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  1. Local and federal authorities are investigating a string of acts of violence against Jehovah’s Witness houses of worship in Washington state ― including multiple suspected arsons. The latest attack gutted a Jehovah’s Witness building in the city of Lacey, near Olympia. The fire reportedly broke out . No injuries were reported, but the building was deemed a total loss, . The Seattle division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has . BREAKING: A fire has destroyed the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Lacey. This is the SIXTH attack on Kingdom Hall’s in Thurston County since March. Five fires, one shooting. — Alex Rozier () The fire in Lacey brings the total number of attacks in Thurston County against Jehovah’s Witness centers, called kingdom halls, to six this year, . In March, arson caused minor damage at kingdom halls in Tumwater and Olympia. Four months later, a blaze worship space. In August investigators discovered a fake bomb at a kingdom hall in Yelm, . The incident was determined to be an attempted arson. In May someone shot about 35 rifle rounds into the Yelm center, causing more than $10,000 in property damage, . Jason Chudy, a spokesperson for the ATF’s Seattle field division, told HuffPost that the organization believes all the incidents could be related. The attacks were probably “meant to send a message,” he said. “We believe that the suspect or suspects has or have a grievance related to the Jehovah’s Witness community, or about another issue they think is important,” he wrote in an email. “Before these fires, the person or persons involved are likely to have shared these strong feelings with others through comments and conversation.” Chudy said the ATF also believes that the suspect or suspects may have exhibited changes in behavior in the hours, days, weeks or months since the fires, including unexplained injuries, changes in normal routines and dramatic and unexplained altering of physical appearance. The ATF is investigating the incidents, along with Thurston County police. Investigators are offering $36,000 in combined rewards for information that leads to a suspect’s capture. During a press conference on Friday, Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza urged the public to call in with tips. “It makes you feel really ill,” . “How frustrating is it that people who find a solemn place of worship, and now it’s being destroyed?” Dan Woollett, a member of the kingdom hall in Lacey, that the important thing is that congregants are safe. “It’s just a building ― buildings can be replaced,” he said. “Things can be redone. So we just move ahead with the ministry that we have that we’re involved with.”
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  2. Kimoto, who was a missionary for the Jehovah's Witnesses, was found dead on Sunday in the building and her companion, Chie Morosawa, 28, also a missionary was found next to her body. "There are obvious signs of extreme violence, the largest amount of blood was found where women apparently rested," explained one researcher who did not identify himself. Their objective to preach motivated both to travel from Japan and work in communities of both municipalities of Petén, where according to residents, the two missionaries made an effort to talk about God and motivated young people to get involved in positive activities. Prosecutors from the Public Ministry (MP) have located among the first signs a stone, which is presumed to have been used to commit the crime. The investigation continues to establish what motivated the attack against the foreigners.
  3. A 28-year-old man was “in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong attitude” when he broke into two vehicles in October, Ontario Court of Justice heard Tuesday. Correy Whitton had stayed out of trouble with the law for about four years, “cleaning up his act” from a drug- and alcohol-fuelled youth. “Over the years he was out of control with alcohol and substance abuse,” defence counsel D.L. Ehlers told Judge Pierre Bradley. He was gainfully employed and found direction in his life, dedicating his life to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and to his family. “While he was with the group he had it all together,” Ehlers said. But when he followed his partner and their three children to North Bay, things went wrong. He was frustrated and angry that he had given up the first full-time job he’d ever held over a custody issue, and then discovered his brother had been hospitalized with a drug overdose. “I was pretty messed up,” he admitted. Court was told that on Oct. 2, a Tackaberry Drive resident found Whitton in his father’s vehicle rummaging around in the front seat area. The man removed Whitton from the vehicle and pinned him to the ground until police arrived. When police searched him, they found bolt cutters and other break-in instruments in his possession. At the police headquarters, he gave officers a false name. Whitton was released on bail the following morning. On Oct. 22, Whitton entered another vehicle and removed the owner’s wallet. He went to a convenience store and purchased $45 worth of lottery tickets with a credit card he took from the wallet. Two days later, Whitton and another man entered a bar after closing time through an unlocked rear door, taking and breaking items with a total value of $5,006. He was arrested the following day based on video surveillance. Read more:
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  4. Here's a timeline of the violence as it unfolded at a Charlottesville, Virginia white supremacist rally that resulted in three deaths. CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—Violence erupted as white nationalists took to the streets of Charlottesville to protest the removal of removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee Saturday, but the deadly encounter began brewing the night before. Three people were killed in events related to the "Unite the Right" rally, including a counter-protester and two Virginia State Police troopers. On Friday night, white nationalists marched with torches, and police kept the group and counter-protesters at bay. But chaos followed the next day as the two groups clashed in Emancipation Park to the point where officials declared an unlawful assembly and state of emergency. A woman was killed and dozens others were injured when a car plowed into a group of people believe to be counter-protesters. Police have arrested and charged 20-year-old Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, in relation to the fatal crash. A few hours later, a state police helicopter that had helped monitor Saturday's events crashed in a wooded area, killing both troopers who were aboard the chopper. They were identified as Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Va., and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Va. Both troopers died at the scene. Read more:Â
