Two schools in the Canadian city of Vancouver have received packages containing human body parts, police say. The first was delivered to False Creek Elementary and contained a hand, while the second arrived at St. George’s School some time later and contained a foot. Police say the remains are to be examined by a coroner. The report comes a day after German police arrested a man accused of murdering an international student in Montreal, dismembering him and sending his body parts to the local offices of the Conservative and Liberal parties. Police in Vancouver are investigating whether there is a link between the two cases.
A man who was found guilty of killing his four nieces and nephews back in 1990 has been executed in Mississippi. Henry “Curtis” Jackson was executed by lethal injection despite pleas by his two sisters, whose children he had killed, to spare his life.
Former US President Bill Clinton has called for the tax cuts enacted under his successor George W. Bush to be extended without any amendments to exclude the wealthiest Americans from enjoying the benefits. In an interview with CNBC, Clinton argued that doing so would give lawmakers time to reach a long-term deal on tax reduction that would exclude the rich. Clinton’s comments came in contrast to President Barack Obama’s stance on the issue. Obama has been opposed to extending tax cuts to people making over $250,000 a year. The tax cuts adopted under President George W. Bush are set to expire in January, and Democrats have been wrangling with Republicans over whether to prolong them with amendments, or in their current, unmodified form. Democrats have been calling for the richest Americans to be excluded from the tax break, while Republicans have long opposed such a measure.
Dr. Charles Leale’s report on his attempts to save mortally wounded US President Abraham Lincoln back in 1865 was uncovered in a box at the National Archives late last month. The Army surgeon, who sat some 40 feet away from Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, saw actor-turned-assassin John Wilkes Booth jump the stage brandishing a dagger. Leale then made his way to Lincoln, believing he had been stabbed. Leale’s report provides a detailed description of the President’s injury, which the doctor found to be a bullet wound. Historians that discovered the report believe it was filed, packed in a box and stored out of sight for 147 years.
Nineteen people have been killed in violent clashes between authorities and Islamist sect Boko Haram throughout northern Nigeria, the country’s military says. Most of the deaths took place in Maiduguri, where Boko Haram once had its main mosque. Gunfire was reportedly exchanged between the military and the militants, and there were also reports of intermittent explosions. While the military says that all those killed were members of Boko Haram, a local witness reported that some civilians were also caught in the crossfire. Authorities also say at least two police officers, as well as a retired police official, were killed in the city of Kano.
US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has accused the Obama White House of intentionally leaking classified information in order to boost the president's national security reputation and garner support ahead of the November presidential election. Speaking on the Senate floor, McCain singled out the latest report by The New York Times that Obama authorized the launch of the Stuxnet virus, which attacked the computer systems that run Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities. The Senator cited published reports of drone attacks against terrorists, and called on the administration to appoint a special counsel to investigate the leaks. McCain’s speech was interrupted by a man who burst into the Senate gallery, shouting that abortion is a sin and thanking Senator McCain, who accepted the "compliment." The man was removed by police. McCain was Obama’s principal rival in the 2008 presidential election.
Orhan Sircasi, a 32-year old man, has admitted to murdering his wife, severing her head, and throwing it off the roof of their apartment building, the Daily Mail reports. Witnesses at the Berlin murder scene report that the man stabbed his wife screaming “God is Great you Devil!” in Arabic. He then reportedly took the decapitated body of his wife into his apartment and made his six children watch as he chopped the corpse into small pieces. Police soon arrived on scene, and Sircasi tried to resist arrest by lunging at officers with his knife. He was eventually tackled on the balcony, but not before he managed to throw his wife's head off the rooftop of the apartment complex. After Sircasi was taken into custody, he reportedly told officials that he "regretted nothing." Sircasi’s children are being administered psychological care.
US District Judge Edward J. Lodge ruled against a request filed by 17 news groups, including the Associated Press, to strike down an Idaho policy restricting full access to the state’s executions. Lodge argued that while the public has an interest in viewing the entire execution process, the timing of the lawsuit was inappropriate as it came just two weeks before the scheduled execution of Richard Leavitt, a man sentenced to death for a 1984 murder. The judge said removing the restrictions would change the execution protocol and disrupt the execution procedure. The news group's attorney said the ruling will be appealed to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
In an interview with the Associated Press, US First Lady Michelle Obama commended New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg for his effort to combat obesity by limiting portion sizes of sugary drinks to 16 ounces at the city’s restaurants, delis, food trucks, movie theaters and sporting arenas. However, Obama stressed that there was no “one-size-fits-all” solution for the problem and that her husband's administration wasn’t pursuing a similar policy at the federal level. She also said she did not specifically endorse or condone the proposed limits. Bloomberg’s proposal has been derided by the soft-drinks industry and other critics, who accused the mayor of trying to institute a “nanny state.” However, the proposal is expected to win the support of the city’s Board of Health and may take effect as early as March of next year.
