Alabama executes man who killed police officer

ATMORE, Ala. — The Latest on the execution of an Alabama inmate (all times local):

9:45 p.m.

An Alabama inmate who challenged the state’s execution drug method has been put to death for killing police officer in 1997.

Torrey Twane McNabb was pronounced dead at 9:38 p.m. Thursday.

McNabb used his last statement to tell his mother and sister that he was unafraid and he cursed at the state, saying “I hate you.”

As the procedure began, he raised his middle fingers before becoming still.

McNabb was convicted of killing Montgomery police officer Anderson Gordon, shooting him five times as he sat in his patrol car after arriving at a traffic accident McNabb caused while fleeing a bail bondsman.


8:30 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court says Alabama can execute a man convicted of killing a police officer two decades ago.

Justices on Thursday evening denied a request for a stay from 40-year-old Torrey Twane McNabb. The court had delayed the execution for more than two hours to consider the request.

McNabb is scheduled to be executed Thursday evening.

His attorney’s unsuccessfully sought to halt the execution since McNabb is one of several inmates in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the humaneness of the state’s lethal injection procedure.

McNabb was convicted of killing Montgomery police officer Anderson Gordon in 1997. Prosecutors say McNabb shot Gordon five times as the officer sat in his patrol car after responding to a traffic accident McNabb caused while fleeing a bail bondsmen.


6:10 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily delayed an Alabama execution in order to consider the inmate’s request to halt the lethal injection.

Justices on Thursday issued a temporary stay that blocked the execution of 40-year-old Torrey Twane McNabb.

The reprieve came down minutes before McNabb was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. CDT. The justices could decide later tonight whether to let the execution proceed.

McNabb is one of several inmates in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the humaneness of the state’s lethal injection procedure.

McNabb was convicted of killing Montgomery police officer Anderson Gordon in 1997. Prosecutors say McNabb shot Gordon five times as the officer sat in his patrol car after responding to a traffic accident McNabb caused while fleeing a bail bondsmen.


5:55 p.m.

An attorney is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the execution of an Alabama inmate who killed a police officer 20 years ago.

The last-minute appeal was filed Thursday evening shortly after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request.

Torrey Twane McNabb is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. CDT. A federal judge has not yet ruled on a separate request to stop the execution.

McNabb’s attorney is seeking to stop the execution since McNabb is part of a pending lawsuit challenging the humanness of the state’s lethal injection procedure.

McNabb was convicted in the 1997 shooting death of Montgomery police Officer Anderson Gordon.


5:30 p.m.

An appellate court has refused to halt the execution of an Alabama inmate.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied a request for a stay filed by Torrey Twane McNabb.

McNabb is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. CDT. A federal judge has not yet ruled on a separate request to stop the execution.

McNabb’s attorney is seeking to stop the execution since McNabb is part of a pending lawsuit challenging the humanness of the state’s lethal injection procedure.

McNabb was convicted in the 1997 shooting death of Montgomery police Officer Anderson Gordon.


5 p.m.

Attorneys for an Alabama inmate have filed new motions seeking to halt his execution scheduled for Thursday evening.

An attorney for Torrey Twane McNabb said Thursday that renewed motions for a stay were filed with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Circuit and the federal court in Montgomery, Ala.

The flurry of last-minute filings came after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a stay issued by a federal judge. McNabb is scheduled to be executed Thursday evening unless a court intervenes.

McNabb was convicted in the 1997 shooting death of Montgomery police Officer Anderson Gordon. Prosecutors say McNabb shot Gordon multiple times after he arrived at a traffic accident that McNabb caused while fleeing a bail bondsmen.


4:25 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court says Alabama can execute an inmate convicted of killing a police officer, overruling an appellate court in a case exploring whether the state’s drug protocol amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

Justices on Thursday evening vacated a stay issued by a lower court judge that been blocking the execution of 40-year-old Torrey Twane McNabb.

McNabb is scheduled to be executed Thursday at 6 p.m. CDT. Two justices said they would keep the execution on hold.

