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19 May
Comments Off on Police says Swedish school killer was driven by ‘racist motives’

Police says Swedish school killer was driven by ‘racist motives’

Sweden was shocked by Thursday’s attack in which the assailant walked through a school stabbing students and staff in Trollhattan, an industrial town of about 50,000 inhabitants in western Sweden that has a large proportion of immigrants.


Police shot the suspect, a local man in his early 20s, who died of his injuries at a hospital. He had no criminal record.

“We are convinced that the assailant was driven by racist motives when he carried out the act,” police chief Niclas Hallgren told Swedish public service radio. 

“We have reached this conclusion based on what we found when we searched his apartment and his behaviour during the act, and also on the basis of how he selected his victims.”

Sweden in ‘shock’

King Carl XVI Gustav said Sweden was “in shock” following the attack, and that the royal family had received the news with “great dismay and sadness”.

Local media showed what it said was a picture of the assailant carrying a sword and dressed in a black trench coat and helmet, posing for pictures with students shortly before the attack.

“We thought it was a joke, a Halloween prank or something, but it wasn’t,” one witness student told TV4.

The victims have been named by Swedish daily Expressen as 17-year-old student Ahmed Hassan and 20-year-old teaching assistant Lavin Eskandar.

Ahmed Hassan reportedly came to Sweden from Somalia three years ago with his family.

“I ran to the school, but I couldn’t find Ahmed anywhwere. The police told me to go to the hospital and I was so scared,” Ahmed’s mother Kiin Mohamed Ali told Expressen.

MÖRDAD I SKOLAN. Ahmed blev offer för svärdmannen – mamman berättar om sorgen. 杭州桑拿,杭州夜生活,/cYlcw981uI pic.twitter杭州桑拿会所,/DEcMgNX9qo

— Expressen (@Expressen) October 22, 2015

Lavin Eskandar’s brother, Leith Eskandar, said his brother was trying to protect the children.

“All I know is that he protected others and not himself, and that he tried to protect the kids. He was the only one who managed to stop the attacker,” he told Expressen.

“FÖRSÖKTE SKYDDA BARNEN” . Elevassistenten Lavin, 20, offrade sig för eleverna 杭州桑拿,杭州夜生活,/qlSbpv2TFc pic.twitter杭州桑拿会所,/eDDLw0f2Mv

— Expressen (@Expressen) October 22, 2015

The attacker has been named by Swedish media as Anton Lundin Pettersson, a 21-year-old man who according to reports was “quiet and withdrawn.” Police have yet to confirm the identity of the suspected killer.

Anton, 21, misstänks för skolmorden 杭州桑拿,杭州夜生活,/KOKkzubIOT pic.twitter杭州桑拿会所,/WhlKwVcge8

— Aftonbladet (@Aftonbladet) October 22, 2015

Local media said the suspect’s social media accounts showed extreme right-wing tendencies.

Police would not give any details of his motive but said possible far-right sympathies were being looked into, as part of a broader investigation that was being assisted by Sweden’s security service.

The Kronan school is in Trollhattan, an industrial town of about 50,000 inhabitants in western Sweden that has a large proportion of immigrants and has been plagued by high unemployment after the demise of car company Saab which was headquartered there.

“This is a black day for Sweden”

Attacks in schools are rare in Sweden, with the last similar attack taking place near Gothenburg in 1961.

“This is a black day for Sweden,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in a statement.

Police arrived minutes after the attack, following trails of blood smeared across the school corridors to find the assailant.

Police said they had responded to an emergency call saying a masked man with a sword was on the premises and that a person had been attacked at a cafeteria.

They shot the suspect, in his early 20s, who died later of his injuries at a hospital. He had no criminal record.

Photos by a local news agency showed several ambulances and police cars on the scene as the emergency services dealt with distraught adults and teenagers. A police cordon was marked out with white tape.

The lower grades of the school were criticized this year by Sweden’s education watchdog for failing to address problems in providing a safe and calm environment for students and staff, saying teachers struggled to conduct teaching in some classes.

