Woman ‘murders flatmate and cuts up body with saw after he killed her cat’

A woman bludgeoned her flatmate to death with a hammer and cut up his body with a saw after he killed her cat, police in Russia believe.

The suspect, Anastasia Kh has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

The 41-year-old allegedly put the victim's remains in five black carrier bags, and made several bus journeys to a remote spot three miles away, where she could burn them.

The killing happened in the in the Kirov district of St Petersburg where she burned them in sand, say law enforcement.

They were found by a man walking his dog who called police.

Found in the bags were leg bones, ribs, one shoulder, parts of the victim’s pelvis and human skin, reported Komsomolskaya Pravda citing law enforcement sources.

“She hit him with a hammer on the head,” alleged a Russian Investigative Committee statement.

“She also kicked him multiple times.

“Having killed him, the woman suspect dismembered the body.”

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As Troubles cast long shadow, Brexit stakes are high in Northern Ireland's border city

LONDONDERRY (Reuters) – Just a few kilometers from the border with Ireland, the people of Northern Ireland’s second city of Londonderry know exactly what is at stake as Britain seeks to seal its departure from the European Union.

Almost 50 years ago, the city became the center of Northern Ireland’s conflict, referred to as the “Troubles”, when British troops shot dead 13 unarmed civilians during a civil rights demonstration on what became known as Bloody Sunday.

More recently, it has been the focal point of a rise in the kind of violence that still stunts progress in the British-run region.

The conundrum Brexit negotiators hope they have solved with Thursday’s draft divorce agreement was how to secure Britain’s orderly withdrawal from the EU without erecting checkpoints along the 500-km (300-mile) border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. Many fear that a return to a visible ‘hard’ border could undermine a 1998 peace accord which mostly ended three decades of bloody, sectarian conflict that left some 3,600 people dead.

When agreeing the deal, EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that peace was what really mattered.

That is a sentiment shared by Derry native Richard Moore, who was blinded at the age of 10 when a British soldier fired a rubber bullet at him as he ran home from school, just a few months after Bloody Sunday.

“My children never really experienced the conflict the way I experienced it, they were born just around the time that peace was beginning to visit this part of the world,” said Moore, who founded a charity to help children in impoverished countries.

But the three years of often acrimonious Brexit talks have been destabilizing to the hard-won peace, he said.

“Now… young people are facing the same challenges and what you would be worried about is all the arguments presented over many years to support the peaceful approach and reject violence, all those arguments now will be lost and the people who want to support violence can attempt to justify their approach.”

“If anything, I’m a living proof that violence is wrong. Let’s not go back to that,” he said.

The Good Friday Agreement settled the conflict between mainly Catholic Irish nationalists seeking union with Ireland and predominantly Protestant unionists wanting to remain part of the United Kingdom, creating a shared regional government and handing an economic lifeline to many. Former paramilitaries on both sides gave up their weapons, with some entering politics.

In 2013, the once-feared British army barracks became the headquarters of Derry-Londonderry’s year as the UK City of Culture – a double-barreled title reflecting the fact that many locals refer to their hometown simply as Derry.

But not everyone supported the peace deal and small hold-out militant groups still stage sporadic gun and bomb attacks. Recently, the city has witnessed an upsurge in violence, particularly among Irish nationalist youths in some of its poorest parts.

The high profile killing of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee in one of those areas in April during a riot sparked outrage.

Few in the city predict a return to the kind of bloodshed of the past if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal and checks re-emerge in or around the border. However, those who lived through the decades of conflict do not want to put the fragile peace to the test.

“I think at times that it is blown out of perspective, that they (militant groups) are not as important as maybe they think they are,” said Carita Kerr, who is in her 70s, at a cross-community women’s book group for Catholics and Protestants.

But that is not to say that they could not do “a lot of damage,” she added.

“We came through it before and we don’t want to go back to anything like that,” she said.


The Brexit deal reached between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the EU would keep Northern Ireland in the UK customs area, but tariffs would apply on goods crossing from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland if they are deemed to be headed into the bloc’s single market.

Among those not happy with those terms are Johnson’s Northern Irish allies in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), whose opposition complicates the task his minority government faces in ratifying the agreement.

Unionist politicians – whose name reflects their loyalty to the union of Northern Ireland and Britain – are worried that the introduction of customs and tax regimes different to the rest of the UK could undermine their place in the union shared with England, Scotland and Wales.

