1. Backpacker, 28, was raped and strangled before being found dead at popular festival in India.
Danielle McLaughlin ‘raped and strangled’ – post mortem https://t.co/cEZPRtxTY4
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 16, 2017
A post-mortem confirms a 28-year-old Irish backpacker was raped and strangled before she was killed while on holiday in Goa, India, last month, BBC News reports.
Danielle McLaughlin was found dead in a field close to resorts frequented by tourists in the Indian state of Goa on Tuesday. Police discovered her “lying in a pool of blood without clothes”.
McLaughlin had travelled to India with a friend from Australia to celebrate the Hindu Holi festival in February.
The destination is popular with foreign tourists who often visit the area for beach getaways.
A post-mortem released by police today has concluded that brain damage and constriction of the neck caused the 28-year-old’s death.
A 24-year-old local man, Vikat Bhagat, has been arrested and will now face rape and murder charges.
Bhagat has confessed to raping and killing Danielle, Deputy Superintendent Sammy Tavares told reporters.
CCTV obtained by police also shows Danielle walking along the street with her alleged killer before her death.
Danielle’s mother, Andrea Brannigan, said her daughter – the eldest of her five daughters – would be “sadly missed by all”.
Locals held a vigil at the spot where Danielle’s body was found on Wednesday evening, laying flowers, photos and candles on the ground.
A big green banner reading ‘Justice for Danielle’ has also been left at the site.
2. Desperate search underway for an 11-year-old boy who was swept away in floodwaters in NSW.
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) March 16, 2017
A major search is continuing for an 11-year-old boy feared swept away in floodwaters on the NSW south coast.
Ryan Teasedale was last seen riding a body board with his brother and friends in Riley Park, Unanderra, on Thursday afternoon as torrential rain swept the area, AAP reports.
His brother raised the alarm about 4.30pm when he couldn’t find him. Ryan’s parents searched the home and surrounding areas before contacting police two hours later.
A large number of NSW State Emergency Service volunteers, police rescue experts and paramedics are involved in the search for the boy, who was last seen wearing blue board shorts, without a shirt and holding his blue body board.
It’s understood the operation will focus on the drain gates at the edge of Riley Park.
SES crews responded to another 34 flood rescues across the Illawarra and south coast region on Thursday as NSW suffered through its third day of soggy weather. At least 53mm of rain was dumped in 60 minutes at Warragamba while Wollongong received 149mm.
Two trains services were shut down due to fallen trees and two major roads near Albion Park were closed because of rising flood waters.
3. “It was total panic”: Four wounded as teenager allegedly opens fire at his high school in France.
Shooting at a French school in town of Grasse, several injured – police sources https://t.co/cPl2WMxKNu
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 16, 2017
A teenager is accused of opening fire at his high school in southeastern France, wounding up to four people, in an attack apparently inspired by videos of US mass shootings such as Columbine, officials say.
The incident in Grasse, which does not appear to be linked to militancy, comes as France is on high alert after more than 230 people were killed in the past two years by attackers allied with Islamic State.
“It was total panic,” Achraf, a student in the school, said on BFM TV.
“The gunshots were at 4-5 metres from where we were. We thought the gunman was coming towards us. We heard him shouting.”
France’s Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem visited the scene in Grasse, a town known for its perfume industry, and said the attack appeared to be “a crazy act by a fragile young man fascinated by firearms”.
“His motivations seem to be linked to bad relations he had with other students in school,” Grasse prosecutor Fabienne Atzori told reporters.
Atzori said 10 people had been hurt in the school attack, either physically or emotionally. One person was shot in the stomach and the headmaster was injured in the shoulder after trying to stop the gunman.
The youth, who was also carrying munitions, handguns, a grenade and what seemed to be a homemade explosive device, put up no resistance when he was arrested at the school, she said.
The youth was not known to police and checks were being made to establish whether there were any accomplices and how he had acquired his weapons.
“The first investigations suggest he had consulted videos of mass killings in America,” an interior ministry spokesman said.
France has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. French citizens are banned from owning automatic weapons, while many other guns require government authorisation and a medical exam, along with a permit from a hunting or sport shooting federation.
Atzori said the teenager, who fired two or three times, had initially entered a classroom looking for someone in particular.
