TYRONE, Missouri, U.S.A. - A gunman killed seven people and wounded an eighth
person in an overnight house-to-house rampage in a small Missouri town
before apparently committing suicide in a vehicle, authorities said
The victims were found in four homes in Tyrone, about 40 miles north of
the Arkansas line. The 36-year-old gunman was discovered in a
neighboring county, dead of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot
wound, Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Kinder(photo) said.
Kinder gave no information on a motive for the shootings or whether the
gunman and the victims were connected. The names of the dead were being
withheld until their relatives could be notified.
"This is a horrific tragedy, and our hearts go out to the victims of
these senseless acts and their families," Gov. Jay Nixon said. He said
crisis counseling will be made available to students and others.
The Texas County Sheriff's office received a call about 10:15 pm
Thursday from a young woman who said she had fled to a neighbor's home
after hearing gunshots in her house, Kinder said. When officers arrived,
they found two people dead.
Officers later found five more people dead and one wounded in three other homes. The wounded person was taken to a hospital.
The victim's condition was not disclosed.
The body of an older woman was found in another home, but she appeared
to have died of natural causes, Kinder said, adding: "We're not calling
her a victim at this time."
KOTA KINABALU, Sabah, East Malaysia - A 25-year-old woman
claims that her life is now a living nightmare after personal details and
pictures from her Facebook account were published in pamphlets advertising sex
services. The woman, who only wished to be known as Jellyn, said the
pamphlets were distributed here as well as in Penampang and surrounding areas. "The first time I got a call asking for sex services
was in December. At first, I thought it was a joke but the calls kept coming
until I had to switch off my handphone. "I only realised how serious it was when my elder
daughter saw the pamphlets," said the mother of two. The callers, said Jellyn, had also told her that the
pamphlets, which contained her and her husband's phone numbers and their house
address, could be found all over. "I quit my job as a handphone SIM card vendor after
that. It is terrifying. I am afraid for my family's safety," she said,
adding that her daughters, aged five and seven, did not know about her ordeal. Jellyn said she and her husband Ong, 29, who is from Johor,
lodged police reports on Dec 18 and Feb 19. They had also lodged complaints with the Malaysian
Communications and Multimedia Commission but they were advised to hire a
lawyer. "We do not know who has done this as we don't have any
enemies. We hope the police can help us catch the culprit and stop this
nightmare," she said. Penampang OCPD Deputy Supt Azmir Abdul Razak said police
were investigating the case.
NEW DELHI, India - The Indian government said on Wednesday
it had boosted security around hundreds of churches in New Delhi after a spate
of attacks on religious institutions unnerved minority Christians .
Days before, hundreds of Christian protesters had clashed
with police on the streets of New Delhi to demand government protection
following concerns that minorities were being increasingly targeted by Hindu
Since December, five churches in the capital have reported
incidents of arson or theft. On Wednesday, a church in the southern state of
Karnataka was vandalised, a police official in the city of Mangalore told
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a declared Hindu nationalist,
vowed earlier this month to protect all religious groups at an event organised
by the Catholic community -- a long-awaited reassurance widely seen as a
response to the violence.
After Modi came to power last May, systematic campaigns by
conservative groups to convert Muslims and Christians to Hinduism, as well as
acts of vandalism and theft at churches, have outraged religious minorities.
About a fifth of India's 1.27 billion people identify
themselves as belonging to faiths other than Hinduism.
LONDON - Britain has launched an ambitious
study that will follow 80,000 children from cradle to grave to prepare
healthy individuals for the future.
The Life Study
project aims to track a generation of 21st century babies and work out
which factors in their early lives are important in shaping their health
and wealth as they grow into adults, the scientific journal Nature reported.
The British project comes on the heels of a similar US project called the National Children’s Study that ended in an expensive failure.
Researchers argue that new “birth cohorts” are needed.
Children born today, at least in most
Western countries, enter a world that is increasingly warmer, more
digitised, more ethnically diverse and more obese, with wider income
inequality than it was even a decade ago.
