Search

Sunday
Jul242016

One Killed, 2 Wounded in German Machete Attack

iStock/Thinkstock(REUTLINGEN, Germany) -- One person was killed and two wounded in a machete attack in southwestern Germany on Sunday.

A Syrian asylum-seeker was arrested in Reutlingen, near Suttgart, after what German police called a lone wolf attack.

Officials said the 21-year-old was known to police.

Witnesses said the attack happened after an argument started between the man and a woman, who he killed in a street in the center of Reutlingen, according to BBC.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jul242016

Teenager Arrested In Connection with Munich Shooting

iStock/Thinkstock(MUNICH) -- A teenager has been arrested in connection with Friday's deadly shooting in Munich.

German police said a 16-year-old Afghan, who had a friendly relationship with the shooter, was arrested Sunday night in a Munich suburb.

According to police, the teen reported himself to police on Friday and told them about his relationship with the shooter. He was arrested after police said they had reason to believe he knew of the shooting plot and did not report it when he made conflicting statements.

On Friday, 18-year-old David Ali Sonboly shot and killed nine people before taking his own life at a busy shopping mall in Munich. Officials said Sonboly had a book about the Columbine and Virginia Tech shooters at his home.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Jul242016

Olympic Panel Declines Total Ban on Russian Athletes for 2016

iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) --  The International Olympic Committee has voted not to impose a blanket ban on Russia's participating in this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro over the country's state-directed cover-up of doping by its athletes.

In a statement released Sunday, the IOC declined to impose a total collective ban as recommended earlier by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), instead requesting that the international federation for each Olympic sport should evaluate which Russian athletes can be considered clean enough to compete.

Those athletes from Russia’s national Olympic team wishing to compete will now have to pass examination by the international federation of their sport, meeting criteria set by the federations themselves that will prove they are clean. No Russian athlete who has ever been punished for doping will be allowed to compete either.

That decision means that it is very likely that at least some of Russia’s 387 athletes from its national Olympic team will compete in Rio, though there remain steep practical challenges to their passing individual evaluations, with the games just two week away.

Within hours of the vote, the International Tennis Federation announced that it believed seven tennis players in Russia’s Olympic team had enough clean tests to meet the IOC criteria.

Russian officials immediately welcomed the IOC move as meaning the country would now take part in the Olympics. Russia’s sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, told a news conference he was certain that the majority of Russian athletes would meet the criteria.

“We appreciate the IOC decision,” Mutko said. “I think in the situation that we find ourselves in, it’s an objective decision.”

The IOC’s ruling though is controversial, ignoring WADA’s recommendation that the scale of Russia’s state cover-up meant it should be excluded from the games. Some critics said that the IOC had dodged its responsibility to punish Russia for what they said was an unprecedented effort to undermine fair play at the Olympics.

“The decision regarding Russia participation and the confusing mess left in its wake is a significant blow to the rights of clean athletes,” Travis T. Taygart, the head of the U.S. anti-doping agency said in a statement. “It is so frustrating at this incredibly important moment, they would pass the baton to the federations who may lack the adequate expertise or collective will to appropriately address the situation within the short window before the games.”

Matthew Pincent, a British four-time Olympic champion rower, on Twitter called the decision “a cop out”.

The IOC, however, said it was intended to give clean Russian athletes a chance to compete while still punishing Russia for its system. Speaking in a conference call to reporters, IOC president Thomas Bach said the decision had been unanimous, with one abstention. He said the decisive factor had been the fates of athletes who would have been punished by a blanket ban despite having clean records.

“At the end of the day you have to be able to look into the eyes of the individual athlete concerned by your decision,” Bach said.

“The message is very clear. They have to assume a collective responsibility for such a system. On the other hand, it is a message of encouragement for the clean Russian athletes, that they have the chance to show they are clean and to participate in the Olympic games.”

Bach insisted that the criteria that federations imposed would be extremely rigorous, and the IOC noted that Russian athletes competing in Rio would be subject to additional doping testing. Refusing to allow participation by any Russian athletes ever punished for doping, even those who had served their sentences, is an unprecedented restriction.