After he had left, pupils alerted the headmaster to his presence. The headmaster, who did not appear to be the target, was shot trying to calm the assailant down.
4. Nurse who stabbed her ex-husband in playground jailed for more than five years.
Woman who stabbed ex-husband near playground jailed: A 43-year-old woman who stabbed her former husband in front of… https://t.co/LbaTNDq6ht
— Perth Daily News (@PerthDailyNews) March 16, 2017
A nurse who stabbed her ex-husband with a knife in front of one of their children near a busy Perth playground has been jailed for more than five years, AAP reports.
Michelle Allison Fernandez, 43, stabbed Mark Fernandez twice at the Shelley park foreshore in October 2015, the WA District Court heard on Thursday.
The mother of two was found guilty by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm, but insists she did not bring the knife and is not guilty of the crime.
Judge Michael Bowden accepted Fernandez did not form the intention to stab the victim until shortly before it happened.
“It was traumatic, it was a brutal attack, it occurred in a public park and in essence in the middle of the day,” he said.
“There were other people, children as well, present at that park.”
Mr Fernandez suffered a 15cm wound to his bowel and a 10cm laceration to his chest, as well as injuries to his hands.
“If medical intervention had not have occurred it was very likely that the victim would have died,” Judge Bowden said.
Mr Fernandez spent 28 days in hospital, was confined to a wheelchair for four months, needed 105 stitches to his chest and abdomen, and 138 stitches to other parts of his body.
Judge Bowden noted Fernandez had no prior record, had a supportive family, and was highly thought of by workmates and friends, who described her as calm, generous and trustworthy.
“It’s not in dispute, and it’s confirmed by the references and evidence given at the trial, that you’re highly competent in your profession,” he said.
“You’re caring, compassionate and very professional in your work as a clinical nurse.”
Judge Bowden also noted Fernandez was unlikely to reoffend, but said she had traumatised the victim.
Fernandez was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail and must serve three-and-a-half years behind bars before she can be eligible for parole.
5. McDonald’s launches investigation after ‘rogue tweet’ tells President Trump he has “tiny hands”.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 16, 2017
McDonald’s says it has been notified by Twitter that its account was “compromised” after it appeared to send a message calling Donald Trump “a disgusting excuse of a President”.
The tweet to Trump from the official account for McDonald’s, a message that has since been deleted but was captured in a screenshot, said it would love to have President Obama back.
“Also you have tiny hands,” the tweet told Trump.
The tweet was also temporarily pinned to the top of the McDonald’s account so that it would be the top message people see if they visited the company’s Twitter profile.
A McDonald’s representative said the company deleted the tweet, has secured the account and is investigating the matter.
6. Study finds link between ibuprofen use and an increased risk of cardiac arrest.
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) March 16, 2017
There are calls for tighter restrictions on the sale of all over-the-counter painkillers in Australia after an international study found a significant link between ibuprofen use and cardiac arrest.
A 10-year Danish study of nearly 30,000 patients found the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen – commonly sold as Nurofen or Advil – was associated with a 31 per cent increased risk of a cardiac arrest.
“Allowing these drugs to be purchased without a prescription, and without any advice or restrictions, sends a message to the public that they must be safe,” said the study’s author Gunnar Gislason, professor of cardiology at Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte in Denmark.
It’s thought NSAIDs can cause constriction of arteries that control blood flow to the heart, blood clotting and a rise in blood pressure.
Chief medical officer at the Australian Heart Foundation Garry Jennings said the findings of this study support accumulating evidence that these drugs carry a real risk for the heart.
“In absolute terms this is a relatively small risk but it seems to be fairly real,” Professor Jennings told AAP.
Despite this there is no need to panic, he added, as these drugs won’t cause the ordinary person to just drop dead of a cardiac arrest because they only tend to aggravate the symptoms of those with heart disease.
“There is really no information which suggests that they can cause either a cardiac arrest or heart attack out of the blue. I think that is very unlikely,” Prof Jennings said.
The concern is that not everyone knows they have a heart problem, he said.
Last year, the Therapeutic Goods Administration decided that painkillers containing codeine would require a prescription from 2018.
The decision to ban their over-the-counter sale was in response to ongoing concerns about overuse and abuse of the painkiller.
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