Tag Archives: prepares

Portland prepares for far-right rally expected to lead to violence

Portland prepares for far-right rally expected to lead to violencePatriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson surrenders but Proud Boys to fore in event expected to attract ‘antifa’ counter-protestIn a photograph from 4 August, a protester participates in a rally in Portland, Oregon. Photograph: Mark Graves/APAs Portland prepared for what may be one of the biggest political demonstrations of the US summer, longtime rightwing leader Joey Gibson turned himself in to city authorities.Outside the Multnomah County Justice Center, Gibson told reporters, and his supporters via Facebook, the arrest warrant against him was “without a doubt an assault on the first amendment”.“I have never been violent,” he said.The 35-year-old is one of six men associated with rightwing rallies in the Oregon city to be arrested or charged since 7 August, relating to a violent incident on 1 May at Cider Riot, a bar favored by the left.Video shows men who have attended Gibson’s Patriot Prayer rallies in the city, and who arrived at the bar in his company, exchanging pepper spray with bar patrons, striking people with batons and fighting.Gibson claimed the charges against him were “completely political. This is [Portland mayor] Ted Wheeler doing everything he can because he’s been caught.” He accused Wheeler of “coordinating with” and “protecting” anti-fascist demonstrators or “antifa”, a refrain in his speeches since 2017.Gibson’s attorney, Multnomah county Republican chair James Buchal, said in a statement the charges were “part and parcel of the dishonest campaign by Portland leaders to blame out-of-town demonstrators for violence that began and persists because antifa wants to shut down any rightwing demonstrations in Portland.”Asked via email if he thought the charges were timed in relation to the weekend rally, Buchal answered: “Yes.”A booking photo shows Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson. Photograph: Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office/APGibson has organized protests in the city throughout the Trump era, under the banner of the organization he founded, Patriot Prayer. Several have become violent.Gibson’s critics have pointed to the presence at times of members of white nationalist groups like Identity Evropa and the PDX Stormers. But above all the events have been characterized by the growing presence of the Proud Boys, a “western chauvinist” group.The Proud Boys have played a leading role in the organization of Saturday’s event. The main promoter, Joe Biggs, is a Proud Boy, a combat veteran and a sometime presenter on the Infowars conspiracy channel.Biggs has issued a series of threats to “antifa” in recent weeks, leading up to an event framed by the right as a response to the conservative writer Andy Ngo being milkshaked – having a drink poured over him – and punched at a rally in Portland on 29 June.The event’s Facebook page and a page started by Biggs following an initial ban were removed from the site on Friday. That afternoon, Biggs posted to the encrypted messaging app Telegram photographs of he and other men lifting weights in a back yard.City authorities spent the day fortifying the waterfront area where attendees at the un-permitted “Amend Domestic Terrorism” rally are expected to face counter-protesters. In the afternoon, the Portland Bureau of Transportation began ferrying in concrete barriers.In a press conference, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) spokeswoman Lt Tina Jones said it had been assessed that the event was likely to be “beyond the resources” of her department, even though all leave had been cancelled for the day.PPB issued a list of partner agencies helping with enforcement, crowd management and preparation. It included police departments statewide, Oregon state police, the FBI and various municipal authorities.Earlier in the week, Mayor Wheeler assembled members of 90 community organizations in Portland’s central square. He denounced violence and announced a no-tolerance policy for lawbreakers at the rally.



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Saudi prepares for hajj as Gulf tensions persist

Saudi prepares for hajj as Gulf tensions persistMore than 2.5 million Muslims will on Friday begin the annual hajj pilgrimage in the Islamic holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, against a backdrop of tensions in the Gulf. Crowds of worshippers have already begun to gather in Mecca in the days ahead of the hajj, the focal point of the Islamic calendar. The pilgrims will undertake religious rites that have remained unchanged since the founding of Islam 14 centuries ago.