Bach said that he would be “absolutely comfortable and fine” competing alongside any Russian athletes at Rio.

There had been opposition to a blanket ban, including from a number of international federations, such as the International Gymnastics Federation, and it appeared some federations would welcome the IOC’s decision.

The decision in part followed the model already imposed by the IOC around Russia’s track and field athletes, who were barred totally from the Olympics by their international federation, the International Association of Athletics Federations in June. The IOC then decided that those athletes able to meet criteria imposed by the international federation would be allowed to compete.

The federation set extremely tough criteria, with only one Russian athlete so far successfully passing it, long jumper Daria Klishina, who trains in the United States.

The IOC guidelines for the federations left more room, requiring that the athletes present enough “international tests.” Unlike those in track and field, other Russian athletes have been competing regularly outside Russia and many will have a large body of tests they can show.

Russian officials said Sunday’s IOC vote appeared to leave the ban on Russian track and field athletes’ unaffected, meaning the country’s presence at the Olympics will still be severely diminished. However, some of its most successful athletes, such as its gymnasts, are now very likely to compete.

Alexander Zhukov, the head of Russia’s national Olympic Committee said Russian sports federation officials had already been working with international federations, but acknowledged there was little time left to complete the vetting. Zhukov told Russian state TV that Russian officials had to start Sunday preparing their athletes' applications.

The IOC decision brought an uncertain end to a saga that has lasted for months, as successive news stories and international reports have uncovered the system developed by Russia to allow its athletes to dope. A WADA investigation first in November and then a second this month, showed how Russia’s sports ministry worked with its F.S.B. security service to falsify hundreds of positive doping tests, in particular at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Russia has always denied it ran a state-controlled system of doping, claiming the investigations and the calls for it to be banned were part of a U.S.-led plot. For months, Russian officials have zigzagged between denouncing the doping allegations as baseless lies and claiming they would fix them.

Sports minister Mutko has even at points claimed that Russia was defending world sport, saying it was resisting efforts to politicize it.

Though uncertainty remained around how many Russian athletes would now make it through the federation evaluations in time, many officials and coaches seem to believe the risk they would be barred was now virtually at an end.

“I’m very glad that it’s turned out this way,” Irina Viner-Usmanova, a senior coach of Russia’s gymnastics team, said on Russian state television.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jul232016

Suspect in Munich Attack Had Book About Columbine, Virginia Tech Shooters, Police Say

Obtained by ABC News(MUNICH) -- The 18-year-old gunman who officials say fatally shot nine people before killing himself at a busy shopping mall in Munich on Friday had a book about the Columbine and Virginia Tech shooters at his home.

Police found a copy of a German translation of the 2009 book "Why Kids Kill," written by American psychologist Peter Langman, in the suspect's bedroom.

Among the 10 case studies the book investigates are the Columbine High School shooting by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold that killed 12 students and one teacher in Littleton, Colorado, in April 1999, as well as the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University massacre by gunman Cho Seung-hui that killed 32 people at the college in Blacksburg in April 2007.

Investigators are still conducting searches of the apartment where the suspected attacker, who was born in Germany and of Iranian descent, is believed to have lived with his parents. Materials seized suggest the teen was particularly interested in frenzied attacks.

Both the fifth anniversary of the Norway massacre of 69 summer-camp youth by Anders Behring Breivik and the train axe attack on Monday in Germany “could be considered as motivations” for the gunman, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said during a news conference Saturday afternoon.

"I don't want to speculate, this needs to be investigated carefully," Herrman added. "There are clues that the perpetrator has been looking into rampages for some time, and that he was collecting information on that." The suspect was a student who was born and raised in Bavaria’s capital and who had a dual-citizenship with Iran. T

The deadly shooting began shortly before 6 p.m. local time at a McDonald’s across the street from Munich’s Olympia-Einkaufszentrum mall. Ten people are dead, including the gunman, and 27 others are injured. Among the dead were seven teenagers, a 20-year-old and a 45-year old.

There is no evidence tying the suspect to ISIS or terrorism, authorities said.

