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Monday, October 21, 2013

Ukranian White Supremacist Admits to Murder and Mosque Attacks

Pavlo Lapshyn, a 25-year-old Ukranian postgraduate student, has admitted to murdering 82-year-old Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham. Lapshyn had only been in the UK for one week and was completing a temporary work placement in the city when he stabbed Saleem, who had been returning from prayers at the city’s Small Heath mosque and was just yards from his home when he was stabbed by the student. Later Lapshyn planted bombs near another three mosques in the region because he believed “the white man was better than anyone else”. “He was motivated through what he had learnt himself – he was operating alone and not part of wider group, he is an evil and ill-informed man, he was extremely dangerous”, said Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale. Detective Superintendent Shaun Edwards, from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said that the student planned further attacks. “We found part-made devices in [his] room plus chemicals and bomb-making equipment”, he said, adding that one attack was specifically avoided because a bomb went off one hour before a service.

Nuclear Power Plant Gets Green Light

The UK will build its first nuclear power station in 20 years at Hinkley Point and will be partly funded by Chinese investors, according to the Sunday Telegraph. The investment also marks the first time that a nuclear power station will be built in the country without money from the public purse, a measure the government hopes will offset critics of nuclear power who point to the Japanese tsunami and subsequent disaster at Fukushima as deterrents to the construction of any new plants on British soil. The coalition government had approved eight possible sites in 2010, with Hinkley Point among them. The push for new nuclear power plants is part of the coalition’s push for low-carbon power, while at the same time seeking to avoid the looming prospect of power cuts. The other sites considered and approved by the government were Bradwell, Heysham, Oldbury, Sellafield, Sizewell and Wylfa, which are all expected to be operation by 2030.

France Outraged at US Spying

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has summoned the US ambassador in Paris to explain a Le Monde article that alleges the country routinely spied on millions of telephone calls and text messages in France during a 30-day period. “These kinds of practices between partners that harm privacy are totally unacceptable”, said the foreign minister, adding that he would seek assurances from the US government that such monitoring was no longer on-going. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that he was “deeply shocked” by the revelations and added that “it’s incredible that an allied country like the United States at this point goes as far as spying on private communications that have no strategic justification, no justification on the basis of national defence”. The US embassy in Paris refused to comment on “alleged intelligence activities” but said the ambassador would convey the French government’s concerns to Washington.

Fear as Australian Bushfires Could Merge

Australian officials said on Monday that they are fearful that the current three large bushfires sweeping across the state of New South Wales (NSW) could merge into a “mega-fire” and head towards Sydney’s western suburbs if conditions continue to worsen. Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said that so far strategies had been “paying off” but failure could lead to “a fire that will cross over everything you’ve just tried to implement”. NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell declared a state of emergency on Sunday, giving authorities the power to force evacuations and even destroy buildings if they pose a danger, but these powers had not yet been used. ““We know there is understandable heartache about leaving property perhaps vulnerable. But if it’s a choice between property or lives we should always go for lives”, he said.

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