JERUSALEM, Israel | DMN – Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States will help the Iraqi government in its battle against al Qaeda-linked fighters in western Iraq, but stressed it won’t send troops. Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem on Sunday during his visit to the Middle East, Kerry said the United States is not contemplating a return to the volatile nation. U.S. military forces, which invaded Iraq and toppled the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003, fought insurgents there for years until they withdrew at the end of 2011. ”We are not, obviously, contemplating returning. We’re not contemplating putting boots on the ground. This is their fight, but we’re going to help them in their fight,” Kerry said, noting that the United States plans to be in “close contact with all of the Iraq political leaders” to determine how to help them.
“We going to do everything that is possible to help them, and I will not go into the details except to say that we’re in contact with tribal leaders from Anbar province whom we know who are showing great courage in standing up against this as they reject terrorist groups from their cities. And this is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis. That is exactly what the President and the world decided some time ago when we left Iraq.” Fighting in the predominantly Sunni Anbar province in recent days has posed a serious challenge to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his Shiite-dominated government, raising questions about his ability to hold the country together amid a rising insurgency. Conflicting reports have the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), formerly the group commonly known as al Qaeda in Iraq, in partial control of Falluja, the site of some of the bloodiest fighting between U.S. forces and insurgents during the Iraq War.
This weekend, the government claimed, the Iraqi army shelled the Anbar city of Falluja in an effort to clear out al Qaeda-linked fighters amid dueling claims by the terror group and government forces about just who was in control of the flashpoint town. But the conflict in Anbar is not black and white — al Qaeda vs. pro-government troops — according to local officials, political analysts and tribal leaders in Falluja and Ramadi. They say al-Maliki is spinning the strife to his political advantage. These sources say al-Maliki is trying to cite al Qaeda as a pretext to crush Sunni protesters and is using the same tack to get international support for his fight. They say he’s trying to create the false impression that ISIS fighters control much of Falluja. ISIS has been working doggedly to exploit a security vacuum across Iraq.
While there are pockets of al Qaeda-linked militants in Anbar cities such as Falluja, most regions in Anbar, including Falluja, are under the control of local police and Sunni tribes not aligned with militants, they explained. Fighting also has raged between these local tribes and the Iraqi army in Falluja. Violence has flared in recent days because of the arrest of a Sunni lawmaker in Ramadi and the dismantling of protest sites by the army in Falluja and Ramadi. Most Sunnis in Anbar have simply been angry at being regarded as second-class citizens in the majority Shiite country. They have been upset with the local and central government authorities, and these grievances have spurred an ongoing uprising against the Shiite-led government.
Things are a bit more stable in Ramadi, Anbar’s capital because the local government struck a deal with tribes to fight against ISIS. Al-Maliki is more supportive of local government in Ramadi than Falluja, according to these sources. Soldiers have not been stationed inside Anbar cities for nearly a year. Now, al-Maliki is trying to bring the soldiers back, a move prompting Sunni resistance. The deal the government made with some Sunni tribal fighters was comparable to a 2007 U.S. pact that saw Sunnis turn on al Qaeda, siding with American and Iraqi forces to bring about an end to the terrorism. The fighting between Sunni militants against Shiite-dominated forces was reminiscent of fighting during the height of the Iraq War in 2006 and 2007, when sectarian violence nearly tore the country apart. The analysts who spoke to CNN said that Shiites have more to fear in the conflict with Sunnis because they risk losing its newfound and widespread power after decades of domination by a large Sunni regime led by Saddam.
As for Kerry, he said the U.S. government is concerned that al Qaeda and ISIS “are trying to assert their authority not just in Iraq but in Syria.” ”These are the most dangerous players in that region. Their barbarism against the civilians of Ramadi and Falluja and against Iraqi security forces is on display for everybody in the world to see. Their brutality is something we have seen before. And we will stand with the government of Iraq and with others who will push back against their efforts to destabilize and to bring back, to wreak havoc on the region and on the democratic process that is taking hold in Iraq.” Kerry called the fight against the militants “bigger than just Iraq” and the United States has an “interest” in helping an elected government “push back against the terrorists.”
“The fighting in Syria is part of what is unleashing this instability in the rest of the region. That’s why everybody has a stake. All of the Gulf states, all of the regional actors — Russia, the United States, and a lot of players elsewhere in the world — have a stake in pushing back against violent extremist terrorists who respect no law, who have no goal other than to take over power and disrupt lives by force. Violence raged in the capital of Baghdad on Sunday. Three car bombs and two roadside bombs exploded in several areas, killing at least 18 people and wounding dozens.
