Knife Attack At Manchester Train Station On New Year's Eve
British counter-terrorism police were investigating a multiple stabbing in which the suspect reportedly shouted "Allah" at a Manchester railway station on New Year's Eve, officials said Tuesday. A man and a woman, both in their 50s, and a police officer were being treated for knife injuries following the stabbings on Monday evening at Manchester Victoria station in the northwestern English city. Witness Sam Clack, 38, a BBC radio producer, said he heard the suspect shouting "Allah" before and during the attack. He quoted the suspect as saying: "As long as you keep bombing other countries, this sort of shit is going to keep happening." The male suspect has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said in a statement. The woman suffered injuries to her face and abdomen and the man was wounded in the abdomen, while a British Transport Police officer sustained a stab wound to the shoulder. Their injuries were described as serious but not life-threatening. The two members of the public were taken to hospital. The incident happened at around 8:50pm (2050 GMT), when many revellers in the city would have been enjoying New Year's Eve celebrations. 'Blood-curdling scream' Clack said: "I just heard this most blood-curdling scream and looked down the platform. "He came towards me. I looked down and saw he had a kitchen knife with a black handle with a good 12 inch (30-centimetre) blade. "It was just fear, pure fear." Clack said police officers used a stun gun and pepper spray before, "six or seven" officers jumped on the man. Clack said he heard the alleged knifeman shouting "Allah" during the attack. He added: "He shouted it before, he shouted it during it -- 'Allah'." A witness who gave her name as Rebekka told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I heard the most blood-curdling scream I've ever heard and turned to see everyone running towards me. "I jumped off the tram track and started to run down the tram lines and hid behind some concrete slabs under one of the arches. "I was just really scared, I didn't know if I was going to die." Police 'open mind' Police declared the attack a "critical incident". GMP Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said the investigation was being led by counter-terrorism police and officers were keeping an "open mind". "Tonight's events will have understandably worried people but I need to stress that the incident is not ongoing, a man is in custody and there is currently no intelligence to suggest that there is any wider threat at this time," he said. "While we don't yet know the full circumstances and are keeping an open mind, officers from Counter Terror Policing North West are leading the investigation. "This is to ensure we have all the expertise available to us and progress our investigation as soon as we possibly can." The city's New Year celebrations went ahead in Albert Square despite the incident, with a firework display taking place as planned, though increased security was brought in. The city experienced a suicide attack in May 2017, when 22 people were killed and 139 wounded at a concert by the US singer Ariana Grande at the Manchester Arena.
Kim New Year Warning To Trump...
North Korea could consider a change of approach if the US maintains its sanctions on the nuclear-armed country, leader Kim Jong Un warned in his New Year speech Tuesday after 12 months of diplomatic rapprochement. "If the US does not keep its promise made in front of the whole world... and insists on sanctions and pressures on our republic," Kim said, "we may be left with no choice but to consider a new way to safeguard our sovereignty and interests". Kim was referring to his summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June, when he said he had "fruitful talks" and "exchanged constructive ideas". At the time the two leaders signed a vaguely-worded pledge on denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but progress has since stalled with Pyongyang and Washington arguing over what that means. The North is subject to multiple sets of United Nations Security Council sanctions over banned nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programmes, which have seen it carry out six atomic tests and launch rockets capable of reaching the entire US mainland. "I am ready to sit with the US President again at any time in the future and will make efforts by all means to produce a result that will be welcomed by the international community," Kim said in his address, broadcast by the North's state television. Kim spoke sitting in a dark leather armchair, in a large office flanked with packed bookshelves along one side and paintings of his predecessors, his father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung behind him. As he began speaking -- in a deep, gravelly voice -- a clock behind him showed the time as just moments after 12. But at times during the address it was blurred out, and towards the end of the half-hour broadcast it was close to 1, suggesting the speech was recorded in several takes. Year of rapprochement The leader's New Year speech is a key moment in the North Korean political calendar, reviewing the past and setting out out goals for the future. The 2018 address was a crucial catalyst for the developments that followed. It came after a year of high tensions when the North made rapid progress in its weapons programmes and fears of conflict rose. The two leaders traded personal insults - Trump mocked Kim as "Little Rocket Man", who in turn called him a "mentally deranged US dotard" - and threats of war. On January 1 2018 Kim ordered mass production of missiles and bombs and warned the whole US mainland was "within the range of our nuclear strike and the nuclear button is on my office desk all the time". But he also offered to send a team to the forthcoming Winter Olympics in the South - opening the way for the South's dovish President Moon Jae-In to play the role of peace broker. A rapid sequence of developments followed, with athletes and a senior delegation led by his powerful sister going to the Pyeongchang Games in February, before Kim met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing ahead of the Singapore summit with Trump. Kim also met with Moon three times last year -- twice at the border truce village of Panmunjom and once in the North's capital Pyongyang -- and at the weekend vowed to meet Moon "frequently" this year. In his speech Tuesday Kim said the US and South Korea should no longer carry out joint military exercises -- which have been largely halted since the Singapore meeting -- calling such drills "a source of tension". "War-related equipment -- including strategic assets of outside powers -- should no longer be allowed to be brought in," he added.
