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Man armed with bow and arrow kills five people in Norway attacks, police say

By Terje Solsvik and Victoria Klesty

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Man armed with bow and arrow kills five people in Norway attacks, police say
© Reuters. Police officers investigate after several people were killed and others were injured by a man using a bow and arrows to carry out attacks, in Kongsberg, Norway, October 13, 2021. Hakon Mosvold/NTB/via REUTERS

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By Terje Solsvik and Victoria Klesty

OSLO (Reuters) -A man armed with a bow and arrow killed five people and wounded two others in a series of attacks in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg on Wednesday, local police said.

The suspect was in custody, police added.

“The man used a bow and arrow … for some of the attacks,” police chief Oeyvind Aas told reporters. The police were investigating whether other weapons had also been used, he said.

“The man has been apprehended … from the information we now have, this person carried out these actions alone,” Aas added.

One of the wounded people was an off-duty police officer.

Newspaper VG showed images of an arrow that appeared to be stuck in the wall of a wood-paneled building.

The death toll was the worst of any attack in Norway since 2011, when far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers at a youth camp

The attacks on Wednesday took place over “a large area” of Kongsberg, a municipality of about 28,000 people in southeastern Norway, 68 km (42 miles) from the capital, Oslo.

The government said police had launched a large investigation.

“The reports coming from Kongsberg tonight are horrifying,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a news conference.

“I understand that many people are afraid, but it’s important to emphasise that the police are now in control,” she said.

Following the attacks, the police directorate said it had ordered officers nationwide to carry firearms. Norwegian police are normally unarmed but officers have access to guns and rifles when needed.

“This is an extra precaution. The police have no indication so far that there is a change in the national threat level,” the directorate said in a statement.

Aas said police would investigate whether the attack amounted to an act of terrorism.

Norway’s minister of justice and public security, Monica Maeland, has received updates on the attacks and was closely monitoring the situation, the ministry said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Explainer: South Korea sees peace declaration as key to restarting North Korea talks

By Josh Smith

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Explainer: South Korea sees peace declaration as key to restarting North Korea talks
© Reuters. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters/Files

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By Josh Smith

SEOUL (Reuters) – In a last-ditch attempt to restart talks with North Korea before his term ends next year, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is calling for a declaration that could eventually end a state of war that has technically lasted since the 1950s.

South Korea and a U.S.-led U.N. force are technically still at war with North Korea since the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty, and Seoul sees an “end of war declaration” as a way to build trust, restart stalled denuclearisation talks, and eventually secure a lasting peace agreement.

Such a declaration is seen as a less politically fraught issue than other points of contention, such as North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

But critics fear a declaration could undermine the U.S.-South Korea alliance or weaken international pressure over the North’s weapons programmes, and both Koreas have failed to follow through on previous efforts to end the war.

UNENDED WAR

In 1953, South Korean leaders opposed the idea of a truce that left the peninsula divided, and were not signatories to the armistice, which was officially signed by the commander of North Korea’s army, the U.S. commander of the U.N. Command, and the commander of the “Chinese people’s volunteers”, who were not officially claimed by Beijing at the time.

The idea of ending the war gained renewed attention in 2018 during a flurry of diplomacy between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, then-U.S. President Donald Trump, and South Korea’s Moon.

The two Koreas agreed to declare the Korean War over by the end of that year, and Trump said the effort had his blessing if North Korea agreed to give up its nuclear arsenal.

But as disagreements over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and international sanctions dragged on, Washington and Pyongyang showed less interest and the idea stalled along with nearly all talks.

PROSPECTS FOR A DEAL

In a speech at the United Nations last month, Moon again raised the idea. North Korean officials responded that Moon’s proposals were of interest, but premature without a change in what they deemed to be hostile policies.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has said it is open to negotiations without preconditions.

North Korea has rebuffed those overtures, however, saying that U.S. support for sanctions and military moves in the region suggest its talk of diplomacy hides hostile intent.

“To be effective, (a declaration) needs to be embedded in a broader process,” said John Delury, a professor at South Korea’s Yonsei University. “But signalling readiness for an end of war declaration is, at minimum, a way for the Biden administration to signal they are serious about ending the so-called hostile policy.”

When asked about the South’s proposals, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan this week declined to comment on specifics. He said that the United States agreed with South Korea on the need for diplomacy, but may have a different perspective when it comes to the timing, conditions, or sequence of different steps.

Some analysts note that a deal could have implications for the roughly 28,500 U.S. troops and the U.N. command stationed in South Korea as a legacy of the war, which help secure the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas.

South Korea’s plan calls for a political declaration that the Korean War is over, then a peace treaty that replaces the armistice, and finally the establishment of a broader peace regime, said Duyeon Kim, with the U.S.-based Center for a New American Security.

