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What To Know About Mass Stabbings In Canada

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Police in western Canada say two men went on a stabbing rampage that was one of the deadliest acts of violence to hit the country.

Here is a summary of what AFP knows about the Sunday attacks:

– What happened? –

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The stabbing spree early Sunday at 13 separate locations in the remote Indigenous community of James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby town of Weldon in Canada’s Saskatchewan province left at least 10 people dead and 18 wounded.

– Who was behind the attack?

Police identified the suspects as Myles Sanderson, aged 30, and Damien Sanderson, 31. The body of the latter was found Monday near a house that authorities have been examining on the grounds of the community.

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The body had “visible injuries” that were not self-inflicted, said federal police Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore.

Myles Sanderson remained on the run.

The provincial Crime Stoppers website said he was wanted for breaching parole. Public broadcaster CBC said he had vanished in May after serving part of a five-year sentence for assault and robbery.

– What was the motive? –

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Police have said it is too early to speak to a motive, while adding that “some of the victims may have been targeted and some may be random.”

That’s still part of the investigation,” Blackmore said of the issue of motive. “That will be ongoing for quite some time. We haven’t established a motive at this point in time.”

Indigenous leaders pointed to a possible drug connection.

“This is the destruction we face when harmful illegal drugs invade our communities,” the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said.

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– Who were the victims? –

Police have not identified the victims, most are from the James Smith Cree nation.

On social media, many members of the community paid tribute to loved ones killed in the stabbing rampage.

One was Lana Head, 49, who had children aged 31 and 30.

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Canadian news reports said Gloria Burns, an emergency health worker, was killed after answering a call. Her parents Ivor and Darryl Burns said she was killed along with her partner and a 14-year-old.

And one resident of Weldon told a Saskatoon newspaper that her 77-year-old neighbor, Wes Petterson, who lived with his adult grandson, was killed.

– What are police doing? –

Police have issued arrest warrants for the two suspects, charging them with first-degree murder, attempted murder and breaking and entering. Further charges are expected.

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Regina police chief Evan Bray said Monday his force and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had worked through the night in a “relentless” search, after apparent sightings of the suspects in the provincial capital.

An RCMP spokeswoman said hundreds of police — some from Manitoba and Alberta — are taking part in the search across a vast region, including those from neighboring provinces.

– What has the reaction been? –

In a video address, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the attacks were shocking and heartbreaking.

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This kind of violence has no place in our country,” he said. “Sadly, over these past years, tragedies like these have become all too commonplace.”

European Union leaders and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz were among others denouncing the attack and offering condolences.

Closer to the scene, people said they were deeply traumatized.

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“This is terrible, terrible,” Weldon resident Diane Shier told the daily Saskatoon Star Phoenix. “We’ve still got our doors locked, staying inside.”

– What other attacks have hit Canada? –

In recent years, a rampaging gunman masquerading as a policeman killed 22 people in Nova Scotia; six people died in a shooting at a Quebec mosque; and a man driving a van along crowded sidewalks in Toronto killed 10 people.

AFP.

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Three Nigerians sentenced To 235 Years In US Prison

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A court in Mississippi, United States of America has sentenced three Nigerians to 235 years in prison.

The jury found all the three personguilty of mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud and theft of government property.

Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan, 30, was sentenced to 95 years in prison, while Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, 31, got 115 years jail term.

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READ ALSO: Applicants Decry N640,000 UAE Visa Fee Hike

Also, Femi Alexander Mewase, 45, received 25 years in jail.

They were convicted for running online scams.

They were said to have duped people of tens of millions of dollars.

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Deadly Blaze Kills Even In France

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An apartment building blaze early Thursday killed seven people in the southern French city of Nice and police were investigating the fire as a possible arson, authorities said.

The dead include three children – 5, 7 and 10 years old – and a 17-year-old teenager who tried to escape by jumping from a window, they said.

The apartment was occupied by a family believed to have Comoran origins, the regional prefect Hugues Moutouh said, referring to the southern African island nature.

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Ten people were inside when the fire broke out.

Rescuers were alerted at around 2:30 am (0030 GMT) to the blaze on the seventh floor of the building in the low-income neighbourhood of Les Moulins, known for being a drug-dealing hub, in the west of the city.