In ‘The Fountain’ area of Londonderry, a tight, fiercely pro-British community that is separated by high walls and fences from the surrounding Irish nationalist heartland, there is also a fear that any changes could lead Northern Ireland on a path to another referendum – this time on the reunification of Northern Ireland with Ireland.

“We just want to live in peace and we want to get on… with our lives in this beautiful city,” said Jeanette Warke at the Cathedral Youth Club, a center she set up in 1972 with her late husband to try to keep Protestant children away from violence.

“We’ve no problems going over the border ourselves to the south but we really want to stay in our own Northern Ireland and be part of the United Kingdom and that’s the way we feel. If it’s not broken, why fix it?”

In 2016, 56% of voters in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, with many wary of the developments that Brexit could bring to their area.

Surrounded by walls filled with posters of Che Guevara and other left wing figures at the well known Sandinos bar in Derry, veteran civil rights campaigner Eamonn McCann, who grew up in the almost exclusively Catholic Bogside neighborhood, said divisions would always exist in Northern Ireland and the city.

But Brexit, he said, had exacerbated those divisions and could potentially give them “a jagged edge.”

“For as long as we are divided, there is always potential for abrasion at the interfaces,” said McCann, 76, now a local councillor with the small People Before Profit socialist party.

“So there is a lurking and permanent possibility that the Troubles as we call them here will burst out again. I don’t expect that to happen but it’s there and at the back of many minds, including mine, it’s a worry for the future.”

“All the conditions are there, it just needs a spark.”

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Gun battles sweep Culiacan after troops locate Chapo’s son

An intense gunfight with heavy weapons and burning vehicles blocking roads paralyzed the capital of Mexico’s Sinaloa state Thursday after security forces located one of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s sons who is wanted in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges.

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Mexican security secretary Alfonso Durazo said 30 members of the National Guard and army were patrolling in Culiacan when they were fired on from a house. They repelled the attack and inside the house found Ovidio Guzmán López.

The house was then surrounded by heavily armed gunmen who had “a greater force” and authorities decided to suspend the operation, Durazo said. He did not say if Ovidio Guzmán was arrested or went free.

“With the goal of safeguarding the well-being and tranquility of Culiacan society, officials in the security cabinet decided to suspend the actions,” said Durazo.

José Luis González Meza, a lawyer for “El Chapo’s” family, told The Associated Press that Guzmán’s family has said “Ovidio is alive and free” but that he had no more details about what had happened.

Ovidio was not one of the jailed Mexican drug lord’s best-known sons – Iván Archivaldo Guzmán and Jesús Alfredo Guzmán are known as “los Chapitos,” or “the little Chapos,” and are believed to currently run their father’s Sinaloa Cartel together with Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.

But Ovidio Guzmán was indicted in 2018 by a grand jury in Washington, along with a fourth brother, for the alleged trafficking of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Following Thursday’s localization of Ovidio Guzmán, Culiacan exploded in violence with armed civilians in trucks roaring through the city’s center shooting what appeared to be .50-caliber sniper rifles and machine guns.

Videos published on social media showed a scene resembling a war zone, with gunmen, some wearing black ski masks over their faces, riding in the back of trucks firing mounted machine guns as vehicles burned. People could be seen running for cover as machinegun fire rattled around them. Drivers drove in reverse frantically to get away from the clashes.

“Nothing is working,” said Ricardo González, a worker in the state’s congress who shut himself up in his house after picking up his 15-year-old son from school. “There is a psychosis. No one knows what is going on but everyone is afraid and they have told us to not come in to work tomorrow.”

Sinaloa public safety director Cristóbal Castañeda told Milenio television that there were people wounded but did not provide a casualty figure. He did not rule out that there were deaths.

Castañeda said gunmen blocked streets with burning vehicles, a common tactic to make it difficult for security forces to maneuver. Simultaneously, some 20 to 30 prisoners escaped though some were quickly recaptured, he said.

State officials asked residents to avoid going out in parts of city.

Sinaloa’s soccer club Dorados announced that it had cancelled its game Thursday due to security concerns.

Gov. Quirino Ordaz confirmed that school classes had been suspended but that businesses would open on Friday.

González, however, doubted this.

“There is no public transportation, no taxis, people outside the city remain blocked outside and tomorrow will be the same,” he said, adding that Culiacan had not seen such a scene for almost a decade, when the Sinaloa Cartel was experiencing an internal war.

Sinaloa is home to the cartel by the same name, which was led by “El Chapo” Guzmán. Guzmán was sentenced to life in prison in the United States in July. He has many children.