A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck 120 miles (194 kilometers) southeast of the Japanese city of Mito, off Honshu, the country’s main island, according to the US Geological Survey. The tremor occurred at 8:31 pm British time. The quake was very shallow, at a depth of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers). No casualties, damage or tsunamis have been reported.
Egypt's ruling military council has given the country's lawmakers 48 hours to form a 100-member panel charged with writing the country's new constitution. Otherwise, the council’s members will themselves elect the panel, said parliamentarian Mustafa Bakri. The announcement comes three days after former president Hosni Mubarak was given a life sentence in connection to the 2011 killing of protesters. Ever since, people have been hitting the streets in demonstrations.
A porn actor who allegedly killed and chopped up a 33-year-old Chinese student in Canada told a German judge he would not fight his extradition. Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, was arrested Monday at a Berlin Internet café following a days-long global manhunt. He is now in a Berlin prison.
Russia’s Foreign ministry has handed a demarche note to the Libyan envoy expressing its outrage with a Libyan military court's “strict and unfair” ruling towards Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian citizens detained back in 2011. All of the nationals received tough prison terms for serving as mercenaries for the ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The death of top al-Qaeda operative Abu Yahya al-Libi was confirmed on Tuesday, US officials say. Al-Libi was in a house targeted by a US drone stroke in the restive Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan on Monday. While al-Libi was the intended target of the strike, seven other militants were reportedly killed in the attack. Previously, a local Taliban chief had said al-Libi’s guard and driver were killed in the drone strike, but the told al-Qaeda leader was not there at the time.
A US court has declined an appeal to revisit California's ban on marriage equality. The ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for the Supreme Court to consider the case. Supporters of the 2008 ban lost two rounds in federal court but made clear that they will appeal to the Supreme Court in hopes of a favorable response. The vast majority of US states limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. California formerly granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but has discontinued doing so after the passage of Proposition 8.
Libya's first trial of a senior Muammar Gaddafi-era official opened on Tuesday. Buzeid Dorda is accused of crimes relating to last year's war. The main charges he faces are conspiring to kill civilians, providing weapons for the purpose of killing civilians and denying people their right to protest.The trial will be seen as a test of the Libyan government's ability to fairly try high profile loyalists and family members of the ousted leader.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry expressed concerns over the Syrian opposition's intention to abandon UN envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan. It can be viewed as an attempt to sabotage the international peace efforts, the Ministry said in a statement. On Monday a Free Syrian Army spokesman declared that the entity is no longer committed to the ceasefire, calling for an internationally-imposed flight-ban to be imposed in the country.
The US invites Russia and China to “be part of the solution in Syria,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while on a visit to Georgia. Clinton said the transition is Washington's main diplomatic focus at the moment, asserting that violence over the last 10 days shows “peace and human dignity will not be possible in Syria without change.” The statement comes at a time when Russian President Vladimir Putin is in China meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Russia and China have repeatedly vetoed resolutions on Syria in the UN Security Council, accusing documents of being unbalanced.
The health of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's has deteriorated since a court sentenced him to life imprisonment in connection to the killing of protesters. The official at Cairo's Torah prison said Mubarak collapsed several times Tuesday. He was placed on a ventilator after having difficulty breathing. Mubarak was sentenced Saturday for failing to stop the killings of 850 protesters in the 2011 uprising that drove him from power.
Italian prosecutors have probed Standard & Poor's headquarters in New York for alleged market manipulation, Reuters reports, citing a legal source. The S&P base in New York was reportedly probed by prosecutors in Trani, a town in southern Italy, under a law which holds companies liable for crimes committed by their employees. S&P has rejected the prosecutors' allegations as groundless. The probe is part of an investigation into downgrades by S&P, Moody's and Fitch for debt-laden Italy.