The gunman was later found dead of a gunshot wound at the scene. A police officer fired at the shooter when he was on a car park's roof, but an autopsy revealed that it wasn’t the officer that killed him.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the attack “a night of horror.”

“We are still under shock of the pictures and the reports of the witnesses and people who were going shopping on Friday evening or wanted to eat something, they are now dead,” Merkel said at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

Police said it appears that the suspect hacked a Facebook account and sent a message urging people to come to the mall for a free giveaway prior to the attack. The posting, sent from a young woman's account, urged people to come to the mall at 4 p.m., saying: "I'll give you something if you want, but not too expensive."

"It appears it was prepared by the suspect and then sent out,” police investigator Robert Heimberger said at a press conference Saturday morning. The woman shortly after reported that her Facebook account had been hacked.

Police said the shooter was armed with a 9mm Glock pistol and was carrying more than 300 bullets in a backpack. Officials also found newspaper articles about school shootings and a pamphlet called “Why Pupils Shoot.” Police said they believe the teen was in therapy for mental health issues.

At the press conference this morning, Munich police president Hubertus Andrae described the tragedy as a "classic shooting rampage," "killing spree" and "shooting massacre." He said the suspect was the lone attacker and had "absolutely no" link to the issue of refugees.

Officials said the shopping mall where the shooting took place is in the process of reopening, but the fast food restaurant remains closed. The Olympia-Einkaufszentrum mall is located in what was the Olympic Village for the 1972 Munich Olympics, during which 11 Israeli athletes were taken hostage and killed along with a German policeman.

Munich mayor Dieter Reiter wrote on his Facebook page that Saturday was "a day of mourning."

U.S. President Obama was briefed on the situation, and later offered sympathies and pledged support to Germany -- which he described as one of America's closest allies. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement that the United States condemns "the apparent terrorist attack" and would "make available any resources that would assist their investigation."

The Munich shooting comes just days after a 17-year-old Afghan refugee attacked passengers with an axe and a knife onboard a train heading towards Würzburg at Heidingsfeld in Bavaria, southeast Germany. The attacker was shot and killed during an altercation with police after seriously injuring three People and fleeing the scene, a Bavarian police spokesman told ABC News. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility hours later.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jul232016

German-Born Gunman in Munich Attack That Killed 9 Had No ISIS Ties, Say Police

iStock/Thinkstock(MUNICH) -- An 18-year-old, German-born male student was the gunman in the deadly shooting attack at Munich's Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall, which left nine victims dead and 27 injured, police said Saturday morning.

Of the 27 injured: 4 had bullet wounds, 10 are seriously injured, 7 people are lightly injured. The number of injured may change is others decide to seek medical treatment.

Police said the victims' ages were 15, 15, 14, 14, 14, 17, 19, 20, and 45, the latter of whom was female. (The other genders were not identified.)

The gunman killed himself at the scene of the attack, which began shortly before 6 p.m. at a McDonald's across the street from the mall. A police officer did fire at the gunman when he was on a car park's roof, but an autopsy revealed that it wasn’t the officer that killed him.

At a press conference Saturday morning, Munich police president Hubertus Andrae said there were "no evidence" of links to ISIS found in the gunman's home and described the tragedy as a "classic shooting rampage," "killing spree," and "shooting massacre."

Authorities are assuming there was no political motivation behind the attack, so the terrorism investigation is being shut down. The gunman was a dual German-Iranian citizen.

He added that the gunman was born in Munich, was the lone attacker, and had "absolutely no" link to the issue of refugees.

Police said they believe the gunman was in therapy for mental health issues..

Police investigator Robert Heimberger said the shooter was armed with a 9mm Glock pistol and had 300 rounds, and police are trying to locate where it came from. shot himself. Andrae said a rucksack belonging to the attacker contained 300 bullets. Police also found newspaper articles about school shootings and a book called “Why Pupils Shoot.”

Police have searched the apartment of the suspect’s parents. They also searched his room.

Heimberger said it appears that the gunman hacked a Facebook account and sent a message urging people to come to the mall for a free giveaway.

The posting, sent from a young woman's account, urged people to come to the mall at 4 p.m., saying: "I'll give you something if you want, but not too expensive."

