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Friday, May 25, 2018
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Toronto attacker likely hated women; 3 murdered film students had stumbled into Mexican gang battle; more in world news

Canada

Toronto attacker hated women

The suspect in the deadly van attack in Toronto posted a chilling Facebook message just before plowing into a crowded sidewalk, authorities said Tuesday. The post indicated the computer studies graduate and ex-military recruit from the suburbs hated women — a possible echo of the 1989 massacre of 14 women at École Polytechnique that remains one of Canada’s most traumatic acts of violence. Alek Minassian, 25, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and attempted murder in the deaths of 10 pedestrians and injuries of 14 others. Toronto police Det. Sgt. Graham Gibson said victims were "predominantly" women but didn’t say if they were targeted and declined to discuss a motive. Authorities did not release a list of victims. Those known to have been killed include Anne Marie D’Amico, 30, as well as a female student at Seneca College, which Minassian attended. A Jordanian citizen and two South Koreans were also killed. Interviews with former acquaintances of Minassian, witnesses and others, and his now-deleted Facebook account, portray a young man who resented women. Police noted a "cryptic" post just before the attack, verified as real by Facebook, that suggested Minassian was part of an online community — "incel" for involuntarily celibate — angry over their inability to form relationships with women and angry over others with sex lives. Minassian had saluted "incel" Elliot Rodger, a community college student who killed six people and wounded 13 in 2014 in California. Minassian is being held without bail.

Mexico

3 murdered students had stumbled into gang turf battle

Three vanished film students whose case had become emblematic of Mexico’s 30,000 missing people were killed after being caught unaware in the midst of a drug gang turf battle, officials say. Prosecutors in Jalisco state said late Monday the students were abducted by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel outside the city of Guadalajara. The three were filming a school project at an aunt’s house used by another gang, leading the cartel to believe they were in the rival gang. The students had no idea. Their fate horrified Mexico: Prosecutors said cartel men interrogated them at a safe house, beating one student to death, and then killed the other two. Their bodies were dissolved in acid. Two suspects have been arrested and several others are being sought. Condolences for the victims’ families came in from Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, Mexico’s film institute and presidential candidates.

Elsewhere

Activist group publishes database of chemical attacks in Syria: The Syrian Archive, which works with human rights groups, on Tuesday published a database of information on suspected chemical attacks during Syria’s seven-year conflict. The Syrian Archive said it has verified 861 videos from 193 sources — mostly ordinary Syrians — covering some 212 attacks. Most are believed to have been carried out by President Bashar Assad’s forces. The Syrian Archive aims to verify and preserve sensitive material from disappearing, so it might eventually be used to bring war criminals to trial.

Indigenous Brazilians lobby: Around a thousand indigenous Brazilians set up camp in capital Brasilia on Monday at the start of a week of speeches, protests and celebrations as they lobby the government to protect their rights. Many say the government hasn’t done enough to protect their lands from encroachment by business interests. Latin America’s largest nation is home to numerous indigenous peoples, many of them in the Amazon region. — tbt* wires

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