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Reference Library – Wales

Security forces end standoff with gunmen at Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel

Security forces have brought an end to the standoff with gunmen at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul with all the attackers killed, Afghan officials have said. Four Afghans and 14 foreigners were killed in the attack, according to Afghanistan’s interior ministry. Najib Danish, a spokesman for the ministry, said that 11 of the 14 foreigners killed were employees of KamAir, a private Afghan airline.

He said that 10 others were wounded, including six security officers and four civilians. Ukraine’s foreign ministry confirmed that one of its citizens was among those killed. KamAir put out an announcement saying some of their flights were disrupted because of the attack.

The Taliban claimed its forces were behind the attack, with spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid saying the group had initially planned to attack the hotel on Thursday night but postponed the assault because there was a wedding underway and they wanted to avoid civilian casualties. The attack, which lasted more than 12 hours, began round 9pm local time on Saturday evening. As the attack came to an end, security forces went room-by-room to ensure all the gunmen had been neutralised, Mr Danish said.

Located on a hilltop in the Bagh-e Bala area of the capital, Intercontinental Hotel is heavily guarded because it hosts both Afghan and foreign guests as well as official conferences. Security at the hotel had been contracted to a private firm about three weeks ago, the interior ministry said. The hotel has become a symbol of Afghanistan and it has been attacked several times.

Twenty one people were killed in 2011 after members of the Taliban stormed the building.

Earlier this month Kabul was rocked by a suicide attack1 in which 11 people, including six police officers, died.

References

  1. ^ rocked by a suicide attack (www.itv.com)

C4 calls in security experts after presenter suffers online abuse

Cathy Newman subjected to vicious misogynistic abuse after interview with psychologist

Cathy Newman interviewed Jordan Peterson on Tuesday . Photograph: Channel 4

Channel 4 News has called in security specialists to analyse threats made to presenter Cathy Newman1 following her interview with a controversial Canadian psychologist who has attracted a following among the alt-right . Ben de Pear, the editor of Channel 42 News, said Newman had been subjected to vicious misogynistic abuse . Having to calling in security specialists was a terrible indictment of the times we live in , he said. Newman interviewed the psychologist, Jordan Peterson, about gender on Tuesday .

A video of the full 30-minute interview has been watched more than 1.6m times on the Channel 4 News YouTube page3 and has attracted more than 36,000 comments. Peterson rose to prominence in 2016 when he released a video lecture series in which he said that his right to free speech meant he would not use gender-neutral pronouns for transgender students at the University of Toronto . He was in the UK promoting a new book called 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. The combative Channel 4 interview led to praise for Peterson and criticism for Newman on some right-leaning sites. James Delingpole, a Breitbart columnist4, said the interview marked a pivotal victory in the culture wars and that the weaknesses of the regressive left have never been more cruelly or damningly expose . Douglas Murray in the Spectator5 said: I don t think I have ever witnessed an interview that is more catastrophic for the interviewer.

Newman has faced a wave of abuse and threats online, including on Twitter . There is no suggestion that Peterson, Delingpole or Murray are behind the threats or instigated them. De Pear said on Twitter on Friday: Our Channel 4 News on-screen journalists expect to be held to account for their journalism but the level of vicious misogynistic abuse, nastiness, and threat to Cathy Newman is an unacceptable response to a robust and engaging debate with Jordan Peterson.

Such is the scale of threat we are having to get security specialists in to carry out an analysis . I will not hesitate to get the police involved if necessary . What a terrible indictment of the times we live in.

Newman retweeted De Pear s posts . In response to Murray s column – in which he said Newman should get Channel 4 to remove the video from the internet because of how catastrophic it was – she said earlier in the week: Always grateful for advice from Douglas Murray but I won t be suing or taking out a super-injunction . I thoroughly enjoyed my bout with Jordan Peterson as did hundreds of thousands of our viewers . Viva feminism, viva free speech . Stay tuned Douglas. Channel 4 News said: Following her interview with psychology professor Jordan Peterson broadcast earlier this week, our presenter Cathy Newman has been the target of unwarranted and unacceptable misogynistic abuse and threats.

As journalists in the public eye, our presenters expect criticism, but we will not tolerate this level of abuse towards our staff .

We have taken immediate steps to ensure Cathy s safety and security and continue to offer her our full support on this matter.

References

  1. ^ Cathy Newman (www.theguardian.com)
  2. ^ Channel 4 (www.theguardian.com)
  3. ^ Channel 4 News YouTube page (www.youtube.com)
  4. ^ James Delingpole, a Breitbart columnist (www.breitbart.com)
  5. ^ Douglas Murray in the Spectator (blogs.spectator.co.uk)

Ross McCormack talks about Aston Villa ‘security’ and A-League critics

Ross McCormack has hit back at A-League critics and reiterated his desire to extend his loan spell at Melbourne City. McCormack, 31, has scored 13 times in just 15 appearances since joining Melbourne on an injury replacement loan deal from Aston Villa in September. And the striker reckons his current side – as well as some of their opponents – could compete with the likes of Villa in the Championship.

He told reporters Down Under: Back home people turn their nose up at it a little bit . They say, You score for fun over there, it s not a great standard , but – all of the teams we ve played against – we haven t had an easy game.

There s certainly teams in this league that could hold their own in the Championship, I believe.

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McCormack s loan spell has been highly successful but there were fears it might have to be cut short due to injury in December. The striker – who arrived at Villa Park from Fulham in a 12million deal in August 2016 – suffered a knee injury in City s defeat to A-League leaders Sydney. He was told by club medics that his injury was serious but he played just eight days later.

I thought I was going to be out for a long period of time . It didn t look good after the game.

All the tests that the physios and doctors were doing were saying that my cruciate ligament had gone.

I m obviously not in a good position at Aston Villa as well .

Luckily I ve got two and a half years left on my contract there so the security is there but, in terms of the football side of it, if I was out for a year you don t know what s going to happen.

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McCormack has been red hot throughout the entirety of his time in Australia but he s been particularly prolific in the last few weeks . Six goals in his last four games has seen City officials step up negotiations with Villa in an attempt to extend his deal until the end of the campaign. And McCormack is happy to do just that with no reprieve on offer at Villa Park following his infamous falling out with Steve Bruce.

The chance is there for me to finish the season . If Melbourne can agree a deal with Aston Villa then yes, definitely . We can definitely vie for a trophy .

I don t see why we can t go and win the Grand Final.