Police: 2 suspects arrested in New York quadruple homicide

TROY/December 29, 2017 (AP)(STL.News) — Police say two people have been arrested in the quadruple homicide that took the lives of two women and two children in their upstate New York apartment.

Officials made the announcement early Saturday morning. The suspects’ names, photos and charges have not been released. Police say that information will be made available later Saturday morning.

Both defendants are scheduled for arraignment in Troy City Court around 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

A property manager found 36-year-old Shanta Myers; her children, 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers and 5-year-old Shanise Myers; and 22-year-old Brandi Mells in a basement apartment along the Hudson River, just north of Albany on Tuesday. Police say the two women were in a relationship.

Police Chief John Tedesco says he has “never seen savagery like this” in 42 years in law enforcement.

By Associated Press, published on STL.NEWS by St. Louis Media, LLC (LA)

Motive sought in California law firm shooting with 2 dead

LOS ANGELES /December 26, 2017 (AP)(STL.News) — Police are trying to learn what motivated a man to walk into a law firm where he worked and shoot two of his colleagues before turning the gun on himself.

Police arrived at the office building in Long Beach on Friday to find the gunman and one victim dead and learned that the second victim had driven himself to a hospital, police Sgt. Brad Johnson said at a news conference.

The injured man was in stable condition.

Police didn’t fire any shots, Johnson said. A SWAT team searched the rest of the building and no other victims were found.

The gunman’s motive had not yet been determined, but authorities emphasized it was not a case of an active shooter targeting as many people as possible.

“This incident was workplace violence,” Johnson said.

Video showed people running from a two-story office building shouting about a shooting inside.

The building is in the well-to-do neighborhood of Bixby Knolls and sits across from a Trader Joe’s market.

Three different law firms are listed among the occupants, but police did not reveal the office where the shooting occurred.

The office is about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles in Long Beach, a city of about 460,000 people.

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— Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo contributed to this story.

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Follow Andrew Dalton on Twitter at twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.

By  Associated Press, published on STL.NEWS by St. Louis Media, LLC (LA)

Iran hard-liners rally as new protests challenge government

TEHRAN, Iran/December 26, 2017 (AP)(STL.News) — Iranian hard-liners rallied Saturday to support the country’s supreme leader and clerically overseen government as spontaneous protests sparked by anger over the country’s ailing economy roiled major cities in the Islamic Republic.

The demonstrations, commemorating a mass 2009 pro-government rally challenging those who rejected the re-election of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amid fraud allegations, had been scheduled weeks earlier.

However, they took on new importance after the economic protests began Thursday, sparked by social media posts and a surge in prices of basic food supplies, like eggs and poultry.

Thousands have gone into the streets of several cities in Iran, beginning first in Mashhad, the country’s second-largest city and a holy site for Shiite pilgrims. Demonstrators also have criticized Iran’s government during the protests, with social media videos showing clashes between protesters and police.

The semi-official Fars news agency said protests on Friday also struck Qom, a city that is the world’s foremost center for Shiite Islamic scholarship and home to a major Shiite shrine.

The demonstrations appear to be the largest to strike the Islamic Republic since its 2009 Green Movement arose after Ahmadinejad’s re-election.

However, information about them remains scarce as both state-run and semi-official media in Iran have not widely reported on the protests. An online report Saturday by Iranian state television said national media in the country hadn’t reported on the protests on orders from security officials.

State TV also aired its first reports on the protests Saturday, acknowledging some protesters chanted the name of Iran’s one-time shah, who fled into exile just before its 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“Counterrevolution groups and foreign media are continuing their organized efforts to misuse the people’s economic and livelihood problems and their legitimate demands to provide an opportunity for unlawful gatherings and possibly chaos,” state TV said.

State TV aired live Saturday’s pro-government “9 Dey Epic” demonstrations, named for the date on the Iranian calendar the 2009 protests took place. The footage showed people waving flags and carrying banners bearing the image of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In Tehran, some 4,000 people gathered at the Musalla prayer ground in central Tehran. They called for criminal trials for Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, leaders in the Green Movement who have been under house arrest since 2011. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose administration struck the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, campaigned on freeing the men, though they remain held.

Mohsen Araki, a Shiite cleric who serves in Iran’s Assembly of Experts, praised Rouhani’s efforts at improving the economy. However, he said Rouhani needed to do more to challenge “enemy pressures.”

“We must go back to the pre-nuclear deal situation,” Araki said. “The enemy has not kept with its commitments.”

Ali Ahmadi, a pro-government demonstrator, blamed the U.S for all of Iran’s economic problems.

“They always say that we are supporting Iranian people, but who should pay the costs?” Ahmadi asked.

Iran’s economy has improved since the nuclear deal, which saw Iran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the end of some of the international sanctions that crippled its economy. Tehran now sells its oil on the global market and has signed deals for tens of billions of dollars of Western aircraft.

That improvement has reached the average Iranian, however. Unemployment remains high. Official inflation has crept up to 10 percent again. A recent increase in egg and poultry price by as much as 40 percent, which a government spokesman has blamed on a cull over avian flu fears, appears to have been the spark for the protests.

While police have arrested some protesters, the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard and its affiliates have not intervened as they have in other unauthorized demonstrations since the 2009 election. The economic protests initially just put pressure on Rouhani’s administration, but purported footage from recent demonstrations have included anti-government chants.

Early on Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted out his support for the protests.

“Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad,” he wrote. “Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! (hashtag) IranProtests.”

