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A man charged with attempted murder following the shooting of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has been named as 71-year-old Juraj Cintula.

The pensioner, from the town of Levice in western Slovakia, is said to be a writer and poet, according to local media reports.

A man was arrested at the scene. Pic: Reuters
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The suspected shooter was arrested at the scene of the attack in Handlova, Slovakia. Pic: Reuters

In one of his poems he describes how he grew up to be someone who strikes back, they say.

Eight years ago, however, he initiated the creation of a movement called Against Violence, and published a statement about it online.

Juraj Cintula was beaten while working as a security guard.
Pic: ENEX
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Cintula showing his injuries from when he was beaten up as a security guard. Pic: ENEX

Cintula previously worked as a security guard, during which time he was reportedly badly beaten by a man in a shop.

Meanwhile, one of his neighbours said he was “shocked” about the shooting of the prime minister.

Juraj Cintula is the author of several poetry collections.
Pic: ENEX
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Juraj Cintula is the author of several poetry collections. Pic: ENEX

‘Fantastic man’

“We had no problems with them. He is a fantastic man. I can’t explain it,” the neighbour said.

“I knew him and his wife as well. They were great people – pensioners. His wife was a university teacher – they used to go for a walk – great family.”

Asked whether it was clear that Cintula had a gun, the neighbour added: “He didn’t tell me. Police should check old people [and carry out psychological tests].”

Cintula founded a literary club in Levice and is the author of several poetry collections, local media reported.

He has also written a novel called The Message Of Sacrifice and is said to be a member of the Society of Slovak Writers.

Mr Fico – who is fighting for his life in hospital after Wednesday’s assassination attempt – was shot several times in the town of Handlova, around 85 miles northeast of the capital Bratislava, where he was meeting supporters.

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Video shows moment Slovak PM was shot

Slovakia‘s interior minister, Matus Sutaj Estok, told reporters that Cintula was a “lone wolf”.

The suspect “acted alone”, Mr Estok said.

Speaking previously, he said the attempt on Mr Fico’s life was “politically motivated”.

On Wednesday, he said an initial investigation found the suspect had a “clear political motivation” for carrying out the shooting, adding the “perpetrator’s decision was born closely after the presidential election”.

Slovakia's prime minister Robert Fico
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Slovakia’s prime minister Robert Fico. Pic: Reuters

Pic: AP
Rescue workers take Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who was shot and injured, to a hospital in the town of Banska Bystrica, central Slovakia, Wednesday, May 15, 2024. Slovakia...s populist Prime Minister Robert Fico is in life-threatening condition after being wounded in a shooting Wednesday afternoon, according to his Facebook profile. (Jan Kroslak/TASR via AP)
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Mr Fico was taken to a hospital in the town of Banska Bystrica, central Slovakia. Pic: AP


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President-elect Peter Pellegrini, an ally of Mr Fico, won a fiercely contested presidential election last month.

The alleged gunman fired five bullets at the 59-year-old prime minister as he greeted supporters following a government meeting in a former coal mining town in central Slovakia.

What have those who knew the suspect said?

News outlet Aktuality.sk cited the suspect’s son as saying his father was the legal holder of a gun licence.

“I have absolutely no idea what my father intended, what he planned, what happened,” it quoted the son as saying.

He said all he could say about his father’s views about the prime minister was that he did not vote for him.

He also said his father was not a psychiatric patient.

Pic: AP
Police arrest a man after Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot and injured following the cabinet's away-from-home session in the town of Handlova, Slovakia, Wednesday, May 15, 2024.  Fico is in life-threatening condition after being wounded in a shooting Wednesday afternoon, according to his Facebook profile. (Radovan Stoklasa/TASR via AP)
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The suspect remains in police custody. Pic: AP

Read more:
Who is Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico?

A member of the Rainbow Literary Club in Levice told Reuters she knew the suspect.

She said he was one of the club’s founding members and had been its chairman for a time.

In a statement, the club condemned the attack and said that as a strictly apolitical group it had revoked the suspected attacker’s membership with “immediate effect”.

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Passengers and crew injured after turbulence on Qatar Airways flight to Dublin

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Passengers and crew injured after turbulence on Qatar Airways flight to Dublin

Eight people have been taken to hospital due to turbulence on a flight to Dublin.

Dublin Airport said six passengers and six crew members on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin were hurt after experiencing turbulence over Turkey.

In a later statement, the airport said all passengers were assessed for injury before getting off the plane and eight were taken to hospital.

Graeme McQueen, a spokesman for DAA, the operator of Dublin Airport, told Sky News the aircraft was met by emergency services upon landing shortly before 1pm on Sunday.

The scene at Dublin Airport

Qatar Airways described the injuries sustained by passengers and crew as “minor”.

It said: “[They] are now receiving medical attention… The safety and security of our passengers and crew are our top priority.”

An internal investigation into what happened has now been launched.

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Earlier this week, in a separate incident, a British man died on a Singapore Airlines flight after extreme turbulence on a Heathrow-Singapore journey.

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Singapore Airlines passenger Josh Silverstone describes ordeal

Turbulence is defined as a sudden change in airflow and wind speed.

It can often be associated with storm clouds, which are usually well forecast and monitored, allowing planes to fly around them, Sky News weather producer Jo Robinson said.

Clear-air turbulence (CAT) is much more dangerous as there are no visual signs, such as clouds.

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This invisible vertical air movement usually occurs at and above 15,000ft and is mostly linked to the jet stream.

It is unclear what type of turbulence the Qatar Airways flight went through.

