Belgian TV crew pelted with rocks in Brussels suburb

Belgian TV crew pelted with rocks in Brussels suburb
Belgian TV crew pelted with rocks in Brussels suburb (VIDEO)
A Belgian TV crew has reported being pelted with stones while recording footage for a current affairs program in a troubled suburb on the outskirts of Brussels.

A cameraman from ‘Terzake,’ a daily Flemish current affairs show broadcast on the TV channel Canvas, captured the images in Peterbos, a neighbourhood of Anderlecht, southwest of the capital Brussels. The area has been the scene of a number of violent attacks on police and other public workers in recent times. “Our cameraman Ludwig was filming outside when he was suddenly pelted,”said reporter Lauwke Vandendriessche.

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Footage filmed from inside the program-makers’ vehicle shows two hooded figures throwing stones from a distance. One man dressed in a grey tracksuit and dark sunglasses comes a little closer before firing a seemingly large rock at the passenger-side window.

Belgium’s State Secretary for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, known for his anti-immigration stance, commented on the footage on Twitter, writing: “Young Arabs and stones…” However, the origins of the men pictured throwing the stones is not clear. No one has been arrested in connection with the incident.

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Earlier this month, three officers from Belgian transport company STIB-MIVB were attacked by a gang of up to 20 teenagers while checking tickets. Anderlecht Mayor Eric Thomas condemned the area’s youth for what he said was their lack of respect for authority. “Some young people think they are all allowed and attack anything that represents the authority, be it the police, the communal services or the services of the STIB-MIVB,” he told La Derniere Heure.

Chief of Police Patrick Evenepoel also weighed in on the incident, telling the ‘De Ochtend’ program on Radio 1“The fact that our people are being attacked is a sign that we are not wanted there, and that something is really going on.”

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Meanwhile, one suspect has been arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection with a series of incidents involving stone-throwing at police officers, according to Beligan broadcaster RTL. The investigation relates to an incident which occured on February 14 this year.



Russian military practicing combat skills in Sea of Japan

Ships from Russia’s Pacific fleet have been holding live-fire drills in the Sea of Japan, according to video released by the Russian Defense Ministry.

Antisubmarine ships Admiral Tributs and Admiral Vinogradov along with the guided missile cruiser Varyag took part in the exercises, as reported by ministry.

A tactical task force also conducted an exercise simulating submarine-hunting, which involved launching torpedoes and antisubmarine rockets.


The exercises of the Russian Pacific fleet began on April 20, with up to 30 battle ships and service vessels as well as 20 navy jets and helicopters taking part.

Meanwhile, spokesman for the Russian Pacific Fleet 2nd Captain Rank Nikolai Voskresensky said on Tuesday that Varyag had conducted a combat training exercise to practice launching cruise missiles.


“Today, the Pacific Fleet flagship, the Order of Nakhimov Guards missile cruiser Varyag has carried out a combat training exercise as part of the Primorye all-arms flotilla’s tactical drills ongoing in the Sea of Japan to fire Bazalt cruise missiles against a sea shield simulating a notional enemy’s surface ship,” he said.

Voskresensky said that the cruise missiles fired during the drill had successfully hit their targets, “which was confirmed by live recording equipment and the target’s visual inspection.”

Van strikes pedestrians in Toronto killing 10

Authorities say a white van hit a crowd of pedestrians in north Toronto.


A rented van plowed down a crowded Toronto sidewalk Monday, killing 10 people and injuring 15 before the driver fled and was quickly arrested in a confrontation with police, Canadian authorities said.

Witnesses said the driver was moving fast and appeared to be acting deliberately, but police officials would not comment on the cause or any possible motive.


Speaking at a news conference Monday night, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders raised the initial death toll of nine to 10, saying another victim had died at a hospital. He said 15 others were hospitalized.

Saunders identified the man detained after the incident as Alek Minassian, 25, a resident of the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill.

Authorities released few details in the case, saying the investigation was still underway, with witnesses being interviewed and surveillance video being examined.

“I can assure the public all our available resources have been brought in to investigate this tragic situation,” Toronto Police Services Deputy Chief Peter Yuen said earlier.

Witnesses said the driver was moving fast and appeared to be acting deliberately, but police said they did not yet know the cause or any possible motive.

The incident occurred as Cabinet ministers from the major industrial countries were gathered in Canada to discuss a range of international issues in the run-up to the G-7 meeting near Quebec City in June.

Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale said that it was too soon to say whether the crash was a case of international terrorism and that the government had not raised its terrorism alert.

A senior national government official later said that authorities had not turned over the investigation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a sign that investigators believed it unlikely terrorism was the motive. The official agreed to reveal that information only if not quoted by name.

Police officers stand by a covered body in Toronto after a van mounted a sidewalk and crashed into a crowd of pedestrians on Monday.
Police officers stand by a covered body in Toronto after a van mounted a sidewalk and crashed into a crowd of pedestrians on Monday. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim / Assocaited Press)


The driver was heading south on busy Yonge Street around 1:30 p.m. and the streets were crowded with people enjoying an unseasonably warm day when the van jumped onto the sidewalk.

Ali Shaker, who was driving near the van at the time, told Canadian broadcast outlet CP24 that the driver appeared to be moving deliberately through the crowd at more than 30 mph.

“He just went on the sidewalk,” a distraught Shaker said. “He just started hitting everybody, man. He hit every single person on the sidewalk. Anybody in his way he would hit.”

Witness Peter Kang told CTV News that the driver did not seem to make any effort to stop.

“If it was an accident he would have stopped,” Kang said. “But the person just went through the sidewalk. He could have stopped.”

Video broadcast on several Canadian outlets showed police arresting the driver, dressed in dark clothes, after officers surrounded him and his rental Ryder van several blocks from where the incident occurred in the North York neighborhood of northern Toronto. He appeared to make some sort of gesture at the police with an object in his hand just before they ordered him to lie down on the ground and took him away.

Witness Phil Zullo told the Canadian Press that he saw police arresting the suspect and people “strewn all over the road” where the incident occurred.

“I must have seen about five, six people being resuscitated by bystanders and by ambulance drivers,” Zullo said. “It was awful. Brutal.”

Toronto police officers talk to a woman after a van mounted a sidewalk, crashing into a crowd of pedestrians in Toronto on Monday.
Toronto police officers talk to a woman after a van mounted a sidewalk, crashing into a crowd of pedestrians in Toronto on Monday. (Nathan Denette / Assocaited Press)


  (Los Angeles Times)



6:10 p.m.: This article was updated to identify the van driver and report the death toll had increased to 10.

2 p.m.: This article was updated with a death toll and injury count.

This article was originally published at 11:05 a.m.


Why Did the U.S. Lose the Vietnam War?

This question originally appeared on Quora, the best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on TwitterFacebook, and Google Plus.

Answer by Tony Morse, managing partner, Spatial Analysis Group:

Basically because the Vietnamese wanted to win more than the Americans did. There were a couple of reasons for this. First, the Americans were an invading force, and the Vietnamese were fighting on their own soil. Second, the Americans were not willing to make an all-out commitment to win.


The second item is interesting to me. I was in the U.S. Air Force in Thailand in 1971. I was talking with a forward air controller who was disgusted that the U.S. was not using nuclear weapons on Laos to stop the flow of supplies from North Vietnam to South Vietnam. I was incredulous and asked him why. His very matter-of-fact reply was that war is denying the enemy the use of the land and nothing did that better than nuclear weapons.

The irony is that had that pilot had his way America would have lost so much more that just the Vietnam War.

* * *

Answer by Jon Mixon, studied military actions from the Punic Wars to South Waziristan:

America “lost” South Vietnam because it was an artificial construct created in the wake of the French loss of Indochina. Because there never was an “organic” nation of South Vietnam, when the U.S. discontinued to invest military assets into that construct, it eventually ceased to exist.

Had the United States continued to prop up South Vietnamese government with military forces, it is conceivable that the entity could have continued into the 1980s, thus bringing it closer to when the Soviet Union collapsed and most communist nations in the world (China being a notable exception) ceased to exist. However, the American public had grown tired of the loss of American lives and of the war itself, meaning that there’s was no way that U.S. military involvement in the region could continue.

Also, had the United States launched a full-scale military invasion of North Vietnam instead of confining the war to the southern half of the country, the war would have largely ended in the mid- to late 1960s. There would have been some guerrilla actions for years and perhaps some incursions from Laos or Cambodia, but there would have been a unified Vietnam that was noncommunist.

However, that’s not how history went, and the brief fiction of South Vietnam and its eventually failure was the result.

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