Thursday, June 22, 2017

Breaking

Cop car lights

AP LogoBY MIKE SCHNEIDER

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A mentally distressed former Marine who pointed a fake handgun at police in the Orlando International Airport and shouted “kill me” said he wanted to speak to the president, according to an arrest affidavit released Wednesday.

Michael Wayne Pettigrew, 26, was arrested after the almost three-hour standoff that ended peacefully, with no shots fired Tuesday night. Police have called it an attempted “suicide by cop.”

Pettigrew faces a charge of aggravated assault on a firefighter and was forcibly committed for short-term mental health observation under what is commonly referred to as Florida’s “Baker Act.”

The episode started Tuesday night when Pettigrew approached a cashier at a taxi company in the airport and showed her what looked like a gun. Pettigrew gave his cellphone to the cashier and told her to call 911 because he wanted to bring the police and speak to the president, according to the affidavit.

Pettigrew pointed the fake gun at officers as they arrived at the rental car section of the airport, and also pointed the gun at himself. But no shots were fired and no one was hurt. One officer raised the muzzle of his rifle to get a clear view of Pettigrew but didn’t fire because passengers “were running everywhere,” the affidavit said.

This May 30, 2017 evidence photo released by the Orlando Police Department shows a fake handgun in Orlando, Fla.
This May 30, 2017 evidence photo released by the Orlando Police Department shows a fake handgun in Orlando, Fla. (Orlando Police Department via AP)

“Passengers at this point were running in all directions, making it a little chaotic,” the report said.

Part of the airport was temporarily evacuated and traffic going into the airport was halted for a short time.

The responding officers tried to talk to Pettigrew for a half hour until SWAT team members and police negotiators arrived.

“Our negotiators did a phenomenal job of talking with the subject for about two hours and finally got him to peacefully surrender,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said Tuesday night.

Glorializ Colón Plaza, 20, told the Orlando Sentinel she was just getting off work from Virgin Atlantic airlines when she saw everyone hiding. She got off the elevator and saw the man on the floor near the rental car area. He was screaming, and officers had surrounded him.

“I couldn’t make out the words, but he was screaming really loud,” she said. “Everyone there told me right before this happened a man said to everyone: ‘You’re going to need mental therapy after this,’ then he pulled out a gun and everyone ran.”

Plaza said she didn’t hear any gunshots or see anyone injured.

“I saw all the cops with the long rifles and started shaking,” she said. “It didn’t seem real.”

Earlier this year, a gunman killed five people inside a baggage claim area at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Esteban Santiago, a 27-year-old Iraq war veteran from Alaska, has pleaded not guilty to a 22-count indictment in the Jan. 6 shooting. Santiago’s attorney has said he is taking drugs to combat schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

The Tuesday incident at the Orlando airport was first reported about 7:24 p.m. Terminal A was eventually closed, but the other side of the airport, Terminal B, remained open during the standoff.

Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chairman Frank Kruppenbacher praised the response of law enforcement and airport employees.

“Our employees did everything in accordance with what OPD has trained them to do,” Kruppenbacher said. “You couldn’t have a better resolution. No one was hurt. The airport continued to operate on the other side.”

Some flights were delayed during the ordeal, but airport operations were returning to normal late Tuesday night.

Images posted on social media showed a heavy police presence in the area and passengers were worried about their safety and missing flights. At one point, the Florida Highway Patrol tweeted that all roads to the airport were shut down, with “zero exceptions.” Orlando police later said the entrances were open but congested.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A woman walks past an electronic stock indicator of a securities firm in Tokyo, Tuesday, April 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

AP LogoBY ELAINE KURTENBACH

TOKYO (AP) — Stocks were mixed Tuesday and the price of gold rose as investors monitored geopolitical risks — from North Korea’s rumblings over the U.S. to major powers’ plan to put pressure on Russia over the Syrian war.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX edged 0.1 percent lower to 12,194 and the CAC 40 of France was 0.2 percent higher at 5,116. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.6 percent to 7,383. Wall Street looked set for a slow start, with S&P 500 and Dow futures flat.

KOREAS, RUSSIA: North Korea said there could be “catastrophic consequences” after the U.S. ordered the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its battle group to waters off the Korean Peninsula. Nerves were already on edge with U.S.-South Korea war games underway, following recent ballistic missile launches by the North that have rattled neighboring countries. The G-7 powers, meanwhile, want to put more pressure on Russia to stop backing the Syrian government, which they blame for a deadly chemical attack last week. Britain is open to more sanctions but some others from the group, which also includes the U.S., Japan and major European economies, want a softer approach.

