Wednesday 15 November 2023

Foreign News Crew Robbed At Gunpoint While Covering APEC Summit In San Francisco

 A news crew from the Czech Republic was reportedly robbed at gunpoint in San Francisco on Sunday as the team reported on the Asia-Pacific Economic Partnership (APEC) summit taking place in the city. 

Bohumil Vostal, a Czech TV journalist, was filming at San Francisco’s popular City Lights bookstore when masked criminals approached him and his team with guns pointed at them, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The armed assailants allegedly stole $18,000 worth of equipment that included the news crew’s entire footage from the day. 

“They were heading at my camera man, aiming a gun at his stomach, and one at my head,” Vostal said. 

“I’m one of those many people who used to read Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road,’ and I was so much looking forward to visit your city,” he added. 

The San Francisco Police Department confirmed that it is investigating an armed robbery that targeted a production team just before 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, according to KTVU. Officers said three armed men got out of a vehicle that stopped on the street and approached a production crew, demanding their equipment. After robbing the production team, the assailants got back in the vehicle and fled the scene, the officers added. 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s office said the mayor met with the Czech news crew on Monday and assured them that the city would replace their stolen equipment, the Chronicle reported. Breed’s spokesman, Jeff Cretan, added that authorities are cracking down on crimes such as robberies that have plagued the city under Democrats’ leadership.

Hundreds of foreign journalists have flocked to the Bay Area to cover the Asia-Pacific Economic Partnership summit as diplomats gather to discuss the future of the economy and trade in the region. Before the summit, San Francisco cleared areas that had been occupied by homeless encampments and public drug markets, and city workers power-washed sidewalks and mass transit stations. 

Some sections of the sidewalk were blocked off with barricades as the city prepared for the arrival of Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping. California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom admitted last week that the city clean-up was because world leaders were coming to town. 

“I know folks are saying, ‘Oh, they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming to town,’” Newsom said. “That’s true because it’s true — but it’s also true for months and months and months before APEC, we’ve been having conversations.”


President Joe Biden and Xi are set to meet at the APEC summit to discuss strengthening communication and managing competition, the White House said Monday. Biden will also meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López with the ongoing border crisis on the agenda for their discussion. 

“President Biden and President López Obrador will also discuss how we can continue to work together as partners to manage migration at our shared border and mobilize a hemispheric-wide response to this challenge,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement

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