WASHINGTON: A hostage drama in Florida ended Monday with the death of four children at the hands of a gunman, who also took his own life, police said.
The ordeal began Sunday in Orlando when police responded to a report of domestic violence at an apartment and one of the officers was shot. That officer remains in critical condition.
The gunman remained holed up in the apartment overnight and all day Monday with the children, who were aged one, six, 10 and 11. “A short time ago we made entry into the apartment and found that all four children have been killed by the suspect by apparent gunshot wounds,” Orlando police chief John Mina told a news conference just before midnight.
“It appears the suspect took his own life as well,” Mina added. Police stayed in contact with the gunman throughout the day. The gunman’s phone had sporadic service, and police tried to offer him one of their phones. In doing so, officers saw the body of one child and decided to try to rescue the others. A big boom was heard at the complex at about 9:00 pm, the Orlando Sentinel newspaper reported.
Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr., 35-year-old suspect.
A piece published earlier: A week before the first anniversary of Pulse nightclub massacre (the deadliest mass shooting in US history, claiming 50 lives) an incident of shooting causing multiple fatalities has been reported this morning. Police in Florida has said there have been “multiple fatalities” in a shooting at an Orlando industrial estate. The shooting happened early on Monday morning in the east of the city, a police official was quoted as saying by the local newspaper. It comes a week before the first anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in the city, in which 49 people died. Reports in Florida said the deaths occurred at a business making camping awnings, and that the FBI was now on the scene. In a statement on Monday, Florida Governor Rick Scott condemned a “senseless act of violence”. “Over the past year, the Orlando community has been challenged like never before,” he said. In last June’s attack, the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured dozens more at a gay nightclub before being shot dead by police. (Published on 5th June 2017)
News agencies in Europe to fight fake news
ALBANIA: News agencies in Europe have joined forces to fight the growing threat posed by fake news.
In a resolution adopted last week in Tirana, these commit to developing effective tools and rules to enable journalists and Internet users to fight misinformation as well as to promote reliable media and educate users to surf in the digital environment.
The news agencies that attended the international conference ‘News Agencies vs. Fake News,’ organized by the ATA news agency on 3- 4 December in Tirana, also agreed to cooperate directly to check the news and discover in due time fake news and improve the transparency of online news, which entails a consistent development of professional journalism.
The purpose of these measures is to mitigate the impact of fake news on communities at the local, national and international level, to highlight the entities that are at the origin of the dissemination of fake news and to strengthen the activity and profile of news agencies as real news providers.
The aim is also to raise public awareness of the danger posed by fake news to our societies and to media professionals regarding the impact of the phenomenon on the entire media environment, to enhance the skills of journalists in identifying and avoiding fake news and to promote real, impartial and accurate news.
The resolution, adopted on the last day of the Tirana conference and published on 10 December, was initiated by 13 news agencies: ATA (Albania), PAP (Poland), CNA (Cyprus), ANA-MPA (Greece) , BTA (Bulgaria), KosovaPress (Kosovo), TASR (Slovakia), ANADOLU (Turkey), AzerTac (Azerbaijan), AGERPRES (Romania), TANJUG (Serbia), HINA (Croatia) and UKRINFORM (Ukraine).
The signatories call on all news agencies, whether state-funded or private, as well as international news agencies, to join this Resolution.
The heads of the news agencies present at the Tirana conference insisted on the need to address the global phenomenon of fake news, underlining that new technologies allow the rapid spread of fake and confusing pieces of news that violate one of the fundamental human liberties, namely the right to information.
Cancellation of 30-year lease due to non-utilisation
KARACHI: Secretary Land Utilisation, Government of Sindh, has instructed the concerned authorities to cancel a 30-year lease that is being misused.
According to the notification “it has come to the notice of this office that the different allottees that had been granted 30-years lease for agricultural/poultry-cattle-dairy farming purpose and not utilizing the same purpose, but unfortunately conditions of the lease agreements are not fulfilled and land is being wrongly utilized for various purposes. In some cases, allottees are involved in sale/purchase of 30 years lease that is totally illegal and causes lost of billions of rupees to government exchequer by occupying and raising construction over the said land.
“Keeping in view, the concerns above you are requested to cancel all leases of 30 years lease as well as short-term leases which have violated the required terms and conditions of the lease. The deputy commissioners are directed to ensure that the conditions set forth in leases referred above may be followed/implemented in letter and spirit. Failure shall remember to ascertain procedure in law. This matter may be given on TOP PRIORITY and report of which may be sent to this department”.
Probe against MDs SNGPL, SSGPL
ISLAMABAD: A 4–member Fact Finding Committee has been constituted to probe the allegations leveled against MD Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGCL).
According to a notification issued here today, Uzma Adil Khan, chairperson Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has been nominated as chairperson of the committee and members included Qazi Saleem Siddiqui, DG, (PC), Shahid Yousaf DG (Gas) and Imran Ahmed DG (LG). The committee has been directed to submit a report within 72 hours.
The committee has been authorized to get the services of an expert witness to assist in its proceedings. The committee has been constituted in pursuance of presentation to the PM on load management, PLNG supply and demand and off-take of furnace oil. The allegations against MD, SNGPL, and SSGCL included negligence in reporting of facts to the ministry or incompetence to deal with operational issues. Withholding of information from the government and overall systemic governance failure of SNGPL and SSGCL.