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The plot to kill Haiti’s president allegedly spanned multiple countries and involved experienced ex-military officers and months of planning, local officials say

CNN has obtained exclusive information about the hunt for the killers of Jovenel Moise, a banana exporter-turned-politician who was killed in a hail of gunfire in the bedroom of his private residence in the leafy Port-au-Prince district of Petion-Ville at around 1 a.m. last Wednesday, according to government statements.
The Haitian President’s body was found riddled with bullet holes, according to a local official tasked with documenting the crime scene, who also said Moise had suffered a broken leg and serious facial injuries. Multiple government officials described the injuries to CNN as signs of torture. Moise’s wife, Martine, was wounded. She is being treated in a Miami hospital.
“In the blink of an eye, the mercenaries ran into my house and killed my husband,” Haiti’s first lady said in an audio recording released over the weekend. CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the recording.
But despite the abundance of bullet holes documented inside the President’s home, not one member of the President’s security detail or residential staff was hurt, according to authorities.
Exactly what happened inside the president’s home and who masterminded the attack remain the key unsolved questions at the heart of multiple investigations involving senior agents from the United States and Colombia, in addition to local authorities. Top foreign officials, including members of the US National Security Council and Colombia’s chief of national intelligence, have visited Haiti in the wake of Moise’s death.
In a country bitterly divided over its political direction, unease over the mystery surrounding the president’s murder has become a rare unifying sentiment. No one — whether members of the deceased president’s cabinet, his most outspoken critics, or ordinary residents of capital city Port-au-Prince — is satisfied with the limited explanations available so far.
“Where did (the attackers) get the cars that they were driving? How did they get in the country?” Haitian Elections Minister Mathias Pierre asked CNN, adding that he would expect his own security to take a bullet for him.
CNN can now shed light on a small piece of the puzzle: How Haitian security forces first responded to the assassination.
A source with knowledge of the operation has described to CNN a bloody siege and the multi-day pursuit through the President’s affluent neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, the impoverished quartier populaire next door, an abandoned roadside storefront, and the Taiwanese Embassy.

Setting a trap

A corner of the abandoned storefront in Port-au-Prince where suspected mercenaries hid from police.
Social media footage from the night of Moise’s murder showed unidentified men shooting into the air and shouting “DEA operation! Everybody back up!” in English as they marched down the street near the presidential mansion. Haitian security forces who had learned of the attack raced to the house not long after that. But they were too late.
According to a source familiar with the operation, law enforcement teams arriving on the scene in the dark hours of the morning observed a suspicious five-car convoy near the President’s home. Fearing that Moise or others may be being held hostage inside, they avoided a confrontation and allowed the convoy to leave. But there was a trap down the road.
At a sharp bend in Route de Kenscoff, the main road leading downtown, the convoy suddenly encountered a police blockade, where hundreds of security personnel had been mustered in the darkness.
Unable to turn their cars around in the narrow road between a walled-off ravine and a steep green hillside, the convoy’s occupants fled, abandoning firearms inside their vehicles. Desperate for cover, some leaped into the polluted muck of a deep roadside drainage canal; others scattered the surrounding buildings on foot, according to the source.
The majority found shelter in an empty two-story storefront, where a banner quoting Psalm 27:1 still proclaims: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
The store — and its location — offered a refuge of sorts. The overgrown hillside behind the store would slow any possible attacks from the rear. And the storefront’s thick concrete walls could serve as a shield from gunfire. Still, some would not make it out alive.
Haitian security forces' vehicles blocking the road.
Before the sun rose on Wednesday in the Caribbean nation, Haitian security forces learned that the President was dead, and that the suspects trapped by their roadblock had at least two hostages with them, both members of the President’s guard, the National Palace General Security Unit (USGPN).
They were also growing certain that they were facing foreign adversaries — perhaps hired mercenaries. “We could hear them talking and shouting in Spanish,” the source said. “They were talking, and they knew exactly what they were facing.”
Haitian security forces opted to wait the fugitives out, knowing that the night’s intense humidity, windless summer heat, and a lack of drinking water would weaken their defenses. Supplies of water bottles had been found in their abandoned cars.
A little later, around 7 a.m. (8 a.m. in Haiti), a woman in rural Colombia received a phone call from her brother, a man she describes as a “hero.”
Jenny Capador told CNN that her brother Duberney called from Haiti, where he had been working in a private security role; she said he told her that something had gone wrong and he was “under siege and under fire, fighting.”
“But he told me not to worry, and not to tell our mother, that everything was going to be alright,” she said. Capador said her brother was hired to protect, not to kill; she does not believe he was responsible for the assassination of President Moise.
Haiti President assassins gun battle
Hours went by and the temperature rose, with no movement from either side, CNN’s source said. Finally, at 3 p.m., Haitian forces threw three tear gas canisters into the road in front of the shop, allowing plumes of the acrid gas to spread inside. Negotiating began via one of the USGPN hostages’ phones soon after that.
The first of the suspected attackers to emerge from the building were Haitian-Americans — one man, followed by another. The pair identified themselves as translators, according to the source. Next down the hill came the two USGPN hostages, who told Haitian security forces that dozens of people — armed with 5.56 mm assault rifles — were still inside the concrete building.
“In the beginning, we didn’t know how many people there were until the hostages were released. Then the hostages said there were about 25, and I said, ‘Oh, OK, we’re dealing with a platoon,'” the source said.
A small vanguard of Haitian forces began an assault to seize the occupied storefront. According to CNN’s source, the alleged mercenaries were well-armed, and even threw a grenade at the Haitian security forces, though it did not detonate.
“They were shooting at us from the second floor,” the source said. “And they had a grenade, but it didn’t work. Can you imagine, the grenade just rolling like a ball — tak, tak, tak — down the hill?” they added, miming the imaginary grenade’s path.
At least three suspected mercenaries died in the battle. Traces of the two-hour shootout are clearly visible in the building itself, which remains littered with bullet casings and broken glass. In one narrow open-air passageway at the back of the building, a pool of blood and a dense constellation of bullet holes in the wall reveal the spot where someone died.
But most of the group that Haitian security forces had expected to apprehend had already vanished.

