World News Briefs For Friday, 21 Feb 2020
Hello Australia!! - Germans decry the racism behind this week's shisha bar massacres - Two cruise ship passengers die from the coronavirus - Covid-19 causes irrational panic in Ukraine - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
German police identify the gunman in yesterday's mass shooting near Frankfurt as 43-year-old Tobias Rathjen, who held a firearms licence and had suspected links to the far right. "What we know so far is that there is definitely a xenophobic motive," said Peter Beuth, Interior Minister of the state of Hesse. Federal prosecutors say Rathjen had a "deeply racist mindset" when he targeted two shisha bars, killing at least nine people of Turkish and Kurdish origin. Police eventually tracked Rathjen to his apartment, where they discovered his body and that of his 71-year old mother. He had uploaded a video spouting all that far-right and incel crap that modern American shooters seem to like.
Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke for many when she said, "Racism is poison, hatred is poison and this poison exists in society and it is to blame for too many crimes." But despite the hand-ringing, it has become apparent that Germany has a problem with far-right violence. Two people were killed in an attack on a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle in October and several were injured. Last June, conservative politician Walter Lubcke was murdered at his home near Kassel in Hesse after he spoke out in defense of refugees. Before that, far-right agitators spread lies which led to street violence in Chemnitz which killed one and injured dozens of others. Vicen-Chancellor Olaf Schultz said, "Our political debates cannot duck the fact that 75 years after the end of the Nazi dictatorship, rightwing terror exists in Germany again." But campaigners for migrant rights, like attorney Mehmet Daimaguler, say this should have been expected: "You could have set the clock by this attack. People tell us they have learnt from Auschwitz, but this shows that sort of talk is just 'blah, blah'."
London police say a stabbing at a Mosque doesn't appear to be a hate crime. A 29-year old man in for afternoon prayers at London Central Mosque in Regent's Park attacked the mosque's Muazzin, a man in his 70s. The victim's injuries were very bad but not life-threatening, say police.
A Brazilian senator was shot and wounded when he drove an earthmover at a metal fence to try and break the picket line of a wildcat police strike. It's not clear who fired the shots. Brazilian law bans police from going on strike, and the brother of Senator Cid Gomes insisted they would not let Ceara state be run "by militias". Public Safety Minister Sergio Moro sent federal security forces to Ceara to patrol in the wake of Senator Gomes' shooting,
Two elderly passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died of Covid-10 coronavirus, say Japanese health officials. Also, Japanese health officials confirmed 13 more coronavirus infections , bringing the total number of cases on the ship to 634 - and pretty much confirming that keeping 3,700 people under quarantine on a floating petri dish off Yokohama was a really, really bad idea. "Everybody could have the virus," said Professor Kentaro Iwata of Kobe University Hospital, "The cruise ship was completely inadequate in terms of the infection control."
In Ukraine, villagers in Novi Sanzhary blocked the road leading to a quarantine building where evacuees arriving by plane from Wuhan, China, are due to be quarantined for at least two weeks. The government sent hundreds of cops to restore order, and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had to point out that the coronavirus wasn't the problem: "But there is another danger that I would like to mention. The danger of forgetting that we are all human and we are all Ukrainian." Globally, 2,137 people have died in the Covid-19 outbreak out of 75,782 infections.
A US Federal Judge sentenced Donald Trump's friend and political ally Roger Stone to 40 months in prison for trying to obstruct the investigation into Russian influence over Trump's 2016 campaign and the election. Trump will probably pardon him.
Prosecutors will charge Lesotho's Prime Minister with the murder of his first wife, making him the first African leader to be charged with a domestic murder. Lipolelo Thabane was shot to death days before Thomas Thabane took office in 2017. The two were locked in a bitter divorce at the time. Thabane's current wife Maesaiah Thabane has already been charged with the murder.