GOLD: The precious metal, which is often sought out by investors as a safe haven in times of global uncertainty, was up 0.4 percent at $1,259 an ounce. That pushed up shares in major mining companies: Fresnillo was up 2.4 percent and Randgold Resources 2.3 percent higher in London.

TOSHIBA: Shares in Toshiba Corp. closed 2.7 percent lower before the company released unaudited results for April-December following two delays. The company, whose U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co. has filed for bankruptcy protection, reported unaudited earnings Tuesday, projecting a loss of 1.01 trillion yen ($9.2 billion) for the fiscal year that ended in March. It said it racked up a 532.5 billion yen ($4.8 billion) loss for the April-December 2016 period.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index slipped 0.3 percent to 18,747.87 as Toshiba and other big export manufacturers lost ground. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 0.7 percent to 24,088.46, while the Shanghai Composite index rebounded to close 0.6 percent higher at 3,288.97. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.4 percent to 2,123.85 and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent to 5,929.30. Shares in Southeast Asia were mixed.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil rose 1 cent to $53.09 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It closed higher Monday for the fifth day in a row, adding 84 cents. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, was up 5 cents at $56.03 a barrel. It jumped 74 cents the day before.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 110.62 yen from 111.15 yen late Friday as investors shifted into the traditionally “safe haven” currency. The euro rose to $1.0613 from $1.0588.

___

Follow Elaine Kurtenbach: www.twitter.com/ekurtenbach


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


This July 17, 2015, file photo shows the tails of four American Airlines passenger planes parked at Miami International Airport, in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

AP LogoDALLAS (AP) — American Airlines said Tuesday that it plans to offer free meals to everyone in economy on two cross-country routes starting May 1.

The decision by the world’s biggest airline comes a month after Delta Air Lines announced that it would restore free meals in economy on a dozen long-haul U.S. routes this spring.

Airlines dropped free sandwiches and other meals in economy on domestic flights after brutal downturns in 2001 and 2008. They have been slow to bring back food despite rising profits, leading to grumbling by some passengers.

Fares on transcontinental flights can be very similar — five airlines are offering the same $184 price for a one-way nonstop flight from New York to Los Angeles on June 1. So airlines are looking for an edge with touches such as better seats and, now, free food.

Vice president of marketing Fernand Fernandez said some of American’s best customers fly those transcontinental routes and the airline wants to give them better service “in this competitive market.”

It’s unclear how far the food trend will go, but airlines can afford a few sandwiches and cheese platters after posting huge profits in recent years due to strong travel demand and cheaper fuel. American Airlines Group Inc. earned $2.7 billion last year.

American said it will open the kitchen on nonstop flights between New York and both Los Angeles and San Francisco. The airline says that passengers will get a continental breakfast or a sandwich wrap, chips and dessert, or they can pick a vegetarian meal or a fruit-and-cheese plate.

That leaves United Airlines as the biggest U.S. carrier with no plans yet to bring back free meals in economy on any domestic flights.

Last month, after Delta’s food announcement, United’s second-ranking executive suggested that his airline wasn’t thinking about adding free meals. On Tuesday a spokesman said United is always looking at opportunities to stay competitive.

___

David Koenig can be reached at http://twitter.com/airlinewriter


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


This image provided by Joby Aviation shows the conceptual design of the Joby S2 Electric VTOL PAV aircraft. Even before George Jetson entranced kids with his flying car, people dreamed of soaring above traffic congestion. (Joby Aviation via AP)

AP LogoBY JOAN LOWY

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even before George Jetson entranced kids with his cartoon flying car, people dreamed of soaring above traffic congestion. Inventors and entrepreneurs have long tried and failed to make the dream a reality, but that may be changing.

Nearly a dozen companies around the globe, including some with deep pockets such as European aircraft maker Airbus, are competing to be the first to develop a new kind of aircraft that will enable commuters to glide above crowded roadways. A few of the aircraft under development are cars with wings that unfold for flight, but most aren’t cars at all. Typically they take off and land vertically like helicopters. Rather than a single, large main rotor, they have multiple small rotors. Each rotor is operated by a battery-powered electric motor instead of a conventional aircraft piston engine.

