Hyderabad case: Police kill suspects in Indian vet’s rape and murder


People argue with police over a protest against the alleged rape and murder of a 27-year-old womanImage copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Thousands protested outside a police station in Hyderabad after the rape case

Indian police have shot dead four men suspected of raping and killing a young female vet in Hyderabad last week.

The men were in police detention and were taken back to the scene of the crime in the early hours of Friday.

The suspects were shot when they tried to steal the officers’ guns and escape, police told BBC Telugu.

The 27-year-old victim’s charred remains were discovered last Thursday – leading to outrage and protests over alleged police inaction.

After news of the killings broke, the victim’s mother told the BBC that “justice has been done”.

Meanwhile, neighbours celebrated with firecrackers, and thousands of people took to the streets to hail the police.

What happened on Friday?

Cyberabad police commissioner VC Sajjanar told BBC Telugu that police took the accused to the scene to reconstruct the crime.

Police shot the men when they tried to grab the officers’ guns and escape, he said.

Two police officers were also injured.

The police were heavily criticised after the rape and murder of the vet – particularly when the victim’s family accused them of inaction for two hours.

How have the victim’s family reacted?

BBC Telugu’s Deepthi Bathini visited the family in their home, where neighbours could be seen celebrating the news by bursting firecrackers and distributing sweets.

“I can’t put it into words. I felt happiness but also grief because my daughter will never come home,” the victim’s mother said.

“My daughter’s soul is at peace now. Justice has been done. I never thought we would get justice. No other girl should experience what my daughter did.”

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe victim’s sister – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – spoke out after her sibling’s death

The mother added that she wants the law on sexual assault and rape to be “stricter”.

“Men should be scared to even stare at women – because they will be punished.”

The victim’s sister said the police action was “very unexpected”.

“I was expecting court trials and the court to deliver justice. This will not bring my sister back, but it is a great relief. Because of the police action, people will think twice before they do something like this again,” she said.

What has the wider reaction been?

News of the police action has been widely celebrated on social media.

Many took to Twitter and Facebook to applaud the police, saying they “delivered justice”.

The mother of a student who died after being gang-raped on a bus in capital Delhi in 2012 has also hailed the killing.

“I am extremely happy with this punishment. Police have done a great job,” she told ANI news agency.

BBC Telugu reporter Satish Balla, reporting from the spot of the killings, said approximately 2,000 people have gathered, causing a huge traffic jam.

Vehicles have come to a standstill on the highway, where people are shouting “hail the police”.

At the scene of the encounter, people earlier showered the police with rose petals and distributed sweets, our reporter added.

But a few have also questioned the police’s version of events.

Image caption

Thousands of people gathered at the site of the encounter

Prakash Singh, a retired police officer and a key architect of police reforms, told the BBC that the killings were “entirely avoidable”.

“Abundant caution should be taken when people in custody are being taken to the court or the scene of the crime,” he said.

“They should be secured, handcuffed and properly searched before they are taken out. All kinds of things can happen if the police are not careful.”

But Mr Singh said it was too early to say if the incident was an extrajudicial killing – known popularly in India as an “encounter killing”.

In the days after the rape and murder, thousands of people protested at Hyderabad police station, insisting the killers face the death penalty.

Jaya Bachchan, a former Bollywood star who is now a MP in India’s upper house of parliament, said earlier this week that the accused men should be “lynched”.

“I know it sounds harsh, but these kind of people should be brought out in public and lynched,” she said during a parliamentary debate on the incident.

Several other MPs from across the political spectrum also condemned the brutal gang-rape and murder.

Elsewhere in the country, there were other protests and vigils for the victim, who cannot be named under Indian law.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

People in Delhi held a vigil on Saturday

How did the vet’s murder unfold?

The victim left home on her motorbike at about 18:00 local time (12:30 GMT) ten days ago to go to a doctor’s appointment.

She called family later to say she had a flat tyre, and a lorry driver had offered to help. She said she was waiting near a toll plaza.

Efforts to contact her afterwards were unsuccessful, and her body was discovered under a flyover by a milkman on Thursday morning.

Last week, three police officers were suspended when the victim’s family accused them of not acting quickly enough when the woman was reported missing.

Officers had suggested she may have eloped, relatives told the National Commission for Women, a government body.

Are women any safer in India today?

Rape and sexual violence against women have been in focus in India since the December 2012 gang-rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in the capital, Delhi.

But there has been no sign that crimes against women are abating.

