BERLIN — German authorities say six people were detained in connection with what police and prosecutors allege was a plan to carry out an attack on Berlin’s half-marathon Sunday. “There were isolated indications that those arrested, aged between 18 and 21 years, were participating in the preparation of a crime in connection with this event,” prosecutors and police wrote in a joint statement.
Berlin police tweeted that six people were detained in cooperation with the city’s prosecutor’s office.
The German daily Die Welt first reported that police foiled a plot to attack race spectators and participants with two knives.
The main suspect allegedly knew Anis Amri, a Tunisian who killed 12 people and injured dozens more when he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016, Die Welt reported.
One of the apartments Berlin police raided before the race started Sunday was also searched after the Christmas market attack, the newspaper said.
Special police forces detained four men in connection with the race plot, the paper said — different from the six that police reported.
Die Welt reported that the main suspect, who was not identified, had prepared two knives to use in the attack. It also wrote that in one of the searched apartments, dogs trained to find explosives barked when they were taken into the dwelling’s basement.
The local daily Tagesspiegel reported that the main suspect had been under observation for two weeks around the clock. After a foreign intelligence service tipped off German authorities that he was planning to attack the half-marathon, police raided apartments and two vehicles in the Charlottenburg and Neukoelln districts of the city.
The half-marathon was being guarded by some 630 police officers, German news agency dpa reported.
In a separate incident Saturday, a 48-year-old German man drove a van into a crowd outside a popular bar in Muenster, killing two people and injuring 20 others before shooting himself to death.
On Sunday, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said the government would do everything it can to protect citizens. “We have again experienced that absolute security is unfortunately not possible,” he said, Reuters reports.
WASHINGTON — The FBI prepared a secret 20-page analysis of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. containing explosive allegations about King’s political ties and sexual activity, just a month before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
One section of the document, which was among files related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy released on Friday, alleges that King was attracted to former member of the Communist Party in America. It notes that two previous aides were party members and eight others, who helped shape King’s organization in its early stages, had communist affiliations.
It’s unclear whether the FBI verified any of the allegations contained in the document, which is dated March 12, 1968.
The analysis said that in the early 1960s, the Communist Party was trying to get a black labor coalition to further its goals in the United States. It referenced a May 1961 issue of a communist newspaper that stated, “Communists will do their utmost to strengthen and unite the Negro movement and ring it to the backing of the working people.”
The FBI said King and his organization were “made-to-order” to achieve these objectives.
The FBI’s surveillance of King is well-known and the analysis includes several pages about his sexual life. One document said a black minister who attended a workshop to train ministers in February 1968 in Miami “expressed his disgust with the behind-the-scene drinking, fornication and homosexuality that went on at the conference.”
“Throughout the ensuing years and until this date, King has continued to carry on his sexual aberrations secretly while holding himself out to public view as a moral leader of religious conviction,” the FBI report said. The report alleges King had extramarital affairs with a number of women and was suspected of fathering a daughter out of wedlock.
A total of 676 records were released on Friday by the National Archives, the latest batch of never-before-seen files that are expected to be rolled out over the coming weeks.
Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, such accusations against Barros are “all calumny.”
The pope’s remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates. They noted the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for his crimes in 2011. A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes wasn’t lacking.
“As if I could have taken a selfie or a photo while Karadima abused me and others and Juan Barros stood by watching it all,” tweeted Barros’ most vocal accuser, Juan Carlos Cruz. “These people are truly crazy, and the pontiff talks about atonement to the victims. Nothing has changed, and his plea for forgiveness is empty.”
The Karadima scandal dominated Francis’ visit to Chile and the overall issue of sex abuse and church cover-up was likely to factor into his three-day trip to Peru that began late Thursday.
Karadima’s victims reported to church authorities as early as 2002 that he would kiss and fondle them in the swank Santiago parish he ran, but officials refused to believe them. Only when the victims went public with their accusations in 2010 did the Vatican launch an investigation that led to Karadima being removed from ministry.
The emeritus archbishop of Santiago subsequently apologized for having refused to believe the victims from the start.