Escape to the Taiwan Embassy

Security forces now know the suspects had been quietly escaping up the hill, according to CNN’s source.
Just how a group of foreigners knew that the embassy of Taiwan was a short distance away is unclear, but a number of fugitives climbed the hill and crossed two stone alleyways to breach its high white walls. They could not do it unseen — at least one of the onlookers notified law enforcement.
To shelter in the embassy was either a clever choice or an extremely lucky one, since diplomatic spaces cannot simply be accessed by law enforcement. It remains unknown if the group was being advised by someone local who knew the area well.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou told CNN security guards reported that “a group of armed suspects” entered the embassy grounds without permission. Embassy staffers had been working from home “for safety reasons” that day, following the President’s assassination the previous day, she also said.
“After our embassy in Haiti received a request from Haiti authorities, we immediately agreed to let Haiti police enter our embassy to cooperate in the hunt for the suspects, so that justice can prevail, and the truth can come to light,” Ou said.
On Thursday, 11 of the suspected mercenaries were found and arrested without incident inside the embassy. More were eventually found in the surrounding area; social media video shows at least two suspects being escorted by a crowd of Haitians in the impoverished neighborhood of Jalousie.
But some suspects remain on the run, and Haitian police have called on residents to remain vigilant.
Aerial view of Jalousie, a poor neighborhood near the site of the standoff.

The hunt for answers continues

At least 28 people are now suspected in the killing, according to Haitian police, of which 26 have been identified as Colombian. Twenty have been detained, including the two US citizens who said they were translators.
Several of the men believed to be involved in the operation previously worked as informants for the US Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI, according to people briefed on the matter.
“At times, one of the suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise was a confidential source to the DEA,” the DEA said in a statement.
“Following the assassination of President Moise, the suspect reached out to his contacts at the DEA. A DEA official assigned to Haiti urged the suspect to surrender to local authorities and, along with a US State Department official, provided information to the Haitian government that assisted in the surrender and arrest of the suspect and one other individual.”
The FBI said in response to CNN’s reporting that it doesn’t comment on informants, except to say that it uses “lawful sources to collect intelligence” as part of its investigations.
No comment from the detainees has been released to the public.
Jenny Capador learned that her brother had been killed on Thursday. By Friday, Duberney Capador’s mugshot had been shown at a press conference by the Colombian National Police where he was named as one of the alleged assassins, according to preliminary investigations by the Colombian and Haitian police.
At a press conference on Sunday, Haitian authorities added a new name to their investigation, announcing that they arrested a Haitian-born man, Christian Emmanuel Sanon, whom they suspected of helping to orchestrate the assassination. They said he used a Florida-based Venezuelan security firm to recruit the group. CNN has not been able to reach Sanon or his representatives for comment since his arrest.
But as the intrigue around the Haitian President’s assassination widens across the region, there are still more questions than answers, including — most crucially — the mystery of what went on in the moments before Moise’s death.
The answer to that should be right here in Port-au-Prince, in surveillance footage from the residence and in the testimony of security personnel and residential staff, who by multiple accounts were there when it happened.