It’s no sure bet that flying-car dreams will turn into reality. There are many obstacles, including convincing regulators that the aircraft are safe, figuring out how to handle thousands of new low-flying aircraft over cities without collisions and developing batteries that will keep them aloft long enough to be useful.

But entrepreneurs are moving forward. They see a vast potential market for “air taxis” and personally owned small aircraft to transport people from the fringes of metropolitan areas to city centers as urban areas grow more congested and people spend more time stuck in traffic. They envision tens of thousands of one or two-person flying taxis delivering passengers to the rooftops of office buildings in city centers and other landing pads during rush hours.

“In as little as 10 years, products could be on the market that revolutionize urban travel for millions of people,” said Zach Lovering, the leader of Airbus’ project to develop an autonomous flying taxi called the Vahana. The name means the mount or vehicle of a Hindu deity.

Uber released a 98-page report in October making the business case for air taxis, which the company sees as the future of on-demand transportation. Uber doesn’t have any plans to develop a flying car itself, but the online transportation network is advising several companies that have aircraft in the works.

“The role we want to play is as a catalyst for the entire industry,” said Nikhil Goel, an Uber project manager for advanced programs.

Some of the aircraft are drones that passengers will be able to program for flight using a smartphone. Others will be operated from the ground or a command center, and some are designed for human pilots.

It’s unclear yet how much the aircraft will cost, although prices are likely to vary significantly. Some of the aircraft are designed to be individually owned, while others are envisioned more for commercial use. Designers hope that if demand is high, prices can be kept affordable through economies of mass production.

Several recent developments could make these aircraft possible. Advances in computing power mean the rotors on multi-copter drones can be adjusted many times per second, making the aircraft easy to control. Drones have also benefited from advances in battery and electric motor technology. Some companies, like Chinese dronemaker EHang, are scaling-up drones so that they can carry people.

This image provided by Joby Aviation shows the conceptual design of the Joby S2 Electric VTOL PAV aircraft. (Joby Aviation via AP)
This image provided by Joby Aviation shows the conceptual design of the Joby S2 Electric VTOL PAV aircraft. (Joby Aviation via AP)

Another aircraft under development, Santa Cruz, California-based Joby Aviation’s S2, looks more like a conventional plane except that there are 12 tiltrotors spread along the wings and tail. And some, like the Vahana, a cockpit mounted on a sled and flanked by propellers in front and back, don’t really look like any aircraft in the skies today.

“In terms of what you can make fly in a reliable manner, the solution speed gateway that (computer) chips have gone through recently have literally opened the door to a whole new world of flying machine possibilities,” said Charles Eastlake, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University professor emeritus of aerospace engineering.

But he also cautioned: “My best engineering guess is that people actually using autonomous air taxis in the next 10 or 15 years is possible, but definitely not certain. The challenges are big.”

Key for many of the designs will be the development of longer-lasting lightweight batteries. Currently available batteries could probably keep an air taxi aloft about 15 to 30 minutes before it would have to land, experts said. Depending on how fast the aircraft flies, that probably isn’t quite enough to transport passengers between nearby cities or across metropolitan areas, experts said.

Another hurdle will be winning Federal Aviation Administration certification for any radical new kind of aircraft when approval of even small changes in aviation technology can take years.

The FAA said in a statement that it is taking a “flexible, open-minded, and risk-based approach” to flying cars. FAA officials have discussed with several manufacturers the certification of aircraft that will be flown with a pilot in the beginning, and later converted to an autonomous passenger aircraft.

While further research is needed to ensure that autonomous aircraft are safe, “we believe automation technology already being prototyped in low-risk unmanned aircraft missions, when fully mature, could have a positive effect” on aviation safety,” the agency said.

Reducing noise is another challenge since air taxis will be taking off and landing in densely populated areas. So is creating enough landing pads to handle lots of aircraft at the same time. A new air traffic control system would also likely be needed.

“It’s pretty clear that the existing air traffic control system won’t scale to the kind of density at low altitudes that people are talking about,” said John Hansman, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who chairs the FAA’s research and engineering advisory committee.

NASA is developing an air traffic control system for small drones that perhaps could be expanded to include flying cars.

“There’s no question we can build the vehicle,” Hansman said. “The big challenge is whether we can build a vehicle that would be allowed to operate in the places where people want to use it.”

