5th victim dies of wounds after Louisville bank shooting

5th victim dies of wounds after Louisville bank shooting
Multiple agencies arrive at a building after a shooting took place in Louisville, Ky., Monday, April 10, 2023. (AP)
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5th victim dies of wounds after Louisville bank shooting

5th victim dies of wounds after Louisville bank shooting
  • Humphrey said that at least eight people were being treated at a hospital for wounds, including two police officers, one of whom was in critical condition

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky: A Louisville bank employee armed with a rifle opened fire at his workplace Monday morning, killing five people — including a close friend of Kentucky’s governor — while livestreaming the attack on Instagram, authorities said.
Police arrived as shots were still being fired inside Old National Bank and killed the shooter in an exchange of gunfire, Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said. The city’s mayor, Craig Greenberg, called the attack “an evil act of targeted violence.”
The shooting, the 15th mass killing in the country this year, comes just two weeks after a former student killed three children and three adults at a Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) to the south. That state’s governor and his wife also had friends killed in that shooting.
In Louisville, the chief identified the shooter as 25-year-old Connor Sturgeon, who she said was livestreaming during the attack.
“That’s tragic to know that that incident was out there and captured,” she said.
Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, said in a statement that it had “quickly removed the livestream of this tragic incident this morning.”
Social media companies have imposed tougher rules over the past few years to prohibit violent and extremist content. They have set up systems to remove posts and streams that violate those restrictions, but shocking material like the Louisville shooting continues to slip through the cracks, prompting lawmakers and other critics to lash out at the technology industry for slipshod safeguards and moderation policies.
Nine people, including two police officers, were treated for injuries from the Louisville shooting, University of Louisville Hospital spokeswoman Heather Fountaine said in an email. One of the wounded, identified as 57-year-old Deana Eckert, later died, police said Monday night.
One of the wounded officers, 26-year-old Nickolas Wilt, graduated from the police academy on March 31. He was in critical condition after being shot in the head and having surgery, the police chief said. At least three patients had been discharged.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said he lost one of his closest friends in the shooting — Tommy Elliott — in the building not far from the minor league ballpark Louisville Slugger Field and Waterfront Park.
“Tommy Elliott helped me build my law career, helped me become governor, gave me advice on being a good dad,” said Beshear, his voice shaking with emotion. “He’s one of the people I talked to most in the world, and very rarely were we talking about my job. He was an incredible friend.”
Also killed in the shooting were Josh Barrick, Jim Tutt and Juliana Farmer, police said.
“These are irreplaceable, amazing individuals that a terrible act of violence tore from all of us,” the governor said.
It was the second time that Beshear was personally touched by a mass tragedy since becoming governor.
In late 2021, one of the towns devastated by tornadoes that tore through Kentucky was Dawson Springs, the hometown of Beshear’s father, former two-term Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. Andy Beshear frequently visited Dawson Springs as a boy and has talked emotionally about his father’s hometown.
Beshear spoke as the investigation in Louisville continued and police searched for a motive. Crime scene investigators could be seen marking and photographing numerous bullet holes in the windows near the bank’s front door.
As part of the investigation, police descended on the neighborhood where the suspect lived, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) south of the downtown shooting. The street was blocked as federal and local officers talked to residents. One home was cordoned off with caution tape. Kami Cooper, who lives in the neighborhood, said she didn’t recall ever meeting the suspect but said it’s an unnerving feeling to have lived on the same street as someone who could do such a thing.
“I’m almost speechless. You see it on the news but not at home,” Cooper said. “It’s unbelievable, it could happen here, somebody on my street.”
A man who fled the building during the shooting told WHAS-TV that the shooter opened fire with a long rifle in a conference room in the back of the building’s first floor.
“Whoever was next to me got shot — blood is on me from it,” he told the news station, pointing to his shirt. He said he fled to a break room and shut the door.
Deputy Police Chief Paul Humphrey said the actions of responding police officers undoubtedly saved lives.
“This is a tragic event,” he said. “But it was the heroic response of officers that made sure that no more people were more seriously injured than what happened.”
Just a few hours later and blocks away, an unrelated shooting killed one man and wounded a woman outside a community college, police said.
The 15 mass shootings this year are the most during the first 100 days of a calendar year since 2009, when 16 had occurred by April 10, according to a mass killings database maintained by The Associated Press and USA Today in partnership with Northeastern University.
Going back to 2006, the first year for which data has been compiled, the years with the most mass killings were 2019 and 2022, with 45 and 42 mass killings recorded during the entire calendar year. The pace in 2009 slowed later in the year, with 32 mass killings recorded that year.

