MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is accusing law enforcement officers in Minnesota of a brutal attack on an assault suspect.
The group’s Minnesota chapter released squad car video Thursday that it says shows excessive force during the arrest in Worthington last July of 22-year-old Anthony Promvongsa (prom-VOHNG’-sa). It %href—on(file:
URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The father of a visiting Chinese scholar missing from the University of Illinois made an emotional appeal on Thursday for his 26-year-old child’s safe return, saying in an interview: “Give my daughter back.”
Yingying Zhang was last seen on a surveillance video getting into a black Saturn Astra in Urbana on the afternoon of June 9. Police have labeled the case a kidnapping but haven’t ruled out other scenarios.
Ronggao Zhang, who arrived in central Illinois from China Saturday, spoke to The (Champaign) News-Gazette through a translator. Yingying Zhang’s aunt, Liqin Ye, also traveled from China and wiped away tears as the father spoke.
“Ying, be strong. Dad is waiting for you here,” Ronggao Zhang said, addressing his daughter directly. “I hope that being a good person you will be safe forever.”
Yingying Zhang, whose father has worked in China as a driver, aspired to become a university professor in part to help her family, friend Yige Yang told the newspaper. She arrived at U of I in April and is in the natural resources and environmental sciences department.
The father, the aunt and Yingying Zhang’s boyfriend, Xiaolin Hou, are staying in university housing as the search continues.
Hou expressed concern about the pace of the investigation, telling the newspaper, “We’re hoping to learn about the progress of the case.”
Representatives from University of Illinois police and a campus counseling center were scheduled to meet with students to discuss the search for Yingying Zhang — though police said they wouldn’t divulge details of the ongoing investigation.
Police Chief Jeff Christensen said in a Wednesday statement that investigators “continue to make progress” and “will not give up” until Zhang is found. He said specifics about the investigation wouldn’t be shared “in order to maintain its integrity and direction.”
Ronggao Zhang said the family intended to stay in the United States as long as needed, adding, “We’re not leaving without her.”
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has filed a complaint with the U.N. Security Council accusing the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of setting up observation outposts along the border on land purportedly used by an environmental advocacy group.
Israel said the posts violate the U.N.-brokered cease-fire that ended a war with Hezbollah in 2006 and asked the U.N. to order the Lebanese government to remove the posts.
“Hezbollah’s continued military buildup and destabilizing activities in southern Lebanon have serious repercussions on both regional stability and the ability of the Lebanese government to effectively control its country,” Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, wrote in a letter to the Security Council and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
In Tuesday’s letter, he said the world “cannot continue to turn a blind eye to Hezbollah’s flagrant violations” of U.N. resolutions.
Israel says the posts were built on spots used by an environmental group called “Green Without Borders.”
The Israeli military on Thursday released photos and video of what it said were the Hezbollah observation posts. One video showed a pair of uniformed men climbing onto a watchtower.
Israel says the environmental group has received funding in the past from Hezbollah.
A blog connected to the group says “for the sake of realizing our aims, we have an agreement of understanding and cooperation” with Hussein Haj Hassan, a Hezbollah Cabinet minister. The blog has not been updated since 2015, and a message sent to a contact was not immediately returned.
UNIFIL, the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, said it was looking into the Israeli allegations. There was no immediate comment from Lebanon or Hezbollah.
Israel and Hezbollah fought a monthlong war in 2006 that ended in a stalemate. Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shiite group, has since built up an arsenal that is now believed to include well over 100,000 missiles and rockets aimed at Israel.
Although Hezbollah has suffered heavy losses backing up the forces of President Bashar Assad in the Syrian civil war, Israel considers the group to be a serious threat. Israel is believed to have carried out a number of airstrikes in Syria on suspected arms shipments bound for Hezbollah.
Addressing a security conference on Thursday, the head of Israeli military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevy, called on UNIFIL to carry out its duties — “not only in keeping the peace, but in removing the possibility of war.”
Associated Press writer Philip Issa in Beirut contributed to this report.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s military said Thursday that an Indian naval officer who was sentenced to death by a military court on charges of espionage and sabotage had submitted a petition for mercy to the country’s army chief, seeking a pardon.
