Regional News • Americas • United States
DOJ investigates potential White House "bribery-for-pardon" scheme
President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr
President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr Credit: The United States Department of Justice, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Justice Department is investigating an alleged "bribery-for-pardon" scheme at the White House, according to heavily redacted documents made public by the DC District Court on Tuesday afternoon.

The documents do not name the individuals involved, but allege that an individual offered "a substantial political contribution in exchange for a presidential pardon or reprieve of the sentence."

Prosecutors are further investigating a "secret lobbying scheme" in which two unidentified people acted as lobbyists to senior White House officials "without complying with the registration requirement of the Lobbying Disclosure Act".

Sweden: Mother allegedly kept son locked up at home for almost 30 years

The newspaper "Expressen" reported on Monday evening that a relative had found a 41-year-old man that had been cut off from the outside world since he was twelve years old in a completely neglected flat. The relative told "Expressen" that she had long suspected that the mother had locked up her son. When she heard that the 70-year-old mother of the man was in the hospital, she went to the flat on Sunday evening.

The police did not want to comment on details of the case but confirmed on Tuesday that the woman was arrested. She is under investigation for deprivation of liberty and aggravated assault. The woman denies the accusations.

France: High school graduate sentenced to 18 months in prison after death threat against teacher

A French court has sentenced a 19-year-old student to one and a half years in prison for threatening to kill a teacher.

According to the public prosecutor's office in Nice, the 19-year-old had threatened the teacher that he would have to "die like Samuel Paty". The 19-year-old had testified in court that he had only wanted to make a joke to impress a girl and had researched the teacher's address in an online network to send him the death threat after learning that the teacher had accused some of his students of cheating on an exam.

The 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded on 16 October near his school in the Parisian suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine by an 18-year-old Russian of Chechen origin. Paty had previously shown cartoons of Mohammed in an hour's time on freedom of expression. President Emmanuel Macron then defended the showing of cartoons of Muhammad, which led to protests in Muslim countries and calls for a boycott of France.

Regional News • Asia • China
Four Chinese doctors sentenced to prison for organ harvesting

Four doctors have been sentenced to prison for illegally harvesting organs from deceased patients. According to the court documents, the doctors and two additional accomplices made the families of the donors sign fake organ donation consent forms and then extracted the organs of the deceased person.

Under Chinese law, organ donation is only permitted under the supervision of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC). The medical professionals have been jailed for between 10 and 28 months.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump pardons former national security adviser Mike Flynn
Michael Flynn at a campaign rally for Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Michael Flynn at a campaign rally for Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Donald Trump has granted his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn a "full pardon", the President wrote in a tweet Wednesday.

In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador and later cooperated with prosecutors. He later accused the government of trying to frame him and withdrew his guilty plea.

"It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving," Trump wrote on Twitter.

Berlin police arrested a man suspected of cannibalism and murder
Berlin police arrested a man suspected of cannibalism and murder
Credit: mw238 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Berlin investigators have arrested a man on suspicion of murder and cannibalism, after discovering the bones of a man who disappeared in September. The 44-year-old victim, known as Stefan T., disappeared without a trace after leaving his apartment shortly before midnight in early September, in the Lichtenberg district of Berlin. On November 8th, people taking a walk found bones in a wooded area of the city's Pankow district, which turned out to be the remains of the missing man.

"The suspect had an interest in cannibalism," Berlin prosecutors' office spokesman Martin Steltner told The Associated Press.

Regional News • Africa
American hostage held in Nigeria rescued by US forces
American hostage held in Nigeria rescued by US forces
Credit: gregwest98 (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

An American abducted in Niger on Monday and taken to Nigeria has been rescued by the US Navy's elite SEAL Team 6.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman: "U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men. This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation."

Ring-tailed lemur missing, possibly stolen, from San Francisco Zoo
Ring-tailed lemur missing, possibly stolen, from San Francisco Zoo
Credit: SurreyJohn / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

A 21-year-old ring-tailed lemur named Maki has been missing, possibly stolen, from the San Francisco Zoo following a possible break-in. Police are investigating the incident and have asked the public to come forward any with information.

"We understand that lemurs are adorable animals, but Maki is a highly endangered animal that requires special care. We are asking the public for help in his return," said Dr Jason Watters, Executive Vice President of Animal Behavior and Wellness at the zoo.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Mother allegedly killed her five children, then tried to commit suicide

A 27-year-old mother allegedly killed her five children in the west German town so Solingen. The grandmother called the police and officer later found the bodies of the children in the woman's apartment. The woman jumped in front of a train after but survived severely injured. Her oldest son was unharmed.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Man killed in Portland shooting identified as Aaron J. Danielson

The man shot during a clash between right-wing supporters and protestors on Saturday was identified as Aaron J. Danielson by the Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office, so Portland police officials. He died of a wound to the chest.

The right-wing group Patriot Prayer is mourning Danielson's death. A suspect has not been identified yet.