Development by Sean O’Key. Graphics by Sarah-Grace Mankarious. Video production by Matthew Gannon, Jeffrey Hsu and Nick Scott.

Multiple buildings burned down by huge wildfire in U.S. California

Multiple buildings burned down by huge wildfire in U.S. California

Beckwourth Complex Fire, the largest wildfire raging in U.S. state of California, extended dramatically to 83,926 acres (339.7 square kilometers) Sunday noon with only 8 percent containment, according to the the latest information from Inciweb, an interstate incident information system, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The blaze showed no sign of slowing its rush northeast from the Sierra Nevada forest region after doubling in size between Friday and Saturday. Late Saturday, flames jumped U.S. Route 395, a main route linking Northern California and Central Valley in rural Sierra Nevada mountain region, and forced closures.

Doyle, a small town in Lassen County of California standing on highway 395, was reported being damaged by the wildfire Sunday after the fire spread northeast for about three miles in 24 hours. Photos posted by Craig Philpott, an independent fire reporter based in Northern California, showed that multiple structures were burning in the small town with about 600 residents.

Residents in Doyle received evacuation order on Thursday, local ABC 8 news channel reported that many people had fled their homes with concerns that what happened in November last year will happen again. Last year, the Laura 2 fire destroyed more than 40 homes and outbuildings in the town.

Multiple young men convicted of two attempted murders with machete in Oslo

Multiple young men convicted of two attempted murders with machete in Oslo

Five young men have been convicted of attempted murder and aggravated violence after two violent incidents at Torshov in Oslo last year. In both episodes, the victim was stabbed with a machete.

Both the accused and the victim are young men in their upper teens and early 20s who had previously been together in two different apartments in an apartment building in Torshov. They belong to two different groups of friends, according to the verdict from the Oslo District Court.

The two incidents – where so severe violence was used that the court has found sufficient evidence to convict three of the accused of attempted murder – took place just two minutes apart in two parallel streets in Torshov, just after midnight on March 20 last year. Two other defendants took part in the violence. They were convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Life-threatening injuries

None of the defendants pleaded guilty to attempted murder. Nevertheless, the main perpetrator and the accomplice in the first case have been sentenced to five and a half and three years and three months’ imprisonment, respectively. The victim suffered life-threatening head injuries after being attacked with a machete.

The main perpetrator of the second violent attack, which took place just two minutes after the first episode, has been sentenced to six years and four months in prison in a joint sentence with a previous sentence.

The other two perpetrators have been sentenced to three years and eight months and three and a half years, respectively, for complicity in inflicting grievous bodily harm. The victim suffered life-threatening injuries as he was stabbed in the chest with a machete.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

Do you have a news tip for Norway Today? We want to hear it. Get in touch at [email protected]

Multiple fatalities in Swedish airplane crash – police

Multiple fatalities in Swedish airplane crash - police

Several people died in the crash of an airplane after takeoff outside Orebro, Sweden, on Thursday, Swedish police said, Trend reports citing Reuters.

“It’s a very severe accident,” Swedish police said on their website. “Several people have died.”

Police said the plane was carrying nine people. The Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre told TT news agency it was carrying sky divers.

Read more here >>> Trend – News from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Turkey.

Multiple Miami-area buildings have been evacuated since the Champlain Towers South collapse

Multiple Miami-area buildings have been evacuated since the Champlain Towers South collapse

Ahead of the demolition at the South tower, the condominium board for Champlain Towers East suggested residents evacuate, according to a letter from the condo association’s board of directors obtained by CNN.

The letter encouraged residents to evacuate in advance as streets nearby would be congested due to the demolition. The board also asked residents to take their pets and valuables, including passports and important documents, with them.

The letter encouraged residents to evacuate in advance as streets nearby would be congested due to the demolition. The board also asked residents to take their pets and valuables, including passports and important documents, with them.

“Our building foundation has been checked multiple times, but we make this suggestion in an abundance of caution,” the letter reads. “We do not expect any impact to us but you can’t be too careful under the circumstances.”

On Saturday, the city of Miami Beach ordered the evacuation of a residential building out of an abundance of caution after a city inspector looked at an empty unit and flagged a “flooring system failure in that unit and excessive deflection on an exterior wall,” according to city spokesperson Melissa Berthier.

The day before, North Miami Beach officials ordered the evacuation of the Crestview Towers, saying the building was delinquent with its 40-year recertification. Officials cited the late certification report to say the building was structurally and electrically unsafe.

Many residents of Champlain Towers South whose condos didn’t collapse had to evacuate without many of their belongings, leaving behind clothes, valuables and family photographs.

On Sunday, Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez III said homicide detectives had been “collecting items that are retrievable, and are logging them and documenting them.”

