101 Year Old Nazi Guard Convicted on Thousands of Charges

A 101-year-old man was convicted in Germany of 3,518 counts of accessory to murder on Tuesday for serving at the Nazis’ Sachsenhausen concentration camp during World War II.

The Neuruppin Regional Court sentenced him to five years in prison.

The man, who was not identified, had denied working as an SS guard at the camp and aiding and abetting the murder of thousands of prisoners.

In the trial, which opened in October, the man said that he had worked as a farm laborer near Pasewalk in northeastern Germany during the period in question.

However, the court considered it proven that he worked at the camp on the outskirts of Berlin between 1942 and 1945 as an enlisted member of the Nazi Party’s paramilitary wing, the German news agency dpa reported.

“The court has come to the conclusion that, contrary to what you claim, you worked in the concentration camp as a guard for about three years,” presiding Judge Udo Lechtermann said, according to dpa, adding that in doing so, the defendant had assisted in the terror and murder machinery of the Nazis.

“You willingly supported this mass extermination with your activity,” Lechtermann said.

Prosecutors had based their case on documents relating to an SS guard with the man’s name, date and place of birth, as well as other documents.

For organizational reasons, the trial was held in a gymnasium in Brandenburg/Havel, the 101-year-old’s place of residence. The man was only fit to stand trial to a limited extent and was only able to participate in the trial for about two and a half hours each day. The trial was interrupted several times for health reasons and hospital stays.

Sachsenhausen was established in 1936 just north of Berlin as the first new camp after Adolf Hitler gave the SS full control of the Nazi concentration camp system. It was intended to be a model facility and training camp for the labyrinthine network that the Nazis built across Germany, Austria and occupied territories.

More than 200,000 people were held there between 1936 and 1945. Tens of thousands of inmates died of starvation, disease, forced labor and other causes, as well as through medical experiments and systematic SS extermination operations including shootings, hangings and gassing.

Exact numbers on those killed vary, with upper estimates of some 100,000, though scholars suggest figures of 40,000 to 50,000 are likely more accurate.

As in other camps, Jewish prisoners were singled out at Sachsenhausen for particularly harsh treatment, and most who remained alive by 1942 were sent to the Auschwitz death camp.

Sachsenhausen was liberated in April 1945 by the Soviets, who turned it into a brutal camp of their own.

Tuesday’s verdict relies on recent legal precedent in Germany establishing that anyone who helped a Nazi camp function can be prosecuted for accessory to the murders committed there.

New Details Emerge After 21 Teens Found Dead In South Africa Nightclub

South African authorities are still investigating the tragic township tavern incident involving at least 21 teenagers who died this weekend — the youngest being 13 years old.

Unathi Binqose, a spokesperson for the Eastern Cape Department of Community Safety, told South Africa’s Daily Maverick that forensic pathologists on the case credit the sudden deaths to possible poison consumption in the tavern.

“[They] said it was something they ingested, possibly from the beers they were consuming or something they inhaled from those hubbly-bubblies [hookahs] that they were smoking,” Binqose said.

Government officials reported eight girls and 13 boys died. Authorities found 17 bodies dead inside the tavern, while the others passed away at a hospital.

Officials found the teen’s bodies lying on tables, sprawled out on chairs, couches and the dance floor.

According to CBS, the students celebrated the end of their high school exams at the local East London tavern.

The deaths occurred between 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. National Police Minister shared that toxicology labs in Cape Town would perform an autopsy on the victims’ bodies to investigate if the teens ingested poison at the party.

“They died as they danced,” Cele said to CBS. “They dance, fall and die. Literally.”

The reason for the disaster has been the subject of much speculation, ranging from a probable gas leak to the now-ruled-out stampede.

“The sight of those bodies sleeping there … when you look at their faces, you realize that you’re dealing with kids, kids, kids,” Cele said while crying. “You’ve heard the story that they are young, but when you see them, you realize that it’s a disaster. Twenty-one of them. Too many.”