19 May
Comments Off on Karlie Jade died in NSW: police

Karlie Jade died in NSW: police

Karlie Pearce-Stevenson was likely violently murdered in or around Belanglo State Forest, with detectives hopeful of making an arrest after turning up more evidence in house searches in South Australia and ACT.


Investigators believe they’ve spoken to people with “actual knowledge” of what happened to Karlie and her daughter Khandalyce Kiara Pearce and believe multiple people may have been involved.

Police are almost certain the young Alice Springs mum, was killed in NSW and put her time of death around December 2008, nearly two years before her remains were found.

But where and when Khandalyce died and how her remains came to be found near a suitcase alongside a South Australian highway 1200km away and five years later is still a mystery.

“We are currently pursuing a very strong line of inquiry but we are keeping an open mind,” NSW Police Homicide Squad Commander Mick Willing said.

“We’ve looked at and are now speaking to people who we suspect have actual knowledge of what occurred to this young mum and her little girl.”

Violent offenders in prison in NSW who were known to be in areas at the same time as Karlie and Khandalyce are among those questioned.

Police conducted a number of “very productive” searches of homes in South Australia and the ACT on Wednesday and Thursday.

The “fast-paced” and “complex” investigation is moving quickly and investigators are hopeful of a swift arrest.

“Our focus at the moment is on gathering evidence and building a strong case. We want to charge those responsible and ensure a conviction for what can only be described as a brutal, horrific murder of a young mum and her little girl,” Det Supt Willing said.

SA Police Detective Superintendent Des Bray said police were still wary that more murders may have been committed.

“The people who commit these crimes are such evil, horrible people, you have to have that in the back of your mind. But we don’t have any proof,” he said in Adelaide.

As well as family and friends, detectives have also ruled out a more recent owner of Karlie’s 1996 red or maroon VL Commodore station wagon.

It’s believed that person has provided police with information leading them to another potential suspect.

Karlie was 20 when she was last seen near Coober Pedy in South Australia with her then two-year-old daughter Khandalyce in November 2008.

Her body was found by trail bike riders in the notorious Belanglo State Forest in 2010.

“We still believe that friends and associates, people Karlie may have met or been in contact with while travelling between 2006 and 2010 hold the key to their deaths,” Det Supt Willing said.

In 2011, Karlie’s family and friends set up a Facebook page trying to find the young mum, begging her to contact her ill mother Colleen Povey before it was “too late”.

“Whatever has happened let it slide Call now and bloody hurry up! Please i am begging u xxx,” Gemma n Benny Gillie posted in December 2011.

Ms Povey died aged 44 in February 2012, still believing her daughter and granddaughter were safe and well interstate.

Meanwhile police have refused to comment on reports that a convicted child sex offender had been questioned over the murders.

A key suspect in the killings was in custody for child sex offences, Fairfax Media reported.

“NSW Police cannot provide any further information on the case at this stage,” a spokeswoman said.

19 May
Comments Off on Redbacks sting Vics to reach one-day final

Redbacks sting Vics to reach one-day final

South Australia’s team of no-names are just one win from an unlikely one-day cup triumph after another disciplined performance proved enough to see off Victoria by 56 runs in the elimination final at Drummoyne Oval.


The Redbacks will now face one more massive hurdle in the shape of in-form NSW in Sunday’s final, as they seek to end their five-year tournament drought.

Once again South Australia bowled a disciplined line and length to turn the screws on Victoria, who capitulated under the pressure, losing their final eight wickets for just 60 runs.

The Bushrangers were eventually bowled out for 194 from 46.4 overs, well short of South Australia’s 7-250.

The SA spinners played an important role with Adam Zampa (2-61) collecting the key wicket of top-scorer Rob Quiney, as well as captain Matthew Wade, while Tom Andrews dismissed Marcus Stoinis.

Quiney (71) and Stoinis (56) were the only players to get going for the Bushrangers, with the pair sharing a partnership of 113 for the second wicket.

But it was Redbacks batsman Alex Ross who played the innings of the match, hitting a career-best 97 not out to help his side rally after they slipped to 4-62.

