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California shooters radicalized at least 2 years ago

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The Pakistani-origin couple involved in the California shooting last week were radicalised even before they met and got married and discussed jihad while dating online, the FBI has said.

“San Bernardino involved two killers who were radicalised for quite a long time before their attack,” FBI Director James Comey told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during a Congressional hearing yesterday.

The two-Pakistani national Tashfeen Malik and her husband Syed Rizwan Farook were shot dead by the police in an exchange of fire hours after they killed 14 people and injured 17 others last week.

“Our investigation to date indicates that they were actually radicalised before they started courting or dating each other online. And as early as the end of 2013, they were talking to each other about jihad and martyrdom before they became engaged and then married and lived together in the United States,” Comey said.

According to investigators, the two first met on an online dating site, after which they married in Saudi Arabia. Thereafter Tashfeen came to the US on a K-1 visa to join Farooq.

“We also believe they were inspired by foreign terrorist organisations. We’re working very hard to understand exactly their association and the source of their inspiration. We’re also working very hard to understand whether there was anybody else involved with assisting them, with supporting them, with equipping them,” Comey said.

Responding to a question, Comey said as of now there is no evidence that the marriage between Farook and Tashfeen was arranged by a terrorist operative or organisation.

“Do you agree with me that if it was arranged by a terrorist operative or organisation, that is a game changer?” Senator Lindsay Graham asked.

“It would be a very, very important thing to know. That’s why we’re working so hard to understand it,” he said.

Comey said the ISIS is trying to motivate people already in the United States to become killers on their behalf.

“And they would very much like to —— they aspire to be the leader in the global jihad, send people here to conduct attacks. It’s that second piece we have not seen yet,” he said.

Entertainment

Italian music icon Andrea Bocelli survives COVID-19

Last week in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the singer revealed his family had been sick with COVID-19.

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Andrea Bocelli

Los Angeles, May 27 : Italian music icon Andrea Bocelli has confirmed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus in March, adding that he made “full recovery” before his historic Easter Sunday webcast at the Milan cathedral.

In a Facebook post shared on Tuesday, the opera singer explained he did not reveal his diagnosis earlier because he wanted to protect his family’s privacy, reports variety.com.

The 61-year-old added that he hid the news because he didn’t want to “unnecessarily alarm” his fans, saying that he has donated his blood to help researchers find a cure for coronavirus.

“The pandemic which has shaken the world has also affected — albeit mildly — me and certain members of my family,” Bocelli said, adding: “I certainly didn’t want to unnecessarily alarm my fans and also wished to protect my family’s privacy.”

He continued: “We were fortunate enough to have a swift and full recovery by the end of March. Given the chance to donate blood to help find a cure for Covid, my response was an immediate ‘yes’. A modest — but fundamental — gesture, through which I am playing my small part.”

Last week in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the singer revealed his family had been sick with COVID-19.

“I was able to be with my entire family and we all got infected. We had a fever, then we were cold, and then we got a little bit of a cough,” he said.

Bocelli, who has been blind since age 12, broke YouTube records last month on Easter Sunday with his “Music For Hope” concert. The performance was viewed by more than 28 million people worldwide in its first 24 hours and has currently been viewed more than 40 million times.

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Disaster

No country thought of exit strategy, says Swedish physician to Rahul

“I think it will take months to really ease out the lockdown. But you must do one restriction at a time and see what happens,” said Johan Giesecke.

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Johan Giesecke Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, May 27 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, continuing with series of talks on Covid-19 crisis, interacted with Johan Giesecke, a well-known Swedish physician and Professor Emeritus at the Karolinska Institute at Stockholm. Giesecke said that no country thought of exit strategy prior to announcing the lockdown.

“All the countries in Europe that instituted the lockdown one or two months ago, did not think about the exit strategy at that time,” said Johan Giesecke.

“I think you will soon create more harm than good with a severe lockdown,” he added.

He said, “Every single country had said that we’ll do this lockdown, we’ll close this school, we’ll close this border, we’ll close the restaurants. I don’t think at that point they thought about how to get out of it.”

“Now everyone is asking the same question, how do we get out of this,” added Giesecke.

He suggested that the exit has to be step wise. “Take away restrictions in India one by one, you take one away, you soften one restriction,” he suggested.

He further said, “Wait 2-3 weeks and see what happens. If you have more spread of the disease, then take one step back and try another restriction.”

“I think it will take months to really ease out the lockdown. But you must do one restriction at a time and see what happens,” said Johan Giesecke.

However, he said that it is a difficult balance there. “I think the way we have done it in Sweden is that the main thing is to protect the old and the frail. They should be protected from the disease. Everything else comes second.”

“So what we have done is that we have not completely shut down the country. Many workplaces are still open. Many people are working from home if they can. We don’t have restrictions. You can go outside, and meet other people outside. Better than in your home,” he said.

He suggested that for India, “you will ruin your economy very quickly if you had a severe lockdown. I think it’s better to skip the lockdown, take care of the old and the frail, and let the other people have the infection. Most people will not even be sick. They will not even notice they have it.”

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Disaster

Israel reports 16,757 COVID-19 cases, 281 deaths

Earlier in the day, the Israeli transport ministry announced the full resumption of the state’s railway system on June 8.

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israel coronavirus

Jerusalem, May 26 : The Israeli health ministry has reported 17 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number in the country to 16,757.

After four consecutive days without death cases, the ministry on Monday reported two new fatalities, bringing the death toll from the COVID-19 to 281, Xinhua reported.

The number of patients in serious condition decreased from 44 to 41, out of 115 patients currently hospitalized, the lowest number of hospitalized patients since March 12.

The number of recoveries increased by 154 to 14,457, while the active cases decreased to 2,019.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli transport ministry announced the full resumption of the state’s railway system on June 8.

China and Israel have cooperated on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. On February 11, the Tel Aviv Municipality Hall, a landmark in the Israeli city, was illuminated with the colours of China’s national flag, showing solidarity with China in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

On March 19 and April 1, two video conferences were held between Chinese doctors and Israeli counterparts to share experience in containing the virus’ spread and treatment of the infected patients.

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