Deputies of the Fair Russia party in the State Duma on Tuesday proposed 359 amendments to new legislation that introduces higher fines for unsanctioned demonstrations. The aim of the go-slow is to put off considering the bill in its second reading. Many opposition groups call the higher fines unfair and unreasonable. Parliament on Tuesday approved the maximum fine of 300,000 rubles (about US$ 8,800) for people organizing and calling for unauthorized rallies.
A porn actor dubbed the "Canadian Psycho" for allegedly killing and chopping up his lover is due to appear before a Berlin judge on Tuesday. Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, was arrested the day before while on the run in Germany. "The suspect will be presented today to the judge who will confirm his detention," Martin Steltner, a spokesman for the Berlin public prosecutor, told AFP. The hearing will take place behind closed doors. It could take several days to arrange his extradition to Canada. Magnotta is believed to have murdered a Chinese student and dismembered his body.
Beijing told foreign embassies on Tuesday to stop publishing their own reports on air quality in China. Only the Chinese government is authorized to monitor and publish air quality information, Wu Xiaoqing, a Vice Environment Minister said, as cited by AP. Beijing has long taken issue with the US Embassy's postings of hourly readings of smoggy Beijing's air quality on a Twitter feed. It has more than 19,000 followers.
A militant group has claimed responsibility for the killing of 13 men whose bodies were found bound and shot in eastern Syria last month. Opposition activists said at the time the dead men were army defectors killed by government forces. But the Al-Nusra Front said on an Islamist web forum the dead men were Syrian security officials. The group said it had captured and interrogated them in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor on May 29. Then they were “justly” punished after they “confessed” to crimes, Al-Nusra said, as cited by Reuters. The statement was not verified through other sources. Al-Nusra has also claimed a number of recent bombings.
The Norwegian court hearing the case of mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has said the verdict will not be expected until at least one month after the trial has ended. The Oslo District Court made a statement on Tuesday saying a ruling “cannot be expected sooner than 20 July.” Another possible date for the judgment is 24 August, it said. The trial is scheduled to conclude on June 22.
Damascus has agreed to allow the UN and international agencies to expand humanitarian operations in the country, a senior UN aid official said on Tuesday. Syria reportedly granted permission for aid workers from nine UN aid agencies and seven international NGOs to enter four provinces. John Ging of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that if “this is a breakthrough or not will be measured in the coming weeks” by whether Syria makes good on its promise, AP reports.
A U.S General has been dismissed from his post after he reportedly said late in May that some of his troops have been sent into North Korea on spy missions.
Brig. General Neil Trolley, commander of U.S Special Forces in South Korea, was replaced by General Eric P.Wendt.
The Pentagon has said the decision is not associated with Trolley’s recent public blunder.
However, as controversy grew they said the commander is partly to blame for creating the stir.
The Syrian government has expelled 17 western ambassadors from the country, branding them as “undesirables.” The move comes after a number of western nations removed Syrian ambassadors. There is increasing rhetoric in the international community for military interference in the embattled country. Western powers are calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
During her visit to the Black Sea resort of Batumi US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Georgia on Tuesday to hold free and fair elections. US officials fear the dominance of Mikhail Saakashvili, whose two terms as president end next year, has made it hard for other leaders to emerge ahead of October's parliamentary vote and the 2013 presidential poll. Clinton also reiterated US opposition to what she called Russia's "occupation" of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Reuters said. After Tbilisi’s aggression against South Ossetia in 2008, Moscow recognized it, as well as another former Georgian republic, Abkhazia, as independent.
At least 23 Al Qaeda militants have been killed in fierce clashes in the south, Yemen's Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. Fighting between government troops, backed by artillery, and militants intensified overnight in the northern part of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan. Clashes have also erupted in the town of Jaar, another Al Qaeda stronghold, AP reports. Pakistani and Somali nationals were reportedly among the slain militants.
The director of the Kyrgyz State Drug Control Service has proposed inspecting supplies handled by the Transit Center, a former US airbase deployed at Manas Airport outside the capital Bishkek. “The issue of cargo inspections ought to be raised when a decision on the Transit Center's future is adopted,” Vitaly Orozaliyev told MPs on Tuesday, as cited by Interfax. He said Kyrgyz authorities had discussed the issue with the US.
Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of killing five soldiers in a border incident. Four soldiers repelling an attack by “Armenian saboteurs” were killed in the volatile section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, the Azeri military say. They say the incident occurred on Tuesday when “a group of Armenian commandos unsuccessfully attempted to infiltrate” positions of Azerbaijan’s armed forces in the Ghazakh region. Another soldier, they claim, was killed by fire from the Armenian side. Baku earlier refuted accusations of a shoot-out on Armenian territory on Monday that Yerevan says killed three Armenian soldiers and wounded several others.
