Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2015 Contents A19
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CHARLESTON, South Carolina---The con-
gregation at Emanuel African Methodist
Episcopal swayed and sang, prayed and
welcomed the world into their sanctuary
yesterday, holding the first worship serv-
ice since a white gunman was accused
of opening fire during a Bible study
group, killing nine black church mem-
Messages of love, recovery and healing
were interspersed throughout the service,
which no doubt reverberated throughout
churches across the US.
There was enthusiastic singing and
shouting, so much so that many waved
small fans in front of their faces. Bottled
water was handed out.
Uniformed police officers flanked the
congregation as a measure of added secu-
rity, and worshippers cried as they prayed
at the church known as "Mother
Emanuel" because it is one of the oldest
black congregations in the US South.
"It has been tough, it s been rough,
some of us have been downright angry,
but through it all God has sustained us
and has encouraged us. Let us not grow
weary in well-doing," said the Rev Norvel
Goff, a presiding elder of the 7th District
AME Church in South Carolina.
Goff was appointed to lead the historic
Charleston church after Emanuel s senior
pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was
shot and killed. Pinckney was also a state
senator and married father of two chil-
Goff acknowledged that Sunday was
Father s Day and reminded people that
God was "this nine families daddy."
"The blood of the Mother Emmanuel
9 requires us to work until not only justice
in this case, but for those who are still
living in the margin of life, those who are
less fortunate than ourselves, that we stay
on the battlefield until there is no more
fight to be fought. And for that we say,
Thank you, " he said.
Sunday morning marked the first service
at Emanuel since Dylann Roof, 21, sat
among a Bible study group and opened
fire after saying that he targeted them
because they were black, authorities said.
Events to show solidarity were planned
throughout Charleston and beyond. At 10
am EDT (1400 GMT), church bells rang
throughout downtown in this "Holy
City"---which garnered the nickname
because of the numerous churches here.
Later Sunday, people gathered on the
Arthur Ravenel Bridge to join hands in
solidarity. The bridge s namesake is a for-
mer state lawmaker and a vocal supporter
of the Confederate flag flown by the pro-
slavery, secessionist southern states in the
1861-65 American Civil War.
Roof had been photographed with the
Confederate flag several times before the
South Carolina Gov Nikki Haley and
Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley attended
the service at Emanuel. With the church
packed, people gathered outside in the
Despite the grim circumstances the
congregation has been faced with, the
welcoming spirit Roof exploited before
the shooting is still alive, church members
Goff said reopening the doors of
Emanuel so soon after the shooting "sends
a message to every demon in hell and on
For the family of Cynthia Hurd, Sun-
day s service was especially poignant.
Hurd, a longtime librarian, would have
been celebrating her 55th birthday and
was planning a trip to Virginia with her
"Sunday will not be a sad day for me;
it will be a celebration for me. It will be
a celebration for our family because our
faith is being tested," Hurd s younger
brother Malcolm Graham said Friday. "She
was in the company of God trying to help
somebody out. She was where she needed
to be." (AP)
BERLIN---A prominent Al-Jazeera journalist will
remain in German custody for a second night, pros-
ecutors said yesterday, adding they have not yet
decided whether to extradite him to Egypt or set
As dozens of supporters protested Sunday in front
of the Berlin court building where Ahmed Mansour
was being held, his lawyer, Fazli Altin, called for the
journalist s immediate release, saying that Germany
was getting involved in a politically tainted case.
Mansour, 52, a well-known journalist with the
Qatar-based broadcaster s Arabic service, was detained
at Berlin s Tegel airport on Saturday on an Egyptian
arrest warrant, his lawyers said. Mansour, who holds
dual Egyptian-British nationality, was trying to board
a Qatar Airways flight to Doha, the station reported.
A spokesman for the Berlin prosecutor s office said
Sunday that Mansour would be taken to a prison in
the city and that further decisions on his future will
be made next week.
Altin said a court on Monday would most likely
check out the lawfulness of his possible extradition
Mansour s detention is the latest in a long series of
legal entanglements between Egypt and satellite news
channels. The station said he had been sentenced in
absentia in Egypt to 15 years in prison over allegedly
torturing an unnamed lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011,
a charge both he and the channel rejected.
Mansour s arrest is the result of "Egypt s terrible
revenge against journalists that cross the regime," press
freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders said in
a statement Sunday, adding if Germany did extradite
him "it will be putting itself at service of a dictatorial
regime and will dishonour itself."
Altin said Mansour was accused in the warrant "of
having harmed the reputation of Egypt massively"
and of having committed torture.
"It s unacceptable for the freedom of press and
embarrassing for Germany that Mansour is being held
here on these clearly political allegations," he said.
A spokesman for the Berlin court, Martin Steltner,
said Mansour would be taken from the court to a
prison in Berlin s Moabit neighbourhood later Sun-
"(He) has not been set free," Steltner told The Asso-
ciated Press. "Today s meeting was about formalities,
next week there will be an assessment regarding the
validity of the warrant."
A government judicial official told the AP next week
there would be a decision on whether Mansour has
to remain in custody. In addition, the Berlin Court of
Justice would decide---once it gets a request for extra-
dition from Egypt---whether Mansour can be extradited
or whether the case is politically motivated.
Even if the court rules in favour of an extradition,
the German government can still veto that.
A post on Mansour s Facebook page called for a
Freedom for Mansour Ahmed protest outside the Berlin
courthouse. A video of Mansour was also posted to
Facebook after he was questioned in which he lashes
out at German authorities for detaining him. (AP)
Prayers and tears
at Charleston church
MUMBAI, India---Ten more people died
in Mumbai from drinking tainted liquor,
raising the death toll to 94 in the worst
such incident in India in more than a
decade, police said Sunday.
The TEN men died late Saturday, three
days after drinking the cheap liquor in
Malvani, in Mumbai's Malad suburb.
Around 40 others were being treated in
hospitals, including 15 in critical condition.
Eight officers and constables of the
Malwani police station have been
suspended on charges of connivance and
negligence, said Deputy Commissioner
Dhananjay Kulkarni. No further details
Devendra Fadnavis, the top elected
official of Maharashtra state, of which
Mumbai is the capital, has ordered an
inquiry into the cause of the deaths. Police
have collected samples of the spurious
liquor and have sent them for analysis.
Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are
common in India because the poor cannot
afford licensed liquor. Illicit liquor is often
spiked with chemicals such as pesticides
to increase its potency. In 2004, 104
people died after drinking spurious liquor
in Mumbai's Vikhroli area. (AP)
Death toll from tainted liquor in Mumbai reaches 94
during an Acro
yoga class to
Yoga Day, at
Millions of yoga
across the world
bent and twisted
their bodies in
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