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A Houthi militant walks by a Houthi-run detention centre after it was hit by air strikes in Sanaa

Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck a military police camp in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital Sanaa on Wednesday, killing at least 39 people and wounding 90 more, including some prisoners, an official and witnesses said.

The strike is part of an air campaign by the Western-backed coalition on the Iran-allied Houthis that has escalated since the Houthis crushed an uprising last week led by former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh and killed him.

One official in the camp said the coalition aircraft had launched seven raids on the camp, located in the eastern part of Sanaa, where some 180 prisoners were being held.

The official said rescue teams had pulled out 35 bodies from the rubble, while the rest were not accounted for.

It was the latest in a string of air raids the coalition has conducted on Sanaa and other parts of the country, sometimes causing multiple casualties among civilians.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition could not immediately be reached for comment on the report. The coalition denies that it targets civilians.

The United States and Britain provide political backing as well as weapons and logistical support for the Saudi-led coalition, which has been fighting since 2015 to restore Yemen’s internationally-recognised president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, to power.
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British former banker Rurik Jutting, sits in a prison bus as he arriving at the Eastern Law Courts in Hong Kong
Three judges in Hong Kong‘s Court of Appeal are set to decide the fate of a former British banker who was jailed for life last year for the murder of two Indonesian women he tortured and raped after his appeal hearing closed on Wednesday.

Rurik Jutting, 32, a former Bank of America employee, had denied murdering Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujiasih, 26, in his luxury apartment in 2014 on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to alcohol and drug abuse and sexual disorders.

The Cambridge-educated Jutting pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in a case that gripped the Asian financial hub.

During the one and a half day appeal hearing in the former British colony, Jutting’s lawyers said the judge who presided over the gruesome trial last year had misdirected the jury.

Defence lawyer Gerard McCoy argued that the judge had narrowed down the scope of the defence case by conflating an abnormality of mind with a psychiatric disorder.

Jutting’s defence is that while a disorder can cause an abnormal mind, his mental state can be abnormal without a disorder.

McCoy said Jutting showed severe traits of psychiatric disorders, far beyond the normal range and was therefore not in control of his actions, said McCoy.

“Abnormality of mind is absolutely not confined to a disorder or a disease. Here the judge locks it down, reinforcing to the jury it is disorder,” he said.

Jutting, dressed in a navy blue shirt and thick squared glasses, watched animatedly throughout the hearing and occasionally chuckled, particularly during the presentations by prosecutor John Reading.

Reading stated that the previous judge had “exercised considerable care in crafting his directions on the law in consultation with both sides”.

Judges Michael Lunn, Andrew Macrae and Kevin Zervos are to return judgement on the appeal which may include granting Jutting the opportunity for a new trial, but they did not give a time frame.

Deputy High Court Judge Michael Stuart-Moore said in strongly worded closing remarks at the end of the trial last year that the case was one of the most horrifying the Chinese-ruled territory had known.

He described Jutting as the “archetypal sexual predator” who represented an extreme danger to women, especially in the sex trade, and cautioned that it was possible he would murder again if freed.

The jury unanimously found Jutting, the grandson of a British policeman in Hong Kong and a Chinese woman, guilty of murder and he was sentenced to life in prison in November 2016.

Jutting’s defence team had previously argued that cocaine and alcohol abuse, as well as personality disorders of sexual sadism and narcissism, had impaired his ability to control his behaviour.

The prosecution rejected this, stating Jutting was able to form judgements and exercise self-control before and after the killings, filming his torture of Ningsih on his mobile phone as well as hours of footage in which he discussed the murders, bingeing on cocaine and his graphic sexual fantasies.

In previous high profile murder cases such as that of Nancy Kissel, an American woman serving a life sentence for the “milkshake” murder of her Merrill Lynch banker husband, retrials have been given.