Heimberger said "It appears it was prepared by the suspect and then sent out."

The woman shortly after reported that her account had been hacked.

Munich mayor Dieter Reiter wrote on his Facebook page that Saturday was "a day of mourning." Police president Andrae said the mall is in the process of reopening, but the McDonald's remains closed.

ABC News

All subway services in the city were halted after reports that the suspect fled into the subway, and police appealed to people to clear the streets as they hunt for the gunmen. Public transportation has since been restored.

During a multi-hour manhunt, authorities directed people to avoid Munich's city center and shelter in place, after unconfirmed reports of further shooting.

President Obama was briefed on the situation, and later offered sympathies and pledged support to Germany -- which he described as one of America's closest allies.

In a statement, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the U.S. condemned "the apparent terrorist attack" and would "make available any resources that would assist their investigation."

The shopping mall where the shooting took place is located in what was the Olympic Village for the 1972 Munich Olympics, during which 11 Israeli athletes were taken hostage and killed along with a German policeman.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Jul232016

Duke University Student Witnessed Fleeing Munich Shoppers: 'They Were Panicking, Crying'

iStock/Thinkstock(MUNICH) --  A Duke University student who witnessed terrified shoppers fleeing the gunman who opened fire at a Munich, Germany, mall Friday, says she feels lucky to be alive.

Nine people were killed, and 21 were injured. Police killed the gunman, an 18-year-old dual German-Iranian citizen. His motive remains unknown.

Thamina Stoll, a senior at Duke interning in Munich for the summer, told ABC11 in Raleigh, North Carolina, she had just returned to her grandmother's apartment when she saw a woman running in the opposite direction of the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall screaming that shots had been fired. Then, more people began fleeing the area, running past her grandmother's apartment near the mall.

"They were panicking, they were crying, and screaming," Stoll told ABC11 Friday in an interview via Facetime. "It was just so crazy. A few minutes later I started to hear sirens in the background. A helicopter appeared. Nobody knew what was going on. The sirens just wouldn't stop."


A regular at the mall, Stoll feels lucky to be alive. "Had I decided to go there for a third time, like 10 to 15 minutes earlier, I would have been dead right now," she said.

With public transportation temporarily shut down, it wasn't easy to leave the area quickly, so Stoll offered shelter to two families after the deadly attack.

Even though Stoll was safely ensconced in her grandmother's apartment -- police urged nearby residents to remain indoors -- she remains shell-shocked. "It was just terrifying," she says. "I still feel like I haven't really even processed it."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Saturday
Jul232016

Teens Inadvertently Walk Across US-Canada Border While Playing Pokemon Go

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Pokemon Go nearly caused an international incident this week.

Two Canadian teenagers were apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol agents Thursday night after they inadvertently -- and illegally -- crossed the U.S.-Canada border while playing the location-based game on their phones, officials said.

The agents encountered the teens walking southbound from the Canadian province of Alberta, into Montana, while playing Pokemon Go, the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said in a statement.

Border Patrol agents quickly determined that the teens were unaware they had crossed the border, the statement added.

“Both juveniles were so captivated by their Pokemon Go games that they lost track of where they were," said the agency's public affairs officer, Michael Rappold. "They crossed the international border inadvertently, but agents were able to reunite them with their mother.”

Their mother, who was nearby on the Canadian side, was contacted by agents while the teens were being detained.

The teens were apprehended near Sweet Grass, Montana, which borders the town of Coutts, Alberta.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul222016

Search for MH370 Winding Down with Little Results, But a New Theory is Emerging

ATSB(NEW YORK) -- After two and a half years and more than 110,000 square kilometers of scouring the floor of the southern Indian Ocean, the hunt Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will soon come to a close; at least for now.

But some experts say that the debris discovered so far indicates that the plane glided down to the surface of the ocean, instead of falling out of the sky in some way.

In a joint statement from the Malaysian, Australian and Chinese ministers of transportation, the search will be suspended when crews finish the final 10,000 sq km remaining in the current search area.

“Ministers acknowledged that despite the best efforts of all involved, the likelihood of finding the aircraft is fading,” a joint press release said.

