New Zealand mosque shooter changes plea to guilty

first_img ‘The right direction’ Tarrant’s trial had been due to start on June 2 and last some six weeks, with police commissioner Mike Bush saying Thursday’s hearing was arranged after the gunman contacted his lawyers on Tuesday.”Police appreciate this news will come as a surprise to the victims and the public, some of whom may have wished to be present in the courtroom,” he said in a statement.Bush said imams from the Al Noor and Linwood mosques, the ones targeted by Tarrant, were among only 17 people allowed in court to hear the revised plea.New Zealand’s small and tight-knit Muslim community welcomed the fact that they would not have to endure a drawn-out trial raking over painful details of the worst mass shooting in the country’s modern history.”I have been praying for him and he has taken the right direction,” Farid Ahmed, whose wife Husna was killed, told TVNZ.”I am pleased he is feeling guilty. It is a good start.”Tarrant armed himself with an arsenal of semi-automatic weapons and attacked the Al Noor mosque first, before moving on to the Linwood prayer center, livestreaming the killings as he went.His victims were all Muslim and included children, women and the elderly.In a rambling manifesto posted online before the killing spree, Tarrant said he had moved to New Zealand with the specific aim of conducting an atrocity against Muslims.The document said he became radicalized while travelling around Europe, although intelligence agencies have so far failed to find any evidence he was working with right-wing extremist groups. His actions prompted Ardern, who has vowed never to say the killer’s name, to tighten New Zealand’s gun laws and launch a campaign to curb online extremism. An Australian far-right extremist charged with murdering 51 Muslim worshippers in last year’s mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques unexpectedly flipped his plea to guilty on Thursday.Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Muslim community expressed relief at the surprise decision, which removes the need for a lengthy trial that authorities feared would be used to spout neo-Nazi propaganda.Self-avowed white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 29, had previously denied 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism but reversed his plea in a hurriedly arranged court hearing. “Yes, guilty,” Tarrant told Christchurch High Court via videolink from Auckland Prison as the charges were read out to him.Tarrant, wearing a grey top, stared intently at the camera while making his confession.Neither the former gym instructor from the Australian country town of Grafton nor his lawyers offered any explanation for the change, which makes him New Zealand’s first-ever convicted terrorist.The South Pacific nation does not have the death penalty but Tarrant faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life behind bars. The terror and murder charges all carry life sentences, setting a minimum non-parole period of 17 years but giving the judge power to imprison without the possibility of release. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the admission of guilt would provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered in the attack.”These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, and other witnesses, the ordeal of a trial,” she said.Asked how she reacted upon hearing the news, Ardern replied: “I let out a huge sigh of relief”.Judge Cameron Mander recorded convictions on all charges and said Tarrant would be sentenced at a date yet to be determined.”The guilty pleas represent a very significant step towards bringing finality to this criminal proceeding,” he said.The plea came with New Zealand in its first day of a four-week COVID-19 lockdown.Mander said sentencing would take place “at a time when victims and their families can attend the court in person”.The judge said advance reporting that Thursday’s hearing was taking place was suppressed in case Tarrant changed his mind at the last minute and maintained his innocence. Topics :last_img read more

