Search This Blog

Search Tool

Dec 20, 2016

The Guardian | U.S. Briefing - December 20, 2016: Uncertainty Lingers in Berlin After Deadly Attack

Nicole Puglise

Latest: Berlin Christmas market attack

At least 12 people are dead and 48 injured after a truck drove through a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday evening.
“For now we know little of this deed for certain,” the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said at a press conference. “But given the current information we have we have to assume we are dealing with a terrorist attack.”
A suspect was taken into custody shortly after the attack. Details of the suspect were given at a press conference by Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, but police officials later said they were unsure whether the man in custody had committed the attack. The man, a 23-year-old originally from Pakistan, was not known to security forces for any “suspicious activity” and denied involvement in the attack, De Maizière said.
The number of victims rose overnight from nine to 12, as doctors in clinics around Berlin worked to save lives and treat injuries. One of the dead was the lorry’s registered driver, a Polish national who police said was shot in Potsdam, about nine miles west of Berlin, before the market attack.
Follow our live coverage for updates throughout the day

Six detained after Russian ambassador shot dead in Ankara

Turkish authorities have detained six people for questioning over the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara, as a team of Russian investigators arrived in the country to help the investigation. Those detained include the parents, sister, roommate and three other relatives of the gunman, Mevlut Mert Altıntas, according to local media reports. Andrei Karlov was shot multiple times by the off-duty riot police officer on Monday during the opening of a photography exhibition at a gallery in the Turkish capital. Altıntas was shot by police at the scene. Officials from both countries have been quick to stress their desire for cooperation in the aftermath of the attack and insist the killing will not lead to a downward spiral in diplomatic relations. Footage of the attack showed Altıntas, dressed in a suit and tie, standing calmly behind the ambassador. He pulled out a gun, shouted “Allahu Akbar” and fired at least eight shots. He then shouted in Turkish: “Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria. Unless our towns are secure, you won’t enjoy security. Only death can take me from here. Everyone who is involved in this suffering will pay a price.”
Killer’s parents among seven held over Russian ambassador shooting

Electoral college fails to stop Trump

The so-called “faithless electors” didn’t stop Trump, although they did strike a small but significant blow for reform of America’s arcane way of choosing the president. At least nine electors attempted to cast a protest vote, though several of the nine were likely to have their actions scrubbed from the records under state rules, thus depleting the scale of the rebellion as it will be remembered. In Washington, three electors cast their ballots for Colin Powell, whom they identified as a compromise moderate. A fourth voted for Faith Spotted Eagle. Bret Chiafalo, who co-founded the Hamilton Electors, said their protest had been worthwhile for shining a light on the electoral college system. “We have started a national dialogue about how we elect our president,” Chiafalo said.
Electoral college revolt fails to stop Trump but lands democratic blow

Time is running out to help the Guardian in 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but far fewer are paying for it. And advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. Support the Guardian by becoming a member or making a contribution.

China returns US drone

The Pentagon has said that Beijing has returned the unmanned underwater drone that the Chinese navy seized last week. China’s defense ministry said it handed the drone back after “friendly consultations”. The Pentagon press secretary, Peter Cook, said the Chinese navy vessel that had seized the drone returned it close to where it had been taken. The US said the drone was operated by civilian contractors collecting unclassified scientific data in international waters “in full compliance with international law”. Cook said the US would continue to investigate the incident.
China returns US drone seized by navy after ‘friendly consultations’

Laser-activated drug a ‘leap forward’ for prostate cancer treatment

A drug activated by laser light successfully destroys early prostate cancer while avoiding side-effects like impotence or urinary incontinence that commonly occur with surgery, trial results have shown. The new technique, called vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy, involves injecting a light-sensitive drug into the bloodstream. The drug is then “switched on” by laser pulses fired through optical fibers inserted into the prostate. Of 196 men who received the treatment, about half showed no signs of the disease two years later, compared with 13.5% of those given standard care.
Laser-activated drug a ‘leap forward’ for prostate cancer treatment

The best comics of 2016

Sam Thielman chooses the top comics of the year, from Howard the Duck by Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones to Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier. “Even if no one sheds a tear for 2016, at least the year produced such an amazing crop of comics that we need two No 1 spots,” he writes. The two comics tied for the number one spot were Patience by Daniel Clowes and My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol 1 by Emil Ferris.
Time travel, slackers and Wonder Woman: the best comic books of 2016

Petra Kvitova attacked by knife-wielding intruder at home in Czech Republic

The two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has been injured by a knife-wielding attacker at her home on Tuesday. Karel Tejkal, the player’s spokesman, says Kvitova suffered wounds to her left hand and has been treated by doctors. The incident, which Tejkal described as a burglary, occurred on Tuesday morning in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov. He says Kvitova’s injuries were not life-threatening.
Petra Kvitova attacked by knife-wielding intruder at home in Czech Republic

In case you missed it …. ‘unpresidented’ is our word of the year

Adam Gabbatt conjured some potential definitions. Here’s one of them: an irrecoverable act of folly committed by a president. Usage: “One of Barack Obama’s most unpresidented moments was when he wore those mom jeans. One of Donald Trump’s most unpresidented moments was when he started that full-scale nuclear war.”
‘Unpresidented’: Donald Trump invents the Guardian’s word of the year