Indian business and political leaders to attend India Week across UK in May

Indian business and political leaders to attend India Week across UK in May
Updated 8 sec ago

Indian business and political leaders to attend India Week across UK in May

Indian business and political leaders to attend India Week across UK in May

LONDON: “India Week” will take place across the UK next month, bringing together more than 100 business leaders from across India, organizers have said.

Political leaders from seven parties across eight states have confirmed their attendance at the largest India-related conference in Europe this year, they added.

Global advisory firm Economic Policy Group’s India Week, which will be held from May 7 to 12, is its annual global flagship event that gathers change-makers and policy and business leaders “for high-level discussions on pertinent topics, including the UK-India Free Trade Agreement,” organizers said in a statement.

The speakers confirmed include: Dr. Raghuram Rajan, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India; Rahul Narwekar, speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly; Rohit Pawar, member of the Legislative Assembly in Maharashtra; Priyanka Chaturvedi, MP for Maharashtra; Kartikeya Sharma, MP for Haryana; Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, managing director of Pride East Entertainment; Pradyot Manikya, chairman of Tipra Motha in Tripura; Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary of Industries and Commerce, and IT departments in Telangana; Mohammed Ali Ashraf Fatmi, national spokesperson for JDU, Bihar; Abhinandan Sekhri, co-founder of Newslaundry; and Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water.

They will be coming especially for the “Ideas for India” conference, organized alongside the non-profit think tank Bridge India.

The events start with an exclusive CEOs’ golf weekend on May 7-8 at Rutland Hall and Spa in Leicestershire, where more than 20 CEOs from India are expected to attend. The Education Innovation Conference in Oxford, organized in partnership with the Worldwide Business Research, and including Prof. Jonathan Michie OBE, pro-vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, and leadership from more than 40 higher education institutions in India are also included.

The Ideas for India conference in London on May 11-12 will include a dinner at the House of Commons and a formal dinner to celebrate closer UK-India ties.

Discussions during Ideas for India will include the topics of bilateral relations with the UK, India’s growth as a geopolitical power, investment opportunities in India, the importance of federalism, and a special focus on the North East.

Pratik Dattani, managing director of EPG, said: “India is the world’s fastest-growing economy today, ahead of China,” adding: “Its progress in financial inclusion, technology, renewable energy, infrastructure building, and the geopolitical leadership it offers the Global South, is admirable.”

Dattani said that he was “delighted that such a wide range of policy and business leaders have chosen to come to India Week in the UK,” as it “underlines the importance of the UK as a global gateway for India, ahead of the free trade agreement that is being negotiated between the two countries.”

The event in May 2022 was attended by more than 500 delegates over two days, including seven political parties from India and the two major ones from the UK.

Lord Tariq Ahmad, minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, said: “I’m grateful to the team at Bridge India for organizing this important conference. It provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate the deep friendship between our two countries, and also look to the future.”

“It is this trusted partnership that extends to trade as well (and) we’ve already got a strong track history on this,” he said. “Just look at Reliance Industries’ recent investment into the UK battery industry.”

Suspect arrested in knife attack on New Jersey imam during Fajr prayers 

Suspect arrested in knife attack on New Jersey imam during Fajr prayers 
Updated 11 April 2023

Suspect arrested in knife attack on New Jersey imam during Fajr prayers 

Suspect arrested in knife attack on New Jersey imam during Fajr prayers 

CHICAGO: The imam of a New Jersey Mosque was seriously injured during a knife attack early on Sunday morning by a suspect who joined some 200 worshippers for Fajr prayers.

Paterson, New Jersey prosecutors said that the victim, Imam Sayed Elnakib, 65, of the Omar mosque, 501 Getty Avenue, was attacked by a suspect who had knelt with other worshippers during the prayers in the mosque. Imam Elnakib was immediately taken to Saint Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson for treatment of “non-fatal” injuries.

The prosecutor’s office said that the suspect was immediately restrained at the mosque. He was identified as 32-year-old Serif Zorba. Worshippers said that Zorba had been to the mosque many times but was not a member of it.

Zorba rushed at Imam Elnakib while he was leading the prayers at about 5:37 a.m. After stabbing Imam Elnakib several times, Zorba turned to escape by running through worshippers who police said immediately subdued and held him until police arrived.

“Upon arrival, police officers encountered a 32-year-old suspect inside of the mosque who was subdued by congregants,” said Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes.

