1. Cherif Chekatt, France gunman who opened fire at Christmas market, is dead, reports say
Cherif Chekatt, the gunman who killed multiple people Tuesday at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, is dead, local reports said Thursday.
A wide-scale manhunt for the suspect had been ongoing since the shooting. Three people were killed in the attack and several others injured, police said.
France Interior Minister Christophe Castaner shared details on Twitter of how the incident unfolded. Around 9 p.m., police officers spotted a suspicious individual on Rue du Lazaret who fit the description of the suspect from Tuesday night's shooting, Castaner wrote in translated tweets. After the officers addressed him, the suspect turned around and opened fire at the officers, following which they responded, he said.
The suspect was armed with a pistol and a knife, a local police official told The Associated Press.
Strasbourg shooting: “Different kind of jihadism from those involved for a long time”
France: Gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar" in Strasbourg attack - prosecutor
2. Pakistan rejects “politically motivated” listing as violator of religious freedoms by US
As Washington announced that Islamabad had been added to a list of violators of religious freedoms, Pakistan on Wednesday rejected the “unilateral and politically motivated pronouncement”, and suggested the US introspect over the “exponential rise” of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in America.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had on Tuesday said that Pakistan was joining Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, North Korea, Burma, Eritrea, Sudan and Tajikistan on a list of countries that have “engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.”
The Foreign Office (FO) today issued Islamabad's reaction to the listing, saying: “Pakistan rejects the US State Department's unilateral and politically motivated pronouncement ... Besides the clear biases reflected from these designations, there are serious questions over the credentials and impartiality of the self-proclaimed jury involved in this unwarranted exercise.
3. Roxham Road residents financially compensated for asylum seeker “challenges”
The federal government is compensating people living on or near Roxham Road with up to $25,000 for the traffic associated with the influx of asylum seekers in recent years.
Among those receiving a payment is Susan Heller, who owns a 200-acre farm about a kilometre from the New York border, just west of the Champlain—Saint-Bernard de Lacolle crossing.
A delivery driver recently knocked on her door and handed her a package with a grin from ear to ear, she said, and then he waited for her to open the parcel so he could see the look on her face.
“It was just out of the blue,” Heller told CBC News. “On the first page, it said, from the government, 'you are the recipient of $25,000 due to the inconvenience of the traffic and the noise.’”
Heller is part of a group that has been helping asylum seekers — handing out warm clothing on the U.S. side of the border every Sunday because “they're still coming through.”
4. AUSTRALIA: Teen terror plotter jailed for a maximum of 16 years
A Bankstown teenager has been jailed for a maximum of 16 years by a judge who labelled him an “unequivocally committed terrorist.”
The 18-year-old waved to his family as he was led away, with the court told he still claims to be innocent.
He was captured on CCTV in 2016 with an a friend buying two knives, telling the salesman they wanted to go “pig hunting.”
Six days later he bought another two knives, this time bayonets which were hidden in his alleged co-accused’s bag.
But counter-terrorism police were on their tail and when they arrested him at a Muslim prayer hall he shouted “you’re all pigs, look at you like lambs to the slaughter… you will be slaughtered at the hands of Allah”.
5. Botched handling of gangster refugee claimant exposes Canada's screening weaknesses
Abdullahi Hashi Farah's candid confession about his gangster past clearly impressed the Immigration and Refugee Board officer who presided over his first detention hearing on Nov. 1, 2017.
“Caught while crossing the border illegally near Emerson, Man., the 27-year-old Somali citizen readily told the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers he had an extensive criminal record, had been a Somali Outlaws gang member in Minneapolis and was fleeing an arrest warrant for parole violation.
Farah insisted, however, that he had only been a gang member for two years, and had quit the criminal life eight years earlier.
At the detention hearing, the CBSA strongly recommended Farah be detained a few more days until it received his full criminal record from the U.S. But Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) member Trent Cook clearly placed more weight on Farah's admission about his background than on the agency's suspicion about the degree of his criminality. [...]
Had Cook heeded the CBSA recommendation and waited to obtain his entire U.S. criminal record, he would have learned that Farah used eight aliases, two different birth dates and had convictions in four states, including a felony gun conviction.