Make-or-break moment in virus fight could happen this week

first_imgThe world’s ability to check the coronavirus contagion and fully recover from the worst peacetime recession since the Great Depression may depend on what international economic policy makers decide this week.With emerging markets and developing nations facing health emergencies, collapsing demand and cash crunches, the guardians of the global economy are under the gun to ease the strains at this week’s video-conferenced meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.“It’s a make-or-break moment,” said former IMF chief economist Maury Obstfeld. “This may be the greatest global crisis we’ve faced in the postwar period.” Having all taken steps to support their individual economies, failure by the leading Group of 20 countries to now act together could consign the world to “reservoirs of disease” and trigger outward migration from poor countries on “a biblical scale,” said Obstfeld, now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.G-20 finance ministers and central bankers will convene by conference call on Wednesday.A lack of forceful action could set the stage for damaging debt defaults and throw a roadblock in the way of any sort of robust recovery of the world economy. The dollar’s surge has been particularly painful for countries that ran up borrowing in greenbacks and which will now struggle to cover the loans, especially as their exports tumble.If the emerging markets lag behind, “it means more of a U-shaped or an L-shaped kind of recovery for the US and global economies,” said Nathan Sheets, a former US Treasury official who’s now chief economist for PGIM Fixed Income. While the US, Europe and Japan have opened up the monetary and budgetary spigots to fight Covid-19 and its economic after-effects, many emerging economies lack the scope to do so.Morgan Stanley economists predict that emerging markets, excluding China, will shrink 4.1% in the current quarter, a deeper dive than the 3.1% of the first quarter of 2009 when the world was last in crisis, though shallower than what’s expected in richer economies. They also estimated in an April 3 report that the peak rate of growth during the recovery for those economies will be 6% in the second quarter of 2021 versus 7.7% in the same period of 2010.The problem is even more acute in the poorest nations, where many denizens can’t easily practice the social distancing and regular hand washing that has become de-rigueur in rich countries.Such an environment leaves the IMF reckoning that emerging market and developing countries will need trillions of dollars in external financing to fight the virus, only part of which they can cover on their own, leaving gaps of hundreds of billions of dollars. Half of the international lending organization’s 189 members are already looking to it for aid.IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva is trying to rally the world into a unified display of support at the Fund’s semi-annual meeting, which starts Tuesday as a virtual gathering after the typical spring gathering in Washington was re-imagined.“Today we are confronted with a crisis like no other,” Georgieva said in an April 9 speech. “The actions we take now will determine the speed and strength of our recovery.”There are questions, though, about whether the Fund has enough to counter the crisis, especially if it proves protracted.While the IMF says it has a $1 trillion war chest, Ted Truman of the Peterson Institute for International Economics calculates that the maximum amount available for new lending is $787 billion, after taking into account existing commitments and other factors. “The IMF will need more” from the US and the rest of the G20, he said.And it’s not just the amount of resources that are at issue. It’s what kind they are.The crisis has exposed a gaping hole at the center of the global economy. There’s no ultimate lender of last resort who can provide the liquidity that’s demanded in a financial emergency.Funds PulledSome $62 billion was yanked out of emerging markets in the first quarter in a global dash for cash by investors, twice the size of outflows at the peak of the world financial crisis, according to the Institute of International Finance.While there are signs that pressure is easing — Indonesia, for example, sold $4.3 billion of dollar bonds last week to help finance virus relief measures — there are risks the outflows could resume as the hit to emerging market growth becomes more evident, IIF analysts said.The Federal Reserve has moved to partly fill the void, including opening up dollar liquidity swap lines with Brazil, South Korea and Mexico. Sheets said it should do the same with India, Indonesia and Chile.The IMF also has to step up and be willing to set its aside its traditional playbook for dealing with countries in trouble, in which it demands economic reforms in return for financial assistance.“This is much more of an exogenous shock,” said former US Treasury official Mark Sobel, now at the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, a think-tank focused on economic policy and central banking. “There needs to be some recalibration by the IMF to provide far more liberal and fast liquidity to members.”The fund seems to be trying to do just that.It’s looking at the use of precautionary short-term loans to get cash to countries, as well other funding options like the increased use of reserve assets called special drawing rights, steps that would require the approval of rich nations.One problem with the IMF stepping up, said ex-IMF official Taimur Baig: Many countries don’t like turning to the organization because they fear being tarred as a nation in trouble.Repayment Pause“Drawing on to IMF resources has an element of stigma and it is still seen as the last resort of a crisis-hit nation,” said Baig, who’s now chief economist at DBS Bank in Singapore.As for the poorest countries, a plan championed by Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass calls on wealthy governments to place a temporary pause on debt repayments. The World Bank in March estimated that $14 billion in service payments are due this year.Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said in a Bloomberg Opinion column on Sunday that governments need to start “exploring immediate debt relief for all of Africa.”In the 2008-09 crisis, the G-20 banded together to come up with an action plan.That’s been more difficult this time for a group riven by rivalries — the US and China over trade, Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil, and the UK and the European Union over Brexit.IIF President Tim Adams said the G-20 must rise to the occasion, nonetheless.“There will be enormous attention and enormous expectations” focused on this week’s gatherings, he said. “Not meeting them could be detrimental for markets and for confidence.”Topics :last_img read more