ASPEN, Colorado | DMN — A small plane crashed while trying to land at the Aspen, Colorado, airport Sunday afternoon, according to the FAA and local officials. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said that one passenger died and two passengers were taken to a local hospital. The jet, according to FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer, was a Bombardier Challenger 600 that was coming from Tucson, Arizona. Photos posted on Twitter showed the plane upside down on the tarmac, its fuselage charred.
Two celebrities, who were at the small airport in the Aspen ski resort area, posted Twitter messages saying they witnessed the crash. ”So sad! Horrible plane crash we just saw happen at the Aspen airport,” singer LeAnn Rimes tweeted. Comedian Kevin Nealon tweeted: “Horrible plane crash here at Aspen airport. Exploded into flames as it was landing. I think it was a private jet. Fire truck and ambulances were on the scene within minutes.”
Weather conditions at the time of the crash, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder, had west winds of 10 to 20 mph and gusts of around 30 mph, with temperatures from zero to minus-10 degrees. The Aspen airport is known as a challenging place for pilots to land because of the mountains that surround the runway. The airport tarmac is often filled with private planes owned or chartered by the wealthy and famous who own vacation homes in the mountain resort community. ”Airport is closed now,” Nealon tweeted. “I think I’ll drive back to LA after seeing that.”
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana | DMN — Wet, heavy snow across Indiana is causing widespread power outages this afternoon. Officials reminded residents to stay away from any downed power lines they encounter. The lines could contain live power and cause fatal injuries. As of 3:25PM this afternoon, 26,611 Indianapolis Power and Light customers were without power.
IPL had extra crews working today to restore power and planned to have extra manpower through Thursday, said IPL spokeswoman Katie Bunton. Besides limbs falling on power lines, cold temperatures can also cause utility equipment to fail, Bunton said. Customers of IPL can report outages or downed power lines by calling (317) 261-8111, (317) 261.8222 or toll-free at (888) 261-8222. At 2:30 p.m., 8,122 customers of Duke Energy across the state were without power – including 1,865 customers in Hendricks County and 214 in Hamilton.
Utility officials offer several tips for instances in which your power goes out:
Here are excerpts from Duke Energy’s web site:
“If you see downed power lines, assume they are dangerous and stay away!”
“If your power goes out, check to see if your neighbors have power. If your home is the only one without power, check your circuit breakers or fuses to determine if the outage is a result of a household problem. Do not assume we automatically know about your outage. Please contact us immediately.”
Duke Energy’s toll-free number: 1-800-343-3525
“If you anticipate an extended outage, consider moving yourself and your family — especially those with special needs — to an alternate location.”
“Turn off lights and as many appliances and electronics as possible – including heating or air conditioning systems. You will help prevent circuit overload situations when your power is restored. You will also reduce the potential for damage to sensitive equipment such as computers, microwave ovens, televisions and recording devices.”
“To help you prepare in case you face a power outage, we suggest you assemble an emergency kit.”
“Consider including the items below:”
• A flashlight with extra batteries (placed where you can find it in the dark)
• A battery-powered radio and fresh batteries
• Canned foods that require no cooking
• A manual can opener
• First aid supplies
• Extra fuses
• A battery-powered or wind-up clock
“Help protect your food during a power outage by keeping your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. Your refrigerator should keep food safely cold for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer should hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours if the door stays closed (about 24 hours if it is half full). Make sure you have items on hand that do not require refrigeration and can be eaten cold or heated on an outdoor grill.”
NEW YORK, New York | DMN – A plane landing at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport skidded off an icy runway just after 8 a.m. Sunday, prompting officials to temporarily shut down the airport, authorities said. The FAA said Delta Connection flight 4100 originated in Toronto and was being flown by Endeavor Air, according to NBC New York. No injuries were reported, and the FAA is investigating. The plane was a Bombardier CRJ jet, officials said. Ron Marisco, a spokesman with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, told NBC News that the plane had 35 people aboard and skidded into a snow bank while turning onto a taxiway after landing safely at runway 22L. Emergency crews were on the scene.