McNabb was convicted in the 1997 shooting death of Montgomery police Officer Anderson Gordon. Prosecutors say McNabb shot Gordon multiple times after he arrived at a traffic accident that McNabb caused while fleeing a bail bondsmen.


3:14 a.m.

Alabama is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to let it execute an inmate convicted of killing a police officer two decades ago.

The attorney general’s office plans to ask justices to lift a stay blocking Thursday’s scheduled execution of 40-year-old Torrey Twane McNabb.

McNabb was convicted in the 1997 shooting death of Montgomery police Officer Anderson Gordon. Prosecutors say McNabb shot Gordon multiple times after he arrived at a traffic accident that McNabb caused while fleeing a bail bondsmen.

A federal judge stayed the execution after an appellate court ordered more proceedings in an inmate lawsuit claiming the state uses an unreliable sedative at the start of lethal injections.

The attorney general’s office argues the high court has allowed four executions with the drug.


Painting by Hitler at Italian museum attacked by screwdriver-wielding man

An oil painting by Adolf Hitler on display in an Italian museum suffered minor damage Thursday after a man attacked it with a screwdriver.

A spokesperson for the Museum of Salo, east of Milan, said that the middle-aged man shouted “Bastard,” before lunging at the untitled painting, which is being shown publicly for the first time in an exhibition on the theme of madness, the BBC reported.

The attacker caused minimal damage to the painting before he was chased away by security guards and fled the scene. The painting was repaired and returned to the exhibit.

In his autobiography “Mein Kampf,” Hitler describes how his aspirations of becoming an artist ended when his application to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna was rejected twice, first in 1907 and again in 1908.

The exhibit, on display near the shores of Lake Garda in northern Italy, is entitled “Museum of Madness, from Goya to Bacon.” It is curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, who said that although the undated painting has little artistic merit, it gives insight into the mind of the German dictator.

“It’s a piece of crap, it’s a painting by a desperate man,” he said. “It could have been done by Kafka. It says a lot about (Hitler’s) psyche. You don’t see greatness, but misery,” Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported.

The oil painting measures 30 by 40 centimeters (12 by 16 inches) and depicts two men standing in front of a long series of dark doorways.

“It is not the work of a dictator but of a wretch. It reveals a profoundly melancholy soul,” Sgarbi said.

Sgarbi justified the inclusion of Hitler’s artwork, saying that it was ideal for a display about madness.

“The exhibition is all about madness and this painting is perfect – nothing is as crazy as war,” Sgarbi said.

The museum’s director, Giordano Bruno Guerri, felt the incident added to the theme of the exhibition. “An exhibition of madness would not have been complete without an episode of madness taking place,” he said.

A man wrestled a rattlesnake to show off. He was bitten in the face and nearly died. (LOL….)

Victor Pratt knows a thing or two about rattlesnakes, as he made clear to reporters last week, after regaining consciousness in a Phoenix hospital.

Always has. He played with rattlers all the time as a child, he told NBC News 12. Later on, he learned how to cook them.

“You cut the heads off. They taste just like chicken,” he said, a mic clipped to his hospital gown – a bit hard to understand because his face had swollen up.

Pratt even learned long ago what a rattler bite felt like, after a mishap as a teenager, though that of course could not compare to the incident Sept. 7, when he tried to re-create his childhood memories in his late 40s.

It was at his son’s birthday party near Coolidge, outside Phoenix, he told NBC 12. They were at a lake. A rattlesnake happened along, as snakes tend to.

“I showed them how to catch it and I was playing with it like little kids do,” Pratt told Fox 10.

“I was showing off,” he admitted. “Like I always do.”

The photos did look impressive, while the pose lasted: There was Pratt on his back in the dirt, with one end of the snake in each hand. There was Pratt on his feet, beside his son, wearing the snake like a scarf.

A close-up showed the snake’s fanged agape mouth, just inches from Pratt’s faded print T-shirt.

