Berlin Police Arrest Suspect in Christmas Market Attack

Berlin police have released a Pakistani refugee that was a suspect in a deadly truck rampage that left 12 dead and wounded 48 others in a West Berlin Christmas market.

The suspect was released on Tuesday evening.

The truck belonged to a Polish trucking company and the driver, a Polish national, was found dead in the passenger seat.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said the incident was likely an “act of terrorism.”

Hate crimes against refugees from the Middle East have been on the rise in Germany in the past year.

Trump Wins Electoral College Vote

The Electoral College awarded Donald Trump with 304 votes on Monday, bringing an end to weeks of speculation that Republican electors would defect in favor of Hillary Clinton.

According to a New York Times tally, two electors defected from Trump and five defected from Clinton.

Three electors who defected from Clinton threw their support behind former Secretary of State Colin Powell in the hope of generating support for a Republican alternative to Trump.

Normally little to no attention is paid to the electoral college vote. But Trump’s conflicts of interest and loss of the popular vote, along with rumors of Russian interference in the election, prompted several efforts to persuade Republican electors to flip their votes.

Clinton won the popular vote with 2.9 million votes, a wider margin than almost any losing presidential candidate in history.

The official electoral college result will be counted in Congress and announced on January 6.

For more on the electoral college, see: No Major Defections: Electoral College Affirms Trump Victory Despite Loss of Popular Vote

Michigan Charges Two Former Flint Administrators for City’s Water Crisis

Two former Flint emergency managers were charged today for criminal negligence and false pretenses in connection with the contamination of the city’s water supply.

Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose are the highest-ranking officials to be charged in connection with the Flint water crisis.

In 2014, Early ordered the switch in the water supply from the relatively clean Lake Huron to the contaminated Flint River.

Thousands of children in Flint suffered as a result from lead poisoning, rashes, and Legionnaires’ disease.

If convicted, Earley and Ambrose could face up to 46 years in prison.

Two additional Flint workers were also charged with criminal offenses relating to the case on Tuesday.

For more on the Flint water crisis, see:  The Story Behind the Flint Water Crisis

Israeli Billionaire Arrested for Guinea Bribery Scandal

Israeli diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz was arrested by the Israeli police during an investigation into bribes to Guinea officials.

The Beny Steinmetz Group Resources (BSGR) is accused of using bribery to obtain rights to an iron mine worth $110 billion in poverty-stricken Guinea.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and billionaire George Soros are advising the Guinea government in the lawsuit against BSGR.

In 2013, a diamond cut by BSGR was recalled by British multinational Sotheby, which failed to find a buyer. The Middle East Monitor reported that the diamond was not sold because of concerns regarding the involvement of BSGR in Israel’s occupation and human-rights violations of Palestinians.

BSGR provides financial support to the Israeli Givati Brigade, which was involved in the massacre of civilians in Gaza during the 2014 war.

Foreign Assassination Squad Behind Killing of Hamas Engineer in Tunisia

Evidence emerged yesterday that a squad of eight foreigners are behind the killing of a Hamas member who supervised the organization’s drone program.

Hamas officials accuse Israel of the assassination of Mohamed Al-Zawari, who was gunned down near the Tunisian city of Sfax last Thursday.

The Tunisian government confirmed that foreign nationals have been involved in the assassination, including a Belgian, a Hungarian, a Russian and a Swiss national.

In 2010, the Mossad assassinated Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas commander, in a Dubai hotel room.

Christine Lagarde to Remain as IMF Head Despite Conviction

Christine Lagarde will continue to serve as the Managing Director of International Monetary Fund despite her conviction of negligence, according to the IMF board of directors.

The announcement was made hours after a French court found Lagarde guilty for actions taken while serving as the country’s finance minister. She will not serve time in jail nor face fines.

Economist, attorney and investigative journalist James Henry told the Real News yesterday that her conviction is “kind of a slap on the wrist.”

“I guess that means she won’t be disbarred but, you know, whether the IMF, as an institution, is going to be able to have any kind of credibility at all if it has […] someone who’s been convicted now of a financial crime, you know, to hold that office, I think, is really in doubt,” Henry said.