They added that this does not mean the end of the search for certain, but “should credible new information emerge which can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given in determining next steps.”

The current search area was determined an international panel of scientists and engineers, under the theory that the aircraft, with 239 people on board, ran out of fuel and fell into the ocean.

The quest to find the missing the Boeing 777 has yielded very little results despite several pieces of positively-identified debris washing ashore in Africa.

"While acknowledging the significance of the debris, ministers noted that to date, none of it had provided information that positively identified the precise location of the aircraft."

On Monday, the Australian and Malaysian governments confirmed a wing flap was being examined as possibly being part of MH370.

Experts say the debris discovered so far suggests the jet made a controlled decent and glided down on to the ocean surface.

“What we are finding in parts is more commensurate with the airplane having been ditched by a live pilot, and that would have been probably outside that box someplace,” said John Nance, ABC News aviation consultant and a former Air Force pilot. “That airplane, if so, is largely intact on the bottom somewhere.”

If the theory that someone glided the plane down onto the surface of the ocean is true, it could more than double the size of the search area.

The jet, bound for Beijing, took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport shortly after midnight, at 12:41 a.m. local time on March 8, 2014.

A couple of actions soon after the flight departed -- turning off the data transmission system and the transponder -- suggest that someone may have been alive and conscious inside the cockpit.

Bolstering this hypothesis is radar data, which shows that four minutes after the transponder shut off, the plane deviated from its planned route, doubling back on itself and flying back over Malaysia, then north along the Strait of Malacca, until it eventually dropped off Malaysian radar.

According to rudimentary satellite data -- the only data available, since the data system and transponder had been shut off -- the aircraft continued flying for about six hours, until it likely ran out of fuel over the Indian Ocean at just after 8:19 a.m. Malaysia time.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul222016

'Possible Terror Attack' in Munich Has Many Recalling 1972 Summer Games

iStock/Thinkstock(MUNICH) -- A shooting at a shopping mall in Munich has many recalling a previous incident in the German city more than 40 years ago, not far from where Friday's incident took place.

The 1972 Summer Olympics, dubbed the "Games of Peace and Joy," took a tragic turn when Palestinian terrorists took 11 Israeli Olympic team members hostage. The resulting failed negotiations by the West German police and shootout at the airport left 17 people dead, including some of the perpetrators. All 11 hostages were killed.

ABC News covered the hostage situation and broadcast to the world as the "Games of Peace and Joy" became known as the "Munich massacre."

After the failed negotiation attempts, German authorities tried to ambush the terrorists at an airport. Police attempted the ambush soon after the terrorists and their hostages arrived at the airport by helicopter, where the terrorists were planing on boarding a plane to an Arab nation.

German authorities thought that this would have resulted in certain death for the Israelis, and the decision was made to try and stop them from being taken. Police shooters open fired on the terrorists at the airport, and subsequently the terrorists who were not hit then open fired on the hostages, killing all of them.

For hours, there was a report that all of the hostages had been freed due to what was later blamed on "poor communications," according to ABC News archival videos.

A memorial service attended by 80,000 Olympic fans was covered by Peter Jennings, who described the mood as "a state of shock and devastation." Arab athletes did not attend, according to Jennings, mostly for political reasons. The surviving Israeli team members flew home the following day.

Jennings added that thousands of Germans "had seen their games of serenity turned overnight into the Olympics of terror."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul222016

French Police Want Footage from the Nice Attack Deleted

ABC News(NICE, France) -- French authorities in Nice have refused a request from anti-terror police to delete surveillance camera images of last week's deadly truck attack.

The Paris prosecutor's office made the request to reportedly avoid the "uncontrolled dissemination" of images, according to BBC, but officials in Nice say the images are still evidence and should not be destroyed.

The news comes as local and national authorities have been fighting over the scale of police in wake of the attack, according to BBC.

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel killed 84 people when he drove a truck through a packed crowd on July 14 for a Bastille Day fireworks display.

A French official said Thursday he may have plotted the attack for at least a year and is believed to have had help from at least five others.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







ABC News Radio