___

Associated Press videographer Rodrique Ngowi in Boston contributed to this report.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


In this Oct. 26, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by, from left, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Trump, Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump, speaks during the grand opening of the Trump International Hotel- Old Post Office, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

AP LogoBY BERNARD CONDON and JULIE BYKOWICZ

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump says he will step away from managing his business empire while he’s in office — but he’s not going to sell it off. If he follows through, he will shatter a presidential precedent on conflicts, and ethics experts say he will open the door to investigations and lawsuits that could hobble his administration.

“My executives will run it with my children,” he said in a Fox News interview that aired Sunday. He added that he will not have “anything to do with management” and won’t “do deals” for his business while he’s president.

That’s “a step in the right direction, but he can’t have people doing deals on his behalf,” said Richard Painter, the chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush. “He can’t have ownership.”

Indeed, for decades, presidents have sold their stocks and other personal holdings and put the cash into a blind trust overseen by an investment manager. For example, to stay on the right side of ethics, President Jimmy Carter sold his Georgia peanut farm.

That was one business. In one state.

The Trump Organization presents a far more complex situation. He has ownership stakes in residential towers, hotels, resorts and golf clubs in the U.S., and has struck licensing and property management deals for similar properties around the world. In a financial disclosure he was required to file during the campaign, he listed stakes in about 500 companies in at least 25 countries.

Only by selling to an uninterested third party can Trump assuage critics who suggest that otherwise he could shape regulatory, tax or foreign policies to enrich himself. A sale would also prevent people from trying to influence policies by helping — or threatening to hurt — his business.

Trump was expected to offer more details at a news conference Thursday, but has postponed that until next month. Few are expecting a clean break from all his ventures.

Newt Gingrich, a vice chairman of Trump’s transition team, said voters knew Trump was a billionaire businessman when they elected him and he shouldn’t have to sell. Instead, Gingrich said he recommended to transition officials that Trump appoint a panel of five ethics “jurists” to vet potential conflicts.

The government agency charged with monitoring ethics is pushing for far more. The Office of Government Ethics tweeted recently about Trump, “We can’t repeat enough how good this total divesture will be.” The office clarified later that it did not know if that was indeed his plan.

Here are three ways possible conflicts could impact the 45th president:

___

LEGAL TROUBLE

Trump will generally be exempt from federal rules on conflicts of interest, but there is one document that ethics experts say could trip him up: the U.S. Constitution. In what is often referred to as the “emoluments clause,” the Constitution bans public officials from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments and companies controlled by them without the consent of Congress.

Would a foreign official buying a condo in a Trump building put the president in violation? What if a foreign government official greenlighted one of Trump’s projects in his country?

There is disagreement on the issue because the language in the clause is vague and hasn’t been subject to court rulings.

Painter, Bush’s ethics lawyer, thinks the clause is likely to be a big problem for Trump given his far-flung real estate holdings.

“He’s going to have to get all the foreign governments out,” Painter said, or he risks “getting impeached.”

Selling would also help lessen another threat to the presidency: private lawsuits.

Scott Amey, general counsel of the Washington watchdog group Project on Government Oversight, said Trump could be named in all sorts of routine business lawsuits that will eat up his time if he doesn’t disentangle himself from his holdings. “It’s not in the country’s best interest to have the president under constant fire,” he said.

___

POLITICAL FALLOUT

Congress poses another potential problem.

Republicans control both the House and Senate and have shown little interest in raising sticky issues as the new president takes office. But the Democrats have already called for investigations.

Separately, American Bridge, an outside group that backed Hillary Clinton in the campaign, has amassed 20,000 hours of Trump footage and audio and compiled reams of opposition research that it will turn to throughout his administration.

Founder David Brock promises to file lawsuits in the style of Judicial Watch, a conservative nonprofit that successfully sued to obtain Clinton’s emails from her tenure as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

___

INVITING QUESTIONS

Even if Trump does nothing to enrich himself while in office, government ethicists and others say the appearance of conflicts could be damaging.

David Drabkin, an expert in government contracting law, said the reason recent presidents have sold their holdings despite no requirement to do so is to set a standard for other officials.

“If you’re secretary of defense, one of things you have to do is divest yourself of your stock holdings in defense companies. The president isn’t subject to that rule, but he has to lead all these people,” Drabkin said.

Drabkin noted the president will appoint the head of the government agency that negotiates Trump’s annual lease payments for the use of the taxpayer-owned Washington building that houses his new hotel.