The Biden administration may support raising the idea of a declaration as a way to gauge North Korean attitudes but is unlikely to support anything that alters the armistice, she said.

North Korea, meanwhile, has made it clear it is not interested in a symbolic declaration.

“It would likely be interested if a declaration alters or promises to change the armistice and U.N. Command,” Kim said.

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U.S. senators urge Biden to avoid India sanctions over Russian deal

By Sanjeev Miglani

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U.S. senators urge Biden to avoid India sanctions over Russian deal
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden meets with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

By Sanjeev Miglani

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Two U.S. senators have urged President Joe Biden to waive sanctions against India over its purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defence system, saying such a punitive measure would endanger growing cooperation.

India signed a $5.5 billion deal with Russia in 2018 for five of the surface-to-air missile systems for defence against long-time adversary Pakistan and China, with which it is locked in a standoff on their disputed border.

But the proposed transfer has caused friction with the United States, which passed a law in 2017 under which any country engaged with Russia’s defence and intelligence sectors could face sanctions.

Republican Senator John Corny and Democrat Senator Mark Warner wrote a letter to Biden to Tuesday calling for a waiver on the grounds of national security and broader cooperation.

“We believe there is a national security imperative to waiving sanctions,” the senators said in their letter which they issued in a press release.

They said they were concerned the transfer of the Russian systems would trigger sanctions against India under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was enacted to hold Russia accountable for interfering in U.S. elections, cyber hacking and bullying Ukraine.

India has made a down payment on the S400 systems and the first set of missile batteries is expected to be begin deployment later this year.

The United States imposed sanctions on Turkey for buying the same equipment last year.

Cornyn and Warner, who are co-chairs of a Senate India Caucus, said they shared the administration’s concerns about Russia but they warned of damage to cooperation with India if sanctions were to be imposed.

“We believe that the application of CAATSA sanctions could have a deleterious effect on a strategic partnership with India, while at the same time, not achieve the intended purpose of deterring Russian arms sales,” they wrote.

India has been cutting back on purchases of military equipment from Russia, which for years was its main source, with a 53% drop in Russian arms exports to India from 2016 to 2020 compared with the preceding five-year period.

India’s defence deals with the United States, on the other hand, have been increasing with sales at $3.4 billion in 2020 financial year. These are positive trends, the senators said.

“Imposing sanctions at this time could derail deepening cooperation with India across all aspects of our bilateral relationship – from vaccines to defense cooperation, from energy strategy to technology sharing.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Gunman in Idaho shopping mall shooting spree dies of injuries

By Steve Gorman

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Gunman in Idaho shopping mall shooting spree dies of injuries
© Reuters. Law enforcement officers collect evidence near the scene of a shooting at the Boise Towne Square shopping mall in Boise, Idaho, U.S., October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – A man who opened fire with a handgun at a shopping mall in Boise, Idaho, killing two people and injuring several others, including a police officer, died on Tuesday from wounds sustained during the violence a day earlier, authorities said.

Investigators have yet to determine whether the fatal injuries resulted from an exchange of gunfire with police at the scene, or from a self-inflicted gunshot before he was taken into custody, according to Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee.

The motive for Monday’s midday bloodshed remained under investigation, Lee told reporters in a briefing a day after the attack at Boise Towne Square mall on the west end of Idaho’s capital.

The suspect was publicly identified on Tuesday as 27-year-old Jacob Bergquist, a Boise resident. Police Chief Lee described him as having had previous run-ins with mall security and police for “disruptive behavior.”

“We have had contact with him in the past () we did not have any reason to arrest him,” Lee said, adding that Bergquist was not believed to have had any employment history at the mall.

Police also disclosed new details about incident, saying that the suspect, dressed in black, fired multiple shots inside the mall before he fled the building and was confronted by officers arriving on the scene within 2 1/2 minutes.

He credited the swift response by law enforcement with preventing a “more grave tragedy.”

The slain victims were identified by the county coroner as Joseph Acker, 26, a mall security officer who was the first person shot, and Roberto Arguelles, 49, who was gunned down near and elevator and died at a hospital.

Two women, aged 52 and 23, were injured as the suspect proceeded through the mall firing rounds into the floor, and a third woman, 68, was injured in her vehicle outside the building, apparently caught in the crossfire between police and the gunman, authorities said.

A Boise police officer called to the scene was shot at through the window of his vehicle and was injured by shards of broken glass, though evidence shows that gunfire struck the hat he was wearing, police said.

Another man was taken by private vehicle to a hospital and treated for injuries suffered in a fall while fleeing the mall, police said.

None of the wounded people’s injuries were considered life-threatening, authorities said.

Lee said the suspect did all his shooting with a handgun, but a police statement online said he was carrying multiple firearms.

(Reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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