Council to consider applying for arena funding

first_imgChatham-Kent council will consider a staff recommendation Monday to apply for senior government funding for a 2,200-seat twin-pad arena, entertainment centre and multi-sport complex.The application to the community, culture and recreation funding stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is based on a maximum project cost of $60 million. However, potential future investments in architectural design, land acquisition, outdoor sports fields, servicing and traffic mitigation aren’t included in that amount.Filing the application doesn’t commit the municipality to building a facility, as the project would still need to return to council for final approval.“The capital financial implications are the previously approved commitment of council of $18.5 million,” the report stated. “All other funding applications for the project are pending senior level government approvals and confirming donations through both corporate fundraising programs and public fundraising campaigns.”No land has been secured to date, the report stated, and discussions are ongoing. The final size and amenities will all be contingent upon the final budget dollars available.The objectives of the funding program state the project will meet community and user needs or service gaps; promote good asset management planning; represent good value for money; and foster greater accessibility.After discussions with the province, it appears unlikely the municipality would receive more funding than $36.65 million for a $50-million project, the report added.The application needs to be submitted by Nov. 12. Provincial assessment and approval would take eight weeks, while the federal review and approval would take two to four months.The province will notify applicants in winter 2020 if their project has been selected for nomination for the federal government for review and approval.  Applicants will be notified of the federal funding decision in spring or summer 2020. Projects must be complete by March 31, 2027.Also on Monday, Chatham Coun. Michael Bondy is slated to enter a motion asking the municipality to make contingency applications for a smaller facility, as well as for the twinning of Memorial Arena with the necessary upgrades to the existing facility, noting there is grant money available for retrofitting.“These contingency applications will provide council with options considering the size and scope of the project,” his motion stated.Anyone interested in attending Monday’s council meeting should note it will take place at Tilbury Arena’s Ryder Hall at 49 Bond Ave. at 6 p.m. This is part of an ongoing effort to bring council meetings to outlying read more

Outbound Sourcer – The Most Important HR Hire of 2017

first_imgWhy the most important HR hire of 2017 may be one you haven’t heard of. The birth of the Outbound Sourcer emerged in arguably the most competitive industry for attracting, engaging and hiring talent as tech companies competing aggressively for the best possible engineers and sales professionals.  Since then the role has become essentially across all verticals and I’ve worked closely building strategy for Outbound Sourcers in industries ranging from Energy to Pet Care.  This new breed of talent champion utilizes social media and creates internal talent pools from former silver medalists and key contacts to be proactively filling the next role literally months before it’s available.   Your typical day to day recruiters juggle posting roles to their ATS, screening applicants, working with hiring managers and so on and so on.  What they don’t really do is actually recruit.   That was the entire reason I was hired to build out global sourcing team for a large publicly traded tech company and as you can see from the graph above I never had push back asking for more headcount.  But it all started with my first hire and that’s why hiring and Outbound Sourcer should be your most important hire in 2017. Ask any talent leader at a high-growth company how much of their budget is allocated towards agency spend and you’ll more than likely get a huge groan and then an astounding number.  So how do you put those dollars to better use?  Simple: hire an Outbound Talent Sourcer.  “Attention Talent Leaders:  Define 2017 with one game-changing HR Hire” There’s been a tectonic shift in talent acquisition over the past five years.  Have you felt it? The old days of your best hires coming from applicants ended somewhere around 2012.  Can you still make hires via your ATS, certainly.  Are they the best at their position?  Not really.   Outbound Sourcers sole job is to identify, attract and engage the best passive talent for the company’s hard to fill roles.  If recruiting is classic rock; sourcing is jazz, total skill with a heavy dose of creativity. The best tend to come from recruiters tend to have an agency background but I was able to train a team with several right out of college and hungry to learn.  If you can only make one HR in hire in 2017, hire a…”last_img read more

