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Russian station blast kills 16
A Volgograd policeman sacri ced
his life shielding people from a suicide
bomber's deadly blast at the city's train
station. e o cer was approaching the
killer who then detonated the bomb.
At least 16 people were killed in the
terrorist attack in Volgograd, a city in
southern Russia overnight. Twenty-
seven people were rushed to hospital,
including eight in critical condition.
e blast went o between the main
entrance and the turnstile on the railway
station's ground oor at 9.45pm NZT
A suicide bomber, who tried to enter
the station, set o the explosive device as
she was about to pass through the metal
detectors, according to witnesses.
One of the o cers, later identi ed by
media as Dmitry Makovkin, spotted the
suspicious woman and tried to prevent
the terrorist attack, eyewitnesses said.
"At rst, she hesitated at the turnstile,"
a source within the investigation told
Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
"Dmitry Makovkin approached her and
at that movement she suddenly started
to rush inside. Dmitry crossed her path
and it seems he covered her with his
body. at's when she blew herself up."
"It was a very powerful blast," the
source added. "Dmitry died instantly.
ree of his colleagues were injured and
are currently in hospital."
Makovkin, 29, had been working as
a policeman for ve years, switching to
the transport police only this August.
e o cer had a perfect service record
and was praised by his supervisors on
e professional actions of the police
minimised the number of casualties
during the attack, Vladimir Markin of
the Investigative Committee, stressed.
" e blast was carried out by a suicide
bomber, who saw a policeman as she
came up to the metal detectors, lost her
nerve and detonated an explosive device,
which was stu ed with strike elements,"
Markin is cited as saying by Itar-Tass.
According to preliminary estimations,
the explosive device was equivalent to at
least 10kg of TNT, he said.
"Apparently, the number of victims
could've been much higher if not for
the so-called 'barrage system', which
prevented the terrorist from making it
through the metal detector frames into
the waiting area, where there was a large
concentration of passengers due to a
delay of three trains," the Investigative
Committee spokesman stressed.
e investigation has collected the
remains of the alleged suicide bomber,
which will help identify her after DNA
testing, he added.
e train station's main gates were
completely wrecked in the attack, with
the blast shaking not only the station
itself, but the square in front of it as well.
e terrorist attack occurred half an
hour before the arrival of a train from
Moscow. e rst two shockwaves
from the blast smashed the doors and
windows of the station, with the third
one moving upwards. e re started
immediately after the blast.
Volgograd lies about 500km from
Russia's volatile North Caucasus region.
It is the second terrorist attack the
city on the Volga River has seen this
year. In October, a suicide bomber blew
herself up on a bus, killing six people and
injuring more than 30 others.
A still image taken from a CCTV footage shows re breaking out after an explosion at a railway station in
A lightning bolt struck a church in
Malawi, killing eight worshippers and
injuring several others, local media
Several members of the Seventh
Day Adventist church in the capital
Lilongwe were admitted to hospital
after Saturday's strike, the Nyasa Times
said, citing witnesses, police and health
o cials. It was not clear whether they
were injured by the lightning or in the
panic to escape.
"People were inside the church
attending the service when the lightning
stuck. I rst heard a loud burst which
frightened almost everybody and few
minutes later I just saw a stampede," the
paper quoted a witness as saying.
Lightning kills eight worshippers
A 75-year-old Frenchman was
feeding himself and chatting to
his family, more than a week after
becoming the rst person to be
tted with an arti cial heart made
by French biomedical company
Carmat, one of his surgeons said.
"He is awake, feeding himself
and talking with his family. We
are thinking of getting him up on
his feet soon, probably as early as
this weekend," Professor Daniel
Duveau, who saw the patient
on ursday, told Le Journal du
Dimanche newspaper overnight.
Heart-assistance devices have
been used for decades as a
temporary solution for patients
awaiting transplants, but Carmat's
bioprosthetic product is designed
to replace the real heart over the
long run, mimicking nature using
biological materials and sensors.