Researchers involved in the
British study say that they hope to learn from the challenges faced by
their US counterparts — they have a clear study design and recruitment
strategy — and that they are keen to collaborate internationally.
The major concern is whether
enough interested parents will sign up, something that will become
apparent only in the next few months.
The scientists plan to
squirrel away freezers full of tissue samples, including urine, blood,
faeces and pieces of placenta, as well as reams of data, ranging from
parents’ income to records of their mobile-phone use and videos of the
babies interacting with their parents.
The US National Children’s Study
aimed to follow 100,000 children from birth to age 21, but was
cancelled in December 2014 before it was fully launched — 15 years and
$1.2 billion (Dh4.4 billion) after its inception.
The US scientists had started
to recruit parents and children, but the study struggled to find a
clear scientific direction, had trouble enrolling participants and
racked up eye-watering costs.
KOTA KINABALU, Sabah, Malaysia - Two recent New York Times (NYT) reports on
Sabah are likely to give a much-needed boost to efforts to woo Americans to
the state. The stories written by NYT's investigative writer Ian Urbina
that appeared on Feb 12 and 18 were deemed positive for Sabah. This is a good promotion to Americans who have never heard
of Kota Kinabalu, or still undecided whether to visit the state, said Sabah, state
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun. He hope the article would let Americans know that Kota
Kinabalu is an exotic destination that is a good alternative to other more
well-known destinations. He also commended the writer for commenting about the
negative side of the city that he saw while travelling here last August and
November. "The report reminds us of one of our biggest challenges
in tourism - cleanliness. We need to think of better ways to keep the city and
our sea clean," said Masidi. "We also need to improve our sewerage system," he
said in referring to the instance where the writer noted the occasionally
"rancid stench" on the city waterfront, a clear suggestion that there
is untreated sewage being discharged into the bay. Masidi said the articles debunk perceptions that the whole
of Sabah was unsafe to visit. "It shows that Sabah is not just about Sipadan Island,
off the east coast district of Semporna. It has many awesome attractions even
within the capital itself," he said. Urbina described the City Mosque situated near Likas Bay
here as "majestic", and he also had his first tangle with our durian,
which he described as "a slimy fruit which tasted like mushy, spoiled
onion". The writer also commented on the multiracial makeup of
Sabah's society, and appeared to enjoy the natural attractions around Gaya island, Pulau Sapi,and Pulau Manukan.
PARIS, France– More than a month after jihadist gunmen
massacred much of the Charlie Hebdo editorial staff, the magazine is
back at work with another savage swipe at its favourite enemies.
The cover of the latest issue due out Wednesday depicts the Pope, a
jihadist, former president Nicolas Sarkozy and far-right politician
Marine Le Pen as a pack of enraged animals chasing after a dog with a
copy of Charlie Hebdo clamped in its jaws.
“We’re back!” reads the headline.
The team has lain low since rushing out a “survivors’ issue” a week
after the jihadist attack that killed 12 people, including five of
France’s best-loved cartoonists, on January 7.
“We needed a break, a rest… There were those who needed to work again
straight away, like me, and those who wanted to take more time,” says
Gerard Biard, the paper’s new chief editor.
“So we reached a compromise, and agreed on February 25… to start off again on a weekly basis.”
Charlie Hebdo has a long history of courting controversy by lampooning political and religious figures of all stripes.
The Kouachi brothers who carried out the January 7 attack said they
were taking revenge for the weekly’s depictions of Prophet Mohammed —
considered blasphemous in Islam.
In a show of defiance, the magazine’s “survivors’ issue” featured
Mohammed on its cover with a tear in his eye, holding a “Je Suis
Charlie” sign under the headline “All Is Forgiven”.
“Je Suis Charlie” was the slogan taken up around the world to express solidarity with the weekly.
Some eight million copies were printed, a stunning number for a
publication that had been struggling to stay afloat with a circulation
of just 60,000 before the attack.
But the January 14 cartoon once again stirred anger, triggering violent protests in several Muslim countries.