FTC Reports that Identity Theft Complaints Increased by 47 Percent in 2015

first_imgAccording to a new report issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) incidents of identity theft increased significantly in 2015. The data released by the FTC indicates that the agency received more than 490,000 consumer complaints about identity theft in 2015. These numbers represent a 47 percent increase from the number of complaints received in 2014. The Department of Justice estimates that in total, 17.6 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2014.Identity theft involves the unauthorized or illegal use of key elements of another individual’s personal information (social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, birthdates, bank statements, etc.) and assuming that individual’s identity for personal gain. The information can then be used to obtain credit, merchandise and services in the name of the victim, or to provide the perpetrator with false credentials. Identity theft is the most popular—and the most profitable—form of consumer fraud. Armed with this key personal information, a dishonest individual can open a bank account, obtain credit cards, apply for a loan, and remove funds from various financial accounts for financial gain.In response to the rising epidemic, the FTC announced that it has launched a new site designed to be a resource for victims of identity theft. The upgraded website allows consumers to rapidly file a complaint with the FTC and then get a personalized guide to recovery that helps streamline many of the steps involved. The upgraded site is the FTC’s answer to an executive order issued by President Obama in directing federal agencies to create a consolidated site with essential information for consumers based on certain types of identity theft.- Sponsor – When a consumer initiates a response plan, the site will automatically generate affidavits and pre-fill letters and forms to be sent to credit bureaus, businesses, police, debt collectors and the IRS. Should a consumer’s recovery run into issues, the site will suggest alternative approaches. Once a consumer completes their initial report on the site, they will receive follow up e-mails and can return to their personalized plan online to continue the recovery process.“As most Americans know, we live in an age when it’s not a matter of if, but when you will become a victim of identity theft.” said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The FTC’s website is a great place for consumers to go for practical and personalized help to recover from the financial mess created by identity theft.”Retail data breaches are by no means the only source of identity theft incidents, but they have been a contributing factor. The new FTC site provides a strong resource for retail consumers and all potential victims of identity theft, but the information showing the substantial increase in identity theft incidents also serves as an important reminder of the need for retail organizations to make the investment in data security efforts.Click the image below for a tutorial on how to use the new reporting system. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Technology: On the Edge of Breakthrough in 2019

first_imgRobot Dexterity – Industrial robots are getting better at picking up, grasping and manipulating arbitrary objects. New-Generation Nuclear – Advances in fusion and fission reactors are leading to realizing safer and cheaper nuclear energy Predicting Premature Babies – Tests of genetic material from blood samples will help predict women at risk to giving premature birth. Swallowable Body Probes – Noninvasive probes to detect diseases, like EED, in the digestion system.Custom Cancer Vaccines – Personalized vaccines that can trigger the immune system to prevent and destroy cancer tumors. Lab-grown Meat at Scale – Meat raised in the lab in an environmentally friendly way. Carbon Dioxide Vacuum – Techniques to suck and clean carbon-dioxide greenhouse emissions from the air. ECG Monitoriing Wristwatches – More advanced fitness trackers will be able to better monitor vital signs Sewerless Toilets – Toilets that dispose of and treat waste without dumping wastes into sewers. More Conversant AI Assistants – Natural Language Processing Advances will make digital assistants smarter and easier to communicate with. Bill Gates recently presented the top 10 technologies for MIT Technology Review that have been simmering for some time and are edging toward major breakthroughs in the very near term.last_img read more

