A man is reportedly set to plead guilty to killing 19 disabled people at a care home in Japan, having allegedly told a local newspaper he stabbed them to death “for the sake of society”.
Satoshi Uematsu, 29, is in prison awaiting trial for the murders of 10 women and nine men aged between 18 and 70, who were stabbed to death where they lived in the city of Sagamihara in July 2016.
He is accused of using a hammer to break into the building, before tying up a worker, stealing their keys and going from room to room to stab his victims in the necks as they slept in the early hours of 26 July.
Uematsu, who used to work at the facility, turned himself into a local police station a few hours after the incident and goes on trial on 8 January.
According to the Reuters news agency, Uematsu will not dispute the accusations against him and will “admit” to all of his crimes before the verdict is due on 16 March.
The case has attracted enormous media attention and since March 2017 the suspect himself has given some 26 interviews to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.
He said in February last year that “there was no reason” for his victims to live and described those who lived at the care home as people with “failed minds”.
He added: “I had to do it for the sake of society.”
Uematsu, who also left a number of people injured during his alleged rampage, has said he is “sorry” to the families of those he killed but has repeatedly told the newspaper that the deaths could not be helped.
He has acknowledged that a heavy sentence is “unavoidable”, but believes execution would be excessive for an attack that was described at the time as one of the worst crimes in modern Japanese history.
In April this year, Uematsu told the paper: “I didn’t do anything that would warrant the death penalty.”
Capital punishment in Japan is usually reserved for people who have carried out multiple murders, or in otherwise extreme cases such as when a victim has been tortured.
Japan and the US are the only developed democracies in the world that still use capital punishment, and more than three dozen executions have been carried out since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in 2012.
Emmanuel Macron filmed yelling at security guards during Jerusalem church visit | World News
Emmanuel Macron has been filmed yelling at Israeli security guards and telling them to “go out” during his visit to a church in Jerusalem.
The French president was surrounded by guards in the doorway of the Church of St Anne when he shouted: “We know perfectly, everybody knows the rules.”
“I don’t like what you did in front of me,” he added, while pointing to one of the security guards.
“Go out,” he said. “Outside.”
Mr Macron visited the basilica on Wednesday ahead of a Holocaust memorial conference in the city.
The sandstone structure, which was gifted to French emperor Napoleon III from the Ottomans in 1856, sits in a section of the city annexed by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
It is considered a provocation by France if Israeli police enter the premises.
The spat on Wednesday was not the first of its kind between Israeli security and a French president.
Jacques Chirac, the country’s former president who died in September, also had an altercation with guards in the city in 1996, where he shouted: “What do you want – me to get back on my plane and go back to France?”
Mr Macron has since told reporters his incident was just “a minor irritation” and highlighted an agreement that Israeli guards escort him to the door, before being replaced by a French detail.
But a joint statement from the Israeli police and Shin Bet security agency said “there was a discussion” upon Mr Macron’s arrival, and the guards had escorted him inside “based on the terms agreed upon ahead of time”.
It added: “When the president and the delegation finished the visit, he apologised about the incident and shook hands with the security personnel and continued his scheduled visit in the old city with security guards.”
China coronavirus: Britons advised against travel to outbreak epicentre of Wuhan | World News
The UK Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to the Chinese city of Wuhan after a new virus killed 17 and infected hundreds.
Wuhan’s local transport networks – including bus, subway and ferries – will also be suspended from 10am on Thursday, and airport and train stations closed to outgoing passengers.
Authorities are asking citizens not to leave unless there are special circumstances, said state media.
Screening is in place at major US airports, while Britain’s transport secretary said a separate area was being set up at London Heathrow to monitor arrivals from the city.
More than 500 cases of the new coronavirus have so far been confirmed by Chinese authorities.
The first case in the US was identified this week, while others have been diagnosed in Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
All of them had been to Wuhan – the Chinese city with an 11 million population where the virus is believed to have started – with illegally trafficked animals at a market being named as the likely source.
Symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.
More serious cases could lead to deadly conditions such as pneumonia and kidney failure.
Concerns are growing as hundreds of millions of people in China prepare to travel for the Lunar New Year holiday, which starts on Saturday.
The Foreign Office said travellers should not visit Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, “due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak”.
Public Health England (PHE) has revised the coronavirus risk from “very low” to “low”.
Sales of surgical masks have increased in China and some people are cancelling trips and avoiding public places, as cases of the virus show up in Beijing and Shanghai.
Taiwan has joined Australia in telling its citizens to avoid Wuhan, while North Korea has banned foreign tourists – most of whom are Chinese.
Singapore is also among the countries that have started screening all passengers arriving on flights from China – with heat-detecting guns scanning people for signs of fever.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses ranging from the common cold to severe diseases such as SARS – which killed nearly 800 people during the 2002-03 outbreak.
When a new strain emerges that has not yet been identified, as with the current outbreak, it becomes known as a novel coronavirus (nCoV).
Chinese state media say the latest strain is different from those identified in the past, but have confirmed it can be passed from person to person.
All coronaviruses are also zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.
There are no reliable vaccines. The best someone can do is take medicines and treatments for specific symptoms.
Storm Gloria: Hunt for missing Briton, 25, who vanished during Ibiza motorbike trip | World News
A land and sea search is under way to find a British man who vanished during a deadly storm that has ripped through Ibiza.
The 25-year-old had been spending his day off riding his motorbike around the north of the Balearic island and was reported missing by a colleague when he failed to return.
His colleague later went out to search for his friend and found the bike.
Spanish helpline service 112 Emergency said the man is believed to have disappeared around the remote Portinatx area of Sant Joan de Labritja at the northernmost point of the island.
A multi-agency search and rescue operation has since been launched on land and sea, and is being carried out by local police and the Guardia Civil.
The Briton is one of three people to vanish in mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands in the last four days after Storm Gloria tore across the Mediterranean coast.
A further eight people have died due to the storm, which ranks as the worst sea storm since 2003 “and likely of this century”, according to Dani Palacios, head of beach services for Barcelona in the northeast.
It brought winds of up to 90mph (144kmh) and stirred up huge waves of up to 13.5m (44ft) at its peak.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been left without power and weather alerts are still in place across three dozen provinces.
According to Spanish authorities and rescue teams, one body was found in a river in Alicante, while another person died after a building collapsed in Alcoy, which was believed to have been caused by heavy rainfall.
One man was killed after hailstones smashed through a greenhouse he was working in, according to the mayor of Almeria province, and a homeless man in Valencia is said to have died from low temperatures.
In a statement on Tuesday, 112 Emergency warned residents keep away from the coastal areas as it “can cause you to be hit by a sea storm.”
It added: “Don’t stop to watch the waves and get away from breakwaters, boardwalks and other places where the waves may break nearby. Find a safe place.”
Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted: “Solidarity and government support to the families of the victims of the #BorrascaGloria and to those who are suffering the fatal consequences of this storm.
“I reiterate my thanks to the emergency services that work tirelessly to help the population.”
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