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Trump threatens to deport millions starting next week as he prepares to announce 2020 bid

Trump threatens to deport millions starting next week as he prepares to announce 2020 bidDonald Trump has promised to begin deporting “millions” of people living in the US illegally, on the eve of the formal announcement of his 2020 presidential re-election campaign, Writing on Twitter late on Monday night, the president, who is seeking to portray himself as a strong and confident candidate to an unconvinced electorate said those entering the US would be “removed as fast as they come in” and said US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would begin removals next week.He also praised Mexican efforts to prevent illegal border crossings.“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” the president wrote. “They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement. "The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress. They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!”Mr Trump campaigned heavily on immigration during his 2016 presidential bid, and is expected to use similar tactics to fire up support among his base ahead of next year’s election.> Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people…….> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) > > 18 June 2019But despite his campaign talk of building a wall which he said Mexico would pay for and of stopping “bad hombres” coming into the US, immigration from countries south of the US border has risen during his presidency.Mr Trump recently threatened to hit Mexico with tariffs on goods if the country didn’t improve border enforcement.The move prompted Mexican authorities to dispatch their national guard and step-up coordination and enforcement efforts.A Mexican official, who briefed reporters in Washington on Monday, appeared to claim the efforts had resulted in an overnight success. He said US Border Patrol arrested 2,600 people per day after the agreement was struck on 7 June, according to Politico. This would represent a fall of almost a half from the average of 4,300 border arrests every day in May.Mr Trump is due to announce his 2020 presidential re-election bid on Tuesday.



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The Latest: Downstream Missouri River prepares for flooding

The Latest: Downstream Missouri River prepares for floodingST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the Midwest (all times local):



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New Zealand prepares to bury victims of terror attack on its Muslim community

