public who have helped, either by showing extraordinary courage by stepping in or by following the instructions they’ve been given by officers at the scene and in the area. This support from our public assists us more than you could know," said Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick. 

Dick said the attack, from start to finish, lasted five minutes. 

Video footage captured by bystanders appears to show a person – Khan, dressed in black – lying on the ground and wrestling with several members of the public. As British police arrive, Khan attempts to rise and officers pull the members of the public away before firing two shots. Several British media reports said that one man had taken a five-foot long narwhal tusk from Fishmongers’ Hall to confront the attacker. Another, reports said, used foam from a fire-extinguisher to keep the suspect at bay. After the police fire on Khan he is later seen lying motionless, an electronic tag visible on his ankle. 

London's Mayor Sadiq Khan praised the "breathtaking heroism of members of the public who literally ran towards danger not knowing what confronted him."

Police on Saturday searched an apartment block in Stafford, about 150 miles northwest of London, for clues. Khan was believed to have lived in the area after his release from prison. Britain’s Parole Board said in a statement it had no role in releasing Khan, who "appears to have been released automatically on license (as required by law)."

Security officials earlier this month had downgraded Britain’s terrorism threat level from "severe" to "substantial," which means an attack is seen as "likely" rather than "highly likely." The assessment was made by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, an independent expert body that evaluates intelligence, terrorist capability and intentions.

It was based in part on a judgment that the threat of extremists returning from Syria to launch attacks in Britain had been slightly reduced.

British politician Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right terrorist a week before Britain held its 2016 Brexit referendum on European Union membership. The last general election, in 2017, was conducted in the wake of a car-ramming and stabbing terrorist attack in London that killed 11 people. Britain's main political parties suspended campaigning in London for the vote due in less than two weeks as a mark of respect for those killed and injured in Friday's attack.

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2019-11-30 11:07:55Z
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London Bridge stabbing attack suspect was released last year after terrorism conviction - NBCNews.com

LONDON — British police were scrambling Saturday to work out how a man convicted of terrorism offenses managed to carry out a deadly stabbing attack on London Bridge a year after his release from prison.

Usman Khan, 28, was attending an event for a program that works to rehabilitate prisoners before launching the attack that saw him stab several people and brandish what turned out to be a fake suicide vest. He was shot dead by officers after members of the public intervened.

Two others were killed in the attack.

Nov. 29, 201901:38

"This individual was known to authorities," Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said Friday night. "Clearly, a key line of inquiry now is to establish how he came to carry out this attack."

Khan had been convicted in 2012 for his part in an al-Qaeda-inspired plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange. He was originally given a 16-year prison term but was released early “on license,” meaning he had to meet certain conditions or face being locked up again.

The circumstances of the attack could elevate the issues of terrorism and criminal justice just weeks ahead of a crucial Dec. 12 election that has thus far been dominated by Brexit and health care.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the subject before chairing a meeting of the government's emergency committee late Friday.

Johnson said he had "long argued" that it is a "mistake to allow serious and violent criminals to come out of prison early."

"It is very important that we get out of that habit and that we enforce the appropriate sentences for dangerous criminals, especially for terrorists, that I think the public will want to see," Johnson said.

Nov. 29, 201900:52

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was horrified by the attack.

"We must and we will stand together to reject hatred and division," said Corbyn, who trails Johnson in opinion polls.

Both leaders said they would scale back campaigning in the immediate wake of the attack.

The attack will likely prompt British police to review the conditions placed on released convicts, junior interior minister Brandon Lewis told BBC radio Saturday.

"There are conditions that are put on people in this situation and one of the things the police will be looking at is those conditions as part of that investigation," said Lewis.

Ahead of the attack, Khan had been attending an event called Learning Together at Fishmongers' Hall, a historic building adjacent to the bridge, police said.

Learning Together is a program led by Cambridge University which aims to provide education to people in prison alongside university students.

