Connect with us

World

Baltimore shooting leaves 2 officers wounded; suspect dead – World News

Published

on

Two officers wounded


| Story:
276943

A shooting in Baltimore on Wednesday left a former state corrections officer who had been under investigation dead and two fugitive task force officers wounded, authorities said.

One officer was shot in the leg and the other in the stomach, U.S. Marshals Service spokesman David Lutz said in an email. Both officers were assigned to the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and were trying to serve a warrant for attempted murder, Lutz said. One of the officers is a Baltimore County detective and the other is a detective in the city of Baltimore. They were being treated at a hospital, but both were expected to survive.

Gov. Larry Hogan told a news conference that the suspect was a former state corrections official who had been under investigation. He said the task force officers were going after “a really bad guy.”

The Baltimore County Police Department said in a statement that “gunshots were fired” when task force officers confronted the suspect, and that the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. The statement did not elaborate.

Neighbours at the scene of the shooting in the city’s Frankford neighbourhood told The Sun that a suspect was “shooting back” at officers from inside an apartment building. A sheet at the scene covered what appeared to be a body.

The shooting comes as officials have increased the presence of federal law enforcement officers in the city to stymie gang-related activity and violent crime as a whole.

In December, the Justice Department announced a plan to increase the overall number of federal agents in Baltimore and add more officers to task forces. Months earlier, the department unveiled a task force focused on gun- and drug-related crime in the city.

Task force members, including agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, work from a shared location to increase co-ordination.

“This was a perfect example of that joint task force executing warrants on violent criminals,” Hogan said. “Unfortunately, it turned into a fairly tragic situation with wounded police officers.”

Baltimore has been plagued with gun violence for decades. The city ended 2019 with 348 homicides, its fifth year in a row with more than 300 slayings. As of Wednesday morning, authorities had recorded 40 homicides and 56 nonfatal shootings in 2020.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World

Experts fear false rumours could harm Chinese cooperation on coronavirus | World news

Published

on

By

World-leading experts on the novel coronavirus have signed a statement of support for their Chinese colleagues, who are being attacked on social media and even threatened with violence as false rumours circulate about its origins.

There is a real risk that the open and transparent relationship between the Chinese scientists and their western counterparts will come to an abrupt end, impeding the sharing of data and the hunt for treatments and vaccines against Covid-19, warned Dr Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance in the United States, whose research into emerging diseases led to the identification of the bat origin of Sars, among others.

Daszak is one of 27 prominent public health scientists from nine countries who have signed the statement published by the Lancet medical journal. They include Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust in the UK, Jim Hughes, former director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases in the USA, Rita Colwell, former head of the US National Science Foundation and other leaders in infectious disease research and public health.

“We work very closely with the Chinese scientists. We have had incredible openness with the labs in China for the last 15 years, since Sars,” said Daszak. “We collaborate on what are dangerous viruses and get incredible information that helps public health around the world. That is all under threat right now.”

The Chinese scientists and their families have been abused on social media and threatened with violence. They are saying, said Daszak, “we are not going to talk, because every time we speak we get criticised and threatened”.

Conspiracy theories circulating on social media claim the coronavirus was artificially manufactured in a lab conducting bioweapons research. They are “crackpot theories that need to be addressed, but in the age of social media it is just impossible,” said Daszak.

As with the conspiracy theories around MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination, those promulgating the rumours are in their own social media echo chambers.

And as with anti-vaxx theories, the unfounded rumours have then been amplified by mainstream politicians such as the US senator Tom Cotton, and international news platforms such as the Daily Mail.

The signatories to the statement, says Daszak, have put their reputations on the line in support of their Chinese counterparts who are being targeted. “There are scientists out there trying to save our lives,” he said. “They have been doing this for 15 years since the Sars outbreak.”

The Lancet letter is a “statement in support of the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals of China combatting Covid-19”.

“The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (Sars-CoV-2) and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens,” it says, linking to all the scientific evidence published so far.

The director general of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom, has also warned against rumours and misinformation, speaking of the “infodemic” that needs to be fought alongside the epidemic.

The statement continues: “Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus. We support the call from the director-general of WHO to promote scientific evidence and unity over misinformation and conjecture. We want you, the science and health professionals of China, to know that we stand with you in your fight against this virus.”

It calls on other scientists to sign up to the statement. The signatories have also launched a change.org petition for public support.

Source link

Continue Reading

World

Hanau: ‘Eight dead’ in mass shooting in Germany

Published

on

By

Police at scene of shooting in HanauImage copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Police officers and helicopters are at the scene

Eight people are dead following two shootings in the western German city of Hanau, local media report.

Five others were reportedly injured after an unknown attacker opened fire on two shisha bars in the city.

The first shooting was at a bar in the city centre, while the second was in Hanau’s Kesselstadt neighbourhood, according to the reports.

