Family Of Six ‘Waiting For End Of Time’ Found Underground

An aerial picture taken on October 15, 2019, shows a view of the farm where a father and six children had been living in the cellar, In Ruinerwold, northern Netherlands. The family lived in the cellar for years and where waiting for ‘the end of time’.
Wilbert Bijzitter / ANP / AFP

 

Dutch police found a father and six adult children hidden in the basement of a remote farmhouse where they had reportedly spent years “waiting for the end of time”, officials said Tuesday.

They discovered a man, believed to be the father of the family, and his children aged between 18 and 25 near the village of Ruinerwold in the northern province of Drenthe.

Local media said the family was found after one of the sons went to a nearby pub in a confused state, drank five beers and then asked for help, saying he had not been outside for nine years.

Police arrested a 58-year-old man at the scene for failing to cooperate with the investigation, but he was not the father.

“I have never come across anything like this before,” local mayor Roger de Groot told a press conference.

“Police investigated after receiving a tip-off from somebody who was concerned about the people’s living conditions” and discovered the adults, de Groot said.

“They lived an isolated lifestyle,” he said, adding that they had been living on the homestead for the past nine years and several of the children “had not been taken up in the birthing register” or officially registered.

Many questions were unanswered and police are investigating “all scenarios”, the mayor added.

The family meanwhile had been taken to a nearby holiday park while the investigation continued, reports said.

‘Living in a Basement’

Local news station RTV Drenthe, which first reported the story, said the family “have been living in a basement for years, waiting for the ‘end of times’.”

Some of those freed “had no idea that other people existed,” the station added.

Police were alerted after a man of around 25, believed to be the family’s oldest son, walked into a village bar on Sunday evening.

The dishevelled man, unwashed and wearing old clothes said “he has not been ‘outside’ for the past nine years,” bar owner Chris Westerbeek told RTV Drenthe.

“He said he’d never been to school and seemed very confused. He spoke in a childish way,” said Westerbeek.

The man told Westerbeek he ran away from home and urgently needed help, “so I phoned the police.”

Upon investigation, police discovered a hidden staircase behind a cupboard leading to a cellar where a man said to be the family’s father and five others, believed to be his children, were hiding.

Aerial photos showed a remote farmhouse surrounded by fields.

The family had no contact with the outside world and were completely self-reliant with a vegetable garden and a goat, RTV Drenthe said.

“The father had a stroke a few years ago and was lying in bed. There was no sign of his wife,” RTV Drenthe reported.

Neighbours told the station they did not know the family and they only knew that one man lived on the premises.

Police declined to give further details when contacted by AFP.

“All scenarios are being investigated. At this point we cannot give further information,” local police said on Twitter.

Chirac’s Family Bids French Ex-President Final Farewell

This photograph taken on October 5, 2019, shows a portrait of late French President Jacques Chirac at the “Musee du President Jacques Chirac” (President Jacques Chirac museum), the museum is to open to public, free of charge on October 5 and 6, 2019 in Sarran, central France.  GEORGES GOBET / AFP

 

Former French President Jacques Chirac’s family bade him a final farewell Saturday at an intimate ceremony in the southwestern village where he grew up.

“I can only say thank you in the name of my father and mother,” the statesman’s daughter Claude Chirac said in a tearful address at Sainte-Fereole, a small village in the Chirac fiefdom of the Correze region.

“In childhood and adolescence, Jacques Chirac was made here,” said mayor Henri Soulier.

Born in Paris, Chirac, who died aged 86 on September 26, moved as a young boy to Sainte-Fereole where he was elected a municipal councillor in 1965 before becoming a Correze lawmaker two years later.

He continued to represent the Correze department until becoming president in 1995, serving as head of state until 2007.

Chirac’s widow Bernadette, 86, did not attend the gathering of some 200 people in a picturesque village square decked out in portraits of the former president showing key moments of his life in public service.

Soulier said he had proposed and Chirac’s family had agreed to rename the square after him in the village which they had insisted would be the site of the final homage to his life.

Prior to the ceremony, local leaders had accompanied the family to lay a wreath at the tomb of Chirac’s parents.

The group then stopped by the village hall and the family home, of which Claude Chirac’s husband Frederic Salat-Baroux vowed “we shall never sell this house. One is always from somewhere and, for Claude, that’s here.”

Claude recalled how she was “often at Sainte-Fereole with Laurence,” Chirac’s other daughter, who died in 2016.

“We would leave Paris on Friday and our parents would leave us there before travelling around the department,” she recalled.

“My mother is very emotional today that she cannot come … it’s an exceptional homage. It is very comforting to her. And I want to say thank you for that because she really needs it,” Claude said.

Local authorities said meanwhile some 3,000 people had participated in a day of “memory and friendship” to honour Chirac at nearby Sarran, where Bernadette was first elected a municipal councillor in 1971 and which houses a museum dedicated to his life.