Pakistan hospitals running out of beds as virus cases surge past 100,000

first_imgLast week a leaked government report suggested there were nearly 700,000 infections in Lahore alone. Doctors at several main hospitals in the historic eastern city told AFP they were running out of beds, ventilators and other vital equipment. “As the cases increase, more health care workers are also falling victim to the virus,” said Farooq Sahil, a doctor at Services Hospital Lahore.Khizer Hayat, chairman of the Young Doctors Association of Punjab, said facilities across the province needed help. Topics : Pakistan has recorded more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus, health authorities said Monday, as hospitals warned they are running out of beds to treat patients.Pakistan — and neighbors India and Afghanistan — have lagged behind Western nations in virus tolls, but experts warn a lack of testing or accurate reporting in rural areas could be hiding true figures. In recent weeks, however, the country of more than 210 million has reported a sharp rise in new infections, and on Monday the government said more than 100,000 cases and 2,000 deaths had now been recorded.center_img “Hospitals are running out of beds; there aren’t enough ventilators given to us,” he told AFP.In the southern port city of Karachi, health centers are turning away the sick, with a large sign near the entrance of the Indus hospital stating there was no room for coronavirus patients.Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said he expected the virus to peak “towards the end of July, followed by a gradual downslide”.Pakistan’s lockdown policy has been patchy at best, with Khan reluctant to call a nationwide shutdown in order to protect the economy.Asad Umar, who heads the national coronavirus task force, announced that a package to relieve pressure on hospitals would include 1,000 new beds in major cities. “The crisis is unfolding now as we have ceased to observe isolation,” said Sikander Ali Memon, who is leading Sindh province’s anti-virus efforts.In southwestern Balochistan province, government spokesman Liaqat Shahwani told AFP the situation was serious, and authorities were struggling to cope.last_img read more

​Danish pensions investors boost unlisted allocations to 27%

first_imgSince the beginning of 2018, the bank said the sector had invested DKK206bn in unlisted investments.The increases were due in part to the investors having put more money into unlisted assets, it said, but also a result of changes in the values of the assets.The bank said unlisted assets may have a higher return than their listed equivalents, partly because they were often less liquid than listed investments and therefore could be more difficult to sell in the short term.“Insurance and pension companies, which are interested in long-term investments, can thus reap a liquidity premium when they invest in unlisted assets,” the bank said.Overall figures for unlisted asset investment were broken down into four categories, with the bulk of investments recorded being made through vehicles such as trusts, which the bank said included hedge, venture and capital funds as well as private equity companies.New investments from the pensions and insurance sector in these vehicles amounted to DKK11bn in the second quarter, bringing the total held by the investors to DKK588bn.On the other hand, the cumulative future for the category of unlisted credit investments made by the sector went down over the second quarter by DKK3bn.This category of investment mainly includes credit to real estate and companies, trusts and business services, the bank said.New real estate investments made in the second quarter – either directly or through companies – amounted to DKK3bn in April to June, the statistics showed.In the final category of “other” unlisted investments, DKK2bn of assets were sold in the second quarter, the numbers disclosed.Pension funds in Denmark and elsewhere have seen unlisted, or alternative assets as a key part of their returns strategy amid record-low bond yields.Denmark’s largest commercial pension provider PFA said earlier this year that after increasing its alternatives weighting over the last few years, it still had capacity to expand it further.Meanwhile, the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority is scrutinising the pension sector’s valuations of alternatives in the light of large price fluctuations on financial markets, and in June called on pension funds to explain their valuation methods regarding real estate, private equity, infrastructure and illiquid credit investments.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Danish pension and insurance providers continued expanding their allocations to unlisted investments in the first half of this year, with these assets now making up more than a quarter of overall portfolios, according to new statistics from the country’s central bank.By the end of June, the average allocation to unlisted investments for pension and insurance businesses stood at 27%, up from 23% at the beginning of 2018, figures from Danmarks Nationalbank show.“The low interest rates on bonds in recent years have contributed to the insurance and pension sector investing more pension savings in unlisted assets,” Danmarks Nationalbank commented in the statistical release.During the second quarter of this year, the sector invested an extra DKK8bn (€1bn) in assets not listed on a stock exchange, and for January to June as a whole, the sum was DKK45bn.last_img read more