Officials say the suspects fled the scene and are currently at large, Bild newspaper says.

Police officers and helicopters are patrolling both areas.

Three people were killed in the first shooting, and five in the second, regional broadcaster Hessenschau reports. The motive for the attack is unclear.

Hanau, in the state of Hessen, is about 25km (15 miles) east of Frankfurt.

Source link

Continue Reading

World

Tensions mount between EU members ahead of budget talks | World news

Published

on

By

European Union leaders are preparing for acrimonious talks on the bloc’s seven-year budget, amid deepening divisions between the self-styled “frugal” club versus a larger number of countries fighting cuts.

The EU’s 27 leaders will attempt to agree a budget for 2021-27 at a special summit on Thursday, the first such exercise since Brexit blew a €70bn (£58bn) hole in the finances. “It is an exercise in the division of loss, a bit like Brexit,” a senior EU diplomat said.

European council president Charles Michel has taken the high-risk strategy of calling the special one-day summit, which could drag into the weekend if there is a chance of a deal. “We don’t have the intention to keep them imprisoned,” an EU official said. “They are there for the time it will take.”

Brussels budget squabbles are nothing new, but Thursday’s summit threatens to be the most difficult yet. The EU is seeking to spend more on tackling the climate emergency, research and border security, while facing demands to maintain spending on farmers and infrastructure for poorer member states, and dealing with the Brexit black hole. “The facts are the facts,” said the EU official. “We face a €60-75bn gap [over 2021-7] because of Brexit, we are facing new challenges and demands for which money is needed and … the member states have a tight budgetary situation. So realism is needed.”

Adding another layer of division, western countries want better oversight of EU funds, so governments that flout the rule of law, by weakening independent courts, would lose EU funds. Some claim that Michel has gone too far in weakening an original mechanism to ensure that recipients of cohesion funds act in accordance with the rule of law.

The budget battle pits the self-styled “frugal four” – net payers Austria, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands – against “the friends of cohesion”, 15 southern and eastern European countries that seek at least to preserve current agricultural and infrastructure spending.

The two largest net payers (by size of contribution) are outside both camps. France wants to maintain agricultural spending and boost EU defence funds. Germany wants a speedy agreement, to avoid having to solve the budget during EU presidency in the final six months of the year. “The Germans face a dilemma,” said the senior EU diplomat. “They don’t want to own this hot potato. But will they pay up just to avoid it?”

As well as the Brexit gap, the UK leaves another poisonous legacy: the rebate. After Margaret Thatcher secured the British rebate in 1984, some other countries were granted one, effectively a discount on their EU membership fee. While the European commission proposed sweeping away all “corrections”, Michel has proposed that five net payers should keep their rebates. “The rebate is not there just for fun. It is there, because otherwise, things would really get out of hand and off the scale,” said a diplomat from one country that gets a rebate.

Other countries, including net payers such as France, think the rebate has had its day. “Why these five countries? Just because they already had one [a rebate],” said another diplomat. “It is very unfortunate that we continued with this tinkering.”

Although the arguments are big, the sums are relatively small. The “frugal four” want to limit the EU budget to 1% of the EU’s economy, as measured by gross national income (GNI). The European commission proposed 1.11% GNI, while Michel has almost split the difference with his 1.07% compromise plan.

“We have a plan”, said an EU diplomat from one of the self-styled frugal member states. “Plan A is the 1% and the rebate. And we have a plan B which is 1% and the rebate”. The “frugal four” argue that while content to be net payers to the seven-year budget the additional contributions being sought by Michel put an intolerable burden on their taxpayers. The Dutch estimate that the proposals put forward would increase their contribution by 20%.

The battle threatens to be even more ferocious than 2013, when David Cameron helped force through the first-ever cut in the EU’s budget. EU diplomats, outside the frugal camp, argue the previous austerity budget means a low starting point. “Is there really a collective will to act?” asked one diplomat. “We are facing a failure of collective ambition.”

The diplomat said 22 countries think the Michel compromise is not enough, while five find it too much, adding: “the balance is not necessarily in the middle.”

But the frugal four insist they won’t compromise, despite being a minority: “Whose money are you going to spend? In any negotiation you need the investors on board otherwise you won’t get an agreement,” said one frugal diplomat.

Hours ahead of the summit, few EU insiders are banking on a deal. Michel has warned EU leaders in private meetings that failure to find agreement imperils current and new EU programmes due to start in 2021.

“It looks like quite a big gap to reach,” said one of the frugal diplomats. “If not, then we will have to come back a second time, which is not something special because it’s quite normal to not manage it.”

Another diplomat, worried about “unpleasant” media headlines, asked: “Do we want such a fiasco when the numbers are going to be the same in March and April?”

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending