Toll rising in extreme weather
The snowstorms that hit the US city of Buffalo have now claimed at least 10 lives. The storm blanketed the city with more than two metres of snow. Emergency service crews have been working to find and free people trapped by the snow, but had difficulty gaining access. Team members were forced to travel via snowmobiles or SUVs to assist people.
Police arrest Indian guru after lengthy stand off
Indian police have arrested Satguru Rampalji Maharaj, the leader of a religious cult, after a lengthy standoff. Hundreds of people were injured when supporters of the guru repelled police attempts to enter his extensive ashram in the country’s north. The bodies of eight people were removed from the site but it was not clear how they died or if their deaths were conected to the police action. Police had been pursuing Maharaj for over four years in relation to a murder in 2006. He had ignored 43 summonses from India’s high court.
UN reveal 1,000 deaths since Ukraine truce
The UN Human Rights Office’s November report reveals that almost 1000 people have died since a ceasefire was agreed on September 5 between the Ukrainian Government and separatist rebels backed by Russia. The UN monitors found violations of human rights and humanitarian law persisted as the rebel grip on the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk became “increasingly entrenched, with the total breakdown of law and order and the emergence of parallel governance systems”. The UN warned that continuing breaches in the ceasefire threatened to escalate into open conflict.
Ricky Jackson to be released from prison after 39 years
A US man jailed for murder 39 years ago is set to be released after a court ruled a key witness had given false evidence. Ricky Jackson’s 39 years in jail is the longest sentence served by a man subsequently found to have been falsely imprisoned. After a two-day court hearing to consider a report by the Ohio Innocence Project, county prosecutor Tim McGinty announced the state had dropped its charge against Jackson and would not oppose his release. Jackson, 19 when jailed, is now 59 years old.
Egyptian terror group pledges allegiance to ISIS
Days after pledging allegiance to the extremist Islamic State movement, an Egyptian terrorist group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, released a video recording an attack on an Egyptian military transport unit. A personnel carrier is seen exploding, then two truckloads of armed men in black chase down survivors and kill them them. At least 31 soldiers were reported killed in the attack. – Compiled by Daniel Stringer from agency and web sources.
Top photo from Quintanomedia’s Flickr photostream.