“Winning the toss and batting first was pretty important, and we were pretty confident defending 250,” said Ross.

“They started slowly but with wickets in hand a side like Victoria can chase anything, so it was good that we kept taking wickets.

“We are just happy to play as a team, and get over the line as the underdog.

“We are really excited to be in the final, and anything can happen in a final, cliché or not.”

Defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for Victoria coach David Saker, with his side containing ten players that boast international experience.

“It is very disappointing given the talent we have in the room and we shouldn’t be losing 9-75,” he said.

“We got a decent start, but we chewed up some balls, and it put some pressure on the back end. That (performance) is not good.”

19 May
Comments Off on Kiwis shut down Aussie Test hopefuls

Kiwis shut down Aussie Test hopefuls

The look of Australia’s Test batting order is no clearer after three leading contenders failed to make a mark with the Prime Minister’s XI in Friday’s 102-run loss to New Zealand.


After setting a target of 307, the Black Caps – led by dangerman Trent Boult – made light work of Usman Khawaja, Cameron Bancroft and Joe Burns with the pink ball in Canberra, dismissing the trio for a combined total of six runs.

Adam Voges, however, brought up a respectable 55 as he, too, looks to fill one of the holes left by several retirements ahead of the three-Test series against the Kiwis starting in Brisbane on November 5.

An overly-enthusiastic Khawaja went for a duck after being caught off a swinging ball from Boult, while Bancroft was bowled on one by stand-in skipper Tim Southee.

Boult reduced the hosts to 3-13 after claiming Burns on five.

The left-arm quick ended with 3-27, having managed to find some movement on the normally slow, flat pitch with the bright ball under lights.

James Neesham also had success, getting three wickets for just 23 runs in New Zealand’s first tour match.

Khawaja and Bancroft’s opening partnership of one paled in comparison to the 196-run stand of Kiwi openers Tom Latham (131) and Martin Guptill (94) – the second biggest by a visiting side in the history of the traditional Manuka Oval fixture.

Ryan Carters top-scored for the PM’s XI with 74.

Khawaja, Bancroft, Burns and Voges will get another chance to press their claims on Saturday and Sunday in a two-day red ball Cricket Australia XI match with the Black Caps, featuring fellow hopefuls Shaun and Mitchell Marsh.

Peter Siddle, also looking to shore up his Test claims, didn’t have as much success with the pink ball as Boult earlier in the day, the veteran paceman ending the first innings with 1-54.

Jason Behrendorff got 3-56, while Ashton Agar (1-52), David Hussey (1-40) and Mark Steketee (1-79) also got on the board.

The Kiwis were without skipper Brendon McCullum, rested after recently returning from London where he gave evidence at the perjury trial of former teammate Chris Cairns.

BJ Watling, Kane Williamson and Matt Henry also sat out the day-nighter, but are expected to play a role in the CA XI clash.

Latham said the win was a nice way to start the tour and hoped to continue the momentum into the next two days.

He praised both Boult and Southee for their efforts in tearing down the PM’s XI top order.

“We’ve certainly got a lot of confidence in them,” he said.

“I think the way they’ve been bowling the last couple of years has been outstanding and they certainly set the tone at the top of the innings for us.”

Voges, whose half-century impressed retired wicketkeeper turned commentator Brad Haddin, relished the chance to look at the Kiwi attack having not faced them before.

“I get another opportunity over the next couple of days, so everytime I go out there I’ve just got to try and make as many runs as I possibly can,” he said.

“It was nice to get a few tonight but it would’ve been nice to get a lot more.”

19 May
Comments Off on Burger relishing one last battle with McCaw

Burger relishing one last battle with McCaw

With New Zealand captain McCaw expected to retire after the tournament, the South African hopes to seize the chance to secure future bragging rights over a player he said has won more test matches than he has played.


The sense of respect and admiration in that comment is that Burger has represented South Africa 84 times while McCaw will win his 147th cap on Sunday and will be seeking his 130th victory.