New Zealand prepares to bury victims of terror attack on its Muslim communityThe stricken Muslim community of Christchurch was preparing to bury its dead after the far right terrorist attack on two mosques which stunned New Zealand. Graves for the victims of the worst mass shooting in the country’s history were being dug on Saturday, in anticipation of their bodies being released by the authorities. Workmen using diggers carefully prepared the ground in a quiet corner of Memorial Park Cemetery, with colleagues erecting a cloth over a fence to preserve the dignity of their work on part of the site set aside for Muslim burials, the graves facing Mecca. A few hours earlier Brenton Tarrant, the Australian national accused of the rampage, appeared in court in Christchurch, where he made a white supremacist gesture with his hand while flanked by two police officers. The 28-year-old was charged with one initial count of murder but more are expected to follow and he was remanded in custody until April 5. Police believe Tarrant was responsible for both the attack on the Al Noor mosque and the shooting at the Linwood Islamic Centre a short drive away. Fifty people were killed. A further 36, mostly men, are being treated for injuries at the city’s main hospital, the youngest a boy of two. Two people remain in a critical condition, including a four-year-old girl who was taken to Auckland’s Starship Hospital. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (C) speaks with a representative of the Canterbury Refugee Centre in Christchurch on March 16 Credit: Marty Melville/AFP Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, said yesterday the country’s gun laws would be tightened, with regulations around semi-automatic weapons, such as the ones allegedly used by Tarrant, "one of the issues" the government would consider. Praising the bravery of two rural police officers who detained Tarrant at gunpoint as he allegedly tried to flee from the scene of the shootings, Ardern said he would have gone on target more victims. "It was absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack,” she said. Among Tarrant’s alleged victims were children, the elderly, recently arrived refugees and long settled migrants who had built a new life in a country one of them had described as "a slice of paradise". Daoud Nabi, a 71-year-old retired engineer who migrated from Afghanistan to New Zealand following the Soviet invasion, was the first to die on what Ardern would later call the country’s “darkest day.” In the grisly video allegedly filmed by Tarrant and streamed live online during the attack, the pensioner can be heard saying “hello brother” as he approached the gunman at the entrance to the Al Noor mosque. There were reports that Mr Nabi stepped in front of someone else to confront Tarrant, taking the bullets for himself. Omar Nabi speaks outside the district court in Christchurch, about losing his father Haji Daoud in the mosque attacks Credit: Edgar Su/Reuters His son Omar, 43, said that was completely in character for his father, who had believed New Zealand to be a "slice of paradise." “Just helping people is his main thing. It makes me feel like he wanted other people to live,” he said. “To die in the masjid, in the mosque, if something like this happens the golden gates open for you.” At just three-years-old Mucad Ibrahim is thought to have been the youngest victim of the massacre. He had gone to the Al Noor mosque with his father and older brother Abdi, but was lost in the melee when the firing started. Abdi described his little brother as "energetic, playful and liked to smile and laugh a lot", confessing he felt nothing but “hatred” for his killer. Barely a year older than Mucad was Abdullahi Dirie, who was photographed cradled in a man’s arms outside the mosque after being fatally shot. His father and four siblings survived the attack. Abdullahi’s family had made their home in New Zealand after fleeing Somalia in the mid-1990s as refugees. His uncle Abdulrahman Hashi, 60, a preacher at Dar Al Hijrah Mosque in Minneapolis, said: “You cannot imagine how I feel. He was the youngest in the family. This is a problem of extremism. Some people think the Muslims in their country are part of that, but these are innocent people.” Mucad Ibrahim, 3, who is feared dead after being lost in the melee during the terror attack on the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch The family of Khaled Mustafa thought they had found safety in New Zealand after fleeing the bloody chaos of Syria only a few months ago. But he too became a victim of hatred when he was shot dead while praying with his two sons, Hamza, who is now missing feared dead and Zaid, 13, who is recovering from a six-hour operation on his wounds. Ali Akil, a spokesman for Syrian Solidarity New Zealand, said Mr Mustafa's wife and daughter, who were not at the mosque on Friday, were in "total shock, devastation and horror". He added: “They survived atrocities and arrived here in a safe haven only to be killed in the most atrocious way.." Among those also feared killed was a sports loving teenager described by his family as "a regular, typical, Kiwi kid." Sayyad Milne, who had dreams of playing football professionally, had gone to the Al Noor mosque with his mother Noraini. She managed to flee but Sayyad was cut down as the terrorist made his way through the building. Brydie Henry, Sayyad's half sister, said she was "devastated" by the attack. "They were good people, just living good lives. It's just awful," she added. Sayyad Milne, 14, who was at Friday prayers when the shooting started, is believed to be dead Hosne Ara Parvin, 42, who moved to New Zealand from Bangladesh, is reported to have taken the full force of the bullets after leaping in front of the gunman to shield her husband Farid Uddin, who was in a wheelchair. Naeem Rashid, a Pakistani-born teacher, also tried to rush the gunman, but died later of his wounds. His son, 22-year-old Talha Naeem, a civil engineering graduate, was among those killed. Mr Rashid’s wife and Naeem’s mother Ambreen said: “I still can't understand or believe why and how this happened. But, I know that my husband is a hero. He always helped people and even in his last moments, he did what he could to help others." Khaja Mohiuddin, a chef, described how a fellow worshipper saved people by tackling the gunman while he and about 15 others hid at the Linwood mosque. He said: “The guy was there with us and said ‘we have to do something”, so he ran and just pulled the gun down.” One of Mr Mohiuddin's friends was killed, shot through the head. Two others are seriously injured, one with a collarbone “ripped off”, the other shot in the shoulder. While Prime Minister Ardern has vowed to change New Zealand’s gun laws, for Mr Mohiuddin it is too late. “That doesn’t return our loved ones. I know I have lost someone about whom I care, and my two other friends, I do not know for how many months they will be on a bed," he said. "It will not return their time nor my mate’s life back.," he said. Others feared killed were Mohammad Atta Alayan, Palestinian refugee who helped raise funds to build the mosque and Haroon Mahmood, a PhD student from Pakistan, who had two young children. Khaled Mustafa, Syrian refugee who fled Isil, was shot while praying. Christchurch residents pay their respects by placing flowers for the victims of the mosque attacks Credit: Tessa Burrows/AFP New Zealand futsal goalkeeper Atta Elayyan, 33, was also killed, as was retired engineer Ali Elmadani, who migrated from the United Arab Emirates in 1998. His daughter Maha Elmadani said: "My Dad always told us to be strong and patient so that's what we are all trying to do. For his sake. He considered New Zealand home and never thought something like this would happen here." The city of Christchurch once again bears the hallmarks of compassion that residents leaned on to help them through the dark months after the earthquake of February 2011 that claimed 185 lives. Opposite the hospital a row of traffic cones was adorned with flowers, while a nearby safety barrier was littered with bouquets. A poster adorned with angels, butterflies and flowers read: “In loveing (sic) memory of all the beautiful Muslims who had their whole beautiful lives ripped away. We love you all and we know you are in a better place now. We will always walk with you side by side.” Lianne Dalziel, the Mayor of Christchurch said the killings were an “act of cowardice” by a “terrorist” who came to the city with “hate in his heart”. She added: “I want us not to be divided by what has happened, because hate divides. I want us to be united, and that’s what love and compassion and kindness are all about. “I believe that we can, because of our previous experience, recover from this. We can recover in a way that we will be stronger than we were before.” Police Commissioner Mike Bush said this morning that the death toll has risen to 50 Credit: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said this morning that the death toll has risen to 50 after investigators found another body at one of the mosques.  "Security around mosques will continue until Police believe there is no threat," he said. Two other people, a man and a woman, arrested soon after the shootings were not linked to the gunman. The woman had been released without charge, the man has been charged with firearm offences.    A list of those killed in the shootings had now been compiled and families had been advised. Mr Bush said the bodies have not yet been returned to the families as police need to determine the cause of death for each one.   "We have been working pathologist and coroners, and the chief coroner, on that and we have to be clear on cause of death and the identity before we can do that. "We are so aware of the cultural and religious needs so we are doing that as quickly and sensitively as possible," Mr Bush added. The Police chief also said that it was "obvious" that a modified weapon had been used.