"I am devastated to learn that today's hateful attack on London Bridge may have been targeted at staff, students and alumni," Cambridge University president Stephen Toope said in a statement.

In addition to the suspect, a man and a woman were killed in the attack while three other people — one man and two women — were wounded and taken to hospital.

It remains unclear whether the victims were affiliated with the university.

Khan was living in Staffordshire, about 150 miles north of London, and police were searching his address late Friday. Police said they are not actively investigating other suspects.

Reuters contributed.

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2019-11-30 10:26:00Z
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How an Anti-Brexit London District Could Help Boris Johnson Triumph - The New York Times

LONDON — The Labour Party canvassers gathered after dark outside a tube station in Pimlico, a pocket of central London that, by all appearances, should be fertile terrain. Nearly three-quarters of the surrounding district voted to stay in the European Union, among the strongest “Remain” votes in Britain, putting the pro-Brexit Conservatives at risk in a seat they had held since the district lines were drawn in 1950.

But the district, the Cities of London and Westminster, with its rows of white stucco townhouses and crowded housing projects, may now become a parable on the left for why Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a commanding position less than two weeks before the election.

Brexit has sent tremors through the British political system, shaking up the traditional left-right, class-based divisions. While the Conservatives have capitalized on the upheaval, building a coalition of pro-Brexit voters across regional and class lines, the left has so far struggled to win converts and overcome its own divisions.

Mr. Johnson is on course for a 68-seat majority in Parliament, a major new polling analysis showed, with Labour hemorrhaging pro-Brexit seats in working-class sections of middle and northern England and a fractured left failing to win significant numbers of anti-Brexit seats in the south that seemed ripe for the taking.

With Mr. Johnson still deeply unpopular, undecided voters may yet swing Labour’s way. Recent polls suggest the Conservative lead has begun to shrink, putting many seats with razor-thin margins potentially in play. But Labour’s leftist leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has lately dug in against accusations of anti-Semitism in the party and criticisms that his Brexit policy was incoherent.

Setting off from the tube station last week, the scores of Labour canvassers were quickly confronted with a treacherous political rip tide: Labourites turned off by Mr. Corbyn; die-hard Remainers who, fed up with Labour’s ever-evolving stance on Brexit, had decamped to the staunchly anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats; and even former Remainers who now resignedly conceded that democracy demanded Brexit be done.

“It’s desperate times — it’s very difficult to know how to vote,” Philip Rudge, 73, who lives in the east of the district, said a few days earlier. “I’ve been Labour all my life, but I’ve been dismayed to see the infighting and back-stabbing and so on. Corbyn’s not a leader. Labour will have to win an election against the leadership.”

This London district, known informally as the Two Cities, is in many respects a mirror image of pro-Brexit, working-class Labour strongholds in northern England being targeted by the Conservatives. Stocked with bankers and lawyers who once made up the Conservative base, but who want to stay in the European Union, the Two Cities is precisely the kind of seat that Brexit could help deliver to a left-leaning party.

But with Mr. Corbyn failing to ignite the enthusiasm he did in 2017, and some right-wing anti-Brexit voters drifting back into the Conservative fold, the widely prophesied new coalition of the left has not materialized.

In the Two Cities, the left is also suffering from a second problem: the anti-Brexit vote being split between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, a smaller, more centrist party that has stormed back from obscurity by arguing for lawmakers to summarily reverse Brexit.

Anti-Brexit activists are pleading with people to vote tactically — meaning to vote for whichever Remain party stands the best chance of winning a given seat — and polls suggest that Britons are doing so in greater numbers than before, for good reason. While there are roughly half a dozen parties in Britain’s Brexit-battered Parliament, only one can win any given seat: When supporters of a given cause split their votes between several candidates, they risk letting an opponent come through the middle.

But disagreements on the economy and foreign policy still run deep on the left. And with the Liberal Democrats neck-and-neck with Labour in districts like the Two Cities, that has left even the most calculating anti-Brexit voters confused about what to do.