Sinovuyo Monyane, 19, who was at the bar at the time for a work opportunity, said she was “confused” but fortunate to be alive following the tragedy.

Monyane managed to escape the tavern through a door guarded by people attempting to leave.

“We tried moving through the crowd, shouting ‘please let us through,’ and others were shouting ‘we are dying, guys,’ and ‘we are suffocating’ and ‘there are people who can’t breathe,” she told CBS.

The Eastern Cape Liquor Board is considering revoking Enyobeni Tavern’s liquor license and plans to follow through with criminal charges against the club’s license holder following the underage drinking violation.

“As the Board, we have always been forthright in our condemnation and fight against the sale of alcohol to the underage,” Dr. Nombuyiselo Makala, Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. “We have also consistently taken every necessary step against any liquor outlet that is found to have sold alcohol to the underage.”

The Enyobeni Tavern has not released any statements following the investigation.

How William and Kate Told George He’ll be King

According to royal biographer Robert Lacey, George would have been told about his position in the line of succession to the British throne last year, aged seven, after his parents, Prince William and Kate, decided to sit him down at a “controlled moment of their choice” rather than risking he finds out accidentally and gets confused.

The author of Battle of Brothers said in an updated version of his book: “William has not revealed to the world how and when he broke the big news to his son.

“Maybe one day George will tell us the story himself.

“But sometime around the boy’s seventh birthday in the summer of 2020, it is thought that his parents went into more detail about what the little prince’s life of future royal ‘service and duty’ would particularly involve.”

Their decision, Mr Lacey wrote, was said to be linked to “William’s unhappiness at the haphazard fashion in which the whole business of his royal destiny had buzzed around his head from the start”.

Prince George is the eldest of the Cambridges’ children. His sister, Princess Charlotte, is six and his brother, Prince Louis, four.

The boy might this year face big changes when it comes to his education.

A shy four-year-old George was first walked through the gates of Thomas’s Battersea, in south London, by his father in September 2017.

The photos of him on his first day, smartly dressed in his new uniform, a navy v-neck pullover, matching Bermuda-style shorts, long red socks and black shoes, will forever be stuck in royal fans’ memories.

But this year, as the prince turns nine, could be the last at Thomas’s for him, as Kate and William are reportedly looking at four schools for him to attend starting in September.

Elderly Couple and 25 Others Kicked Off Flight Despite ‘Doing Nothing Wrong’

A retired British couple was kicked off an Air Canada flight on Tuesday evening, along with 23 others – with no explanation given as to what they had done wrong.

Richard and Patricia Brailey, aged 71 and 66 respectively, had boarded flight AC866 to London Heathrow at Montreal’s international airport with no problems.

But shortly after settling into their seats, armed police reportedly boarded the plane to remove the Braileys.

Some 25 other passengers were ejected from the aircraft cabin at the same time and in the same manner.

Their son Patrick Brailey slammed the airline on social media , saying: “My elderly parents have been escorted by armed police from @AirCanada flight AC866 along with about 28 other pax.

“No explanation, their bags have continued to LHR.

“Separate Air Canada employee in terminal told them removal was order frm captain?

“No comms on board but employee thinks removal must’ve been due to ’not wearing mask or being drunk’.”

Mr Brailey called it a “huge mix up”, saying, “My elderly parents religiously wore their masks and were not drunk. Been left stranded in terminal.”

Richard Brailey told the Daily Mail: “We had waited for about an hour for the plane to take off when a member of staff with a list of numbers came along looking up and down the rows.

“They started looking at the seat numbers and earlier removed two young girls from three or four rows in front of us.

“Then they pointed at us, and told the police with them to remove us. We were totally flabbergasted. We had just been sitting in our seats normally with our masks on and looking forward to getting underway.”

The Braileys and other passengers were told they could not board another Air Canada flight for 24 hours after their removal from the London-bound aircraft, and – since they had been deplaned – the arrangement of a replacement flight was now their responsibility.

