Connect with us

World

New York subway shooting suspect arrested on mass transit violence charge

The man suspected of setting off smoke bombs and spraying gunfire inside a New York City subway car, injuring 23 people, was arrested on Wednesday on a federal charge of violently attacking a mass transportation system, capping an around-the-clock manhunt.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Frank Robert James, 62, was taken into custody in lower Manhattan, about 8 miles from the scene of Tuesday’s assault, after authorities determined his whereabouts with the help of tips from residents, some of whom posted sightings on social media, police said.

The New York Times and New York Post, each citing law enforcement sources, reported that James himself alerted police to his general whereabouts on Wednesday in a call he placed to a tip line from a McDonald’s fast-food outlet. Those news accounts could not be independently verified by Reuters.

James’ arrest came 30 hours after an attack that erupted during the morning commuter rush as the Manhattan-bound N line train was pulling into an underground station in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park community, renewing fears of violence in the city’s subway system.

“My fellow New Yorkers, we got him. We got him,” Mayor Eric Adams told a press conference announcing the arrest. “We’re going to protect the people of this city and apprehend those who believe they can bring terror to everyday New Yorkers.”

James, a Bronx native with recent addresses in Philadelphia and Milwaukee, had nine prior arrests in New York and three in New Jersey, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD).

A 10-page criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors on Wednesday in US District Court in Brooklyn charges James with a single count committing a terrorist or other violent attack against a mass transportation system. If convicted, he could face life in prison, officials said.

He was scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday, the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn said.

James is accused of setting off two smoke bombs inside a subway car moments before opening fire on fellow passengers with a semi-automatic handgun. The pistol, purchased in 2011, was later recovered from the scene, along with three extended-ammunition magazines, a torch, a hatchet, a bag of fireworks and a container of gasoline, according to police and court documents.

Smoke and gunfire

Police said 10 people were struck by gunfire, five of them listed in critical but stable condition on Wednesday. Thirteen others were injured in the frantic rush to flee the smoke-filled train. All of the victims were expected to survive.

The attack was the latest in a string of violent crimes unnerving passengers in the America’s largest metropolitan transit system, including instances of commuters being pushed onto subway tracks from station platforms. The issue has posed a new challenge for Adams, who has pledged to help rebuild passenger numbers that plunged during the coronavirus pandemic and ensure greater public safety.

Police said James was apprehended without incident in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood after he was spotted by onlookers who recognized him from wanted posters and relayed his location to authorities.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, this is the guy,’” one bystander, Zack Dahhan, told reporters of his encounter with the suspect before he helped alert police in a nearby patrol car.

“He had a bag and was walking on the sidewalk,” Dahhan recounted. “I saw a lot of people come behind him. I said to the people, ‘Please guys, please keep some space, this guy is going to do something.’”

Officers were initially dispatched to a McDonald’s outlet on the basis of a hotline tip, then widened their search around the restaurant until he was located nearby a short time later, police said.

Youtube and U-haul as clues

Authorities told reporters they were still investigating what James’ motive might have been. One focus of that inquiry, according to an FBI affidavit in the case, was a number of YouTube videos he posted addressing statements to New York City’s mayor about homelessness and the subway system.

A YouTube account apparently belonging to James was taken down Wednesday for violating the online video platform’s “community guidelines,” the company said.

Investigators initially linked James to the attack, the FBI affidavit said, when a sweep of the crime scene in Brooklyn’s 36th Street subway station turned up a credit card in his name and keys to a rented U-Haul van later found parked two blocks from an N-train stop.

In addition to items found at the subway station, searches of James’ apartment and a storage locker in Philadelphia uncovered more handgun and rifle magazines, ammunition, a Taser and a pistol barrel attachment for a silencer, the FBI said.

On Wednesday morning, with the gunman then still at large, New Yorkers went about their daily commutes, saying the violence gave them pause but did not diminish their need for mass transit.

“I was a little cautious but, hey, we’re back to normal,” passenger Matthew Mosk said on an N train that had just passed through the 36th Street station. “NYC strong. Just like it never happened.”

Read more:

Police hunt gunman who wounded 10 in Brooklyn subway attack

At least 13 injured in Brooklyn subway shooting incident

Shooters still at large following mass killing in California

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

World

Ukraine army denies claims Lysychansk is ‘encircled’

The Ukrainian army on Saturday rejected claims that Moscow-backed separatists and Russian forces had surrounded the key eastern city of Lysychansk, but said heavy fighting was ongoing on its edges.
“Fighting rages around Lysychansk. (But) luckily the city has not been encircled and is under control of the Ukrainian army,” Ruslan Muzytchuk, a spokesman for the Ukrainian National Guard, said on Ukrainian television, after a separatist spokesman made the allegations earlier in the day.
Capturing the city would allow the Russians to push deeper into the wider eastern region of the Donbas, which has become the focus of their offensive since failing to capture Kyiv after launching their military operation in Ukraine in late February.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
Across the Donets river from Lysychansk, the Russians seized the neighboring city Sievierodonetsk last week.
Andrei Marotchko, a spokesman for the separatist forces, earlier told the TASS news agency: “Today the Luhansk popular militia and Russian forces occupied the last strategic heights, which allows us to confirm that Lysychansk is completely encircled.”
Read more:

More surface-to-air missile systems for Ukraine to fight Russia, US announces

Kyiv requests Turkey detain Russian-flagged ship carrying Ukrainian grain

Ukraine army accuses Russia of firing phosphorus bombs on Snake Island

Continue Reading

World

China adds $45 billion in stimulus to pay for infrastructure projects

China announced another stimulus measure to finance infrastructure projects, part of its push to drive investment and increase employment in the second half of this year as the economy starts to recover from the effects of Covid lockdowns.

