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Hundreds of policemen seek for Maine shooter

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Hundreds of police searched the city of Lewiston and surrounding areas of Maine state for a man sought in connection with mass shootings at a bar and a bowling alley, as news outlets reported a death toll ranging from 16 to 22, with dozens more wounded.

Officials said there were multiple casualties but declined to provide figures.

State and local police identified Robert R. Card, 40, as a person of interest in the case after previously posting on Facebook photographs of a man wielding what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle. The pictures from one of Wednesday’s crime scenes showed a bearded man in a brown hoodie and jeans, holding the weapon in the firing position.

“We have literally hundreds of police officers working around the state of Maine to investigate this case to locate Mr. Card, who is a person of interest,” Maine Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck told a news conference.

Several media reported that a Maine law enforcement bulletin identified Card as a trained firearms instructor and member of the U.S. Army reserve who recently reported that he had mental health issues, including hearing voices. It also said he threatened to shoot up a National Guard base.

“Card was also reported to have been committed to mental health facility for two weeks during summer 2023 and subsequently released,” said the notice from the Maine Information & Analysis Center.

Reuters could not authenticate the bulletin. The Associated Press reported it was circulated to law enforcement officials.

The bar and the bowling alley are about four miles (6.5 km) apart in Lewiston, a former textile hub and town of 38,000 people in Androscoggin County about 35 miles (56 km) north of Maine’s largest city, Portland.

(Reuters)

World

Indian elections begin

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Indians begin voting today to choose their next parliament in the first of seven voting days that end on June 01.
Almost a billion people are eligible to cast their ballot.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is aiming for a rare third consecutive term in power.

Several key opposition parties, including the Congress, have formed an alliance in many states to take on Mr Modi’s party.

The big issues include a jobs crisis, rising prices, a crackdown on dissent and the opposition, and the politics of religion.

Results will be announced on June 04.

(BBC News)

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Flights at Dubai airport diverted amid flash floods

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Heavy rain has battered some Gulf states, causing flash flooding across the region and leading to flights to the world’s busiest international airport being diverted.

Dubai Airport said operations were “temporarily diverted” – though they have since restarted.

Authorities in Oman said at least 18 people had been killed by floods.

Several states recorded nearly a year’s worth of rain in a day.

Unverified video from Dubai International Airport appeared to show jets leaving waves in their wake as they made their way down flooded runways.

In a statement, the airport said inbound flights due to arrive on Tuesday evening had been diverted “due to the continued exceptional weather event currently being experienced in the UAE”.

Departures would continue to operate, it added. Flights later restarted after an interruption of about two hours.

On Tuesday morning, the UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology issued a weather warning for large swathes of the country, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

The Gulf region is usually known for hot and dry weather, though heavy rains causing flooding have also occurred with greater regularity in recent years.

(BBC News)

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Sydney church stabbing treated as ‘terrorist act’

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Australian police have declared Monday’s stabbing at a church in Sydney a “terrorist act”.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested after a bishop and several churchgoers were stabbed during the sermon.

The incident happened in the evening at the Christ The Good Shepherd Church in the suburb of Wakeley.

At least four people were stabbed but police say none of their injuries were life-threatening. The incident triggered unrest.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the church, clashing with police – two of whom were injured.

Twenty police vehicles were damaged – with 10 left unusable.

Chief commissioner Karen Webb said those involved in the riots would be hunted by police, describing the actions as “unacceptable”.

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns said: “I convened a meeting of faith leaders representing major religious organisations across Western Sydney.

“And their message to their communities was universal and identical, and that is that they deplore violence in all forms that they have faith in the New South Wales police to undertake their investigation.

“They call for peace amongst all communities in Sydney, and most importantly, that people remain calm during this obviously distressing period.”

Paramedics had to retreat for cover in the church and were “holed up” there for more than three hours.’

(BBC News)

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