It aims to extend life for patients
su ering from terminal heart
failure who cannot hope for a heart
transplant, often because they are
too old and donors too scarce.
e arti cial heart, which can
beat up to ve years, has been
successfully tested on animals
but the December 18 implant in
a Paris hospital was the rst in a
ree more patients in France are
due to be tted with the device.
e next operation is scheduled
for the rst weeks of January, the
In this rst range of clinical trials,
the success of the device will be
judged on whether patients survive
with the implant for at least a
e patients selected su er from
terminal heart failure --- when
the sick heart can no longer pump
enough blood to sustain the body
--- and would other wise have only a
few days or weeks to live. --- Reuters
Patient doing well with artificial heart
A British television show dedicated to
valuing people's usually modest antiques
said overnight that it had uncovered
a "hidden masterpiece" worth up to
e painting by 17th-century Flemish
artist Anthony van Dyck depicts a
bearded Brussels magistrate wearing
a ru and was brought to the show by
an English priest who bought it in an
antiques shop for only £400.
Father Jamie MacLeod, who purchased
the painting because he liked the thick
gold-coloured frame, plans to sell the
portrait to fund the restoration of bells at
the chapel of a religious retreat he runs
in Derbyshire, England.
Philip Mould, an art expert working
for the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, had
suspected that the painting might be an
original Van Dyck and had urged the
cleric to have the canvas stripped back to
its original paintwork and authenticated.
Christopher Brown, one of the world's
leading authorities on Van Dyck and
director of the Ashmolean Museum
in Oxford, was then able to verify the
painting was genuine, the programme
e portrait is believed to have
been completed as part of Van Dyck's
preparation for a larger 1634 work
showing seven magistrates. at painting
has since been destroyed.
Mould described the nd as "a
thrilling example" of the skills of direct
observation that made Van Dyck such a
great portrait painter.
Van Dyck was one of England's leading
court painters in the 17th century, making
his name with portraits of Charles I of
England and his family and court.
Fiona Bruce, a presenter on the BBC
show, said she had suspected the canvas
was a Van Dyck when she rst saw it.
"It's everyone's dream to spot a hidden
masterpiece. To discover a genuine Van
Dyck is incredibly exciting," she said.
Tv show uncovers old master
France's Constitutional Council
gave the green light overnight to a
"millionaire's tax", to be levied on
companies that pay salaries of more than
a million euros ($1.68 million) a year.
e measure, introduced in line with a
pledge by President Francois Hollande
to make the rich do more to pull France
out of crisis, has infuriated business
leaders and soccer clubs, which at one
point threatened to go on strike.
It was originally designed as a 75% tax
to be paid by high earners on the part
of their incomes exceeding one million
euros, but the council rejected this,
saying 66% was the legal maximum for
e Socialist government has since
reworked the tax to levy it on companies
instead, raising the ire of entrepreneurs.
Under its new design, which the
council found constitutional, the tax
will be an exceptional 50% levy on the
portion of wages exceeding one million
euros paid in 2013 and 2014.
Including social contributions, its rate
will e ectively remain roughly 75%. e
tax will, however, be capped at 5% of the
e council, a court made up of judges
and former French presidents, has the
power to annul laws if they are deemed
to violate the constitution. --- Reuters
French 'millionaire's tax' gets nod
A Saudi prince who murdered a
fellow Saudi may be executed, a
newspaper reported overnight, in a
very rare example of a member of the
kingdom's ruling family facing the
e English-language Arab News did
not name the prince or his victim, but
said a senior member of the family and
government, Crown Prince Salman,
had "cleared the way for the possible
execution of a prince convicted of
murdering a Saudi citizen".
In a message about the case to Interior
Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef,
Prince Salman said: "Sharia (Islamic
law) shall be applied to all without
exception", the daily reported.
Prince Salman's message followed a
statement from the victim's father that
he was not ready to pardon the killer
and he was not happy with the amount
o ered as blood money. --- Reuters
Saudi royal faces death penalty
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