According to government figures, police registered 33,658 cases of rape in India in 2017, an average of 92 rapes every day.



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Frontex strengthened mandate comes into force



The new European Border and Coast Guard regulation that strengthens the mandate of Frontex, came into force on 4 December.

Under the new regulation, the agency will soon have 10.000 officers to assist national authorities with border control and migration management.

“With our own standing corps and own equipment, Frontex will be a daily partner for national authorities to design sustainable border management capacities rather than simply responding in a crisis management mode. Our operational aim is to have well-functioning external borders ensuring trust in our European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice”, said Frontex executive director, Fabrice Leggeri.

Frontex will assist in the reintegration of returnees in non-EU countries and will continue to fight cross-border crime, including in the maritime domain.

Apart from conducting operations in non-EU countries that do not neighbor the Union, the agency will also play a bigger role in the management of the flows of legitimate travelers across EU’s external borders.

Frontex was established in 2004 to improve the management of the EU external borders, and has expanded in 2017, becoming the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.



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OPEC countries reach consensus on deal



OPEC countries have reached a consensus on a deal on cutting oil production at the ministerial meeting on Thursday and plan to continue negotiations on Friday, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud told reporters, Trend reports citing TASS.

“We have reached an agreement with all OPEC members,” he said. “We always have an agreement among OPEC members,” he added.

The energy minister noted that the reached agreement will be further discussed in the OPEC+ format on Friday. He said the OPEC ministerial meeting was successful.

At the same time, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister did not diclose the details of the deal reached at the meeting on Thursday, saying that it should be first discussed at the OPEC+ meeting on Friday.




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Landlords of energy-inefficient homes may have to pay heating bills


Landlords would be forced to invest in bringing rental properties up to a certain energy-efficiency standard or face having to cut rents on properties that are more expensive to heat under proposals being considered by the Government.

The options are contained in a consultation paper on improving warmth and energy efficiency in Ireland’s growing rental sector that were published on Thursday by Minister for Energy Richard Bruton.

There is no requirement at present for either commercial or residential landlords to achieve a minimum grade under the State’s Building Energy Rating (BER) scheme. More than a fifth of rental properties in the State have the most inefficient ratings, F or G, on the BER scale.

Ireland’s private rental sector is growing, with a total of 341,908 tenancies now registered with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).

The paper shows regulations making it mandatory to achieve a minimum BER standard in a property before it is offered for rent are being considered. Under another option out for consultation – called a “cost balancing arrangement” – landlords who are “unable or unwilling” to bring a property up to standard could be forced to compensate tenants for the cost of heating a property.



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Liam Payne says he has no regrets over opening up about his private life



Liam Payne has said he has no regrets over opening up about his private life (Matt Crossick/PA)
Liam Payne has said he has no regrets over opening up about his private life (Matt Crossick/PA)

Liam Payne has said he has no regrets over opening up about his private life.

The former One Direction singer has been vocal about his struggles with mental health and said in a recent interview the impact of fame “nearly killed” him.

The 26-year-old has also spoken about his relationship with ex-girlfriend Cheryl.

Payne said he has no problem with sharing his emotions with fans.

ipanews_e3ed0230-c4ce-4825-bc1c-83fb0c61679b_embedded3147468
*** FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE ***5th December 2019, London: Liam Payne performed an impromptu intimate gig for the Huawei FreedBuds 3 Ôlistening partyÕ at LondonÕs Omeara. Fans came together to hear Liam PayneÕs new EP – ÔLP1Õ before release, the exclusive Ôlistening partyÕ was in partnership with Huawei to launch their new FreeBuds 3s, allowing fans the opportunity to listen to the new album with crystal clear sound thanks to their active noise cancellation.

He told the PA news agency: “No, I’m happy.

“Honestly, I’m always happy with what I say.

“I say it in my own way and I make sure I say the things I want to put across, which is always fine with me.

“The only problem I have is the more I talk about, the more I have to talk about.

“So obviously it becomes many different questions about my life and different things.

“The more you do, the more they ask so it’s like a constant barrage of extra questions and then you always let something else out and then it gets more and more.”

Payne’s debut solo album, LP1, was released on Friday.

He said it had been an “intense process” since One Direction took an indefinite hiatus in 2016, six years after bursting onto the scene during the X Factor.

“It’s just been such a hectic bunch of years for me, coming into this now,” Payne said.

This month marks nine years since One Direction reached the X Factor final, only to lose to Matt Cardle.