F1: Rejuvenated Vettel surges to victory in Spa classic

first_imgDefending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel won the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday to strengthen his overall lead with seven races remaining. PhotosVettel started from pole position to win his seventh race of the season and 17th of his career. The German led Red Bull to a 1- 2 finish with Mark Webber finishing close behind.”I enjoyed every lap today. The car was fantastic to drive,” Vettel said. “If the car does what you want it to do, this place is really fun. It was a very entertaining race, with the strategy to come in early.” Lewis Hamilton’s slim title hopes took a further blow when his McLaren crashed early on.Hamilton slipped to fifth in the standings, 113 points behind Vettel, who has a 92-point advantage over second- placed Webber.Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is third in the drivers’ title race ahead of Jenson Button, despite the Briton overtaking the Spaniard late in the race to claim third place at Spa- Francorchamps.Button, who won the last race in Hungary, was left to rue what might have been had he not started the race way down in 13th spot on the grid.”To come away with the third was disappointing,” Button said.”Who knows what would have happened if we had qualified well.” Vettel secured pole position for the ninth time in 12 races this season. But he had not won any of the last three GPs in Britain, Germany and Hungary, and only one of the last five heading into Spa, prompting speculation that he was losing his grip on the title.advertisementVettel’s jubilation was evident at ending that winless run as he stood on top of his Red Bull after the race, and pumped his fists in delight.”What a race!” he told his Red Bull team over the race radio at the end as he won in Spa for the first time, banishing memories of last year’s 15th- place finish.The 24-year-old overcame significant tyre wear early on and held off Alonso when the Spaniard was pressuring strongly.Twenty years after making his F1 debut on the same track, seven- time former champion Michael Schumacher started from last place after crashing during the first lap of Saturday’s qualifying session. The 42- yearold German drove his Mercedes with panache to finish in fifth place behind Alonso.Tyre management proved a crucial factor in Vettel’s win on the seven- kilometre Spa circuit – the longest and arguably the most difficult on the F1 calendar.Hamilton pushed to overtake Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi on lap 13 and the two cars collided coming into the corner.The crash was more spectacular than harmful as debris from Hamilton’s car flew into the air.Hamilton, who has won two races this season, climbed out of his McLaren as the safety car was then deployed.”I’m not really quite sure what happened, I hit the wall pretty hard,” Hamilton said. “As far as I was concerned I was ahead of whoever I was racing and then I was hit by them.”Vettel seemed to get away quite slowly at the start and Nico Rosberg raced up from fifth place on the grid to overtake him at the Les Combes turn, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Alonso both passing Hamilton. On the next lap, Alonso made a brilliant move to overtake Massa on a corner, while Hamilton also sneaked past the Brazilian to get back into fourth.Vettel took an early pit stop on the fifth lap to replace his blistered tyres with soft tyres. He came out of the pits in eighth place, but soon cut through the field and regained the lead when Hamilton went in for new tyres on lap 11.Within minutes, Hamilton was out of the race, despite his team telling him over the radio to “take it easy”.Seventh place for SutilA double points finish slipped out of Force India’s hands as Adrian Sutil finished seventh and Paul di Resta 11th. Nevertheless, it was a brilliant race for both drivers as they overcame poor grid positions, with Sutil eventually earning six points for Vijay Mallya’s team.It looked like a top- 10 finish for di Resta too, but with just six laps to go, the Scottish driver surrendered his 10th position as Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Williams’s Pastor Maldonado went past.With inputs from AP / PTIlast_img read more

With 2010 Commonwealth Games in sight, Delhi hopes to turn into a world-class city