“I would say I’m a tactical voter normally, but it’s not clear at this stage what the tactic should be,” said Fern Watson, 36, who is opposed to Brexit, bracing against the cold in the Barbican, a brutalist estate on the eastern edge of the district. “I don’t really see either Labour or the Lib Dems as my natural political home, and I think a lot of people of my age and education level feel the same.”

She had visited three different websites purporting to tell people how to vote in individual precincts to stop Brexit. One of them said Labour, and the other two the Liberal Democrats.

Current polling suggests the Remain vote will split in the Two Cities, allowing a weakened Conservative candidate to hold the seat. Across the country, were only 120,000 more Remainers to vote tactically, one analysis showed, that would be enough to defeat Mr. Johnson on Dec. 12.

But for now, in crucial London districts, the race has become a battle of bar charts, as both Labour and the Liberal Democrats try to prove they are best positioned to win three-way fights for seats. Labour has printed reams of them showing how it cut into the Conservatives’ lead in the 2017 election, capitalizing on the same shifts that have turned American cities into progressive bulwarks.

But the Liberal Democrats, relying on more recent polling, have distributed their own sheafs of charts with exactly the opposite message.

Couple that with the hazy mechanics of how a left-wing coalition would actually try to stop Brexit, and Remain voters are stuck in a confusing predicament.

“If you are a Leave voter, the route to your destination is now really clear and simple,” said Rob Ford, a politics professor and the editor of “Sex, Lies and Politics: The Secret Influences That Drive our Political Choices.” “Whereas if you’re on the Remain side, what’s the route to your desired destination? It’s as clear as the channel on a foggy day right now.”

Remain voters are torn by Mr. Corbyn’s cautious, some would say muddled, Brexit policy, in which he would negotiate a new exit deal with Brussels and then put it beside Remain in a public vote in which he himself would stay neutral.

One voter, Philip Jeremy, 60, asked about Labour’s Brexit policy, said bluntly: “Corbyn doesn’t have one.” So desperate is Mr. Jeremy not to see either major party steering the country that he said he wanted the election to deliver no clear signals at all.

“I prefer a hung Parliament, just so none of them do anything too drastic,” Mr. Jeremy said.

Sitting as it does at the heart of London, the Two Cities district covers not only Buckingham Palace and Parliament but also the well-mannered homes of many senior lawmakers, making it a trophy scalp for the opposition.

But it also has considerable areas of poverty, where allegiances to Labour are strong and its message should resonate: The party has focused heavily on health care, housing, climate change and income inequality.

Those policies have drawn some pro-Brexit voters into the fold, like Jalil Abdul, 75, who has lived for four decades in Walden House, a public housing block in Pimlico that had been targeted for redevelopment by a 28-year-old billionaire.

“This year, I like the Labour Party,” Mr. Abdul said, “because for the last three years the Conservative Party has failed at doing anything.”

But polls suggest many anti-Brexit Conservatives are sticking by Mr. Johnson, not out of love and admiration for him as much as fear and loathing for his opponent, Mr. Corbyn.

“We have a choice of one of two prime ministers, either Boris, or Jeremy Corbyn,” said Christopher Wyke, 64, a Conservative who lives and works in the City of London, the financial district, and who himself supports Brexit. “If you vote for anybody but the Conservatives, you risk getting Corbyn, so there’s no choice. Even people who are Remainers, they still don’t want Corbyn. He’d be infinitely more dangerous.”

And the Liberal Democrats have alienated some voters who might otherwise be amenable to their centrist economic policies by taking a stark position on Brexit: revoking it altogether, without a public vote.

Even anti-Brexit Labourites are no longer a shoo-in to vote against the Conservatives.

Gordon Nardell, the Labour candidate, broke off from the party activists outside the tube station last week to knock on some doors alone. The first answer seemed to startle him: a middle-aged man who said he was a longtime Labour supporter and backed Remain in 2016, but now wanted Mr. Johnson to get Brexit done.