Man hangs self

first_imgILOILO City – He was found dead hanginginside their house in Barangay Tumangi, San Dionisio, Iloilo. The victim was rushed to the BalasanDistrict Hospital but the attending physician declared him “dead on arrival.” The 21-year-old resident Angelito Vesta wasbelieved to have committed suicide, a police report showed. Vesta’s lifeless body was discovered by hisnephew Natnaniel Sing around 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 19, it added. Officers of the San Dionisio policestation have yet to rule out foul play in the incident./PNlast_img read more

Pershy prevails in Davenport Modified feature

first_imgBy Mike McGuireDAVENPORT, Iowa (July 3) – Jason Pershy won a riveting Milan Heating & Air IMCA Modified feature that went green, white, checkered Friday at Davenport Speedway.Pershy led the first lap with Kevin Blum taking over on lap two. Blum’s car went up in smoke on lap three, with Pershy going back into the lead.Doug Crampton took his turn at the front on lap eight but Pershy again regained the lead, on lap 10, and stayed in front to the checkers.Rich Smith finished second, Crampton settled for third and Terry Rentfro finished fourth. Matt Wer­ner rounded out the top five.Justin Kay made it four straight in the Petersen Plumbing & Heating IMCA Late Model feature. He took the lead on lap 13.Matt Ryan made a late race move to finish second behind Kay, with Andy Nezworski third. Brunson Behning finished fourth, just ahead of Chuck Hanna.Tony Olson continued his winning ways in Hawkeye Auto IMCA SportMod action. Jake Morris led the first six laps of the feature, with Olson taking over after a lap seven restart. The victory was Olson’s third of the year at Davenport. Morris held on to finish second, while Dustin Crear took third. Bryce Garnhart and Phil Anderson finished fourth and fifth, respectively.last_img read more