first_imgMakeover of Delhi for 2010 Commonwealth GamesIf the ambitious plans currently being finalised reach fruition, Delhi is to undergo a massive and hugely expensive makeover that will come close to finally realising its dream of being a world-class city.However, going by past record – Delhi’s status as the centre of,Makeover of Delhi for 2010 Commonwealth GamesIf the ambitious plans currently being finalised reach fruition, Delhi is to undergo a massive and hugely expensive makeover that will come close to finally realising its dream of being a world-class city.However, going by past record – Delhi’s status as the centre of Indian politics, with control over key areas of development divided between the state Government and the Centre, and the urban chaos that has resulted-these grandiose plans amount to building castles in the air.Yet, for several reasons, this could be the most comprehensive transformation for the capital since Independence.The incentive is powerful: the 2010 Commonwealth Games. As a sports event, the Commonwealth Games rank just below the Olympics. The budget for Delhi 2010 – a mind-boggling Rs 80,000 crore is by far the single biggest injection of funds for the city.Many projects-like the showpiece Metro, among others-are already up and running, or are part of the Delhi 2010 Development Plan. The Games offer a convenient incentive to launch a massive regeneration plan that could, if all goes well, establish the benchmark for urban planning in India.Yet, it will be a Herculean task in terms of mustering political will, co-ordinating between several agencies and overcoming bureaucratic hurdles that have turned an elegant, historic city into one of the most crowded and polluted in the world.Delhi’s record is already dismal: the Yamuna that runs through the city stinks; one out of every three residents lives in slums; public transport is in a shambles and monsoons spell choked drains and potholed roads. Delhi is also notorious for its VIP movement and multiple modes of transport that create havoc on roads.advertisementFinding parking space for vehicles is a nightmare. Summers are synonymous with lengthy power cuts and dry taps. Commercialisation of residential areas, that led to a huge demolition-cum-sealing drive (see box), has symbolised the difference between promises and realityGetting ready for 2010Click here to EnlargeAccording to Plan 2010, however, all this will be history when the Delhi Government waves its magic wand for a Cinderella-like transformation of the city. This time, there is a credible difference. The Games have injected a new sense of unified purpose and commitment that has rarely been seen before, and the massive funding has huge potential to change the city.Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is optimistic. “By 2010, we will turn Delhi into a dream city which is beautiful, clean, green and world-class,” she says. Till now, growth has been mostly accidental. The classy Delhi Metro, a mass rapid transit system, had been in the making for almost five decades and underwent 35 studies before finally taking off in 1998.Whether it is the agonisingly slow Sonia Vihar water project or the privatisation of the Delhi Jal Board, slum rehabilitation, or regularisation of unauthorised colonies, these are tough decisions with huge financial, political and social stakes involved. “Had we been a full-fledged state, things would have moved faster,” admits Dikshit.Even so, there is cause for cautious sanguinity. In terms of development, Delhi is moving faster than any other Indian city. For sceptics, the biggest proof is the rapid rollout of the capital-intensive Metro Rail, which has already earned justifiable praise for outstanding efficiency and service.Also, the pilots of major projects-multi-storey parking complexes, high-capacity bus system, garbage privatisation, expressways- are already underway. That is why there is reason for optimism. Says Stephen Davies, former managing director, Bata, which relocated its headquarters to Gurgaon after 70 years in Kolkata: “Delhi seems to be the only city which is planning big and thinking long-term.”Airport RevampClick here to EnlargeFortunately for Delhi, a convergence of factors may help overcome traditional hurdles this time. The world over, cities like Atlanta, Barcelona and Seoul have used sports events like the Olympics to transform themselves. Beijing is investing a staggering $35 billion in infrastructure in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics.The Asian Games in 1982, though much smaller in scale with a Rs 500-crore budget, had changed Delhi with new sports complexes, residential areas like the Asian Games Village, culture and entertainment hubs such as the Siri Fort complex and much-needed flyovers. With Congress governments at the Centre and locally, the mood in the capital’s power corridors is co-operative rather than confrontational.”The Partition and the Asian Games were two defining events for Delhi. The Commonwealth Games will be the third,” says Amin Ullah Khan, fellow, India Development Foundation, which focuses on urban development issues. He feels that the Games will work as an anchor around which mega – plans in Delhi can be pushed in a time-bound manner.advertisementPerhaps the biggest and most ambitious is the complete overhaul of the public transport system within and around the city, with an estimated investment of over Rs 30,000 crore by 2010. The capital already has the world’s largest CNG fleet with 80,000 vehicles, including 10,000 buses for public transport. Monorails, a high-capacity bus system and environment-friendly electric trolleys will provide the city with an alternative mode of clean, comfortable transportation.With more than 40 flyovers, better roads and well-designed pedestrian walkways in the pipeline, commuting on Delhi roads will be much easier. Moreover, the current parking chaos will be sorted out if plans by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to build computerised multistorey parking complexes