Seattle, Jul 10 (AP/UNB) — Three people were stabbed at random in downtown Seattle, and a suspect is in custody, authorities said.
Seattle Police responded to a call about 10 a.m. Tuesday. Police said in a blotter post that a 79-year-old man who was stabbed in the neck and a 77-year-old man who was stabbed in the back were taken to Harborview Medical Center. Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg, who updated the older man's age, said at 5 p.m. Tuesday that he was in serious condition while the other man was satisfactory.
Another man was stabbed in the forearm and treated at the scene, police said.
Christopher Morisette, 29, was arrested a couple blocks away, according to police. Officers recovered a knife he had discarded in the back of a package delivery truck as well his clothes, which he removed as he fled, police said.
"We do believe this was an unprovoked, random attack," said Seattle Police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, spokesman for the department.
Police booked Morisette into jail for investigation of assault and a state Department of Corrections violation.
It wasn't known if Morisette has a lawyer.
Morisette has spent time at the state's largest psychiatric hospital and was sentenced to 45 days in jail after a December attack on a woman at another mental health facility, KIRO-TV reported .
James Sido, a spokesman for the Downtown Seattle Association, said in a statement that "everyone deserves to feel safe in the heart of our city, and we clearly have more work to do to make that a reality."
Washington, Jul 10 (AP/UNB) — President Donald Trump gave a warm White House welcome Tuesday to the leader of Qatar amid a bitter rift between the tiny, energy-rich nation and its fellow American allies in the Persian Gulf and rising tensions with Iran.
Trump clasped hands with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and called him a friend while recognizing the country's extensive military partnership with the U.S. and billions of dollars in purchases from American companies.
"They are investing very heavily in our country," Trump said. "They're creating lots of jobs. They're buying tremendous amounts of military equipment, including planes."
Five commercial agreements were signed. Qatar Airways is buying five Boeing 777 Freighters and large-cabin aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace and plans to use General Electric Co. jet engines to power its Boeing aircraft.
The White House also said the Qatari defense ministry will buy a missile defense system from Raytheon. In addition, Chevron Phillips Chemical and Qatar Petroleum have agreed to jointly develop a $8 billion petrochemical plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The price tags on the other deals — including some that have been previously announced — were not disclosed, but those familiar with the transactions said they totaled tens of billions of dollars.
The emir's visit comes at a time when Trump is facing critical decisions in the Mideast.
Four Arab nations that are friendly with the United States — Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — have boycotted Qatar, claiming it supports extremist groups in the region. The countries have stopped Qatar Airways flights from using their airspace, closed off the small country's sole land border with Saudi Arabia and blocked its ships from using their ports.
In the past, Trump also has accused Doha of funding terror groups. Qatar denies the charges and at a Monday night dinner for the Qatari delegation, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin praised the emir for his help in combatting terrorist financing.
The four Arab nations aligned against Qatar also have pointed to Doha's close relationship with Iran. Qatar restored full diplomatic ties to Iran amid the dispute.
Efforts by the U.S. and Western powers to mend the split largely have gone nowhere.
Meanwhile, Iran, which is chaffing under U.S. economic sanctions, has begun enriching uranium in violation of a 2015 nuclear deal. The deal has been unraveling since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement. Finding ways to counter Iran will be a priority when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with the emir on Wednesday.
Qatar is home to the forward headquarters of the U.S. military's Central Command. The sprawling Al Udeid Air Base is home to some 10,000 American troops. Last month, nearly a dozen Air Force F-22 stealth fighters were deployed there in response to intelligence reports of heightened Iranian threats against American forces in the region. The F-22 Raptors were sent to the base, which is a hub for U.S. air operations in the Middle East.
"They built one of the great military bases I would say anywhere in the world," Trump said. "It's just been expanded with runways and everything else."
Qatar, which has one of the world's highest per capita incomes due to its natural gas reserves, has worked to open up other avenues of income to offset the impact of the boycott.
"We have a lot of investments in the U.S.," the emir said. "We trust the economy here. We do a lot on infrastructure and we're planning to do more investment."
Qatar also has paid millions of dollars to Washington lobbyists to help burnish its image and makes lavish gifts to top U.S. universities, including Georgetown University and Texas A&M. The Education Department is investigating the gifts.
Dhaka, Jul 10 (UNB) - A senior general has said the US wants to create an international military coalition to safeguard waters around Iran and Yemen, reports the BBC.
Marine General Joseph Dunford said he wanted to "ensure freedom of navigation" in the region, which provides essential trade routes.
Last month the US blamed Iranian-backed fighters for attacks on two tankers.
Gen Dunford said the US was in talks with a number of countries who had the "political will" to support the plans.
The US would provide "command and control" ships, he said, but the aim would be for other countries to offer boats to establish patrol between those ships.
Gen Dunford said the US would "work directly with the militaries to identify the specific capabilities" each country has to support the initiative.
The Straits of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandab are essential strategic marine locations, providing access from the ocean into the Gulf and the Red Sea.
The general said the size of the initiative depended on the number of countries which decided to take part.
"With a small number of contributors, we can have a small mission," he said. "We'll expand that as the number of nations that are willing to participate identify themselves."
Everyday, nearly four million barrels of oil pass through the Bab-al Mandab to the rest of the world.
Why is the US so concerned about shipping?
The US accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers with mines in June, just outside the Strait of Hormuz - an accusation denied by Iran.
Days later, an unmanned US drone was shot down by Iranian forces in the Gulf.
