Planned ‘Valentine’s Day Massacre’ In Canada Busted By Police

Conspiracy: 'Randy' Shepherd (left) and James Gamble (right) - seen here with an unidentified man - allegedly planned a massacre in Halfix, Canada, with an American woman, who has also been arrested and charged

A senior police official said that police foiled a plot by two suspects to go to a mall in Halifax, Canada, and kill as many people as they could before committing suicide on Valentine’s Day.  The mall was the Halifax Shopping Centre. One suspect has committed suicide.

The official told The Associated Press on Friday the suspects were on a chat stream and were apparently obsessed with death and had many photos of mass killings. Police and other officials said it was not related to Islamic terrorism.

Lindsay Kantha Souvannarath, 23, of Geneva, Illinois, and Randall Steven Shepherd, 20, of Nova Scotia, were arrested on Friday and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, according to a statement. 

A third suspect, 19-year-old James Gamble, killed himself as police moved to arrest him at his home in Nova Scotia.

A fourth – a 17-year-old boy – has been released from custody.

The official said the 23-year-old American woman, was arrested at Halifax’s airport and confessed to the plot. The official said she pre-wrote a number of pronouncements to be tweeted after her death.

Police said the suspects had access to firearms, but did not elaborate.

The official said  the 19-year-old male shot himself to death after police were tipped off about the plot and they surrounded his home. Police saw two people leave the house who they determined were his parents and pulled them over on a traffic check. They then called the suspect. As the man told police that he didn’t have any guns and he was on his way out of the house he shot himself, the official said.


German Consumer Confidence Highest In Eight Years

Photo: Brian Lawrence

Consumers in Germany are putting the country’s economic troubles behind them and looking to the new year with renewed optimism.

Consumer confidence in Europe’s largest economy improved this month, having stabilized in November after several months of decline, according to GfK.  In fact, German consumer sentiment hit its highest level in eight years as shoppers felt more upbeat about Europe’s largest economy going into 2015.

Market research group GfK said its forward-looking consumer sentiment indicator rose to 9.0 going into January from 8.7 in December, the highest reading since December 2006.

“Consumers apparently now assume that the period of economic weakness in Germany will pass and the domestic economy will return to growth in the coming months,” GfK said in a statement.

The reading is based on a survey of around 2,000 Germans, who give their expectations about pay and the economy in the coming months, as well as their willingness to spend money.

However, the research group warned that concerns about instability in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq and the Ebola outbreak continued to drag on the economy.