materialise. In Nehru Place, work on a pilot project has already begun.RED FLAGSAD HOC PLANNING: There are several bodies and layers of bureaucracy; so no single body oversees Delhi’s planning and developmentPOWER PAINS: As Delhi is the political hub, populist decisions are more likely in issues such as slum rehabilitation and tariff hikes.POPULATION PRESSURE: Delhi’s population grows by about four lakh annually, mostly due to migration. Plans can go awry.CRASS COMMERCIALISATION: Town planners and experts worry that rampant construction may eventually destroy the historic city.There’s more to the landscape of the 2010 dream city. Entry points to the city-railway stations and airports, including Delhi airport- will be given a major facelift. The recent handover of the airport to a private consortium is already seeing an upgradation of facilities.The railways have joined the fray with a war chest of at least Rs 300 crore. Rundown railway stations in New Delhi, Old Delhi and Nizamuddin will undergo a makeover with clean, modern platforms, food plazas, ATMs, escalators and multi-storey parking complexes.At least four railway terminals are being upgraded to help decongest traffic. Garbage management is being handed over to private companies, with bio-degradable and non-degradable waste being collected separately. The city’s garbage will be reduced by half, says Rakesh Mehta, former MCD commissioner.Dirty public convenience facilities are also getting a makeover as their maintenance is being handed over to private companies, which also get the advertising rights. Private agencies will also maintain subways, roads and parking facilities.The dull DTC buses are already donning vibrant colours. Outdoor advertising with neon lights will be used to give the city’s faade an international and contemporary look, particularly in corporate complexes like Bhikaji Cama Place and Nehru Place. Already, in areas like Khan Market and Janpath, attractive, uniform signeage for shops has been introduced.The NDMC also plans a major facelift of the municipal areas, including the central vista in Connaught Place. “We hope to make the NDMC area world-class and turn it into a major tourist destination,” says Sindhushree Khullar, NDMC Chairman.The Commonwealth Games will also give sports infrastructure a new lease of life. The Delhi Development Authority is planning to build five new sports complexes, two mini-sports arenas and six multi-gyms, along with the upgradation of six existing stadia. The Games Village being set up on the banks of the Yamuna will lead to beautification of the entire area, including the filthy river itself. Lakes and water bodies meant for aquatic sports will add to the new green look the area is slated to get.advertisementDreams for DelhiClick here to EnlargeThe National Capital Region (NCR) is riding piggyback on Delhi in this drive. The eight-lane Delhi-Gurgaon expressway will be completed soon, while a Rs 3,600-crore peripheral expressway on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border and Delhi-Haryana border will reduce the heavy traffic that passes through the capital. Noida and Gurgaon will both be connected by the Metro with a doit-yourself funding model.The Delhi government is also betting big on technology to improve efficiency. GPS and GIS will help in tracking buses while the extensive use of smart cards will make life easier for residents. It helps that Delhi’s ambitious plans are on sound footing. Fiscally, the state is among the few in India with a healthy balance sheet. Its net revenue in 2004-05 was Rs 5,700 crore. Being the capital, it will also get generous funding from the Centre.The MCD is being restructured for better governance. Amid much protest, water tariffs have been rationalised. Water loss in transportation will be brought down from around 40 to 10 per cent in the next three years. Parking rates in select areas have been raised. Says Dikshit: “Some of them are tough decisions politically. But involving people through bhagidari will help.”The buzzword in the government is public-private partnership. While power distribution has been fully privatised, other services will soon follow suit. Corporate sponsorships and advertisement rights are being explored to raise revenues for the maintenance of roads, parks, community centres and parking complexes.Almost 35 per cent of the investment is likely to come from the private sector. “The Government’s role will increase as a regulator and shrink as a service provider,” says R.K. Verma, former chairman, NCR Planning Board.Rs 30,000 crore on public transportRs 4,500 crore on garbage disposalRs 2,200 crore on games infrastructureRs 800-1,000 crore annually on waterBut concerns remain. “The biggest challenge for Delhi is how it responds to people’s growing aspirations,” says Mehta. For a city that swells by more than four lakh people every year, with over 70 per cent of the increase by way of migration, population growth can throw all calculations awry. The city’s population is expected to go up from 14 to 17 million by 2010.Despite the naysayers, there has been a subtle, yet significant, change in Delhi’s character. The city is throwing away its political tantrums and bureaucratic whims and learning to be tech-savvy. “A certain amount of professionalism has come in. And there is a dilution of the babu culture,” says Raman Roy, a BPO industry veteran. The dialogue between the industry and the government is robust, he says.Just how robust it is will be known in a few years. But there is already a discernable buzz around Delhi that reflects its aggressive, go-getting Punjabi culture. The swank malls, the plethora of restaurants, the spending power of its citizens that is attracting global luxury brands and manufacturers alike, are all indications that the capital may finally be ready to take on its biggest challenge- to transform itself into a top-notch city. Delhi 2010 may yet be a dream, but with the new plans, Delhi’s past glory may finally be matched by its future.last_img read more

