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Ataque a una mezquita en Nueva Zelanda

Como si fuese un videojuego: la cámara sobre la cabeza, el arma de fuego semiautomática sujetada con las dos manos. Con esa cámara, Brenton Tarrant, un australiano de 28 años, ingresó a una mezquita en Christchurch, Nueva Zelanda, y registró durante 17 minutos el ataque, que fue transmitido en vivo por Facebook Live.

Si bien sus redes tanto de Facebook como de Twitter fueron cerradas, trascendió que el hombre escribió un manifiesto antes de la masacre donde exponía las razones de su acción. “Solo soy un hombre blanco común, de una familia normal que ha decidido tomar una postura para asegurar el futuro de su gente”, escribió.

La transmisión en vivo comenzó con Tarrant arriba de su camioneta, Subaru, cuando manejaba rumbo a la mezquita de Al Noor. En el asiento del acompañante se veían diversas armas y municiones. Estacionó, se armó y entró en el lugar.

El Gobierno colombiano en desacuerdo con el representante de la ONU

Bogotá, 15 mar (EFE).- El Gobierno colombiano expresó este viernes su desacuerdo con el representante de la Alta Comisionada de la ONU para los DD.HH. en el país, Alberto Brunori, quien pidió al presidente Iván Duque la “urgente sanción” de la Ley Estatutaria de la Justicia Especial para la Paz (JEP), objetada parcialmente por el mandatario.

Así lo manifestó hoy el canciller colombiano, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, quien aseguró que la petición del funcionario no coincide con lo que él conversó al respecto el pasado martes con el secretario general de la ONU, Antônio Guterres, para explicarle de manera “muy detallada” la situación.

Trujillo señaló en un vídeo difundido por su despacho que la declaración de Brunori “no coincide, se aparta de lo que fueron los términos de la conversación” mantenida con Guterres en Nueva York.

“Aprovecho esta oportunidad para agradecer nuevamente al señor secretario general su interés, comprensión y receptividad a toda la información que le fue suministrada respecto de las razones que llevaron al presidente de la República a formular las objeciones que son de conocimiento de la opinión nacional”, manifestó el ministro.

Brunori, quien presentó este jueves el informe anual sobre Colombia de la Oficina de la Alta Comisionada de la ONU para los Derechos Humanos, pidió a Duque la “urgente sanción y promulgación, sin dilaciones”, de la ley que reglamenta la JEP.

El pasado domingo, al anunciar la objeción de seis de los 159 artículos de la citada ley, Duque dijo que lo hacía para garantizar que haya verdad, justicia, reparación y no repetición de la violencia del conflicto armado porque de eso depende “la construcción de una paz estable y duradera”.

Brunori agregó ayer que al sancionar la ley habría una “garantía efectiva de los derechos de las víctimas a la verdad, a la justicia, a la reparación y a las garantías de no repetición”.

Sin embargo, en su conversación con Guterres, el canciller colombiano le recordó que las objeciones son una facultad del presidente de acuerdo a la estructura institucional y que el objetivo de ello es que el Congreso debata esos artículos para tomar “finalmente las decisiones que mejor correspondan”.

A su turno, el secretario general de la ONU confió en que haya “acciones rápidas” para asegurar que esta base jurídica queda establecida “cuanto antes”, con el fin de garantizar los derechos de las víctimas del conflicto armado en el país y la seguridad legal para todas las partes involucradas.

El mismo día, el portavoz de Guterres señaló que el organismo manifestó al Gobierno colombiano su preocupación por la “incertidumbre que rodea a la adopción de la ley estatutaria”.

Carlos Holmes Trujillo, canciller colombiano. EFE/Archivo

Man killed daughter to make his estranged wife suffer, Crown tells murder trial

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A Crown prosecutor says a Newfoundland man murdered his five-year-old daughter in a calculated plan to inflict suffering on her mother, his estranged wife.

A St. John’s, N.L., court heard closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Trent Butt, who is accused of the first-degree murder of his daughter Quinn in his Carbonear, N.L., home in April 2016.

The courtroom was packed after an emotionally wrought trial that already heard from fire and medical experts, Butt himself and Quinn’s mother, Andrea Gosse.

The jury deliberated for about four hours Thursday before retiring for the evening, and will resume Friday morning. 