According to other passengers on social media, the group that was removed included a pregnant woman, a couple with two children, several members of the Williams Racing Formula 1 team and a doctor for the Aston Martin F1 team.

“We were in total shock. I was assuming there must have been a problem with the paperwork or something,” Richard Brailey told reporters.

“I was asking what it was all about and if I could speak to the captain, but I was told that I would find out later. It was a nightmare scenario.

“It was utterly bizarre because there was no noise or aggravation on the flight. As far as I could tell everyone was behaving properly, and we certainly were.”

He added that the man next to them had been asleep under a blanket before he was woken up and removed.

Jess McFadyen, who works for Motorsport, filmed the altercation with airline staff and police, calling it “absolutely disgraceful”.

”The attendants pulled 23 people off the plane totally at random, including this elderly couple, a pregnant Williams team member, and a family of four,” wrote Ms McFadyen on Twitter.

Her video shows a masked woman looking confused as a police officer and suited man ask her to get out of her seat and remove her bag from the overhead locker. The woman appears to shrug in astonishment at the others in the cabin before doing so.

Jay Egan, who was also on the flight, tweeted: “So our @AirCanada flight is 3hrs delayed and now police are removing people off the flight for no reason and refusing to talk to anyone!”

He later added: “The chief steward was on a power trip! She made out like people were kicking off or getting drunk. Full lies! Shocking treatment of many people on AC866.”

A Formula 1 commentator, David Croft, who was in Montreal Airport at the time, claimed that one man removed had not been able to take his cabin bag, and had been left without his wallet and passport.

Besides the abandonment in the airport and lack of explanation, Patrick Brailey also pointed out the odd decision to leave the couple’s hold luggage on the flight after they were removed, asking, “Surely this is a security risk?”

Airlines must match their passenger list with the baggage in the hold before a flight can take off, with any bags not attached to a flying passenger usually removed.

The couple’s other son was able to book them on to an Air Transat flight back to London, paying £1,300 for the last-minute tickets. They also had to foot the bill for a night in an airport hotel.

Air Canada confirmed that 25 passengers were “deplaned” from the flight.

A statement from the airline said: “‘We are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident involving a group of 25 customers who were removed from our flight from Montreal to London Monday night, due to disruptive behaviour.

“We understand that there are allegations that in the course of removing these passengers, certain unrelated individuals were deplaned as well.

“Some of these deplaned customers were rebooked this morning and are on their way to their final destination. Once our investigation is completed, we will follow up with the customers.”

A spokesperson for Montreal Trudeau International said police had been called to deal with “a situation on board an aircraft on the evening of June 20 and escorted passengers off the plane, at the request of the flight captain and crew”.

Over 1,000 Dead After Earthquake Strikes Afghanistan

More than 1,500 others were injured in the 5.9-magnitude quake, which was centered in the country’s remote southeast near the Pakistan border.

At least 1,000 people were killed and more than 1,500 others injured after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck a remote and mountainous region of southeastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan early Wednesday, the state-run Bakhtar news agency said.

The quake struck about 28 miles southwest of the city of Khost, a provincial capital in the country’s southeast, the United States Geological Survey said, and had a depth of about six miles. Raees Hozaifa, the director of information and culture in the eastern province of Paktika, said the earthquake was felt across several provinces.

Some of the areas hit by the earthquake are in remote rough country near the Pakistani border that were the scene of heavy fighting before and after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and telecommunications are poor or nonexistent, making it hard to get a full accounting of the casualties. An aid official said that he expected the number of dead to be much higher.

Mohammad Almas, the head of aid and appeals at Qamar, a charity in Afghanistan active in the area, said he expected the death toll to be high, as the area is far from hospitals and because the earthquake happened at night, when most people were indoors sleeping.

As many as 17 members of the same family were killed in one village when their home collapsed, he said; only one child survived. He said that more than 25 villages were almost completely destroyed, including schools, mosques and homes.