Francis reopened the wounds of the scandal in 2015 when he named Barros, a protege of Karadima, as bishop of the southern diocese of Osorno. Karadima’s victims say Barros knew of the abuse, having seen it, but did nothing. Barros has denied the allegations.
His appointment outraged Chileans, badly divided the Osorno diocese and further undermined the church’s already shaky credibility in the country.
Francis had sought to heal the wounds by meeting this week with abuse victims and begging forgiveness for the crimes of church pastors. But on Thursday, he struck a defiant tone when asked by a Chilean journalist about Barros.
“The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak,” Francis said. “There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny. Is that clear?”
Francis had defended the appointment before, calling the Osorno controversy “stupid” and the result of a campaign mounted by leftists. But The Associated Press reported last week that the Vatican was so worried about the fallout from the Karadima affair that it was prepared in 2014 to ask Barros and two other Karadima-trained bishops to resign and go on a yearlong sabbatical.
According to a Jan. 31, 2015, letter obtained by AP from Francis to the executive committee of the Chilean bishops’ conference, the plan fell apart and Barros was sent to Osorno.
Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for a group of Osorno lay Catholics who have mounted a three-year campaign against Barros, questioned why Francis was now accusing the victims of slandering Barros when the Vatican was so convinced of their claims that it planned to remove him in 2014.
“Isn’t the pastoral problem that we’re living (in Osorno) enough to get rid of him?” Claret asked.
The reference was to the fact that – guilty or not – Barros has been unable to do his job because so many Osorno Catholics and priests don’t recognize him as their bishop. They staged an unprecedented protest during his 2015 installation ceremony and have protested his presence ever since.
Anne Barrett Doyle, of the online database BishopAccountability.org, said it was “sad and wrong” for the pope to discredit the victims since “the burden of proof here rests with the church, not the victims – and especially not with victims whose veracity has already been affirmed.”
“He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis,” she said in a statement. “Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?”
Indeed, Catholic officials for years accused victims of slandering and attacking the church with their claims. But up until Francis’ words Thursday, many in the church and Vatican had come to reluctantly acknowledge that victims usually told the truth and that the church for decades had wrongly sought to protect its own.
German Silva, a political scientist at Santiago’s Universidad Mayor, said the pope’s comments were a “tremendous error” that will reverberate in Chile and beyond.
Patricio Navia, political science professor at Diego Portales University in Santiago, said Francis had gone much further than Chilean bishops in acknowledging the sexual abuse scandal, which many Chileans appreciated.
“Then right before leaving, Francis turns around and says: ‘By the way, I don’t think Barros is guilty. Show me some proof,'” Navia said, adding that the comment will probably erase any good will the pope had won over the issue.
Navia said the Karadima scandal had radically changed how Chileans view the church.
“In the typical Chilean family, parents (now) think twice before sending their kids to Catholic school because you never know what is going to happen,” Navia said.
GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala’s president announced on Christmas Eve that the Central American country will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, becoming the first nation to follow the lead of U.S. President Donald Trump in ordering the change.
Guatemala was one of nine nations that voted with the United States and Israel on Thursday when the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
In a post on his official Facebook account Sunday, Morales said that after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he decided to instruct Guatemala’s foreign ministry to move the embassy.
Guatemala and Israel have long had close ties, especially in security matters and Israeli arms sales to Guatemala.
No other country has their embassy for Israel in Jerusalem, though the Czech Republic has said it is considering such a move.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Mr. Trump said in his announcement.
For more than two decades, Mr. Trump said that previous presidents had signed a waiver to delay moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but said that “we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”
“While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver,” he said. “Today, I am delivering.”
Mr. Trump said that he also directed the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but he will sign a waiver that will delay the move in order to avoid significant funding cuts. Officials said that it was not possible to move the embassy to Jerusalem immediately, however, and it could take “a matter of some years.”
Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim the city’s eastern sector, which was captured by Israel in 1967 and is home to sensitive religious Jewish, Muslim and Christian sites. Many governments have long said that the fate of Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations.