“The vote was to leave, so you know, recognize the vote,” the man said. “To me, once you vote, that’s it — you either accept it, or if you don’t accept it, democracy means nothing.”

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2019-11-30 08:21:00Z
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London Bridge attacker had previous conviction for terrorism offenses - CNBC

A forensic investigator takes photographs by London Bridge after a number of people are believed to have been injured after a stabbing, police have said, on November 29, 2019 in London, England. Police said they were called to the stabbing around 2:00 pm local time. Video shared on social media after the incident showed armed officers opening fire on a man who had been pinned down on the bridge walkway. Metropolitan Police said they believed there were several injuries and that a man had been detained.

Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

The London Bridge attacker who killed two people on Friday has been named as 28-year-old Usman Khan who was known to authorities and had been convicted in 2012 for terrorism offenses.

In a statement overnight, the U.K.'s Met Police said the individual was released from prison in December 2018 on license, adding that a key line of the enquiry was now to establish how he came to carry out this attack.

The attacker had attended a prisoner rehabilitation event called "Learning Together" on Friday afternoon at Fishmonger's Hall on the north side of the bridge. The Met believes the knife attack began inside before he left the building and proceeded onto the bridge, where he was detained and subsequently shot dead by armed officers.

The suspect was initially restrained by members of the public and he appeared to be wearing a bomb vest which was later said to be "a hoax explosive device."

One man and one woman were killed during the attack. Three others, a man and two women, were also injured and remain in hospital. Health officials have said one of the injured is in a critical but stable condition.

This undated photo provided by West Midlands Police shows Usman Khan. UK counterterrorism police are searching for clues into an attack that left two people dead and three injured near London Bridge. Police said Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, Khan, who was imprisoned six years for terrorism offenses before his release last year stabbed several people in London on Friday, Nov. 29, before being tackled by members of the public and shot dead by officers on the London Bridge.

West Midlands Police via AP

The police said it was not actively seeking anyone else in relation to the attack, but were carrying out searches at an address in Staffordshire, in the West Midlands of England, where Khan is believed to have lived.

"Public safety is our top priority and we are enhancing police patrols in the City and across London," Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu for the Met Police said in a statement. Earlier this month, the country downgraded its terrorism threat level from "severe" to "substantial."

The BBC reported that Usman Khan was sentenced to "indeterminate detention" in 2012 with a minimum jail term of eight years, adding that it would have allowed him to be kept in prison beyond that minimum term. The prosecution at the time said the plotters, including Khan, had discussed attacking the London Stock Exchange as well as pubs in the English city of Stoke.

In 2013, the U.K.'s Court of Appeal quashed that sentence and replaced it with a 16-year-fixed term with half of it being spent in jail.

The U.K.'s Times Newspaper reported on Saturday that the convicted terrorist was released from jail last year after agreeing to wear an electronic tag to monitor his movements.

Friday's incident came 2½ years after eight people were killed and 48 were injured in a terrorist vehicle-ramming and stabbings along London Bridge, which links the capital's business district with the south bank of the River Thames.

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2019-11-30 07:09:00Z
52780452317702

Jumat, 29 November 2019

London Bridge: People 'injured' in incident - BBC News - BBC News

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2019-11-29 15:13:46Z
52780452317702

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi says he will resign - CNN

People set off fireworks as they celebrated his resignation in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, after anti-government protests, which began on October 1, swept through the country against alleged government corruption and Iranian involvement in the country's affairs.
In the statement, Abdul Mahdi said he would submit a resignation request to parliament "to consider its options, with the knowledge that those near and far are aware that I had already made this decision known."
He called on Iraq's government to "act in the interests of Iraq; to preserve the blood of its people; and to avoid slipping into a cycle of violence, chaos and devastation."
Abdul Mahdi said his resignation was in response to the Friday sermon of Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who referenced the "failure of respective agencies to handle developments over the past two months."
Abdul Mahdi had initially agreed to resign on October 31 on the condition that a successor was agreed to replace him.