6. Shares in Canada Goose plunge as Chinese consumers call for boycott of the luxury clothing retailer amid fury over the arrest in Vancouver of Huawei CFO and subsequent detention of two Canadians in Beijing
Luxury clothing retailer Canada Goose has become the first Canadian brand to bear the brunt of China's consumer outrage following the arrest of a high-ranking Huawei executive, Chinese state media said.
Calls for a boycott of the Toronto-based apparel brand in China spread quickly on social media platform Weibo and were echoed by experts cited by state-run Global Times.
Stocks of the retailer, popular for its trendy parkas and high-end winter jackets, tumbled nearly 20 per cent over the past four days since Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou's arrest in Vancouver on December 1. She was granted bail on Tuesday evening following three hearings.
Canada Goose parkas, which retails up to £995 apiece, have quickly become a style icon in China since the brand launched in the country last year. The company's first flagship store in Beijing is scheduled to open on Saturday following the launch of the first one in Hong Kong in October.
7. Bavaria Riot: Migrants attack policemen, set refugee centre on fire
Eleven people, including one policeman, have been injured as a result of unrest in a so-called anchor centre for migrants in the southern Germany. Several Eritrean nationals are said to have attacked security staffers and policemen with stones and metal bars, as well as set the building on fire. A police raid later revealed drugs and stolen goods.
8. Afghan asylum seeker who stabbed two American tourists in random attack in Holland says he “will strike again” as court hears one victim is now in a wheelchair and “his life is ruined”
An Afghan asylum seeker who allegedly stabbed two American tourists in a terror attack in Amsterdam today vowed to “strike again.”
Jawed Santani, 19, allegedly launched the attack on August 31 at the city's Central Station and was shot in the hip by police just nine seconds later.
The judge at his trial today asked Santani if he had anything to say. He replied: “I will strike again.”
The two victims of the knife attack, both 38, are emotionally scarred for life, the court in Amsterdam heard.
One had his spine severed and has to use a wheelchair. His lawyer said that “his life is destroyed” because he can no longer work and needs constant care from others. [...]
Santani was very active on social media where he shared pictures and videos threatening Wilders.
Part of the evidence presented during the trial was a video found on Santani's phone in which members of the Taliban sing a song about killing, burning and burying those who insult the Prophet Muhammad.
9. Suspected jihadists kill 42 in Mali's nomadic Tuareg camps
Suspected jihadists on motorcycles have killed at least 42 people during a series of attacks on Tuareg nomadic camps in Mali, local leaders said Thursday.
Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, a Tuareg self-defense official, said the attacks took place Tuesday and Wednesday in the sprawling West African nation's eastern Menaka region. The victims, who included children as young as eight, were members of his group known as MSA, which has been fighting militants with ties to the Islamic State group who are active in the region.
This week's violence risks setting off a new cycle of intercommunal clashes in the Menaka region, where 100 civilians have already been killed this year. In September, similar motorcycle gangs attacked a nomadic community near Mali's border with Niger, killing at least 12 civilians.
Meanwhile, Malian authorities said Thursday they had arrested four men accused of planning attacks before the end of the year in several major West African capitals. Malian intelligence services said the men “were preparing to carry out attacks on certain sensitive targets” in the cities of Abidjan in Ivory Coast, Bamako in Mali and Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.
10. Egyptian president, Al Sisi, answers question on why many nations are closing the doors on immigration. You won't believe his answer!
“I don’t want to go very deep into this issue. Every country has the right to protect its people and their interests and should respect human rights, but in a framework that allows it to preserve its national interests.
“Instead of asking why these countries are closing their doors [to immigration, you should be asking yourself] why Afghans in Afghanistan don’t care about the fate of their country.
“Why, for the last 40 years, have they been killing each other and self-destructing? This situation also applies to other countries like Pakistan and Egypt, too – and Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia. Why are they doing this?
“We are tearing ourselves apart in our own countries. We then [have the nerve to] ask from countries that are toiling night and day to make progress in their countries, protect their people and maintain a certain standard of living to let us in and share the fruit of their labors – simply because we are at each other’s throats in our own countries!"