After Guzmán’s third arrest in 2016, an internal battle for succession began playing out. The battle was resolved with the arrest of Damaso López Nunez and his son Dámaso López Serrano, who led a rival faction.


Associated Press writer Maria Verza reported from Mexico City.

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Boy, 11, has to walk two miles home from school after being refused free bus pass

A MUM is furious her 11-year-old son has to trudge home from school every day for two miles – after he was refused a free bus pass.

Hudson Griffiths, 11, from Abernant village, lives too far away from St John the Baptist School to qualify for a bus pass.

However his mum, Kiri, 31, said many of Hudson's pals who live in the village have been granted a free bus pass.

In the morning Hudson can catch a lift with mum Kiri and dad Damian – but they finish work too late to collect him.

Hudson is therefore forced to walk home for two miles once school is finished.

Kiri told Wales Online: "We have to drive past the bus stop every morning, and all his friends who live in the same street are there.

"It is his first year in secondary school, and we just assumed he would get a pass because our neighbours have one.

"We found out he wasn't getting one at the end of July, so we appealed that but we were told that they can't do anything as he can walk the new route they have decided on.

"He is 11-years-old…I don't think he should be walking two miles along a route that I think it dangerous, especially during the winter months."

After failing to appeal the decision Kiri tried to apply for a paid place on the bus – but was told it was too late and there was no room for her son.

Kiri and her husband Damian, 35, have two other kids, aged five and nine.

They both work full time, which means they aren't able to collect Hudson from school.

Kiri fumed: "He is only 11, and he is a little nervous about walking home.

"The path is secluded and also crosses over a busy road. I think it is dangerous to ask a child to walk that far by themselves."

In response a spokesman for Rhondda Cynon Taf council said: "Free school transport is given to pupils living more than two miles from their nearest or catchment school.

"The pupil from Abernant has been assessed as living 1.972 miles from the catchment faith school and is therefore not eligible for school transport.

"The walking route from Abernant to St John Baptist Church in Wales High School is long established and in daily use, in accordance with the Learler Travel (Wales) Measure 2008.

"Inevitably, there are some pupils who fall just outside the two-mile entitlement limit, but the council must be consistent in its provision for all pupils."

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Michelle Obama horror: Ex-FLOTUS drops heartbreaking confession on fears for her children

She and husband Barack were in the White House for eight years as First Lady and US President. With that came numerous pressures and Michelle grew concerned for her two children – Malia and Sasha. She explained her worries for her daughters in a moving interview with CBS’ Gayle King.

Michelle said that after Sasha graduated from high school, the Obamas had become empty nesters leading to concerns.

She said: “Every Saturday night, you had to worry about whether your kids are going to end up on Page Six.”

She shared stories with Ms King about her time in the White House, her marriage and the rocky road it took to get her where she was today.

She said: “This is the beauty of finding a partner you really love and respect.

“After all the highs and lows, the ups and downs we’ve been through, we have each other, which makes the journey worth it.”

She went on to add how important she felt it was for people to marry their equals to make a marriage work.

She said: “My husband is my teammate and if we are going to win this game together, he has to be strong and he has to be ok with me being strong.”

Michelle told Ms King people saw her relationship as “hashtag relationship goals”, but she wanted to let people know there were difficult times too.

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She said: “Marriage is all nice and cute but then kids show up and they take up all the oxygen in the land.

“That’s why they make the babies cute because you would leave them at the post office.

“I want young people to know that marriage is work. Even the best marriages require work.”

Despite life after the White House “being good”, Michelle told Ms King things could be better.

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She said: “But Barack and I aren’t living our best life until we’re all living our best life.

“There is nothing we can’t do or change when we as a collective put our minds to it.”

Michelle also shared with Ms King the first time she spoke to Barack was on the phone before his first day at the law firm they worked at together.

She said: “That voice didn’t go with the picture of the little nerd I had in my head.”

The former First Lady recounted how Malia and Sasha were in tears when she had to get them out of the White House.

Michelle explained she allowed her daughters to have one last sleepover at the presidential house before the 2017 inauguration.

But she ended up getting the teenagers up in the morning while US President Donald Trump was ready to be sworn in as the new leader.

Michelle told CBS: “So anyway, the girls didn’t get up.

“I’m like, ‘Get up and get out of here.’

“And they’re all crying and they have their teddy bears and they’re moving slow and I’m like, ‘You’ve got to get up and get out of this house.’

“So you’ve got tears and I’m pushing people out of freight elevator and my kids are crying.

