Ohio police mount manhunt for accused killer of 4, including young boy

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Authorities are searching for a man they believe killed four people in southern Ohio — including a 7-year-old boy — inside a trailer home.

The subject of the manhunt, Aaron Lawson, has been charged with three counts of murder and one count of aggravated murder for the crimes. He is also expected to be charged for attacking a fifth person, who was stabbed but survived.

Lawson, 23, was last seen Thursday morning running into a wooded area in Lawrence County after he’d run his pickup truck into a ditch. He is believed to be armed with a knife.

Helicopters, K-9 units, and more than 100 police officers and sheriff’s deputies from departments in three states have scoured the countryside in search of the suspect.

Three adults were found dead in the trailer Wednesday, apparently shot to death. The body of the boy, who lived in the home, was found Thursday after searchers covered the expansive crime scene near the trailer.

“It looked like [someone] had been trying to hide the child in a location that wasn’t obvious for law enforcement to look at,” Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said.

“We want to bring [Lawson] in and bring him to justice.”

According to authorities, Lawson visited the home frequently and was associated with everyone who lived there. A motive for the deaths is not yet known.

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Production lower for one Norwegian energy company

Oct. 12 (UPI) — Even though some of its assets posted new production, AkerBP said Thursday its third quarter production was lower than last year by 7.5 percent.

Aker BP, a merger of Norwegian energy companies and a subsidiary of BP, said total third quarter production was 131.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from the 142.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day reported during the same period last year.

Two fields — Gina Krog and Volund — went into production this year. Of the 11 fields for which the company reported production, nine posted lower output than third quarter 2016. By volume and percent, the Alvheim area in Norwegian waters posted the biggest decline at 14.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, or 23 percent.

Most of the company’s output came from the Alvheim license area, which draws oil using a floating production facility from four fields in the greater region.

The company did not respond to a request from UPI for clarification or explanation of the third quarter 2017 figures. In July, it raised its guidance for output but lowered it for production costs.

One of the first companies out of the gate with second quarter results, the company said production costs were $ 121 million, up from $ 39 million, though total income of $ 595 million was nearly twice what it was last year, mainly because of the tie up with the Norwegian subsidiary of BP.

Aker BP holds stakes in some of the more promising prospects offshore Norway, including the giant Johan Sverdrup oil field. Production in June began at the Gina Krog field offshore Norway and the company said it expected output to accelerate during the year at the larger Edvard Grieg field. No figures were reported for Edvard Grieg for the third quarter.

The company posted mixed results from its latest drilling efforts offshore Norway.

Production figures from Norway, one of the leading suppliers to the European economy, were lower than expected in August, the last full month for which data are available.

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American, Canadian family released by group with Taliban ties

Oct. 12 (UPI) — An American woman, her Canadian husband, and their three children born in captivity were released by insurgents in Pakistan linked to the Taliban.

Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle were kidnapped five years ago while traveling in Afghanistan and had been held by the Haqqani network since.

Coleman was pregnant when abducted. The couple had all three of their children while in captivity.

Pakistan’s military said in a statement that it had “recovered five Western hostages including one Canadian, his U.S. national wife and their three children from terrorist custody through an intelligence-based operation by Pakistan troops and intelligence agencies.”

The family was being held in the American embassy in Pakistan and it is not publicly known when the family plans to return to North America.

The leader of the Haqqani network is also the head of the Afghan Taliban. The United States has criticized Pakistan in the past for not going after the extremely wealthy and well-connected Haqqanis, who are considered to be part of the Taliban terror organization.

The Haqqanis have been blamed more for than 2,000 U.S. military deaths, and their deep links to local tribes have dubbed them the “Kennedys of the Taliban movement.”

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U.S. forces in South Korea to conduct evacuation drill

Oct. 12 (UPI) — The U.S. military in South Korea is preparing to hold evacuation drills for military families and other civilians, weeks after President Donald Trump pledged to “totally destroy” North Korea if he is forced to defend the United States and allies.

Stars and Stripes reported Thursday that U.S. Forces Korea would hold the drills in late October.