Delta Airlines said the plane was towed to a gate and passengers exited into the terminal. To ensure safety, the Port Authority and FAA temporarily closed the airport so that crews can salt and sand the runways, Marisco said. Flight operations resumed at JFK at about 10:30 a.m., officials said. Indianapolis weatherman Paul Poteet says that A foot of snow is still possible by late this evening in Indianapolis. Winter storm warnings continue for the entire state of Indiana until 1 a.m. Monday morning, when we switch to a wind chill warning until 7 p.m. Tuesday.
As much as four inches of snow was already being reported by 10 a.m. west of Indianapolis. Temps have been hovering around freezing but will gradually fall into the mid 20s through the afternoon, and then sink like a stone tonight. The cold air will arrive on gusty winds that will intensify in the mid to late afternoon. As colder air arrives the snow should transition to the type more prone to blowing and drifting. 2,648 flights had been cancelled today as of 1:00pm EST according to FlightAware.com. More than 6,200 air traffic delays have been reported.
Potentially record-setting cold temperatures were descending across the Midwest and Northeast on Sunday, disrupting travel and prompting forecasters to warn people to stay indoors. The Dakotas and Minnesota bore the brunt of the coldest weather, clocking temperatures of 20 degrees below zero on Sunday. The frigid air blasting into the Plains was part of what the National Weather Service called “incredibly cold and possibly record-breaking temperatures” expected throughout the week, with the brutally cold air expected to spread into to the Northeast and Gulf Coast Monday and Tuesday.
Forecasters are expecting bitterly cold temperatures in many places: 25 below zero in Fargo, N.D., minus 31 in International Falls, Minn., and 15 below in Indianapolis and Chicago. Wind chills may reach 50, 60 or even 70 below zero —temperatures much of the country has not seen in decades. At temperatures of 15 to 30 below, exposed skin can get frostbitten in minutes and hypothermia can quickly set in. Dr. Brian Mahoney, medical director of emergency services at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, advised people to protect themselves against the intense cold by wearing hand and face protection. Mittens were preferable to gloves and layers of dry clothing are best, he said. ”A person not properly dressed could die easily in those conditions,” National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Truett in St. Louis told The Associated Press, describing the expected wind chill in Missouri at daybreak Monday.
Despite the bone-chilling weather, Sunday’s NFC wild-card game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers looked set to play out in bone-chilling temperatures in Wisconsin. Regardless of the forecast, fans scooped up the remaining 40,000 tickets needed to sell out the game this week. Minnesota said schools in the entire state would be closed Monday — the first such closing in almost 20 years. Milwaukee and Madison, Wis., had also cancelled school for Monday. Already, parts of New England dropped into the negatives Saturday, with East Brighton, Vt., seeing 30 below zero just after midnight and Allagash, Maine, hitting minus 36. The cold will sweep through other parts of New England where residents are digging out from a snowstorm.
The South also will dip into temperatures rarely seen. By Monday morning, western and central Kentucky could be below zero — “definitely record-breaking,” said weather service meteorologist Christine Wielgos in Paducah, Ky. And in Atlanta, Tuesday’s high is expected to hover in the mid-20s.
There is a lesson in the latest cable news debacle. Stop saying stupid things. Think before you speak and above all else…show some respect. Mitt Romney took a conciliatory tone Sunday when asked about an MSNBC panel mocking a family holiday card that showed him holding his adopted black grandchild, saying it is time to move on. ”People make mistakes and the folks at MSNBC made a big mistake and they apologized for it,” Romney said Sunday in an interview on Fox News Sunday. “They apologized for it. That’s all we can ask for.”
A day earlier, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry made a tearful apology to the former Republican presidential candidate and his family after she and a panel poked fun at a photo of Romney with his wife and 21 grandchildren by zeroing in on his adopted African-American grandson. “Whatever the intent was, the reality is that the segment proceeded in a way that was offensive, and showing the photo in that context, of that segment, was poor judgment. So without reservation or qualification, I apologize to the Romney family,” said the anchor at the open of her show, “Melissa Harris-Perry.” Harris-Perry became emotional as she went on to apologize to all “other families formed through transracial adoption,” saying, “I am deeply sorry that we suggested that interracial families are in any way funny or deserving of ridicule.”