To compare his record, Burger said, would be like a golfer comparing himself to Tiger Woods. “It’s pretty tough”, the 32-year-old dynamic ball carrier said.

The pair are friends — Burger will try and chat on the field, although he admits “that’s pretty difficult to do with Richie”. But they will share a beer whatever the outcome and reminisce about “days gone by”

“We have become good mates, played against each other since 2003, and there have been a fair few contests and unfortunately I have been on the losing side of most of them. Let’s  hope I get some bragging rights tomorrow as it will be the last time we play against each other,” said Burger, who has lost 10 and won five of his tests against the All Blacks.

“Obviously on the field we are equals. We play a bit of a different style. We both have a massive work rate so we find each other at the bottom of the rucks, tackling or carrying the ball a hell of a lot.”

Carrying the ball is something Burger has done more than any other player in this tournament — a total of 80, which is 20 more than the next player (Michael Leitch of Japan).

Burger’s tigerish play is just one element the Springboks will need if they are to upset the world champions who clicked into ominous form with their quarter-final drubbing of France.

For Burger, the key to containing a potent All Blacks backline starts with stopping Julian Savea, the leading try-scorer in the tournament with eight.

“I hope he never runs at me — it would be mildly terrifying to say the least,” he joked.

“The big thing about them is their attack is phenomenal. They back their execution and skillset so they put you under more pressure than any other team in the world.

“When we’ve beaten them (only twice in the last 12 meetings) it starts with defence, not letting them have any tempo on the ball, trying to slow them down but then we create a lot of opportunities.”

(Editing by Mitch Phillips)

19 April
Comments Off on Du Preez out to extend winning record against All Blacks

Du Preez out to extend winning record against All Blacks

Since winning the 2011 World Cup the All Blacks have lost only three, and drawn two, of their 52 games for a winning percentage of over 90 percent, and are in the high 70s throughout their history.


However, Du Preez is one of a very rare breed who has a winning record against them, tasting success in seven of his 12 games.

“He has always had big games against them,” assistant coach Johann van Graan told reporters after the team went through their paces at Twickenham on Saturday, a day before their World Cup semi-final showdown.

“He is awesome in every game. He is composed under pressure, he has belief in himself and the ability to see things others don’t see. A talent can hit a target nobody else can hit but a genius can hit a target no-one else can see. And that is Fourie du Preez.”

The scrumhalf is not one to talk himself up or give any insight into what it takes to beat the All Blacks but he exuded a calm confidence on Friday when discussing a match he said was probably the biggest of his career.

“We’ll have one or two tweaks and sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t,” said the 33-year-old who came into the tournament struggling with injury but has quickly reinstated himself as a key cog in the Springbok machine.

“Hopefully we’ll get into a position where we can execute those plays.”

Several other players in the side have experience of beating their biggest rivals — even if they have been on the losing side a lot more often. Bryan Habana has won eight but lost 14, while JP Pietersen (five from nine) and Schalk Burger (five from 15) all respect but do not fear them.

“In the times we’ve beaten them we probably created seven opportunities and used all seven,” said Burger.

“On the flip side for the Springboks, their 10-12-13 combination is a callow collection.

Flyhalf Handre Pollard and centre Damian de Allende each have one win from their three All Black meetings while fellow centre Jessie Kriel has faced them once, and lost.

Du Preez, however, is certain the young trio will step up to the occasion and help South Africa extend their World Cup record against New Zealand to three wins from four.

“All three of them are very confident players and all three are unbelievable talents,” he said.

“These guys have really stepped up and deserved to play in this game. I think they will embrace the pressure.”

Burger agreed.

“I think we’ve got a nice balance in our team, where we’ve got a couple of old hands with thinning hair and then we’ve got a couple of youngsters, and we draw from their energy and I think if we as the old guard do our job, all they have to worry about is playing rugby and doing what they’re good at.”

(Editing by Patrick Johnston)

19 April
Comments Off on Prasad earns Sri Lanka lead over West Indies

Prasad earns Sri Lanka lead over West Indies

Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera provided good support by picking up the last three West Indies wickets to give the hosts a lead of 37 runs.