Any type of heirloom that was safe to retrieve is being documented to “be addressed at a later date with family members,” he said.

Author: By Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN
Read more here >>> CNN.com – RSS Channel – HP Hero

Multiple Myeloma Patients May Not Mount Adequate Response to COVID Vaccine

Multiple Myeloma Patients May Not Mount Adequate Response to COVID Vaccine

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Patients with multiple myeloma mount a highly variable antibody response after completing the recommended two-dose COVID-19 vaccination regimen, with some not having any detectable response, according to a new study.

“Patients with zero or low antibodies after both doses/full vaccination should continue wearing masks and social distancing. Their family and social network should be encouraged to get vaccinated, if not already vaccinated,” Dr. Samir Parekh, co-lead author of the study and director of translational research in multiple myeloma at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai in New York City, told Reuters Health by email.

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are very effective in preventing severe COVID-19 infections or death. But patients with multiple myeloma (MM) are immunocompromised and often on immunosuppressive therapy, and preliminary data suggest their antibody response may be lower and/or delayed compared to healthy people.

To investigate further, Dr. Parekh and colleagues analyzed SARS-CoV-2 spike-binding IgG antibody levels in 320 MM patients who received COVID-19 vaccinations; 69% received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 27% the Moderna vaccine and 4% unknown.

Of the 260 fully immunized patients, 219 (84.2%) mounted measurable antibody levels which varied by three orders of magnitude (median 149 AU/mL; range, 5 to 7,882 AU/mL), the team reports in Cancer Cell. And the remaining 41 patients (15.8%) had values below the level of detection.

Antibody responses in a control group of 67 healthcare workers selected to best match the MM population were, in comparison, more homogeneous (median 300 AU/mL, range: 21 to 3,335 AU/mL), and none of them had antibody levels below the level of detection.

“Notably, antibody levels in the 38 fully vaccinated MM patients with prior reported COVID-19 infections were 10 times higher than those of MM patients that were naive at the time of vaccination. This difference has been described previously for healthy vaccinated individuals,” the researchers note in their article.

MM patients receiving anti-CD38 antibodies or B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed therapies were “particularly vulnerable” to having a suboptimal response to COVID-19 vaccination, Dr. Parekh told Reuters Health.

Twenty-four of the 41 (58.5%) “non-responders” were on anti-CD38 therapy at the time of vaccination, 13 (31.7%) were on anti-BCMA bispecific antibody therapy and four (9.8%) had undergone anti-BCMA CAR-T therapy more than three months prior.

“Patients with myeloma should talk to their physicians and obtain COVID-19 antibody testing, especially those actively on chemotherapy,” Dr. Parekh said.

“Patients may benefit from booster doses or passive antibody infusions. This is an area of active research for our team,” Dr. Parekh added.

The study had no commercial funding.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/3yisuK3 Cancer Cell, online June 28, 2021.

Author: By Megan Brooks
Read more here >>> Medscape Medical News

Man shot multiple times in southeast Austin

Man shot multiple times in southeast Austin

Posted: Updated:

Man shot multiple times in southeast Austin

A close-up photo of police lights by night

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police say a man called 911 early Wednesday morning to say he had been shot. When police arrived at the Fairfield Inn and Suites on Interstate 35 near Saint Elmo, they found the man had been shot multiple times.

The man was taken to the hospital where police say he may not survive.

Police believe he was shot on Bluff Springs Road near Nelms Drive just after 12:50 a.m.. They say he was able to make his way to the hotel where he called 911 at 1 a.m..

Police have no suspects in the case.

This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

LIVE: Multiple injuries in 'active scene' shooting in San Jose, Calif., officials say

LIVE: Multiple injuries in 'active scene' shooting in San Jose, Calif., officials say
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Police are responding to an “active scene” shooting in San Jose, California, Wednesday morning.The shooting happened at the VTA rail yard, where light rail cars are stored.

Multiple people have been injured, VTA spokesperson Brandi Childress told KGO. She wasn’t able to confirm the number of those shot or the extent of their injuries.

Mayor Sam Liccardo said the shooting “left several people being treated,” but also didn’t elaborate.

San Jose Police Department tweeted the “shooter is down.”

The VTA building is not open to the public, so the shooter would have needed employee access or to have broken in, Childress said.

“We ask for people’s prayers,” Childress said.

Police asked that “everyone stay out of the area while we conduct our investigation.”The incident started at 6:50 a.m. PT. A witness told our sister station KGO they heard gunshots.

Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies are planning to hold a briefing. We’ll be streaming the press conference live.

This is a breaking news report. Check back here for new developments.

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Author: KTRK

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