Trump’s announcement has set off weeks of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces that have left 12 Palestinians dead.
Netanyahu has predicted others would follow the U.S. lead. He has made great efforts to reach out to Latin America in recent years as part of a campaign to counter longstanding support for the Palestinians at the United Nations.
In remarks at his weekly meeting of the Likud party faction in the Knessert, Netanyahu thanked Guatemala’s president.
“God bless you, my friend, President Jimmy Morales, God bless both our countries, Israel and Guatemala,” Netanyahu said.
Television host and journalist Charlie Rose apologized for his “inappropriate behavior” after eight women accused him of sexual harassment in a Washington Post report Monday.
“It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior,” Rose said in a statement to the Post. “I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
In response to the Post‘s report, CBS News — where Rose co-anchors CBS This Morning and contributes as a correspondent to 60 Minutes — suspended him, according to the Associated Press. Bloomberg TV and PBS — the latter of which has distributed Rose’s eponymous talk show since 1993 — said they would immediately halt distribution of the program. “PBS was shocked to learn today of these deeply disturbing allegations,” the network said in a statement.
The eight women who spoke to the Post said that Rose, 75, made unwanted sexual advances towards them from the late 1990s up until 2011. Of those women, who ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged incidents, five detailed their accusations under the condition of anonymity. Three spoke to the paper on the record. The women’s allegations include that Rose groped their breasts, buttocks and genital areas, along with inappropriate phone calls and Rose walking around naked in their presence.
“It has taken 10 years and a fierce moment of cultural reckoning for me to understand these moments for what they were,” Rhea Bravo, a former intern and associate producer for Rose’s PBS show, told the Post. “He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim.”
“It makes me a little upset to see him on television,” Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, a former assistant for Rose during the mid-2000s, said. “Everything I experienced with journalism there made me not want to stay.” She added that Rose fired her once he learned that she had confided to a mutual friend about his behavior.
Rose is one of the numerous individuals in media, entertainment and politics to be accused of sexual harassment or assault since news of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual assaults broke. Other prominent journalists have been accused in recent weeks, including MSNBC’s Mark Halperin and, as of earlier Monday, New York Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush.
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Beyond its known links to birth defects and other problems, the Zika virus may also trigger cases of epilepsy in infants, warn experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Among 48 babies from Brazil with probable congenital Zika infection, “50 percent reportedly had clinical seizures,” said Dr. Daniel Pastula, Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp and Rosemarie Kobau.
All three have studied Zika at the CDC, and co-wrote an essay on the Zika-epilepsy connection, published online April 17 in JAMA Neurology.
The Zika virus is transmitted via mosquito bites, and its most devastating effects occur when pregnant women are infected. In those cases, Zika can trigger severe neurological birth defects such as microcephaly, where infants are born with underdeveloped skulls and brains. Thousands of such cases have occurred in South America, most notably in Brazil.
According to the CDC team, besides the group of 48 babies cited above, seven of another group of 13 Zika-exposed babies in Brazil were also diagnosed as having epilepsy.
The finding isn’t overly surprising since the types of brain abnormalities seen in Zika-affected newborns have been linked to seizures and epilepsy in the past, the team noted.
In a prior study, babies exposed to another common virus, called cytomegalovirus, had higher rates of epilepsy as well — and showed brain abnormalities that were similar to those associated with Zika.
All of this points to “the need to examine how and to what extent congenital Zika virus infection and resulting brain abnormalities are associated with seizures and/or epilepsy,” the CDC authors wrote.
Early diagnosis of affected babies is crucial, the researchers added, and may lessen “some adverse outcomes associated with developmental delay.”
Right now, parents and health care professionals may not be aware of the Zika-epilepsy link, the CDC researchers said, so cases “may be misdiagnosed or under-reported.”
The researchers believe that heightened awareness will be key to spotting cases of epilepsy linked to fetal exposure to Zika and helping babies.
In a statement, the CDC said that “better recognition, diagnosis, and reporting of seizures and epilepsy in infants and young children will help guide interventions to make sure families receive the right support and treatment.”
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