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A high-profile probe into a right-wing extremist network in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia sees 29 police officers suspended following large-scale raids.

More than 200 officers took part in raids against their own colleagues early on Wednesday. A total of 34 police stations and private apartments were searched in the German cities of Duisburg, Essen, Moers, Muelheim and Oberhausen as law enforcement sought to expose a hidden far-right extremist network sharing Nazi images online within its ranks.

As a result, a total of 29 police officers were suspended on suspicion of being members of five extremist online chats, where they shared Nazi images and other far-right material. Criminal probes have been launched against 14 of them since they stand accused of membership in an “anti-constitutional” organization as well as the distribution of extremist materials. Evidence collected against another 15 was deemed insufficient for criminal charges but they are likely to face disciplinary penalties and possible discharge from the police force.




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Most of the suspects were serving in one regional police department in the city of Essen.

The magnitude of the incident even prompted the regional interior minister, Herbert Reul, to call a press conference on short notice to comment on the case he described as a “disgrace for the police” that shook the regional law enforcement “to their core.”

“Right-wing extremists have no business with the North Rhine-Westphalia police,” Reul said, adding that the very existence of the extremist networks was “a slap in the face for the majority of the 50,000 [regional] police officers.” He also vowed to get to the bottom of this case to find out how the extremist chats managed to stay unnoticed for years.

According to investigators, some of the five online groups in question are believed to be created back in 2012 and 2015. Up to 126 files containing “criminally relevant content” were discovered during the probe, including photos of Adolf Hitler, Swastikas and Nazi Germany flags as well as fictional images depicting refugees in concentration camps and gas chambers.

The groups were discovered in August as part of another internal investigation against a 32-year-old officer suspected of leaking some classified information to a journalist. When investigators seized the officer’s phone they found Nazi-related material in it. In early September, a special internal commission was set up to deal with that case.

Investigators now expect the number of suspects to rise, since they obtained additional potential evidence during the raids. “Until now, we had just one cell phone, from which we got all the information. Now, we have more phones,” Reul said, adding that the issue appears to be too significant to describe it as just some “individual cases.” Still, he also denied it was a “structural problem facing the police.”




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Pakistan blast: At least seven dead in Peshawar school attack

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At least seven people have died after an explosion during a class at a religious school in Pakistan, police have said.

Children of various age groups are among the dead, an officer at the scene told the BBC.

Dozens of others were injured in the attack, which took place in the northern city of Peshawar.

No group has yet claimed responsibility. An investigation has been launched.

The city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.

Six years ago, gunmen stormed a military school in the city leaving more than 150 dead, including many children.

What happened?

The blast took place at about 08:30 local time (03:30 GMT), police told the BBC.

About 60 people are understood to have been in the class at the religious school, known as a madrassa.

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An eyewitness has told the police he saw a man enter the building with a bag of explosives shortly before the blast.

news agency that two teachers were injured.

Hospital officials told Reuters news agency that they had received dozens of injured, many with burns.

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Duterte seeks best Covid vaccine deal but ‘will not beg’ or allow private suppliers to rip off Philippines

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would pursue a direct government-to-government deal for a coronavirus vaccine with either China or Russia, warning that ‘corrupt’ private suppliers could try to swindle his country.

“Let me tell everybody that we will not beg, we will pay,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday night, adding that while Manila is not seeking charity it also aims to sign a direct government-to-government deal without intermediaries.

The president did not indicate the status of vaccine negotiations with Beijing or Moscow, saying he merely mentioned the two countries as possible sources out of a “sense of urgency,” and that “all options” were still on the table. 

The one that could give us the best interest for the country will be chosen.

Duterte stressed the need to obtain an inoculation directly from a friendly foreign state, rather than a private business, warning that such transactions could only bring “trouble” and that a government deal would mean “no corruption.”




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Under its proposed national budget for 2021, Manila will devote some 2.5 billion Philippine pesos ($51.6 million) to vaccine procurement, which Duterte said would be overseen by Finance Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III.

“Since he is going to pay, I will listen to Sonny. If there are no funds, he will go to jail,” the president said, apparently threatening prison time for a member of his own cabinet.

Duterte previously torched Western pharma firms developing coronavirus immunizations, saying they were “all about profit,” pointing to some companies who asked for a “cash advance before they deliver the vaccine.” The leader gave a stern warning to any company who offered similar proposals, vowing “I’ll kick your a**.”

Though the president has offered to be the first in his country to take the jab developed in Russia, Sputnik V, it is not clear whether such an arrangement has been made. However, Moscow’s ambassador to the island nation, Igor Khovaev, recently stated the jab could be available to the Philippines by the end of the year.




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At least 7 killed, 70 wounded after bomb goes off at religious school in Pakistan – hospital official

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At least seven people were killed and more than 70 wounded in an explosion inside a seminary in northern Pakistan on Tuesday morning. Children are among the victims.

The blast took place in Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Senior police official Wagar Azim told AFP that a bomb brought inside the Speen Jammat mosque, which also functions as a religious school for local children, went off in the middle of Quran studi

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