Payne described the time since then as a “really weird, strange journey,” adding: “And here we are on the eve of my album release.

“You can’t really write it.”

Payne launched his album with a performance at London’s Omeara, along with a Huawei FreeBuds 3 listening party.

PA Media





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Brexit news: How Tusk pleaded to David Cameron not deliver EU exit | Politics | News


Donald Tusk has revealed how he pleaded with former Prime Minister David Cameron not to follow through with Brexit after the historic vote in 2016. Mr Tusk blamed David Cameron for the “mistake” of organising the referendum while Conservative Party leader. The former European Council President also hoped the vote could be undone, the morning after Britain opted to leave the bloc.

In his first interview since standing down as European Council President last week, Mr Tusk said Brexit was “the most painful and saddest experience” of his five years in office.

Speaking to the Guardian, Mr Tusk revealed how he blamed Mr Cameron for Britain’s historic decision to leave.

Mr Tusk said: “I asked him: ‘Is it a decision, is it an obligation to follow this result?’”

When Mr Cameron explained how plain the decision was, the former Polish prime minister said he continued to hope.

He said: “My intention was to at least prolong the whole debate in Europe and also in the UK.

“With this, maybe [it was] a little bit naive [to] hope that it could be reversible.”

Mr Tusk also said it would be better for both the European Union and Britain if Brexit does not happen.

He said: “The only difference would be that they [the UK] will still be here. They will be divided anyway: 50/50.

READ MORE: Nigel Farage sets red line for second referendum in 10 YEARS

“It’s pure illusion [to think] that it is easier to build good relations with the UK when they are outside.”

Mr Tusk has previously described himself as a “Remainer at heart” and just last month discussed whether Brexit could still be reversed.

Referencing a German philosopher, while delivering a speech at the College of Europe in Brugge, he said: “Hannah Arendt taught that things become irreversible only when people start to think so.

“So the only words that come to my mind today are simply: Don’t give up. In this match, we are already in extra time, perhaps it will even go to penalties?”

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During his speech, he also claimed Leavers had wanted to restore Britain’s global credentials but had achieved the “opposite” instead.

He said: “I have heard repeatedly from Brexiteers that they wanted to leave the European Union to make the United Kingdom great again, believing that only alone, it can truly be great.

“You could hear in these voices a longing for the Empire. But the reality is exactly the opposite.

“Only as part of a united Europe can the UK play a global role, only together can we confront, without any complexes, the greatest powers of this world.”

The UK is currently scheduled to leave the European Union at the end of January this year, but Britain’s departure hangs in the balance with the general election next week.

Conservative leader Boris Johnson has vowed to deliver his already agreed withdrawal agreement with the European Union, if elected.

Mr Johnson has repeatedly said his deal is “oven ready” and he will “get Brexit done”.

Writing on Twitter on Thursday, he said: “If there’s a Conservative majority government, we can deliver the change people voted for.

“We can get Brexit done. We can make a decisive break with the dither and indecision of the last three and a half years. We can unleash Britain’s potential.”



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Turkish president Erdoğan attends the opening of ‘Europe’s first eco-friendly mosque’ in Cambridge 


Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and folk singer Cat Stevens attend the opening of ‘Europe’s first eco-friendly mosque’ in Cambridge

  • Cat Stevens, now Yusuf Islam, invited President Erdogan to the mosque opening 
  • ‘Europe’s first eco-friendly mosque’ cost £23 million to build and is in Cambridge
  • Protesters planned demonstrations against Mr Erdogan’s visit to the mosque 

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is attending the official opening of an eco-friendly mosque in Cambridge this afternoon.

The leader, who is in the UK for a Nato summit in Watford, was reportedly invited to Cambridge Central Mosque by British singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens.

Mr Islam is patron of the Cambridge Mosque Trust, according to the mosque’s website.  

Protesters have planned demonstrations against Mr Erdogan’s visit.

The mosque cost £23 million to build and has green features including air-source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting and solar panels.

President Erdogan, who is in the UK for a Nato summit in Watford, was reportedly invited to the mosque's opening by British singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens (pictured)

President Erdogan, who is in the UK for a Nato summit in Watford, was reportedly invited to the mosque’s opening by British singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens (pictured)

President Erdogan arrives by motorcade to attend the official opening of the new Cambridge Central Mosque

President Erdogan arrives by motorcade to attend the official opening of the new Cambridge Central Mosque

One group, which includes Cambridge Stop The War Coalition and Cambridge Kurdistan Society, wrote on Facebook: ‘We will be standing in solidarity with the Kurdish community against Turkish war crimes and against the oppression of any who dare to protest against the Turkish Government.’

