Mexicans march to vent anger at police over rape cases
Hundreds of protesters flooded the streets of Mexico City demanding justice for two teenage girls who were allegedly raped by police officers.
Around 300 protesters, mostly female, descended on the Mexican capital’s prosecutor’s office on Monday, BBC News reported.
Armed with pink glitter and spray paint, they advanced on the building, smashing its door and leaving a pig’s head outside.
The protests were sparked by two recent rape cases.
The first involves a 17-year-old girl who said four policemen raped her in their patrol car in Azcapotzalco, in the capital’s north, on August 3. The second concerns a 16-year-old girl who said a policeman raped her in a museum in the city center days later.
On Thursday, a police officer was arrested in connection with the second case. So far, no arrests have been made in relation to the first.
Outraged by the alleged misconduct by police, the protesters chanted “justice” and “they don’t protect us, they rape us” at officers.
During the protests, Mexico’s Security Minister Jesús Orta Martínez was covered in pink glitter when he attempted to assure the women both cases would be properly investigated.
Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City’s first elected female mayor, described the protest as a “provocation.”
“They wanted the government to respond with violence. But we’re not going to do that,” she told reporters.
Violence against women is prevalent in Mexico. United Nations figures show an estimated nine women are killed every day in the country.
Unarmed 65-year-old describes how he took down Norway mosque shooter
A 65-year-old former Pakistani military officer is being credited with thwarting an attack at a mosque in Norway, after he tackled a heavily armed gunman who allegedly stormed into the house of worship with the intention of carrying out a mass shooting motivated by hatred of Muslims.
Mohammad Rafiq said he threw the suspect to the ground after the gunman entered the Al-Noor Islamic Center in Baerum near the Norwegian capital of Oslo on Saturday, before the two other men inside the mosque rushed to help him pin down the man, The Washington Post reported.
Rafiq’s quick action helped avert an attack that brought back painful memories of the Christchurch shootings in New Zealand earlier this year, when a gunman attacked two mosques and killed 51 people during Friday prayers.
“There is no doubt that the swift and firm response from the persons inside the mosque stopped the aggressor,” Acting Police Station Chief Rune Skjold said in a statement.
“These persons showed great courage.”
The attempted attack on Al-Noor Islamic Center happened a day before Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha, one of the most important holidays on the Islamic calendar marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage. Mr Rafiq and the two others had been at the Al-Noor Mosque preparing for the festivities.
Authorities are now treating the attack as a suspected act of terrorism and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has condemned Saturday’s incident as a “direct attack on Norwegian Muslims.”
“It was an attack on religious freedom,” she wrote on Facebook.
The suspect, whose exact age has not been released but has been listed as being 21 or 22-years-old, appeared in court with bruises across his face. He has been charged with homicide and terrorist acts. Following the attempted attack on the mosque, investigators found the body of his 17-year-old stepsister at a different location.
Rafiq’s lawyer, Abdul-Satar Ali, told The Washington Post in a telephone interview his client suffered injuries on his head, hand and eye while subduing the suspect.
“I suddenly heard shooting from outside,” Rafiq told Reuters. “He started to fire toward the two other men.”
Rafiq said he used momentum to tackle the shooter and throw him to the ground and disarm him, before the other men present at the mosque rushed to his help.
“He put his finger inside my eye, up to here; full finger inside my eye,” added Rafiq, who said he used to be a Pakistani Air Force officer.
Rafiq said the suspect was carrying multiple firearms and the mosque’s director added that the suspect was wearing body armor and a helmet, according to the BBC. Authorities are yet to publicly state how many shots were fired and what types of weapons were used.
Ali said the mosque had recently been outfitted with extra security measures, including a front door that can only be opened with a code. But it was unclear if those measures had helped to interrupt the attack.
Norwegian authorities said on Sunday that the Al-Noor Islamic Center suspect had “expressed hostile attitudes against immigrants” and were investigating the authenticity of reports that the suspect had announced the attack online, in a post that appeared to include references to both the Christchurch and the El Paso shooters.
The suspect’s lawyer, Unni Fries, said in a brief phone interview on Monday that she could not comment on the case. According to Fries, her client lived in Oslo and was born in 1997.
In a statement on Sunday, Oslo police said “the aggressor refused to give any statement to the police this night, but new questionings will be carried out.”
Norway was witness to one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent years — and one that has inspired others with anti-immigrant views. Anders Breivik, who espoused White nationalist views, killed 77 people more than eight years ago in attacks in Oslo and at a youth-summer camp.
In his manifesto, the Christchurch attacker wrote that he was inspired by Breivik.