Russia is not in negotiation with the US on the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Tuesday. “No, we are not conducting such negotiations,” he said, as cited by RIA Novosti. A delegation of the US State Department will arrive in Moscow this week to discuss the Syrian conflict. Bogdanov also said that the issue of turning the UN observer mission in Syria into a peacekeeping mission is not on the agenda at present.
Both China and Russia are against foreign intervention or forced regime change in Syria, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Tuesday. “Both sides oppose external intervention in Syria and oppose regime change by force,” Reuters quoted him as saying. “China and Russia have been playing, in their own way, a positive role in the Syrian issue.” President Vladimir Putin has arrived in China to attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
A soldier from the Arkankergen frontier post in Kazakhstan's southeastern Almaty region, where the bodies of 14 border guards were found earlier, has been found alive. “He arrived at the post on his own yesterday,” a regional administration source told Interfax on Tuesday. “He had a pistol. He apparently had a nervous breakdown. He is in a stupor.” The border guard said he had been hiding in a nearby winter hut. On May 30 guards from the Sary Bokter frontier post in the Usharal district found the nearby Arkankergen border post destroyed by fire and its personnel dead. Kazakh Interior Minister Kalmukhanbet Kasymov said hazing could be behind the deadly incident.
Pakistan on Tuesday successfully tested a fifth nuclear-capable missile in weeks. The Hatf VII cruise missile has a range of 700 kilometers. It can carry conventional warheads and has stealth capabilities, according to the military. India launched a new long-range Agni V missile over six weeks ago.
Nine Chinese and two British sailors have been rescued after their yacht sank in rough waters near the Batanes islands off the Philippines’ northern tip. The rescued sailors were taken to Manila harbor on Tuesday, AP reports. They had been picked up by a Hong Kong cargo ship on Sunday. The Tipsy Frenz yacht was sailing from Hong Kong to Taiwan as part of a race when strong winds from a typhoon capsized it.
The US drone attack that killed 15 people near Pakistan’s Afghan border on Monday was targeting Al Qaeda’s second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi, the US army has said. It is unclear whether he was among the people killed during the strike on a suspected militant compound in North Waziristan. The Pakistani government has strongly condemned the attack and dubbed it as “illegal.”
An ATR-42 plane of Russia's NordStar air carrier made an emergency landing at the airport of Krasnoyarsk on Tuesday morning. Nobody was injured, Itar-Tass reports. The airliner with 46 passengers and four crew members onboard was on a flight from Krasnoyarsk to Turukhansk. The air carrier's commander took a decision to return to the airport soon after takeoff, when a signal was received that one of the engines could be on fire.
North Korea has threatened to attack South Korean media with high-precision strikes, using coordinates obtained from the country’s military, the South Korean newspaper Tona Ilbo reports. An open letter from the general staff of the Korean People’s Army accuses the South Korean media of negative propaganda, especially their comparison of the nation’s new leader Kim Jong-un to Adolf Hitler. The daily also reports that North Korea has been “bombarding” its southern neighbor with criticism since April, when the closed country celebrated the centennial of its founder, Kim Il-sung. The South Korean Defense Ministry said it was ready to respond to any North Korean provocations.
New Zealand has signed a partnership agreement with NATO. The agreement states that the country can cooperate with the alliance on issues such as terrorism, military training and intelligence. Prime Minister John Key, who was in Brussels for the signing ceremony, says the deal builds on a relationship that goes back to 2003, when New Zealand first sent troops to Afghanistan. About 145 New Zealand troops remain in Afghanistan, but are set to pull out next year. The agreement comes as New Zealand seeks a non-permanent spot on the UN Security Council for 2015-2016.
Former US President Bill Clinton said a Mitt Romney presidency would be “calamitous” for the nation and believes that President Barack Obama has earned a second term because of his handling of the economy. Clinton’s remarks came after he helped raise some $3.6 million for the Obama campaign at three New York fundraisers. Earlier, Clinton said Romney had a “sterling” business record, an assertion that undermined the Democrats’ criticism of Romney’s decisions at the private equity firm Bain Capital. Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was US President from 1993 to 2001. His wife Hillary Clinton ran against Obama in the 2008 primary season, but later came to support the Democratic nominee and became his Secretary of State.