Malaysia upholds one conviction, arrests dissident
On Tuesday, Malaysia’s highest court upheld Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction for sodomy. Sodomy is illegal in the Muslim majority nation, but few are prosecuted. The current opposition leader and former Deputy Prime Minister had a previous conviction for sodomy, but it was overturned in 2004. In 2008, he faced a completely new charge of having sex with a male aide. Now, after several rounds of appeals, the conviction remains in place. Anwar always maintained his innocence, saying that the accusations are politically motivated. “This is a complete fabrication,” he said. Anwar is considered to be the only politician who may have a chance at breaking the ruling party’s 60-year hold on power.
Two days after the court’s judgement, police arrested a cartoonist under sedition laws. Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, also known as Zunar, used Twitter to accuse Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak of influencing the High Court’s decision to imprison Anwar. Additionally, the police have said that two opposition politicians are under investigation for sedition, allegedly in relation to comments critical of the court’s ruling.
American hostage killed by ISIS
The United States confirmed Tuesday that American hostage Kayla Mueller has been killed by the Islamic State. ISIS had claimed that Mueller was killed by Jordanian air strikes on February 5. The Pentagon now says there is no doubt IS killed her, though the details of her death have not been made public. Mueller went to Syria as an aid worker. She was abducted by IS in 2013.
New York police officer charged in shooting
On Tuesday, a grand jury recommended charges against a New York policeman who fatally shot an unarmed man in an apartment complex. Officer Peter Liang will be charged for the death of Akai Gurley, a black 28-year-old. Police described the shooting as an accident.
US, UK and France close embassies in Yemen
The United States, the United Kingdom and France indicated they are closing their embassies in the Yemeni capital in response to the deteriorating security situation. The US and the UK removed diplomatic staff from Sana’a on Wednesday, and France closed its embassy on Friday. Houthi rebels forcibly took control of Yemen in January, arresting the president and his ministers and dissolving parliament.
Canada stops mass shooting plot
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say that they foiled a plot to carry out a mass shooting in Halifax. Three suspects were arrested. A fourth shot himself after police went to his house. Police said that “there’s nothing … to classify it as a terrorist attack. It’s not culturally based.” The suspects reportedly had an obsession with killing and death.
Shootings in Denmark
Two shootings in the Danish capital raised fears of an armed terror spree. In the first incident, an unidentified gunman killed one person and injured three in a Copenhagen cafe where a debate was being held.
The discussion covered free speech and blasphemy, and was attended by cartoonist Lars Vilks, who has faced death threats over his depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.
Just after midnight, the same gunman opened fire near a synagogue about 3 miles (5 km) from the cafe. He fatally shot one person and injured two police officers.
Two hours after the second attack, a person opened fire on police at a train station. Police fired back and killed who they believe was the suspect. Although his name has not been released, the 22 year old was already known to police for his connection with criminal gangs, prior convictions for violent offenses, and weapons dealing.
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said the attack was “a cynical act of terror.”