Iran said it had violated Iranian airspace and would send a "clear message to America". The US insisted the drone had been over international waters. President Donald Trump tweeted: "Iran made a very big mistake!"
Iran has said it would close the Strait of Hormuz if it was unable to export oil, a sanction that US President Donald Trump has threatened to impose if Iran does not renegotiate a nuclear deal.
"Iran is not seeking war with any country, but we are fully prepared to defend Iran," said Maj-Gen Hossein Salami, head of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, after the drone was shot down.
There have been growing tensions between the UK and Iran too, after Britain said the Iranian regime was "almost certainly" responsible for the attacks on two oil tankers in June.
US-Iran tension: Recent events
May 2018: US President Donald Trump withdraws unilaterally from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, and begins reinstating sanctions to force Iran to renegotiate the accord. Iran's economy slumps as they take effect.
2 May 2019: Mr Trump steps up pressure on Tehran by ending exemptions from secondary sanctions for countries still buying Iranian oil.
5 May: The US sends an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf because of "troubling and escalatory indications" related to Iran.
8 May: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will scale back its commitments under the nuclear deal in retaliation for the sanctions, including by allowing its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to increase. Enriched uranium is used to make reactor fuel and potentially nuclear weapons.
12 May: Four oil tankers are damaged by explosions off the UAE coast in the Gulf of Oman. The UAE says the blasts were caused by limpet mines planted by a "state actor". The US blames Iran, but it denies the allegation.
13 June: Explosions hit two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The US again accuses Iran, releasing footage purportedly showing Iranian forces removing an unexploded limpet mine from a damaged vessel. Iran says the evidence is fabricated.
17 June: Iran says it will breach the limit on its stockpile of enriched uranium set under the nuclear deal on 27 June, unless Europe protects Iranian oil sales.
20 June: Iranian forces shoot down US military drone over the Strait of Hormuz.
4 July: Gibraltar, assisted by British Royal Marines, seizes Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 on suspicion of breaking EU sanctions on trade with Syria
Cleveland, July 9 (AP/UNB) — Police investigating the shooting death of a man in a vacant lot in Cleveland say they also found the bodies of a woman and two children in a nearby house.
Authorities aren't saying how the three found inside the house Tuesday died, but they did say the four deaths are connected.
Cleveland's police chief says investigators are looking for several people of interest and that they are following multiple leads in the shooting on the city's east side.
Police Chief Calvin Williams would not release any information about the ages of the victims or how they may have been related. He says their relatives were still being notified.
Several family members had gathered outside the house and were crying and hugging. One man was heard yelling, "My son, my son."
United Nations , Jul 9 (AP/UNB) — Some 464,000 homicides were recorded around the world in 2017, far more than the number pf people killed in armed conflicts and terrorist attacks, a U.N. report said Monday.
The Global Study on Homicide 2919 published Monday said the region with highest number of homicide victims was the Americas.
But the report from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime also had some good news. While the total number of people who suffered violent deaths has increased over 25 years, the global population has grown faster, so the risk of being killed in a homicide has declined. There were 7.2 homicides per 100,000 people in 1972, but by 2017 that had declined to 6.1 victims per 100,000 people.
Yury Fedotov, executive director of the Vienna-based U.N. office, said the study "seeks to shed light on gender-related killings, lethal gang violence and other challenges, to support prevention and interventions to bring down homicide rates."
The study highlights such drivers of homicide as inequality, unemployment, political instability, gender stereotypes and organized crime. It also points to the importance of countries following the rule of law, tackling corruption and promoting economic development and education to bring down violent crime.
According to the study, the 464,000 victims of homicides compares to 89,000 killed in armed conflicts and 26,000 who died in terrorist violence in 2017.
Between 2015 and 2017, the total number of homicide victims worldwide increased 4 percent, or around 19,000, it said. The office warned that if this trend continues, the U.N. goal of reducing all forms of violence and death rates by 2030 will not be met.
The study said organized crime is responsible for 19 percent of global homicides. It said an average of roughly 65,000 killings every year were related to organized crime and gangs during the 2000-2017 period.
"Countries in the Americas reported 173,000 victims of intentional homicide — 37 percent of the global total (in 2017) in a region that accounts for only 13 percent of the world's population," the report said. "The homicide rate of 17.2 victims per 100,000 population in the Americas was the highest recorded in the region since reliable records began in 1990."
The only other region with a homicide rate in 2017 exceeding the global average was Africa, with 13.0 victims per 100,000 people, or a total of 163,000 victims, it said.
By contrast, Europe's rate was 3.0 per 100,000, with 22,000 homicide victims, while Asia, with 60 percent of the world's people, had the lowest regional rate — 2.3 per 100,000 people or 104,000 victims.
According to the study, "shooting has long been the most common cause of death in homicide cases worldwide." In 2017, it said, slightly more than half the homicides were a result of firearms, while only 20 percent involved sharp objects.
"In the Americas, firearms were involved in roughly three-quarters of homicides in 2017, which accounted for more than one quarter of the homicides worldwide that year," the report said.
Globally, some 81 percent of homicide victims in 2017 were men and boys, and more than 90 percent of suspects in homicide cases were male, the study said.
For women, it said, "the home remains the most dangerous place." Some 87,000 women and girls were slain in 2017, which was a decrease from 2012, but the percentage killed by intimate partners or other family members rose from 47 percent of all female homicide victims in 2012 to 58 percent in 2017, the report said.