“I don’t know where they’re going. All of that was happening and the staff was crying.”

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Trump’s letter to Erdogan would be fine — if he had a real strategy

It wasn’t just liberals who initially thought President Trump’s letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the product of some journalistic jokester.

Neither the tone nor the language resembled normal diplomatic correspondence. Lines like “Don’t be a fool!” were blunt to the point of satire. Its repeated use of simplistic phrases like “good deal” (pure Trump-speak), rather than the style that would customarily be used in negotiations with foreign powers, invited the scorn of late-night comedians.

Trump’s heavy-handed threats evoked his Twitter account, not Oval Office diplomacy, and his exhortations aimed at appealing to the better angels of the Turkish autocrat’s nature were plain silly.

But the real problem wasn’t the letter itself — but the absence of a presidential strategy it revealed. Instead of playing a strong hand that would make Erdogan think twice before unleashing an offensive that would lead to atrocities against the Kurds, Trump was merely lashing out frantically, seeking to correct a mistake of his own making. Under the circumstances, it wouldn’t be surprising if, as reports based on leaks from the Turkish government indicated, Erdogan response was to contemptuously toss Trump’s letter in the trash.

Trump loyalists have worked overtime trying to rationalize the president’s decision to give the Turks a green light to launch an offensive in Northern Syria aimed at crushing Kurdish forces. But even if you agree with the president’s desire to pull out American forces from the Middle East and treat the complicated conflicts there as somebody else’s problem, the unfortunate consequences of this move are obvious.

Abandoning the Kurds — who were essential allies to the United States in the battle against ISIS — to the tender mercies of a Turkish regime that seeks their destruction sends a terrible message to both friends and foes in the region. Doing so has the potential to revive ISIS in the void left by the American pullout and the Turkish invasion. That would mean throwing away one of Trump’s undeniable foreign-policy triumphs, since it was on his watch that the so-called caliphate was destroyed after it successfully resisted the Obama administration’s efforts.

The key to understanding Trump’s Mideast strategy has always been his instinctive distrust of ­“experts” and the foreign-policy establishment, a mistrust that comes through loud and clear in the letter.

For decades under both Democratic and Republican presidents, the so-called adults mismanaged the region. They stuck to failed policies like pressuring Israel to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians.

The establishment also faithfully lined up behind President Barack Obama’s disastrous Iran nuclear deal and parroted his media echo chamber’s false arguments that America’s only choice was appeasement or war.

To his credit, Trump, acting on instinct, discarded these failed policies. Contrary to the establishment’s predictions, the world didn’t end. Instead, Trump’s moves — bolstering the alliance with Israel that his predecessor undermined, trashing the Iran deal, re-imposing economic sanctions against Tehran — have rolled back regional baddies.

The president’s desire to disengage from the wars of the Middle East is genuine and popular. But when it comes to Syria, Trump’s instincts have created folly rather than success. Flight from Syria, and his initial green light to the Turks, doesn’t just mean terrible suffering for America’s betrayed Kurdish allies.

Like Obama’s similarly mistaken bugout from Syria and Iraq, rather than ending wars, it will likely force Trump or a successor to intervene again in the future to cope with the mess left behind.

Unfortunately, this time the experts were right. The lack of a coherent Syria strategy is a problem. So are Trump’s contradictory impulses: to get tough with ISIS and Iran while fleeing the region. Trump can choose to do one or the other — but he can’t do both.

There is nothing really wrong with tough talk — even in Trump-speak — addressed to bad actors like the Turks. Erdogan himself isn’t exactly a man of subtle, refined sensibilities. In some ways, he and Trump speak the same language, and that can be an advantage to America, whose foreign policy became too refined for Mideast realities ­under Obama.

But Trump’s belated and almost comic efforts to walk back his unforced error and convince Erdogan not to create havoc in Syria — even if the Turks adhere to the five-day cease-fire Vice President Mike Pence ­announced Thursday — may be too little and too late.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor-in-chief of JNS.org. Twitter: @JonathanS_Tobin

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Domestic abuser 'hurled his nine months pregnant girlfriend out of a moving car'

A twice-convicted domestic abuser shoved his nine months pregnant girlfriend out of a moving car after battering her during an argument, police say.

Lance Booth, 24, was arrested following the alleged violent attack that occurred after a family baby shower in St Paul, Minnesota on October 13.