Police arrest Jack in the Box thief after pursuit

first_img SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A fast food customer who didn’t have enough money to pay for his order tried to run off with cash from the register instead, police said Sunday.The cashier at the restaurant had just offered to cover the difference for the customer, said San Diego Police Department Sgt. Thomas Sullivan.It happened at about 2:45 p.m. at a Jack in the Box in the 800 block of University Avenue in Hillcrest.The suspect had ordered food but came up short when paying for his order, Sullivan said. When the employee decided to pay the remaining amount, the suspect reached into the open cash register drawer.After a struggle ensued, the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money, Sullivan said. The employee followed the suspect outside and flagged down passing officers, who pursued the suspect on foot.Police arrested Roy Davis, 26, on suspicion of petty theft. , December 31, 2017 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Police arrest Jack in the Box thief after pursuit Posted: December 31, 2017 Updated: 4:05 PMlast_img read more

Glamour Names Samantha Barry EditorinChief in DigitalFirst Move

first_imgSamantha BarryAfter a four-month search for Cindi Leive’s successor atop the fashion title she led for 16 years, Condé Nast has named Samantha Barry the new editor-in-chief of Glamour, the publisher announced Monday.Barry, just the eighth editor in the magazine’s 79-year history, arrives from CNN, where she spent the last three years heading the network’s social media strategy.“Sam is Glamour’s first digital-native editor which is to say she arrives from the future rather than the past,” said Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour in a statement announcing the hire, which sends a clear signal about the company’s digitally-focused vision for the brand.The decision to go with an outsider—and one who brings specific expertise in engaging with audiences on social media—ends a period of speculation that began in September when Leive announced her intent to step down from her post, which she had held since 2001, amid a flurry of high-profile departures by major magazine editors including Vanity Fair‘s Graydon Carter.Carter’s successor, Radhika Jones, was named in November, while the Glamour search wore on. Internally, the odds-on favorite appeared to be Elaine Welteroth, who oversaw Teen Vogue‘s print-to-digital transition last year. In announcing the appointment, both Wintour and Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg noted Barry’s expertise in delivering digital media across various platforms and her unique understanding of social media as a storytelling tool.“As we continue to innovate our content and distribution to reach next generation audiences, it is critical that our creators understand the symbiotic relationship between the audience, content and the best platforms to deliver each story and experience,” added Sauerberg.Barry’s role at CNN involved working across multiple departments to manage all of the organization’s social media teams, including their coverage of the 2016 election, for which CNN earned a Webby Award in the social media category.Added Wintour, “Sam is fearless like so many leaders of the moment and has both a reverence for Glamour’s history and a crystal clear view of its future in the digital environment.”A native of Cork, Ireland, Barry arrived at CNN from London, where she was social media producer for BBC World News. Prior to that, Barry worked in Papua New Guinea with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, served as a foreign correspondent for Ireland’s Newstalk, and began her career as a reporter for RTE.“I am as humbled by Glamour’s past as I am excited about Glamour’s future,” said Barry in a statement. “I could not be more proud to take the reigns of an iconic women’s brand at this pivotal moment for all women’s voices. For me, Glamour is the home of strong storytellers, insightful journalism, beauty and fashion. I look forward to building on the brand’s success, and sharing Glamour with audiences everywhere.”Barry will assume her new role on January 15.Thank you so much @cindi_leive. I’ve got impressive shoes to fill.— Samantha Barry (@samanthabarry) January 8, 2018last_img read more