Days of violence

The news comes after the Iranian consulate in the southern city of Najaf was attacked on Wednesday. Mahdi ordered an investigation on Thursday into the deaths of at least 31 people.
More than 1,000 people were injured over three days of demonstrations across Iraq from November 26 to November 28, the country's Independent High Commission for Human Rights said Thursday.
In total, around 380 people have been killed and 17,745 injured in Iraq since the protests began, according to Ali Al-Bayati, a member of the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq. Protesters have demanded the government step down and hold early elections under direct supervision of the United Nations, activists told CNN.
Many Iraqis blame the current political parties in power for their economic hardship.
Officials have imposed curfews, internet blackouts, and deployed lethal force in attempts to quash the protests. The government said it only shoots when attacked, but demonstrators have disputed that.

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2019-11-29 15:00:00Z
52780452139792

London Bridge: People 'injured' after stabbing - BBC News

Media playback is unsupported on your device

A number of people are believed to have been injured after a stabbing at London Bridge, police have said.

The Met Police said they were called to a stabbing at a premises near the bridge just before 14:00.

The force said it had detained a man. London Ambulance Service has declared a "major incident".

The BBC's John McManus, at the scene, said he had seen a group of men in a fight on the bridge. Police then arrived and shots were fired, he said.

British Transport Police said London Bridge station was currently closed and no trains would be stopping there.

Police have advised people near the scene to follow directions from officers on the ground.

The prime minister tweeted he was being updated on the incident and wanted to thank police and all emergency services for their response.

Home Secretary Priti Patel also tweeted that she was "very concerned" about the incident.

McManus told the BBC News channel: "Just a few minutes ago I was walking across London Bridge on the south bank to the north bank of the bridge.

"There appeared to be a fight going on on the other side of the bridge, with several men attacking one man.

"Police then quickly arrived, including armed police, and then a number of shots were fired at this man."

Media playback is unsupported on your device

A video has emerged showing police officers aiming guns at a white lorry that jack-knifed across London Bridge.

The footage shows several officers surrounding the vehicle before moving to the rear to check its container.

London buses can be seen either side of the lorry while three police cars are parked next to it on the bridge.

Noa Bodner, who is stuck in a restaurant on London Bridge, told BBC News channel: "There was a rush of people coming in and everybody basically dived under the tables.

"We were told to keep away from the windows, people that came from the outside were saying that shots were fired."

She said the manager ran to lock the doors and staff told people to move away from the front of the restaurant.

She said the mood was "calm", "some people seem a bit distressed, but they're being looked after by friends or staff".

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2019-11-29 14:20:03Z
52780452317702

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi says he will resign - CNN

People set off fireworks as they celebrated his resignation in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, after anti-government protests, which began on October 1, swept through the country against alleged government corruption and Iranian involvement in the country's affairs.
In the statement, Abdul Mahdi said he would submit a resignation request to parliament "to consider its options, with the knowledge that those near and far are aware that I had already made this decision known."
He called on Iraq's government to "act in the interests of Iraq; to preserve the blood of its people; and to avoid slipping into a cycle of violence, chaos and devastation."
Abdul Mahdi said his resignation was in response to the Friday sermon of Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who referenced the "failure of respective agencies to handle developments over the past two months."
Abdul Mahdi had initially agreed to resign on October 31 on the condition that a successor was agreed to replace him.

Days of violence

The news comes after the Iranian consulate in the southern city of Najaf was attacked on Wednesday. Mahdi ordered an investigation on Thursday into the deaths of at least 31 people.
More than 1,000 people were injured over three days of demonstrations across Iraq from November 26 to November 28, the country's Independent High Commission for Human Rights said Thursday.
In total, more than 300 people have been killed and 15,000 injured in Iraq since the protests began. Protesters have demanded the government step down and hold early elections under direct supervision of the United Nations, activists told CNN.
Many Iraqis blame the current political parties in power for their economic hardship.
Officials have imposed curfews, internet blackouts, and deployed lethal force in attempts to quash the protests. The government said it only shoots when attacked, but demonstrators have disputed that.