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Pakistan prepares to return Indian pilot as confrontation cools

Pakistan prepares to return Indian pilot as confrontation coolsWorld powers have urged restraint from the two nations, as tensions escalated following a suicide car bombing that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Feb. 14. The disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir has been at the root of two of those conflicts. Both governments claimed they downed enemy jets on Wednesday, with Pakistan capturing an Indian pilot whose MiG fighter jet crashed in enemy territory after dogfight with a Pakistani JF-17.



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Security men and metal detectors: Vietnam prepares for Trump-Kim summit

Security men and metal detectors: Vietnam prepares for Trump-Kim summitNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet in Hanoi on Wednesday and Thursday, hoping to build on a commitment they made at their first meeting, in Singapore in June, to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear bombs. Vietnam has confirmed that Kim will arrive for an official goodwill visit as well as the summit with Trump, but has released no further details regarding the location of meetings. A Reuters witness saw Vietnamese soldiers in camouflaged fatigues sweeping the area around the Metropole with a metal detector.



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Security men and metal detectors: Vietnam prepares for Trump-Kim summit

Security men and metal detectors: Vietnam prepares for Trump-Kim summitNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet in Hanoi on Wednesday and Thursday, hoping to build on a commitment they made at their first meeting, in Singapore in June, to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear bombs. Vietnam has confirmed that Kim will arrive for an official goodwill visit as well as the summit with Trump, but has released no further details regarding the location of meetings. A Reuters witness saw Vietnamese soldiers in camouflaged fatigues sweeping the area around the Metropole with a metal detector.



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US senate passes border bill as Trump prepares to declare national emergency

US senate passes border bill as Trump prepares to declare national emergencyThe US Senate has passed a major spending bill that would effectively avoid another federal government shutdown, sending the legislation to the president’s desk for a signature. Now, the only question is whether Donald Trump intends to sign it. The bipartisan measure is the product of weeks of negotiations after the longest government shutdown in history, in which Mr Trump demanded billions of dollars towards his campaign promise of building a wall sprawling across the entirety of the US-Mexico border.



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Venezuela opposition prepares protest, presses for aid to be let in

Venezuela opposition prepares protest, presses for aid to be let inVenezuela’s opposition plans more marches Tuesday to press the military to let in US humanitarian aid, which President Nicolas Maduro says is the stepping stone to an invasion. Opposition leader and self declared president Juan Guaido will lead a rally in eastern Caracas but demonstrations have been called all over the country. “We are going back to the streets to demand the entry of humanitarian aid that will save the lives of more than 300,000 Venezuelans,” said Guaido, who is speaker of the National Assembly.



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