Sri Lanka lost opener Dimuth Karunaratne to the first ball of their second innings from paceman Jerome Taylor but recovered to reach 76 for two at stumps, stretching their lead to 113.

Kaushal Silva remained unbeaten on 31 and added 55 for the second wicket with debutant Kusal Mendis (39) before the latter fell to left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, also playing for the first time for West Indies.

In the morning, play was delayed by 30 minutes due to a wet outfield and Prasad made full use of the overcast conditions, bowling an impeccable line and length to extract movement off the pitch.

After dismissing the hosts for 200 on the opening day, West Indies would have hoped for a solid start from their batsmen after resuming on 17-1.

Nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo (13) was the first to fall, edging a wide delivery from Prasad to wicketkeeper Kusal Perera.

West Indies’ batting mainstay Darren Bravo (two) then chopped Prasad on to his stumps to put the touring side in further trouble.

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite (47) tried to rebuild the innings in a fourth-wicket stand of 39 with Marlon Samuels (13) before the latter fell in the penultimate over before lunch.

All-rounder Milinda Siriwardana, who top-scored for his side with 68 in the first innings, got Samuels to edge to Angelo Mathews at slip off his left-arm spin bowling.

Siriwardana took his second wicket when Brathwaite fell shortly after lunch with the batsman unable to overturn the umpire’s decision to give him out caught behind.

Prasad returned for another spell and took out Jermaine Blackwood, who made 92 in the last test, for his fourth wicket of the innings.

West Indies captain Jason Holder (21) used his power and reach to hit a few boundaries and bring down the deficit but became Dilruwan Perera’s first victim of the innings.

The off-spinner dismissed Taylor (one) and Warrican (one) to finish off the innings.

Hosts Sri Lanka won the opening test in Galle by an innings and six runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ed Osmond)

19 April
Comments Off on Root defiant after Pakistan make early inroads

Root defiant after Pakistan make early inroads

Pakistan, playing in their adopted UAE home, were bowled out for 378 before lunch, some erratic slogging causing the hosts’ last five wickets to fall for 44 runs.


Pakistan pacemen Wahab Riaz and Imran Khan were given the new ball and captain Misbah-ul-Haq packed the slip cordon.

Wahab had Moeen Ali (1) caught brilliantly by Shan Masood at short-leg.

Skipper Alastair Cook was joined at the crease by Ian Bell (4) and the veteran No. 3 was again found wanting, feathering a full Khan delivery to the slips as England slumped to 14 for two.

Root and Cook — test cricket’s top two run scorers in 2015 — repelled Pakistan’s ferocious onslaught to reach 105-2 at tea, although England’s skipper was fortunate on 27.

Attempting to sweep Zulfiqar Babar, the ball struck pad and skidded on to the stumps but miraculously the bails stayed on.

Hundreds more Pakistan fans appeared after Friday prayers, the field masked in late-afternoon shadow at Dubai International Stadium as a crowd of about 4,000 looked on, England’s support a mix of expatriate residents and the travelling Barmy Army.

Misbah brought Yasir Shah to the fore as the light faded.

The leg-spinner, the fastest man to 50 test wickets for Pakistan, missed the drawn first test in Abu Dhabi with injury and initially did little, England’s batsmen scoring freely until Pakistan’s skipper positioned a leg-slip.

Cook tried to guide a Yasir (1-59) delivery round the corner but found only the hands of the newly-stationed fielder.

England’s skipper walked for 65, his partnership with Root worth 113 as the tourists stumbled to 130 for three.

Root was unbowed, however, claiming a 15th test half-century with a single through short-leg.

He will resume on 76 with Jonny Bairstow on 27 not out.


Pakistan had begun the day on 282 for four, Misbah and Asad Shafiq resuming their partnership of 104.

Mark Wood (3-39) partnered Stuart Broad as captain Cook opted for an all-seam attack, the quicks better able to sustain hostility in the relative cool of the morning.

