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Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro To Appear In Court Today

AP, CNN, REUTERS, WASHINGTON POST (USA)

Worldcrunch

CLEVELAND - Ariel Castro, 52, the man charged with keeping three women captive for almost a decade will appear in court for the first time on Thursday.

Castro is accused of kidnapping Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, between 2002 and 2004. At the time, they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.

They were held captive until one of them escaped on Monday.

On Wednesday Castro was charged with four counts of kidnapping – covering the three women and a daughter born to Berry in captivity – as well as three counts of rape.

Reuters reports that he owns the house where the women were oppressively kept in dungeon-like squalid conditions, where they were raped, starved, beaten, and kept in chains.

The police had detained two of Castro’s brothers on Monday but they were later released, as they appeared to have no involvement with this crime, according to the AP.

The Washington Post notes that they both have outstanding warrants for separate misdemeanor cases and will also face a judge Thursday on those matters.

Castro, a school bus driver who lost his job last fall, had been thought to live alone in the house by neighbors. CNN writes that they describe him as “a very outgoing person, a nice man,” but in hindsight “he had been fooling us.”

The alarm was raised on Monday when Amanda Berry managed to get the attention of a neighbor and escape when Castro briefly left the premises.

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Geopolitics

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. And as he approaches an election at home, Turkish President Erdogan is playing the game to his advantage.

For Erdogan, Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Is Perfect For His Reelection Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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