It’s unclear what effect Trump’s support would have. Iranians already are largely skeptical of him over his refusal to re-certify the nuclear deal. Trump’s insistence in an October speech on using the term “Arabian Gulf” in place of the Persian Gulf also has also riled the Iranian public.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments in June to Congress saying American is working toward “support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government” has been used by Iran’s government of a sign of foreign interference in its internal politics.

The State Department issued a statement Friday supporting the protests, referencing Tillerson’s earlier comments.

“Iran’s leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos,” the statement said.

By  Associated Press, published on STL.NEWS by St. Louis Media, LLC (LA)

COAS emphasises need for technological upgradation during POF visit

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Pakistan Ordinance Factories (POF) Wah on Wednesday, said an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release.

During his address to POF workers and officers, the army chief emphasised the need for technological upgradation and maximum indigenisation to attain total self-reliance in the field of defence production.

General Bajwa also appreciated the invaluable contributions of workers and officers in making POF the prime defence industry of Pakistan.

COAS inaugurated multiple facilities during POF visit. The army chief praised the contribution of POF towards national economy, stressing the need to improve the business model and importance of excellence in core business to keep up with contemporary challenges.

Upon arrival, COAS Gen Bajwa was given a detailed briefing on the performance and growth of POF, research and development projects, future vision and strategy for implementation.

COAS inaugurated multiple facilities during POF visit – ISPR photo
Gen Bajwa also inaugurated multiple facilities including the Urea Formaldehyde Moulding Compound (UFMC) Plant, Station Headquarters building as well as the POF Colony, Sanjwal which will benefit more than 11,000 families.

The UFMC plant is one of many POF production facilities that will not only cater for the demand in defence field but also towards the civilian industrial demand in the country.

Secretary MODP, Lieutenant General (R) Ijaz Chaudhry and Chairman POF Wah Lieutenant General Umar Farooq Durrani along with other senior civil and military officers were present on the occasion.

by GEO-NEWS, by Dunya-News, published on STL.NEWS by St. Louis Media, LLC (TM)

NAB approves Raiwind-Jati Umra road corruption case against Sharif brothers

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has approved on Wednesday filing of corruption case over Raiwind-Sharif House road against disqualified premier Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shehbaz Sharif.

The accountability bureau has given a go-ahead for filing of another corruption reference against the Sharif family.

Through the course of 2000, a one-way road was constructed between residence of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif and Raiwind of Lahore and allegedly, taxpayers’ money was used for the purpose.

On the other hand, the bureau has decided to pursue references in Nandipur power project scandal, against Senator Babar Awan and former premier Raja Pervez Ashraf.

NAB has also approved filing of a reference against Asif Hashmi, former chairman of Matroka Waqf Imlak Board.

According to the accountability bureau, delay in Nandipur power plant project would cost at least Rs 113 billion to the national treasury.

by Dunya-News, published on STL.NEWS by St. Louis Media, LLC (TM)

Obama to Prince Harry: Leaders must use care on social media

LONDON/December 27, 2017 (AP)(STL.NEWS— Former President Barack Obama told Prince Harry in an interview broadcast Wednesday that people in leadership roles must be careful in their use of social media and warned against spending too much time immersed in the internet at the expense of the world outside.

Obama did not, however, directly mention his successor, President Donald Trump, who has made the use of Twitter a centerpiece of his presidency.

“All of us in leadership have to find ways to recreate a common space on the internet,” he said. “One of the dangers of the internet is people can have entirely different realities. They can be just cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases.”

He spoke with Harry in the prince’s capacity as guest editor of the BBC Radio 4 news program. Both men said the interview, recorded in Canada in September, was Obama’s first since leaving the presidency in January.

Obama said he felt serene the day he left the White House at the end of his second four-year term despite the vast amount of work that remained unfinished. He said it was “hugely liberating” to be able to set his own agenda in the morning to have the time to talk with his wife, Michelle, now that he is no longer president.

“I miss the work itself because it was fascinating,” Obama said of his eight years in the Oval Office, citing his health care reforms as one of his proudest achievements.

In a brief live segment at the end of the show, Harry said he did not know if Obama would be on the guest list for his wedding in May to American actress Meghan Markle.

“I don’t know about that, we haven’t even put the invite or the guest list together, who knows if he’s going to be invited or not,” Harry said. “I wouldn’t want to ruin that surprise.”

The Sun newspaper, a popular tabloid, has suggested that the British government is concerned that Harry and Markle may invite the Obamas but not Trump, possibly straining ties between the two governments.

Harry did say his fiancee enjoyed her first Christmas with the royal family.

“The family loved having her there,” Harry said.

The prince used his position to ask Obama a “lightning round” of questions of the type normally asked of entertainers, not politicians.

The former president declined to say whether he wears boxers or briefs, preserving a bit of post-presidential dignity, but was willing to say he prefers Aretha Franklin to Tina Turner — “Aretha is the best,” he said of the Queen of Soul — and favors retired basketball star Michael Jordan over current phenom, LeBron James.

Obama rejected gloomy prognostications about the state of the world, saying that in many ways the world is healthier and wealthier than it has ever been, making it perhaps the best time in human history to be born.

He cited improved treatment of African-Americans and greatly expanded opportunities for young women as achievements of the past few generations that give him hope for the future.

Harry also interviewed his father, Prince Charles, who offered a more downbeat assessment. He said the root causes of climate change are not being addressed even as it caused “untold horrors” in different parts of the world.

 

By GREGORY KATZ, by Associated Press, published on STL.NEWS by St. Louis Media, LLC (ZS)