puzzles

New York police investigate hate crime as Scottish Muslim tourist has clothes set on fire

Police in New York are hunting for a man who set fire to a Scottish Muslim tourist s clothes while she was shopping on Fifth Avenue.

The 36-year-old woman was browsing the boutiques on Saturday evening when she felt heat on her arm. She looked down and realised her blouse had been set on fire.

She saw the suspect pull a lighter away and walk away1, a police source told The New York Daily News. He doesn t say anything. The woman, who was unharmed, went to the police who published photographs showing the suspect swaggering along East 54th Street, minutes after the attack. The young black man is wearing a black sleeveless vest, black trousers and a hat.

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Police are treating the incident as a possible hate crime2.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, urged a full investigation.

I would obviously be concerned because it s symptomatic of the overall rise in Islamophobic sentiment in our society, he said. The attack on the tourist came days after a 32-year-old woman from Brooklyn, who had written anti-Islamic rants on Facebook, attacked two young mothers pushing their children in prams. Emirjeta Xhelili allegedly punched the women in the face and tried to rip the hijabs from their heads3.

Prosecutors claimed that Xhelili shouted Islamophobic abuse at the woman, telling them: Get the f— out of here. Get the f— out of America b—-s This is America you shouldn t be different from us.”

She was arrested around half an hour after the alleged assault, after the two women pointed her out to police officers. She was later arraigned on a charge of misdemeanor assault as a hate crime at Brooklyn Criminal Court.

She didn t even care for the well-being of a baby that s how serious this hate crime is, Kelli Muse, the assistant district attorney, told the court. She continued to taunt the victims in front of police while in custody, saying You guys don t belong here. Xhelili was held on $50,000 ( 37,500) bond or $25,000 cash bail.

She had posted numerous anti-Muslim comments on her Facebook page, including one the day before the alleged attack, saying: From this moment on, every woman that waers (sic) the jihab/hijab will go to hell!!

I cant stand you f—ing hypocrites.

You have been warned.”

References

  1. ^ pull a lighter away and walk away (www.nydailynews.com)
  2. ^ a possible hate crime (www.discountholidays.info)
  3. ^ punched the women in the face and tried to rip the hijabs from their heads (www.discountholidays.info)

Donald Trump luxury hotel opens just blocks from the White House

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump opened the latest outpost in his real estate empire on Monday, a luxury hotel in a historic building five blocks from the White House that underwent a two-year, $200 million ( 150m) renovation.

While staff members at the 263-room Trump International Hotel planned little hoopla for what they described as a “soft opening,” about 40 protesters opposed to the New York real estate developer’s presidential run gathered outside. The opening came eight weeks before the November 8 election1.

Donald Trump Luxury Hotel Opens Just Blocks From The White House Demonstrators from Answer Coalition protest outside the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC Credit: AFP

“It kind of fits his personality that he finds a way to be on Pennsylvania Avenue, one way or another,” said protester Judy Byron, 70, a Washington artist.

The hotel, which includes a $20,000-a-night suite, is less than a mile down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. The hotel is housed in Washington’s third-tallest building, the 1899 Old Post Office, built in the Romanesque Revival architectural style. Mr Trump said on Twitter he had stopped by the property “to thank all of the tremendous men & women for their hard work!”

The protesters criticised some of Mr Trump’s positions, including a promise to build a wall along the Mexican border to block illegal immigrants2. Protest organiser Andrew Castro of Baltimore said: “We’re out here building a wall against racism.”

Stopped by @TrumpDC to thank all of the tremendous men & women for their hard work! pic.twitter.com/oGcJL4N45434

Donald J.

Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 12 September 20165

Dozens of people filtered in and out on Monday afternoon, some to gawk and others pausing for a drink at the hotel’s bar. On his way in, Ric Hedlund, who works in port development, said he had been impressed by the renovations of a building that he said was previously “a dump.”

“I’m going in to drink Trump wine,” said Mr Hedlund, who added he also supported Mr Trump as a candidate.

Donald Trump Luxury Hotel Opens Just Blocks From The White House A view of the lobby in the Trump International Hotel just after it opened on Pennsylvania Avenue Credit: EPA

Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka6, who helped negotiate the 60-year lease with the US government and oversaw the building’s revamp and design, said the project had come in a year ahead of schedule and under budget.

“We have really positioned this hotel to not only be the finest hotel in DC but in the country,” she said in a telephone interview. A grand-opening ceremony is planned for next month.

The Republican nominee attended the 2014 groundbreaking for the renovations alongside local Democratic officials before launching his presidential campaign last year. While Mr Trump’s name is hard to escape in his native New York, where it adorns structures including the Trump Tower as well as a Bronx golf course, the hotel marks his most visible presence in Washington.

His comments describing some Mexican immigrants as criminals7 prompted celebrity chefs Jose Andres and Geoffrey Zakarian to pull out of the project. Mr Trump has sued them.