Cambridgeshire Police said a series of road closures will be in place around the mosque on Thursday.

Chief Inspector Paul Ormerod said: ‘We are working closely with the mosque to facilitate the official opening which hundreds of people have been invited to attend.

‘Closing the roads allows everyone to attend safely.’

The force said that invited guests include ‘dignitaries, senior politicians and ambassadors’.

The mosque is described on its website as ‘Europe’s first eco-mosque’ which has green features including air-source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting and solar panels.

'Europe's first eco-friendly mosque' cost £23m to build and the award-winning building is designed to be naturally lit all year round by large skylights in the roof

‘Europe’s first eco-friendly mosque’ cost £23m to build and the award-winning building is designed to be naturally lit all year round by large skylights in the roof

It has green features including air-source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting and solar panels

It has green features including air-source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting and solar panels

It was funded by more than 10,000 donations, ‘private and public, local and international’.

‘The main donor has been a consortium of government agencies in the Republic of Turkey, together with a Turkish private company (Yapi Merkezi), and the Qatar National Fund,’ the mosque’s website said. 

The award-winning mosque building is designed to be naturally lit all year round by large skylights in the roof.

Members of the public wave flags as the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, arrives by motorcade to attend the official opening of the new Cambridge Central Mosque

Members of the public wave flags as the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, arrives by motorcade to attend the official opening of the new Cambridge Central Mosque

President Donald Trump and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leave the stage after the family photo to head to the plenary session at the NATO summit at the Grove hotel in Watford

President Donald Trump and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leave the stage after the family photo to head to the plenary session at the NATO summit at the Grove hotel in Watford

It’s supplemented by low energy LED bulbs, while photovoltaic cells on the roof help generate renewable energy from sunlight.

The mosque is also heated and cooled by locally generated energy through heat pumps its basement.

Waste water and rainwater are used to flush toilets and irrigate the grounds.

The mosque scooped the 2019 Education and Public Sector prize in the annual Wood Awards and was named the best Community and Faith project 2019 AJ Architecture Awards for its design. 

The mosque was designed by husband and wife-led architecture firm Marks Barfield who also helped create the London Eye.



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Man accused of plotting Fife mosque attack


The facade of the Fife Islamic Centre in GlenrothesImage copyright
Google

Image caption

Sam Imrie is accused of targeting the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes

A man has appeared in court accused of preparing acts of terror, including planning an attack on an Islamic centre in Fife.

Sam Imrie, 22, is also said to have made social media posts “glorifying terrorist acts” committed by others, including Anders Brevik.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between June 2018 and July 2019.

Mr Imrie, who denied the charges at the High Court in Glasgow, is due to stand trial in June 2020.

Prosecutors also allege that the accused was offensive towards Muslim and Jewish communities as well as “encouraging acts of violence and threats”.

Having weapons

Sam Imrie faces accusations that he made online statements that he “intended to stream live footage of an incident” and that he was going to “carry out an attack on the Fife Islamic Centre” in Glenrothes.

The accused is said to have turned up there with a petrol can, carried out “observations”, made recordings on his mobile phone and repeatedly attempted to get in.

He is further accused of having weapons which he called his “arsenal” including nunchucks, a hammer, knives and a rifle scope.

It is claimed he also compiled details of “terrorist attacks on places of worship”.

Image caption

Sam Imrie denied the charges at a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow

The charge claims that the 22-year-old was in possession of neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim material.

Further claims include an allegation that he started a fire at Strathore Lodge in Thornton, Fife and uploaded footage of it online.

A third charge alleges he had a copy of “The Great Replacement” by Brenton Tarrant – who is accused of killing 51 people in New Zealand – as well as Anders Brevik’s “2083 – a European Declaration of Independence”.

Brevik is currently serving 21 years for killing 77 people in two terror attacks in Norway in 2011.

All three charges are under the Terrorism Act.

Sam Imrie faces further accusations of wilful fire-raising, possessing indecent images and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

His QC Jim Keegan pled not guilty on his behalf during a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.



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‘Start Here’: Takeaways from the Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment hearing


It’s Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019. Let’s start here.

1. Law and the Constitution

The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony from four constitutional scholars on whether President Donald Trump’s actions toward Ukraine were impeachable.