“Mr. Zorba is charged with attempted murder, first degree; possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, third degree; and unlawful possession of a weapon, fourth degree.”]

Valdes said that if convicted, Zorba could face up to 20 years in prison. “The sentencing exposure for Serif Zorba on first degree attempted murder is 10 to 20 years at a New Jersey state prison with 85 percent of the term to be served before parole eligibility, pursuant to the ‘no early release act’ and five years of parole supervision upon release.”

The charges for unlawful possession of a weapon could add an additional six years to the sentence, the prosecutor’s office said.

Zorba appeared at Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson on Monday afternoon where the charges were formally filed and “pretrial detention” was granted, denying the suspect bail release.

The hearing was held before the New Jersey superior court judge.

Imam Elnakib is married and the father of three boys. He is expected to make a full recovery, police said.

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, who is Muslim and Arab American, visited Imam Elnakib at the hospital on Monday morning, city officials said.

Sayegh told reporters at a press conference that he would assign additional police to all the mosques in the region to ensure people’s safety in the remaining days of Ramadan.

“You should not be afraid to pray, you should feel safe to pray,” Sayegh said.

Paterson Council member, Al Abdel-aziz, joined worshippers at the mosque on Sunday night to pray for the imam’s health and full recovery.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the stabbing incident that took place during prayer at Omar’s mosque earlier this morning, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragic event,” councilman Abdel-aziz wrote on his Facebook page.

“While it is unclear what motivated the attacker, there is no justification for violence of any kind, especially in a sacred space.

I am relieved to hear that Imam Sayed Elnakib is in stable condition, and wish him a full and speedy recovery. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time.”

Councilman Al-Abdel-aziz added: “As a community, it is important that we come together to support one another and denounce all forms of hate and violence. I encourage everyone to reach out to each other for comfort and support, and to work toward creating a safe and welcoming environment for all who enter your mosque.”

Nearly one third of the 158,000 residents of the city of Paterson, New Jersey are Muslim and Arab, officials said.

Britain to encourage smokers to swap cigarettes for vapes

Britain to encourage smokers to swap cigarettes for vapes
Updated 11 April 2023

Britain to encourage smokers to swap cigarettes for vapes

Britain to encourage smokers to swap cigarettes for vapes

LONDON: Up to one million smokers will be encouraged to swap cigarettes for “vapes,” with pregnant women offered financial incentives to make the change in what will be a world first, the British government said on Tuesday.
Under the scheme, almost one in five smokers will be given a vape — an e-cigarette — starter kit along with support to help quit smoking, the Department of Health (DoH) said.
Pregnant women will also be offered vouchers to help them kick the habit as part of the government’s target of reducing the number of smokers to 5 percent or less of the population from 13 percent now.
“Up to two out of three lifelong smokers will die from smoking. Cigarettes are the only product on sale which will kill you if used correctly,” Health Minister Neil O’Brien will say in a speech later on Tuesday, the government said.
“We will offer a million smokers new help to quit. We will be funding a new national ‘swap to stop’ scheme – the first of its kind in the world.”
Although worldwide average smoking rates are higher than in Britain, tobacco is still the highest preventable cause of death and illness in the country, the DoH said.
The government spent 68 million pounds ($84.52 million) in 2021-22 on local authority measures to get people to stop smoking, leading to 100,000 smokers quitting, and easing the strain on Britain’s overwhelmed National Health Service.
Vaping, however, has its critics and health officials have warned its popularity among children is exposing them to chemicals whose long-term effects are unclear.
Health service figures show 9 percent of 11 to 15-year-olds in Britain had used e-cigarettes in 2021, up from 6 percent three years before. The government said it would set up an enforcement squad backed by 3 million pounds in funding to prevent the illegal sale of vapes to under 18s.

Calls for new probe as South Africa remembers slain anti-apartheid hero

Calls for new probe as South Africa remembers slain anti-apartheid hero
Updated 11 April 2023

Calls for new probe as South Africa remembers slain anti-apartheid hero

Calls for new probe as South Africa remembers slain anti-apartheid hero

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa on Monday commemorated slain anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani amid calls for a fresh probe into the murder that almost plunged the country into a race war 30 years ago.

Hani, a hugely popular figure and the then leader of the South African Communist Party, was gunned down by Janusz Walus, a white supremacist, on April 10, 1993.

Three decades on, many South Africans harbor questions about the killing, suspecting Walus and his accomplice did not act alone.