Landslide Win For Sheikh Hasina In Bangladesh
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has secured a fourth term with a landslide victory in polls the opposition slammed as "farcical" over claims of vote-rigging, and clashes between rival supporters that killed at least 17 people. Hasina's ruling Awami League party and its allies won 288 seats in the 300-seat parliament, with the main opposition securing only six seats, Election Commission secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said. Hasina's government had mounted a crackdown on the opposition, an alliance led by the Bangladesh National Party, which urged the country's election commission to void the results. "We are demanding that a fresh election is held under a neutral government as early as possible," Kamal Hossain, who heads the alliance, told reporters. Deadly violence and bitter rivalry that marred the election campaign spilled over into voting day, even as authorities imposed tight security with 600,000 troops, police and other security forces deployed across the country. Thirteen people were killed in clashes between Awami League and BNP supporters, police said, while three men were shot by police who said they were protecting polling booths. An auxiliary police member was also killed by armed opposition activists, according to officials. Hasina, 71, has been lauded for boosting economic growth in the poor South Asian nation during her decade in power and for welcoming Rohingya refugees fleeing a military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar. But critics accuse her of authoritarianism and crippling the opposition -- including arch-rival and BNP leader Khaleda Zia who is serving 17 years in prison on graft charges. The opposition alliance on Sunday accused Hasina's party of using stuffed ballot boxes and other illegal means to fix the result. BNP spokesman Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal told reporters there were "irregularities" in 221 of the 300 seats contested. "Voters are not allowed to enter booths. Especially women voters are being forced to vote for the boat," Alal said, referring to the Awami League symbol. 'We'll Cast Your Vote' Bangladesh election commission spokesman S.M. Asaduzzaman told AFP the body had "received a few allegations of irregularities" and was investigating. Hasina did not immediately respond to the accusations but said in the run-up to the vote that it would be free and fair. Voting in the capital Dhaka was largely peaceful as convoys of soldiers and paramilitary forces were on the streets where most traffic was banned. However, voters in provincial areas reported intimidation. One voter, Atiar Rahman, said he was beaten by ruling party activists in the central district of Narayanganj. "They told me not to bother, 'We'll cast your vote on your behalf'," he told AFP. The opposition said the unrest was stirred up to deter voters, and presiding officers reported a low turnout across the country. Sunday's deaths brought to 21 the official police toll for election violence since the ballot was announced on November 8. Police said they acted "in self-defence" when they fired on opposition supporters who stormed a polling booth, killing one. A man was also shot by police after he tried to steal a ballot box. Free And Fair? Experts say Hasina's victory will be sullied by accusations that she hamstrung opponents. The opposition claims more than 15,000 of its activists were detained during the campaign, crushing its ability to mobilise support. Seventeen opposition candidates were arrested over what they said were trumped-up charges while another 17 were disqualified from running by courts, which Hasina's opponents say are government controlled. Human Rights Watch and other international groups said the crackdown created a climate of fear which could prevent opposition supporters from casting ballots. The United States raised concerns about the credibility of the election while the United Nations called for greater efforts to make the vote fair. The leadership of Bangladesh has alternated between Hasina and Zia, allies-turned-foes, over the last three decades. Hasina's victory secures her third consecutive term in office, and her fourth overall. A daughter of Bangladesh's first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Hasina was gifted victory in the 2014 election when the BNP boycotted the vote claiming it was not free and fair. Rights groups have since accused her administration of stifling freedom of speech by toughening a draconian anti-press law and the enforced disappearance of dissenters. Hasina rejects accusations of authoritarianism but analysts say she feared young voters would support the BNP. Her government was criticised this year for its heavy handling of weeks of major student protests that brought Dhaka to a standstill.