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In spite of the substantial resources deployed, “unfortunately seven people died during this fire”, firefighters said.

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Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on social media that the quick arrival of firefighters “probably prevented more deaths”.

Nice prosecutor Damien Martinelli said investigators were looking into a “criminal” cause for the fire.

“In light of the initial evidence, I have opened an investigation into acts of arson leading to death,” he told reporters at the scene.

The authorities said the blaze probably broke out on the building’s second floor and spread to higher floors.

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Rescuers said that three people were taken to hospital, one of them with life-threatening injuries.

They said firefighters were confronted by a “raging apartment fire” on the seventh floor of the building. They carried out three aerial ladder rescues and evacuated dozens.

In total, 25 fire engines and 72 firefighters tackled the fire.

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Twenty people were evacuated to a temporary shelter, with Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi saying a crisis unit to help anyone affected by the fire.

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Biden Speaks Of Quitting Presidential Race If…

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US President Joe Biden said he could drop his reelection bid if doctors found he had a medical condition, as a top Democrat on Wednesday urged the 81-year-old to step aside.

Biden’s comments were the first time he has even slightly opened the door to abandoning the White House race, and came as Representative Adam Schiff, a key ally from California, urged Biden to “pass the torch.”

“If I had some medical condition that emerged, if somebody, if the doctors came and said ‘you’ve got this problem, that problem,’” Biden told the Black media outlet BET in an interview taped Tuesday, when asked what could make him rethink.

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Biden however defended his decision to stay on for a rematch with Republican Donald Trump in November, and explained why he had not handed over to a younger generation after one term.

READ ALSO: Biden Falters In Fiery Debate With Trump

“I said I was going to be a transitional candidate, and I thought I’d be able to move on from this, pass it on to someone else,” he said. “But I didn’t anticipate things getting so, so, so divided.”

Biden has been fighting for political survival since a disastrous debate against Trump nearly three weeks ago, in which his tired and confused appearance sparked concerns about his age.

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Schiff became the first Democrat to call for him to step aside since the assassination attempt against Trump on Saturday, which had briefly silenced the growing chorus against Biden.

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A second Trump presidency will undermine the very foundation of our democracy, and I have serious concerns about whether the President can defeat Donald Trump in November,” Schiff said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.

Schiff, who is expected to win a Senate seat this November, is a key White House ally in the legislature and shot to nationwide prominence as lead prosecutor during then-president Trump’s first impeachment trial.

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Biden was set to make a fresh attempt to prop up his candidacy in a speech to crucial Latino voters in the battleground state of Nevada later Wednesday.

– ‘Pretty damn good’ –

Around 20 House Democrats and one senator have now called on Biden to leave the White House race but Biden has refused, insisting he is best placed to beat Trump.

READ ALSO: Ex-Rep Rejects Membership Of Edo APC Gov Campaign Council

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Biden, Trump agree to election debates in June, September
Most polls show Biden trailing in a tight race, with Trump pulling ahead in key swing states but no dramatic movement since the debate debacle or shooting.

Biden said his mental acuity was “pretty damn good” in an NBC interview on Monday, one of a series of unscripted outings aimed at showing he has what it takes.

With pressure on Biden mounting, Democrats said on Wednesday they plan a virtual nomination for the president in the first week of August, ahead of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on August 19.

Some Democrats have slammed the scheme, accusing the party of trying to ram through Biden’s candidacy and avoid a full discussion of alternative choices.

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Party chiefs say they need to carry out the virtual roll-call by August 7, which is the deadline set by the Republican-led state of Ohio for the submission of nominations.

Biden otherwise risks not being on the ballot in Ohio, the home state of Trump’s new running mate J.D. Vance.

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While Ohio’s governor has signed a law giving Biden more time, the DNC said it feared further legal challenges.

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“None of this will be rushed,” the heads of the DNC’s rules committee said in a letter to lawmakers obtained by AFP. “No matter what may be reported, our goal is not to fast-track.”

But several lawmakers are planning to sign a letter against the virtual nomination plan and others have criticized it, according to US media.

Biden insists that Democratic voters support him, but a poll by the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research said Wednesday that nearly two-thirds want him to step aside.

 

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