Conspiracy theories, involving anyone from the secret services to the ANC, abound.

“I don’t have closure,” Hani’s widow, Limpho, told a memorial ceremony attended by SACP party leaders and foreign dignitaries on Monday.

“That is why I am wearing black today. Until such time the truth comes out I am in mourning for life.”

Last week, the SACP called for a fresh inquest into the murder, with a petition hoping to collect 30,000 signatures.

“There were many ... factors that were not properly investigated,” SACP’s leader, Solly Mapaila told AFP on Wednesday. “We need to know the truth.”

Aged 50, Hani was shot dead in the driveway of his home in eastern Johannesburg in front of his 15-year-old daughter.

The incident led to protests and rioting in black townships.

As anger within South Africa’s black majority reached boiling point, Nelson Mandela appeared on national television to appeal for calm.

The move helped ease tensions and open the way to South Africa’s first multi-racial elections the following year.

Walus’s and his accomplice, Clive Derby-Lewis, had hoped to spark a racial conflict but were quickly arrested. Derby-Lewis was released in 2015 on medical parole after 22 years in jail. He died of lung cancer in 2016, aged 80. Walus was released on parole in December last year in a controversial decision.

“The democratic government, which my husband died for, has betrayed Chris and his family by releasing his assassin,” Limpho Hani told the memorial ceremony on Monday.

“The killer is free. And the opportunity for full truth on the wide conspiracy of Chris Hani assassination is now buried and lost completely.”

On India visit, Ukrainian minister says supporting Kyiv ‘right choice’ for world leader

On India visit, Ukrainian minister says supporting Kyiv ‘right choice’ for world leader
Updated 10 April 2023

On India visit, Ukrainian minister says supporting Kyiv ‘right choice’ for world leader

On India visit, Ukrainian minister says supporting Kyiv ‘right choice’ for world leader
  • First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova is first Ukrainian minister to visit India since Russian invasion
  • India, which has largely remained neutral about the war, is back in spotlight as potential mediator

NEW DELHI: Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova said supporting Kyiv is the “only right choice” for a true world leader as she hailed India’s leadership in the international community on Monday. 

Dzhaparova, who is on a four-day visit to India, is the first Ukrainian minister to visit the South Asian country after the Russian invasion began in February last year. 

India has tried to strike a delicate balance when it comes to the ongoing war in Europe, as it seeks to avoid provoking Russia and maintain its expanding relations with the West while also sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine. 

“Today, India wants to be the Vishwaguru, the global teacher and arbiter. In our case, we’ve got a very clear picture: aggressor against innocent victim. Supporting Ukraine is the only right choice for true Vishwaguru,” Dzhaparova tweeted on Monday, using the Hindi term for “world leader.” 

Ukraine is hoping for a more intense political dialogue with India, Dzhaparova told reporters after talks in New Delhi with Sanjay Verma, a secretary at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. 

“(There is) the question of India’s involvement as a leader in the global south, as a G20 presidency,” Dzhaparova said. “I think that we hope that India would be involved and engaged into global issues and challenges — economic challenges, energy challenges, nuclear challenges, to a great extent because (the) Ukrainian issue is a litmus paper today.” 

Dzhaparova’s visit is bringing the spotlight back on India as a possible mediator in the ongoing war, which has killed more than 8,200 people and injured over 13,700 others, according to UN data published in March. 

“This visit is an important one because India, I think, remains one of the few countries that has in some ways been able to retain its contacts with both sides in the war,” Harsh V. Pant, head of strategic studies at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation, told Arab News. 

“For Ukraine, perhaps India is more reliable than China, which for obvious reasons is seen as being in Russia’s corner,” he said. “Therefore, given India’s equities with Russia, perhaps this is a moment for Ukraine to both underscore its position on this matter as well as to encourage India to do more on the Russia-Ukraine question.” 

Over a year since the war began, India’s potential as a peacemaker is still on the table, according to Prof. Ummu Salma Bawa of the Centre for European Studies at the Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University. 

“India can offer diplomatic support and other inputs for infrastructure vitally needed for Ukraine’s redevelopment. India has good relations with Russia, and any channel that can open the possibility to bring peace will be explored,” Bawa told Arab News. 

Ukraine recognizes India’s power on the global stage, particularly as it chairs the G20 biggest economies this year and its engagements with both the West and Russia, she said. 

“One year after the start of the war, Ukraine is keen to see the war end,” she added. “Engaging with countries who have good diplomatic relations on all sides like India is also important for Ukraine.”