In the Sperah district of Khost Province, northeast of Paktika Province, the earthquake killed at least 40 people and wounded 90 others, Shabir Ahmad Osmani, Khost’s provincial director of information and culture, said by telephone.

Rafiullah Rahel, the head of the health department in Paktika Province, said that 381 people were dead and 205 injured in that province.

It was not immediately clear whether the figures given by the provincial officials were early estimates, or if large numbers of casualties had been recorded elsewhere.

The Bakhtar news agency posted video footage on Twitter of a helicopter landing in what it said was a quake-hit area. It said that ambulances were transporting the injured to hospitals.

Sarhadi Khosti, 26, who lives in the Sperah district, said he had been woken up by the earthquake after 1 a.m., and that a number of houses — especially those made of soil or wood — had been completely destroyed. He said that helicopters had transported some of the wounded to hospitals in Kabul and neighboring provinces.

“For now, we still are busy pulling the dead or injured from under the rubble,” he said.

Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, a deputy special representative for Afghanistan for the United Nations, wrote on Twitter that the organization was assessing the situation in the aftermath of the earthquake. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, said on Twitter that the agency would “continue supporting people in need across the country.”

The quake struck about 300 miles north-northeast of the site of a deadly 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan in 2008, the U.S.G.S. said. More than 200 people were reported killed at the time.

The earthquake was felt in Kabul, the Afghan capital, and across the northern part of neighboring Pakistan, according to a map that the European Mediterranean Seismological Center posted on its website. The U.S.G.S. said that a second quake, of 4.5 magnitude, struck about 30 miles southwest of Khost about an hour later.

The earthquake was felt in several parts of Pakistan, especially in the northwest, but the country was spared the kind of damage seen in neighboring Afghanistan, officials said.

Late-night tremors were felt in Islamabad, the capital, and Peshawar, the provincial capital of northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, where panicked people rushed out of their houses, reciting verses from the Koran.

However, no large-scale damage or casualties were reported, according to the provincial disaster management authority. Tremors were also felt in some parts of Punjab province.

Rescue officials said one person was killed when a roof of a building collapsed in the Lakki Marwat district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Several mud houses were also reported to be damaged in the province, which borders Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan would provide all possible assistance to the people of Afghanistan. “We are with our Afghan brothers and sisters in this difficult time,” Mr. Sharif said.

Mr. Sharif said he had ordered Pakistani authorities to provide relief assistance to the government of Afghanistan. “We are deeply saddened by the damage caused by the earthquake, especially in the Paktika region,” he said.

For civilians in Afghanistan, earthquakes are yet another risk in a country traumatized by decades of war. Many of the country’s densely populated towns and cities sit on or near several geological faults, some of which can produce earthquakes of up to 7 in magnitude.

The earthquake on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, appeared to originate from movement between the India and Eurasia tectonic plates.

The agency said in a report this year that more than 7,000 people had died in the past decade because of earthquakes, an average of 560 a year. In one area between Kabul and Jalalabad, it estimated that an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 would affect seven million people.

In January, two earthquakes struck a remote, mountainous area of western Afghanistan, killing at least 27 people and destroying hundreds of homes, officials said at the time. Another earthquake in 2015 killed more than 300 people in northern Afghanistan and Pakistan and destroyed thousands of homes.

Original Article – https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/06/22/world/afghanistan-earthquake

Nine Relatives from the Same Family Found Dead

NINE relatives from the same family have been found dead, including a 15-year-old girl, in a horrifying discovery.

The corpses were found in two different houses owned by two brothers who were living separately with their families.

All of the relatives are believed to have died after consuming poison, according to police in the Maharashtra region of western India.

However, the true cause of death will only be known after a full investigation, reports the Times of India.

The brothers’ two houses were just 1.5km from each other in the village of Mhaisal, Sangli district, around 350km from Mumbai.

Preliminary reports suggest the pair may have had a suicide pact after falling into heavy debt, according to NDTV.