There might even have been a photo of Pratt cooking the snake, the Arizona Republic reported.

Except, not pictured, it got loose before that point in the party, and went right for Pratt’s face.

And now something else he knew about snakes crossed his mind: That the venom would spread within seconds.

“I kept my mind strong,” he told Fox 10. His sons drove him to a nearby emergency room, where a doctor quickly inserted a tube in his airway to keep him breathing as the poison swelled his flesh.

“There is a 100 percent chance he would have died if he’d not have made it to the hospital within minutes,” said Steven Curry, who directs the department of medical toxicology at Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix, where Pratt was airlifted later that day.

“The facial swelling is so immense that even your tongue and lips and the inside of your throat swell,” Curry said. “In simple terms, it would be strangulation.”

Pratt was sedated and in shock when Curry first saw him. He remained unconscious for several days, as doctors treated him with the first of what would eventually be 28 vials of antivenin.

Curry’s department sees about 70 snake bite patients each year, he said. And while facial bites are rare, men like Pratt who fancy themselves snake charmers are not.

“In my career, and I’ve been doing this for about 35 years or so, I’ve only seen one illegitimate snake bite in a woman,” he said, meaning a bite in which the victim saw the snake and didn’t try to escape.

“We find they are far too intelligent to go messing around.”

As for Pratt, he woke up from his sedation last week and entertained reporters while waiting to be discharged from the hospital, which was expected to happen Monday.

He struggled to get his words out through his bloated cheeks, but was not so proud that he couldn’t admit a deficiency in his lifelong knowledge of the snake.

“Think before you go out there and play with rattlesnakes,” he told Fox 10 late last week. “You might not make it next time.”

Austrian court sentences man who urged gassing of migrants

VIENNA — An Austrian court has found a man guilty of violating the country’s anti-Nazi laws and sentenced him to a 14-month suspended prison term after he posted a call for the reopening of a Hitler-era concentration camp and the gassing of migrants there.

The man acknowledged that during a discussion of the migrant situation he had posted on a social media platform: “If possible, open Mauthausen again and let the gas in.” He said during the trial that ended Monday that he acted under the influence of alcohol and did not mean to spread Nazi propaganda.

The court in the southern city of Klagenfurt also imposed a €1,200 ($1,434) fine. The man is not being identified in keeping with Austrian confidentiality laws.

‘The man who saved the world’ from nuclear war dies at 77

MOSCOW (AP) — Stanislav Petrov, a former Soviet military officer known in the West as “the man who saved the world” for his role in averting a nuclear war over a false missile warning at the height of the Cold War, has died at 77.

Petrov’s German friend, Karl Schumacher, said Tuesday that he died on May 19. Schumacher called Petrov earlier this month to wish him a happy birthday, but was told by Petrov’s son Dmitry that his father had died. The Russian state Zvezda TV station only reported the death on Tuesday.

Petrov was on night duty at the Soviet military’s early warning facility outside Moscow on September 26, 1983, when an alarm went off, signaling the launch of several US intercontinental ballistic missiles. The 44-year-old lieutenant colonel had to quickly determine whether the attack was real. He chose to consider it a false alarm, which it was.

The incident was particularly harrowing as it happened at one of the tensest periods of the Cold War when the Soviet Union appeared to genuinely fear a surprise US nuclear attack.

A few weeks earlier, the Soviets had shot down a passenger plane flying to South Korea from the US, suspecting it of spying, killing all 269 people aboard. The United States, after a series of provocative military maneuvers, was preparing for a major NATO exercise that simulated preparations for a nuclear attack.

In a 2015 interview with The Associated Press, Petrov recalled the excruciating moments at the secret Serpukhov-15 control center when the fate of the world was in his hands.

“I realized that I had to make some kind of decision, and I was only 50/50,” Petrov told AP.

The responsibility was enormous.

If he had judged it a real launch, the top Soviet military brass and the Kremlin would have had no time for extra analysis in a few minutes left before the incoming nuclear-tipped missiles hit Soviet territory. They would have likely ordered a retaliatory strike, triggering a nuclear war.

