Gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Kabul and killed at least 18 people, most of them foreigners, sparking a 12-hour battle with Afghan forces backed by Norwegian troops that left terrified guests scrambling to escape. Several Ukrainians were among those killed in the Taliban-claimed assault on the six-storey Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital, Ukrainian foreign ministry official Vasyl Kyrylych confirmed to AFP, adding that more information would be released Monday. Afghan interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said 14 foreigners were among the dead, but did not specify their nationalities, in comments to Afghanistan’s Tolo News hours after the overnight attack that ended Sunday.
Gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Kabul and killed at least 18 people, most of them foreigners, sparking a 12-hour battle with Afghan forces backed by Norwegian troops that left terrified guests scrambling to escape. Six Ukrainians were among those killed in the Taliban-claimed assault on the six-storey Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said on Twitter. Afghan interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said 14 foreigners were among the dead, but did not specify their nationalities, in comments to Afghanistan's Tolo News hours after the overnight attack that ended Sunday.
Germany's centre-left Social Democrats voted Sunday to begin formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, bringing Europe's top economy a step closer to a new government after months of deadlock. At a special party congress in the western city of Bonn, 372 out of 642 delegates (56 percent) backed SPD chief Martin Schulz's appeal to approve a preliminary coalition deal painstakingly hammered out with Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc. The veteran chancellor, in power for more than 12 years, said she welcomed the SPD's green light but warned that there were "many issues left to work out".
Former Texan neighbours of David and Louise Turpin, the American couple whose 13 children were discovered chained and malnourished last week, have described a previous home littered with faeces, dead animals and a makeshift classroom. Ricky Vinyard, a tree feller from Rio Vista also told how one Christmas eight bikes arrived but remained untouched outside until they bleached in the sun. And that one of the daughters once ran away from home, only to be returned to her parents by another local resident. “It was waist-deep in filth. There were dead dogs and cats in there,” he told the Los Angeles Times. He described how he found two Chihuahuas that had survived by eating waste from a mound of soiled nappies in a trailer behind the property where the children slept. “There were no beds, just mattresses." Inside the four-bedroom, two-bathroom home he said that: "There wasn’t a place that wasn’t filthy. “Everything had locks on it: the closet had locks, the toy chest, the refrigerator.” The Turpin parents have pleaded not guilty to charges of turture Credit: Damian Dovarganes/ Damian Dovarganes Source: AP The couple, David 56 and Louise, 49, claimed to home-school their children, and the faeces-littered living room included eight small desks, a chalkboard, alphabet and number signs stapled to the wall. The family lived in the rural neighbourhood, south of Dallas with eight children from approximately 2000 to 2004 before they abandoned the property and moved to Perris in California. There, last week, both were each charged with multiple counts of torture, child abuse, the abuse of dependent adults and false imprisonment relating to the children aged from two to 29. They pleaded not guilty to all counts and are being held in custody on $9 million bail each. (£6.5m) David Turpin was also charged with one count of a lewd act on a child by force. If convicted, they face up to 94 years to life in prison. Facebook photos showed the family visited Las Vegas and Disneyland The new revelations came as a California politician began drafting legislation to give greater oversight of home-schooled children, in a bid to prevent a repeat of the horrors. Jose Medina told The Telegraph: “What happened in the city of Perris was tragic, and it was horrific. And I would like to try to do everything I can to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.” The Turpins' 13 children, aged between two and 29, had all, except the eldest, been exclusively home-schooled - meaning that, under California law, there was no outside contact. “One of the reasons this went undetected was because the parents could keep the children hidden from the public,” said Mr Medina. “So I’m looking at what the state can do, so that kids can no longer be kept in captivity.”Two million children in the US are home-schooled, representing three per cent of all American youngsters, according to the Mike Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). The trend began in the 1970s, he told The Telegraph, but has increased in recent years. By contrast, in the UK only 30,000 children were educated at home in the 2016/17 academic year, out of over eight million.
Many of the Pueblo’s crew went on to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and lifelong physical injuries. Over time, however, the crewmembers put up their own website testifying to their experiences, successfully lobbied for status as prisoners of war after it was initially denied to them, and sued North Korea in U.S. court for their treatment. As for the Pueblo itself, technically the second oldest ship still commissioned in the U.S. Navy, it remains in North Korean custody to this day.
Unlike rival Rolls-Royce, which may go directly to an all-electric model in future, Bentley has set its sights on plug-in hybrids first—and the Bentayga luxury SUV will be the first one from the brand. The plug-in versions of the Bentley Bentayga is expected to debut in March at the Geneva Motor Show, and will be capable of running solely on battery power and producing zero emissions for short periods of time. A dedicated electric mode will keep the internal combustion engine at bay, though the big, heavy luxury SUV is likely to cover only a mile or so at lower speeds on electric power alone.
Turpin family: Police may bring in dogs to search for bodies in house where children 'tortured' by parents, reports say
Detectives investigating the case of the 13 siblings found locked up in a house in California, may "send cadaver dogs" to see if there was anyone else in the house who may have died, reports have suggested. Crime Watch Daily, a syndicated news show broadcast in multiple states across America, also reported that investigators were considering carrying out DNA tests on the Turpin children to check if they were all related, citing sources close to the case. The Sheriff’s Department in Riverside County and the police department in the City of Perris, California did not respond to The Independent’s requests for comment on the alleged plans.
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh on Sunday called for extending cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers beyond 2018 after a deal to shore up crude prices. This is the first time OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia explicitly calls for extending a 2016 deal between oil producers to cut back production to combat a global oil glut.