Their bodies were discovered when a girl from the village went to one of the houses to find out why nobody had come to fetch milk from them for several days.

The dead include brothers Popat and Dr Manik Vanmore, their elderly mother, both of their wives, and a total of four children.

Popat worked as a teacher while Manik was a vet, police said.

Six of the bodies were found at Manik’s house, and suicide notes discovered at both properties are being analyzed.

“It looks that the family members of the two brothers have ended their lives,” Inspector General Manoj Kumar Lohiya said.

“As per information received so far, both the brothers had borrowed money from various people.”

The senior police officer added: “Though it looks like a suicide pact, we are investigating the case from all angles as it is a serious incident.”

Times Now News reports that the deceased have been identified as Popat Yallappa (52), a veterinary doctor, Sangeeta Popat (48), Archana Popat (30), Shubham Popat (28), Manik Yallappa (49), Rekha Manik (45), Aditya Manik Van (15), Anita Manik (28) and Akkatai (72).

Reports say the family members were last seen alive on Monday morning.

“Nine dead bodies have been recovered in Mhaisal village of Sangli district, out of which three bodies have been recovered from one house and six dead bodies from the other house,” according to local official Dixit Gedam.

“The forensic team is present on the spot.”

Another official added that the bodies had been photographed before being sent away for an autopsy.

The Vanmore’s neighbors said that the family had taken loans from a number of local villagers and neighbors.

Police are preparing to question the lenders.

2 American Veterans Missing in Ukraine

When the war in Ukraine started, soldiers from all over the world came to defend the country from Russia.

Two U.S. veterans who volunteered to join the effort against Russia in Ukraine have been reported missing by their families. 

Alabama residents Alex Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh have not been heard from since last week, the families said Wednesday, and relatives said they are worried about what may have happened to the duo. 

Ned Price, spokesman for the State Department, said Thursday that there were reports of a possible third American citizen missing while fighting in the country.

“I can’t speak to the specifics of that case,” Price said during a briefing. “Unfortunately, we don’t know the full details of that case.”

Drueke, 39, is a former U.S. Army service member from Tuscaloosa who served two tours in Iraq, his family told NBC News. 

His mother, Lois, said she got a phone call Monday from one of his friends, who told her that a mission had gone bad and that two men, including her son, did not return.

She said that in their most recent communication last Wednesday, her son wrote to her that he would be going “dark” for a few days. She wrote back: “Stay safe. And I love you,” to which he replied: “I love you too,” she said, fighting back tears. She has not heard from him since. 

Lois Drueke said her son was not in Ukraine to fight, but was there in more of an advisory capacity as a “civilian with army training,” so she did not know why he was included on the mission.

“When he saw what was happening in Ukraine, he said, ‘Mom, I have to go and help train those soldiers so that Putin can’t get the confidence that he can just roll over Ukraine and other countries, because eventually he’ll tackle us,’” she said.

“’And I feel like if we can stop him there in Ukraine, then I’m helping to keep Americans safe,’” Lois Drueke recalled her son saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

She expressed fears the pair had been captured but said that had not been verified. NBC News reached out to the Kremlin, as well as to the Russian defense and foreign ministries for comment. 

Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Thursday that Washington had not yet contacted the ministry in connection with the media reports about “two American mercenaries detained in the suburbs of Kharkiv,” the state news agency Ria reported.

Lois Drueke said the family doesn’t know if Drueke was captured, and it’s possible he and Huynh were still “out there evading the enemy.” The possibility that he is in Russian custody has her worried, she said, but she knew Ukraine and the U.S. government were actively searching for the pair.

“If worst comes to worst, I know he was doing something he truly believed was good and noble,” she said, her voice breaking again.

U.S. officials have been in touch with the Ukrainian government as well as other non-governmental organizations in the region as they monitor the situation, Price said. There has been no intelligence that the missing Americans are in Russian custody, Price noted.

“At this moment, we have seen the open press reports, the same reports that you all have seen, but we don’t have independent confirmation of their whereabouts,” Price said.

Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., tweeted late Wednesday that Drueke’s mother reached out to her office after losing contact with her son, and that they are doing “everything in our power to assist in locating him and finding answers for his family.”

Meanwhile, Huynh’s family reached out to Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., he said in a statement Wednesday. Aderholt said the family told him they had not been in contact with Huynh since June 8 when he was in the area of the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine. He said Huynh, 27, volunteered to go fight with the Ukrainian army against Russia.“As you can imagine, his loved ones are very concerned about him,” Aderholt said.

Huynh is originally from Orange County, California, but had recently been living in the Alabama community of Hartselle and was engaged to be married, his fiancée’s brother, Zachary Polk, said.

“He met her online,” Polk said. “He’s from California. He’s a former U.S. Marine. He came over here to Alabama, and joined our church, and met my sister after he got out.”

“He felt he needed to help them, so he went over there to see what help he could provide,” Polk said.

Darla Joy Black, the mother of Huynh’s fiancée, posted on Facebook that the pair were unaccounted for. 

“Nothing else is officially confirmed,” she said. “Please keep Andy, and Alex, and all of their loved ones in prayer. We just want them to come home.”

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Wednesday he could not confirm the reports of the two missing Americans. He reiterated that the United States discourages Americans from going to Ukraine and fighting there.

“It is a war zone,” he said. “It is combat. And if you feel passionate about supporting Ukraine, there’s any number of other ways to do that, that are safer and just as effective. Ukraine is not the place for Americans to be traveling.”

Joe Cirincione, distinguished fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft in Washington, D.C, told NBC News that Americans who want to aid Ukraine, whether by fighting or helping to train its soldiers on how to use U.S.-supplied weapons, should be allowed to go. But, he added, the incident highlights the risks created when they do.

“I am afraid that they are going to be used as pawns by the Russians now in their effort to try to get the U.S. and the west to back off on sanctions. Any release of these Americans will be undoubtedly conditioned to American loosening of the sanctions on Russia,” Cirincione said.

Earlier Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Department of State said it was aware of the reports of two U.S. citizens captured in Ukraine and was monitoring the situation closely.

U.S. officials are in contact with the Ukrainian authorities, the spokesperson said, who declined to comment further, citing privacy considerations.

Ukraine put out a call early on in the war for trained fighters from around the world to volunteer and join its foreign legion. 

Last week, two British citizens and a Moroccan, whom Russian officials have labeled “mercenaries,” were sentenced to death by pro-Moscow separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Gang of Men Attack Women at Restaurant – Drag Them into the Street

Shocking video of a savage attack on three women after one of them rejected a sex pest’s advances has unleashed a flood of outrage on Chinese social media.

In the graphic CCTV footage, which is too horrifying to show in full, a man can be seen harassing a diner who is having a meal with her two friends at a barbecue restaurant in Tangshan, in Hebei province.

The man slapped her in the face when she pushed him away, and up to eight more thugs piled up to punch and kick the woman and her pals.

Two of the women were dragged outside, beaten to the floor and stamped on as terrified staff tried to intervene.

The sickening attack was the most discussed topic on China’s Weibo social media platform today as the CCTV footage went viral.

Hundreds of millions of comments said it was indicative of the kind of abuse regularly meted out to women in China’s sexist society.

The video starts with the a man in a dark green hoodie entering the diner and gesticulating to staff towards the table where the three women are sitting.

He then walks back and places his hand on one woman’s back before she takes hold of his wrist to push him away.

He he tries to embrace her again, and she pushed him back a second time he responds by striking her in the face.

The woman defends herself by throwing a bottle at him, and her friend also tries to fight off the sex pest.

He then grabs the second woman by the neck, pushing her back on a chair where she is kicked and punched by the man’s friend.

A stream of other men then enter from the street and one if seen wielding a chair above his head as he wades into the melee.

As the second woman is being beaten on the floor, the third woman stands over her to protect her with her body and gets hit with the chair.