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2019-11-29 14:14:00Z
52780452139792

Trump makes first visit to Afghanistan, reopening peace talks with Taliban - CBS This Morning

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2019-11-29 12:21:38Z
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Californian mountain climber Brad Gobright dies in Mexico fall - USA TODAY

MEXICO CITY – Civil defense officials in northern Mexico have confirmed the death of California mountain climber Brad Gobright in a fall.

The fall occurred at an almost sheer rock face known as Sendero Luminoso on the El Potrero Chico peak near the northern city of Monterrey.

The Nuevo Leon state civil defense office said Thursday that Gobright fell about 300 meters (yards).

The publication Rock and Ice described the 31-year-old Gobright as a native of Orange County, California, who was “one of the most accomplished free solo climbers in the world.”

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2019-11-29 10:11:00Z
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Hong Kong is 'the only option' for China to connect with overseas markets for now, says expert - CNBC

Ten global partners of Alibaba beat the gong during the company's listing on the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Market on November 26, 2019.

VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

Hong Kong has been engulfed in anti-government protests for months, but the city's capital markets have remained an important gateway between China and the world, according to an industry association.

That's despite China ramping up efforts to open up its financial sector to foreign investors, said Mark Austen, chief executive at Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or Asifma. China has recently announced its plans to scrap limits on foreign stakes and quotas for foreign securities investment.

"China needs to move from an over reliance on bank lending to one where they have a dynamic, liquid capital market to fund their economic growth going forward," Austen told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Friday.

"But we still see Hong Kong as being that conduit to enter and exit China in the medium term because it's really the only option that exists for China to connect to the outside world," he added.

Hong Kong's edge over China lies in its openness to foreign investors and "strong rule of law," which are important to maintain, said Austen. That appeal is evident in Chinese tech giant Alibaba's recent Hong Kong listing, which attracted strong demand from investors, he noted.

Alibaba's secondary listing — the world's largest offering so far this year — came at a time when business sentiment in Hong Kong has taken a hit amid the protests, which at times involved violent clashes between protesters and the police.

"In spite of what's going on in Hong Kong at the moment, Alibaba has proven that the market (in Hong Kong) is still stable, it's still liquid," said Austen.

Still, China's opening up is a trend that looks set to continue, but the extent and pace depend on financial stability in the country, said Michael Taylor, chief credit officer for Asia Pacific at Moody's Investors Service.

"I think the commitment is very strong. The authorities have shown their willingness to open up markets," he told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia" on Friday.

"Obviously, that's subject to other policy constraints that they have. One of the overarching objectives is to maintain stability. So, any opening up is going to be subject to its impact in terms of overall financial stability."

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2019-11-29 07:20:00Z
52780450550855

Kamis, 28 November 2019

Beijing hits out after Trump signs laws backing Hong Kong rights - NBC News

HONG KONG — Beijing on Thursday lambasted President Donald Trump for backing legislation supporting human rights in Hong Kong, condemning the U.S. for its “stark hegemonic acts” and for interfering in the semiautonomous region’s affairs.

In response to the U.S. move, activists chanted “Stand with Hong Kong” and "Save Us," and urged the world to follow in America’s footsteps. Joshua Wong, a prominent activist who was among democracy supporters who lobbied for the new U.S. laws, praised them as a “remarkable achievement,” with human rights triumphing over crucial U.S.-China trade talks.

On Wednesday, Trump signed two bills into law. One prescribes economic sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese officials found guilty of human rights abuses. The second bill bans the export of certain nonlethal munitions to the former British colony’s police.

A protester holds American flags during a demonstration in Hong Kong's financial district on Thursday.Kin Cheung / AP

“I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong,” said Trump in a statement released by the White House. “They are being enacted in the hope that leaders and representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.”