Three of the experts called by Democrats said the president should be impeached while the fourth witness, the expert brought by Republicans, said there wasn’t enough evidence of a quid pro quo.

Whereas the impeachment hearings for the House Intelligence Committee were about testimony from fact witnesses, ABC News Legal Analyst Kate Shaw tells “Start Here” today that the Judiciary Committee’s first hearing was all about the law and the Constitution.

“The real issue is, do these events add up to impeachable conduct? And I think you saw… constitutional law experts taking an affirmative position, yes, this conduct does satisfy the constitutional standard of high crimes and misdemeanors,” she says.

2. Georgia politics

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced his appointment to the state’s soon to be vacant Senate seat on Wednesday, choosing financial executive and Republican donor Kelly Loeffler over House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, a staunch Trump ally and the president’s own pick.

“This could create a potential rift between President Trump and Governor Kemp, but it’s also Kemp coming to terms with the fact that Georgia is a battleground,” ABC News’ Kendall Karson tells the podcast. “This is really Republicans saying that we need someone who can actually win back the voters that we are losing and those are specifically those female suburban voters.”

PHOTO: Businesswoman Kelly Loeffler speaks after she was introduced by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp as his pick to fill Georgias vacant U.S. Senate seat at the Georgia State Capitol, Dec. 4, 2019, in Atlanta.Elijah Nouvelage/AP
Businesswoman Kelly Loeffler speaks after she was introduced by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp as his pick to fill Georgia’s vacant U.S. Senate seat at the Georgia State Capitol, Dec. 4, 2019, in Atlanta.

3. Buffalo bishop resigns

Amid backlash over his handling of sexual abuse cases, a Catholic bishop in Buffalo, New York has resigned following a Vatican investigation.

ABC News’ David Wright reports on the allegations on today’s “Start Here” and what led to Bishop Richard Malone’s resignation, “Bishop Malone, for more than a year now has been steadfast in the face of mounting criticism over his handling of past allegations of sexual abuse by priests, saying that he wouldn’t resign. Now, suddenly, a change of heart.”

In a statement released after the Vatican announced his resignation, Malone acknowledged that his position had become untenable, but he pointed to “worldwide handling of sexual abuse” by members of the clergy, and insisted, “My decision to retire early was made freely and voluntarily” after he became aware of the conclusions in the Vatican’s report, which has not been made public.

PHOTO: St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City.STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images
St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

“Start Here,” ABC News’ flagship podcast, offers a straightforward look at the day’s top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or the ABC News app. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content and show updates.

Elsewhere:

‘Slashed the victim’: A Boston man was struck on the head with a snow shovel and slashed over the eye with a box cutter after allegedly enduring anti-gay slurs from the man who attacked him.

‘Unique traditions’: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and representatives from New Mexico lit the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree Wednesday, heralding the holiday season in a traditional evening ceremony that dates back more than 50 years.

‘Terrible tragedy’: An armed, active-duty sailor opened fire on three civilian employees, killing two, before he fatally shot himself at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard near Honolulu on Wednesday afternoon.

‘Scholar athlete’: A Philadelphia teenager has been charged in the fatal shooting of his twin brother, police said Wednesday.

From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:

‘What went down during the Trump impeachment Judiciary Committee hearing’: The House Judiciary Committee heard from four constitutional law experts who testified about whether they believed the evidence collected in the impeachment inquiry showed that President Trump had committed an impeachable offense as defined in the Constitution.

Doff your cap:

With Christmas just 3 weeks away, Laura Landerman-Garber and her team are hard at work trying to make sure that they bring holiday smiles to U.S. troops overseas and across the nation.

“This is like my Santa’s workshop,” Landerman-Garber said of her home to ABC affiliate WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire.

For 16 years, the Hollis, New Hampshire, woman has been collecting letters — and care packages — from across the U.S. and sending them out to the military.

PHOTO: Laura Landerman-Garber has been collecting and sending holiday cards to troops in the U.S. and overseas for 16 years. This year, she is sending more than 160,000.WMUR
Laura Landerman-Garber has been collecting and sending holiday cards to troops in the U.S. and overseas for 16 years. This year, she is sending more than 160,000.

Two years ago, she set a goal of 5,000 cards and mailed them out to servicemembers aboard an aircraft carrier. In 2019, 50,000 cards were mailed out. This year, Landerman-Garber’s challenge reached all 50 states. She even got cards from some of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

On Monday, Landerman-Garber posted to her Facebook group that she had received “160,000-plus” holiday cards.



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