The government will raise 300 billion yuan ($44.8 billion) to finance infrastructure projects by selling financial bonds and other methods, the State Council chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided Wednesday, according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Those bonds are usually sold by policy banks. The money will be used to replenish the capital of major projects such as new types of infrastructure, the statement on Thursday said.

These types of financial tools can help expand effective investment, drive employment and facilitate consumption and allow China to stick to its stance of “not flooding the economy with stimulus or over-printing money,” the meeting concluded, adding that this will help banks achieve a better match between their loans and deposits and improve the transmission of monetary policy.

The People’s Bank of China will take the lead to support China Development Bank and Agricultural Development Bank of China to raise the funds via financial bonds, according to a late Friday report by Financial News, a newspaper published by the central bank.

The top economic planner will come up with a list of projects for the investment, in collaboration with other agencies and state-owned enterprises, it said.

Infrastructure projects are a key factor in determining how fast the economy can grow in the remaining six months of this year as other sources of growth such as housing and private consumption are still slowing.

President Xi Jinping pledged last month to strive to meet economic targets for the year, although Beijing’s Covid Zero strategy has caused analysts to cut their forecasts for annual growth to levels far below the official goal of around 5.5 percent.

The announcement lifted the share price of heavy equipment makers in the onshore market. SANY Heavy Industry Co. climbed 4.1 percent on Friday, Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co. gained 4.9 percent and Jiangsu Hengli Hydraulic Co. rose 1.9 percent, while the benchmark CSI 300 Index dipped 0.4 percent.

New Stimulus

The new stimulus can in theory leverage as much as 1.2 trillion yuan in credit from the banking sector and capital markets, based on the government requirement that the money should be at least 20 percent of overall investment, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. economists including Lu Ting.

But its impact in reality could be much smaller, and won’t be enough to plug an estimated 6 trillion yuan funding gap that the government has to fill if it wants to carry out its proactive fiscal policy, they wrote in a note Friday.

Local authorities are under huge financial stress this year due to the cost of Covid controls and tax cuts, as well as a slump in land sales that reduced a key source of revenue.

The new money is in addition to the 800 billion yuan the three policy banks were told in June to lend for infrastructure projects. That loan quota has already been allocated to the policy banks, local newspaper the 21st Century Business Herald reported Friday, citing sources it didn’t identify.

China Development Bank was allowed to boost lending by 400 billion yuan, Agricultural Development Bank of China’s quota for new credit was 300 billion yuan and another 100 billion yuan was assigned to the Export-Import Bank of China, the newspaper reported.

The development banks’ main source of funds is issuing bonds or loans from China’s central bank, although it hasn’t been announced where the money to finance these new loans will come from.

The size of the additional bonds is only a fraction of what the policy banks normally issue in a year. The banks sold a gross amount of 5.5 trillion yuan bonds in the interbank market last year, with a monthly average of 460 billion yuan, according to Bloomberg calculation based on Chinabond and Shanghai Clearing House data. Between January and May this year, they issued 2.3 trillion yuan in bonds.

The State Council, which is China’s cabinet, also vowed to implement a batch of investment projects that are aimed at increasing workers’ income and boosting their consumption.

These projects will have to spend more than 30 percent of central government funding on paying workers, up from 15 percent previously.

Read more:

China FM visits Myanmar amid opposition protest

China lashed by year’s first typhoon, record rains forecast

TikTok admits some China-based employees can access US user data

Continue Reading

World

UN condemns protesters’ storming of Libya’s parliament

A senior UN official for Libya on Saturday condemned the storming of the parliament’s headquarters by angry demonstrators as part of protests in several cities against the political class and deteriorating economic conditions.
Hundreds of protesters marched in the streets of the capital Tripoli and other Libyan cities on Friday, with many attacking and setting fire to government buildings, including the House of Representatives in the eastern city of Tobruk.
“The people’s right to peacefully protest should be respected and protected but riots and acts of vandalism such as the storming of the House of Representatives headquarters late yesterday in Tobruk are totally unacceptable,” said Stephanie Williams, the UN special adviser on Libya, on Twitter.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
Friday’s protests came a day after the leaders of the parliament and another legislative chamber based in Tripoli failed to reach an agreement on elections during UN-mediated talks in Geneva. The dispute now centers on the eligibility requirements for candidates, according to the UN.
Libya failed to hold elections in December following challenges including legal disputes, controversial presidential hopefuls and the presence of rogue militias and foreign fighters in the country.
The failure to hold the vote was a major below to international efforts to bring peace to the Mediterranean nation. It has opened a new chapter in its long-running political impasse, with two rival governments now claiming power after tentative steps toward unity in the past year.
The protesters, frustrated from years of chaos and division, have called for the removal of the current political class and elections to be held. They also rallied against dire economic conditions in the oil-rich nation, where prices have risen for fuel and bread and power outages are a regular occurrence.
There were fears that militias across the country could quash the protests as they did in 2020 demonstrations when they opened fire on people protesting dire economic conditions.
Sabadell Jose, the European Union envoy in Libya, called on protesters to “avoid any type of violence.” He said Friday’s demonstrations demonstrated that people want “change through elections and their voices should be heard.”
Libya has been wrecked by conflict since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country was then for years split between rival administrations in the east and west, each supported by different militias and foreign governments.
Read more:

US envoy says Libya elections could proceed without single government

Power cut protests hit Libyan cities, showing anger at factional leaders

Libya’s NOC to reopen Mabruk oil field in Q1 2023 at up to 25,000 bpd: Statement

Continue Reading

Trending