Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 5th 2016 Contents A13
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BERLIN---German police has
described a series of sexual assaults
against women in Cologne on New
Year's Eve as "a completely new
dimension of crime."
Officers received numerous
complaints from women who said they
had been assaulted around Cologne's
main train station next to the western
German city's famous cathedral on the
night from Thursday to Friday.
Cologne police chief Wolfgang Albers
says witnesses described the assaults
as coming from a group of up to 1,000
men whose appearance indicated they
were of "Arab or North African origin."
Some 60 criminal complaints have so
far been filed, including one allegation
of rape. German news agency dpa
quoted Albers telling reporters
yesterday that it was "an intolerable
situation that such crimes are
committed in the middle of the city."
A number of Saudi Arabia s allies have
joined diplomatic action against Iran after
the Saudi embassy in Tehran was attacked
amid a row over the execution of a Shia
Bahrain and Sudan have both severed rela-
tions with Iran, and the UAE has downgraded
its diplomatic team.
Saudi Arabia on Sunday severed ties and
gave Iran's diplomats two days to go.
Saudi Arabia and Iran are the key Sunni
and Shia powers in the region and back oppos-
ing sides in Syria and Yemen.
Bahrain, which is ruled by a Sunni monarchy
but has a majority Shia population, yesterday
gave Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave the
It accused Iran of "increasing, flagrant and
dangerous meddling" in the internal affairs
of Gulf and Arab states.
It said the attack on the Saudi embassy
was part of a "very dangerous pattern of sec-
tarian policies that should be confronted...
to preserve security and stability in the entire
Bahrain, which hosts the US Navy's 5th
Fleet, has frequently accused Iran of fomenting
unrest in the country since 2011---a charge
A Sudan foreign ministry statement read:
"In response to the barbaric attacks on the
Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran and its con-
sulate in Mashhad... Sudan announces the
immediate severing of ties with the Islamic
Republic of Iran."
The split between Sunni and Shia sects
arose from a dispute soon after the death of
the Prophet Muhammad in 632 over who
should lead the Muslim community
Though the two branches have co-existed
for centuries and share many fundamental
beliefs and practices, differences lie in the
fields of doctrine, ritual, law, theology and
Saudi Arabia announced late on Sunday
that it was severing diplomatic relations with
Iran after demonstrators stormed the Saudi
embassy in Tehran. It has recalled its own
Iran's foreign ministry yesterday accused
the Saudis of "continuing the policy of increas-
ing tension and clashes in the region."
BERLIN---Several shots were fired early
yesterday at a home for asylum seekers in
western Germany and one resident was
lightly injured, police said.
The shots were fired at a window of the
building in the town of Dreieich, and one hit
a 23-year-old asylum seeker who was sleep-
ing, according to police in Offenbach, near
Frankfurt. He was taken to a hospital, but
was able to leave shortly afterward.
Police didn't specify the nationality of the
injured migrant. Local authorities said 30
people were living in the building and that
15 men---14 Syrians and an Afghan---were in
the part that was fired at.
Germany saw around a million asylum
seekers arrive last year. While Germans have
generally been welcoming, there have been
arson attacks, assaults and other crimes
against refugee shelters. (AP)
WARSAW---Officials in Poland
say that over 40 people have died
of hypothermia or fallen to their
deaths in the mountains in sub-
The national police spokes-
woman Bozena Wysocka said yes-
terday that 39 people have frozen
to death since November 1, includ-
ing 21 last weekend when tem-
peratures fell to minus 18 Celsius.
Tatra Mountains rescuers say
that six tourists have slipped and
fallen to their deaths since Decem-
ber 25 while trekking on frozen
snow and ice in the Polish Tatras.
Seven other died in falls in the
Slovak part of the Tatras.
The rescuers have appealed to
tourists to give up trips in the high
mountains that reach above 8,700
HONG KONG---Hong Kong s
leader said yesterday that he was
"highly concerned" about the
recent disappearances of five people
associated with a publishing com-
pany in the city that specialises in
titles critical of mainland China s
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying
also told reporters that there's no
evidence so far to support suspicions
that security agents from the main-
land were involved in the disappear-
Five people associated with Hong
Kong publisher Mighty Current and
its Causeway Bay Bookstore have
vanished in recent months.
The disappearances have raised
fears that Beijing is tightening its
grip on Hong Kong, a semiau-
tonomous Chinese territory that
enjoys civil liberties such as freedom
of the press that don't exist on the
The latest and most startling case
came last week, when the publisher's
chief editor, Lee Bo, failed to return
home after paying a visit to a book
Four other people linked to the
company went missing in October,
but they were last seen either in
mainland China or Thailand.
Hong Kong's leader also said
there's "no indication" yet that Chi-
nese agents are involved, and
appealed for information from any-
one who could help give a better
idea of the missing people's where-
abouts or the reasons for the their
The governor of Mexico s More-
los state, Graco Ramirez, has taken
command of police services in 15
towns and cities following the mur-
der of a newly-elected mayor on
"The government will not be
intimidated by organised crime," he
The mayor, Gisela Mota, was shot
dead at her home less than 24 hours
after taking office in the town of
She promised to try to clean up
the city, where problems associated
with drugs and organised crime are
Her murder "is a message and a
clear threat for the mayors who
recently took office to not accept
the police co-ordination scheme
that we have supported and that is
being built at a national level," said
Mota, a left-of-centre former fed-
eral congresswoman, was shot dead
on Saturday morning.
Police shot two of the attackers
and arrested two others.
Several Mexican mayors were
killed last year by alleged drug traf-
Mota was one of many politicians
backing the governor's proposals to
remove powers from local police.
Drug trafficking and extortion
gangs have turned Morelos into one
of Mexico's most violent states.
Saudi allies act against Iran
Mexico mayor shooting:
Governor takes over
40 die in Poland from cold weather
Germany: Shots fired at refugee home
Concern as Hong Kong booksellers 'disappeared'
Yahya, a Syrian child from Raqqa,
cleans snow covering his tent after
the first heavy snow storm in the
Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, Sunday.
OUT IN THE COLD
Sex assaults on New Year's Eve condemned
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