She highlighted her own interracial background, as the daughter of an African-American man and a white Mormon woman. But, she said, families are always “off limits,” and the Romneys’ grandchildren should never have been a topic of discussion. ”Adults who enter into public life implicitly consent to having less privacy. But their families, and especially their children, should not be treated callously or thoughtlessly. My intention was not malicious, but I broke the ground rule that families are off limits, and for that I am sorry,” she said. Harris-Perry first apologized on Twitter and MSNBC’s website Tuesday, offering a similar mea culpa “without reservation or qualification.”
Last week, Harris-Perry and panelists on her show made jokes at the expense of the Romney family. Perry asked her guests to come up with a caption for the Romney family photo, prompting actress Pia Glenn to sing “one of these things is not like the others” and comedian Dean Obeidallah to remark the picture “sums up the diversity of the Republican Party.” Obeidallah appears frequently on CNN and writes a regular opinion column for CNN.com. Harris-Perry, for her part, described the baby as “gorgeous” and joked that in 2014 he would marry North West, the daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. ”Can you imagine Mitt Romney and Kanye West as in-laws,” she said.
Romney, the Republican Party’s nominee for president in 2012, said his stature makes him a frequent target of attacks, but added that the barbs directed at his family crossed the line. ”People like me are fair targets. If you get in the political game, you can expect incoming,” Romney said. “For children, that’s beyond the line. I think they understand that and feel that, as well. ”I think it’s a heartfelt apology, and I think for that reason we hold no ill will whatsoever,” he said.
My message is this. If you want me to respect your political debates…keep it about politics or policy but these personal attacks, whether they be on President Obama, Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney are beyond disrespectful…they are beneath all of us.
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana | DMN — Indiana Governor Mike Pence ordered the National Guard to activate highway assistance teams in response to the winter storm as road conditions worsened Sunday morning. Highway assistance teams will help rescue stranded motorists and will move people to shelters. There are 24 teams and 96 people involved in the effort. This comes as the state braces for a winter storm that promises to dump a foot or more of snow in parts of Indiana, ushering in a brutal cold snap in its wake. A winter storm warning is in effect for central Indiana through the day Sunday. Snow is expected to begin falling during the morning hours. Heavy snow is forecast for much of the region by late morning, lasting into the early afternoon.
As the bitterly cold air charges in, a flash freeze and blizzard conditions could develop in some areas. Snow will intensity across the lower Great Lakes and mid-Mississippi Valley through Sunday, impacting Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis. The storm will also bring snow and slippery travel to much of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys Sunday through Sunday night, while ice concerns arise in the Northeast. The heaviest snow is forecast to fall from St. Louis to Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland and London, Ontario, where a half a foot or more of snow could fall.
FOR STORM SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR YOUR AREA…CLICK HERE
Cities that could be hit by a sudden period of blinding snow, plunging temperatures and a quick freeze include Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; Louisville and Lexington, Ky.; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Charleston and Morgantown, W.Va.; Pittsburgh and Bradford, Pa.; Jamestown and Rochester, N.Y.; and Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario. Travel along I-40, I-64 and I-65 could be difficult Sunday night. As lake-effect blends in with the general storm, some bands of intense snowfall are likely.
According to Senior Meteorologist Dale Mohler, “Blizzard conditions may develop from eastern Ohio to West Virginia, western Maryland, western Pennsylvania Sunday night and Monday, and in western New York Monday into Tuesday.” Whiteout conditions are possible in these areas with strong winds, plunging temperatures and heavy snowfall rates. The worst conditions are likely in New York state, just south of Buffalo and in the Tug Hill region, south of Watertown. ”Major interstate highways including I-79, I-80, I-81, I-90 and Route 219 could close down for a time due to the intense conditions Monday into Tuesday,” Mohler added.
Some people could be caught off guard and stranded by the storm. A dangerous cold wave will blast in its wake. The new wave of frigid air will reach the I-95 Northeast on Monday. Temperatures in Chicago are not expected to exceed 10 below zero on Monday with Detroit experiencing afternoon highs just above zero Monday and Tuesday. The last time Chicago was this cold was during early February of 1996, where temperatures remained below zero around the clock for a couple of days. Snow began falling in much of central Indiana before 6:30 a.m. The snow is expected to accumulate 8 to 12 inches in the Indianapolis area, with higher amounts primarily north and northwest of the city and lesser amounts to the south and southeast. Warmer air could work into the storm system south of Indianapolis, causing more sleet or rain to fall in that area and holding snowfall accumulation down.