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  5. In the country’s first camp for internally displaced people since the civil war, 70 people are living on a basketball court: ‘We won’t go back’ People have dinner at the shelter for the displaced community of El Castaño. A total of 19 families left their community after receiving threats. Photograph: Encarni Pindado for the Guardian A gloomy group of men and women watch in silence as a truckload of armed soldiers slowly drive past the basketball court where they are living in makeshift plastic shelters. This encampment in Caluco, a small town 40 miles west of the capital, San Salvador, is home to about 70 people from a nearby farming community, forced to flee their homes after a recent escalation of gang violence. It is El Salvador’s first camp for internally displaced people since the 12-year civil war, when an estimated one million people were forcibly displaced and 80,000 killed. The war between the leftist guerrillas and US-supported military dictatorships ended in 1992, but peace never came to this small Central American country, where the social and economic inequalities which triggered the conflict remain unresolved. Social exclusion, state repression and gang violence have steadily grown worse, and in recent years, El Salvador has become the world’s most violent country outside a declared war zone. Ironically, the region around Caluco was spared much of the civil war bloodletting, said the local mayor, Bianca Oriana, who set up the camp in the shadows of the Santa Ana volcano. “In this area, we were not badly affected by the war violence. For us, the gangs are much worse,” she said. The Caluco camp serves as the latest stark warning that extreme violence is again displacing huge numbers of Salvadorans, forcing entire families to leave home in search of safety. More than 1,000 people, including several entire communities, are known to have been internally displaced since the beginning of 2015, according to human rights activists in El Salvador. The actual number is likely to be much higher. Tens of thousands more have fled the country altogether. In the past year, almost 40,000 Salvadorans travelling in family groups, and unaccompanied children, were apprehended by US border control agents. While the worst violence was once concentrated in deprived urban areas, it has since spread to small towns and rural communities. Caluco is a picturesque semi-rural district with about 9,000 inhabitants. About seven years ago, Barrio 18 Sureños – one of the three largest gangs in the country - started forming clicas, or cells, in the area. “At first they didn’t cause any problems, it was just about belonging to something –but then came the drugs and violence,” said Oriana. According to local people, around three years ago, the gang leaders suddenly started carrying high-calibre weapons and pressuring families to cooperate: providing money and food whenever demanded, or acting as lookouts for police or soldiers. The murder rate inched up steadily, despite the presence of an army base in the district; one by one, families started to leave. One of the worst-affected communities was El Castaño, where a 64-year-old man called Francisco Barrientos was killed after allegedly refusing to cooperate with a gang led by one of his nephews. His relatives responded by burning down the house of the gang leader’s mother. “We knew this was a declaration of war, but I am happy we did it,” said a family member, who asked not to be named. “They had been doing bad things for a long time.” The military are in charge of the 24-hour security of the shelter for displaced people in Caluco, Sonsonate. Photograph: Encarni Pindado for the Guardian In response, the gang ordered the entire community to leave – on pain of death. Within days, almost every family had abandoned their corn and yucca fields, and fled with only the clothes on their backs. Since then, the national police have sent in reinforcements from the anti-gang unit, and 35 alleged gang members have been detained and paraded in front of TV cameras. Human Rights groups say El Salvador’s new mano dura – or iron fist – policy against the gangs has resulted in the indiscriminate targeting of young men. The families in the camp have been told they must soon return home, but many are too scared – both of the gang members and the local police – and are considering fleeing the country. “Those who are guilty should pay, but those who are innocent should be let go,” said one 53-year-old woman, whose eldest son was among those arrested. “We won’t go back; we can’t trust the police who have stained my son’s name. I don’t know where we’ll go, but maybe to another country.”
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  6. A county council in England has come up with a clever and discreet way of combatting sexual violence and abuse. A photo posted to Twitter (and retweeted almost 30,000 times) shows a poster in the women's bathroom at a bar in Lincolnshire that advises anyone who is feeling unsafe on a date to ask the bar staff for "Angela"—a code word alerting the staff that someone is in need of help. The copy reads: "Are you on a date that isn't working out? Is your Tinder or POF [Plenty of Fish] date not who they said they were on their profile? Do you feel like you're not in a safe situation? Does it all feel a bit weird? If you go to the bar and ask for 'Angela,' the bar staff will know you need help getting out of your situation and will call you a taxi or help you out discreetly—without too much fuss." The idea of being helped discreetly is the most compelling part about the campaign. Fear of causing a scene or being wrong can be paralyzing for people in an unnerving situation. Hayley Child, substance misuse and sexual violence and abuse strategy coordinator for Lincolnshire County Council, tells the Independent: "The 'Ask for Angela' posters are part of our wider #NoMore campaign which aims to promote a culture change in relation to sexual violence and abuse, promote services in Lincolnshire and empower victims to make a decision on whether to report incidents." She adds: "Sexual abuse and violence is an national issue, and all councils have a responsibility to tackle abuse. This was Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership's first awareness raising campaign on this issue." The only problem we see is that the #NoMore hashtag is a bit lost among many #NoMore hashtags on social media. But overall, it's a great effort toward fixing a major problem.
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  7. Police are appealing for information following an aggravated burglary in Southampton. Between 12.30pm and 1.05pm on Sunday, August 7, two men knocked on the door of an address on Caerleon Drive, Bitterne. A woman opened the door to them and they told her they were Jehovah's Witnesses. One of the men then put a cloth over the woman’s mouth at the front door, forcing her to pass out. They then entered the house and stole a quantity of high value gold jewellery. When the woman came round, the men had gone. The woman received medical attention but did not suffer any ongoing symptoms. I am appealing for anyone with information about this incident to come forward. Do you live in the area, did anyone knock at your door claiming to be Jehovah's Witnesses? Did you see two smartly dressed men wandering around the area who could be connected to this incident? As always, we would urge residents to be vigilant when opening their door to strangers. If you're unsure of who is at your door, use a door chain and do not open the door fully until you are satisfied they are a genuine caller. I would urge anyone with information to get in touch with us as soon as possible. – DETECTIVE CONSTABLE MARTIN BREWER Last updated Mon 8 Aug 2016
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  8. via TheWorldNewsOrg via journal.theworldnewsmedia.org

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