Kissel lost her final appeal against her conviction in 2014.
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Alexander Vinnik, a 38 year old Russian man suspected of running a money laundering operation using bitcoin, is escorted by police officers to a court in Athens

Greece’s top court cleared the way on Wednesday for the extradition to the United States of a Russian man, also wanted in Moscow, suspected of having laundered billions of dollars in the digital currency bitcoin.

A final decision on where Alexander Vinnik is extradited to now lies with the Greek justice minister, who steps in to resolve competing requests.

Vinnik, the alleged mastermind of a $4bn bitcoin laundering ring, is one of seven Russians arrested or indicted worldwide this year on US cybercrime charges.

US authorities accuse him of running BTC-e – a digital currency exchange used to trade bitcoin – to facilitate crimes ranging from computer hacking to drug trafficking since 2011.

He denies the charges against him and says he was a technical consultant to BTC-e and not its operator.

Since Vinnik’s arrest in a village in northern Greece in July, Moscow has also requested he be returned home, as it has done before with other nationals wanted by the United States.

Vinnik has agreed to be returned to Russia, where he is wanted on lesser fraud charges amounting to €10,000 , but he appealed to the Greek Supreme Court against a ruling that he be extradited to the United States. The Supreme Court rejected his appeal on Wednesday.

Bitcoin was the first digital currency to successfully use cryptography to keep transactions secure and anonymous, making it difficult to subject them to conventional financial regulations.

The price of bitcoin has soared this year and hit another all-time high on Tuesday, two days after the launch of the first bitcoin futures contract on a US exchange.
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A New Yotk City Police (NYPD) K-9 unit stands in the subway corridor, at the New York Port Authority subway station near the site of an attempted detonation the day before, during the morning rush in New York City

Bangladesh has found no evidence linking a Bangladeshi man charged with an attempted suicide bombing in New York with militants in Bangladesh, its counter-terrorism chief told Reuters on Wednesday.

US prosecutors on Tuesday brought federal charges against Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi and self-described supporter of Islamic State, accusing him of supporting a foreign terrorist organisation.

Ullah set off a pipe bomb in an underground pedestrian corridor between New York‘s Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal at rush hour on Monday morning, injuring himself and three others.

“We have collected evidence and information from his family members: his wife, father-in-law and mother-in-law,” Monirul Islam, head of the Bangladesh police’s counter-terrorism unit, said in an interview.

“In Bangladesh we have not found any connection or have not been able to identify any of his associates who were or are involved with any terrorist groups.”

A US enforcement official familiar with the investigation of the attack said officers had found evidence that Ullah had watched Islamic State propaganda on the internet.

Islam and his team interviewed Ullah’s wife and other relatives for several hours, after picking them up at their rented apartment in central Dhaka.

Ullah, a US resident since 2011, had come back to Bangladesh to see his family in September, spending most of the time at home with their six-month-old son, Islam said.

“Usually, he did not mix with any of his friends or relatives here. Most of the time he spent time in the house,” Islam said.

“We’re looking for his associates who he used to go to college or school with. We’re looking for them, we’ve not identified anyone yet.”

‘ISOLATED INCIDENT’

Members of the family declined to talk to Reuters when approached at the apartment on Wednesday.

Islam said Bangladesh had passed on information on Ullah to US security agencies, although there was no joint investigation.

“I’m not sure whether they will send any formal request for an investigation or inquiry. If they do, we’ll comply with the request because we’ve given highest priority on this issue because we have a zero-tolerance policy against terrorism.”

Ullah’s relatives were under surveillance and would not be allowed to leave Dhaka without police permission. None has a passport.

Both Islamic State and al Qaeda have claimed several attacks in Bangladesh over the past few years, the most notable being the murder of 22 people, most of them foreigners, in an upmarket restaurant in Dhaka last year.

Analysts have said Islamic State could try to radicalise young men in Muslim-majority Bangladesh as the organisation faces reversals in places such as Syria and Iraq.

But Islam said Ullah’s was an isolated incident and Bangladesh would act decisively against any such activity, wherever it occurred.

“If any Bangladeshi national is involved in any such activity we’re ready to deal with it with utmost strictness,” he said.