In a statement, it said Kulbhushan Jadhav in his petition “admitted his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities” in Pakistan.
It said Jadhav has expressed “remorse” over his actions, which caused a loss of lives. It said the man earlier appealed to the military’s appellate court, which rejected his petition.
Jadhav was arrested in March 2016, and he was sentenced to death by a military tribunal in April.
The latest development comes weeks after New Delhi took Pakistan to the International Court of Justice in an effort to save Jadhav’s life.
New Delhi at that time told the court that Pakistan did not provide it with consular access despite repeated requests.
Acting on the Indian petition, the court at the time asked Pakistan not to take any action that could affect the hearings.
Under Pakistan’s laws, Jadhav has the right to appeal to Pakistan’s president for a pardon if the army chief rejects his petition.
Pakistani officials say Jadhav has been linked to 1,345 deaths in acts of terrorism in Pakistan, making secret trips to Pakistan from Iran before his arrest.
The military Thursday issued a new confessional video statement from Jadhav in which the man said he visited Pakistan’s port city of Karachi twice for intelligence gathering on naval installations. He admitted his role in fomenting violence in the southwestern Baluchistan province.
He also admitted that Pakistan caught him on entering Baluchistan province.
It was unclear whether he made these confessions under duress.
However, Jadhav’s latest confessions are in contrast with New Delhi’s claim that he was kidnapped last year from Iran.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A psychologist who helped design the CIA’s harsh interrogation methods in the war on terror says his participation in the program that involved torturing suspects caused him “great, soulful torment.”
The comments are in videotaped depositions of Bruce Jessen ahead of a Sept. 5 trial.
He is one of two psychologists sued by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of three men who say they were tortured with techniques designed by the defendants.
Jessen and James Mitchell ran a Spokane, Washington company that received $81 million from the U.S. government to develop harsh interrogation methods to pry information from suspected terrorists.
In comments first reported Wednesday by The New York Times, Jessen says he was warned he would be blamed for future terrorist attacks if he did not participate.
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron’s new government presented a security bill Thursday to beef up police powers amid extremist threats to Europe.
Macron insists the bill discussed at a Cabinet meeting won’t infringe on freedoms, but rights groups fear France is heading for a permanent state of emergency.
His government is seeking to extend France’s existing state of emergency through Nov. 1, the time it will take the new security bill to pass through parliament. The current expiration date for the state of emergency is July 15. It would be the sixth extension of the measure since deadly attacks by extremists in Paris in November 2015.
The move Thursday comes days after an attacker drove a car carrying explosives into a police convoy on Paris’ busy Champs-Elysees avenue, the latest of several small-scale attacks on European cities.
“The threat is long-lasting,” Macron told several European newspapers in interviews published Thursday. “So we must organize ourselves for the long-term” instead of relying on emergency security measures.
The bill would allow authorities to place people posing “a particularly serious threat” under house arrest. They would still be allowed to move within a specific area, so they could have a family and a job.
The draft law would also ease conditions for state authorities to conduct counterterror raids on condition they are authorized and supervised by a judge.
Authorities could decide to close places of worship for up to six months if comments deemed to incite terrorism are made from those places. The bill also includes measures to ensure better security at big sports and cultural events.
“This is not a permanent state of emergency,” Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, who is in charge of the bill, said on Europe 1 radio. “Every time we try to take precautions so that individual freedoms are respected.”
Some human rights organizations had called on the government to drop the bill because of concerns over civil liberties.
New tensions, meanwhile, arose Thursday with Macron’s office on media access.
Press photographers covering the Cabinet meeting refused to take pictures of the ministers entering the Elysee presidential palace, one day after a government reshuffling, to protest restrictions on their access to the new government’s official photo.
They were finally allowed to go to the site but no video camera was authorized.
The Elysee press office says it doesn’t want any picture of the backstage to be made.
At the end of the Cabinet meeting, writers were banned from the Elysee courtyard — only video journalists and photographers were allowed. Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said “that’s only this week, we wanted to make images.”
He suggested the press would be allowed to attend the end of future Cabinet meetings and question ministers in the Elysee courtyard starting next week.
After the first Cabinet meeting following Macron’s election last month, more than 20 French media organizations signed an open letter to the French president to express their concerns about restrictions on coverage.