Police see mental illness behind deadly German van attack

first_imgA woman lays candles at a memorial shift at the square where a man ploughed with a van into an open-air restaurant, killing two people a day earlier in Muenster, western Germany on April 8, 2018. Photo : AFPGerman authorities investigating a deadly van ramming attack focused Sunday on mental health problems of the driver, as the city of Muenster mourned for the two people killed on a sunny afternoon at an open-air restaurant.”There are strong indications at the moment that this was a lone perpetrator and that there were no links to the terror scene,” federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told reporters at the site of Saturday’s attacks, where local people laid flowers in memory of the victims.Far-right opponents of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy had suggested in the immediate aftermath of the attack it might be an Islamist act of terror, while some media reported the killer had links to right-wing extremist organisations.But there are “no indications of a political motive,” said Hajo Kuhlisch, chief of police in the western city where the attack took place.Rather, he added, “the motive and origins (of the crime) lie within the perpetrator,” a 48-year-old German identified as Jens R. who shot himself dead immediately after the crime.A source close to the investigation told AFP there was a record of incidents related to the perpetrator’s impaired mental health since 2015, and that he had talked of suicide in late March.Prosecutors said he faced allegations of threats, property damage and fraud in 2015 and 2016, all of which were dropped.And broadcaster NTV reported he had threatened family members with an axe in 2014 and 2015.The two victims killed in Muenster were a 51-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man, both from northern Germany.As well as the dead, police said 20 were injured — some life-threateningly.The foreign ministry in the Netherlands said two of those hurt were Dutch, one of whom was in a critical condition.In the van, police found the gun used by the driver to kill himself, a blank-firing pistol and some powerful fireworks.A search of the man’s Muenster apartment late Saturday turned up more fireworks and a deactivated AK47 assault rifle.Police have appealed to the public for information, setting up a website where people can upload photos and videos.’No Islamist connection’Armed police cordoned off a wide area around the scene of the attack Saturday, urging residents to avoid the city centre to allow investigators to get to work amid initial fears the country had suffered another extremist assault.”I was on my way home through the city here and saw firefighters and ambulances everywhere. I thought something really terrible must have happened,” said Hubert Reckermann, a local man in his late 60s.”It’s still unbelievable for me, but these days anything can happen. You can’t really defend yourself against people with psychiatric problems.”Germany has been on especially high alert for jihadist attacks after several claimed by the Islamic State group.But “we know with high probability that it was a lone perpetrator, it was a German, not a refugee,” said North Rhine-Westphalia state interior minister Herbert Reul.”We know with high probability that there was no Islamist background” to the Saturday afternoon attack, inflicted as locals and tourists enjoyed a sunny spring day, he added.”It will take a few more hours and days” until the case is cleared up, Reul added.’Deeply shaken’Merkel said she was “deeply shaken” by the incident and pledged that “everything possible will be done to determine what was behind this act and to help the victims”.The presidents of Russia and France, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron, as well as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sent their condolences.The attack is the latest in a string across Europe in which vehicles have been used to attack crowds of people in public places.In a Berlin assault in December 2016, Tunisian asylum-seeker Anis Amri hijacked a truck and murdered its Polish driver before killing another 11 people and wounding dozens more by ploughing the heavy vehicle through a Christmas market.He was shot dead by Italian police in Milan four days later while on the run.In France, the Islamic State group claimed a 2016 truck attack in Nice on its July 14 national holiday that killed 86.And in Spain, the jihadists also claimed a rampage along Barcelona’s Las Ramblas boulevard in August 2017 that killed 14 and left more than 100 injured.last_img read more