Confed Cup: Fumbling Rangers Walk Tight Rope with Zesco Draw

first_imgBy Duro IkhazuagbeZambian Club, Zesco United, yesterday compounded Enugu Rangers woes in the CAF Confederation Cup as the visitors cancelled out Osas Okoro two-goal lead to tie the first leg play-off 2-2.That draw at the Flying Antelopes’ Cathedral in Enugu has now left the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) champions on a delicate balance going into the second leg in Zesco’s fortress at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.Imama Amapakabo and his ward’s were unable to shake off that inertia that has kept Rangers at the bottom of the 17-week old topflight Nigerian league.The fate of Amapakabo remains doubtful as at press time as there were speculations that he may have been dropped from the Rangers job. A decision is expected to be taken on him today by the Rangers management.Enugu fans had as early as the 24th minute heaved sigh of relief when Okoro fired the former Pride of Eastern Nigeria into the lead through a deserving penalty.But that lively opening form into the game soon began to drift into nightmare with inability to convert begging chances. Rangers took that slim edge to the half time break. But bare a minute after resumption from break, Okoro doubled his side’s lead.However, Rangers’ celebrations were short-lived as Zesco United – on their first meaningful venture forward – pulled one back through veteran Kenya international David Owino in the 71st minute.The comeback was complete when Patrick Konogolo scored five minutes after as Rangers fans went into mourning mode inside the Cathedral.The hosts searched for an immediate response, as their forward engineered some room in the box but all efforts proved futile.Winner of the decisive second leg will qualify for the group stage of the CAF Confederations Cup.Earlier on Saturday, Derrick Nsibambi snatched a stoppage-­time winner as KCCA of Uganda edged Al Masry of Egypt 1­-0,When a Masry defender failed to cut off a long free­-kick from goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan, substitute Nsibambi scored with a volley in Kampala.Young Africans of Tanzania were another club from the east of Africa to build a 1-­0 lead at home over opponents from the north as they beat Mouloudia Alger of Algeria.Zimbabwean Thabani Kamusoko scored the winner midway through the second half in Indian Ocean city Dar es Salaam.Bidvest Wits of South Africa failed for a third time within two months to penetrate an Egyptian defence when held 0­-0 by Smouha in Johannesburg.The South Africans lost 1-­0 overall to Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League last month and were demoted to the second-­tier Confederation Cup.Mounana of Gabon built a 2­-1 lead over ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire whose hopes of overall success were enhanced when Fabius Dosso halved the deficit on 74 minutes.NPFL RESULTSABS                1-0   NasarawaK’Pillars          0-1   Akwa UtdKatsina Utd    2-1    EnyimbaLobi                0-0    IfeanyiUbaMFM FC           3-0    El KanemiRivers Utd      1-0    Abia W’Shooting         2-1   TornadoesSunshine        1-0    Remo StarsWikki               3-1   Gombe *Imama Amapakabo asked to step down Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Live Blog: Duke, Virginia advance, other top seeds fall in quarterfinals

first_img Published on March 14, 2014 at 1:23 pm GREENSBORO, N.C. — And then there were eight. After two days of play at the Greensboro Coliseum, the top seeds are finally beginning their postseasons. Virginia, Syracuse, Duke and North Carolina will all play through the day, and we plan on doing our best to keep you updated.So keep this tab open and follow along all day for updates.No. 3-seed Duke vs. No. 6-seed ClemsonFinal: Duke 63, Clemson 62No. 7 Duke fended off Clemson thanks to two free throws with four seconds left from Rodney Hood, who finished with 17 points. Jabari Parker added 18, as the Blue Devils held off a 15-5 run by the Tigers late in the game. Four players scored in double figures for Clemson, as the Tigers nearly staged the upset. Duke shot 16-of-18 from the line, though, advancing to play North Carolina State in the semifinals Saturday. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNo. 2-seed Syracuse vs. No. 7-seed N.C. State Final: N.C. State 66, Syracuse 63Read beat writer David Wilson’s game story: here. No. 4-seed North Carolina vs. No. 5-seed PittsburghFinal: Pitt 80, UNC 75Marcus Paige and No. 15 North Carolina thrashed and flailed in the second half, but it wasn’t quite enough to come back from a 19-point deficit. Talib Zanna dominated the paint, finishing with 19 points and 21 rebounds, and the Panthers embarrassed  the Tar Heels’ porous 3-2 zone. UNC used a full-court press to rally from 15 down at the 5:27 mark to four with less than two minutes left, but Paige fouled out with 25 seconds left and the Panthers held on. After the Tar Heels pulled within three on a basket from Nate Britt, Pitt guard James Robinson sealed the game with two free throws.Halftime: Pitt 36, UNC 26This segment could be a collection of facts to describe how ugly the Tar Heels’ offense was for the first 12 minutes of the half — they had more air balls than made field goals at the under-eight timeout and didn’t crack double digits until the 5:47 mark of the first half.  But then North Carolina started making enough offense plays to claw back in it. Pitt, which led by as many as 18, fell victim to a parade of open looks at the rim for Paige, Brice Johnson and J.P. Tokoto and a turnaround jumper by James Michael McAdoo at the buzzer cut the halftime lead to 10.No. 1-seed Virginia vs. No. 9-seed Florida StateFinal: UVA 64, FSU 51Virginia is typically a strong second-half team — just look at what it did to Syracuse — and the ACC tournament’s No. 1 seed kept up that trend against Florida State in the day’s first quarterfinal. The Cavaliers turned a five-point halftime lead into a 13-point victory against the No. 9-seed Seminoles to advance to the semifinals and perhaps knock FSU from NCAA Tournament contention. UVA will face the winner of the day’s second quarterfinal between No. 4-seed North Carolina and No. 5-seed Pittsburgh. Joe Harris shot 3-of-6 from deep and led the way with 20 points for Virginia, which rattled off a 16-7 run during the second half to put away Florida State in front of a decidedly pro-Cavalier crowd.Halftime: UVA 32, FSU 27The Cavaliers, who lost only their first game in two months to close the regular season, fell behind early as the Seminoles ran out to a 7-3 lead. But behind Anthony Gill and Harris, UVA rallied back to lead through most of the first half. The pair combined for 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting to outmatch Okaro White, who posted 13 points in the opening stanza. The Seminoles attacked the basket regularly, drawing two fouls on Akil Mitchell and London Perrantes, but allowed UVA to shoot 53.8 percent from the field. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Defeat puts Tipp’s promotion chances in peril