Donald Trump in quotes8

References

  1. ^ November 8 election (www.discountholidays.info)
  2. ^ Mr Trump’s positions, including a promise to build a wall along the Mexican border to block illegal immigrants (www.discountholidays.info)
  3. ^ @TrumpDC (twitter.com)
  4. ^ pic.twitter.com/oGcJL4N454 (t.co)
  5. ^ 12 September 2016 (twitter.com)
  6. ^ Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka (www.discountholidays.info)
  7. ^ His comments describing some Mexican immigrants as criminals (www.discountholidays.info)
  8. ^ Donald Trump in quotes (cf-particle-html.eip.discountholidays.info)

Step into breathtaking Spanish scenery on a walking holiday with a difference

LOVE the idea of Spain but not the reality of crowded beaches? Fancy a sunny, hassle-free Discount Holidays © holiday away from sandy flesh-pots? So did I. So I booked the Costa Del SOLE instead, for a walking Discount Holidays © holiday with a difference.

Step Into Breathtaking Spanish Scenery On A Walking <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday With A Difference

Alamy

Enjoy Spain away from the hot spots on a walking Discount Holidays © holiday with a difference

Headwater, the walking and cycling specialist, does the hard work of getting you there and moving your gear around, leaving you to enjoy the scenery in my case, the Parc Natural del Cap de Creus. The coast here, just south of the Pyrenees, is pristine and staggeringly beautiful.

The headlands are impressive, broken by lovely, relatively unspoilt fishing villages. Wild heath, forest and rocky outcrops present more than enough challenges for an active walker.

Step Into Breathtaking Spanish Scenery On A Walking <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday With A Difference

Alamy

Eggcellent views . . . Dali s quirky home Port Lligat

The adventure starts in Barcelona, which is handy because you can add a few nights on either side of the walking if you fancy seeing the city. But I couldn t wait to get outdoors so I was straight on a train to the first hotel, the Vilamont Spa in the village of Garriguella.

It was typical of all of the places we stayed: small, friendly and independently run. The owners sent me along to their restaurant in the village for dinner. Catalonian cold cut meats, duck and the local soft red wine soon heal travel weariness.

Step Into Breathtaking Spanish Scenery On A Walking <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday With A Difference

Alamy

The coastal views are amazing and set the perfect scene for walking enthusiasts

But I didn t have the heart to tell them that Caf Colon perhaps wasn t the greatest name. The Discount Holidays © holiday began properly early next morning. Because Headwater moves your luggage from one hotel to the next, all you need during the day is a small, light rucksack for essentials. Headwater also supplies maps and detailed descriptions of each day s walk. Once out of the door, though, you re on your own.

Francisco, our taxi driver and bag courier, spoke a curious mix of either Franish or Spench.

Step Into Breathtaking Spanish Scenery On A Walking <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday With A Difference

Alamy

Wild heath, forest and rocky outcrops present more than enough challenges for an active walker

He dropped me in another small village and pointed to the towering slopes ahead. Up there, he said. And drove off. The path was clearly marked but, wow, it was steep. The first two hours were unrelenting hard work.

But the views from the top were immensely rewarding. That set the format for the whole holiday. You walk for six or seven hours on the harder days, with easier days in between to get your breath back. And if you don t fancy a walk, you can just get in the taxi with the bags to the next hotel.

COSTA DEL SOLE

Step into breathtaking Spanish scenery on a walking Discount Holidays © holiday with a difference

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First stop was Port de la Selva, a picturesque fishing village with two stone and sand beaches. A few miles away is the atmospheric medieval village of La Selva de Mar, an absolute must for a spot of lunch. The next couple of days proved the highlight of the trip. The walk over the Cap Creus wilderness and along to Cadaques was lovely.

It passes Port Lligat, once the home of Salvador Dali, who lived there for six months of every year, from 1930 to 1982. Stepping inside was like wandering into a Dali painting magical. Only ten people are allowed at a time so you have to book.

It costs 11 Euros and is worth every cent. My hotel for two nights in town was the Playa Sol an ideal spot to chill out.

Step Into Breathtaking Spanish Scenery On A Walking <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday With A Difference

Getty Images

Fishing villages and welcoming ports provided fantastic spots to rest after a long day walking

The walk from Cadaques to the town of Roses features the most spectacular section of coastline because the path winds round all the coves on the approach to it. The Hotel Almadraba Park was also my favourite, perched on a cliff overlooking two bays a few miles from the centre of sprawling Roses.

It was pretty much flattened in World War Two but a little area in its heart survived and makes for a lovely stop-off. The last of the days walks returned me to Garriguella in around five hours, then it was back to Barcelona by train again. Off the beaten path doesn t begin to cover this one I d go back even if I had to walk.

GO:SPAIN

GETTING/STAYING THERE: Headwater s eight-night self-guided Catalan Coastal Walk is from 897 (tour only) or from 1,088 with BA flights from Heathrow and rail transfers. Prices include B&B at a mix of hotels, six evening meals, detailed walking maps and luggage transfers. See headwater.com or call 01606 369410.

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