Among those attending Saturday was former Socialist president Francois Hollande, who was a political rival of Chirac in Correze, as well as Chirac’s grandson Martin Rey-Chirac.

Dozens of world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, last Monday paid their final respects at a funeral service in Paris alongside dignitaries including former US president Bill Clinton, a day after 7,000 people queued to view Chirac’s coffin at Invalides military hospital and museum.

He was then laid to rest at a cemetery at Montparnasse in Paris.

Khashoggi’s Family Denies Settlement With Saudi Govt

Turkey Widens Khashoggi Search, Quizzes Consulate Staff
Jamal Khashoggi/ AFP

 

The family of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi denied Wednesday being in talks to reach a settlement out of court with Saudi authorities following reports that his sons had taken payouts.

“Currently, the trial is taking place and no settlement discussion had been or is discussed,” read an English statement posted to Salah Khashoggi’s verified Twitter account.

The Washington Post on April 1 reported Khashoggi’s children, including Salah, had received multimillion-dollar homes and were being paid thousands of dollars per month by authorities.

READ ALSO: US Asks UN To Recognize Guaido As Venezuela’s Leader

Khashoggi — a contributor to the Post and a critic of the Saudi government — was killed and dismembered in October at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul by a team of 15 agents sent from Riyadh.

His body has not been recovered.

Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has been accused of orchestrating Khashoggi’s killing, but a local investigation exonerated him.

Riyadh initially said it had no knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, later blaming rogue agents for his death.

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor has charged 11 people over the murder.

 ‘Not admission of guilt’ 

Khashoggi’s son said only the family and their attorney were authorised to “claim to be a source of information”.

The statement did not openly confirm or deny possible reparations from the Saudi king or crown prince, whom the family called “guardians to all Saudis”.

“Acts of generosity and humanity come from the high moral grounds they possess, not admission of guilt or scandal,” the statement said.

According to the Post, the payments to his four children — two sons and two daughters — “are part of an effort by Saudi Arabia to reach a long-term arrangement with Khashoggi family members, aimed in part at ensuring that they continue to show restraint in their public statements”.

The Khashoggi murder has sparked international outcry and calls to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which leads a regional military campaign battling Yemeni rebels linked to Iran.

US President Donald Trump has been Riyadh’s strongest Western ally throughout the Khashoggi affair, phoning Prince Mohammed on Wednesday to discuss “bilateral relations,” Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

But Republicans and Democrats have both bristled over the White House’s apparent embrace of the kingdom and its leadership.

 Saudi in spotlight

At least seven writers and bloggers — including two US citizens — were arrested in Saudi Arabia on Friday, according to rights groups, in the first major crackdown since Khashoggi’s murder.

The arrests came the day after US lawmakers voted to end military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The text cleared the Senate last month and now heads to Trump, who is widely expected to veto the legislation.

The US State Department on Monday also barred entry to 16 Saudi nationals under the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.

The section in question “provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that officials of foreign governments have been involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States”.

The State Department has also frozen the assets of some Saudi citizens over the Khashoggi affair.

AFP

Family Of Four Arrested Over ‘Meticulously Planned’ Murder

Police Arrest Woman For Allegedly Stealing Baby At Redemption Camp
File photo

Police in the US state of Ohio arrested a husband and wife and their two sons on Tuesday over the “meticulously planned” murder of eight people — seven members of the same family and a fiancee.

George Wagner III, Angela Wagner and their sons George Wagner IV and Edward Wagner are accused of carrying out the April 2016 massacre in Peebles, a rural village 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of Cincinnati.

“Members of one family conspired, planned, carried out and then allegedly covered up their violent act to wipe out members of another family,” Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader told a news conference.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the motive was related to child custody, without clarifying further.

Police found seven bodies, each with a bullet to the head, in three separate homes, and an eighth at a separate site. Many were killed in their sleep.

The seven family members killed were Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16; Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Dana Rhoden, 37; Gary Rhoden, 38; Hanna Rhoden, 19; and Kenneth Rhoden, 44. The other victim, 20-year-old Hannah “Hazel” Gilley, was engaged to Clarence Rhoden.

The shooters spared three young children: a newborn baby found lying next to her dead mother, as well as two others who were six months and three years old.

Officials accused the Wagners of an elaborate cover-up, including tampering with cell phones and security camera footage.

“They did this quickly, coldly, calmly and very carefully. But not carefully enough,” Reader said.

“They left traces. They left a trail: The parts to build a silencer, the forged documents, the cameras, the cellphones, all that they tampered with, and the lies, all the lies they told us.”

Each of the suspects faces eight counts of aggravated murder. If convicted, they could get the death penalty.

Police also arrested Rita Newcomb, identified as Angela Wagner’s mother, and Fredericka Wagner, George Wagner III’s mother.

