World this week
The US Department of Justice has charged an Indian national for his involvement in a plot to murder a US-based Khalistani leader. "Today in the Southern District of New York, a superseding indictment was unsealed alleging murder-for-hire charges against Indian national Nikhil Gupta, aka Nick, 52, in connection with his participation in a foiled plot to assassinate a US citizen in New York City," the DOJ statement said.
Gupta was arrested from the Czech Republic under an extradition treaty with the US. But it said he was contracted by an unnamed Indian government employee to carry out the plot: "CC-1 is an Indian government agency employee who has variously described himself as a 'Senior Field Officer' with responsibilities in 'Security Management' and 'Intelligence.'" Gupta "at CC-1's direction... contacted an individual" whom he "believed to be a criminal associate, but who was in fact a confidential source working with US law enforcement," the DoJ stated. It follows similar accusations by Canada just two months ago.
Forty-one construction workers emerged dazed and smiling from a collapsed tunnel where they had been stranded for 17 days - a happy ending to an ordeal that had gripped India and involved a massive rescue operation that overcame several setbacks. Locals, relatives and government officials erupted in joy, set off firecrackers and shouted "Bharat Mata ki Jai" - Hindi for "Long live mother India" - as happy workers walked out after receiving a brief checkup by doctors. Officials hung garlands around their necks as the crowd cheered.
Nitin Gadkari, the country's minister of road transport and highways, said in a video posted on the social media platform X that he was "completely relieved and happy" that all of the workers were rescued from the Silkyara Tunnel in Uttarkashi, a town in India's northern state of Uttarakhand. Rescuers resorted to digging by hand after the machine they had been using broke down, having bored through about 47 metres of the roughly 57-60 metres needed to reach the workers.
Five armed assailants captured by U.S. forces after seizing a commercial ship near Yemen over the weekend were likely Somali and not Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, the Pentagon said. Recent attacks on commercial vessels have been conducted by Houthis, seen as part of a rise in violence in the region due to the Israel-Hamas war. While the Pentagon was still assessing the motives of the latest group, "we know they are not Houthi," Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters.
The Liberian-flagged tanker, managed by Zodiac Maritime, sent out a distress call and forces from the USS Mason, an American destroyer, responded. The five assailants attempted to flee in their small boats, but the U.S. forces pursued them and fired warning shots, "resulting in their eventual surrender," Ryder said. They were being held aboard the Mason, he said. However, a little over 90 minutes later, two ballistic missiles fired from Houthi-controlled Yemen landed about 10 nautical miles (18 nautical kilometres) from the Mason.
Three college students of Palestinian descent out for a walk in Vermont were seriously injured over the weekend when a man shot them at close range on a city street - an attack being investigated as a possible hate crime, authorities said. Jason J. Eaton, 48, made his initial court appearance by video from jail on three counts of attempted murder, and a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf on Monday. He was ordered held without bail.
The U.S. Department of Justice, along with Vermont authorities, were investigating whether the shooting was a hate crime amid an increase in threats against Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities across the U.S. since the Israel-Hamas war began, Attorney General Merrick Garland said. "There is understandable fear in communities across the country," he said.
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