“It was this quiet situation and suddenly the roar of the siren breaks in and the command post lights up with the word ‘LAUNCH,’” Petrov told the AP. “This hit the nerves. I was really taken aback. Holy cow!”

Within minutes of the first alarm, the siren sounded again, warning of a second US missile launch. Soon, the system was reporting that five missiles had been launched.

Petrov recalled standing up as the alarm siren blared and seeing that the others were all looking at him in confusion.

“My team was close to panic and it hit me that if panic sets in then it’s all over,” he said.

Petrov told his commander that the system was giving false information. He was not at all certain, but he was driven by the fact that Soviet ground radar could not confirm a launch. The radar system picked up incoming missiles only well after any launch, but he knew it to be more reliable than the satellites.

The false alarm was later determined to have been caused by a malfunction of the satellite, which mistook the reflection of the sun off high clouds for a missile launch.

Petrov was not rewarded for his actions. In fact, he received a reprimand for failing to correctly fill the duty log and retired from the military the following year.

Although his commanding officer did not support Petrov at the time, he was the one who revealed the incident after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. If Col. Gen. Yury Votintsev had not spoken out, Petrov said he himself “would have forgotten about it like a bad dream.”

Since his story was told, Petrov has received accolades, international awards and became known as “the man who saved the world.”

But his role won him little fame in his homeland. He continued to live in a small, unkempt apartment in the Moscow suburb of Fryazino. There have been no official reports or statements about his death from any Russian government agency.

Schumacher said it was important for him to let the world know about Petrov’s passing because “we owe this man a lot.”



LONDON – British police arrested an 18-year-old man in the southern port of Dover on Saturday in a “significant” development in the hunt for the people behind a London commuter train bombing that injured 30 people a day earlier.

Prime Minister Theresa May put Britain on the highest security level of “critical” late on Friday, meaning an attack may be imminent, and soldiers and armed police deployed to secure strategic sites and hunt down the perpetrators.

The home-made bomb shot flames through a packed commuter train during the Friday morning rush hour in west London but apparently failed to detonate fully.

“We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning,” said Neil Basu, Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing.

“Although we are pleased with the progress made, this investigation continues and the threat level remains at critical.”

The arrest was made in the port area of Dover, where passenger ferries sail to France.

The blast on the London tube train at the Parsons Green underground station was the fifth major terrorism attack in Britain this year and was claimed by Islamic State.


Britain deployed hundreds of soldiers at strategic sites such as nuclear power plants and ministry of defense sites on Saturday to free up armed police to help in the hunt for those behind the bombing.

The last time Britain was put on “critical” alert was after a man killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in May. Prior to that it had not been triggered since 2007.

“For this period, military personnel will replace police officers on guard duties at certain protected sites,” May said in a televised statement.

“The public will see more armed police on the transport network and on our streets providing extra protection. This is a proportionate and sensible step which will provide extra reassurance and protection while the investigation progresses.”

The bomb struck as passengers were traveling to the center of the British capital. Some suffered burns and others were injured in a stampede to escape from the station, one of the above-ground stops on the underground network. Health officials said none was thought to be in a serious condition.

Pictures taken at the scene showed a slightly charred white plastic bucket with wires coming out of the top in a supermarket shopping bag on the floor of a train carriage.

“I was on the second carriage from the back. I just heard a kind of ‘whoosh.’ I looked up and saw the whole carriage engulfed in flames making its way towards me,” Ola Fayankinnu, who was on the train, told Reuters.

“There were phones, hats, bags all over the place and when I looked back I saw a bag with flames.”

The Islamic State militant group have claimed other attacks in Britain this year, including two in London and the pop concert in Manchester.

It was not immediately possible to verify the claim about Parsons Green, for which Islamic State’s news agency Amaq offered no evidence.

Western intelligence officials have questioned similar claims in the past, saying that while Islamic State’s jihadist ideology may have inspired some attackers, there is scant evidence that it has orchestrated attacks.