Others have pointed out that Trump will name members of the National Labor Relations Board, which rules on labor disputes, such as one at a Trump hotel in Las Vegas that went against the president-elect recently.

Foreign officials using his business interests to seek a better relationship with the U.S. could add to the air of impropriety.

Soon after the election, Trump’s partner in a residential tower in the Philippines was named a “special envoy” to the U.S.

___

Bykowicz reported from Washington

___

Condon can be reached at http://twitter.com/BernardFCondon and Bykowicz at http://twitter.com/bykowicz.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


This Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, file photo shows an existing home for sale in Roswell, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

AP LogoBY WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for a second straight week.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.57 percent from 3.54 percent last week. Rates remain near historically low levels, however. The benchmark 30-year rate is down from 3.98 percent a year ago. Its all-time low was 3.31 percent in November 2012.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, popular with homeowners who are refinancing, rose to 2.88 percent from 2.84 percent.

The rates reflect the mortgage market in the week prior to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s election as president. On Wednesday, the day the result became known, bond prices fell sharply. That sent yields higher. Long-term mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which jumped to 2.06 percent from 1.80 percent a week earlier — exceeding 2 percent for the first time since January. Traders have been selling bonds more aggressively to hedge against the possibility that interest rates, which have been extremely low for years, could rise steadily under a Trump administration.

The sell-off in bonds continued Thursday morning, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rising to 2.12 percent.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee for a 15-year loan also held steady at 0.5 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year mortgages averaged 2.88 percent, up from 2.87 percent last week. The fee remained at 0.4 point.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A man holds a rain-soaked placard whilst attending a vigil for victims of the deadly Paris attacks, in Trafalgar Square, London, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015.

AP LogoBY ANGELA CHARLTON and SYLVIE CORBET

PARIS (AP) — Three teams of extremists carried out the coordinated gun-and-suicide bombing attacks across Paris that left 129 people dead and 352 injured, a French prosecutor said Saturday.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said 99 of the injured were in critical condition after the “act of barbarism.” He said the attackers in the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people died, mentioned Syria and Iraq during their deadly rampage.

French President Francois Hollande has vowed that France will wage “merciless” war on the Islamic State group, after the jihadists claimed responsibility for the attacks Friday night.

Grief, alarm and resolve spread across Europe on Saturday as officials raced to piece together information on the seven attackers. Officials said one was a young Frenchman known to the authorities. In addition, a Syrian passport found near the body of another attacker was linked to a man who entered the European Union through a Greek island last month.

Attackers launched gun attacks at Paris cafes, detonated suicide bombs near France’s national stadium and killed hostages inside a concert hall during a rock show — an attack on the heart of the pulsing City of Light.

“These places are the places we visit every week,” said Ahsan Naeem, a 39-year-old filmmaker who has lived in Paris for seven years. “Streets we walk every day … All those places will have been full of my people. My friends. My acquaintances.”

Map locates the deadly terror attacks in and around Paris, France.
Map locates the deadly terror attacks in and around Paris, France.

Hollande, who declared three days of national mourning and raised the nation’s security to its highest level, called the carnage “an act of war that was prepared, organized, planned from abroad with internal help.”

The president said France would increase its military efforts to crush IS. He said France — which is part of a U.S.-led coalition bombing suspected IS targets in Syria and Iraq and also has troops fighting militants in Africa — “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group.”

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility in an online statement in Arabic and French circulated by supporters. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the admission, which bore the group’s logo and resembled previous verified statements from the group.

The statement mocked France’s involvement in air attacks on suspected IS bases in Syria and Iraq, noting that France’s air power was “of no use to them in the streets and rotten alleys of Paris.”

Many of Paris’s top tourist attractions closed down Saturday, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and the Disneyland theme park east of the capital. Some 3,000 troops were deployed to help restore order and reassure a frightened populace.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced that all public demonstrations would be banned until Thursday and local governments would have the option to impose nightly curfews.

The attacks, on an unusually balmy November Friday evening, struck at the heart of Parisian life: diners in cafes, concertgoers watching a rock band, spectators at a soccer match.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the places attacked are ones Parisians love — and ones where they celebrate diversity.

“It is this Paris that was hit. Probably because this example of living together, which is so strong in our city, is unbearable for fanatical people,” she said.

