Six In The Morning Friday 26 April 2019

Exclusive: Some of the men executed in Saudi Arabia claimed their confessions were forced

Updated 0404 GMT (1204 HKT) April 26, 2019

Long before Saudi Arabia announced it had carried out one of the largest mass executions in its history earlier this week, some of the men condemned to death had made impassioned pleas to the courts in a bid to save their lives.

Many said they were totally innocent, that their confessions had been written by the same people who had tortured them. Some claimed to have evidence of their abuse at the hands of their interrogators. And one reaffirmed loyalty to King Salman and his son, Mohammed bin Salman, in hopes of getting leniency from the court, trial documents show.

More than 1,000 migrants break out of southern Mexico detention centre

Mass escape from overcrowded Siglo XXI facility sign of how surge in arrivals has stretched resources

More than a thousand migrants broke out of a detention centre in southern Mexico on Thursday evening, authorities said, in a fresh sign of how a surge in arrivals has stretched the country’s resources to the limit.

More than half of the roughly 1,300 migrants later returned to the Siglo XXI facility in the border city of Tapachula in Chiapas state, but about 600 are still unaccounted for, the National Migration Institute said in a statement.

Migrants from Cuba, who make up the majority of the people being held at the centre, were largely behind the breakout, the institute added. Mexican newspaper Reforma reported that Haitians and Central Americans were also among those who fled the facility, which has been crammed with people.

Germans increasingly hostile towards asylum-seekers

More than half of Germans view asylum-seekers in a negative light, a new study shows. Prejudice against the newcomers has grown even as fewer migrants come to Germany.

Right-wing populist attitudes have become “normal” in Germany’s mainstream, said authors of a new study presented by the left-wing Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Berlin on Thursday.

“The center is losing its footing and its democratic orientation,” researchers said.

The foundation has released reports on right-wing extremism since 2002. The latest study, conducted by a group of researchers from Bielefeld University, shows that a record 54.1% of the respondents across Germany now hold a negative view of asylum-seekers.

Algeria targets Bouteflika allies, tycoons in anti-corruption campaign

Algerian authorities are embarking on a “Clean Hands” campaign aimed at rooting out corruption that has been linked to top tycoons and current and former government officials, including close allies of ousted leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Corruption is a major complaint of the masses of protesters who helped drive Algeria’s longtime president from office earlier this month. New protests are scheduled for Friday.

Several influential Algerians have been questioned or arrested in recent days. Among them is Issad Rebrab, head of Algeria’s biggest private conglomerate Cevital, who is suspected of possible customs-related violations and other financial wrongdoing, according to prosecutors.

Sri Lanka bombings: All the latest updates

Sri Lankan president says suspected leader of Easter attack died in the bombings as death toll is lowered by over 100.

A series of coordinated bombings on Easter Sunday rocked Sri Lanka, killing at least 253 people (death toll revised down from 359 by authorities) and wounding 500 others.

The attacks were the deadliest in the island nation since the end of its civil war 10 years ago, and targeted three churches as well as four hotels in the capital Colombo.

Nearly all victims were Sri Lankan, many of them Christian worshippers attending Easter Mass. Dozens of foreigners were also killed.

US woman wrongly identified as Sri Lanka attack suspect

Sri Lankan police have apologised after they wrongly identified a US woman as a suspect in the Easter Sunday attacks.

Amara Majeed is a Muslim activist and author who wrote a book, titled The Foreigners, to combat stereotypes about Islam.

“I have this morning been FALSELY identified by the Sri Lankan government as one of the ISIS Easter attackers in Sri Lanka,” she tweeted.

“What a thing to wake up to!”