first_imgLiam Kearns’ side lost their penultimate match of the regular season against Kildare at Clonmel Sportsfield – they Lilywhite came out on top by 2-13 to 1-5.Despite having numerous good opportunities to make a dent on the scoreboard Tipp only managed one point in the first half.Their shooting was a little better after the break but, despite getting a goal through Kevin Fahy, they never really looked liked reeling in the visitors. The results in Sunday’s fixures should outline what the Premier County have to play for when they travel to Sligo in eight days’ time.last_img read more

Ladies Across the State of Michigan Compete in the Miss Sunrise Side and Miss Sunrise Side Outstanding Teen Pageant

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisThe Miss Sunrise Side and the Miss Sunrise Side Outstanding Teen competitions are wrapping up at this hour. WBKB News was able to catch a sneak peek into what the ladies would offer the judges and their audience.The competition was held at Alcona High School where 10 young women fought for their chance to shine and win the title of Miss Sunrise Side. 8 girls competed for the Miss Sunrise Side Outstanding Teen title. At Friday night’s dress rehearsal each lady showcased their talent skills, as well as their speeches.Current Miss Sunrise Side, Kathleen Kramer said she’s excited about handing over her crown to a talented young lady. She also said she is proud of the pageant being an open pageant this year.“It feels really good. The girls I think, are overall excited. They’re incredibility intelligent. I think the most unique part of the program this year, is that we became an open pageant, so these are girls coming from all over the state to compete and it’s really exciting. I think that the atmosphere is going to be fun. The theme this year is ‘Honoring Our Veterans, and Our Military Personnel,’ so I think we are all really excited to be able to do that as well,” Kramer said.Tonight’s lucky winner of the Miss Sunrise Side title will receive $1,000 in scholarship funds for her future education. The winner will also receive a full year scholarship to Alpena Community College.Each winner will also have her chance to compete for the Miss Michigan and Miss Michigan Outstanding Teen titles this summer.WBKB News will have the winner details tomorrow night.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Alcona High School, Beauty Pageant, Miss Michigan, Miss Michigan Outstanding Teen, Miss Sunrise Side, Miss Sunrise Side TeenContinue ReadingPrevious Foster Closet of Michigan Alpena Branch Holds a Sorting DayNext Besser Museum Holds Private Donor Reception to Thank the Community and Open Improved Planetariumlast_img read more