German police investigate mysterious crossbow killings

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2019   •   1943


The facade of the hotel in Passau, Germany where bodies killed with crossbow were found.

German prosecutors on Monday (May 13) said they were waiting on autopsy results after two further corpses turned up in Lower Saxony linked to three people found dead with crossbow wounds in Passau.

According to the public prosecutor’s office in Passau, a cleaning lady found three corpses in a guesthouse on Saturday (May 11). A man and woman were found dead with crossbow wounds on the bed and a third woman was found with a crossbow wound on the floor by the bed.

All three victims in Passau, a 53-year-old man, a 33-year-old woman, and a 30-year-old woman had checked in to the Passau guesthouse on Friday (May 10) after traveling there from the direction of Austria, prosecutors said.

“It was so that on Friday evening at around 22:00, three people checked into the guesthouse here in Passau. They came from the direction of Austria. On Saturday the cleaning lady found the dead bodies of the three people at around noon,” said Walter Feiler, a public prosecutor in Passau.

“The man had a total of five shots from a crossbow. Two in the head and three in the chest area. The woman next to him had two wounds, one in the head and one on the breast in the area of the heart. The third woman, a 30-year-old, was lying in front of the double bed and had one shot from a crossbow between the throat and the chin,” he added.

On Monday two further corpses were found in the flat belonging to one of the Passau deceased.

“What was surprising was the news today out of Lower Saxony that in the flat of the woman found lying in front of the bed, two further female corpses had been found. The identities of the two corpses have not yet been definitely confirmed nor has the cause of death,” Feiler said.

Lower Saxony authorities said they have ordered autopsies into the cause of death. After neighbors reported an overflowing letterbox and a strange smell, it is thought that the bodies had been there for some time.

“We don’t at this point know exactly how long the bodies were in the flat in Lower Saxony. The corpses were found because one of the neighbors heard about the reports from Passau,” Feiler said. (REUTERS)

Trump urges U.S. to halt most social activity in virus fight, warns of recession

UNTV News   •   March 17, 2020

President Donald Trump urged Americans on Monday (March 16) to halt most social activities for 15 days and not congregate in groups larger than 10 people in a newly aggressive effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the United States.

Announcing new guidelines from his coronavirus task force, the president said people should avoid discretionary travel and not go to bars, restaurants, food courts or gyms.

As stocks tumbled, Trump warned that a recession was possible, a development that could affect his chances of re-election in November. The Republican president said he was focused on addressing the health crisis and that the economy would get better once that was in line.

The task force implored young people to follow the new guidelines even though they were at lesser risk of suffering if they contract the virus. Older people, especially those with underlying health problems, are at the greatest risk if they develop the respiratory disease.

Reporters staggered their seating, sitting in every other seat in the White House briefing room, to follow social distancing measures.

Trump said the worst of the virus could be over by July, August or later. He called it an invisible enemy.

The president has taken criticism for playing down the seriousness of the virus in the early days of its U.S. spread. On Monday, when asked, he gave himself a good grade for his response.

“I’d rate it a 10. I think we’ve done a great job,” he said.

Trump said a nationwide curfew was not under consideration at this point.

Normally a cheerleader for the U.S. economy, he acknowledged the possibility of a recession while brushing off another dramatic decline on stock markets as investors worried about the virus.

“We’re not thinking in terms of recession, we’re thinking in terms of the virus. Once we stop, I think there’s a tremendous pent up demand, both in terms of the stock market and in terms of the economy,” Trump said. The president has long considered soaring stock markets to be a sign of his administration’s success.

Trump said the administration had talked regularly about domestic travel restrictions but hoped not to have to put such measures in place.

He said he thought it would still be possible for G7 leaders to meet at the Camp David retreat in Maryland in June. Trump upset European countries, which make up a large part of the G7, by instituting travel restrictions from European countries without consulting with them first. (Reuters)

(Production: Katharine Jackson)

Streets deserted in Milan during coronavirus lockdown

UNTV News   •   March 11, 2020

A handful of people were seen on the streets of Milan on Wednesday morning (March 12) following stringent measures imposed to contain the coronavirus.

Shops and restaurants closed, hundreds of flights were cancelled and streets emptied across Italy on Tuesday (March 10), the first day of an unprecedented, nationwide lockdown imposed to slow Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus.

Just hours after the dramatic new restrictions came into force, health authorities announced the death toll had jumped by 168 to 631, the largest rise in absolute numbers since the contagion came to light on Feb. 21.

The total number of confirmed cases rose at a much slower rate than recently seen, hitting 10,149 against a previous 9,172, but officials warned that the region at the epicentre, Lombardy, had provided incomplete data.

The government has told all Italians to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel until April 3, radically widening steps already taken in much of the wealthy north, which is the epicentre of the spreading contagion. (Reuters)

(Production: Marissa Davison)

Russian parliament backs changes allowing Putin to run again for president

UNTV News   •   March 11, 2020

The Russian lower house of parliament on Wednesday (March 11) gave its definitive approval to constitutional changes that allow Vladimir Putin to run for president again in 2024, something the current constitution forbids.

The 450-seat State Duma, the lower house of parliament, voted in favour of the changes in a third and final reading by 383 votes.

Nobody voted against, but 43 lawmakers abstained. Twenty-four lawmakers were absent.

Putin told parliament in televised comments on Tuesday he believed a constitutional amendment that would allow him to run for president again could be adopted if Russia’s Constitutional Court did not object.

Putin is required by the constitution to step down in 2024 when his second sequential presidential term ends. (Reuters)

(Production: Mikhail Antonov, Anton Derbene)

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