Canada teen murder suspects died by apparent suicide, police say
The Canadian men who evaded a country-wide manhunt for more than two weeks, and whose bodies were discovered last week, likely died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds, police said.
The results of an autopsy confirmed the human remains found near a river in Gillam, Manitoba, belonged to murder suspects Kam McLeod, 19 and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, the Guardian reported.
“While both individuals were deceased for a number of days before they were found, the exact time and date of their deaths are not known,” said the RCMP, Canada’s federal police, in a statement on Monday.
“However, there are strong indications that they had been alive for a few days since last seen in July and during the extensive search efforts in the Gillam area.”
Northern Manitoba had been the site of an intense and sustained search for the two men. Aided by dogs, drones — and at times, military aircraft — officers combed through thick forest and swampland.
The two men were murder suspects in the deaths of Australian Lucas Fowler and American Chynna Deese whose bodies were found in a ditch with gunshot wounds on July 15, along a remote highway in British Columbia.
Fowler, the son of an
Australian police inspector, was living in British Columbia and Deese was visiting him.
Four days later, Leonard Dyck, a university lecturer from Vancouver, was found dead along another remote highway, near a burnt-out truck used by the suspects.
McLeod and Schmegelsky were charged with one count of second-degree murder in Dyck’s death and were suspects in the killing of Fowler and Deese.
The teenage pair fled from British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, covering almost 3,000km as they traversed prairie land and forest. Their silver 2011 Toyota RAV4 was found burnt out near the remote Manitoba town of Gillam on July 22. Police say their bodies were eventually discovered 8km from the vehicle.
Despite the deployment of heavy resources, including the military, it wasn’t until police discovered a number of items linked to the men last week— including a dented metal boat — that they were able to locate the bodies of the two men.
Police also recovered two firearms during their search of the area where the two men were found. They have been conducting a forensic analysis of the weapons to determine if the guns are linked to the triple homicide in British Columbia.
While the autopsy results provide closure for the northern communities that nervously watched the manhunt unfold, there are still numerous questions over the killings.
McLeod and Schmegelsky grew up together on Vancouver Island and worked together at a local Walmart before they set off together on what their parents thought was a trip to Yukon for work. They were originally considered missing persons and only became suspects later.
Both men had links to an online gaming community that often used Nazi and communist symbols. Schmegelsky is alleged to have sent photographs of Nazi paraphernalia to an online friend and espoused far-right views, according to reports in the Globe and Mail in July.
One of people watching Epstein not a proper prison guard, says report
One of the two people monitoring Jeffrey Epstein in the hours before his death was not a properly trained prison guard, it was reported.
As Attorney General William Barr condemned “serious irregularities” at the jail where he was being held on bail, and the world waited news of details of an autopsy amid huge speculation and frenzied conspiracy theories, it emerged the 66-year-old disgraced financier had not been checked for several hours before he was found dead in his cell, The Independent reported.
Epstein, who was last month arrested and accused of orchestrating a sex-trafficking network involving girls as young as 14, had not been on suicide watch at the time of his death.
Regulations did call for him to be checked every 30 minutes, however. These rules were put into place after the man who was once a friend of multiple powerful men and celebrities, was last month found unconscious on the floor of his cell with marks on his neck, an episode officials were investigating as possible suicide attempt or assault.
The New York Times said only one of the two people who were monitoring Epstein at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City, was a “fully-fledged correctional officer.”
“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” said Barr, who ordered two separate investigations into what happened.
“We will get to the bottom of what happened. There will be accountability.”
Speaking at a national policing conference in New Orleans on Monday, Barr insisted that despite Epstein being found dead a day after new details were unsealed of the allegations against him, investigators would continue to probe the backdrop of those claims. Many of the numerous women to have accused Epstein of abuse, accusations he had most recently denied, had voiced regret they would now not get justice.
“Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein,” said Barr.
“Any coconspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice and they will get it.”
The New York City medical examiner said an autopsy had been completed on Epstein on Sunday, but that a determination on the cause of his death was still pending.
In the hours after the financier’s death on Saturday morning, Donald Trump, who was once one of Epstein’s friends or associate and in 2002 told a journalist he was “a terrific guy,” retweeted a conspiracy theory posted by a conservative comedian suggesting – without merit – Bill Clinton and his family were behind the prison death.
Epstein was arrested on July 6 and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14, from at least 2002 to 2005.
US companies that manufacture bulletproof backpacks say they’ve seen a 300 percent spike in sales following three recent mass shootings around the country, the Guardian wrote.