Broad’s impact was immediate, trapping Misbah (102) lbw with the day’s fifth ball.

The skipper had anticipated a bouncer after a barrage of short deliveries and was deceived by Broad’s fuller ball which thumped into the 41-year-old’s front pad.

Shafiq brought up his 12th test half-century with a four through the slips as he and Safraz Ahmed put on 52.

Safraz (32) was caught at mid-on and Yasir, on 16 from 17 balls, miscued another attempted big hit to slip.

Zulfiqar (3) did not move as Wood’s inswinging Yorker caught him lbw, the ousted batsmen holding his head in shame.

Shafiq (83), who required prolonged treatment after Wood’s full toss thundered into his knee, was last out, caught at short midwicket.

Sharjah will stage the concluding test from Nov. 1.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

19 April
Comments Off on Group returns to Pacific in search of MIAs

Group returns to Pacific in search of MIAs

EDS: Reissuing to include edits.


ALBANY, New York, Oct 23 AP – A private Japanese organisation that has found the remains of World War II soldiers on Saipan is planning another excavation on the Pacific island in the hopes of finding more unmarked graves.

They include those of American servicemen still listed as missing in action for more than 70 years.

The leaders of Kuentai-USA told The Associated Press that a team of about a dozen Japanese and American volunteers plans to search an area of Saipan where the US Army’s 27th Infantry Division was hit by the largest suicide attack of the Pacific ground war.

The New York National Guard unit suffered hundreds of casualties, many of them New Yorkers.

The division’s 105th Regiment suffered nearly 1000 killed and wounded during what became known as the “banzai attack” on July 7, 1944.

Scores of New Yorkers were among the casualties. At least five New Yorkers, including three from the Albany area, are still listed as missing in action.

The Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the Pentagon arm in charge of recovering the remains of US soldiers from foreign battlefields, said this week that the remains of the fifth soldier are still being analysed.

Kuentai returned to Saipan in September 2014 to resume the search for MIAs.

Yukari Akatsuka, one of the group’s leaders, said via email that the group’s man Saipan excavation will be conducted in an area where 17 soldiers from the 27th Division could be buried in unmarked graves.

They’ll also excavate a nearby property where two US Marines listed as MIA may have been buried.

19 April
Comments Off on Sex workers ‘fined for not working’: court

Sex workers ‘fined for not working’: court

The head of a Melbourne prostitution syndicate would monitor the performance of her staff and hand out fines if they did not work enough hours.


Prosecutor Danny Holding said phone taps reveal Mae Ja Kim barking orders about the management of the sex workers.

“If you let them have their way when they’re sick, they will have time off,” Kim said in one conversation, the Victorian County Court heard.

Another discussion revealed Kim was angry that girls were being given breaks.

One worker, Coco, had swollen eyes after working for six days straight, the court heard.

Mr Holding said Kim would monitor the women’s performance “with a view to being able to impose a fine, sack or shift workers” if she was not satisfied.

“There is a level of exploitation that is obvious from the (telephone intercept) material,” Mr Holding said on Friday.

Kim recruited workers from Southeast Asia in 2013 and brought them to Melbourne to work in four licensed brothels.

She was not licensed to operate a sex worker business or take any of the earnings.

The 41-year-old has pleaded guilty to dealing with the proceeds of crime, in excess of $50,000.

Her sister, Moonja Kim, 58, Mae Ja Kim’s estranged husband Huan Ye, 34, and associate Zhe Fang, 27, have pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting dealings with the proceeds of crime.

They helped Kim run the day-to-day operations of the ring.

The group’s legal representatives said the crimes were not the most serious of their kind.

Barrister Anthony Lewis, representing Fang, said the brothels were licensed and the workers were not in the country illegally.

“There was a level of regulation,” Mr Lewis said.

Kim lived in a Southbank apartment at the time of the offending, visited a beauty parlour up to four times a week and dined on meals that could cost up to about $2000 a sitting, the court has been told.

She is now working as a kitchenhand and is on bail, with her three co-accused, until the matter returns to court on November 11.