‘You’re speaking immigrant’: Oklahoma man (White Idiot) goes on berserk rant caught on video by Hispanic woman


An Oklahoma woman was accosted at a thrift store by another shopper who overheard her speaking Spanish on her cell phone.

The Durant woman, Maty Roberts, was speaking to her sister on the phone while shopping at Goodwill when an unshaven white man approached her and began hurling racial slurs, reported KXII-TV.

She said he also harassed her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend before Roberts began recording video.

“He just kept spitting out words, like, ‘You’re an immigrant and you need to go back to your country,’” said the woman’s daughter, Alison Roberts.

The boyfriend, Dakota Hodge, confronted the man as Roberts recorded the encounter.
“Sir, are you the one who hates wetbacks?” Hodge said.

The man replied by repeating a racial slur over and over.

“Wetbacks, wetbacks, wetbacks — because you’re an immigrant,” the man said, and interrupted when Roberts tried to speak. “No, you’re speaking immigrant.”

Roberts said her daughter left the store after the man approached her, and then the man confronted her at the checkout line.
“I don’t speak English, I don’t speak English, no comprende, no comprende — you lousy-speaking immigrant,” the man said, apparently mocking her.

Maty Roberts asked for the man’s name, which he said was “Goofy,” and police arrived after the man left the store, and he told them the same thing from the passenger seat of a car.

“Get that b*tch out of here, get that b*tch out of here,” the man told officers. “I’ll show you World War III, it starts right here.”

“Immigrant, immigrant, immigrant,” the man bellowed. “F*cking wetback.”

The man refused to show identification, and he eventually told officers his name was Jack but would not give his last name.

He then told police he needed to go home because his blood pressure was high, but he continued taunting Roberts.

“On this side of the Red River, north of the Rio Grand, north of the Red River, we speak English and English only,” the man said.

When Ireland rejected Jewish orphans fleeing Nazis, this man saved dozens

LONDON — On July 9, 1943, newly-elected member of the Irish parliament Oliver Flanagan rose to make his maiden speech.

“There is one thing that Germany did and that was to rout the Jews out of their country,” he declared, saying that Ireland should follow suit. “They crucified our savior 1,900 years ago and they are crucifying us every day of the week.”

No one objected to Flanagan’s words. Certainly, his constituents did not appear unduly concerned. A year later, Flanagan was re-elected to the Dail, Ireland’s lower house of parliament, with twice as many votes as he had previously received.

He would continue to hold the seat for the next four decades, and, rising through the ranks of the Fine Gael party, would go on to serve in the government and enjoy a brief stint as Ireland’s Minister of Defense in the 1970s.

Shortly after that now notorious speech, Flanagan was on his feet again in the Dail, questioning the Irish prime minister on plans for the country to take in 500 Jewish children from France. Under pressure, Éamon de Valera denied that the children were Jewish. Flanagan’s intervention, however, had the desired effect and the political row he had helped to stoke ensured that Ireland ultimately opted to leave the children to their fate.

While the virulence of Flanagan’s anti-Semitism may have been unusual, Ireland, which adopted a position of neutrality during the war, displayed precious little sympathy for Europe’s persecuted Jews. As Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times has argued, Irish policy was “infected with a toxic combination of anti-Semitism and self-pity.”

Fintan O'Toole, center, with Irish politicians in 2010. (CC-SA-2.0 Flickr/Neil Ward)

In the 1930s, the government placed responsibility for refugees in the hands of the aptly named Irish Coordinating Committee for the Relief of Christian Refugees. Jews who converted to Christianity were allowed to settle in the country. Those who had not were barred. These Jews, the committee’s secretary suggested, would be taken care of by the American Jewish community.

At a European conference on Jewish refugees in July 1938, a member of the Irish delegation, referring to the persecution of the country’s Catholics during the days of British rule, suggested: “Didn’t we suffer like this in the Penal days and nobody came to our help?”

