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'Too early' to know whether Casillas will play football again

Casillas also helped Spain win one World Cup and two European Championships [Andrew Boyers/Reuters]

Iker Casillas is expected to fully recover from a heart attack but Porto’s doctor said it was too early to know if the veteran goalkeeper will keep playing professionally.

Casillas remained in the hospital on Thursday, a day after falling ill during practice and undergoing a catheterisation.

Dr Nelson Puga said the future of the 37-year-old goalie will depend on several factors.

“It’s too early to say anything. It will depend on the medication that he will need to take, on the evaluation of the physical demands of his profession, and also on his will to keep playing,” Puga told Porto’s official TV channel.

“Only after carefully taking all that into consideration will it be possible to decide whether he will continue and whether he wants to continue.”

Casillas said everything was “under control” and despite “a big scare” he was still feeling strong.

Puga said “luckily” the heart attack was diagnosed quickly after Casillas arrived at the hospital, and the goalkeeper was not expected to sustain any long-term damage.

He said the doctors who treated Casillas “thankfully had good hands, just like Casillas in goal”.

Casillas’s agent, Carlo Cutropia, told Spanish media the goalkeeper started feeling chest pain and problems with his mouth and arms nearly halfway through practice at Porto’s training centre.

“This is more important than winning a World Cup,” Cutropia said. “It’s the greatest victory of his life, the biggest save of his life.”

He said Casillas was feeling upbeat and was joking around in the hospital.

Casillas recently had his contract with Porto extended until the end of the 2019-20 season, with an option for another one-year extension.

He joined the Portuguese club in 2015 after 16 seasons with Real Madrid, which he helped to win five Spanish league titles and three Champions League trophies.

Casillas also helped Spain win one World Cup and two European Championships.

Source: Aljazeera

Turkish man wounded in Christchurch mosque attack dies

The 46-year-old had been in intensive care since being shot at the Al Noor mosque in March. [Edgar Su/Reuters]

A Turkish man wounded in the Christchurch mosque shootings seven weeks ago has died in Christchurch Hospital, raising the death toll to 51.

The 46-year-old had been in intensive care since being shot at the Al Noor mosque in March.

Brenton Tarrant, 28-year-old Australian, has been charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder for New Zealand’s worst-ever mass shooting.

On Friday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the news of the Turkish man’s death would be felt across both countries.

“This man has been in intensive care since the attack,” said Ardern in a statement. “We have all been hoping for the best, however he has now succumbed to the injuries sustained in the shooting at the Al Noor mosque.” 

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Relations between Turkey and New Zealand have been strained since the March 15 attack after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed clips from the gunman’s live-streamed footage at his election campaign rallies to denounce hatred against Islam.

New Zealand authorities have banned the video, and anybody caught sharing it in New Zealand can face up to 14 years in prison.

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Winston Peters travelled to Turkey a week after the attacks to try to smooth relations.

On Thursday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter: “Unfortunately, we have lost our citizen … who was seriously wounded in the treacherous terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.”

The state-run Anadolu Agency said the father of two was wounded in the back and the leg and died after undergoing surgery. He was one of three Turkish citizens wounded in the attack.

Nine people shot in the attack remain in hospital, all in a stable condition.

In April, New Zealand’s parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of legislation to ban semi-automatic and military-style weapons.

New Zealand’s major media organisations also pledged not to promote white supremacist ideology while covering Tarrant’s trial, saying they were aware that the suspect might try to use the trial as a platform to promote white supremacist or “terrorist” views.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Source: Aljazeera

Myanmar troops kill six in Rakhine for suspected rebel links

More recently, civilians have been caught up in clashes between the military and the Arakan Army [File:Min Kyi Thein/AP Photo]

Myanmar security forces have shot dead at least six people in the troubled western state of Rakhine after soldiers and police detained hundreds of people at a school, a military spokesperson said.

The soldiers had rounded up about 275 people during a search for members of the rebel Arakan Army, said Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun from the military’s True News Information Team.

There were conflicting accounts of events leading up to the shooting on Thursday, which took place in an area off-limits to reporters and most aid agencies.

Soldiers opened fire as a clash erupted with the detained villagers, according to Khim Maung Lat, a member of the country’s upper house of the parliament.

“Villagers were shot dead and eight others were seriously injured,” he told Anadolu Agency by phone. 

“Before this accident, four civilians were also killed during the interrogation in other villages,” he said.

Zaw Min Tun said some of the detainees attempted to seize weapons in the early hours of the morning, forcing security forces to fire into a crowd.