A family friend told investigators that Booth was in the vehicle’s passenger seat when he grabbed his girlfriend’s hair and punched her in the face as she tried to drive. The victim’s ten-month-old baby was reportedly in the backseat at the time.

The friend who was driving in front of the victim then stopped her car, causing Booth’s girlfriend to stop as well.

She said she got out of her car and tried to stop Booth from attacking the victim, but he climbed over the center console and shoved the victim into the door – then grabbed the wheel and began accelerating.

As Booth sped off, he opened the door and hurled his girlfriend out of the moving vehicle, police told CBS.

Police were already on the scene when Booth drove away and they followed him as he fled with the ten-month-old child still in the car.

Officers pulled him over and Booth got out of the car and took his jacket off, telling officers to ‘shoot’ him.

Authorities say Booth appeared to be under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. They were eventually able to take him into custody.

Booth’s girlfriend reportedly suffered an arm injury during the attack and was rushed to a hospital for a status check on her baby.

Police also took Booth to the hospital where they requested a blood draw. Booth fought back, so officers had to restrain him while a nurse took blood.

Booth faces felony level domestic violence charges in connection with the incident. He reportedly already has two prior convictions involving domestic violence.

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Rick Perry tells Trump he’s resigning as energy secretary: reports

WASHINGTON – Energy Secretary Rick Perry will step down from the Trump Administration, according to reports.

The former Texas governor informed President Trump in writing of his planned resignation aboard Air Force One Thursday as the two headed to Texas for events, Bloomberg News reported.

Perry has become entangled in the House’s impeachment inquiry.

Trump directed Perry to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine corruption matters.

Perry, 69, ran for president unsuccessfully in 2012 and 2016. Trump tapped Perry for the cabinet post at the start of his presidency and the Senate confirmed the former “Dancing with Stars” guest on March 2, 2017.

It’s unclear the date Perry will leave, the New York Times reported.

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Woman falls in front of train as desperate passengers scream for driver to stop

A woman has been filmed lying on a metro line as other horrified passengers desperately waved at an approaching train to stop.

In shocking scenes, the woman lay unconscious on the track after being knocked off the platform of the Buenos Aires metro, Argentina.

CCTV footage showed a man leaning against a wall lost his balance, falling towards people in front of him and in a domino effect the woman fell into the path of the train.

As the woman lay on the track the train came hurtling towards her.

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Other passengers waved frantically at the train driver in a desperate bid to get him to stop.

Luckily the driver was able to put on his brakes and stop a couple of metres ahead of the woman.

The drama took place at Pueyrredon Metro Station in the Argentinian capital.

When the train was stationary two men got down onto the track and lifted her to safety.

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The unnamed woman had been knocked unconscious and suffered bruising to her head.

Both the woman and the man who caused the chaos were taken to hospital.

The man was questioned by police but local reports say that he has not been charged with any offence.

He had left work early as he had not been feeling well and then passed out on the metro platform.

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Husband hacks off alleged rapist’s penis after seeing him assault wife

A Ukrainian husband hacked off an alleged rapist’s penis after witnessing him attacking his wife, according to reports.

The 27-year-old man was headed home in Shevchenkovo in eastern Ukraine on Saturday when he saw the alleged attacker, Dmitry Ivchenko, sexually assaulting his wife after the couple ate with friends at a restaurant, The Sun reports.

The victim left the eatery first, with her husband following about 10 minutes later. The man then heard a commotion in bushes near his apartment before spotting Ivchenko, 25, choking his wife’s throat as he raped her, according to the report.

After punching Ivchenko in the head, the woman’s husband used his Swiss Army knife to cut off Ivchenko’s penis, according to local reports.

“The husband lost the ability to control his actions,” his attorney, Dmitry Spaskin, said. “He did not understand what he was doing.”

The husband – still in a “state of shock” after the gory assault – then walked more than 8 miles to a neighboring village, where he asked a friend to take him to a police station.

Spaskin told the Daily Mail that he “confessed in full” early Sunday to cutting off Ivchenko’s penis.

The unidentified spouse, who was charged with causing grievous bodily harm, was sentenced to house arrest, The Sun reports.

It’s unclear whether doctors will be able to reattach Ivchenko’s penis. He had surgery at a hospital but will require extended treatment, a doctor told The Sun.

Officers were stationed at Ivchenko’s hospital as an investigation into the alleged rape continues.

“The rapist said that he was dumped by his girlfriend a week ago,” prosecutor Tetiana Vasileva said. “On the day of the incident, he drank a liter of vodka. He is refusing to say more so far.”

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