Meanwhile, in Berlin, the country’s violently anti-Semitic ambassador, Charles Bewley, worked to scupper the chances that any Jews might slip through the tight net Ireland had thrown around itself. His reports back to Dublin noted that Jews were involved in pornography, abortion and the “international white slave traffic.” They also denied any “deliberate cruelty” on the part of the German government to the Jews, and parroted Hitler’s defense of the Nuremberg Laws.

Even after the war, as Dr. Byran Fanning outlined in his 2002 book “Racism and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland,” Irish ministers and civil servants viewed Jews as “enemies of faith and fatherland” who should be shut of the country.

A proposal to admit 100 Jewish orphans from Bergen-Belsen was initially blocked and only proceeded after de Valera’s personal intervention. Perhaps this was the prime minister’s way of atoning for his decision the previous year to visit the German ambassador to offer his condolences on Hitler’s death.

Irish politician Éamon de Valera. (Public domain)

But not all of the people were willing to toe the official line of cold indifference mandated by the Irish state. None more so than Hubert Butler, the great Irish essayist and writer who has been described as “Ireland’s George Orwell.”

Recently, Irish television screened a one-hour documentary, “The Nuncio and the Writer.”

The film tracked Butler’s pre-war efforts on behalf of Viennese Jews and his post-war fight to expose some dark secrets which both his own country, and the Catholic Church that held such great sway over it, were determined should remain buried.

A devout Irish nationalist, Butler was also a European and an adventurer. After studying at Oxford, he taught English in post-revolutionary Leningrad, and later developed an abiding love of, and fascination with, the Balkans. Witnessing Jewish refugees escaping the Nazis through Yugoslavia in the late 1930s, he traveled to Vienna shortly after the Anschluss.

He volunteered with the Quakers, working alongside the American Quaker activist Emma Cadbury to help rescue Jews from the Nazis’ ever-tightening vice. Butler secured exit visas, while his wife, Peggy Guthrie, would meet the refugees in London and accompany them on to Ireland. Some stayed at the Butlers’ home in Bennettsbridge. Friends were pressed into housing others.

Butler’s actions ‘to some extent rescued Ireland from eternal shame’

Over time, and with the Butlers’ assistance, the refugees traveled on to America; Irish law did not allow them to remain in the country.

Butler later described his work in Vienna as the happiest time of his life. The exact number of Jews the Butlers rescued will never be known, but it is believed to exceed 100; many times more than those legally admitted to Ireland by its government. For O’Toole, Butler’s actions “to some extent rescued Ireland from eternal shame.”

Putting a magnifying glass on Catholic ‘efforts’ in Croatia

A family saved by Hubert Butler, after their relocation to Argentina. (Courtesy)

After the war, Butler returned to Yugoslavia. The fascist regime of Ante Pavelić in the “independent” state of Croatia — established by the Nazis after they invaded and dismembered Yugoslavia in 1941 — became his focus.

The Holocaust, Butler later wrote, was the single greatest crime in human history. In Croatia, it claimed the lives of almost the entire Jewish population, many of them murdered at the Jasenovac concentration camp.

But Butler was determined that other atrocities committed by Pavelić’s Ustaša should not go forgotten. Fluent in Serbo-Croat, he attended war crimes trials in Zagreb and in the city’s university library leafed through newspapers published by the Catholic Church during Pavelić’s reign. Butler was keen to discover what opposition, if any, the Church had offered to it.

This was no academic point. During the Ustaša’s four-year rule, some 2.5 million Orthodox Serbs had been forcibly converted to Catholicism; around 300,000 are believed to have been slaughtered. The Church, which encouraged conversions, claimed it knew nothing of the crimes which had been committed in its name. But, as Butler began to set out meticulously, that simply was not true. Pavelić, he wrote, was “the epitome, the personification of the extraordinary alliance of religion and crime.”

Ustaše militia executing people over a mass grave near Jasenovac concentration camp. (Public domain)

Back in Ireland, however, few wanted to hear Butler’s story. As the Cold War deepened, the Catholic Church had become an important warrior in the fight against “godless Communism.”