Meanwhile the man who started it grabs the first victim by the hair, punches her in the face and drags her outside helped by his gang.

The brutal onslaught continues as two of the women are dragged into the street and beaten to the floor.

One victim smashes her head on the kerb, as the thugs kick and stamp on her helpless friend.


Authorities confirmed that two women were taken to hospital after the attack on June 6.

Yesterday they were said to be “in stable conditions and not in mortal danger”.

Two others were treated for minor injuries.

Following the outcry, a total of nine suspects have now been arrested on suspicion of violent assault and “provoking trouble”, police in Tangshan city said.

An investigation is underway, the local Public Security Bureau said in a Weibo post.

The footage has quickly become viral on China‘s Weibo social media platform, in a country where gender-based violence and domestic abuse remain commonplace.

Millions of users have commented on the video, urging the authorities to crack down on sexual harassment.

Some were also furious that it was initially framed as simply violence in a restaurant without mentioning it was men targeting women.

“This happened in a society where violence against women is rampant,” one post said.

“To ignore and suppress the perspective of gender is to deny the violence that women suffer.”

Another comment liked 100,000 times said: “All of this could happen to me, could happen to any of us.”

Another said: “How is this sort of thing still happening in 2022? Please give them criminal sentences, and don’t let any of them get away.”

The flood of outrage on Chinese social media prompted state media calls for punishment and renewed a debate over rampant violence against women in the patriarchal country.

China Women’s News, published by the All-China Women’s Federation, said today “there can only, and must only, be zero tolerance for such vicious cases of serious violations of women’s rights and interests.”

Last year, a Chinese man who murdered his TikToker ex-wife was sentenced to death by a court in Aba Prefecture.

In another case that shocked the nation, Tang Lu doused Amuchu, 30, a Tibetan vlogger known as Lamu, in petrol before setting her alight during a livestream.

Lamu, a mum of two, died of her injuries after 16 agonising days.

Tang had a history of violence against her.

Watch the video here: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/graphic-footage-of-men-beating-up-women-at-china-restaurant-sparks-outrage/vi-AAYlIIW?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=2abb906d48c5444b8b38c309f984b74f

Italian Mafia Takes Over Australia

A secret messaging app used by police to infiltrate criminal gangs has revealed thousands of Italian mafia members are operating in Australia.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is investigating 51 Italian organized crime clans across the country, including 14 from the infamous ‘Ndrangheta, taking their orders from bosses in Calabria in southern Italy.

Police believe up to 5,000 mafia members are operating in Australia, with AFP assistant commissioner Nigel Ryan telling a news conference on Tuesday “their overall membership could potentially be similar to that of patched members in Australian outlaw motorcycle gangs”.

The crime network is responsible for trafficking 70% of the world’s cocaine, according to the AFP. In Australia, that extends to cannabis and methamphetamine.

“The ‘Ndrangheta are flooding Australia with illicit drugs and are pulling the strings of Australian outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG), who are behind some of the most significant violence in our communities,” said Mr Ryan.

“They have become so powerful in Australia that they almost own some OMCGs, who will move drugs around for their ‘Ndrangheta financiers, or carry out acts of violence on behalf of the ‘Ndrangheta.”

He said the AFP will target the Italian organized crime and money-laundering syndicates washing billions of dollars a year through the Australian economy.

“They have been able to stay under the radar by living modest lives, in modest homes,” he said.

“They mix their illegitimate money with money from their legitimate construction, agricultural or catering businesses and all of this makes it more difficult to not only identify criminality but to prove it.”

But he said the intelligence obtained through an encrypted app called ANoM had given an invaluable insight into the scale of illicit drug imports facilitated by the ‘Ndrangheta, the profits they are making and how often they work with outlaw motorcycle groups.

The AFP has been mapping and assessing the familial relationships, through blood or marriage of the ‘Ndrangheta in Australia, in collaboration with Italian authorities.