“We warned them verbally. Then we fired warning shots into the air to disperse the group but they didn’t move, so shots were fired,” he said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Myanmar Red Cross said in a statement they had transferred three “seriously injured patients” to hospital in the state capital of Sittwe, as well as two other “civilians” to a local hospital.

“The ICRC is concerned about increasing numbers of civilian casualties during the recent weeks, and urge all parties to the conflict to protect the civilian population in line with International Humanitarian Law,” said Stephan Sakalian, head of delegation in Myanmar for the ICRC.

Rakhine came to global attention after about 740,000 Rohingya Muslims crossed into Bangladesh fleeing a military crackdown in response to fighter attacks in 2017.

UN investigators have called for senior military officers to be prosecuted over allegations of mass killings, gang rapes and arson. The military denies widespread wrongdoing.

More recently, civilians have been caught up in clashes between the military and the Arakan Army, a group that recruits from the mainly Buddhist ethnic Rakhine population and is fighting for greater autonomy for the state.

Since November, the fighting has displaced nearly 33,000 people across a large part of central and northern Rakhine and part of neighbouring Chin state, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 

Source: Aljazeera

Vietnamese suspect in Kim Jong Nam assassination freed

Huong received a jail term of several years which was cut due to sentence remissions. [Farzy Ismail/EPA]

A Vietnamese woman who spent more than two years in a Malaysian prison on suspicion of killing the half-brother of North Korea’s leader has been freed.

Doan Thi Huong, 30, was charged along with an Indonesian woman of poisoning Kim Jong Nam by smearing his face with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

Huong received a jail term of several years which was cut due to sentence remissions.

After a lengthy trial, Doan Thi Huong pleaded guilty last month to a lesser charge of “causing injury” over the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam, making her the only person convicted for a murder that made headlines around the world.

Malaysian prosecutors dropped a murder charge following that.

She was freed from a prison outside the Malaysian capital at about 7:20 am (2320 GMT Thursday), her lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told AFP news agency, adding that she will return to Vietnam later on Friday.

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Weeks earlier, Indonesian Siti Aisyah – the only other person to face trial over the killing – was released and flew home after her murder charge was withdrawn. 

The pair always denied having committed murder, arguing that they were pawns in a plan hatched by North Korean agents who fled Malaysia after the killing.

South Korea accused Pyongyang of plotting the assassination.

Journalists waiting outside the jail saw a van and a car with tinted windows race past, and a court official at the scene also confirmed Huong had been released.

Speaking ahead of her release, Hisyam had said she was “definitely looking forward to going home”.

The 30-year-old former hair salon worker was expected to head to an immigration office in administrative capital Putrajaya to sort out documentation, before flying to Vietnam.

While there is relief for the women – who said they believed they were taking part in a TV show prank – those behind the plot are unlikely to ever face justice.

“The assassins have not been brought to justice,” said Hisyam, adding the women’s legal teams consistently argued their North Korean handlers were the real murderers.

The pair were arrested after they were captured on airport CCTV cameras walking up behind Kim, as he waited for a flight, and one was seen clasping her hands over his face.

Kim, heir apparent to the North’s leadership until he was exiled from his homeland, died in agony shortly afterwards, his face smeared with poison.

The defence stage of the case was due to start in March, but in a shock move, prosecutors announced they were withdrawing the murder charge against Aisyah, 27, and she flew back to Jakarta.

Her release followed intense diplomatic pressure from Indonesia, including from President Joko Widodo.

Vietnam then stepped up pressure for Huong’s murder charge to be dropped. Their initial request was refused, but at the start of April prosecutors offered her a reduced charge, paving the way for her release.

Source: Aljazeera

Vietnamese suspect in Kim Jong Nam assassination freed

Huong received a jail term of several years which was cut due to sentence remissions. [Farzy Ismail/EPA]

A Vietnamese woman who spent more than two years in a Malaysian prison on suspicion of killing the half-brother of North Korea’s leader has been freed.

Doan Thi Huong, 30, was charged along with an Indonesian woman of poisoning Kim Jong Nam by smearing his face with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

Huong received a jail term of several years which was cut due to sentence remissions.

After a lengthy trial, Doan Thi Huong pleaded guilty last month to a lesser charge of “causing injury” over the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam, making her the only person convicted for a murder that made headlines around the world.

Malaysian prosecutors dropped a murder charge following that.

She was freed from a prison outside the Malaysian capital at about 7:20 am (2320 GMT Thursday), her lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told AFP news agency, adding that she will return to Vietnam later on Friday.