North of Indianapolis, some areas could exceed a foot of snow before the storm wraps up Sunday night. Total storm accumulations in the Lafayette area could hit around 15 inches. January typically bring the lowest average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. Combined with less sunlight and a growing snowpack, the first month of the year can bring some downright frigid air. However, occasional bouts of frigid air with some of the coldest nighttime lows can occur well into February.
LONDON, United Kingdom | DMN — Three prime suspects for the abduction of Madeleine McCann have been identified by Scotland Yard officers. Analysis of mobile phone data suggests a burglary gang was operating very near to where she vanished in Portugal in May 2007. The three men made an unusually high number of calls to each other in the hours after Madeleine was reported missing from her holiday flat in the Algarve. Police believe the thieves, including at least one Portuguese man, had already carried out one raid in the resort of Praia da Luz, disturbing a child.
That child’s parents, who had been drinking outside the property, rushed inside to find the intruders had fled. During their bungled investigation Portuguese police attached no significance to the break-in, which came a few days before Madeleine disappeared. British detectives said this oversight was a ‘disgrace’. Following the Yard phone breakthrough, informal discussions have taken place about arresting the three burglars and searching their homes and other sites. It is believed background checks have taken place into their criminal history, their circle of friends and relatives and the vehicles they have used. British detectives believe the burglars may have panicked after they woke Madeleine up by mistake and decided to take her away with them.
Kate and Gerry McCann pose with an artist’s impression of how their daughter might look at the age of nine last year
An informed source said: ‘After all the far-fetched theories about what may have happened to Madeleine, there may be a far more simple explanation: that a burglary went horribly wrong. ’It is the main line of inquiry for British police.’ But Scotland Yard’s hopes of early arrests have been thwarted by the reluctance of the Portuguese authorities to agree to a formal joint investigation. Because none of the burglars is British, the Met cannot arrest them in Portugal and will need the full cooperation of local police to pursue the inquiry. Behind the scenes, highly sensitive diplomatic discussions are taking place to resolve the issue so that British detectives can be based in Portugal. Home Secretary Theresa May is being briefed regularly.
‘After all the far-fetched theories about what may have happened to Madeleine, there may be a far more simple explanation: that a burglary went horribly wrong.’ Yard detectives have dismissed the idea that a local man who died in a tractor accident four years ago was responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance. Portuguese police regard the 40-year-old, a former employee at the Ocean Club holiday complex the McCanns stayed at, as their prime suspect. Met officers disagree with their reasoning and are concentrating on the burglars.
The compelling mobile phone ‘cell site analysis’ – which has helped solve a number of major crimes – has strengthened suspicions about the gang. A major appeal based on ‘substantive’ new information – including descriptions of possible suspects – was broadcast on the BBC1’s Crimewatch in October. Days before the appeal, senior detectives revealed mobile phone records may hold the key to solving the case. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the inquiry, said officers were examining data from thousands of mobiles thought to belong to people who were in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.
The data suggests the men were involved in a burglary a few days before Madeleine’s disappearance during which they woke a another child
Madeleine McCann went missing from her apartment in The Ocean Club in Praia Da Luz in 2007
Police are trying to identify the owner of each phone to build up a picture of exactly who was in the area. More than 3,000 people live in Praia da Luz, while holidaymakers and seasonal workers visit from around the world. ‘This is not just a general trawl,’ said Mr Redwood. ‘It’s a targeted attack on that data to see if it assists us to find out what happened to Madeleine at that time.’ Mr Redwood said officers had been unable to identify, six years on, a large number of mobile phones, especially those bought on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The records also contain information on which numbers were dialled and when. It is thought some numbers might appear on police intelligence systems, or be linked to criminals. According to Scotland Yard, the phone records were looked at by the Portuguese police investigation but in no detail. Scotland Yard announced it was launching an investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance in July – after spending two years reviewing the case under the codename Operation Grange. Madeleine, whose parents Gerry and Kate live in Rothley, Leicestershire, was days away from her fourth birthday when she was abducted. Earlier this week it emerged that the bill for the Yard’s probe has topped £6million. The total is now likely to exceed £10million, with £88,000 having gone on travel costs so far.
What happened on the day Madeleine disappeared?
Madeleine McCann on the day she disappeared
10am: The sixth day of the McCanns’ week-long holiday in the Algarve. The couple place their daughter, Madeleine and her twin siblings, Sean and Amelie, in the Ocean Club’s Kids Club while they go for a walk.