When Tito’s Communist regime put Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac on trial for collaboration with the Ustaša, 150,000 people turned out in Dublin in protest, seemingly uninterested or unaware of the deeply ambiguous role played by Zagreb’s archbishop under Pavelić.

Stepinac had written to Pavelić on several occasions to protest massacres committed by the Ustaša and eventually publicly condemned the persecution of Jews.

Ante Pavelić. (Public domain)

However, he failed to break with a regime to which he had initially offered strong support, while his approach towards the forcible conversion of the Serbs, wrote John Cornwell in his biography of Pope Pius XII, displayed a “moral dislocation” that “endorsed a contempt for religious freedom tantamount to complicity with the violence.”

At a meeting of the Irish International Affairs Association in Dublin in 1952, Butler responded to a speech on the persecution of the Catholic Church behind the Iron Curtain, by referring to the crimes in which it had been complicit in wartime Croatia.

Butler had barely begun to speak when the Papal Nuncio, Gerald O’Hara, stormed from the room. In the ensuing blowback, Butler was attacked in the media and ostracized in his home town of Kilkenny. As the broadcaster Olivia O’Leary suggested: “To be Catholic was to be Irish. There was an element of being loyal to the tribe and the feeling that Butler had insulted a prince of the tribe.”

Behind closed doors, the Irish president, Seán T. O’Kelly, issued a secret “caveat” against Butler, effectively blacklisting him. So dangerous was the writer considered to be, that, when, seven years later, he applied to renew his passport, officials debated whether to refuse the request, even referring the matter to the head of Irish military intelligence.

‘To be Catholic was to be Irish. There was… the feeling that Butler had insulted a prince of the tribe’

Butler, however, was not to be deterred. Instead, he began to examine the role of the Irish government in helping German, Belgian, Breton and Croatian war criminals escape justice. One, in particular, obsessed him: Pavelic’s interior minister, Andrija Artuković.

Artuković was thoroughly implicated in his government’s murderous crimes. His promise to wipe out Jews, whom he termed “insatiable and poisonous parasites,” preceded a systematic extermination campaign against them in 1943. The United States Department of Justice would later label him “the Butcher of the Balkans.”

Butler painstakingly pieced together how Artuković had managed to slip into Ireland in 1947, living there for a year under the alias of Alois Anich before — with assistance from officials in Dublin — moving to the US.

Andrija Artuković. (Public domain)

“The process by which a great persecutor is turned into a martyr,” wrote Butler drily in his 1966 essay “The Artuković File,” “is surely an interesting one that needs the closest investigation.”

Two years later, he wrote “The Children of Drancy,” turning his unforgiving gaze on the actions of those who had collaborated in, or turned a blind eye towards, the deportation of Parisian Jews in 1942.

Much of Butler’s writing remained largely unknown until the 1980s when his essays were discovered by a young, independent publisher. As collections of his works were published, international recognition followed with editions brought out in New York, London and Paris.

Butler died in January 1991. He thus did not live to see his country’s Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Michael McDowell, publicly acknowledge on Ireland’s first Holocaust Memorial Day in 2003, that the country had been “antipathetic, hostile and unfeeling” towards the Jews. But neither did he have to witness the bloodshed and savagery which was to be visited once again on the people of Yugoslavia just six months after his death.

Man who fought Finland stabber leaves hospital to pay respects

HELSINKI, Finland — Finland observed a minute of silence on Sunday for the victims of a stabbing attack that left two people dead in what is being investigated as the country’s first-ever terror attack.

Another eight people were wounded in the stabbing spree on Friday in the southwestern port city of Turku.

The suspect, an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker, was interrogated on Sunday and is due to appear before a judge early Monday to be remanded in custody, police said.

At the market square where the attack happened, several hundred people gathered Sunday to hold a minute of silence at 10 a.m.

Among those present was Hassan Zubier, a visiting British paramedic who was injured in the attack after coming to the aid of a woman who later died.