Parisians expressed shock, disgust and defiance in equal measure. Some areas were quiet, but hundreds queued outside a hospital near the Bataclan concert hall to donate blood. As a shrine of flowers expanded along the sidewalk, a lone guitarist sang John Lennon’s peace ballad “Imagine.”

Authorities said eight attackers died, seven in suicide bombings, a new terror tactic in France. Police said they shot and killed the other assailant.

Molins, the prosecutor, said all the suicide attackers wore identical explosives vests.

Authorities in Belgium conducted raids in a Brussels neighborhood Saturday and made three arrests linked to the Paris attacks. Justice Minister Koen Geens told the VRT network that the arrests came after a car with Belgian license plates was seen close to the Bataclan theater.

Officials in Greece said the Syrian passport found in Paris had shown its owner entering in October through Leros, one of the islands that tens of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in Syria and elsewhere have been using as a gateway into the European Union.

If the attack does involve militants who traveled to Europe amid millions of refugees from the Middle East, the implications could be profound.

Poland’s prospective minister for European affairs, Konrad Szymanski, said that in light of the attacks, Poland would not comply with an EU plan to accept refugees unless it received “guarantees of security.”

The attack brought an immediate tightening of borders as Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced renewed border checks. Germany also stepped up border checks.

The militants launched six gun and bomb attacks in rapid succession on apparently indiscriminate civilian targets.

Three suicide bombs targeted spots around the national Stade de France stadium, in the north of the capital, where Hollande was watching a France-Germany soccer match. Fans inside the stadium recoiled at the sound of explosions, but the match continued.

Spectators invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer France against Germany, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 in Saint Denis, outside Paris.
Spectators invade the pitch of the Stade de France stadium after the international friendly soccer France against Germany, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 in Saint Denis, outside Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Around the same time, fusillades of bullets shattered the clinking of wine glasses in a trendy Paris neighborhood as gunmen targeted a string of crowded cafes.

The attackers next stormed the Bataclan concert hall, which was hosting the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal. They opened fire on the panicked audience and took members hostage. As police closed in, three detonated explosive belts, killing themselves, according to Paris police chief Michel Cadot.

Another attacker detonated a suicide bomb on Boulevard Voltaire, near the music hall, the prosecutor’s office said.

Video shot posted by newspaper Le Monde Saturday captured some of that horror as dozens of people fled from gunfire outside the Bataclan.

At least one person lies writhing on the ground as scores more stream past, some bloodied or limping. The camera pans down the street to reveal more fleeing people dragging two bodies along the ground. A woman and two others can be seen clinging to upper-floor balcony railings in an desperate bid to stay out of the line of fire.

Le Monde said its reporter Daniel Psenney filed the scene from his apartment balcony, and was shot in the arm when he went downstairs to help someone who had collapsed.

A tall, sturdy 38-year-old concert-goer named Sylvain collapsed in tears as he recounted the attack, the chaos and his escape during a lull in gunfire.

“First I heard explosions, and I thought it was firecrackers,” he said.

“Very soon I smelled powder, and I understood what was happening. There were shots everywhere, in waves. I lay down on the floor. I saw at least two shooters, but I heard others talk. They cried, ‘It’s Hollande’s fault.’ I heard one of the shooters shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,'” Sylvain told The Associated Press.

He spoke on condition that his full name not be used out of concern for his safety.

The Paris carnage was the worst in a series of attacks claimed by the Islamic State in the past three days. On Thursday, twin suicide bombings in Beirut killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 200, and 26 people died Friday in Baghdad in a suicide blast and a roadside bombing that targeted Shiites.

The militant group also said it bombed a Russian plane that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31, killing 224 people.

IS also suffered significant reversals this week, with Kurdish forces launching an offensive to retake the strategic Iraqi city of Sinjar and the U.S. military saying it had likely killed Mohammed Emwazi, the masked British-accented militant known as “Jihadi John” who is seen in grisly IS beheading videos.

France has been on edge since January, when Islamic extremists attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had run cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and a kosher grocery. Twenty people died in those attacks, including three shooters.

French authorities are particularly concerned about the threat from hundreds of French Islamic radicals who have traveled to Syria and returned home with skills to mount attacks.

“The big question on everyone’s mind is: Were these attackers — if they turn out to be connected to one of the groups in Syria — were they homegrown terrorists or were they returning fighters?” said Brian Michael Jenkins, a terrorism expert.

___


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


X