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What we know about Nathaniel Veltman: The alleged Muslim family killer

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Nathaniel Veltman, age 20, allegedly mowed down a Muslim family in London, Ontario, in an attack that left four dead, and another hospitalised.

He was arrested and charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder nearby to the incident on Sunday.

His victims, who entered Canada 14 years ago from Pakistan, were identified as Salman Afzaal, 46; Madiha Salman, 44; Yumna Salman, 15; and Talat Afzaa, 74.

A nine year old child remains in hospital, with Veltman set to appear in court on Thursday to face charges.

Who is Veltman?

The 20-year-old worked at an egg packing facility in Ontario, Canada, and was once described by a psychologist as being prone to anger, according to CTV News.

Mr Veltman and his twin sister are the eldest of six siblings, ranging in age from 10 to 20. His father works at a technical college and his mother is thought to work as a personal trainer.

Following his parent’s divorce in 2016, according to court filings seen by CTV, he left his mother’s home in Strathroy, and went to live with a girlfriend before finding his own apartment nearby.

He was living in downtown London, Ontario, in an apartment building on Covent Market, about 2km (or 1.3 miles) from where the incident occurred on Sunday. He was thought to have lived in the city for about six months.

A co-worker at Gray Ridge Eggs Inc told The London Free Press that Mr Veltman was “broken” by the death of a family member on Friday — two days before the attack.

He allegedly turned up to work for a day shift on Sunday.

What happened during the attack?

A deputy inspector for London police, Paul Waight, confirmed that “there is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act and that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith”.

Mr Veltman was wearing body armour and swastikas when officers arrested him, as CP24 reported, after he crashed into his victims in a pick-up truck. The details are yet to be confirmed by officials.

A taxi firm told the news channel that Mr Veltman “was laughing the entire time and he was chanting something”, after the incident. He went on to ask a taxi driver to film his arrest to “make a movie of him”.

Eye-witnesses described seeing blood on Mr Veltman’s vehicle.

What were his beliefs?

Friends of Mr Veltman told The Free Press that he “never said anything hateful” about any groups before, and was a Christian with “a great relationship with God”.

“He was always pretty calm towards other people,” a friend added. As did co-workers describe him as being reserved and somebody who kept to themselves.

Further details are expected in the case as investigations continue.

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Trudeau says he discussed border with Biden, but no deal

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday he has spoken with U.S. President Joe Biden about how to lift pandemic-related border restrictions between the two countries but made clear no breakthrough has been achieved.

U.S. and Canadian business leaders have voiced increasing concern about the ban on non-essential travel in light of COVID-19 that was first imposed in March 2020 and renewed on a monthly basis since then. The border measures do not affect trade flows.

The border restrictions have choked off tourism between the two countries. Canadian businesses, especially airlines and those that depend on tourism, have been lobbying the Liberal government to relax the restrictions.

Canada last week took a cautious first step, saying it was prepared to relax quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated citizens returning home starting in early July.

Trudeau, speaking after a Group of Seven summit in Britain, said he had talked to Biden “about coordinating measures at our borders as both our countries move ahead with mass vaccination.” Canada is resisting calls for the border measures to be relaxed, citing the need for more people to be vaccinated.

The United States is ahead of Canada in terms of vaccination totals.

“We will continue to work closely together on moving forward in the right way but each of us always will put at the forefront the interests and the safety of our own citizens,” Trudeau told a televised news conference when asked the Biden conversation.

“Many countries, like Canada, continue to say that now is not the time to travel,” Trudeau added, though he said it is important to get back to normalcy as quickly as possible.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Will Dunham)

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Man with 39 wive dies in India

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A 76-year-old man who had 39 wives and 94 children and was said to be the head of the world’s largest family has died in north east India, the chief minister of his home state said.

Ziona Chana, the head of a local Christian sect that allows polygamy, died on Sunday, Zoramthanga, the chief minister of Mizoram and who goes by one name, said in a tweet.

With a total of 167 members, the family is the world’s largest, according to local media, although this depends on whether you count the grandchildren, of whom Ziona has 33.

Winston Blackmore, the head of a polygamous Mormon sect in Canada, has around 150 children from 27 wives – 178 people in total.

Ziona lived with his family in a vast, four-story pink structure with around 100 rooms in Baktawng, a remote village in Mizoram that became a tourist attraction as a result, according to Zoramthanga.

The sect, named “Chana”, was founded by Ziona’s father in 1942 and has a membership of hundreds of families. Ziona married his first wife when he was 17, and claimed he once married ten wives in a single year.

They shared a dormitory near his private bedroom, and locals said he liked to have seven or eight of them by his side at all times.

Despite his family’s huge size, Ziona told Reuters in a 2011 interview he wanted to grow it even further.

“I am ready to expand my family and willing to go to any extent to marry,” he said.

“I have so many people to care for and look after, and I consider myself a lucky man.”

 

(Reporting by Alasdair Pal and Adnan Abidi in New Delhi; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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Huawei CFO seeks publication ban on HSBC documents in U.S. extradition case

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Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on Monday will seek to bar publication of documents her legal team received from HSBC, a request opposed by Canadian prosecutors in her U.S. extradition case who say it violates the principles of open court.

Meng’s legal team will present arguments in support of the ban in the British Columbia Supreme Court.

Meng, 49, was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018 on a warrant from the United States, where she faces charges of bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s business dealings in Iran and potentially causing the bank to break U.S. sanctions on business in Iran.

She has been under house arrest in Vancouver for more than two years and fighting her extradition to the United States. Meng has said she is innocent.

Lawyers for Huawei and HSBC in Hong Kong agreed to a release of the documents in April to Meng’s legal team on the condition that they “use reasonable effort” to keep confidential information concealed from the public, according to submissions filed by the defense on Friday.

Prosecutors representing the Canadian government argued against the ban, saying in submissions filed the same day that “to be consistent with the open court principle, a ban must be tailored” and details should be selectively redacted from the public, rather than the whole documents.

A consortium of media outlets, including Reuters News, also opposes the ban.

The open court principle requires that court proceedings be open and accessible to the public and to the media.

It is unclear what documents Huawei obtained from HSBC, but defense lawyers argue they are relevant to Meng’s case.

Meng’s hearing was initially set to wrap up in May but Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes granted an extension to allow the defense to read through the new documents.

Hearings in the extradition case are scheduled to finish in late August.

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Howard Goller)

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