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Papua New Guinea: More than 2,000 people buried alive in landslide – as ‘major destruction’ hampers rescue efforts

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Papua New Guinea: More than 2,000 people buried alive in landslide - as 'major destruction' hampers rescue efforts

More than 2,000 people have been buried by a massive landslide in northern Papua New Guinea, the country’s disaster agency has said.

The landslide levelled the mountainous Kaokalam village in Enga Province – about 370 miles (600km) northwest of the capital Port Moresby.

It hit the Pacific nation at around 3am local time on Friday (6pm on Thursday UK time), and the United Nations had earlier said it estimated 670 people had been killed. Local officials had initially put the number of dead at 100 or more.

People search through a landslide in Yambali village. Pic: Kafuri Yaro/UNDP Papua New Guinea via AP
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People search through a landslide in Yambali village. Pic: Kafuri Yaro/UNDP Papua New Guinea via AP

The Papua New Guinea national disaster centre said the landslide had buried more than 2,000 people.

“The landslide buried more than 2,000 people alive and caused major destruction to buildings, food gardens and caused major impact on the economic lifeline of the country,” an official from the national disaster centre said in a letter to the United Nations.

Earlier, Serhan Aktoprak, head of the United Nations’ International Organisation for Migration mission on the island nation, said the figure of 670 deaths was based on calculations by local officials that more than 150 homes had been buried. The previous estimate was 60 homes.

“They are estimating that more than 670 people [are] under the soil at the moment,” he said.

More than 4,000 people were likely impacted by the disaster, humanitarian group CARE Australia said earlier.

It said the area was “a place of refuge for those displaced by [nearby] conflicts”.

Pic: New Porgera Limited/Reuters
Image:
Pic: New Porgera Limited/Reuters

Pic: New Porgera Limited/Reuters
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Pic: New Porgera Limited/Reuters

About six villages were affected by the landslide in the province’s Mulitaka region, according to Australia‘s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Three bodies were pulled from an area where 50 to 60 homes were destroyed. Six people, including a child, were pulled from the rubble alive, the UN’s Papua New Guinea office said.

But hopes of finding more survivors were diminishing.

Pic: AP
Villagers use heavy machinery to search through a landslide in Yambali in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, Sunday, May 26, 2024. The International Organization for Migration feared Sunday the death toll from a massive landslide is much worse than what authorities initially estimated. (Mohamud Omer/International Organization for Migration via AP)
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Villagers use heavy machinery to search through the landslide. Pic: AP

Yambali was among the villages affected. Pic: Mohamud Omer/International Organisation for Migration via AP
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Yambali was among the villages affected. Pic: Mohamud Omer/International Organisation for Migration via AP

The landslide left debris up to eight metres deep across 200 sq km (77 sq miles), cutting off road access, which was making relief efforts difficult. Helicopters were the only way to reach the area.

Survivors searched through tonnes of earth and rubble by hand looking for missing relatives while a first emergency convoy delivered food, water and other provisions on Saturday.

However, Mr Aktoprak added: “Hopes to take the people out alive from the rubble have diminished now.”

In February, at least 26 men were killed in Enga Province in an ambush amid tribal violence that prompted Prime Minister James Marape to give arrest powers to the country’s military.

Mr Marape has said disaster officials, the defence force and the department of works and highways were assisting with relief and recovery efforts.

View of the damage after a landslide in Maip Mulitaka, Enga province, Papua New Guinea May 24, 2024 in this obtained image. Emmanuel Eralia via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.?
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A damaged house after the landslide. Pic: Reuters

People carry bags in the aftermath of a landslide in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea, May 24, 2024, in this still image obtained from a video. Andrew Ruing/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT
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Locals carry their belongings away from the scene of the landslide. Pic: Reuters

Papua New Guinea, with a population of around 10 million, is a diverse, developing nation of mostly subsistence farmers with 800 languages. There are few roads outside the larger cities.

It is located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where much of the world’s earthquake and volcanic activity occurs.

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In March, the country was hit by a 6.9-magnitude earthquake.

The US and Australia are building closer defence ties with the strategically important nation, while China is also seeking closer security and economic ties.

US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said their governments stood ready to help respond to the landslide.

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Four girls stabbed at cinema in Massachusetts

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Four girls stabbed at cinema in Massachusetts

Four girls aged between nine and 17 were stabbed in an “unprovoked” attack at a cinema in Massachusetts, US police have said.

A 21-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man were also found stabbed in a McDonald’s restaurant in an incident that may be connected, according to officers.

A man, whose identity has not been released, was taken into custody following a vehicle chase that ended in a crash in Sandwich, Cape Cod.

Police said a man came into the AMC Braintree 10 complex, south of Boston, at about 6pm local time on Saturday and entered one of the movie theatres without paying.

“Without saying anything and without any warning, he suddenly attacked the four young females,” the Braintree police department said in a statement.

“The attack appeared to be unprovoked. After the attack, the man ran out and left in a vehicle.”

The girls sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to hospitals in Boston for treatment.

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The suspect’s vehicle – what appeared to be a black SUV – and number plate was seen on camera, police said.

A vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle was later seen in Plymouth, about 27 miles south of Braintree.

Police said it had left a McDonald’s restaurant, where a 21-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man were found stabbed and both were taken to hospitals with injuries.

Police found the vehicle another 20 miles south, in Sandwich, and attempted to pull it over, but it didn’t stop and later crashed.

The driver was taken into custody shortly afterward and was being treated at a hospital.

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