A print run of 2.5 million is planned for the new edition.
A Malaysian Kangar-born astrophysicist took money in
exchange for writing allegedly doubtful reports on climate change, the international
media has claimed. In a New York Times report, Dr Willie Wei-Hock Soon was
alleged to have received more than US$1.2mil (RM4.36mil) from the fossil fuel
industry over the past decade. The report added that Dr Soon, who claimed that global
warming was linked more to the sun than human factors, failed to report these
contributions in his research. "At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted
such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have
violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work," the
report claimed. Dr Soon currently works with the US-based
Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Some of these fossil-fuel industry contributions, the report
added, were from The Southern Company, Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
and Donors Trust. These documents on Dr Soon were obtained by environmental
group Greenpeace via the United States Freedom of Information Act. In 2013, The Guardian reported that anonymous billionaires
allegedly donated some US$120mil to more than 100 groups to cast doubt on the
climate change debate from 2002 to 2010. This money was supposedly sent via two trusts, namely Donors
Trust and the Donors Capital Fund. A 2011 Reuters report said that Dr Soon also received
US$131,000 from oil and gas company Exxon Mobil group in 2007 and 2008 to study
the sun's role in climate change
and global warming in the Arctic.
The article also quoted Dr Soon at the time as confirming
that he received funding, but that it did not influence his reports.
The New York Times added that Dr Soon has had little
training in climatology, but has been cited by some conservative US politicians
in the sceptical side of the climate change debate.
It was reported that the centre's director Charles R. Alcock
said Dr Soon had violated some of the journals' disclosure standards.
In a 2005 interview with The Star, Dr Soon said he was
against "current alarmism" on environmental issues that supposedly
misused science as covers.
"I want to find more time and fresh ideas to attempt a
more serious book on the subject of global warming and various environmental
concerns that are often blown off proportion," he said at the time.
Soon added that society seemed to be moving from
science-by-evidence to science-by-public appeals, adding that the public would
be ignorant if this "alarmism" was not "corrected and
dispelled". Born in Kangar, Perlis in 1966, Dr Soon attended the Khoon
Aik primary school in Kangar, and moved on to the Syed Sirajudin and Dato
Sheikh Ahmad secondary schools in Jejawi and Arau respectively. He left Malaysia at age 14, and currently resides in the US.
Over the past six months, the armed group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has honed its propaganda arm, and the content that it produces has grown more gruesome.
Earlier this month there was the video of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burnt alive. That was followed this week by footage that shows 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians being beheaded in Libya.
It was the first time ISIL has released material that was filmed outside of its territories in Syria and Iraq. Each video – more compelling, visual and violent than the last - has drawn more countries into the fray.
In this week's lead piece we look at the intensifying media battle gripping the Middle East.
At least 80 Palestinian homes have been flooded after water levels in
the Gaza Valley (Wadi Gaza) rose to almost three meters, forcing
families to evacuate after Israeli authorities opened several dams. The Gaza Ministry of Interior said in a statement on Sunday that
civil defence services had worked alongside teams from the Minsitry of
Public Works to evacuate families to shelters in al-Bureij refugee camp
and in al-Zahra neighbourhood sponsored by UNRWA, the UN Relief and
Works Agency. Brigadier Gerneral Said Al-Saudi, chief of the civil defence agency
in Gaza, told Al Jazeera: "Israel opened water dams, without warning,
last night, causing serious damage to Gazan villages near the border.
More than 40 homes were flooded and 80 families are currently in
shelters as a result."
He added that the dam opening would adversely affect local
agriculture as the flooded area included Gazan poultry and animal farms. "We are appealing to human rights organisations and international
rights organisations to intervene to prevent further such action.'' A major storm in the region has previously brought freezing rain to
Gaza and snow across parts of the Occupied Territories and Israel.
Muhammad Al-Midana, spokesman for Gaza civil defence told news
agencies that water flowing at high speed from the Israeli border poses a
risk of further flooding. This could be exacerbated if further dams in
the area are opened.