A security guard at a Moscow synagogue was wounded Saturday evening when a man armed with a gun and a gasoline canister attempted to break into the Jewish institution and set it alight, Russian media reported.
Initial reports said the guard was in serious condition after being shot in the head and chest while trying to stop the assailant from entering the Choral Synagogue.
The attacker was arrested by police .
Some media reports said he may be mentally unstable, though police have yet to give any official word on his motives.
The assailant arrived during a Sabbath prayer service, when about 150 worshipers were inside, and threatened to burn the building down, while also demanding to meet Moscow Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt.
A man (right), possibly the suspected attacker, is restrained by a policeman at the scene of Saturday s attack on a Moscow synagogue that injured a security guard (YouTube screenshot)
Several security guards blocked him from entering and took him across the street, at which point he shot one of them.
The other security guards then held him down until police arrived.
Local media identified the assailant as Ivan Lebedev, 40, from the Moscow region.
There’s another election fraught with gender politics and global consequences, with one candidate braced to become a world leader-and no one is talking about it. This summer, outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki Moon publicly called for his successor to be a woman. In a body of 193 nations, the Secretary General of the United Nations is both head and heart-coordinating and inspiring countries to work together on global challenges.
In the UN’s 70-year history, none of its eight leaders have been women. When a new boss takes over in October, Kathryn White hopes to see a woman in charge.
“The words ‘secretary general’ followed by a woman’s name would be an inspiration to all the world’s people,” says White, president of the UN Association in Canada.
“It’s time for women to be leading on a global scale,” adds Mieka Buckley-Pearson, a 27-year-old grad student at Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. She has twice served as Secretary General at the Canadian International Model UN. Some of the biggest global challenges today are women’s rights issues: Child marriage; gender-based violence; and the fact poverty and climate change disproportionately impact women. The UN has the power to play a crucial role in addressing these issues, with gender equality a central component of its sustainable development goals, says White. In recent years, the UN has also passed resolutions on protecting women in conflicts, and including women in peace efforts.
But the UN has even more work to do on women’s issues, Buckley-Pearson says. A woman in the driver’s seat will help hold the organization’s feet to the fire, ensuring strategies lead to concrete action, she says. “If women are not there to require the
accountability, others are less likely to follow through.”
The selection process for Secretary General begins with member nations nominating candidates-current or former foreign ministers or national leaders, or individuals who have led UN agencies. In decades past, this has been a largely male-dominated pool. Today, however, there are more female presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers. Over the last seven decades, only three women have vied for the UN’s big chair. This year alone, four women from Latin America, Eastern Europe and New Zealand are in the running (two more put their names forward but later withdrew).
Once candidates are nominated, there are interviews with the UN Security Council and, as of this year, an open town hall session with the General Assembly where diplomats could pose questions. At the end of the process, the Security Council selects a preferred candidate for approval by the General Assembly. This process is intensely political, with lobbying and campaigning as much as any national election, White tells us. In that political arena, gender bias has already reared its ugly head. In the town hall session with the General Assembly, all four female candidates were grilled on what they thought it takes to be a strong leader.
None of the five male candidates were asked. With a prime minister who has openly declared himself a feminist, it’s easy for Canadians to overlook the degree to which women still struggle for basic human rights throughout much of the world. A woman in the world’s highest office could help change perspective. “It sends a signal not only to countries, but to UN agencies and even business, that gender equality is important,” Buckley-Pearson says.
It’s a signal the world desperately needs.
Craig and Marc Kielburger are the co-founders of the WE movement, which includes WE Charity, ME to WE Social Enterprise and WE Day.
More than 160 caravans were destroyed during a horrific fire near Bristol this weekend. Flames quickly spread through Highbridge Caravan Centre during the early hours of Saturday morning, October 1. The devastating incident has caused hundreds of thousands pounds worth of damage at the site.
Firefighters from across Bristol and Somerset were called to the centre near Burnham-on-Sea and were still investigating what had happened late on Saturday afternoon. Emergency services were inundated with calls from local residents who could see the flames lighting up the night sky. The sound of gas cylinders exploding also echoed for miles.
Amazingly no one is believed to have been injured during the incident. A spokesman from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: “Crews have now confirmed approximately 160 caravans have been destroyed or damaged in this fire.
“Crews are still damping down hot spots and investigations into the cause of the fire are underway. They are using a hydraulic platform to assist in aerial photographs of the site as part of the fire investigation.
“A fire appliance from Burnham On Sea was mobilised following a call from a member of the public reporting what they could see as a fire coming from the back of some trees opposite a pub on the Bristol Road.
“However, shortly after this we received a call from security staff at caravan centre confirming the fire was involving a shed and fence on site.
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- ^ Incredible photos reveal fire devastation at Highbridge caravan centre near Bristol (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ Why did this horrific fire at a Bristol flat, which claimed a man’s life, happen? (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ caravan centre’s website (www.highbridgecaravans.co.uk)