China, which has been struggling to contain anti-government protests roiling Hong Kong for nearly six months, responded with a stream of angry replies.

“We urge the U.S. to not continue going down the wrong path, or China will take countermeasures, and the U.S. must bear all consequences,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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The editor of the Global Times, a newspaper owned by the Chinese Communist Party, responded sarcastically to Trump’s message.

“Out of respect for President Trump, the U.S. and its people, China is considering [putting] the drafters of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on the no-entry list, barring them from entering Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao,” Hu Xijin wrote in a post on Twitter.

Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong expressed “extreme anger” toward the U.S., and added that Hong Kong belongs to China and “the Chinese have the ability to deal with Hong Kong affairs.”

Nov. 26, 201903:04

Hong Kong's government joined in, describing the bills’ passage as “unnecessary and unwarranted,” and warning that they would strike a blow against the “relations and common interests” of Hong Kong and the U.S.

Thousands, many waving American flags, gathered in Hong Kong's financial district to celebrate the bills signed by Trump.

“This rally is to show our gratitude to America and also President Trump for passing the bill,” said Sunny Cheung, the rally organizer.

Student David So agreed.

“I think it’s a happy news,” he said. “It’s an international recognition on today’s Hong Kong situation.”

“Ultimately it’s up to us. The bills have their deterrent effects but Hong Kongers are the real ones who fight on,” he added.

Millions of Hong Kongers initially took to the streets over the summer to protest a controversial extradition bill that many feared would extend Beijing’s control over the city. The amorphous movement has developed wider demands for greater democracy, such as establishing an independent commission of inquiry into police brutality and universal suffrage.

So the U.S. bills are a major boost for the protesters, according to Joseph Cheng, a political science professor at City University of Hong Kong.

“Certainly, a lot of us are quite helpless in front of Beijing and Carrie Lam's administration and the police,” he said, referring to the territory's beleaguered chief executive. “I think what worries the Chinese authorities [is] the turning tide in the public opinion of the United States and the Western world.”

Eric Baculinao contributed.

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2019-11-28 14:28:00Z
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Iran calls for 'firm' response after Iraqi protesters storm and torch consulate - CNN

The Iranian statement comes amid ongoing demonstrations in Iraq against government corruption, and a rejection of Iranian involvement in the country's affairs.
Three wheels and a cloud of smoke: How the tuk-tuk became the symbol and ride of Iraq's street-level uprising
On Thursday, 13 protesters were killed in the city of Nasariyah with 75 people injured, a security official and a medic told CNN on condition of anonymity, as they are not authorized to speak to the media. Authorities imposed a curfew on Nasariyah, which lies more than 200 miles southeast of Baghdad.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi expressed "hatred" for the rioters who stormed and torched the consulate on Wednesday. Mousavi called on the Iraqi government to deal with the "perpetrators of the attack responsibly, firmly and effectively," according to an Iranian foreign affairs ministry statement released on Thursday.
Iraqi demonstrators gather as flames start consuming Iran's consulate in the southern Iraqi holy city of Najaf on November 27, 2019, two months into the country's most serious social crisis in decades.
Iran's diplomatic staff evacuated the consulate before the attack, state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) said Thursday. This is the second attack on an Iranian embassy in Iraq after its office in the Shia holy city of Karbala was attacked last month.
More than 300 people have been killed and 15,000 injured in Iraq since the start of anti-government protests on October 1.
Young Iraqis and Lebanese aren't just demanding better societies. They're creating them at protest sites
Protests have erupted in Baghdad and in several Shiite provinces in the south over unemployment, alleged government corruption and a lack of basic services.
Following the deadly government crackdown, however, protesters have demanded the government to step down and hold early elections under direct supervision of the United Nations, activists told CNN.
Many Iraqis blame the current political parties in power for their economic hardship. The scale of the protests, believed to be the biggest since the fall of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003, took the government by surprise.
Security forces and civilians gather near the burned Iranian consulate in Najaf on Thursday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi agreed to resign on October 31 after weeks of anti-government protests.
Besides using lethal force, officials have imposed curfews and internet blackouts in attempts to quash the protests. The government said it only shoots when attacked, but demonstrators have disputed that.