He arrived directly from the hospital, attending the ceremony in a wheelchair.

“I wanted to show my respect to the victims,” he told Swedish daily Aftonbladet before returning to hospital for further treatment.

The crowd at the ceremony included emergency workers, city officials and police who formed a ring around a makeshift memorial of candles and flowers.

Archbishop Kari Makinen, who heads Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, was also present.

“Peace and Love — No Violence Finland” read one note next to a bouquet of flowers.

A minute's silence for the victims of a stabbing attack is held at Turku Market Square in Turku, Finland, August 20, 2017. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

The bells of Turku Cathedral, the country’s largest church, rang out for 15 minutes before falling silent as the crowd bowed its head to remember the victims.

Similar ceremonies were held across the country.

Women targeted

Finnish police said Saturday that the attacker deliberately targeted women.

His motive was not yet known.

All of the victims were women, including the dead, except for two men who tried to fend off the attacker.

An Italian, a Swede and a Briton were among the injured.

The suspect was shot and wounded by police minutes after he began his rampage on Friday afternoon.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said it had interrogated the suspect on Sunday for the first time, but revealed no details of the outcome.

“We do not comment the contents at this point in time.”

The suspect is in hospital with a gunshot wound to the thigh.

Police arrested four Moroccans linked to the suspect in a raid in the early hours of Saturday, but police said Sunday their involvement in the attack had “not yet been fully established.”

The four were cooperating with police in interrogations, investigators said.

Officers also carried out searches in a Turku suburb, but said no new arrests had been made.

Ahead of the minute’s silence, police reconstructed the crime at the market square as part of their investigation.

Jewish Man charged for urging ‘Holocaust on Arabs’ online

Prosecutors charged a man from central Israel Monday with incitement to violence and racism over Facebook posts three years ago that called for an Arab Holocaust and burning Arab people alive.

Bar Rozen, 26, from the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva, was accused of publishing a number of posts on his Facebook page that were racist against Arabs and incited to violence, prosecutors said.

The posts came during the summer of 2014, after three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank, setting in motion events that would lead to the revenge slaying of an East Jerusalem teen and war with Hamas-led fighters in the Gaza Strip.

The indictment was filed with the approval of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit because the nature of the charges touch on freedom of speech issues, the Justice Ministry said in a statement.

According to the indictment, in one post Rozen wrote on June 30, 2014, “A Holocaust for Arab citizens. Men and women, it makes no difference, also Arab Israelis I would be prepared to kill each one with bare hands!!!!!”

The post came the day the bodies of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gil-ad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, were found following a several week search, after being murdered by Palestinian terrorists.

From left to right: Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gil-ad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, three Israeli teenagers who were seized and killed by Palestinians on June 12, 2014 (photo credit: IDF/AP)

On July 2, 2014, Muhammed Abu Khdeir, an East Jerusalem Arab teenager, was killed by a group of Jews as revenge for the slain Israelis.

On July 11 of that year Rozen declared in a post that “If it was legally possible to burn Arabs I would happily do so!” and on July 22 he wrote “We need to start kidnapping Arabs and not put them in ‘prison’ which is a hotel. I have a great bomb shelter in my building, something along the lines of The Saw” — a reference to the franchise of movies about a sadistic murderer who kidnaps his victims and then tortures them to death.

Muhammad Abu Khdeir, seen in a photo provided by his family. (Courtesy)

In the indictment prosecutors noted that the posts were available for all of his 490 friends to see, as well as the public, and that he was the only one in control of the account.

The charges were announced at the same time that a cousin of Abu Khdeir was charged with terror activity over an alleged plot to carry out an attack.

Israel has stepped up enforcement in recent years against people making online comments deemed inciting.

Earlier this month a man was arrested after posting threats to participants ahead of the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade in the capital. The man was ordered to stay out of the city until the event finished.

Last month five East Jerusalem residents were charged with incitement to terror over Facebook messages they posted following a July 14 attack in Jerusalem’s Old City in which two Israeli policemen were killed.