12.30pm: After collecting the children, Kate and Gerry head to their apartment, 5a, on ground floor of block five of the Waterside Village Gardens, for lunch before going to the Ocean Club swimming pool.
2.29pm: The last photograph of Madeleine is taken at the pool. The camera clock reads 1.29pm but the family says it was out by one hour.
3.30pm: Children return to Kids Club.
5.30pm: Children eat dinner at Kids Club.
6pm: Kate takes children back to apartment while Gerry goes to an hour-long tennis lesson.
6.30pm: Gerry asks David Payne, one of the so-called “tapas seven”, to check on Kate and the children at the apartment.
7pm: Gerry returns to the apartment and the children are put to bed in the front bedroom overlooking the car park and beyond it, the street. Madeleine is placed in the single bed nearest the door. There is an empty bed against the opposite wall beneath the window. Between the two beds are two travel cots containing the twins.
7.30pm: The McCanns shower and change.
8pm: The couple share a bottle of wine together.
8.35pm: The McCanns are the first of the group to arrive at the tapas restaurant, 50 yards away from their apartment.
8.55pm: The group has ordered starters when the routine of checking on the children begins. Matt Oldfield goes to check his own apartment. He also tells the Paynes, who are still in their apartment, that the group is waiting for them at the restaurant.
9.05pm: Gerry returns to the apartment through the unlocked patio doors to check on the children. Earlier that week, the McCanns had used a key to go in through the front door next to the children’s bedroom but, worrying the noise might wake the children, they began using the patio doors, leaving them unlocked.
He enters the apartment and sees that the children’s bedroom door, which they always left slightly ajar, is now open to 45 degrees. Thinking this is odd, he glances into his own bedroom to see if Madeleine has gone into her parents’ bed. But he sees that all three are still fast asleep where the McCanns left them. Putting the door back to five degrees, he went to the toilet and then returned to the restaurant. This is the last time he would see his daughter.
9.08pm: Gerry sees Jeremy Wilkins, another holidaymaker at the resort, on the opposite side of the road as he walks back to the tapas bar and crosses over to talk. Wilkins and his partner are eating in their apartment since their youngest child will not settle. The two men spend several minutes talking.
9.10pm: Jane Tanner walks up the road, unnoticed by Gerry and Wilkins, although she sees them. She spots a man walking quickly across the top of the road in front of her, going away from the apartment block and heading to the outer road of the resort complex. He is carrying a sleeping girl in pink pyjamas who is hanging limply in his arms. The sighting is odd, but hardly exceptional in a holiday resort. Her daughter is fine; Tanner returns to the table.
9.30pm: Kate gets up to make next check on her children but Matthew Oldfield and Russell O’Brien are checking, too. Oldfield offers to check the McCann’s children.
In the McCanns’ apartment, Oldfield notices the children’s bedroom door is open again, but this means little to him. He merely observes all is quiet and makes a cursory glance inside the room seeing the twins in their cot, but not directly seeing Madeleine’s bed from the angle at which he stood. Afterwards, he could not say for sure if she had been there or not. Nor could he say if the window and shutter had been open.
He would later get a hard time from the police because of this. During his interviews, he was aggressively accused of taking Madeleine, coming under suspicion because he had offered to take Kate’s turn.
10.00pm: Kate checks on the children. She becomes alarmed when she reaches out to the children’s bedroom door and it blows shut. Inside the room, the window is open and the shutter is up. The twins are sleeping but Madeleine’s bed is empty.
Shortly after 10pm: Rachael Oldfield goes to Tanner’s apartment to tell her Madeleine has been taken. Tanner says: “Oh my God. I saw a man carrying a girl.”
10.15pm: Oldfield goes down to the 24-hour reception at the bottom of the hill to raise the alarm. Police are called.
10.30pm: Local police are first to arrive on the scene.
11.10pm: Detectives from the Policia Judiciaria (PJ) arrive having been contacted by police constables.
They see there is a latch lock on the sliding glass window. The McCanns thought, but could not be sure they had locked it at the start of the holiday. Later it was discovered that it was common for cleaners to open the shutters and windows to give the rooms an airing, so there is no way of knowing whether the window was locked that night or not.
Around 4.00am: Physical search for Madeleine is called off, according to witnesses. Detectives from the PJ leave.