The exercise, Courageous Channel, will simulate the evacuation of U.S. civilians. It was also conducted about a year ago.

In 2016, for the first time in seven years, the training was held in the most lifelike setting, should war erupt on the peninsula.

Spouses and children of U.S. servicemen in Korea have been advised to keep first aid kits, flashlight, batteries and protective masks on hand in the event of an evacuation.

In late October and early November 2016, families were sent to an airbase where they boarded a C-130 aircraft that departed from South Korea for Japan.

In the upcoming exercise, the United States will send a pre-selected group to be transported to Japan, simulating a real evacuation in the event of an emergency.

North Korea has frequently threatened to turn parts of South Korea into “powder” and a “sea of flames.”

Pyongyang agreed to an armistice in 1953 that brought an end to the armed conflict of the Korean War, but a peace treaty was never signed.

The Kim Jong Un regime has demanded recognition as a nuclear weapons state and a peace treaty from the United States.

Washington has offered several security guarantees in exchange for denuclearization of the peninsula.

North Korea has violated or ignored offers of past U.S. deals.

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Thales demos capability of ballistic missile tracking radar

Oct. 9 (UPI) — Thales’ SMART-L MM radar system has successfully demonstrated its missile-tracking capabilities in a U.S. Navy exercise in Europe, the company announced on Monday.

The radar, mounted on the test tower at a company facility in Hengelo, Netherlands, detected and tracked a ballistic missile at an average range of more than 932 miles for more than five minutes without difficulties.

The ballistic missile was launched from the Hebrides in Scotand for The U.S. Navy’s Formidable Shield 2017, an international exercise for the defense against missiles.

Thales said the detecting and tracking of the missile by SMART-L Multi Mission radar sufficient to enable Launch On Remote by BMD-capable naval ships.

“This milestone proves that Thales is a world leader in radar applications for ballistic missile defense,” Gerben Edelijn, chief executive officer of Thales in the Netherlands, said in a press release. “With SMART-L MM, Thales can provide armed forces all over the world with a powerful sensor that enables the protection of nation states against the increasing threat of ballistic missiles.”

Thales is supplying four SMART-L MM radars to the Royal Netherlands Navy from 2018 onward on the country’s four De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates. It will also supply two systems to the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

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Turkey appeals for lifting of U.S. travel restriction amid diplomatic dispute

Oct. 9 (UPI) — The Turkish government reportedly issued another arrest warrant for a U.S. Consulate staff member Monday — the latest move in a diplomatic row that escalated over the weekend.

The warrant was issued for an unnamed employee — and prosecutors said they had ordered the questioning of another consulate official as a suspect in an unidentified case, The Guardian reported.

The wife and son of the unnamed subject of the warrant, who worked in the Consulate handling issues with Turkish law enforcement, were also said to be questioned by authorities.

Monday’s would mark the second arrest warrant given for a Consulate employee in the last week.

Last Wednesday, employee Metin Topuz was arrested for alleged ties to exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen — a man classified by Turkey as a terrorist and accused of orchestrating last year’s attempted military coup. Gülen purportedly lives in Pennsylvania.

Since the failed coup, Turkish officials have worked to rid the government, educational system and military of suspected Gülen supporters.

A few days after Topuz’s arrest, the U.S. embassy in Turkey said it was suspending the processing of all non-immigrant visas in Turkey “in order to minimize the number of the visitors to our diplomatic and consular missions in the U.S. while this assessment proceeds.”

Less than 24-hours later, the Turkish embassy in Washington announced “it had suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all Turkish diplomatic missions” in the United States.

John Bass, the departing U.S. ambassador to Turkey, said some members of Turkish government are motivated by “vengeance rather than justice.”

Also Monday, Turkey’s foreign ministry officials summoned U.S. Consulate Charge d’Affaires to Turkey Philip Kosnett to hear the case against the U.S. decision to suspend the visa applications, calling the move an “unnecessary escalation” of tensions.

The Anadolu News Agency reported it expected the foreign ministry to tell Kosnett to lift the U.S. restrictions.

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