Paris stabbing: Assailant and 1 other killed, 4 injured


Paris stabbing: Assailant and 1 other killed, 4 injured

PARIS

A knife-wielding assailant killed one person and injured four others in a lively neighborhood near Paris’ famed Opera Garnier before he was killed by police in the French capital Saturday night. The Islamic State group claimed the attacker as one of its “soldiers.”

Paris police officers evacuated people from some buildings in the Right Bank neighborhood after the attack, and bar patrons and operagoers described surprise and confusion.

Beyond the police cordon, however, crowds still filled nearby cafes and the city’s night life resumed its normal pace soon after the suspect was reported as having been “neutralized” by police.

The identity of the slain attacker and the reason for his actions were unclear. Paris has been under extra security in recent years after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

Hawaii volcano spawns new fissure near geothermal plant

VOLCANO, Hawaii

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano spawned a new lava fissure Saturday, emitting minor lava spatter less than a mile from a geothermal energy plant.

The U.S. Geological Survey said 16 fissures have now opened up on the Big Island. The latest arose about 1 mile northeast of the last fissure in the Leilani Estates neighborhood.

Scientists said the lava flow forming in the crack has been minor, but that could always change.

“The fissure itself is small,” said USGS scientist Janet Babb. “As it was described to me, it is so small it could hardly be called a fissure.”

Babb said the fissure is about eight-tenths of a mile east of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant.

Record low turnout in first Iraq elections since IS defeat

BAGHDAD

Iraq saw a record low turnout Saturday in its first elections since the collapse of the Islamic State group, pointing to widespread dissatisfaction with the direction of the country under Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and presaging a long period of deal-making as politicians squabble over posts in a new government.

There were no bombings at any polling stations – a first since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003.

Al-Abadi called it a “historic day, spent peacefully by all Iraqis.”

With no clear front-runner, it could take months for a new Parliament to form a government and name a prime minister seen as suitable to the country’s rival Shiite political currents, who have adopted diverging positions on Iran.

Israel bombs Gaza tunnel, closes key crossing after attack

JERUSALEM

The Israeli military said Saturday it was shutting down its main cargo crossing into Gaza after Palestinian protesters caused extensive damage to it, and that it had also destroyed an attack tunnel militants dug near its main pedestrian crossing.

The twin developments come ahead of a potentially charged week along the Israel-Gaza border as weekly protests being staged there are expected to culminate with a potential breach of the border and a surge in casualties.

Once again, thousands of Palestinians protested Friday in various locations along the frontier. Later, a group of Palestinians burned a fuel complex and conveyor belt on their side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, causing more than $9 million in damages and disrupting the import of diesel fuel and building materials, the military said. It said the attack rendered the main fuel and gas lines unusable and caused further damage to electrical infrastructure and other vital equipment.

The military said the Kerem Shalom crossing will be closed until further notice and not before the damage is repaired.

Bloomberg warns of ‘epidemic of dishonesty’

NEW YORK

Americans are facing an “epidemic of dishonesty” in Washington that’s more dangerous than terrorism or communism.

That’s according to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who warned in a commencement speech Saturday at Texas’ Rice University that “an endless barrage of lies” and a trend toward “alternate realities” in national politics pose a dire threat to U.S. democracy.

The 76-year-old billionaire, who flirted with an independent presidential run in 2016, did not call out any politicians by name.

Although he derided Donald Trump as “a con” and a “dangerous demagogue” before his election, in an interview before the speech Bloomberg refused to comment specifically on the Republican president’s troubled history with the truth. Fact checkers have determined that Trump has made hundreds of false and misleading statements since entering the Oval Office.

Kasich unsure how much he’ll back GOP nominee for governor

TOLEDO

The Democratic nominee for Ohio’s top office is reaching out to supporters of outgoing Republican Gov. John Kasich.

Richard Cordray says in a video his campaign released Friday that he’ll maintain Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid and keep some form of the state’s privatized economic development office.

His opponent in the November election, Republican Mike DeWine, has said that expanding the Medicaid government insurance program in Ohio isn’t sustainable financially.

Kasich on Friday said he’ll definitely vote for DeWine in November, but he is less clear about how much time he’ll spend campaigning for DeWine’s bid for governor.

Ohio sues company that didn’t deliver on student field trips

CLEVELAND

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has filed a consumer protection lawsuit in Cleveland against a northeast Ohio company that failed to deliver on pre-paid field trips for more than a dozen schools and thousands of students from across the state.

The Attorney General’s Office said Friday that Discovery Tours in Mayfield “must be held accountable” for betraying the trust of families and schools.

The AG’s office says it has received more than 700 complaints about Discovery Tours since May 2, mostly from parents who paid hundreds of dollars for trips before the company canceled the outings and closed its doors.

The company filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy Monday, claiming $1.4 million in assets and nearly $4 million of debt.

Man who threatened congressman gets 3-year prison sentence

COLUMBUS

A man who left a voice-mail message at an Ohio congressman’s office mentioning a June shooting at a baseball practice for members of Congress has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.

Judge Michael Watson on Friday sentenced 69-year-old Stanley Hoff to 40 months in prison following Hoff’s October guilty plea to threatening to assault and murder a United States official.

Authorities said the voicemail Hoff left last year at the office of Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers mentioned the shooting in Arlington, Va., that injured five people, including Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana.

Associated Press

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