According to a spokesperson for Attorney General William Barr, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are "actively offering support and resources" to Portland police.

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Canada: Cannabis Record Suspension program with 257 granted pardons in first year
Canada: Cannabis Record Suspension program with 257 granted pardons in first year
Credit: / Matthew Karila

In 2019 Canada has revealed a program to grant Canadians an easy way to be granted a pardon if they have a criminal record for simple possession of cannabis.

Since the creation of the program, 458 people have applied for a pardon at the Parole Board of Canada (PBC). Out of these applications, 194 have been returned because of ineligibility or incomplete files. 257 have been granted and two have been discontinued. Five cases are still in the process.

In 2018 Canada has passed the Cannabis Act legalized and regulated the possession, distribution, consumption and cultivation of marijuana for recreational used.

Business • Economy
German retail: 5% increase in theft

In the German retail trade, the inventory differences have increased again. In the current study, the trade research institute EHI published a damage of €3.75 billion due to theft. If you add organizational errors such as incorrectly priced goods, the total damnages in 2019 have been around €4.4 billion. This makes for an increase of around 5% compared to 2018.

Regional News • Africa
Five killed, 40 arrested in hostage situation at South Africa church
Five killed, 40 arrested  in hostage situation at South Africa church
Credit: South African Police Service (Public Domain)

Five people have been killed and six hospitalised after shooters took hostages at the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Zuurbekom, South Africa on Saturday

South African Police Service said they had rescued men, women and children, and arrested at least 40 people. Officers also added they are investigating the possibility the attack may have been motivated by an internal feud between conflicting parties of the church.

Regional News • Africa
Burkina Faso: 180 male bodies found in common graves in Djibo
Burkina Faso: 180 male bodies found in common graves in Djibo
Credit: Le Soleil dans la Main / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Multiple were discovered common graves in Djibo, Burkina Faso. The around 180 bodies were found in various location, including under bridges and in fields. Human Rights Watch believes government forces were behind the killings: "Available evidence suggests government forces were involved in mass extrajudicial executions."

The government said it would investigate these claims. Chérif Moumina Sy, the Minister of Defence, speculated that armed groups in stolen army uniforms and equipment could be behind the murders. He said: "It is difficult for the population to distinguish between armed terrorist groups and the defence and security forces."

Germany, Paderborn: Robbers seize €5,500 from attack on money transport
Germany, Paderborn: Robbers seize €5,500 from attack on money transport
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

A former employee of a money transportation company has given inside information about trip plans and expected amounts of money to his three accomplices. They then took advantage of an unobserved moment in a parking garage on February 28 of this year and captured a sum of €5,500.

During the investigation, the suspects falsely accused one of the robbed drivers to be an accomplice.

Hamburg: Large-scale deployment of security services, police and fire brigade

After being warned of a burglary by a security service in Hamburg-Billbrook, the police searched for a fleeing perpetrator.

After an hour of search, the perpetrator was found hidden in a canal by the fire department and arrested by the police. The emergency serviced then treated the suspect for hypothermia. The police stated that they had an open warrant on the suspect in addition to the attempted burglary.

Germany, Bremen: Process over 157,000 stolen cigarillo sticks will end with deal

In 2014, a total of 10 to 15 people, including security guards who manipulated the alarm system, were said to have stolen 157,000 cigarillo sticks - worth almost € 3 million.

To speed up the proceedings, the accused, the public prosecutor and the court have agreed on a deal: Confessions will be rewarded with suspended sentences of between one and two months and two years. The verdict could be announced as soon as Thursday.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Actor Danny Masterson charged with three counts of rape in Los Angeles
Danny Masterson
Danny Masterson Credit: Oscar Rohena (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

"That '70s Show" actor Danny Masterson was charged with rape in three separate cases alleged to have from 2001 to 2003, the Los Angeles County district attorney announced Wednesday.

Masterson was arrested Wednesday night and released a few hours later on a $3.3 million bail.

Police identify new suspect in 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann
The tributes to Madeleine in the square in her hometown of Rothley on 17 May 2007.
The tributes to Madeleine in the square in her hometown of Rothley on 17 May 2007. Credit: Thesevenseas (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

A 43-year-old German prisoner who lived periodically in southern Portugal's Algarve region between 1995 and 2007 in a camper van is now the focus of Scotland Yard's investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann 13 years ago.

"It's more than 13 years since Madeleine went missing and none of us can imagine what it must be like for her family, not knowing what happened or where she is,"

"Following the tenth anniversary, the Met received information about a German man who was known to have been in and around Praia da Luz. We have been working with colleagues in Germany and Portugal and this man is a suspect in Madeleine's disappearance," Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell said in a statement Wednesday.

Germany sees increase in politically motivated crime
Germany sees increase in politically motivated crime
Credit: Maximilian Scheffler

Politically motivated crime has increased dramatically in Germany by 14 percent. Slightly more than half of the 41,177 offenses are assigned to the right-wing scene.