190413090226249

Weeks earlier, Indonesian Siti Aisyah – the only other person to face trial over the killing – was released and flew home after her murder charge was withdrawn. 

The pair always denied having committed murder, arguing that they were pawns in a plan hatched by North Korean agents who fled Malaysia after the killing.

South Korea accused Pyongyang of plotting the assassination.

Journalists waiting outside the jail saw a van and a car with tinted windows race past, and a court official at the scene also confirmed Huong had been released.

Speaking ahead of her release, Hisyam had said she was “definitely looking forward to going home”.

The 30-year-old former hair salon worker was expected to head to an immigration office in administrative capital Putrajaya to sort out documentation, before flying to Vietnam.

While there is relief for the women – who said they believed they were taking part in a TV show prank – those behind the plot are unlikely to ever face justice.

“The assassins have not been brought to justice,” said Hisyam, adding the women’s legal teams consistently argued their North Korean handlers were the real murderers.

The pair were arrested after they were captured on airport CCTV cameras walking up behind Kim, as he waited for a flight, and one was seen clasping her hands over his face.

Kim, heir apparent to the North’s leadership until he was exiled from his homeland, died in agony shortly afterwards, his face smeared with poison.

The defence stage of the case was due to start in March, but in a shock move, prosecutors announced they were withdrawing the murder charge against Aisyah, 27, and she flew back to Jakarta.

Her release followed intense diplomatic pressure from Indonesia, including from President Joko Widodo.

Vietnam then stepped up pressure for Huong’s murder charge to be dropped. Their initial request was refused, but at the start of April prosecutors offered her a reduced charge, paving the way for her release.

Source: Aljazeera

1 dead, 3 missing after migrant boat capsizes at US-Mexico border

US Customs and Border Protection recorded 283 deaths on the border in 2018, ranging from heat-related fatalities to drownings. [Loren Elliott/Reuters]

The body of a 10-month-old baby was recovered and and three other migrants were feared drowned after their raft capsized near Rio Grande, Texas, as they tried to cross the US-Mexico border.

The rubber raft flipped over on Wednesday night and all nine of its occupants were swept away in the cold, fast-flowing water, according to the father of the dead child, US Border Patrol said in a statement.

The father swam to safety. A Border Patrol agent jumped into the river and rescued his wife and six-year-old son. The boy was given emergency care and then rushed to a hospital for advanced treatment.

Another man and his son were found on the river bank.

The missing were believed to include the seven-year-old nephew of the dead child’s father, a girl and an adult male, according to the statement. 

Migrants forced to take perilous routes as Trump tightens border

“What we’re dealing with now is senseless tragedy,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz in a statement.

The baby’s body was found several miles downriver by a Border Patrol search-and-rescue team.

Drownings are common on the Rio Grande, which makes up part of the US-Mexico border, as migrants try to cross on often overcrowded, makeshift rafts with no life jackets.

But rescues have increased since October as record numbers of Central American families try to enter the United States.

In the Del Rio sector alone, Border Patrol have rescued more than 200 people since October, a more than 800 percent rise from the year-earlier period.

Up to Thursday, the sector had recorded five water-related deaths in that period, according to sector data.

In the past seven months, Border Patrol has apprehended over 418,000 migrants on the southwest border, already surpassing the 2018 fiscal-year total.

Most of those arrested were Central American families, many of them crossing the border in large groups that can number over 400 people.

Toll greater than reported 

US Customs and Border Protection recorded 283 deaths on the border in 2018, ranging from heat-related fatalities to drownings. That was down from a high of 492 in 2005 when annual apprehensions stood at nearly 1.2 million.

Migrant advocates say the death toll is far greater as many bodies are never recovered from deserts and the Rio Grande. 

Last month, President Donald Trump again threatened to close the US border with Mexico, this time calling on Congress to take action. 

“Congress must get together and immediately eliminate the loopholes at the border!” Trump tweeted. “If no action, border, or large sections of border, will close. This is a national emergency!”

In February, Trump declared a national emergency to circumvent Congress in obtaining billions of dollars to build his promised wall on the US-Mexico border.

Congress passed a bill to revoke the order, but Trump vetoed the measure. The emergency is also being challenged in the courts.

Thousands of people fleeing Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and elsewhere have made their way to the border in recent months with the hopes of applying for asylum.

Dozens have told Al Jazeera they are fleeing political persecution, violence and extreme poverty.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Source: Aljazeera