“Our intelligence, new powers under the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Act 2021, our world-leading capabilities and our international networks are beginning to remove the cloak of secrecy that has allowed members of the ‘Ndrangeta to operate in Australia with impunity for too many years,” said Mr Ryan.

Last year, a joint operation between Australia and the FBI, which began in 2018, led to arrests in Asia, South America and the Middle East of more than 200 people suspected of being involved in organised crime using the ANoM device.

Among those arrested under Operation Ironside were suspects with links to Australian-based Italian mafia, outlaw motorcycle gangs, Asian crime syndicates and Albanian organized crime.

Since authorities revealed the success of the initiative a year ago, 383 alleged offenders have been charged with 2,340 offenses and more than 6.3 tonnes of illicit drugs, 147 weapons/firearms and $55m seized.

Teen Stops Russian Convoy with Toy Drone

A teenage civilian who used his drone to help Ukraine‘s armed forces locate and destroy a huge Russian convoy bearing down on Kyiv in the early days of the war has been hailed as a ‘real hero of Ukraine’.

Andrii Pokrasa, a 15-year-old boy who lives on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, was approached directly by the military to help them find the convoy, which was trundling along the E40 highway between Kyiv and Zhytomyr. 

Authorities approached Pokrasa as they knew he had purchased a consumer mini-drone last year and became a highly proficient pilot, Global News reported. 

Pokrasa duly took his drone into a nearby field under cover of darkness and successfully obtained photos and GPS co-ordinates of the oncoming convoy, which his father forwarded onto Ukrainian military via social media. 

Minutes later, Ukrainian artillery rained down on the highway near Berezivka and obliterated the convoy roughly 23 miles away from Kyiv city center.

The approach was so successful that the military handed the teenager the controls of a high-grade drone with a longer range and went on to destroy several Russian tank units and armored vehicles as a result.

‘[Pokrasa] was the only one who was experienced with drones in that region,’ Yurii Kasjanov, the commander of a territorial defense unit that liaised with the teenage drone pilot, said.

‘He’s a real hero. A hero of Ukraine.’

Pokrasa described the experience as being ‘very, very scary’, but said he wanted to prevent the Russian forces from attacking his home town.

‘[The territorial defense force] provided us information on where approximately the Russian column could be. 

‘Our goal was to find the exact coordinates and provide the coordinates to the soldiers… I gave them the coordinates and photos, and after that they targeted the location,’ the teenage pilot said.

Ukraine’s deployment of drones has been an integral part of their success in repelling Putin’s forces from around its capital, and continues to be a highly-effective approach to fighting the invaders in the eastern Donbas region.

Military-grade drones, such as the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB-2, have helped Ukraine’s armed forces to inflict major losses on Russia’s motorized units since the war began.

But even simple consumer drones have proven invaluable in tracking Russian troop movements to inform military strategy calls and direct artillery fire. 

Commander Kasjanov said his territorial defense unit offered as much protection to Pokrasa and his family as they could while the teenager carried out his vital work. 

Pokrasa told Global News he was aware of the risks involved and was afraid, but said he knew ‘I can’t do it any other way’.

The hotshot drone operator is one of many teenagers in Ukraine who are too young to join the military, but have contributed to the war effort by passing information to territorial defense units and working as lookouts.

‘They feel themselves free people in a free land so that’s why they want to be part of it,’ Kasjanov said. 

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians volunteered in their local territorial defense units in the days leading up to the Russian invasion, and many more were later enlisted when martial law and conscription were introduced.

But Ukrainian civilians not involved directly in fighting Russian troops are able to contribute via crowdfunding.

Hundreds of crowdfunding initiatives – both government-backed and independent – were set up in Ukraine following the invasion, and have since been bolstered by an outpouring of international support. 

A Ukrainian colonel recently told German media organization DW that crowdfunding campaigns are ‘of critical importance’ to Ukraine’s war effort, and said the funds are typically used to purchase and maintain high-end equipment like armored vehicles, drones and surveillance systems.

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