They are accused of helping with the cover-up.

The killings sent shockwaves through the community, located in an economically distressed region of around 28,000 people that is home to an abandoned uranium plant.

AFP

Collapsed Building Kills Family Of Four In Umuahia

Four persons have been reported dead as a building situated at Agbama Housing Estate, Umuahia collapsed leaving other casualties critically injured.

Residents in the area had to begin rescue mission as the injured were taken to the Federal medical centre in Umuahia.

Eye witnesses said that the building was under reconstruction and gave a little account of what happened while one of the surviving site workers thanked God as he narrowly escaped death.

Already a family of four, a man with his two children and the mother in-law while the wife who was lucky to have escaped death but critically injured with three rescuers were taken to the Federal medical centre, Umuahia.

Unfortunately, one of the rescuers became a victim of the collapsed building as one of the pillars fell on him while the child he was to rescue died.

The uncompleted Old building was inhabited by labourers and the family of five and was said to have been abandoned by the former engineer for some reason yet unknown but reinforcement work started on this same building early this year with a new engineer in charge who probably thought that addition of extra pillars would offer solution to a building with faulty foundation but apparently reconstruction plan failed and the site engineer we hear is on the run as of the time of this report.

Rescue effort began with cranes excavating sand and debris to be sure that no one is being buried underground.

Although there are speculation about the owner of the building but no one is sure while the site engineer is on the run.

According to some residents, more lives would have been saved if  the State Emergency Agency (SEMA and NEMA) had live up to the task expected of them in such incidents but they could not  offer any help as their apparatus on ground is said to be archaic and out of place.

Meanwhile Governor Theodore Orji visited the collapsed building site and paid a visit the casualties at hospital has made provision for their medical care and promised to look into the matter for further investigation.

I Am Yet To Make A Decision — Mourinho

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has said that he is yet to make a decision about his future against widespread expectation that he will be joining his former English club Chelsea at the end of the season.

Mourinho used the opportunity also to lash out at his critics, whom he suggested jump the gun ahead of him with speculations that he is poised to abandon the La Liga club at the end of this season.

According to Portuguese, even though he hinted that he be on his way back to Chelsea despite having a contract with Real until June 2016, he still respects the fact that he has a contract that will last till 2016 with the Spanish club and the club President Florentino Perez is a friend and he respects him and him Perez. Mourinho however reiterated that he will decide his future at the end of the La Liga campaign in a month’s time.

And ahead of the La Liga game against Villadolid, Mourinho said he is yet to decided and if he is to decide, his family will be first to know.

“The first person to know of my decision will be my wife and children because it concerns their future, it concerns their lives,”

Desperate to win the 10th European Cup that has eluded Real since 2002, club president Florentino Perez hired Mourinho from Inter Milan three years ago, but under his guidance the Spanish giants have been knocked out in the semi-finals of Europe’s elite club competition three times in a row.

Mourinho will have in his kitty, one La Liga title — with a record points haul and two King’s Cups should Real beat city rivals Atletico Madrid in the final in two weeks.

Following Real’s exit from the Champions league earlier in the week, Mourinho defended his performance saying, “Eighteen coaches in 21 years at Real Madrid, five Champions semi-finals, Mourinho’s ‘poor’ record – three years, three Champions semi-finals. That’s because it’s not that easy to get to the Champions League semi-finals.”

Family Members Visit Mandela In Hospital

Former South –African president Nelson Mandela who is being treated for Pneumonia was visited by members of his family on Monday after doctors had reported an improvement in his condition over the weekend.

A statement from South Africa’s presidency said there was “no significant change” in the condition of the 94-year-old former president, who has been in hospital since late Wednesday suffering from a recurrence of a lung infection.

“Former President Mandela is still in hospital where he is receiving treatment … He spent part of Family Day today with some members of his family,” the statement from President Jacob Zuma’s office said

In South Africa, Easter Monday is a public holiday celebrated as Family Day.

In their previous bulletin late on Sunday, the medical team treating Mandela said he had a “restful day” and had shown further improvement after a procedure to drain excess fluid from around his lungs. Doctors had already said he was breathing without difficulty.

Mandela’s latest treatment is his third visit to hospital in four months, generating worldwide concern over the health of the revered statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who became South Africa’s first black president in 1994.

He is admired at home and abroad for leading the struggle against white minority rule in South Africa, and then actively promoting the cause of racial reconciliation when in power.

He has been away from the political scene for at least a decade and has become increasingly frail in his old age.

Mandela was in hospital briefly earlier this month for a check-up and spent nearly three weeks in hospital in December with a lung infection and after surgery to remove gallstones.

He has a history of lung problems dating back to when he contracted tuberculosis as a political prisoner. He spent 27 years in prison on Robben Island and other jails for his attempts to overthrow apartheid rule.

Reuters