No one is arguing outright that Butt didn’t kill his daughter. The jury is being asked to decide whether the death was planned and deliberate, which would mean Butt is guilty of first-degree murder, or if he is guilty of a lesser charge.

Butt testified earlier that he did not remember killing Quinn, but said he found himself over her body and concluded he must have suffocated her.

Butt said he decided to take his own life and set fire to his home, leaving a lengthy suicide note in his truck that mostly detailed his frustrations with Gosse.

In the letter, Butt wrote he did not know how he killed Quinn and stated “I have thought about it for some time.”

“Quinn is with me now because I could not die knowing she would be left with Andrea,” a section of Butt’s letter read, repeated aloud in the provincial supreme court Thursday.

Crown lawyer Lloyd Strickland pointed to the note, which he described as “rife with hatred” of Gosse, as proof that Butt planned to kill Quinn to keep her from her mother.

Strickland argued that considering Butt planned to take his own life, he did not try to hide his true motivations in the note.

“In this letter, Trent Butt told the world exactly what was in his head,” Strickland said.

“These words amount to a confession of first-degree murder.”

Strickland argued that Butt’s actions surrounding the killing — like purchasing an unusual quantity of gasoline and disconnecting the home’s smoke alarms — were part of his “cold, calculated” murder-arson-suicide plot to cause Gosse pain. 

Both Strickland and Justice Donald Burrage drew attention to Butt’s earlier testimony that he reacted to Quinn’s death by concluding he must have suffocated her, rather than trying to resuscitate her or calling for medical assistance.

Butt’s lawyer, Derek Hogan, told the court there was no way to know Butt’s thought process on the night Quinn was killed.

Airlines, agencies struggle to respond as passengers

MONTREAL — Canada’s largest airline was inundated with calls as travellers scrambled to rebook flights after Ottawa joined dozens of countries in grounding the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft Wednesday.

Calls to Air Canada’s customer service line Wednesday and Thursday prompted a recording that said call volume has temporarily exceeded the company’s capacity to answer or even place callers on hold.

The message cites “unforeseen circumstances,” and directs callers to Air Canada’s website.

Kimberly Yetman Dawson, visiting family in Ontario, said she booked a second return flight to Halifax this Saturday at double the cost due to confusion over whether her original trip — scheduled initially on a Max 8 — would go ahead.

“I’m hoping that I’ll be compensated or I’ll be credited,” she said. “It’s a schlimazel. It’s up in the air.”

The logjam prompted Air Canada to set up a service line for Max 8 passengers flying in the next 72 hours: 1-833-354-5963.

Air Canada said it will waive cancellation charges and rebooking fees for Max 8 flights within three weeks of the original travel date.

The Montreal-based company has 24 Max 8s that carry between 9,000 and 12,000 passengers daily. The jets fly popular routes including Vancouver-Calgary and Montreal-Los Angeles as well as to Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii, causing headaches for thousands of March break vacationers and travel agents.

Maninder Singh, the owner of InterSky travel agency in Montreal, said the ban will cost him cash as he refunds passengers whose flights have been cancelled.

“Obviously we lose our markup,” he said. “We have to call every single [Max 8] customer and check for alternate dates.”

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the decision to ground the planes was a precautionary move made after a review of the available evidence in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines disaster Sunday that killed all 157 people on board, including 18 Canadians.

WestJet Airlines Ltd., which has 13 Max 8s that fly to destinations in Florida and elsewhere, said 11 domestic flights were cancelled Thursday, impacting 1,200 passengers.

More than three-quarters of those travellers would be rebooked on flights Thursday, with the remainder departing Friday or Saturday, the airline said.

The Calgary-based company has a no-fee cancellation policy for Max 8 flights, though rebooked flights may cost more.

Both airlines say customers will not be compensated for accommodations.

“The first 72 hours is a major shock,” said Mark Gallardo, vice-president of network planning at Air Canada.

“As time progresses we’re going to have a lot more recovery options.”

The airline hopes to hang on to several Embraer E-90 and Airbus A320 planes that were slated to exit the fleet this month, Gallardo said. Slashing the number of flights and swapping in bigger planes and reserve crews is another strategy, along with rerouting passengers through other airlines, but the options all come at a cost.