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2019-11-28 13:56:00Z
52780448534333

North Korea launches short-range projectiles toward Japan, South Korea says - CBS This Morning

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2019-11-28 12:27:01Z
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Iraq security forces kill protesters in Nasiriya, army deploys - Al Jazeera English

Baghdad, Iraq - At least 14 people have been killed after security forces used live ammunition and tear gas canisters to disperse anti-government protesters in the southern city of Nasiriya, medical sources and witnesses told Al Jazeera.

Authorities in the capital Baghdad dispatched troops to southern Iraq, which has seen massive protests for weeks, to "restore order" there, the military said in a statement on Thursday.

More:

Security sources told Al Jazeera that at least 120 others were wounded in the crackdown on protests in Nasiriya on Thursday, a day after the Iranian consulate was set on fire in Shia holy city of Najaf.

Several of the wounded are believed to be in critical condition. Medical sources, however, have told Al Jazeera that the death toll has gone up to 18 but it has yet to be confirmed by officials.

The raid on the Iranian consulate was the strongest expression of anti-Iranian sentiment by Iraqi protesters, who have taken to the streets in Baghdad and Iraq's mainly Shia south since early October.

More than 360 people have been killed and more than 15,000 wounded so far, according to an AFP news agency tally.

Southern Iraq and Baghdad have been gripped by an escalating wave of anti-government demonstrations demanding an overhaul of the ruling system, seen as corrupt, sectarian and inefficient.

Iraq Map: Baghdad and Nasiriyahh

Iran demands action

Responding to the attack on its consulate in Najaf, Iran demanded that Iraq take decisive action against "aggressors" behind the arson attack.

The foreign ministry spokesperson, Abbas Mousavi, quoted by state news agency IRNA, condemned the attack and "demanded decisive, effective and responsible action... against destructive agents and aggressors".

"Iran has officially communicated its disgust to the Iraq ambassador in Tehran," he said.

The Najaf consulate was set ablaze late on Wednesday after anti-government protesters moved away from the centre of the city and into side streets near the consulate, two witnesses told Al Jazeera.

"The protesters were holding a demonstration in central Najaf when a group started to close off main roads and set the tires of police cars ablaze.

"The security forces responded using tear gas and sound bombs to disperse the protesters who ran towards the Iranian embassy," a witness told Al Jazeera.

"The protesters were angered by the security forces trying to disperse the demonstration. They started burning tires near the consulate and eventually set the consulate ablaze, minutes after the consulate staff evacuated the building," said the source.

As the consulate is near the home of the leading Iraqi Shia authority Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, locals moved to surround his home in an attempt to protect it from being targeted, witnesses told Al Jazeera.

Responding to the incidents, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a commander in the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces - Hashd al-Shaabi - an umbrella group of Iraq's mostly Shia militias, warned in a statement on Wednesday that the group would take action against any protesters who target al-Sistani.

"We will cut their hands off," he warned in a statement share in Iraqi media.

Message to Iran

The incident is the second of its kind this month, after Iraqi protesters attacked the Iranian consulate in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala on November 4.

Three people were shot dead after security forces opened fire on the demonstrators who tried to climb the consulate walls, demanding that Iran stop interfering in Iraq's internal affairs.

Commenting on the developments, Iraqi analyst Jasim Moussawi told Al Jazeera that protesters setting the consulate ablaze was an attempt to tarnish historical relations between Tehran and Baghdad.

"Those who are responsible for setting fire to the Iranian consulate in Najaf have the same message as those who did it in Karbala.

"Their message is a warning to against the intervention of Iran in Iraq's internal affairs, said Moussawi, adding that he expects the incidents will push the security forces and government to use more force to quell protests.

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2019-11-28 11:33:00Z
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