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American missionary, adventurer killed by tribe members on restricted and remote island

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john allen chau

The first time American John Allen Chau made it to the remote North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean, he came bearing gifts that included a football and fish.

He interacted with some of the missionary — who survive by hunting, fishing and collecting wild plants and are known for attacking anyone who comes near with bows and arrows and spears — until they became angry and shot an arrow at him.

It struck a book Chau was carrying, and the 26-year-old adventurer and Christian missionary swam back to a boat of fishermen that was waiting at a safe distance.
That night, he wrote about his adventures and left his notes with the fishermen. He returned to the island the next day, on Nov. 16.

What happened then isn’t known, but on the morning of the following day, the fishermen watched from the boat as the tribesmen dragged Chau’s body along the beach.

Dependera Pathak, director-general of police on India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said Wednesday that the seven fishermen have been arrested for helping the American reach North Sentinel Island. Visits to the island are heavily restricted by the Indian government, and officials were working with anthropologists to recover the body.

“It was a case of misdirected adventure,” Pathak said.
Chau was apparently shot and killed by arrows, but the cause of death can’t be confirmed until his body is recovered, Pathak told The Associated Press.

In an Instagram post, his family said it was mourning him as a “beloved son, brother, uncle and best friend to us.” The family also said it forgave his killers and called for the release of those who assisted him in his quest to reach the island.

“He ventured out on his own free will and his local contacts need not be persecuted for his own actions,” the family said.

Authorities say Chau arrived in the area on Oct. 16 and stayed in a hotel while he prepared to travel to the island. It was not his first time in the region: he had visited the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2015 and 2016. North Sentinel is part of the Andaman Islands and sits at the intersection of the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.

With help from a friend, Chau hired the seven fishermen for $325 to take him there on a boat, which also towed the kayak Chau used to reach the island the first time, Pathak said.

After the fishermen realized Chau had been killed, they left for Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they broke the news to Chau’s friend, who in turn notified his family, Pathak said. Police charged the seven fishermen with endangering the life of the American by taking him to a prohibited area.

One of Chau’s friends said the adventurer spent a month at his home in Cape Town, South Africa, before going to India.

Casey Prince, 39, declined to discuss what Chau told him about his upcoming travel plans, saying he’d rather talk about the kind of man his friend was.

“If he was taking a risk, he was very aware of it,” Prince said, recalling the time Chau told him about being bitten by a rattlesnake.

The two first met about six years ago, when Chau was a manager on the soccer team at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma. Chau and others on the team traveled to South Africa to volunteer at a soccer development and social leadership program Prince founded, Ubuntu Football Academy.

Prince described him as easy to like, kind, joyful and driven by twin passions: a love of the outdoors and fervent Christianity.

“He was an explorer at heart,” Prince said. “He loved creation and being out in it, I think having probably found and connected with God that way, and deeply so.”

Before attending Oral Roberts University, Chau had lived in southwestern Washington state and went to Vancouver Christian High School. Phone messages left with some of his relatives were not immediately returned Wednesday.

“He was a beloved son, brother, uncle, and best friend to us,” The Chau family wrote in its Instagram post. “To others he was a Christian missionary, a wilderness EMT, an international soccer coach, and a mountaineer. He loved God, life, helping those in need, and he had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people.”

Survival International, an organization that works for the rights of tribal people, said the killing of the American should prompt Indian authorities to properly protect the lands of the Sentinelese and other Andaman tribes.

“The British colonial occupation of the Andaman Islands decimated the tribes living there, wiping out thousands of tribespeople, and only a fraction of the original population now survives. So the Sentinelese fear of outsiders is very understandable,” Stephen Corry, the group’s director, said in a statement.

Shiv Viswanathan, a social scientist and a professor at Jindal Global Law School, said North Sentinel Island was a protected area and not open to tourists. “The exact population of the tribe is not known, but it is declining. The government has to protect them,” Viswanathan said.

Poachers are known to fish illegally in the waters around the island, catching turtles and diving for lobsters and sea cucumbers. Tribespeople killed two Indian fishermen in 2006 when their boat broke loose and drifted onto the shore.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/11/21/american-believed-killed-isolated-tribe-north-sentinel-island-india/2076608002/

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9-year-old genius to graduate university

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Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Source nydailynews.com/

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