TPM World News

The top Russian official for Crimea says the attacker at a Crimean vocational college was a student at the school who has killed himself.

The comments by Sergei Aksyonov were the latest in a series of shifting explanations by Russian officials as to what killed 13 people and wounded 50 others Wednesday at the college in the Black Sea city of Kerch.

Aksyonov said on state television that the attacker was a fourth-year student at the vocational school who killed himself after the attack. He didn’t name the man, saying only that he was a local resident.

Russia’s top investigative agency says an explosive device rigged with metal fragments caused the carnage at the school. Yet Russian news media reported that at least some of the victims died in an attack by an unidentified gunman or gunmen.

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PARIS (AP) — The president of Interpol has been reported missing after traveling to his native China, a French judicial official said Friday.

Meng Hongwei’s wife reported Friday that she had not heard from her 64-year-old husband since the end of September, when he left Lyon, France, where Interpol is based, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details of an ongoing investigation.

The official said Meng did arrive in China.

In a statement, Interpol said it was aware of reports about Meng’s disappearance and added “this is a matter for the relevant authorities in both France and China.” The statement specified that Interpol’s secretary general, and not its president, is responsible for the international police agency’s operations.

There was no further word on Meng’s schedule in China or what prompted his wife to wait until now to report his absence.

Meng was elected president of Interpol in November 2016. His term runs until 2020.

He has held a variety of positions within China’s security establishment, including as a vice minister of public security — the national police force — since 2004. In the meantime, he served as head and deputy head of branches of the coast guard, all while holding positions at Interpol.

News of the investigation into Meng’s disappearance came during a weeklong public holiday in China. In Beijing, the foreign and public security ministries did not immediately respond to calls and faxed requests for comment Friday.

Meng’s duties in China would have put him in close proximity to former leaders, some of whom had fallen afoul of President Xi Jinping’s sweeping crackdown on corruption. In particular, Meng likely dealt extensively with former security chief Zhou Yongkang, who is now serving a life sentence for corruption.

Xi has also placed a premium on obtaining the return of officials and businesspeople accused of fraud and corruption from abroad, making Meng’s position all the more sensitive.

When Meng was elected in 2016 as Interpol president, rights groups expressed concern that he would pursue an agenda of politicized policing that targeted Xi’s opponents.

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Bodeen reported from Beijing.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests have stopped, but its hacking operations to gather intelligence and raise funds for the sanction-strapped government in Pyongyang may be gathering steam.

U.S. security firm FireEye is raising the alarm over a North Korean group it says has stolen hundreds of millions of dollars by infiltrating the computer systems of banks around the world since 2014. It says the group is still operating and poses “an active global threat.”

That is part of a wider pattern of malicious state-backed cyber activity that has led the U.S. to identify North Korea as one of its main online threats.

Last month, the Justice Department charged a North Korean hacker said to have conspired in cyberattacks, including against Bangladesh’s central bank.

North Korea has denied involvement in cyberattacks.

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.S. president may deride it, but other countries are pinning hopes on the International Criminal Court to tackle one of today’s deepest crises: Six nations took the unprecedented move Wednesday of asking the U.N. court to investigate Venezuela for possible crimes against humanity.

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